Lucid Culture

JAZZ, CLASSICAL MUSIC AND THE ARTS IN NEW YORK CITY

Pascal Plantinga’s Funky Avant Angels Take a Detour

Dutch avant garde composer/songwriter/filmmaker Pascal Plantinga has earned a worldwide following for his shapeshifting, genre-blending, category-defying work. Recent additions to his eclectic musical oevre span from the Okinawan-flavored exotica of his Bashofu/Yonaguni Shonkane single – a collaboration with enigmatic chanteuse Keiko Kina – to the atmospheric soundscapes of Promises of Pleasure, to this one, Even Angels Take Detours, a wry, witty, Jim Jarmusch-esque American travelogue done as an album/dvd combination that came out last year. Recorded in the spring of 2009 at the Stone, it’s not only a showcase for Plantinga’s puckish wit, but also the final live concert recording to feature the late, great New York drummer Dave Campbell. Here, Campbell fits into the electroacoustic mix with a seamlessly subtle, shuffling approach as Plantinga’s sonic film unwinds, part hip-hop, part ambient music, with jazzy flourishes and the occasional nod to current-day noir composers like Angelo Badalamenti. As with much of Plantinga’s work, the warmly analog feel of this vinyl record transcends any attempt to digitize it: to genuinely appreciate its surreal, encircling ambience, you have to put it on a turntable, not an ipod. In addition to Plantinga – on bass and vocals – and Campbell, the lineup onstage includes SoSaLa’s Sohrab Saadat Ladjevardi on tenor sax and Kurt Dahlke a.ka. Pyrolator on electronics.

Campbell kicks it off with a tongue-in-cheek military roll beat that he’ll bring back later, then the sequencer comes in along with a surreal torrent of faux hip-hop phrases punctuated by a vocoder. The shuffling, steamily funky (and funny) track two, I Don’t Even Pink features keening Dr. Dre synth tones giving way to a roaring loop – “The intervention of my shrink urges me to rethink – what does it feel like?” Plantinga muses. The group follows that with the ominous sonics of Je Ne Suis Pas Folle, the woozy but matter-of-fact existential meditation Not One Scratch and then the cadavre exquis vibe of Hit by My Mother, with its rapidfire samples and distantly menacing, allusively atmospheric chromatics underscoring its sarcastic, satirical humor.

The concert really hits a peak as the second side – the travelogue side – of the record kicks in, with the scampering Ryuichi Sakamoto-ish Learn to Speak Your Language. Bread Into Stone brings back the funk and some sardonically caustic commentary on conspicuous consumption. The unselfconsciously gorgeous, plaintive title track paints a trippy early 70s tableau fueled by Plantinga’s watery bass chords (that’s the hook from The Eton Rifles, by the Jam – intentional or not?) and a slowly crescendoing, casually poignant Ladjevardi solo. The concert winds up with the anxiously soaring Never Had a Sweater, Campbell anchoring its steady sweep as a series of sarcastic anti-rock quotes from decades past sweep through the picture. The crowd is obviously entertained; the musicians seem to be having a great time, and it’s often such a mishmash that it’s impossible to figure out who’s playing what: sit back and enjoy the show.

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July 10, 2012 Posted by | avant garde music, experimental music, funk music, Music, music, concert, review, Reviews, rock music | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Album of the Day 10/15/11

As we do pretty much every day, our 1000 best albums of all time countdown continues all the way to #1. Saturday’s album was #473:

Public Enemy – Apocalypse 91: The Enemy Strikes Black

The iconic conscious hip-hop group followed up the erratic Fear of a Black Planet with this erudite, entertaining, snarling, politically-charged 1991 lyrical masterpiece. Although many of the references here are necessarily of its Bush I/first Gulf War era time, the criticism is timeless: the anti-racist broadside A Letter to the NY Post; the haunting, murderous By the Time I Get to Arizona (directed at then-governor Fyfe Symington, who abolished the MLK holiday there), the equally ferocious How to Kill a Radio Consultant; the cynical More News at 11; the bitter, eerie outsider anthem Get the Fuck Out of Dodge; and an antidrug/antibooze rant, 1 Million Bottlebags. But there’s plenty of upbeat stuff too: anthems like Nighttrain, Can’t Truss It, Flava Flav’s unusually pissed-off I Don’t Wanna Be Called Yo Nigga, the deliriously powerful Shut Em Down and an early rap-metal number, the band’s remake of the classic Bring Tha Noise, recorded with Brooklyn nu-metalheads Anthrax. Here’s a random torrent.

October 16, 2011 Posted by | lists, Music, music, concert, rap music | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The 1000 Best Albums of All Time 400-499

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

Albums #800-899 continue here.

Albums #700-799 continue here.

Albums #600-699 continue here.

Albums #500-599 continue here.

499. Erika Simonian – All the Plastic Animals

A cult classic from 2004. Simonian’s wryly literate lyrics range from sardonic to casually savage, set to precisely fingerpicked, austere melodies sung in a minutely nuanced voice that can be deadpan hilarious…or absolutely brutal. An air of disillusion and betrayal creeps in with the opening vignette, sarcastically titled Food From the Cow, followed by the even more sarcastic Pretty Good Wife; the cabaret-inflected Self Made Drama Machine, a kiss-off to a selfish bitch; and Mr. Wrong, an amusing pickup scenario predictably on its way to going awry. The most unforgettable song here is Bitter and Brittle, a vivid portrait of the edge of madness; the blackly humorous Eternal Spinsterhood is awfully good too. Surprisingly, this one is AWOL from the usual sources of free music, but it’s still available from cdbaby, where there are also clips from each song. Simonian continues as a member of lyrical indie rockers Little Silver and the entertaining, punkish Sprinkle Genies.

498. Ian Hunter – Rant

Ian Hunter may have played in a stadium rock band back in the 70s, but his best years were ahead of him, and that may still be true – and he’s no less vital today, now in his early 70s. It’s amazing how ten years ago, at practically age sixty, he came up with this bitter, ferociously angry requiem of sorts for the entire world. Taking care to kick off the album with persuasive proof that he’s undiminished by all this, he revisits his glam side with Still Love Rock N Roll before the apocalyptic Wash Us Away, the relentlessly ferocious Death of a Nation and Morons, the anti-yuppie diatribe Purgatory and the vitriolic American Spy, directed at sellout ex-punks. There’s also the Bowie-esque Britrock of Dead Man Walking; the sarcastic Good Samaritan; the defiant Soap N Water and Ripoff; the lush, beautiful janglerock of Knees of My Heart and the alienated angst of No One. Dark, lyrical four-on-the-floor rock doesn’t get any better than this. Here’s a random torrent via [not sure what this blog is called, but it’s really good].

497. Hank Mobley – Soul Station

This 1961 album is sort of a tenor sax response to Almost Blue, with a similarly beautiful nocturnal vibe. Which on one hand makes perfect sense since it has Wynton Kelly on piano and Paul Chambers on bass, with drummer Art Blakey in almost shockingly cool mode. Mobley made a name for himself playing just a hair behind the beat for maximum swing impact (something that didn’t ingratiate him to his hard-bop contemporaries), and he does that tunefully and memorably here, on their remake of the Irving Berlin ballad Remember as well as originals like the wryly soulful This I Dig of You, Dig This, the aptly titled, somewhat ambiguous Split Feelin’ and the high point of the album, the title cut. It ends on a poignant note with If I Should Lose. Who says sidemen can’t make great albums as bandleaders? Here’s a random torrent via Jazz Is My Life.

496. Patti Rothberg – Between the 1 and the 9

Discovered busking in the New York City subway (the album title references the local train running between Harlem and the Battery), Rothberg debuted auspiciously with this in 1996 and has replicated its clever lyricism and catchy, smoldering rock sensibility several times since then. The sarcastic garage rock anthem Treat Me Like Dirt went to #1 in Europe, while the characteristically tongue-in-cheek Inside reached the American top 40; the rest of the album ranges from pensive, symbolically charged purist slightly new wave-flavored pop tunes like Flicker, Forgive Me and It’s Alright to the sarcastic powerpop Perfect Stranger, Change Your Ways and Out of My Mind as well as the coyly sultry This One’s Mine. Everything Rothberg has done subsequently, especially the 2007 album Double Standards, is worth hearing. The whole thing is streaming at grooveshark; here’s a random torrent.

495. Robert Sirota – Triptych – The Chiara String Quartet

Arguably the most powerful, intense musical response to the horror of 9/11, composer Sirota’s anguished, horror-stricken suite for string quartet draws on artist Deborah Patterson’s triptych depicting the detonation of one of the towers, the death of NYFD chaplain Mychal Judge and the sky over the smoking hole at Ground Zero. The Chiaras premiered this at New York’s Trinity Church, barely two blocks away, in October, 2002. The frenzied horror of the first movement attempts to replicate sirens, a devil’s choir of car alarms and the chaos following the crash of the planes; the second is a grief-stricken lament; the third reaches for some sort of peace or closure. The only audio for this that seems to be on the web seems to be at cdbaby, where the album is still available, but terrific performances of this piece by the American String Quartet have made it to youtube in three segments, here, here, and here.

494. Buck Owens – On the Bandstand

Despite the title, this isn’t a live album, although it has the energy of one. Buck Owens began his career in the early 1950s as a highly sought-after lead guitarist known for his eclectic style, equally inspired by blues, Mexican music and what was becoming rock. By 1963, when this came out, he’d become a star as a frontman with his band the Buckaroos, including Tom Brumley on pedal steel and Don Rich on fiddle and lead guitar. Together they invented the “Bakersfield sound,” which is still about the hardest that country music has ever been. Some choice cuts: the sweetly twangy Sally Was a Good Girl, Kickin’ Our Hearts Around, One Way Love and Sweethearts in Heaven; a countryfied version of Leadbelly’s Cotton Fields; King of Fools, which foreshadows the buffoon character he’d play on Hee Haw; a boisterous Orange Blossom Special; and Diggy Diggy Lo, covered by many garage bands since then. Here’s a random torrent.

493. Carey Bell – Live at Bellinzona Piazza Blues Festival, 1999

The trouble with studio blues recordings is that labels didn’t stop exploiting the artists after Chess went under. As a result, even as late as the 90s, so many of those albums sound forced and furtive, everybody rushing to get their parts down before time ran out. This extremely obscure lo-fi live set recorded somewhere in Italy features the great Chicago blues harpist onstage, in his element, front and center over an anonymously competent band. Bell achieves his signature spooky, swirling, hauntingly watery sound by playing through a Leslie organ speaker. The set ranges from dark and ominous with Leaving in the Morning, Broken and Hungry, and Lonesome Stranger to the sly My Eyes Keep Me In Trouble and the big party favorite When I Get Drunk, along with a characteristically volcanic version of his big instrumental crowd-pleaser Jawbreaker. Some of this is streaming at Spotify; here’s a random torrent via Renovcevic.

492. Rachelle Garniez – Crazy Blood

Garniez is unquestionably the most eclectic and quite possibly the best songwriter to emerge from the New York scene in the late 90s and early zeros. Serenade, her first album, is lushly pensive and unselfconsciously romantic, as you might expect from someone whose main axe is the accordion. This 2001 release, her second, was her quantum leap, where she established herself as a deviously witty master of every retro style ever invented, from the apocalyptic pop of Silly Me, the gorgeous Memphis soul of Odette and Mr. Lady, the sultry jazz ballad Swimming Pool Blue, the inscrutable psychedelia of Little Fish and Marie, the jaunty, tongue-in-cheek blues of New Dog, the blithe, meticulously arranged salsa of Regular Joe and the album’s chilling, intense tango centerpiece, Shadowland – which would become a tv show theme – and the anguished, Bessie Smith-tinged title track. Garniez’ multi-octave voice swoops and dips mischievously over a band of A-list downtown jazz types. She’d go on to even greater heights with 2003′s Luckyday and 2008′s Melusine Years, and has a new one coming out (the cd release show is November 11 at Dixon Place). Strangely AWOL from the usual sources of free music, it’s still available from Garniez herself as well as at cdbaby.

491. Magic Sam – West Side Soul

This 1967 release pretty much sums up the innovative Chicago bluesman’s career and offers more than just a cruel glimpse of where he might have gone had he lived. An energetic vocalist and talented guitarist, he very subtly and effectively brought elements of 60s soul, funk and rock into a straight-up blues format. Among blues fans, this album has iconic status, and has most of his best-known songs: That’s All I Need; the funky I Feel So Good; soulful, nocturnal versions of Otis Rush’s All Your Love and My Love Will Never Die, and B.B. King’s I Need You So Bad; a surprisingly original cover of Sweet Home Chicago; a plaintive version of J.B. Lenoir’s Mama Talk to Your Daughter; the propulsive Every Night and Every Day, the bitter I Don’t Want No Woman and the instrumental theme Lookin’ Good. Sam Maghett drank and drugged himself to death at 32. Here’s a random torrent.

490. Merle Haggard – 20 Greatest Hits

One of the great transformation stories in musical history, a guy who (either despite or because of his criminal past) started out as a supporter of the extreme right, looked around and then realized that there was a better way, one that made sense given his populist background. This covers pretty much everything. It doesn’t have the honkytonk classic Swinging Doors but the 20 tracks here include most of the others: Mama Tried; Workingman’s Blues; Okie from Muskogee; Tonight the Bottle Let Me Down; the reworked Irish ballad Branded Man; and the Ford/Carter recession-era If We Make It Through December, a tribute to striking Detroit assembly line workers that’s as resonant today as it was thirty years ago. Here’s a random torrent via Kerala MV; if you’re here, and you like this kind of stuff, you might also enjoy Bryan & the Haggards’ twisted jazz instrumental cover album of Merle tunes.

489. Bee & Flower – What’s Mine Is Yours

The New York/Berlin band’s 2004 debut is a stark, often haunting mix of stately, slow-to-midtempo art-rock songs: some of them dirges, some more atmospheric, with slight variations on frontwoman/bassist Dana Schechter’s various shades of grey. The catchy, relentless opening track I Know Your Name sets the tone, followed by the aptly titled, glimmering Twin Stars and the menacing funeral processional Wounded Walking. The pastoral Carpenter’s Fern is as light as it gets here; On the Mouth the most upbeat, which is not really a lot. There’s also the sardonic Let It Shine and then anthemic, Joy Division-tinged closing cut, This Time. Everything else the band has released since then is worth a listen; here’s a random torrent via My Melomania. The album is still available from the band.

488. Tammy Wynette – Your Good Girl’s Gonna Go Bad

She’d have an entire hall of fame career in the wake of this 1967 debut, but she got off on the good foot – and the album also doesn’t have the odious Stand By Your Man. Instead, it’s a bunch of ripping honkytonk numbers like the title track and the classics Don’t Come Home A Drinkin’ (With Lovin’ On Your Mind), I Wound Easy but I Heal Fast along with ballads like There Goes My Everything, Don’t Touch Me, Almost Persuaded and Walk Through This World With Me. The band of Nashville pros is on top of their game and so was Tammy – it would be awhile before the pills caught up with her. Here’s a random torrent via I Could Die Tomorrow.

487. Guided by Voices – Do the Collapse

A lot of you will be scratching your heads over this one: of all the GBV albums, the one that Rick Ocasek produced?!? Yup. By 2001, GBV was a well-oiled (pun intended) road machine, and Robert Pollard had his arguably most lyrical, most straightforward and catchiest bunch of songs yet, equal parts British Invasion, powerpop and the Minutemen but without the phony beat poetry. The real gem here is Teenage FBI – as a teacher, Pollard knew a little something about high school fascism. The sarcastic, fragmentary Wormhole is also choice, as are the chromatically-charged riff-rocker Zoo Pie, the mocking Dragons Awake!, along with the subtly funny Liquid Indian, Strumpet Eye, Picture Me Big Time and the brief, under two-minute An Unmarketed Product among the sixteen characteristically unpredictable tracks here. Here’s a random torrent.

486. Sibelius – Symphony #4 – The BBC Symphony Orchestra/Sir Thomas Beecham

This early 50s recording by one of the great late Romantic composer’s most forceful advocates captures all the brooding magnificence of this dark, stormy piece: the pensive first movement, with its vivid cello/bass figure; the more upbeat second movement, the big crescendoing third movement and its breakneck, anthemic conclusion. If you like this kind of stuff, the rest of his repertoire (especially if you can find Beecham recordings) is worth seeking out, including smaller-scale works like the Karelia suite. Here’s a random torrent via Vinyl Fatigue.

485. Eric Burdon & the Animals – Best of, 1966-68

This one is as good a mix of songs by the iconic white bluesman as there is. Some of this showcases him as a blues shouter, the rest as a surprisingly good hippie songwriter, without any of the Brill Building schlock other than Don’t Bring Me Down (a cursed title if there ever was one). There’s straight up blues with See See Rider, soul including Help Me Girl and a surprisingly strong River Deep, Mountain High; pensive, philosophical songwriting like Inside-Looking Out and Winds of Change; upbeat psychedelic pop period pieces including San Franciscan Nights and Monterey; and the real classic here, the swirling, phaser-driven Sky Pilot, one of the most potent antiwar anthems ever written. “You’ll never, never, never reach the sky!” If you like this stuff, the original albums, especially the 1968 Love Is album, are also worth a spin. Here’s a random torrent.

484. Jazz at the Philharmonic 1949

These concerts were parties, not sedate mellow jazz, and the crowd got passionately involved. For that reason (and because the recordings tended to be noisy as a result), there is a jazz element that has looked down on this annual series of recordings that went on through the 1950s. This one is probably the wildest: after promoter Norman Granz’s interminable band intros, it’s got the landmark moment where Lester Young famously leaps in during Charlie Parker’s Leap Here. There’s also Coleman Hawkins wailing on Rifftide, chilling out on Sophisticated Lady and the whole crew (especially trumpeter Fats Navarro) getting involved on The Things We Did Last Summer along with bluesy, Bird-driven versions of Lover Come Back to Me and Back Home Again in Indiana. And where can you grab a download? Nowhere! Blame the snobs, not us.

483. The Maddox Brothers & Rose – On the Air

Some of this is corny but a lot of it is hilarious, and you get the picture that even when the band is being serious that they’re secretly laughing at you. Fred, Cal, Cliff and Don along with sister Rose, the star of the show are represented here by their very first radio broadcast, from 1940, plus another one from 1945 which on one hand is something else entirely, but also shows how well they had their act together when they first began. Their best stuff, the “hillbilly boogies,” foreshadows rock music, with its shuffle rhythm and lyrical innuendo: Hold That Critter Down, Small Town Mama, If You Ain’t Got The Do-Re-Mi, The Gold Rush Is Over and Too Old to Cut the Mustard among the best of them. There’s also rustic stuff like I’ve Rambled Around, bluesy stuff like Meanest Man in Town and Fried Potatoes and some requisite country gospel – Gathering Flowers For The Master’s Bouquet – and cowboy songs among the 40 tracks here. If you like this you might also like the 1961 compilation The World’s Most Colorful Hillbilly Band, Vol. 2. Here’s a random torrent via the always rocking Rockin Gipsy.

482. Charles Brown – Driftin’ Blues: The Best of Charles Brown

This suave, impeccably tasteful blues pianist/crooner was sort of the missing link between Nat King Cole and Jimmy Reed – outside of the church, this is where soul music got its start. This 20-track reissue from the mid-90s collects sides from 1945 through 1956. Ironically, Brown remains best-known for a cheesy Xmas song, Merry Christmas Baby. But this also has his first big hit, Driftin’ Blues along with the aptly nocturnal In the Evening When the Sun Goes Down and a killler version of Get Yourself Another Fool. There’s also the surprisingly subtle Trouble Blues, the brooding Black Night, Seven Long Days, and Evening Shadows along with somewhat more upbeat stuff like Please Don’t Drive Me Away and Count Basie’s I’ll Always Be in Love With You. Brown gets extra props for being a major influence on both Elvis Costello and LJ Murphy. Here’s a random torrent via Rukus Juice.

481. Danny & Dusty – The Lost Weekend

This semi-legendary 1985 collaboration among several Paisley Underground types from the Dream Syndicate, Green on Red and Long Ryders has the feeling of an album made in a single afternoon fueled by a lot of alcohol, a story that Steve Wynn AKA Dusty has confirmed. Danny here is Dan Stuart of Green on Red. Most of the songs are about drinking, Wynn’s set in a typically surreal LA noir milieu. The Word Is Out focuses on a character who suddenly finds that he’s paying for everything he used to get for free; Song for the Dreamers and Miracle Mile are a memorable grab bag of boozers and losers, an idea they take to its logical extreme on King of the Losers. The best of the bunch is Wynn’s deliriously gospel-fueled Baby We All Gotta Go Down; there’s also the proto alt-country Send Me a Postcard and the creepy Down to the Bone, all of this good enough to make you forget about the pointless Dylan and Donovan covers at the end. Long out of print; here’s a random torrent. If you like this you may also like Danny & Dusty’s 2007 follow-up, still available at Wynn’s site.

480. Little Walter – The Chess 50th Anniversary Collection

Walter Jacobs defined blues harp. His eerie, reverb-drenched, overtone-packed lines have a signature sound that’s often imitated but never duplicated. He wasn’t a bad singer, either, with an amazing, Willie Dixon-led band behind him. This is as good a mix of his own stuff as there is out there – and don’t forget that he also played with Muddy Waters and Howlin Wolf and other giants of the era as well. It’s got his big first hit, the 1955 shuffle tune My Babe, as well as hot juke-joint instrumentals like Juke, Roller Coaster, Mellow Down Easy, the jazzy Last Night and the creepy Sad Hours. There are also inspired takes on classics like Key to the Highway as well as originals like the cosmopolitan Boom Boom Out Goes the Light, the stomping, blustery Off the Wall and the tensely exuberant Just Your Fool among the 20 choice tracks here. Here’s a random torrent via KNK Music Blog.

479. Flower Travellin’ Band – Satori

This one’s for the smoking section. By the time these Japanese stoners came out with this sludgy, creepy 1971 five-part suite, they were arguably heavier than Sabbath. Some of you may find this ugly and heavyhanded; the band alternates between bludgeoning blues and morbid, funereal dirges. The lyrics are in Japanese. Part one of the suite sets the stage for the slightly more Hendrix-inspired part two. Part three might be the high point, doom rock with Asian motifs; part four blends funk and even jazz touches into the murk; the concluding movement foreshadows where King Crimson would be in five years. Call it metal, or art-rock, or proto-goth, either way it’s pretty amazing. Here’s a random torrent via Lysergia.

478. Miles Davis – Ascenseur Pour L’Echafaud

Hope it’s ok with you if we stick with the creepy stuff two days in a row. Davis came up with the soundtrack to this 1958 Louis Malle noir flick in two days in a Paris studio with a pickup band, much in the same way he did Kind of Blue: it’s a masterpiece of modal jazz, arguably as good or better than that album. The central, recurring theme is Nuit Sur Les Champs Elysees (represented by several takes, most notably the first and second). There are also two versions of Le Petit Bal (A Little Party), a murder scene, a car chase, an elevator scene, some tense moments at a motel, another chase scene and a couple of surprisingly calm vignettes that seem tacked on at the end for good measure: they’re pretty, although they don’t match the noir vibe of the rest of the soundtrack. Here’s a random torrent.

477. Orquesta Harlow – La Raza Latina: A Salsa Suite

This is Fania Records’ All-Star pianist Larry Harlow’s 1977 attempt to capsulize the entire history of latin music in a six-part suite. As history, there are secret corners it misses – lots of them; as music, it’s a titanic, slinky blast of horns, percussion and orchestra. Nestor Sanchez sings the classic salsa of the title track, followed by the percussion-centric Africa; the Afro-Cuban Caribbean and Caribbean Pt. 2, which blends in soca and Puerto Rican sabor; the deliciously gritty New York 1950s and 1960s and the whirlwind Futuro which blends Mingus bustle with late 70s latin disco! Too surreal to imagine, you just have to hear it…and dance to it. Here’s a random torrent.

476. Arnold Schoenberg – Pierrot Lunaire

Here’s the creepiest and possibly least listenable album on this list so far, a 1940 recording with the composer himself conducting an insane clown posse with Erika Steidry-Wagner on vocals. The group – piano, violin, cello, flute and clarinets – do a chilly, methodical job with this four-part suite’s creepy atonalities, many of which you may recognize since they’ve been used over and over again in many horror movies. Catchy, singalong material? Hardly. But it’ll wake you up – and maybe keep you up. You can stream the whole thing and also download it free from archive.org. Those preferring a more up-to-date, slightly more polished (but less crazy) version might want to investigate the 1998 recording by Ensemble Intercontemporain with Pierre Boulez on piano and Christine Schafer singing, all up on youtube here, here, here and here. If you want to download the album, it’s here.

475. The Peanut Butter Conspiracy Is Spreading

The 1967 debut by this vastly underrated, eclectic psychedelic pop band combines the surreal folk-pop of early Jefferson Airplane with snarling garage rock and ornate chamber pop. Frontwoman Sandi Robinson’s vox are sort of a cross between Judy Collins and Grace Slick; the song arrangements are complex and sometimes haunting. The big innuendo-driven stoner-pop hits are Why Did I Get So High and You Took Too Much, both ostensibly love songs – back then, you couldn’t get on the radio if you sang about getting high on anything other than booze. There’s also the gorgeous chamber-rock of Then Came Love; the acid folk hit It’s a Happening Thing; the fuzztone-driven Twice Is Life; the punchy You Can’t Be Found, with its Leslie speaker guitar; and the intense, scampering Dark on You Now among the eleven tracks here. Here’s a random torrent via Hippy DJ Kit. The album was reissued in the early zeros as a twofer with the band’s second, more erratic one The Great Conspiracy, which you can get via Acid at Home.

474. The New Trolls – Concerto Grosso

The New Trolls are sort of the Italian Genesis. This 1971 suite is something of a Mediterranean counterpart to Peter Gabriel’s playful, dramatic early Genesis, juxtaposing classical themes with catchy, surreal, Beatlesque art-rock that foreshadowed what ELO would be doing by the end of the decade. They kick it off with a lively, baroque tinged theme, rip off their fellow countryman Albinoni on the stately, stoic Adagio, go into potently chilling Vivaldi territory with the Cadenza – Andante and then the real classic, the darkly pensive Shadows. Side two is ostensibly a jam, although its endlessly shifting permutations, from Grateful Dead-style garage-rock vamps, to Blues Magoos stomps, to spacy drum-circle ambience, leads you to believe that it was all planned in advance. The band has been through a million different incarnations but are still around and still playing fascinatingly elaborate music. Here’s a random torrent via Prog Possession.

473. Public Enemy – Apocalypse 91: The Enemy Strikes Black

The iconic conscious hip-hop group followed up the erratic Fear of a Black Planet with this erudite, entertaining, snarling, politically-charged 1991 lyrical masterpiece. Although many of the references here are necessarily of its Bush I/first Gulf War era time, the criticism is timeless: the anti-racist tirade A Letter to the NY Post; the haunting, murderous By the Time I Get to Arizona (directed at then-governor Fyfe Symington, who abolished the MLK holiday there), the equally ferocious How to Kill a Radio Consultant; the cynical More News at 11; the bitter, eerie outsider anthem Get the Fuck Out of Dodge; and an antidrug/antibooze tirade, 1 Million Bottlebags. But there’s plenty of upbeat stuff too: anthems like Nighttrain, Can’t Truss It, Flava Flav’s unusually pissed-off I Don’t Wanna Be Called Yo Nigga, the deliriously powerful Shut Em Down and an early rap-metal number, the band’s remake of the classic Bring Tha Noise, recorded with Brooklyn nu-metalheads Anthrax. Here’s a random torrent.

472. Jenifer Jackson – Slowly Bright

This 1999 release was Jackson’s quantum leap: it established her as one of the world’s most astonishingly diverse, intelligent songwriters. Her vocals here are memorably hushed and gentle: since then, she’s diversified as a singer as well. The songwriting blends Beatlesque psychedelia with bossa nova, with the occasional hint of trip-hop or ambient music. Every track here is solid; the real stunner that resonates after all these years is When You Looked At Me, with its understated Ticket to Ride beat, swirling atmospherics and crescendoing chorus where Jackson goes way, way up to the top of her range. The title track, Anything Can Happen and the vividly imagistic Yesterday My Heart Was Free have a psychedelic tropicalia feel; Whole Wide World, Burned Down Summer and I’ll Be Back Soon are gorgeous janglerock hits; So Hard to Believe balances tenderness against dread. The catchiest track here may be the unexpectedly optimistic, soul-infused Look Down; the album closes with the lush, hypnotic, blithely swaying Dream. And believe it or not, this classic is nowhere to be found in the blogosphere or the other usual sources for music, although it’s still available from cdbaby. Her forthcoming one, The Day Happiness Found Me is every bit as good, maybe better; it comes out in December.

471. Sielun Veljet – Live

Sielun Veljet (Finnish for “Soul Brothers”) are iconic in their native land. Their earliest songs set eardrum-peeling, trebly PiL-style noise guitar over catchy, growling, snappy bass and roaring punk vocals. The Finnish lyrics are surreal and assaultive as well. This scorching 1983 concert recording takes most of the songs off their first album and rips them to shreds. The best of these is Turvaa (Saved), with its ominous, chromatics and catchy, burning bassline. There’s also Emil Zatopek, a hoarse, breathless tribute to the long-distance runner; the primal, tribal Haisa Vittu; the surprisingly ornate Karjalan Kunnaila; the spooky epic Yö Erottaa Pojasta Miehen; Politikkaa, a macabre, reverb-drenched chromatic noise-funk tune; and the most traditionally punk number, Huda Huda (basically Finnish for “Yay, yay” – the sarcasm transcends any language barrier). Because of the album title (not to mention that it was never released outside Finland), it’s awfully hard to find online; in lieu of this, here’s a random torrent for their first album.

470. Howlin’ Wolf – The London Sessions

Reputedly the Wolf was hungover when he did this impromptu two-day 1970 session of remakes of many of his classic blues hits with an adoring band of British rock stars whom he’d influenced enormously. Ringo drums on one track; otherwise, the swinging rhythm section is usually Charlie Watts and Bill Wyman (whose bass work on Sittin on Top of the World is pure genius). And believe it or not, Eric Clapton stays within himself and plays the hell out of possibly the best version ever of I Ain’t Superstitious, along with Built for Comfort, Who’s Been Talking, and Red Rooster. And he leaves plenty of room to the great Hubert Sumlin, whose guitar slashes as judiciously and unpredictably as always on Rockin Daddy, Worried About My Baby, and a quick run through Do the Do. At the end, the Wolf relents and even sounds inspired on Wang Dang Doodle, a song he absolutely despised. It’s a study in contrasts: the sly, low-key Wolf and a bunch of guys getting to play with their idol, well. Here’s a random torrent.

469. Tommy McCook & the Supersonics – Pleasure Dub

After Skatalites trombonist Don Drummond murdered his girlfriend, tenor sax player McCook broke up the band and went to work playing his soulful, spacious style on innumerable late 60s rocksteady hits for Jamaican producer Duke Reid. This 2009 compilation collects mostly instrumental versions of a whole bunch of them, sans the sometimes cloying lyrics or vocals. As dub, it’s pretty primitive: as grooves, most of this is unsurpassed. The chirpy organ behind John Holt comes front and center on Tracking Dub; another John Holt cut, Love Dub is much the same. There’s the surprisingly lush Dub with Strings; Prince Francis’ Side Walk Doctor; the punchy Ride De Dub; the big hit Bond Street Rock; the cinematic 7-11; and the scurrying Twilight Rock and Many Questions among the 18 slinky one-drop vamps here. Here’s a random torrent via Sixties Fever.

468. Leila Mourad – Sanatain: Arabian Masters

A star of stage and screen in Egypt in the 1930s and 40s, her career ground to a standstill after the Nasser revolution: Mourad being Jewish probably didn’t help. With expansive, powerful, soulful voice that these remastered 78s doesn’t adequately capture – like the rest of her contemporaries, she could jam vocalese for hours sometimes – she’s still fondly remembered in the Arab world. This sometimes lushly, sometimes starkly orchestrated compilation is hardly an adequate representation of her career, but her recordings are hard to find outside of the Middle East. This one has the hypnotic, chillingly insistent title track and seven other cuts, most of them clocking in at around three minutes. Because many of these are taken from musicals, there are occasional breaks that only make sense if you speak Arabic and know the source. If you run across anything by her, it’s probably worth owning. Here’s a random torrent.

467. Cannonball Adderley – Mercy Mercy Mercy: Live at the Club

More than virtually any other artist, alto saxophonist Cannonball Adderley successfully bridged the gap between R&B and jazz: he was terrifically popular in the urban juke joint scene, and did his best work live. This 1966 album with a kick-ass band including brother Nate on cornet and a young Joe Zawinul on piano gets the nod because it doesn’t have any of the schlock he occasionally tried to jazz up, like stuff from Fiddler on the Roof. Right off the bat, he spirals all over the place on the opening theme, aptly titled Fun, followed by the swinging proto-funk of Games, the title track (a surprise top 20 hit), the fiery Sticks, Zawinul’s Hippodelphia and a killer, eleven-minute version of Adderley’s own Sack O’Woe, taking the set out on an exhilarating note. If you like this stuff, get to know his other 60s material: it’s pretty much all great. As Joe Strummer said, only half-sarcastically, “Don’t step on my Cannonball Adderley lp’s or cds.” Here’s a random torrent.

466. Message – From Books and Dreams

A cynic would call this 1973 album a Nektar ripoff – and with the galloping tempos, trippy orchestration and soaring, growling, melodic bass, that influence is definitely there. But this German stoner art-rock/metal band with a Scottish singer is a lot more diverse than that here. And a lot darker too: the skull on the cover pretty much gives it away. Some of this is sludgy and Sabbath-y; other times it goes in a jazz direction, with alto sax far more interesting than you’d typically hear from bands like this. It’s a suite, if not a fully realized concept album, beginning ambient and creepy like ELO’s Eldorado Overture, then blasting into the first multi-part segment, Dreams, followed by the sax/metal guitar instrumental Turn Over (which has a hilarious ending). Side two is a quieter but just as macabre continuation titled Sigh, followed by the long, ominously crescendoing Nightmares and its absolutely chilling ending. Now that youtube allows for long tracks, there’s a stream of the whole album here; here’s a random torrent via Fantasy 0807.

465. Ella Fitzgerald – Twelve Nights in Hollywood

The “great American songbook” was the elevator music of its era – 99.99% of it is garbage. But when jazz musicians got ahold of it, magic could happen. This 2009 four-cd box set of previously unreleased 1961 and 1962 small club dates is notable for being Ella backed by a small combo – just understated piano, bass and drums – which gives her the advantage of not having to belt over the roar of a big band. So as with Sarah Vaughan (see #611 on this list), this gets the nod over the rest of her exhaustive catalog because she really gets to take it deep into the shadows. To be truthful, there is some schlock among the 77 tracks here, but there are also innumerable wee-hours gems, notably the original jazz and blues songs: Billie Holiday’s Lover Come Back to Me; Ellington’s Caravan and Squeeze Me; Ray Charles’ Hallelujah I Love Him So; Monk’s Round Midnight and Les Paul’s How High the Moon. There are also expansive versions of One for My Baby, The Lady Is a Tramp, Anything Goes, All of Me, Love For Sale (where she leaves no doubt that it’s about a hooker) and the famous moment where she decides to be a rock singer for thirty seconds before jumping back into Cole Porter’s Too Darn Hot. Here’s a random torrent.

464. Gerry Mulligan – The Concert Jazz Band at Newport 1960

This one of those recordings that went unreleased for decades, most likely because the sonics aren’t quite up to cd quality. But in the age of the mp3, it’s not as if most people can tell the difference. And the versatile, nonconformist baritone saxophonist/composer’s big band is absolutely smoking, snaking their way up Kai Winding’s Broadway, taking the Theme from I Want to Live deep into noir territory, going Out of This World and then to gypsyland with Manoir de Mes Reves. They go swinging into the blues with the Johnny Hodges homage Carrots for Rabbit, then expansive versions of Sweet and Slow, I’m Gonna Go Fishin’ and go out on a high note with Blueport. There are also a couple of bonus tracks from European shows around the same time. Here’s a random torrent via Moha Offbeat.

463. The Shivvers – Lost Hits From Milwaukee’s First Family Of Powerpop 1979-82

Every day, there seems to be yet another rediscovery of a great band from decades ago that never “made it,” at least in the old mass-media sense. And more and more frequently,it’s becoming clear that those “unknown” bands were usually way better than what was on the radio at the time. This 2006 reissue includes most of this extraordinary group’s studio recordings as well as a surprisingly snarling, intense live set. In the studio, keyboardist/frontwoman Jill Kossoris’ vocals were quirky and detached, notably on the closest thing they had to a radio hit, the chirpy but cynical anticonformist anthem Teenline. But live, she was a powerhouse, most notably on the second version of You’re So Sure here, which sounds like the early Go Go’s. There’s also No Substitute, like the Raspberries with a girl singer; the scurrying new wavey/Beatlesque Please Stand By; the rich, ELO-inflected Remember Tonight; the punchy garage pop of My Association (“There’s a place I can go where I don’t have to be an outcast”); the George Harrison-esque Hold On; the absolutely gorgeous Life Without You; the Orbisonesque Nashville noir of It Hurts Too Much and Blue in Heaven, their offhandedly attempt at a big artsy (6 minute) synth/guitar anthem…sung by a dead girl! The whole thing is streaming at yucky myspace; here’s a random torrent.

462. Jazz on a Summer’s Day

This is a case where you really should get the movie: the visuals of this 1960 documentary of the 1958 Monterey Jazz Festival are fascinating and often hilarious. It’s best known for Anita O’Day, stoned out of her mind, wailing her way through Sweet Georgia Brown and Tea for Two with a great horn player’s imagination and virtuosity. That’s just the juiciest moment; there’s also a young, ducktailed Chuck Berry doing the splits on Sweet Little Sixteen; Dinah Washington making All of Me sound fresh and fun; Gerry Mulligan and his band; and cameos by George Shearing, Thelonious Monk, Big Maybelle, Chico Hamilton, a lot of Louis Armstrong and a real lot of Mahalia Jackson at her peak doing spirituals and a final stirring benediction. Some of you may scoff at how mainstream this is…until you hear what this crew does with a lot of standard fare. The random torrent here is for the movie rather than the stand-alone soundtrack.

461. Rasputina – Oh Perilous World

The original cello rockers, Rasputina have been putting out great albums for almost 20 years, frontwoman Melora Creager backed by an increasingly shifting cast of characters. This is her finest hour, from 2007: she’s always been a great lyricist as well as a composer, but she really took it to the next level with these torrentially metaphorical songs that deliver a very subtle but absolutely brutal critique of the Bush regime’s reign of terror and the paranoia they spread in the wake of 9/11. All this takes place against a backdrop of global warming (1816 the Year Without a Summer), basic human rights taking a beating (Choose Me for a Champion), and anthrax scares engineered from inside the government (Incident in a Medical Clinic). Only in Draconian Crackdown does she let down her guard and blast the traitors of 9/11 for their cowardice. Otherwise, the journey from Child Soldier Rebellion to Bring Back the Egg Unbroken to Old Yellowcake (weapons of mass destruction – get it?) is a treacherous and grotesquely graphic one, and Creager leaves no stone unturned. A courageous and mighty blow for democracy whose time may not have come yet. Here’s a random torrent.

460. The Million Dollar Quartet

As portrayed in the film Walk the Line, Elvis, Carl Perkins, Johnny Cash and Jerry Lee Lewis were all drinking buddies who’d frequently hang out and jam. This informal 1956 acoustic session was assuredly never intended for release, although it might have been an attempt to get some decent quality demos down, considering who was involved (some sources say that Cash wasn’t, since he doesn’t sing on it). Other uncredited Sun Records session guys may have been in on it as well. Obviously fueled by a little hooch and who knows what else, the low-key confidence of this band, whoever all of them were, is irresistible. Most of the songs clock in at less than a minute, among them Elvis’s Don’t Be Cruel and Reconsider Baby, Jerry Lee’s Rip It Up and a bunch of gospel numbers. While it’s a little incongruous to hear Jerry Lee Lewis on a Chuck Berry song, it just goes to show you never can tell who’s cross-pollinating with whom. Here’s a random torrent.

459. The Jazz Combo From I Want to Live

Noir jazz doesn’t get any more lurid, or any better, than this smoldering, haunted 1958 session featuring variations on Johnny Mandel’s theme from the docudrama about executed convict Barbara Graham, the last woman to die in the gas chamber at San Quentin, who may well have been innocent. The band, led by Gerry Mulligan and featuring Shelly Manne on piano, Art Farmer on trumpet and Bud Shank on alto sax, is first-rate. The album actually starts with the downright sexy, tiptoeing Black Nightgown before the brooding, doomed main title theme; the suspenseful Night Watch; the jaunty San Francisco nightclub scene where all the accomplices think they’ll get away with murder (they didn’t); the offhandedly wrenching, pleading Barbara’s Theme and a cruelly ironic Life’s a Funny Thing to end it. Here’s a random torrent via Groove Depository. Big shout-out to Nellie McKay for inspiring this pick – and for writing her own musical about this sad chapter in American “justice.”

458. Robert Nighthawk – Live on Maxwell Street

Here in the 21st century, we can record every concert we go to with our phones…but busking with electric instruments is usually against the law. Back in 1964 at Chicago’s Maxwell Street outdoor market, buskers congregated on every corner: it was like La Fete de la Musique every weekend. But if you wanted to get one of those shows on tape, you had to bring a bulky tape recorder…and that’s what one fan would do every weekend, eventually compiling a substantial private archive. A few of them have been released over the years, this one by Delmark in 1980, thirteen years after guitarist/singer Nighthawk’s death. The raw spontaneity of this impromptu jam is electric in every sense of the word. Nighthawk growls, takes his time and then works his way up to an erudite, jazz-infused style that won him the admiration of musicians from his circle who were far more popular. A lot of these performances had the feel of a cutting contest, especially the Maxwell Street Medley where Nighthawk jumps from one tune to another and whoever happened to be sitting in would try to leap along with him. There’s also his local hit Goin’ Down to Eli’s, instrumentals like Mr. Bell’s Shuffle and Yakity Yak, along with hard-edged stuff like Take It Easy Baby and I Need Your Love So Bad. Be aware that there are many versions of this floating around the web – if you like this one you might want to peek around other downloads. Here’s a random torrent via Way to Your Soul.

457. Neil Young – Living with War

From 2006, this is his best album. A ferocious, electric response to the criminality and genocide of the Bush regime, it’s political rock at its most insightful and tuneful. After the Garden coldly and cynically sets the stage for the sarcastic title track, and the equally scathing The Restless Consumer. Shock and Awe and Flags of Freedom call bullshit on the regime’s endless lies, while Families looks sympathetically at those left behind when Cheney sent the troops off to Iraq, from where 55% of the survivors would come home to disability pensions, unable to work because they’d been poisoned by depleted uranium. Let’s Impeach the President is a classic – and maybe the most intelligent song about an American President ever written. Looking for a Leader suggests that “maybe it’s Colin Powell, to atone for what he’s done;” Roger and Out looks back to Helpless, an enlisted grunt grudgingly admitting “that’s when we needed the hippie highway.” The closing cover of America the Beautiful is pretty pointless, but after all that, it doesn’t matter. The album itself is hard to find online, but the dvd with all the songs isn’t; here’s a random torrent via Three Times J.

456. Mos Generator – The Late Great Planet Earth

The artsy metal trio’s 2005 quantum leap, ironically, remains their mellowest album. Their earlier stuff is solid, but here they take their sound to the next level: this is a lush, atmospheric, genuinely haunting concept album about the apocalypse. The foreboding On the Eve kicks it off, followed by the epic dirge Crematorium; the rhythmically dizzying, manic depressive Six Billion People Dead; the aptly titled Opium Skies; The Myopic and its understated bitterness; the morbid Closed Casket; and the plaintive, Pink Floyd-ish Fall of Megiddo. Frontman/guitarist Tony Reed continued to assert himself as one of the underrated guitar heroes of the past couple of decades, while adding layer after layer of keyboards to the mix (which dominate as the album winds out, hypnotically). It winds up on a crushingly ironic, cynical note with the surprisingly funky title track and a mini-suite with a centerpiece titled Exit the Atomic Age. Long overdue for a reissue, the band is still selling it at cdbaby; if you’re looking for a torrent, try this random one.

September 17, 2011 Posted by | blues music, classical music, country music, funk music, gypsy music, irish music, latin music, lists, middle eastern music, Music, music, concert, rap music, reggae music, rock music, ska music, soul music | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Album of the Day 9/1/11

Almost caught up to where we should be, every day, as our 1000 best albums of all time countdown continues all the way to #1. Thursday’s album was #516:

Bahamadia – Kollage

One of the tracks on this late golden-age hip-hop album is simply called Innovation, which pretty much sums up what Bahamadia is all about. She was respected in her native Philadelphia before Guru and Primo from Gang Starr discovered her and produced most of the tracks on this 1996 debut. It’s easy to see why they liked her. She’s a purist who – other than on Tru Honey Buns, where she gets off on playing a clueless guy for his money – puts lyrics and ideas out front rather than posturing for fame or namechecking luxury brands. Think a mature Roxanne Shante without the Brooklyn accent. Some of the best of the 15 tracks here: Spontaneity, a rapidfire freestyle with Razhel; the calmly erudite Wordplay; the Nas-influenced Rugged Ruff; the plaintive I Confess, ecstatic Uknowhowwedo, kick-ass Total Wreck and the single that should have been huge, 3 the Hard Way. The only dud here is a maudlin, sentimental piece that samples 70s elevator-pop band Ambrosia. Here’s a random torrent via Blazewon.

September 2, 2011 Posted by | lists, Music, music, concert, rap music | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

New York City Live Music Calendar for August and September 2011

The latest, most updated version of this calendar has moved to New York Music Daily.

As always, weekly events are listed at the bottom of the page, after the last of the daily listings: scroll down and you’ll find them. If you didn’t see anything that struck you as fun this time around, check back later because we update this daily.

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. This is not a list of every band playing every club in NYC; this is a list of good shows, many of which we will go see ourselves. We focus on edgy, entertaining stuff: if you’re looking for Grizzly Bear or Justin Bieber, you’re in the wrong place.

8/1, 8:30 PM alto sax powerhouse Jon Irabagon and brilliant free jazz drummer Barry Altschul, probably revisiting Irabagon’s recent Pharaoh Sanders homage at Cornelia St. Cafe $10 followed at 10 by his much funnier, satirical band Mostly Other People Do the Killing (separate admission, $10).

8/1 midnight-ish the Kottonmouth Kings – yeah, they’re sort of the reggae version of Cypress Hill, but they’re still fun – at Highline Ballroom, $22 adv tix highly rec.

8/2 the classic concert film Chronicling the Zaire ’74 concert wit hJames Brown, Miriam Makeba, Bill Withers, Celia Cruz, and others from the team behind When We Were Kings at the IFC Center (the former Waverly at 6th Ave/W 3rd St), click for showtimes.

8/2 the CCB Reggae Allstars in the parking lot out behind City Winery, 5:30 PM, free.

8/2 gamelan orchestra Yowana Sari play 7 PM at Gantry Plaza State Park in Long Island City.

8/2, 7:30/9:30 PM veteran bassist Rufus Reid leads a killer quartet including Bobby Watson and JD Allen playing the cd release show for his new one at Dizzy’s Club, $30 seats avail., this will sell out

8/2, 8 PM the Mingus Orchestra plays Washington Square Park, free.

8/2, 9 PM eerie theatrical noir gypsy/Americana band Not Waving But Drowning at Branded Saloon in Ft. Greene

8/2, 10 PM smart guitar-driven Sephardic-tinged rock with Sway Machinery at the 92YTribeca, $10 adv tix rec.

8/2 country siren Michaela Anne and her band at Rodeo Bar, 10ish

8/3 Ethiopian groove unit Budos Band at Tappen Park in Staten Island, Staten Island train to Stapleton.

8/3, 7 PM Luminescent Orchestrii multi-multi-instrumentalist Sxip Shirey and Raya Brass Band at the Cooper Square Hotel Penthouse, $15; 8/10 Raya Brass Band is at Radegast Hall at 9.

8/3, 8 PM quietly torchy, cleverly lyrical, sometimes oldtimey chanteuse Miwa Gemini and band at Bruar Falls, free.

8/3, 8 PM intense, ferocious Americana/paisley underground rockers the Newton Gang at Union Hall, $10.

8/3, 8 PM Balkan trumpeter Ben Holmes leads a quartet at Barbes.

8/3, 8:30 PM subtle, eclectic, sophisticated Americana chanteuse Hope DeBates & North Forty at Hill Country

8/3, 10 PM Cambodian psychedelic pop revivalists Dengue Fever at Southpaw $15 gen adm.; 8/4 they’re at Damrosch Park out back of Lincoln Center for free.

8/4 Chilean cumbia sensation Chico Trujillo at MOMA’s Summergarden, 5:30 PM, free w/$20 museum adm.; they’re at le Poisson Rouge at 11ish the same night for $8 less if you get advance tix.

8/4, 6:30 PM Balkan powerhouse Raya Brass Band on the Broadway plaza at Lincoln Center, free.

8/4-7, 7:30/9:30 PM the Dr.Lonnie Smith Nonet at the Jazz Standard, $30 tix highly rec.

8/4, 7:30 PM Aretha Franklin at Coney Island, free, Surf Ave/W 21st St. next to Cyclones Stadium. Get there early – it will be pandemonium.

8/4, 8 PM one of the year’s best triplebills with charismatic, allusive, frequently haunting multi-keyboardist/chanteuse Rachelle Garniez followed by eclectic, gypsy-tinged, darkly rustic multi-instrumentalist band Kotorino at 10 and then sharply lyrical, playfully clever art-rockers the Snow at 11 at Barbes

8/4, 8 PM charming yet badass Americana harmony sirens the Sweetback Sisters at the big room at the Rockwood.

8/4-6 Nicholas Payton’s XXX Band plays tunes from the trumpeter’s new album Bitches at Iridium, $27.50

8/4, a twangy guitar summit with the eclectic Bill Kirchen and surf rockers Los Straitjackets at Maxwell’s, 9ish, $15.

8/4, 9:30 PM at Smalls check out this awesome lineup: Brian Charette – organ , Joel Frahm – tenor sax , Brian Landrus – clarinet , Mike DiRubbo – alto sax , Itai Kriss – flute , Jochen Rueckert – drums

8/4, 9:30 PM Canadian darkwave siren NLX at Caffe Vivaldi. She’s also at LIC Bar at 9 on 8/29.

8/5, 6:30 PM, free, Chepe & Su Conjunto Tipico play oldschool Dominican merengue followed at 8 by a screening of the minor league baseball documentary film Sugar at the Queens Museum of Art in Corona Park, Flushing, past the old Globosphere, 7 train to Shea Stadium, early arrival advised .

8/5, 7 PM Tom Waits-ish Nashville gothic singer Mark Growden at the small room at the Rockwood.

8/5, 7 PM Curtis MacDonald, alto sax leads a quintet featuring Jeremy Viner, tenor sax; Bobby Avey, piano, Chris Tordini, bass; Adam Jackson, drums at the Rubin Museum of Art, 150 W 17th St, $17 adv tix rec.

8/5, 7:30 PM one of the western world’s premier Middle Eastern ensembles, Bassam Saba and the NY Arabic Orchestra at Damrosch Park out back of Lincoln Center, free.

8/5, 8 PM a roots reggae triplebill with the Rootsetters, Tronika and the Hard Times at Shrine.

8/5, 9 PM a “monster jam” kicking off with Americana songstress the Tara Lynne Band, then the hauntingly intense, smartly lyrical Sometime Boys with special guest singer Heidi Weyhmueller at 10 at the Branded Saloon in Ft. Greene.

8/5, 9 PM Timbre play eclectic atmospheric harp-based chamber pop at Pete’s

8/5, 9:30 PM noir Americana pop band Little Embers followed by exhilarating Radiohead-influenced art-rockers My Pet Dragon playing their cd release show at the Mercury, $10 gen adm.

8/5 kick ass Americana rockers Tom Clark & the High Action Boys at Lakeside, 11 PM.

8/6, 7 PM supersonic yet soulful electric blues guitarist Bobby Radcliff at Terra Blues

8/6, 8 PM Trio con Brio Copenhagen play Sorensen, Beethoven and Schubert at Bargemusic, $35/$30 srs./$15 stud.

8/6, 8 PM Charisa the Violin Diva at Cin-M-Art Space on Murray St.

8/6, 8:30 PM excellent, tuneful, fearlessly funny Philly punk band Emily Pukis & the Vagrants play Union Hall, $12. They cover Zombie by the Cranberries (remember that top 40 song with all the hiccupping?) and renamed it Sodomy.

8/6 jazz trumpeter Leron Thomas – a fearless, charismatic, frequently hilarious performer – plays the cd release show for his characteristically eclectic new cd Dirty Draws Volume Three at the 92YTribeca, 9 PM, $10 adv tix highly rec.

8/6, 9 PM ska-punks King Django followed by the satirical, entertaining Yiddish Princess at Fontana’s

8/6, 9 PM satirical Chinese-American hip-hop crew the Notorious MSG play the cd release show for their new one at the Mercury, $10 gen adm.

8/6 Ellery Eskelin, tenor saxophone;  Gary Versace, organ;  Gerald Cleaver, drums at Cornelia St. Cafe, 9/10:30 PM, $15.

8/6, 10 PM Unsteady Freddie’s reliably awesome monthly surf rock shindig at Otto’s starts with the aptly named, percussive Bongo Surf, the ferociously tuneful North Shore Troubadours and then the eclectically fun Tarantinos NYC a little after midnight.

8/6, 10 PM hilarious hip-hop satirist Schaffer the Darklord at the Gutter bowling alley in Williamsburg

8/6 punk/rockabilly/surf guitar monster Simon & the Bar Sinisters at Lakeside, 10:15ish.

8/6 and 8/12, 11 PM Pogues cover band Streams of Whiskey at Paddy Reilly’s

8/7, 2 (two) PM pianist Daniel Kelly (Bang on a Can All-Stars, Duets with Ghosts) plays the first in a series of special Brooklyn house concerts booked by art-pop goddess Greta Gertler, who knows a thing or two about good piano. Space is limited, email for details/directions.

8/7, 3 PM the Amernet String Quartet play Haydn, Janacek and Schubert’s Death & the Maiden at Bargemusic, $35/$30 srs./$15 stud

8/7, 7 PM haunting hypnotic Sephardic soundscapes and rock songs with Galeet Dardashti and Divahn at Pier One on the upper west.

8/7 innovative Greek-American electric blues guitarist Spiros Soukis at Lucille’s, 8 PM

8/7, 9:30 PM hip-hop/Afrobeat innovator/bandleader Blitz the Ambassador at Damrosch Park out back of Lincoln Center, free.

8/7, 10 PM the Duke of Uke and His Novelty Orchestra do their charmingly tongue-in-cheek oldtimey/swing stuff at Bruar Falls

8/7, 10ish excellent Boston honkytonk rockers Girls Guns & Glory play songs off their highly anticipated forthcoming album Sweet Nothings at Rodeo Bar

8/8, 8:30 PM bassist Chris Tordini’s Tiger Blood with Jeremy Viner , tenor sax, clarinet; Sasha Brown, guitar; Kris Davis, piano; Jim Black, drums at Cornelia St. Cafe, $10.

8/8, 9 PM trombonist Pete McGuinness’ Jazz Orchestra at Tea Lounge in Park Slope.

8/8, 9:30 PM bizarre segues, good doublebill: gypsy punk with Yula Beeri and the Extended Family at the big room at the Rockwood followed at 10:30 by the lush, oldtimey sounds of the Parkington Sisters

8/8, 11 PM haunting intense southwestern gothic band And the Wiremen upstairs at the Delancey, free.

8/8, midnight, hellraising retro 60s country crew the Jack Grace Band at the Ear Inn

8/9 noir retro rock bandleader Nicole Atkins in the parking lot out behind City Winery, 5:30 PM, free.

8/9, 7 PM the reliably charming, oldtimey Moonlighters at Washington Park, 5th Ave & 4th St., Park Slope

8/9, 7 PM vibraphone/harp/percussion new music ensemble Percussia at Gantry Plaza State Park in Long Island City.

8/9,  7 PM accordionist Uri Sharlin leads a Balkan band at Barbes followed by Slavic Soul Party.

8/9, 7:30 PM a free screening of the classic early 70s soul music concert film Wattstax at the Lincoln Center Atrium, early arrival advised

8/9-13, 7:30/9:30 PM guitarist Ed Cherry leads an intriguing trio with killer B3 organist Pat Bianchi at Dizzy’s Club, $30 seats avail.

8/9, 7:30 PM members of the Jupiter Symphony play Schubert, Mozart and Dvorak at the Naumburg Bandshell in Central Park, early arrival advised if you want a seat.

8/9, 8 PM classic-style roots reggae with Taj Weekes and then Black Uhuru’s Mykal Rose at Highline Ballroom, $18 adv tix rec.

8/9, 8 PM Elisa Flynn and Jose Delhart play songs from her auspicious, haunted new historical song cd at the Way Station, 683 Washington Avenue, Broooklyn

8/9, 8 PM purist new jazz with saxophonist Marcus Strickland with drummer Eric Harland at the 92YTribeca, $12 adv tix rec.

8/9 the NYCSlickers play bluegrass at Rodeo Bar, 10ish.

8/10 psychedelic Afrobeat/funk band Mamarazzi on the terrace at the Museum of the City of NY, 6 PM, $15 incl. museum adm. plus a drink!

8/10, 7 PM pianist Moonhee Hwang plays Debussy, Beethoven, Chopin and Schumann at WMP Concert Hall, $10

8/10, 7 PM oldschool latin soul stars Johnny Colon and Joe Bataan at Central Park Summerstage

8/10, 7:30 PM violinist/composer Todd Reynolds, beatboxer Adam Matta and vaudevillian Luminescent Orchestrii bandleader Sxip Shirey with Caleb Burhans, Conrad Harris, Pauline Kim Harris, Yuki Numata, Courtney Orlando, and Ben Russell followed by Laurie Anderson at Damrosch Park out back of Lincoln Center, free.

8/10, 7:30 PM legendary nylon-string jazz guitarist Gene Bertoncini plays solo at Smalls

8/10, 8:30 PM alto saxophonist Sarah Manning – whose 2010 album Dandelion Clock is one of the most transcendent and intense jazz releases of recent years – leads her combo at Caffe Vivaldi, early arrival highly recommended.

8/10 8:30 PM Mamie Minch and Jolie Holland’s cool oldtime Americana project Midnight Hours at Hill Country

8/10-11 darkly amusing Nashville gothic band Maynard & the Musties at Lakeside, 9 PM; 8/24 they’re at Rodeo Bar, 10ish.

8/10 tongue-in-cheek, period-perfect early 50s style country from Susquehanna Industrial Tool & Die Co. at Rodeo Bar, 10ish

8/10, 11 PM eclectic, completely original psychedelic funk/Afrobeat band the Peoples Champs at the big room at the Rockwood.

8/11, 5:30 PM highly regarded Americana songwriter James Maddock on the plaza at the World Financial Center.

8/11, 7 PM two generations, two continents of Ethiopian grooves with Fendika and Debo Band at Damrosch Park out back of Lincoln Center, free.

8/11, 8 PM oudist Rachid Halihal’s absolutely brilliant, hypnotic, hauntingly slinky pan-Arabic ensemble Layali El Andalus at Barbes.

8/11, 8 PM oldschool soul duo Dwight & Nicole at the big room at the Rockwood. He plays purist Steve Cropper-style guitar; she works the ethereal sultry tip for an classic wee-hours vibe.

8/11, 9 PM sly funk siren Shayna Zaid and the Catch at the small room at the Rockwood followed eventually at 11 by Cuddle Magic – who purportedly play lush, intriguing chamber pop despite their twee-sounding name – and then at midnight by the aptly titled Kickin Grass  who play sizzling modern bluegrass at the small room at the Rockwood.

8/11, 9 PM the funniest guy in oldschool funk and soul, Melvin Van Peebles wid Laxative at Zebulon

8/11, 9 PM jazz trombonist Rick Parker leads a quintet at Tea Lounge in Park Slope.

8/11, 9:30ish theatrical, amusing, satirical Americana harmonists the Reformed Whores at Union Hall, $8.

8/11, 10 PM funk extravaganza the MK Groove Orchestra at Spike Hill.

8/11 newschool garage rock with the Detroit Cobras at Maxwell’s, 10 PM.

8/11, 10:30ish Buckcherry at the Music Hall of Williamsburg, $25 gen adm. Would you spend $25 on a band that does a song called Too Drunk to Fuck that’s not by the Dead Kennedys? If so, their so-garish-it’s-funny metal is for you.

8/11 careening southwestern gothic/C&W band the Newton Gang at Rodeo Bar, 11ish.

8/11, 11 PM Habibi play thoughtful, pensive cinematic instrumentals at Bruar Falls, $7

8/12, 6:30 PM, free, Zikrayat play a set of classic Egyptian film music from the 50s and 60s followed by a screening of Ahmed Abdalla’s 2009 film Heliopolis at the Queens Museum of Art in Corona Park, Flushing, past the old Globosphere, 7 train to Shea Stadium, early arrival advised.

8/12, 7ish Tito Puente alums the NJMH Afro-Cuban All Stars play several sets of blazing latin jazz at the Leather Lounge, 454 W 128th St, $20 adv tix avail., call for info 917-559-1779

8/12, 7 PM country chanteuse Drina Seay at Lakeside.

8/12, 7:15 PM SisterMonk play gypsy funk at Caffe Vivaldi.

8/12, 7:30 PM austere but fun chamber pop band Pearl & the Beard at at the Cooper Square Hotel Penthouse, 25 Cooper Square (3rd Avenue between 5th and 6th streets), $15.

8/12, 8 PM lyrical rocker and velvety singer Randi Russo – whose new album Fragile Animal is at the top of our Best of 2011 list – at the newly renovated, reopened Sidewalk

8/12, 8 PM fiery, sardonic Jesus & Mary Chain style garage-punk band Des Roar followed eventually around 10:30 by the Detroit Cobras at the Bell House, $15 gen adm.

8/12, 8 PM jazz bass legend Henry Grimes leads his Now Quartet through the cd release show for his new one featuring Dave Burrell on piano, Tyshawn Sorey on drums and Roberto Pettinato on saxes at Black River Cultural Center, 345 Lenox Ave (127/128), $15

8/12, 9 PM Tris McCall at Littlefield. By day, he chronicles boring corporate pop music for a suburban New Jersey newspaper; at night, he sheds his skin, plugs in his keyboard and becomes one of the most acerbic, tuneful songwriters out there.

8/12, 9 PM Satabdi Express play Indian-inspired guitar jazz followed at 10:30 by Balkan brass behemoth Veveritse Brass Band at the Jalopy.

8/12, 9 PM Korean vocalese chanteuse Seung-Hee with Adam Kolker, tenor sax, bass clarinet; Ike Sturm, bass; George Schuller, drums; Seung-Hee, voice, compositions; Toru Dodo, piano followed at 10:30 PM by jazz chanteuse Nina Moffitt and her quartet, $15 at Cornelia St. Cafe, $15.

8/12, 9 PM sea shanty band the Mercantillers at Brooklyn Rod & Gun Club

8/12, 10 PM the reliably charming, harmony-driven oldtimey Moonlighters play Halyards Bar, 406 3rd Avenue, Sunset Park, Brooklyn, free.

8/12, 10 PM clever, funny hip-hop/Americana band Under the Elephant at the small downstairs studio space at Webster Hall

8/13, 1 and 3 PM pioneering new-music string quartet Ethel play a free show on Governors Island, free ferries leave from the old Staten Island ferry terminal every hour on the half hour

8/13 clawhammer banjo player/songwriter Abigail Washburn at 4 PM at the plaza on the northwest side of Lincoln Center, free. Followed at 5 PM by the Ebony Hillbillies, who charmingly and rustically remind how important black musicians and groups were in the development of oldtime country music.

8/13, 7 PM Brooklyn’s best band, tuneful anti-gentrification punk rockers the Brooklyn What – sort of the teens equivalent of what the Dead Boys were in the 70s – at Europa, dirt cheap, $8.

8/13, 7 PM amazingly period-perfect retro 60s Bakersfield country band the Dixons at the big room at the Rockwood.

8/13 smart, terse, tuneful Americana songwriter Kelley Swindall at the soon-to-be-closed Banjo Jim’s, 7 PM.

8/13, 7 PM cleverly choreographed, irresistible retro rock parody band Witches in Bikinis back at Coney Island after some trials, playing in front of the Wonder Wheel on the boardwalk.

8/13, 7 PM 1950s rockabilly legend Sonny Burgess followed by Marty Stuart at Damrosch Park out back of Lincoln Center, free.

8/13, 9 PM a monster triplebill at Freddy’s: Americana chanteuse Rebecca Turner, Brooklyn’s own man in black, John Pinamonti and charismatic noir rocker Tom Warnick & World’s Fair at Freddy’s.

8/13, 9 PM high-energy indie guitar/drums duo Eleanor, the fiery shoegaze/noiserock Highway Gimps and Let Me Crazy at Tommy’s Tavern in Greenpoint

8/13, 9 PM soundtrack mini-orchestra Morricone Youth at the big room at the Rockwood.

8/13, 9 PM Songs of the Weimar Era by somebody who knows them – Sanda Weigl on vocals, with her longtime collaborator Anthony Coleman on piano at Cornelia St. Cafe, $15.

8/13, 9 PM Bliss Blood and Al Street’s torchy, luridly menacing duo project Evanescent at the Way Station, 683 Washington Avenue at Prospect Place, Ft. Greene; 8/14 they’re at Red Hook Bait & Tackle, 320 Van Brunt St at Clinton Wharf in Red Hook.

8/13 lyrically dazzling, charmingly intense acoustic songwriter Linda Draper at Brooklyn Rod & Gun Club, Kent Ave. betw. N 10/11, Williamsburg, 9 PM

8/13, 9:10 (that’s right: ten past nine PM) casually smart lo-fi garage rock girl duo the Fools followed eventually at 10:30 PM by haunting yet jaunty songwriter Erin Regan along with some longtime Sidewalk hanger-on types on a daylong bill at Goodbye Blue Monday.

8/13, 9:30 PM trombonist Samuel Blaser – whose 2010 album Pieces of Old Sky is one of the most quietly riveting of recent years – leads a trio with Michael Bates on bass and Jeff Davis on drums at I-Beam.

8/13, 10 PM Vic Ruggiero of the Slackers returns to his roots doing his excellent lyrical soul/blues thing at Two Boots Brooklyn.

8/13, 10 PM New Orleans brass band Shake the Devil Off play Halyards Bar, 406 3rd Avenue, Sunset Park, Brooklyn, free

8/14, 4:45 PM Michael Bower plays an organ recital at St. Patrick’s Cathedral.

8/14, 6 (six) PM pianist Jeremy Mage (Elysian Fields, Wunmi) plays a special Brooklyn house concert booked by art-pop goddess Greta Gertler, who knows a thing or two about good piano. Space is limited, email for details/directions.

8/14, 7 PM the Bar-Kays plus Steve Cropper with Bettye LaVette, Ellis Hooks and Dylan Leblanc at Damrosch Park out back of Lincoln Center, free.

8/14, 7 PM Cuban son montuno powerhouse Los Soneros de Oriente at Pier One on the upper west.

8/14, 8 PM tango/jazz bassist Pedro Giraudo leads his sextet at Barbes followed by gypsy jazz guitarist Stephane Wrembel.

8/14, 9 PM roots reggae/rocksteady legend Delroy Williams with his band at Shrine

8/15 Queen Latifah at Wingate Field in Crown Heights, early arrival 6:30 PM highly advised.

8/15, 8 PM torchy jazz-pop songwriter Abby Payne at the small room at the Rockwood

8/15 and 8/17,8:30 PM Sameer Gupta’s Namaskar trio play hypnotic Indian jazz at Cornelia St. Cafe, $10.

8/15, 9 PM trombonist Mike Fahie leads his Jazz Orchestra at Tea Lounge in Park Slope.

8/15, 10 PM a killer dark, thoughtful rock night upstairs at the Delancey: intensely lyrical, charismatic, sometimes hilarious keyboardist/retro songwriter Rachelle Garniez followed by the unhinged grand guignol ferocity of Vera Beren’s Gothic Chamber Blues Ensemble and then pensive, glimmering, psychedelic soundscape mastermind Thomas Simon. It’s like it’s Small Beast and it’s 2009 again.

8/16, 6 PM the Tickled Pinks play charming three-part harmony oldtimey swing and other styles on the terrace at the Museum of the City of NY, 6 PM, $15 incl. museum adm. plus a drink

8/16, 7ish Bachata Heightz at Highbridge Park in Harlem, 171st and Amsterdam, A/C to 168th St.

8/16, 9 PM imaginative tuneful intense bass/piano jazz with Satoshi Takeishi and Shoko Nagai at Korzo.

8/16-21 eclectic jazz violinist Jenny Scheinman’s Mischief & Mayhem with Nels Cline on guitar, Todd Sickafoose on bass and Jim Black on drums at the Vanguard, sets 9/11 PM.

8/16, 10:30 PM diverse, anthemic Americana rockers the Minerva Lions at the big room at the Rockwood

8/16, 11 PM Afuche play Afrobeat at Bruar Falls, $6

8/17, 7 PM legendary 70s psychedelic art-rock band Nektar – who were sort of a cross between Pink Floyd and the Grateful Dead – with original members Roye Albrighton and Ron Howden at B.B. King’s, $25.

8/17, 8/10 PM pianist Vijay Iyer leads a trio at the Stone, $10, get there early, this will sell out.

8/17 Austin’s irresistible oldschool soul groove machine Mingo Fishtrap at the Bell House, 8:30 PM, grab a free mp3 at their site.

8/17, 8:30 PM innovative Indian classical chamber ensemble Karivaka (FKA Tiger Lilies) with violinist Trina Basu and cellist Amali Premawardhana at Cornelia St. Cafe, $15.

8/17, 9 PM the members of slinky sly funksters Chin Chin do their side projects all on one stage: keyboardist Wilder Zoby’s own band, drummer Torbitt Schwarz’s Lil Shalimar, and trombonist Dave Smith’s sexy Smoota at the 92YTribeca, $10 gen adm.

8/17, 9 PM Khaled – not the Algerian rai star but the edgy NYC worldbeat multi-instrumentalist – at Shrine

8/18, 8 PM one of the year’s best triplebills with Bakersfield-style country twanglers Alana Amram & the Rough Gems, the Texas honkytonk and zydeco of the Doc Marshalls and haunting intense original acoustic Nashville gothic/bluegrass of Frankenpine at Union Hall, $7.

8/18, 8 PM deviously fun, virtuoso art-rock piano chanteuse Greta Gertler solo at Waltz-Astoria, 24th and Ditmars Blvd., Astoria, N to Ditmars Blvd. and a six block walk.

8/18, 8:30/10:30 PM cutting-edge, soulful jazz guitarist Mike Baggetta with Camron Brown on bass and Jeff Hirschfield on drums at the Bar Next Door.

8/18, 9 PM the jangly, Big Star-ish Nu-Sonics followed by the legendary, unstoppable psychedelic Band of Outsiders at Trash Bar, $7.

8/18, 10 PM fiery female-fronted punk/pop trio Hunter Valentine at the Knitting Factory, $8 adv tix rec.; they’re at Maxwell’s on 8/19 at 8 for $10

8/19, 7 PM torchy oldtime Americana quartet the Dirty Urchins at the small room at the Rockwood.

8/19 literate, funny songwriter Jonathan Coulton – who doesn’t get enough props for his more serious songs – plays the Rocks Off Concert Cruise aboard the Jewel, boarding at 7 PM at the heliport at the FDR and the East River, departing at 8, adv tix $30 avail. at the Highline Ballroom box ofc.

8/19, 7:30 PM indie powerpop sensation New Atlantic Youth at Spike Hill, note that there’s a $7 cover

8/19, 7:30/9:30 PM Jon Irabagon, alto saxophone; Yasushi Nakamura,bass; Rudy Royston, drums at the Bar Next Door.

8/19, 8 PM plaintive, haunting yet soaring Americana chanteuse Jan Bell at Pete’s

8/19, 8 PM Bliss Blood and Al Street’s luridly menacing duo project Evanescent at Barbes.

8/19, 8 PM Mamie Minch and Jolie Holland’s exciting new oldtime project Midnight Hours followed at 10:30 by the Two Man Gentlemen Band at the Jalopy.

8/19, 8 PM pianist Julien Quentin plays improvisations, Beethoven’s Pathetique Sonata, Liszt’s Mephisto Waltz and works by Part and Auerbach at Bargemusic, $35/$30 srs./$15 stud

8/19, 9 PM wild crazy female-fronted gypsy band Fishtank Ensemble at Union Hall, $10.

8/19 torchy intense theatrical oldtimey chanteuse April Smith & the Great Picture Show at Bowery Ballroom, 9 PM, $15 gen adm.

8/19, 9 PM Tali Ratzon and band play her Middle Eastern and reggae-tinged worldbeat songs at Tea Lounge in Park Slope.

8/19, 9 PM oldschool country harmonies with the Calamity Janes at Brooklyn Rod & Gun Club.

8/19 tuneful, atmospheric Britpop/shoegaze band Caveman plays the cd release show for their new one at the Cameo Gallery, time TBA

8/19, 9:30 PM a rare free show by oldtime Americana siren Jolie Holland – whose new album rocks surprisingly hard – at Hill Country – can she get the tourists there to shut up for once?

8/19 cleverly amusing New Orleans pianist Bill Malchow and the Go Cup All Stars at Rodeo Bar, 10ish

8/19, midnight, African roots reggae legend Tiken Jah Fakoly at SOB’s $25 adv tix highly rec., this will probably sell out. He’s also headlining Central Park Summerstage on 8/20 around 5:30, early arrival around 3 PM a must.

8/20 African reggae with Meta & the Cornerstones and Ivoirien star/freedom fighter Tiken Jah Fakoly at Central Park Summerstage, 3 PM early arrival a must.

8/20, 6 (six) PM bassist Mimi Jones leads a quartet with Camille Thurman, sax; Luis Perdomo, keys;  Justin Faulkner, drums  at Cornelia St. Cafe, $15

8/20 ageless ska/rock/soul party machine the Slackers play a Rocks Off Concert Cruise aboard the Star of Palm Beach, boarding at 7, leaving at 8 from Pier 40, Houston St. and the westside highway, $30 adv tix avail. at the Highline Ballroom box ofc.

8/20, 7 PM Trini jazz trumpeter Etienne Charles leads his group at Jackie Robinson Park, W 148th and Bradhurst Ave., free

8/20, 8 PM an intense gypsy/stringband doublebill with Fishtank Ensemble and Copal at Drom, $14 adv tix highly rec. Dunno who’s playing first, but it doesn’t matter, they’re equally good.

8/20, 8 PM Brother Num and his band play roots reggae at Shrine followed eventually at 11 by Ivoirian star Sekouba and his reggae massive

8/20, 8 PM a killer oldtimey/Americana acoustic night at the Bell House with the Resurrectionists, Woodpecker and satirical faux-country girls Menage a Twang.

8/20 Plastic Beast feat. members of Admiral Porkbrain, Magpie and Plastic Beef play worldbeat jamband music with special guest singers Kirsten Williams, Liza Garelik of the Larch and others at Freddy’s, 8 PM

8/20, 8 PM Liberty Ellman (guitar) Vijay Iyer (piano) Matt Maneri (violin) Stephan Crump (bass) Damion Reid (drums) at the Stone, $10; followed at 10 by trumpeter Jonathan Finlayson with David Virelles (piano) Joe Sanders (bass).

8/20, 8 PM pensive female-fronted Americana band Little Embers at Spike Hill.

8/20, 9 PM Staten Island’s one and only jug band, the Wahoo Skiffle Crazies play Tea Lounge in Park Slope.

8/20, 10 PM dark tuneful intense drummer-fronted rock en Espanol band New Madrid at Fontana’s

8/21, two ambitious solo piano house concerts booked by another excellent keyboardist, Greta Gertler. At 2 PM Deidre Rodman and then at 6 Jordan Shapiro (Project/Object, Astrograss). Space is limited, email for details/directions.

8/21 oldschool hip-hop stars EPMD at Central Park Summerstage, 3 PM early arrival highly advised.

8/21 country chanteuse Karen Hudson and band at Rodeo Bar, 10ish

8/22 really oldschool soca with Mighty Sparrow and oldschool 80s dancehall reggae with Shaggy at Wingate Field in Crown Heights, early arrival 6:30 PM highly advised

8/22, 7:30 PM symphony orchestra the Knights play Schubert and Liszt at the Naumburg Bandshell in Central Park, early arrival advised if you want a seat.

8/22, 8ish funny ukelele tunes with Julia Nunes at the small downstairs studio space at Webster Hall, $TBA.

8/22, 9 PM Travis Sullivan’s Bjorkestra – who do pretty amazing big band covers of Bjork songs – at Tea Lounge in Park Slope

8/22 creepy indie band Deerhunter at Webster Hall, 10ish. If you’re going to miss the Eels, these guys are very similar.

8/22 bluegrass fiddler Vincent Cross and Good Companyat Rodeo Bar, 10ish. They’re also at the small room at the Rockwood on 8/23 at six PM.

8/23, 7 PM Yeti Camp featuring the compositions and violin playing of Dana Lyn plus Mike McGinnis (clarinet), Clara Kennedy (cello), Dan Lippel (guitar) and Vinnie Sperrazza (drums) followed at 9 by Slavic Soul Party at Barbes

8/23, 7ish salsa legend Tito Rojas at East River Park, Grand St. and the river, F to East Broadway or J/M to Delancey.

8/23-28 the JD Allen Trio at the Vanguard, 7:30/9:30 PM. This is a good year for good artists and composers winning awards: tenor sax powerhouse Allen has been long, long overdue for his Downbeat #1 Rising Star award this year. His trio with Gregg August on bass and Rudy Royston on drums hit a lot of transcendent notes back in May at le Poisson Rouge.

8/23-24, 7:30/9:30 PM sensational Colombian jazz harp virtuoso Edmar Castaneda leads his trio with Andrea Tierra on vocals at the Jazz Standard, $20 – they absolutely slayed at Madison Square Park earlier this year.

8/23, 8 PM cleverly lyrical, tuneful Americana rocker Marcellus Hall & the Hostages at Union Hall, $8 adv tix rec

8/24, 7ish early hip-hop stars the Cold Crush Brothers at East River Park, Grand St. and the river, F to East Broadway or J/M to Delancey.

8/25, 5:30 PM NYC’s own hypnotic Balinese gamelan orchestra, Gamelan Dharma Swara at MOMA’s Summergarden, 5:30 PM, free w/$20 museum adm.

8/25 terse, soulful expat Chicago blues guitarist Irving Louis Lattin at Terra Blues, 7 PM; he’s at Lucille’s at 8 the following night.

8/25 Raya Brass Band at sundown at Tompkins Square Park followed by a screening of the film The Godfather.

8/25, 8 PM clever chamber-pop bandleader/cellist Serena Jost at Barbes followed at 10 by funk Afrobeat-flavored band the People’s Champs, who absolutely kicked ass at the Mafrika Festival last month.

8/25, 8:30 PM theatrical noirish songwriter Anais Mitchell at  Cornelia St. Cafe, $15.

8/25, 9:30 PM electric blues guitar sensation Ana Popovic – who definitely can get the tourists here to shut up because she’ll blast them out – at Hill Country, $17 adv tix rec.

8/25, 9:30 PM Moshav play Israeli roots reggae at the Canal Room, $12 adv tix. avail.

8/26, 6:30 PM, free, Los Crema Paraiso play their original update on Venezuelan vallenato followed by Big Mandrake’s hard-hitting ska-en-Espanol at at the Queens Museum of Art in Corona Park, Flushing, past the old Globosphere, 7 train to Shea Stadium, early arrival advised

8/26 smart, lyrical Irish-American rock legends Black 47 play a Rocks Off Concert Cruise aboard the Half Moon, boarding at 7, leaving at 8 from the heliport at 23rd St.and the FDR, $25 adv tix avail. at the Highline Ballroom box ofc.

8/26, 7 PM cellist Marika Hughes at the small room at the Rockwood.

8/26, 8 PM extraordinary Middle Eastern jazz with Amir ElSaffar (trumpet, maqam vocals, santour) Ole Mathisen (tenor and soprano saxophone) Zafer Tawil (oud) Nasheet Waits (drums) at the Stone, $10. ElSaffar is also there on 8/28 at 10 with his Within/Between group: Jen Shyu (voice) Liberty Ellman (guitar) Tomas Fujiwara (drums)

8/26, 9 PM garage punk guitar genius Deniz Tek of Radio Birdman in a rare trio show with Art and Steve Godoy, at the Bell House, $10 adv tix rec., this will sell out. He’s at Maxwell’s the next night and that will sell out as well. 

8/26 torchy captivating original Americana siren Julia Haltigan at the small room at the Rockwood, 9 PM

8/26, 10 PM deviously fun, virtuoso art-rock piano chanteuse Greta Gertler followed at 11 by lush “historical orchestrette” Pinataland playing the cd release show for their long-anticipated new one Hymns for the Dreadful Night at Barbes.

8/26 dark intense minimalist occasionally Middle Eastern-inflected indie rockers the Mast at Pete’s, 10 PM

8/26 western swing with baritone crooner Sean Kershaw & the New Jack Ramblers at Rodeo Bar, 10ish.

8/26 ecstatically funky punk/free jazz brass band Moon Hooch play the Knitting Factory, midnight – one of the most original bands in town, a lot of fun.

8/27 because NYC public transit will shut down at noon, ostensibly because of the “hurricane,” it’s safe to say that everything happening this weekend is cancelled. What a scam.

8/29, 8:30 PM pianist Melody Fader (that’s her real name) plus Emily Popham Gillins, violin and Hamilton Berry, cello play Brahms, Chopin and Berio at Cornelia St. Cafe, $20 incl. a drink.

8/29, 9 PM the Carlberg/Urie City Band play tunes from Nicholas Urie’s excellent new album of big band jazz interpretations of classic Bukowski poems at Tea Lounge in Park Slope

8/29, 10 PM oldtimey chanteuse/uke player Daria Grace and the Pre-War Ponies at Rodeo Bar.

8/30, 7:30/9:30 PM the Ron Carter Big Band playing original compositions from the iconic bassist’s new Great Big Band album at the Jazz Standard, $30 tix avail., reserve now, this will sell out every night.

8/30-31 fascinating tuneful piano-based free jazz with Pilc/Moutin/Hoenig at the Blue Note, 8/10:30 PM, $10 seats avail.

8/30 a reggae vocal doublebill: Bankie Banx followed by popular 90s reggae crooner Barrington Levy at B.B. King’s, 8 PM, $25 adv tix rec.

8/30, 11 PM sultry chanteuse Marilyn Carino Paula’s big sister – does her Little Genius project at the small room at the Rockwood

8/31 cutting edge melodic jazz with the John Farnsworth Quintet at Bryant Park, 6 PM, free.

8/31-9/1, 7:30/10 PM Mikarimba feat. Mika Yoshida, marimba; Steve Gadd, drums; Eddie Gomez, bass; Stefan Karlsson, keys play imaginative marimba jazz at Drom, $30 adv tix rec

8/31, 8 PM graceful but often chilling and intense jazz vocalist/composer Jen Shyu solo at the Stone followed by jazz drum genius Tyshawn Sorey at 10, even if he’s playing solo too he’s worth hearing.

8/31, 8:30 PM jazz chanteuse Natalie John followed by Chilean-American tenor saxophonist Melissa Aldana leading a quartet at Caffe Vivaldi.

9/1-3, 8 PM and 9/4, 3 PM a sort of chamber music Bang on a Can style marathon at Bargemusic with Phyllis Chen and her toy piano, the intense Balkan flavored Grneta Duo+, American Modern Ensemble, cello rockers Deoro and others playing music by Chen, Bob Marley, Messiaen, a Robert Paterson world premiere and more, $25/$20 srs./$15 stud.

9/1, 8 PM charismatic, intensely funny, eclectic accordionist/chanteuse and Jack White collaborator Rachelle Garniez at Barbes followed at 10 by jazz from Litvakus & the Svetlana Shmulyian Band, straight from Lithuania.

9/1-4 McCoy Tyner leads a trio at the Blue Note, sets 8/10:30 PM, $20 standing room avail.

9/1, 8:30 PM ubiquitously good jazz bassist John Hebert leads a quartet with eclectic pan-Asian chanteuse Jen Shyu;  Andy Milne, piano;  Billy Drummond, drums at Cornelia St. Cafe, $10.

9/1, 8:30 PM jangly, tuneful, socially aware Americana rocker Amy Speace at St. John’s Lutheran Church, 81 Christopher St, $15

9/1, 9 PM Hazmat Modine’s oldtime blues guitar powerhouse Michael Gomez leads his band at Brooklyn Rod & Gun Club.

9/1 the Alien Surfer Babes – three silver-suited women backed by ferocious surf band the Octomen – at Williamsburg gay bar Sugarland on N 9th St. (Driggs/Roebling), 10 PM

9/2 a Microscopic smaller-than-septet evening at Barbes starting at 7 with the Spokes (Andy Biskin – clarinet, Curtis Hasselbring – trombone, Phillip Johnston – soprano sax) and at 8:30 the Joel Forrester/Phillip Johnston duo celebrating their new live duo album at Barbes, $10 cover.

9/2, 7:30 PM “fabulous and flamboyant pianist Kathleen Supové, and renegade guitar maestro James Moore” at First Presbyterian Church (Brooklyn Heights) 124 Henry St., 2/3 to Clark St., F/R to Jay St. or 4 to Borough Hall, $10.

9/2 pyrotechnic Australian jazz guitarist JC Stylles plays the cd release show for his new one Exhilaration & Other States with an organ trio at Smalls, 7:30/10 PM.

9/2 and 9/20, 8 PM terse thoughtful Chicago blues guitarist Irving Louis Lattin at Terra Blues. He’s also at Lucille’s on 9/9 and 9/23 at 8 PM

9/2 a killer female-fronted gypsy-flavored rock doublebill with Hudost and Raquy & the Cavemen at Bowery Electric, 9ish.

9/2, 9 PM Gunsling Birds play brooding, cinematic instrumentals at Pete’s followed at 10 by the austere chamber sounds of Horse’s Mouth

9/2, 9 PM eclectic, artsy, hauntingly lyrical acoustic Americana band the Sometime Boys at Branded Saloon followed by a country/bluegrass jam.

9/2, 10ish “Brooklyn’s #1 regressive rock act,” stoner metal parody band Mighty High at Lit, $6.

9/2 darkly funny yet poignant Nashville gothic band Maynard & the Musties at Lakeside, 11 PM.

9/2, 11 PM Finotee play roots reggae and rocksteady at Shrine

9/3, 3 PM long-running Nashville gothic legends Ninth House play what might be their farewell show on the boardwalk at Coney Island near Cha Cha’s and the WonderWheel – follow the sound!

9/3, free slinky downtempo/shoegaze band El Jezel at Cake Shop, 8 PM

9/3, 8 PM Unlimited Force Band play roots reggae and rocksteady at Shrine.

9/3, 8:30 PM lyrical jazz pianist Eri Yamamoto leads a trio at Cornelia St. Cafe, $10.

9/3, 9 PM Unsteady Freddie’s monthly surf rock extravaganza this month at Otto’s is a characteristically good one with the Rebel Surfers at 9, Strange But Surf at 10, Thee Icepicks at 11 and the Isotopes sometime around midnight.

9/3, 9 PM Bad Buka’s “gypsy punk meltdown” at Mehanata. They’re also at Spike Hill at 9 on 9/15.

9/3, 10 PM popular, eclectic retro C&W hellraisers M Shanghai String Band at the Jalopy, $10.

9/3, 11 PM darkly rustic, eclectic, Eastern European flavored chamber-rock band Kotorino at Pete’s.

9/3, 11 PM the K-Holes play ferocious guitar-fueled dreampop/noiserock followed by the campy, comedic Hunx & His Punx at the Mercury, $10

9/4, 1 and 3 PM pianists Blair McMillen and Pam Goldberg play Bach, John Adams and others with a string ensemble on Governors Island, free ferries leave from the old Staten Island ferry terminal every hour on the half hour.

9/4-5 Manu Chao at Terminal 5 is sold out.

9/4, 9ish Senegalese-flavored roots reggae band Meta & the Cornerstones – who absolutely slayed opening for Tiken Jah Fakoly last month in Central Park – at Sullivan Hall, $10.

9/4, 9 PM surf rockers Thee Icepicks return to Otto’s followed by Venice Beach Muscle Club playing surf music jams.

9/4, 10ish charismaric African roots reggae bandleader Sekouba at Zebulon.

9/5, 6 PM the irrepressible oldtime jazz trombonist/ukulelist J. Walter Hawkes at LIC Bar

9/5-6, 8/10 PM oldschool style Cuban jazz pianist Elio Villafranca & the Jass Syncopators plus dancers at Dizzy’s Club, $30 seating avail.

9/5, 9 PM the Asuka Kakitani Jazz Orchestra at Tea Lounge in Park Slope

9/6 the Microscopic Septet play their devious originals as well as Monk tunes from their excellent new all-Monk cd Friday the 13th at the Gershwin Hotel, 3 sets starting at 7, $20 gen adm.

9/6, 8 PM the queen of Coney Island phantasmagoria, Carol Lipnik and Spookarama at the small room at the Rockwood.

9/6, 8 PM blues guitar powerhouse Bobby Radcliff at Terra Blues

9/6-10 jazz sax legend Dave Liebman celebrates his 65th birthday at Birdland, sets 8:30/11 PM; 9/6-7 with a smaller combo and 9/8-10 his big band, $30 seats avail.

9/7, 8:30 PM catchy, lyrical, edgy, socially conscious folk-pop duo Left on Red at Southpaw, $10

9/7 dark lyrical, sometimes minimalist third-stream jazz pianist/composer Michel Reis at Caffe Vivaldi, 8:30 PM.

9/7, 8:30 PM Francophile jazz bassist Dan Loomis leads a quartet with Shane Endsley, trumpet; Robin Verheyen , tenor saxophone; Jared Schonig, drums at Cornelia St. Cafe, $10.

9/7, 9 PM fiery Balkan jams with Raya Brass Band at Radegast Hall; they’re also here on 9/24 from 4 to 7.

9/7, 9 PM psychedelic soul songwriter Nick Howard at the Canal Room, $12

9/7, 10 PM avant garde violinist/vocalist C. Spencer Yeh at the Manhattan Inn piano bar, 632 Manhattan Ave. at Nassau Ave., Greenpoint.

9/7, 11 PM edgy, fearless soul/folk songwriter Jo Williamson at the small room at the Rockwood

9/8 Earth Wind & Fire at South St. Seaport, 6 PMish, free.

9/8, 6:30 PM a screening of Konrad Aderer’s new documentary Enemy Alien about “the fight to free Farouk Abdel-Muhti, a gentle but indomitable Palestinian-born human rights activist detained in a post-9/11 sweep of Muslim immigrants” which goes completely meta when the filmmaker himself becomes a target of the gestapo, because of this film. At Alwan for the Arts, 16 Beaver St. in the financial district, sugg. don. but “no one turned away.”

9/8, 7:30 PM Will Frampton plays György Kurtág and György Ligeti works for solo viola at the Tank, $10

9/8, 8 PM the Chiara String Quartet plays Robert Sirota’s riveting, intense 9/11 Triptych plus Richard Danielpour’s String Quartet No. 6 (Addio), free, at Trinity Church, 8 PM, early arrival advised.

9/8, 8 PM theatrical, historically aware oldtimey songwriter Poor Baby Bree at Bowery Poetry Club

9/8, 8:30ish stampeding outlaw country/paisle.y underground rockers the Newton Gang followed by jangly country siren Alana Amram & the Rough Gems’ cd release show at Southpaw, $8.

9/8, 9 PM dark, fiery bluegrass innovators Frankenpine – whose debut album is one of the year’s best – at Lakeside.

9/8-9, 9 PM ex-Sex Pistol Glen Matlock does his powerpop thing opening for literate glamrock legend Ian Hunter at City Winery, $35 tix avail. Hunter is also playing there at 10 on 9/15-16.

9/8, 10ish bluegrass harmony band the NYCity Slickers play the cd release show for their new one at Rodeo Bar, 10ish.

9/8, 10:30 PM searing, improvisational Balkan crew Veveritse Brass Band plus special guest Balkan vocal quartet Black Sea Hotel at the Jalopy, $5.

9/8, 11 PM gypsy punk/psychedelic rockers Yula Beeri & the Extended Family at the big room at the Rockwood

9/9-29 it’s the 2011 NY Gypsy Festival at Drom. The best deal is the ridiculously cheap $45 festival pass which gives you admission to 8 concerts. Individual tix are also available and highly recommended because these concerts routinely sell out.

9/9, 5:30 PM “”Crimes and Passion: Love and the Criminal Underworld in Spanish 17th Century Song” performed by New York Continuo Collective – a semi-staged performance of Spanish baroque music, interweaving popular tunes with courtly songs and featuring reconstructions of jácaras and folias” at Carriage House Center for the Arts, 149 E 38th St., rsvp req.  – please put “September concert” in the title of your email.

9/9, 7 PM Kent Tritle leads the choir of the Cathedral of St. John the Divine singing a cappella and accompanied works by Bach, Mendelssohn and Tallis, as well as The Best Beloved by Chris DeBlasio, at the Greene Space, $20 incl. a glass of wine!

9/9 avant garde pioneers Pauline Oliveros, Joan La Barbara, and Rhys Chatham, who got their start in the 70s at the Kitchen, celebrate the venue’s 40th anniversary there, 8 PM, $10. The 9/10, 8 PM program is Tony Conrad, Laurie Spiegel, and Rhys Chatham.

9/9, 8 PM eclectic chamber ensemble Either/Or play new works by Richard Carrick, Hans Thomalla and Keeril Makan at Issue Project Room, $10

9/9, 8 PM UK gypsy punk chanteuse Gabby Young & Other Animals play the cd release show for their new one at Drom, $10 adv tix or $45 festival pass highly rec.

9/9, 8 PM anthemic, hard-rocking, intensely lyrical rockers Wormburner at the Mercury $10 gen adm.

9/9, 8ish the Brooklyn What at Bowery Electric followed by the Happy Problem at 9ish

9/9 the Calamity Janes at Brooklyn Rod & Gun Club 8ish

9/9, 8 PM Afrobeat jams with Afuche at Rock Shop in Gowanus, $10

9/9, 8 PM baroque chamber ensemble Repast play Buxtehude, Bach, Schmelzer and Erlebach at Bargemusic, $35/$30 srs/$15 stud.

9/9, 9ish haunting atmospheric goth/Americana siren Marissa Nadler plays stuff from her excellent new album at Bowery Ballroom

9/9, 9/10:30 PM pianist Kris Davis leads a group including Tony Malaby, tenor saxophone; Paul Motian, drums at Cornelia St. Cafe, $15.

9/9, 9 PM Lichtman’s Brain Cloud play western swing followed at 10:30 by Brian Carpenter’s Ghost Train Orchestra – whose latest album of rare 1920s New York and Chicago jazz is kick-ass – at the Jalopy, $10.

9/9, 9ish, Legendary Shack Shakers side project the Dirt Daubers – who do a kick-ass acoustic hillbilly/gospel/bluegrass thing – at Union Hall, $10.

9/9, 9 PM artsy female-fronted acoustic Americana band Armistead at Tea Lounge in Park Slope

9/9, 10 PM psychedelic funk and Afrobeat with the Peoples Champs at Barbes

9/9 Chinese-American hip-hop sensations the Notorious MSG at Southpaw, 10 PM, $10.

9/9, 10:30 PM blazing Indian brass band Red Baraat at the Mercury, $15 adv tix avail.

9/9, 11 PM bluesy oldschool soul frontwoman Bethany St. Smith & the Gun Show at Lakeside.

9/9 the NY Ska Jazz Ensemble play the cd release show for their new one at Drom, 11:30 PM, $10 adv tix rec.

9/9 torchy jazz/pop songwriter Abby Payne plays the video release show for her new one at Brooklyn Fire Proof, time TBA.

9/10, 4 PM the Classical Fusion Chamber Ensemble and choir play a 9/11 memorial concert at Broadway Presbyterian Church, 114th/Bwy., free

9/10, a genuinely classy move by the NY Phil: for their 7:30 PM performance of Mahler’s Symphony #2, the NY Philharmonic is offering priority ticket access to the families of 9/11 victims, first responders and survivors. Those individuals may request a pair of free tickets in advance by e-mailing concertfornewyork@nyphil.org by September 1, so hurry if you qualify and you like Mahler. If there are any remaining tickets, they’ll be distributed for free, first-come, first-serve, one pair per person at 4 PM on the plaza at Lincoln Center the day of the show. Limited seating on the plaza is also available for those who prefer to watch a live projection outdoors. The concert will be telecast in the U.S. on PBS’s Great Performances at 9 PM on 9/11 and webcast at nyphil.org at 9 PM EDT on 9/11 as well.

9/10, 7 PM old reliable free jazz luminaries Matana Roberts’ COIN COIN and Dave Burrell, Michael Formanek & Steve Swell at le Poisson Rouge, $20.

9/10, 8 PM the inaugural concert by NYC’s newest orchestra, the West Side Chamber Orchestra, led by oboeist Kathy Halvorson, features an intriguing Germanic pre-Romantic bill with Beethoven’s 1st Symphony, Mozart’s Piano Concerto #20 K.466 with pianist Francine Kay as soloist, and a Symphony, Op.3 No. 1, of the “little-known but refreshing Franz Beck, a contemporary of Mozart” at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, 346 W 20th St. (8/9), $20/$15 stud/srs.

9/10, 8 PM ridiculously eclectic Montreal klezmer accordionist/multi-instrumentalist Socalled at Drom, $10 adv tix rec

9/10, 8:30 PM fiery improvisational oldtime Americana guitarist/songwriter Will Scott at 68 Jay St. Bar; he’s also there on 9/24 at 8.

9/10, 9ish clever, entertaining funk-rockers Shayna Zaid & The Catch at Tammany Hall (the former Annex space), $10

9/10, 9:30 PM hypnotic, danceable Afrobeat with Washington, DC’s Funk Ark and then Zongo Junction at Southpaw, $10.

9/10, 10 PM well-liked, reliably tuneful, fun, female-fronted janglerock/powerpop veterans Palomar at Spike Hill, $7.

9/10, 10 PM Brooklyn Qawwali Party – a 14-piece brass-driven band who get into funk and dub as much as they do qawwali – at Barbes

9/10, 9 PM fearless, cynical punk/garage rockers Des Roar open for the luridly menacing Kid Congo Powers & the Pink Monkey Birds at the Music Hall of Williamsburg, $15.

9/10, 9 PM charismatic New Orleans funk/soul big band Brother Joscephus & the Love Revival Revolution Orchestra at Hiro Ballroom, $20 adv tix avail. at the Highline Ballroom box ofc.

9/10, 10 PM Thunda Vida play dub reggae at Shrine.

9/10, 10 PM the crazy guy who invented dub, Lee Scratch Perry at B.B. King’s, $22 adv tix highly rec.

9/10 LES surf/punk/soul guitar legend Simon & the Bar Sinisters at Lakeside 10:15ish. They’re also at Rodeo Bar on 9/29 at 10ish.

9/10, 10:30 PM high-energy, smart oldtimey country band the Calamity Janes at the Jalopy, $10

9/10, midnight the Hsu-Nami at Arlene’s. Perfect choice of midnight Saturday night band – sizzling Taiwanese-flavored art-metal instrumentals with rustic, eerie erhu fiddle as the lead instrument.

9/10, midnight Alana Amram & the Rough Gems at the Parkside. They play Hank Williams covers at Otto’s on 9/14, 11PM. The 15th they’re doing their own stuff opening for Jimmie Dale Gilmore at Maxwell’s for $20.

9/11, 11 AM (that’s an hour before noon) pianist Eric Blanchard plays a 9/11 memorial concert at the French Consulate, 934 5th Ave.

9/11, 3 PM pianist Gila Ducat-Lipton plays a 9/11 memorial concert of American composers at the Church of the Ascension, 221 West 107th (Columbus/Amsterdam), free

9/11, 3:30 PM Wordless Music Orchestra conducted by Ryan McAdams play a memorial concert including William Basinski’s ambient “The Disintegration Loops, dpl 1.1,” Ingram Marshall’s “Fog Tropes II” for strings and tape, Osvaldo Golijov’s “Tenebrae” for string quartet, and Alfred Schnittke’s “Collected Songs Where Every Verse is Filled With Grief.” The line forms at 3 at the Temple of Dendur in the Sackler Wing of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, free w/museum adm.

9/11, 5 PM eclectic, Balkan-tinged guitarist/composer Jay Vilnai plays the cd release show his new Shakespeare Songs cycle at Barbes

9/11, 7 PM the annual Musicians for Peace concert at Merkin Concert Hall with the Juilliard String Quartet, Kinan Azmeh, shakuhachi virtuoso Kojiro Umezaki, Bassam Saba and the NY Arabic Orchestra, $35 seats avail.

9/11 members of the NY Phil perform music by David Amram, Brahms, Samuel Barber, Chopin, Lera Auerbach, Liszt, Schumann, Laura Kaminsky (New York Premiere), Astor Piazzolla, Jon Deak (World Premiere), Wagner, Drew Hemenger (World Premiere), Sean Hickey, Simon Mulligan (New York Premiere), Justin Tokke, Franco Alfano (American Premiere) at Symphony Space, 7 PM, free, early arrival advised.

9/11, 7 PM jazz pianist Amina Figarova and band play the NYC premiere of her 9/11-themed September Suite at the Metropolitan Room, 34 W 22nd St, $20

9/11 Tyshawn Sorey’s combo, Taylor Ho Bynum and Defunkt Millennium (THE Defunkt?!?) at 7 PM at le Poisson Rouge, $20.

9/11, 8 PM oudist Scott Wilson plus bellydancers play a 9/11 memorial show at Ciao Stella, 206 Sullivan (Bleecker/W 3rd)

9/11, 8ish an appropriately assaultive cauldron of noisy outsider jazz at Death by Audio with trumpeter Peter Evans, Toucher, the Library Is On Fire, the Weasel Walter/Marc Edwards Group and Talibam, dirt cheap at $7.

9/11, 9:30 PM dark, rustic female-fronted soul group MotherMoon at Pete’s

9/11, 11 PM Washington DC Afrobeat band the Funk Ark – whose new album is amazing – at Shrine.

9/12, 1 PM the Bordeaux String Quartet play a free show at 211 E 70th St. betw 2nd/3rd Aves.

9/12, 2 and 7:30 PM the Jupiter Symphony players perform Beethoven – String Quartet in F Major Op. 14 No. 1; von Herzogenberg – Piano Quartet No. 2 ; Brahms – Clarinet Quintet in B minor at Good Shepherd Presbyterian Church, 152 W 66th St. out back of Lincoln Center, $10 tix avail

9/12, 5:30 PM pianist Octavio Brunetti and violinist Elmira Darvarova play Piazzolla at Symphony Space, $20

9/13, 8 PM Steve Earle at the Town Hall, $35 tix avail. at the Irving Plaza box ofc.

9/13, 8PMish bassist Peter Hook of Joy Division and his band at Irving Plaza, $26.50.

9/12 a free show by Swingadelic at Maxwell’s, 9 PM.

9/13, 8:30 PM trombonist Samuel Blaser – whose 2010 album Pieces of Old Sky is one of the most quietly intriguing efforts of previous years – leads a trio at I-Beam, $10 sug. don.

9/13, 9 PM pensive piano jazz with the Jacob Garchik Trio with Jacob Sacks and Dan Weiss at Korzo

9/13, 10 PM creepy retro garage rockers X-Ray Eyeballs at Death by Audio, $7

9/14, 5:30 PM violinist Elmira Darvarova and pianist Tomoko Kanamaru play works by Clara Schumann, Lera Auerbach, Amy Beach, Lili Boulanger, Rebecca Clarke, Yui Kitamura and more at Symphony Space, $20.

9/14, 7 PM Eugene Marlow’s Heritage Ensemble – who blend classic Jewish and Afro-Cuban themes seamlessly and imaginatively – at the Nuyorican Poets Cafe, $10.

9/14, 7 PM the Afiara Quartet, pianist Michael Brown, harpist Bridget Kibbey, violinist Hye-Jin Kim, soprano Sarah Wolfson and baritone Thomas Meglioranza perform a program TBA at the Greene Space, $15 incl. a glass of wine!

9/14, 7:30 PM violinist Gil Morgenstern’s reliably interesting Reflections Series kicks off its Fall 2011 season at WMP Concert Hall with a program that ponders heavy spiritual concerns with music by Auerbach, Messiaen, Beethoven and Copland, $35 adv tix rec.

9/14, 7:30 PM innovative Indian guitarist Susmit Sen (of prog rockers Indian Ocean) at Drom, $20 adv tix rec.

9/14, 8 PM haunting acoustic gothic Americana/bluegrass band Bobtown at 68 Jay St. Bar

9/14 punk klezmer legends the Klezmatics, 8 PM Highline Ballroom, $16 adv tix rec

9/14, 8 PM smart,tuneful saxophonist Patrick Cornelius and A.D.D – Miles Okazaki – guitar , John Chin – piano , Jason Stewart – bass , Luca Santaniello – drums – at Smalls.

9/14, 8:30 PM an especially good, eclectic acoustic Americana triplebill with Frankenpine, Mason Porter and Wissahickon Chicken Shack at Southpaw, $10.

9/14, 9 PM smart, lyrically-driven, Aimee Mann-esque rockeres Elizabeth & the Catapult at Littlefield

9/14, 11ish hilariously x-rated punked-out girl group Cudzoo & the Fagettes at Don Pedro’s

9/15, 6 PM pianist Simon Mulligan plays Mendelssohn, Schumann, Rachmaninoff, Chopin, Ricky Ian Gordon (New York premiere), Steven Rydberg (New York premiere), and his own own arrangement of Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue at Symphony Space, $20.

9/15 atmospheric anthemic Radiohead-influenced rockers My Pet Dragon play the Rocks Off Concert Cruise aboard the Half Moon, boarding at 7 PM, leaving at 8 from the heliport at the FDR and 23rd St., $20 adv tix. avail. at the Highline Ballroom box ofc.

9/15, 7 PM Tahani Rached’s new documentary These Girls, about young homeless women in Cairo, screening for free at AAFSC, 150 Court St., downtown Brooklyn, any train to Borough Hall

9/15, 8 PM wild Italian/gypsy string band madness with Canzoniere Grecanico Salentino at Drom, $15 adv tix rec.

9/15, 8 PM legendary Middle Eastern-flavored noiserock instrumentalists Savage Republic at Rock Shop in Gowanus, $15 gen adm.

9/15, 8 PM jazz guitar genius Matt Munisteri at Barbes followed at 10 by another eclectic jazz-inclined picker, Georgian Ilusha Tsinadze and his band.

9/15, 8:30 PM original Afrobeat party band Ikebe Shakedown at the Lincoln Center Atrium, free but early arrival advised.

9/15, 8:30 PM catchy intense rock en Espanol trio New Madrid followed by funky groove unit L’il Shalimar at Bowery Electric

9/15, 9 PM Al Duvall – whose oldtimey, innuendo-packed, pun-infused ragtime songs are as smart as they are hilarious – and the sultry, eclectic oldtimey/swing/blues quartet the Roulette Sisters plus a circus sideshow at the Jalopy, $10.

9/15-16 Ian Hunter at City Winery, 9 PM, $35 standing room avail.

9/15, 9 PM innovative jazz drummer/composer Nathaniel Smith leads a quartet with Jake Saslow – saxophones; Linda Oh – bass; Kerong Chok – piano at Tea Lounge in Park Slope

9/15, 9:30 PM janglemeister guitar rocker/crooner Sam Sherwin at Sullivan Hall, $10

9/15, 10 PM Bad Buka play gypsy punk (emphasis on the punk) at Spike Hill.

9/16, 6 PM psychedelic dub latin reggae band El Pueblo at the small room at the Rockwood; 9/24 they’re at Shrine at 8.

9/16, 7 PM tuneful jazz alto saxophonist Alexander McCabe with his group at Miles Cafe, $20 incl. drink and snacks

9/16, 7:30 PM clarinetist Eileen Mack leads a new-music ensemble at First Presbyterian Church (Brooklyn Heights) 124 Henry St., 2/3 to Clark St., F/R to Jay St. or 4 to Borough Hall, $10.

9/16, 8 PM absurdly eclectic, smart Russian/tango/Balkan/jazz string band Ljova & the Kontraband at Barbes.

9/16 sultry Moonlighters frontwoman Bliss Blood at Brooklyn Rod & Gun Club 8ish

9/16, 8 PM Roulette’s grand reopening party at their new digs in Brooklyn with Shelley Hirsch and Fred Frith, Marc Ribot’s noir soundtrack project (who slayed this past spring at the New School), and adventurous string quartet Ethel, $35, this may sell out.

9/16, 8 PM a killer oldtime Americana triplebill with the Plunk Bros. (Boo Reiners and Bob Jones) followed at 9 by the cosmopolitan, jazz-inclined Matt Munisteri and then the rustic Weal and Woe at 10 at the Jalopy, $10

9/16, 8 PM flamenco funk band Carmelo & Freak Fandango Orchestra at Drom $10 adv tix rec.

9/16, 8:30 PM Canadian darkwave chanteuse NLX at Caffe Vivaldi

9/16, 9/10:30 PM eclectic pan-Asian jazz chanteuse/composer Jen Shyu plays the cd release show for her new one at the Jazz Gallery, $20.

9/16, 9ish a cool, diverse Brazilian doublebill with MaracatuNY and Nation Beat at the 92YTribeca, $10 gen adm.

9/16-17, 10/11:30PM majestic yet funk jazz piano titan Marc Cary’s Focus Trio at Smoke uptown,$30 plus drink minimum.

9/16, 10ish eerie bluespunk with the Five Points Band at Rodeo Bar.

9/16, 10 PM dark 80s-style goth/pop pianist/singer Kristin Hoffmann at Caffe Vivaldi.

9/16, 11 PM Mr. Action & the Boss Guitars play surf classics, rarities and surfed-up 60s pop covers at Lakeside

9/16, midnight the NY Gypsy All-Stars play the cd release show for their new one at Drom, $10 adv tix rec.

9/16, 1 AM (actually wee hours of 9/17) psychedelic latin reggae groove band El Pueblo at the small room at the Rockwood

9/17 starting at half past noon, bluegrass in Madison Square Park with Della Mae, the Donna Hughes Band at 1:30, the Cherryholmes Brothers at 2:30, Valerie Smith & Liberty Pike at 3:30 and at 4:45 the Nashville Bluegrass Band (it’s tempting to ask, which one?).

9/17, 8 PM high energy acoustic Americana with the Strung Out String Band followed by the Calamity Janes and then Alex Battles at 68 Jay St. Bar

9/17, 8 PM eclectic pianist Roger Davidson with Frank London’s Klezmer Brass All-Stars at Drom, $15 adv tix rec.

9/17, 8 PM the Chelsea Symphony kicks off its 2011-12 season with a typically eclectic program: Gershwin: Lullaby; Barber: Violin Concerto, Op. 14; Barber: Adagio; Strayhorn: Take the A Train; Shefi: Golden Sky; Menotti: Sebastian Suite; Dai: TBA (World Premiere) at St. Paul’s Church, 315 W 22nd St., $20 sugg. don.

9/17, 9ish hellraising, politically astute Americana rockers the Hangdogs reunite for a benefit for bassist/guitarist Mick Hargreaves. A longtime valuable presence on the NYC Americana and surf music scene, Hargreaves was critically injured in an assault this past summer – here’s wishing you a full recovery, Mick. To help you can visit Crossroads Music in Amagansett, Long Island and leave a check made out to Michael Hargreaves or cash in the jar by the register, donate online using John Hanford’s website or mail a check to Hargreaves’ parents’ home: Bob & Peggy Hargreaves, 10 Braddock Court, Coram, NY 11727

9/17, 9/10:30 PM plaintive, atmospheric, worldbeat jazz grooves from trumpeter Pam Fleming & Fearless Dreamer at Parlor Jazz in Brooklyn, $30 includes both sets plus open wine bar.

9/17, 9ish two legendary/obscure NYC garage rock institutions: Johnny Chan & the New Dynasty 6 followed by les Sans Culottes at Rock Shop in Gowanus, $10.

9/17, 10 PM multi-instrumentalist and latin rock maven Ani Cordero at Pete’s

9/17 punk energy, Americana tunefulness – Spanking Charlene play the single release for their new one Canarsie (just out on Little Steven Van Zandt’s label) at Lakeside, 11 PM.

9/18, noon, classical orchestra the Knights play Schubert’s Octet, Ginastera’s Impressiones de la Puña and works by Osvaldo Golijov and Russell Platt at the Greene Space, $20 tix includes “light snacks and beverages,” one assumes that means no wine.

9/18, 3 PM cellist Winona Zelenka plays works for solo cello by Bach, Britten and Cassado at Symphony Space, $20.

9/18, 4 PM Canadian darkwave singer NLX followed by Kiri Jewell’s fiery retro 80s pop/rock band AwShocKiss at LIC Bar

9/18, 6:30 PM Daniel Brondel plays an organ concert at St. Patrick’s Cathedral.

9/18, 8 PM Pauline Oliveros on accordion and Ione on vocals playing Improvisations on Njinga, the Queen King and St. George and the Dragon at the Stone, $10, early arrival a must.

9/18, 8 PM imaginative, unpredictable guitarist Nick Demopoulos’ project Exegesis with Gretchen Parlato, Danton Boller and Tomas Fujiwara plays the cd release show for their new one at Drom, $10.

9/18, 8:30 PM warmly soaring country chanteuse Drina Seay with Homeboy Steve Antonakos on guitar followed at 9:30 by Boo Reiners and Elena Skye from Demolition String Band upstairs at 2A

9/19, 5:30 PM Samuel Magill (cello), Linda Hall (piano) and Elmira Darvarova (violin) play a program of obscure works by French early Romantic composer Pierre de Breville at Symphony Space, $20.

9/19, 7:30 PM composer Xavier LeRoy leads an octet playing his minutely textured music/dance piece More Mouvements für Lachenmann at the Alliance Francaise, 55 East 59th St., $20

9/19, 8 PM the Amerigo Trio (with Inbal Segev on cello) play Beethoven – Serenade Op. 8, Bohuslav Martinu – Three Madrigals and Erno von Dohnanyi – Serenade Op.10 at Symphony Space, $20.

9/19, 9 PM the Noriko Ueda Jazz Orchestra at Tea Lounge in Park Slope

9/19, 10 PM oldschool hip-hop persona Big Daddy Kane with a live band (?!?) at B.B. King’s, $18 adv tix. rec

9/20, 7 PM Americana/jazz violin virtuoso/composer/chanteuse Jenny Scheinman at Barbes. She’s also here on 9/27.

9/20, 8 PM retro 90s Jamaican reggae-pop crooner Barrington Levy’s show has been moved from B.B. King’s to Highline Ballroom, all tix honored.

9/20, 9ish eclectic vintage sounds with the Dysfunctional Family Jazz Band at Rodeo Bar.

9/20 interestingly weird avant/indie/pop band Deerhoof at the Music Hall of Williamsburg, 11 PM, $17 gen adm.

9/21, 8 PM lyrical country crooner Jesse Lenat at 68 Jay St. Bar.

9/21, 8:30 PM drummer Mike Pride’s From Bacteria to Boys feat. Jon Irabagon, alto sax; Alexis Marcelo, piano; Peter Bitenc, bass; at Cornelia St. Cafe, $10.

9/21, 9 PM the Reefer Round Jazz Orchestra at Radegast Hall

9/21-22 Beirut at Terminal 5, 9 PM, $27 adv tix onsale now.

9/21, 10 PM the Woes and Alex Battles & the Whisky Rebellion at Union Hall, $8.

9/22, 6 PM Carol Lipnik & Spookarama plus the Neerdowells at Cornelia St. Cafe, $7 includes a drink, not bad!

9/22 Michael Gomez of Hazmat Modine leads his own band at Brooklyn Rod & Gun Club 8ish.

9/22, 8 PM multistylistic accordionist Alex Meixner at Barbes.

9/22, 9 PM pensive, intense but sometimes fun and jaunty lyrical songwriter Erin Regan at Sidewalk followed eventually at 11 by the equally intense and even more surreal Daniel Bernstein.

9/22, 9 PM psychedelic jazz vibraphonist Tyler Blanton leads a quartet with Matt Clohesy- bass; Obed Calvaire- drums; Donny McCaslin- saxophone at Tea Lounge in Park Slope.

9/23, 6 (six) PM intense alto saxophonist/composer Sarah Manning leads a small combo at Caffe Vivaldi

9/23 four killer lyrically-charged performers at Sidewalk: the quietly edgy, catchy Linda Draper at 7, oldtime guitar genius Lenny Molotov at 8:20, intense outsider anthem siren Randi Russo at 9 and the quirky punkish Sprinkle Genies at 10:20.

9/23, 8 PM atmospheric, haunting soundscapes by Spooky Ghost at the small room at the Rockwood

9/23, 8 PM longtime downtown star multi-reedman (and guitarist) Doug Wieselman leads a quartet with Gina Leishman – reeds; Jim Pugliese – drums and Don Falzone – bass at Barbes followed at 10 by Spanglish Fly, who put a new spin on classic 60s latin soul and are probably the funnest Friday night band in town right now.

9/23 Sameer Gupta’s amazing, hypnotic Indian-flavored jazz group with Marc Cary on piano at Baruch College Auditorium, 23rd St. and Lex., time/price TBA.

9/23, 9 PM poignant, soaring Americana songwriter Jan Bell & the Maybelles followed by the jazzier but equally edgy Miss Tess at 68 Jay St. Bar

9/23 Taiwan’s atmospheric pan-Asian worldbeat ensemble A Moving Sound at Drom, 9:30 PM, $12 adv tix rec.

9/23, 10ish snide oldschool Williamsburg punk rock band the Live Ones at the Gutter bowling alley in Williamsburg

9/23, 10 PM the Jack Grace Band at Rodeo Bar. “He’s like that Cash boy, but good.” – Jerry Lee Lewis.

9/23, 10 PM Canadian big band jazz composer Daniel Jamieson’s DanJam Orchestra at Miles Cafe, $15 plus $10 min.

9/23, 10 PM psychedelic funk/soul with Sister Sparrow & the Dirty Birds at Sullivan Hall, $10.

9/24 Renaissance at NJPAC in Newark is sold out. Good for them.

9/24, 3 PM at Madison Square Park, bluegrass with 3 Penny Acre followed at 4 by the rustic oldtimey/Appalachian folk sounds of Jay Ungar & Molly Mason.

9/24 clarinet virtuoso and tango connoisseur Thomas Piercy plays Caffe Vivaldi with his group, 6 PM.

9/24, 7 PM alto saxophonist Marc McDonald and his small group at Miles Cafe, $20.

9/24 intense, hilarious anti-gentrification rockers the Brooklyn What pay tribute to their late, great guitarist Billy Cohen at Trash Bar with King Cake and New Atlantic Youth opening at 8.

9/24, 8 PM the original NYC gypsy brass punks, Zlatne Uste followed by legendary Macedonian chanteuse Esma Redzepova – the “Queen of the Gypsies” – and her band at Drom, $30 adv tix rec., this will sell out fast.

9/24, 8 PM sultry 1930s/1940s French chanson revivalists Les Chauds Lapins followed at 10 by ageless acoustic party band the Jug Addicts at Barbes

9/24, 8 PM Disappear Fear play imaginative, socially conscious electric worldbeat including songs from their new Phil Ochs covers album at the People’s Voice Cafe.

9/24, 9 PM country, blues and a little countrypolitan/pop on a diverse triplebill with Hilary Hawke & the Flipsides, brilliant guitarist Will Scott and then Megan Palmer & the Top Flights at 68 Jay St. Bar

9/24, 9/10:30 PM Middle Eastern-flavored jazz pianist Armen Donelian leads a group with Marc Mommaas, tenor saxophone; Mike Moreno, guitar; Dean Johnson, bass; Tyshawn Sorey, drums at Cornelia St. Cafe, $15.

9/24, 9:30ish charismatic, intense, danceable cumbia/skaragga monsters Escarioka at Mehanata

9/24, 10ish charismatic, intense, often very funny, inimitable punk rockers the Brooklyn What return to their monthly residency at Trash with a vengeance. Watch this space for other good bands who will be on the bill.

9/24, 10:30 PM reliably amusing oldtimey Canadian family band the Ukuladies at the Jalopy, $10.

9/25, 4:45 PM Toronto organist Ian Sadler plays a recital at St. Patrick’s Cathedral.

9/25 ferocious Polish Balkan/gypsy band Dikanda at le Poisson Rouge, 8 PM, $20

9/25, 8 PM the New School Afro-Cuban Jazz Band at the Nuyorican Poets Cafe, $10

9/25, 8 PM Hungarian Balkan/jazz/funk guitarist Csaba Toth Bagi at Drom, $10 adv tix rec.

9/26-27, 7:30/9:30 PM Grace Kelly and Phil Woods join forces to represent two generations of jazz sax at Dizzy’s Club, early arrival/res rec., this will probably sell out.

9/26-27, 8ish dark dreampop instrumentalists Mogwai at Webster Hall rescheduled from this spring, $34 adv tix still available at the Irving Plaza box ofc.

9/26, 9ish oldtime swing revivalists Daria Grace & the Pre-War Ponies – maybe the most unselfconsciously romantic, charming band in town right now – at Rodeo Bar.

9/26, 9 PM the Delphian Jazz Orchestra at Tea Lounge in Park Slope

9/27, 8 PM Afrobeat band Zongo Junction followed by Malian guitar legend Boubacar Traore at the Bell House, $17 adv tix very highly rec.

9/27, 8 PM dark Middle Eastern-tinged instrumentalist Sir Richard Bishop opens for the Swans at the Music Hall of Williamsburg, $30 adv tix avail. at the Mercury weekdays til 7 PM, this may sell out.

9/27-10/2, sets 8/10:30 PM, a copy of latin jazz pianist Michel Camilo’s new album Mano a Mano just arrived here and it is one elegant, smartly tuneful record. He’s at the Blue Note leading a trio, $25 standing room avail.

9/27-10/2 lyrical jazz pianist Bill Charlap leads a trio with Peter Washington on bass and Kenny Washington on drums at the Vanguard, sets 9/11 PM.

9/27, 9:30 PM Ed Cherry – guitar , Pat Bianchi – organ , McClenty Hunter – drums at Smalls.

9/28-10/2, 7:30/9:30 PM Gerald Wilson leads the Juilliard Jazz Orchestra playing his Legacy Suite at Dizzy’s Club, $30 seats avail.

9/28, 8:30ish a killer eclectic triplebill with desert blues-influenced Chicago band Pillars and Tongues, Bay area gypsy/balkan supernova A Hawk & a Hacksaw and gypsy punk band Dark Dark Dark at the Bell House, $13 adv tix very highly rec. They’re at Drom on 9/29 at 8 for the same price.

9/28, 9 PM intense and funny grasscore band Larry & His Flask at Union Hall, $10.

9/29, 8 PM haunting, torchy oldtimey duo Evanescent at 68 Jay St. Bar

9/29, 8 PM the Minerva Lions open for Giant Panda Guerrilla Dub Squad at Brooklyn Bowl, tix absurdly cheap at $7. Remember how the Nokia Theatre was charging $30 for the same kind of bill earlier in the year?

9/29, 8 PM violinist Jessica Pavone’s haunting Hope Dawson Is Missing project followed by clavinet player Magda Mayas with Tony Buck at Roulette, $15/$10 stud/srs.

9/29, time TBA, well-liked Americana rockers the Felice Bros. at Webster Hall, $20.

9/29, 8:30 PM pianist Jacob Sacks leads a quintet with Jacob Garchik, trombone; Ben Gerstein, trombone; Thomas Morgan, bass; Dan Weiss, drums at Cornelia St. Cafe, $10

9/29, 10 PM the funky, aggressively entertaining Underground Horns at Barbes

9/30 and 10/1 at 8 PM, and 10/4 at 7:30 PM Alan Gilbert conducts the NY Phil playing Dvorak’s Symphony #7 plus a Corigliano choral work at Avery Fisher Hall, $33 tix avail.

9/30, 8 PM oldschool Fania style salsa with the Spanish Harlem Orchestra at SOB’s $15

9/30, 8:30 PM the Violent Femmes’ Gordon Gano followed by high-energy oldtimey Americana band the Wiyos at Southpaw, $10.

9/30 sizzling electrified bluegrass and original country with Demolition String Band at Rodeo Bar, 9:30ish

9/30, 9:30 PM noirish French songwriter Louis-Ronan Choisy at Drom, $15 gen adm.

9/30, 10 PM Nation Beat drummer/bandleader Scott Kettner’s Forro Brass Band at Barbes.

10/1, 8 PM the Four Bags – who blend jazz, classical and the Beatles with deadpan wit – at Barbes followed at 10 by crazy rustic Mexican banda Banda Sinaloense de los Muertos.

10/1, 9/10:30 PM Dave Liebman and Sam Newsome play Steve Lacy and Thelonious Monk with Gregg August, bass; Otis Brown III, drums at Cornelia St. Cafe, $15.

10/1, 9:30 PM legendary jazz drummer Chico Hamilton celebrates his 90th birthday and new album with a show at Drom leading a sextet with Nick Demopoulos (guitar), Paul Ramsey (fender bass), Evan Schwam (saxophone, flute, piccolo), Mayu Saeki (flute, alto flute, piccolo), Jeremy Carlstedt (percussion, drums), $12 adv tix highly rec.

10/1, 10ish long-runnning original punk-pop band the Vibrators at Union Hall – the venues keep getting smaller, they keep playing the nostalgia angle – $13 adv tix rec.

10/2 noon-6 PM the Atlantic Antic outdoor festival with bands TBA, Atlantic Ave. from 4th Ave. to Hicks St

10/2, 3 PM the Ariel String Quartet play Mozart, Brahms and Janacek at Bargemusic, $35/$30 srs/$15 stud.

10/2-3, 9 PM multi-instrumentalist and longtime Aimee Mann collaborator Jon Brion makes songs out of loops,live, at le Poisson Rouge, $20 gen adm.

10/2 midnight-ish all-female noise-punk legends Erase Errata at Glasslands

10/3, Shellac at the Bell House is sold out, but $17 adv tix are still avail. for the 10/4 show.

10/4, noon-4 PM pianists Adonis Gonzalez, Jed Distler, and Axel Tosca play Thelonious Monk at the World Financial Center, free.

10/5-6, 7:30 PM and 10/7 at 11 AM (yikes!) Alan Gilbert conducts the NY Phil playing Bach: Concerto for 2 violins; Berg: Violin Concerto; Brahms: Symphony #3 at Avery Fisher Hall, $31 tix avail.

10/5, 8 PM Afrobeat with Zongo Junction and Toubab Crewe at le Poisson Rouge, $14 adv tix rec.

10/5, 9 PM two irrepressible, fearlessly funny tunesmiths: Susan Hwang & the Relastics at Sidewalk followed eventually at 11 by Nan Turner & the One Night Stands at Sidewalk

10/6, 7:30 PM Portland, Maine banjoist/songwriter Putnam Smith followed by bouzouki-led oldtime Americana band Spuyten Duyvil at St. John’s Lutheran Church, 81 Christopher St, $15.

10/6, 8 PM if there’s any conductor alive who GETS the towering angst of the Russian Romantics, it’s Valery Giergiev. He conducts the Mariinsky Orchestra playing Tschaikovsky’s Symphonies #1 and #6 at Carnegie Hall, $24 tix supposedly available. They do the rustic, intense 2nd and 5th Symphonies at 2 PM on 10/9, the playful, animated 3rd and 5th at 8 on 10/10 and on 10/11 at 8 they’ll have pianist Danil Trifonov playing Prokofiev: Three Selections from Romeo and Juliet; the completely angst-driven Tschaikovsky Piano Concerto No. 1 and the ambitious and totally enjoyable Shostakovich Symphony No. 1 written when the composer was 19.

10/6, 8ish an excellent, high-energy eclectic bill with bluegrass monsters Thy Burden, followed by ska from the Rudie Crew & the Times at Union Hall, $8

10/7, 7 PM country chanteuse Drina & the Deep Blue Sea at Lakeside

10/7, 9 PM ageless British country punks the Mekons at the Bell House, $18 adv tix. rec.

10/8, 8 PM, free, Mos Def with the Brooklyn Phil Chamber Players conducted by Alan Pierson at 1368 Fulton St., Brooklyn: compositions include Mos Def arr. Derek Bermel, “Life in Marvelous Times” (2008) and other songs incl. Frederick Rzewski’s Coming Together.

10/8, 8 PM sensational eclectic Luminescent Orchestrii violinist Sarah Alden with her band at 68 Jay St. Bar.

10/8, 9/10:30 PM the Alan Ferber Big Band at the Jazz Gallery, $20

10/8, 9:30 PM the Woes and O’Death at the Bell House, $12.

10/8, 9/10:30 PM bassist Petros Klampanis leads a group with Gilad Hekselman, guitar; Lefteris Kordis, piano; John Hadfield, percussion; Greg Osby, alto saxophoe; Sara Serpa, voice; Andre Matos, guitar at Cornelia St. Cafe, $15.

10/9, 4:45 PM organist Benjamin Kolodziej plays a recital at St. Patrick’s Cathedral

10/9, 8:30 PM Ilusha Tsinadze, guitar, vocals; Rob Hecht, fiddle; Liam Robinson, accordion; Chris Tordini, bass; Richie Barshay, drums; Jean Rohe, vocals at Cornelia St. Cafe, $15

10/9, 9 PM Al Stewart plays an acoustic duo show at City Winery, $30 tix avail. Reputedly his chops (pretty sensational back in the 60s when he was an acoustic folk guitarist) are better than ever – and he reputedly plays a lot of the oldschool stuff along with Year of the Cat and Time Passages, ad infinitum. Wonder what he thinks of City Winery’s hideous homemade wine.

10/10, 7 PM Jake Schepps’ Expedition Quartet plays Bartok at Barbes.

10/11, 8:30 PM reedwoman/composer Jessica Valiente’s Las Mas Valiente feat. Rick Faulkner, trombone; Anna Milat-Meyer,, bass; Yasuyo Kimura, congas; Victor Rendón, drums; Chiemi Nakai, piano at at Cornelia St. Cafe, $10

10/12, 7 PM, free at the World Financial Center, Mos Def with the Brooklyn Youth Chorus, dynamically eclectic chanteuse Mellissa Hughes and other special guests joining members of the Brooklyn Philharmonic for an adventurous bill including Derek Bermel’s arrangements of Mos Def’s original songs, 19th century shape note singing and works by David T. Little, Frederick Rzewski, and Ljova Zhurbin.

10/12, 8 PM Americana chanteuse Jan Bell at 68 Jay St. Bar

10/12, 8 PM a solid oldtimey Americana doublebill: the Calamity Janes followed by Crooked Still at the Bell House, $16 gen. adm.

10/13, 7:30 PM cellist Madeleine Shapiro plays recent works for cello and electronics including several premieres at the Tank, $10

10/13, 8:30 PM singer/composer Sara Serpa leads her potent third stream-ish quintet feat. André Matos, guitar; Kris Davis, piano; Ben Street, bass; Ted Poor, drums playing the cd release show for her terrific, innovative new album Mobile at Cornelia St. Cafe, $10.

10/13 10ish Jon Spencer Blues Explosion at Maxwell’s, $15

10/14, 7:30 PM the Mivos String Quartet with Nathan Koci on accordion play at First Presbyterian Church (Brooklyn Heights) 124 Henry St., 2/3 to Clark St., F/R to Jay St. or 4 to Borough Hall, $10

10/14, 8:30 PM imaginative garage rock/country/psychedelic band Those Darlins at the Bell House, $13 adv tix rec.

10/14, 9 PM, the Pricks, Smoke DZA, Big KRIT, Curren$y and Method Man at the Nokia Theatre, $32.50 adv tix rec. They call this the “smokers tour.”

10/14, 9 PM trumpeter Steven Bernstein’s Millennial Territory Orchestra plays the cd release show for MTO Plays Sly Stone at the 92YTribeca, $TBA.

10/14 high-energy Americana rock vets Tom Clark & the High Action Boys at Lakeside, 11 PM

10/15, 8 PM Aurora Flores y Zon Del Barrio with special guest Yomo Toro at Flushing Town Hall, $25

10/15, 8 PM Eighth Blackbird plays new works by Timo Andres, Bruno Mantovani, Amy Beth Kirsten, Mayke Nas, Fabien Svensson, Dan Visconti and Caleb Burhans at the Miller Theatre, 116th St/Bwy., $25.

10/15, 8 PM the NYU Symphony Orchestra at the Loewe Theatre, 35 W 4th St., program TBA.

10/15, 9 PM funny, lyrically driven oldschool country music with the Jack Grace Band at 68 Jay St. Bar.

10/15, 11 PM Afrobeat crew Ikebe Shakedown followed by funk orchestraTurkuaz playing the cd release show for their new one at the Mercury, $10

10/16, noon, a marathon concert hosted by the JACK quartet and featuring performances by Dither Electric Guitar Quartet, New York Virtuoso Singers, Imani Winds, Talea Ensemble, Prism Saxophone Quartet, and many others at the Miller Theatre, 116th St/Bwy., $25.

10/16 pianist Peter Hill plays Bach, Messiaen and Takemitsu at le Poisson Rouge, 6:30 PM, $20 adv tix rec.

10/17, 2 and 7:30 PM, the Jupiter Symphony players perform Smetana – From My Homeland; Gyrowetz – Divertissement in A Major; Suk – Piano Quartet in A Minor; Brahms – String Sextet in B Flat at Good Shepherd Presbyterian Church, 152 W 66th St. out back of Lincoln Center, $10 tix avail.

10/17, 7:30 PM new music ensemble Either/Or plays new works by Raphaël Cendo, Hans Thomalla, Richard Carrick, Erin Gee, Keeril Makan and Jonny Greenwood at the Miller Theatre, 116th St/Bwy., $25.

10/18, 8 PM composer/pianist Michael Hersch plays the NY premiere of his piece From The Vanishing Pavilions – which confronts vanishing living space in New York – with Miranda Cuckson, viola and Julia Bruskin, cello at Merkin Concert Hall, $20.

10/19, 9 PM dark pensive goth-tinged songwriter Nina Nastasia at the Mercury $12.

10/19, midnight-ish hypnotic dreampop/shoegaze instrumentalists the Big Sleep play Party Xpo in Bushwick as part of a good idea – the Un-CMJ.

10/21, 8 PM, the NYU Philharmonia at the Loewe Theatre, 35 W 4th St., program TBA. They’re also here on 12/5.

10/22, 7 PM the American Composers Orchestra plays New York premieres of music by Ruby Fulton, Paul Yeon Lee, Ryan Gallagher, Andrew Norman, and Suzanne Farrin at the World Financial Ctr., free

10/22, 8 PM popular Americana chanteuse Gillian Welch at the Beacon Theatre, $35 tix avail.

10/22, 8 PM the Chelsea Symphony play Kiah: TBA (World Premiere); Elgar: Cello Concerto in E minor, Op. 85; Hanson: Symphony No. 2 “Romantic” at St. Paul’s Church, 315 W 22nd St., $20 sugg. don.

10/22, 9 PM big anthemic new oldschool country band Yarn at Hiro Ballroom, $15, tix avail. at the Highline Ballroom box ofc.

10/23, 4:45 PM organist Douglas Kostner plays a recital at St. Patrick’s Cathedral.

10/23 ride the waves with surf rock legend Dick Dale aboard the Jewel, boarding at the heliport at 23rd St. and the FDR at 6, leaving at 7, adv tix $30 avail. at the Highline Ballroom box ofc.

10/23, 8 PM Bulgarian folk flute virtuoso Theodosii Spassov and Vlada Tomova’s Balkan Tales at Symphony Space, $30

10/24, 8:30/10:30 PM the Manhattan School of Music Afro-Cuban Jazz Orchestra conducted by Bobby Sanabria at Dizzy’s Club, $20

10/27, 7:30 PM innovative improvisationally inclined jazz guitarist Soren Raaschou leads his Trio with guest Travis Laplante on tenor sax at Drom, $10 adv tix rec.

10/27, 8:30 PM dark Americana-tinged lyrical songwriter Jessi Robertson at Southpaw, $10.

10/27, 11 PM guitarist Steve Schiltz’ atmospheric, plaintive shoegaze/anthem band Hurricane Bells at the Mercury $10.

10/28, 9 PM twangy noir guitar soundscapes with Jim Campilongo followed by alt-country siren Alana Amram at the Gutter bowling alley in Williamsburg, $5.

10/29, 8:30 PM Simon Shaheen, who may be this era’s greatest oud player, plays Middle Eastern classics by Mohammed Abdel Wahab, the Rahbani Bros. and Farid Al-Atrache with special guest vocalist Nidal Ibourk and the Near Eastern Music Ensemble at Roulette, $25, early arrival advised.

10/29, 9 PM fiery paisley underground/country band the Newton Gang at 68 Jay St. Bar

10/29-30, 9 PM kick-ass new garage/psychedelic rock with Spindrift and the Black Angels at the Music Hall of Williamsburg. 10/31 the Black Angels play there at 11 PM, $20 adv tix. avail. at the Mercury box office 5-7 PM M-F.

10/29, 9 PM the Infamous Stringdusters and Yonder Mountain String Band at the Nokia Theatre, $25 adv tix rec.

10/29 sardonic dark garage/punk rockers Obits at Glasslands.

10/29 the Midnight band play roots reggae at SOB’s at…guess…midnight! $TBA

10/30, 7:30 PM the Brooklyn Phil Chamber Players play songs of freedom by Schnittke, Pärt, Shostakovich, and Gubaidulina at the Shorefront Y, 3300 Coney Island Ave, Coney Island, $15.

10/31, 2 and 7:30 PM, the Jupiter Symphony players perform a killer (ha ha) program including Stravinsky’s playful Histoire du Soldat; Saint-Saens – Danse Macabre; Moussorgsky – Songs & Dances of Death; Rimsky-Korsakov – Piano Trio in C Minor at Good Shepherd Presbyterian Church, 152 W 66th St. out back of Lincoln Center, $10 tix avail.

10/31, midnight creepy minor-key harmonica blues with Stringbean & the Stalkers at the Ear Inn

11/2-3, 7:30 PM the NY Phil and Philip Glass Ensemble play Glass’s live soundtrack for the 1982 Godfrey Reggio film Koyaanisqatsi along with a screening of the movie at Avery Fisher Hall, $35 tix avail.

11/3, 7:30 PM, the Brooklyn Philharmonic plays racy cartoon scores by Shostakovich and Vyacheslav Artyomov accompanying those cartoons (with live Russian voiceovers) at the Millennium Theater, 1029 Brighton Beach Ave., Brooklyn, $10 tix avail.

11/3, 8:30 PM ecstatic, intense gypsy/Balkan/Mediterranean brass band Mucca Pazza at the Lincoln Center Atrium, free but early arrival advised.

11/3 ferociously intense, politically aware, tuneful female-fronted noiserock/punk band Bugs in the Dark play the cd release show for their new one at Bruar Falls.

11/4, 8 PM two generations of free jazz: Marty Ehrlich and his group plus the Peter Evans Quintet at Roulette, $15

11/5 Boston’s eclectic powerpop/punk-pop/ska crew the Have Nots at the Knitting Factory.

11/6, 4 PM ambitious classical sextet An Die Musik play Mendelssohn, Mozart, and Schubert plus Aesop fables musicalized by Jerzy Sapaiyevski (but not by Rachelle Garniez?!?) at Merkin Concert Hall, $13

11/7, 2 and 7:30 PM, the Jupiter Symphony players perform Mendelssohn – Konzertstück No. 1 in F Minor; Schumann – String Quartet No. 2; Chopin – Piano Concerto No. 1 at Good Shepherd Presbyterian Church, 152 W 66th St. out back of Lincoln Center, $10 tix avail.

11/8 grasscore pioneers Slim Cessna’s Auto Club at the Mercury, 10 PM, $10.

11/10, 9 PM British retro soul sensations Fitz & the Tantrums at Terminal 5, $35, all ages, adv tix available at the Mercury box ofc 5-7 PM weekdays.

11/12, 10ish the Cryptkeeper 5 followed by noir ska/punk/swing band Tri-State Conspiracy’s cd release show at Webster Hall, $15 adv tix avail. at the Irving Plaza box ofc.

11/17 well-loved harmony-driven Americana trio Red Molly – whose new lineup is just as captivating as the previous one – at the big room at the Rockwood, 7:30 PM.

11/18, 7:30 PM the Ekmeles vocal ensemble with Katelyn Clark on harpsichord play at First Presbyterian Church (Brooklyn Heights) 124 Henry St., 2/3 to Clark St., F/R to Jay St. or 4 to Borough Hall, $10

11/18, 9:30 PM punkish rockers the Hard Nips open for  lovable Japanese lo-fi legends Shonen Knife at the Bell House, $12

11/19, 8 PM guitarishly and harmonically sizzling urban Americana duo the Kennedys at First Acoustics Coffeehouse in downtown Brooklyn, $25 adv tix rec.

11/21, 2 and 7:30 PM, the Jupiter Symphony players perform Frohlich – Serenade in D Major; Clara Schumann – 3 Romances; Kirchner – Piano Quartet in C minor; Brahms – – String Quintet No. 1 at Good Shepherd Presbyterian Church, 152 W 66th St. out back of Lincoln Center, $10 tix avail.

11/22, 8 PM, free, the Mannes Orchestra plays Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7, Ben Ringer conducting, and Prokofiev’s Suite No. 1 from Romeo and Juliet, Ester Yoon conducting, at Symphony Space, free.

12/1, 7:30 PM brilliantly tuneful and lyrical acoustic songwriter Carolann Solebello (ex-Red Molly) at St. John’s Lutheran Church, 81 Christopher St, $15.

12/5, 2 and 7:30 PM, the Jupiter Symphony players perform a program of obscure French Romantic treats: Reicha – Wind Quintet in E minor; Farrenc – Quintet No. 1 in A minor; Saint-Saens – Piano Quartet in Bb Major at Good Shepherd Presbyterian Church, 152 W 66th St. out back of Lincoln Center, $10 tix avail.

12/8, 7:30 PM Nicole Atkins and band at Symphony Space, $30 includes a glass of wine

12/9, 7:30 PM composers Molly Thompson and Lukas Ligeti and supporting cast TBA at First Presbyterian Church (Brooklyn Heights) 124 Henry St., 2/3 to Clark St., F/R to Jay St. or 4 to Borough Hall, $10.

12/9, 8 PM John Zorn gets one of those Miller Theatre “composer portraits,” with an absurdly good cast of classical and Stone types – cellist Fred Sherry, violinist Jennifer Koh, drummer Kenny Wollesen, pianist Stephen Gosling, the Talea Ensemble and others playing a bill of world premieres, 116th St/Bwy., $25

12/16, 7 PM Alan Gilbert conducts the NY Philharmonic playing Alexandre Lunsqui: Fibres, Yarn, and Fabric (world premiere); Magnus Lindberg: Gran Duo; HK Gruber: Frankenstein! at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, $35 adv tix rec. The program repeats on 12/17 at 8 at Symphony Space, $21 adv tix rec.

12/21 it’s Make Music Winter. Inspired by Phil Kline’s famous Gulf War-era interactive antiwar composition Unsilent Night, the Make Music NY organizers are working to schedule another citywide day/night of interesting, free live music. Pure genius. Watch this space for updates.

12/22, 8:30 PM eclectic composer/viola virtuoso Ljova Zhurbin plays on a cinematic bill featuring amazing gypsy band Romashka and guests at the Lincoln Center Atrium, free but early arrival a must.

WEEKLY EVENTS

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 in August the Quavers – who mix trippy downtempo art-rock with indie pop – play Barbes early at 7 PM, sometimes with special guests. 8/8 they have Ben Kaufman and members of haunting, gypsy/klezmer-tinged Barbez. In September Chicha Libre returns to their regular residency here starting at around 9:30.

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 September 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.

Tuesdays in September clever, fiery, eclectic Balkan/hip-hop/funk brass maniacs Slavic Soul Party play Barbes at 9. Get here as soon as you can as they’re very popular.

Tuesdays at Caffe Vivaldi the Five Deadly Venoms play bluegrass at 9 PM.

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

9/7 and following Wednesdays in September, free organ concerts resume at 1:10 PM sharp on at St. Ann’s Church on Montague St. in downtown Brooklyn.

Wednesdays in August Meah Pace, Rev. Vince Anderson’s slinky, poignant harmony vocalist, does her own set of soul music with the Rev’s longtime baritone sax star Paula Henderson upstairs at the National Underground, 9 PM

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.

8/10 and subsequent Wednesdays in August multi-instrumentalist Thad Debrock plays the small room at the Rockwood at midnight. 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.

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

Thursdays 8/11, 18 and 25, 9ish, oldschool Williamsburg legends the Old Rugged Sauce play classic vocal and guitar jazz from the 30s and 40s at Brooklyn Rod & Gun Club. They’re literally a trip back to a better, more relaxed century.

Thursdays 9/15, 9/22 and 9/29, 9:30ish well-liked eight-string guitar improviser Charlie Hunter plays Sycamore Bar in Ditmas Park, Brooklyn, $10

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

Fridays and frequently throughout the week starting 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 August at 9 Naomi Shelton and the Gospel Queens play oldschool 1960s style gospel at the Fat Cat.

Fridays 9/2 and 9/9, 9/16, half past midnight soulful saxophonist Ken Fowser – who really knows how to create a late-night vibe – leads a quintet at Smoke uptown. 9/23 and 9/30 they’re here at half past eleven.

Saturdays in September at 3 PM there are free concerts at Bargemusic. Usually it’s solo classical piano, with the occasional string ensemble. Note that these are billed as “family concerts” – it’s not known how the staff deal with screaming little brats. Early arrival is highly advised; doors are at 2:30.

Saturdays eclectic compelling Brazilian jazz chanteuse Marianni and her excellent band at Zinc Bar, three sets starting at 10 PM.

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.

Sundays at 5 PM starting on September 17 through November 20 there are free organ concerts on the recently restored organ at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, 110th St./Broadway by an A-list of international performers.

Sundays in September, starting 9/26 there are free organ concerts at 5:15 PM at St. Thomas Church, 5th Ave. and 53rd St. The big Skinner organ’s days are numbered: it’s a mighty beast, so see it before it’s gone. The weekly series (with breaks for holidays) features an extraordinary, global cast of performers.

Sundays at 7:30 at Theatre 80 St. Marks the world’s most socially aware “reverend” and activist, Rev. Billy and his wild, ecstatic 30-piece gospel Church of Earthalujah Choir, $10 cover but “no one turned away.”

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 September at 9 gypsy guitar genius Stephane Wrembel plays Barbes. He’s holding on to the edgy, danceable spirit of Django Reinhardt while taking the style to new and unexpected places. He’s also very popular: get there early.

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.

August 1, 2011 Posted by | avant garde music, blues music, classical music, concert, country music, experimental music, folk music, funk music, gospel music, gypsy music, Live Events, middle eastern music, Music, music, concert, NYC Live Music Calendar, reggae music, rock music, soul music, world music | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Album of the Day 7/15/11

Every day, our 1000 best albums of all time countdown continues all the way to #1. Friday’s album is #564:

Canibus – Mic Club: The Curriculum

A rare example of a lyricist who more than lived up to the extreme hype surrounding his 1998 debut, Canibus represents the pinnacle of East Coast hardcore hip-hop wordsmithing: he’s never made a bad album. This 2002 underground classic is where he really took his game to the next level: erudite, serious as hell but also funny as hell with the mot juste when he wants to skewer someone. He’s so articulate here that he doesn’t even feel the need to use any curse words until track six. The rhymes come fast and furious with Poet Laureate; Masters Thesis; the scathing Behind Enemy Rhymes; Allied Meta-Forces, with a typically potent Kool G Rap cameo; Cenoir Studies 02; C Section; Literal Arts (featuring heavy-hitting Philly artist Jedi Mind Tricks) and Curriculum 101. As much as hip-hop has always been more about the lyrics than the backing tracks, the samples here are especially imaginative (when’s the last time you heard somebody sample Pink Floyd’s Summer ’68?). Here’s a random torrent.

July 15, 2011 Posted by | lists, Music, music, concert, rap music | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

New York City Live Music Calendar for July and August 2011 Plus Other Events

As always, weekly events are listed at the bottom of the page, after the last of the daily listings: scroll down and you’ll find them. If you didn’t see anything that struck you as fun this time around, check back later because we update this obsessively.

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. This is not a list of every band playing every club in NYC; this is a list of good shows, many of which we will go see ourselves. We focus on edgy, entertaining stuff: if you’re looking for Grizzly Bear or Justin Bieber, you’re in the wrong place. We try to be descriptive rather than using all kinds of superlative adjectives.

7/2, 1 and 3 PM Jed Distler leads a 40-piece ensemble playing Terry Riley’s In C on Governors Island, free ferries leave from the old Staten Island ferry terminal every hour on the half hour

7/2 Roy Ayers and the Jazz Mafia Symphony at Central Park Summerstage, get there by 7 PM or else you probably won’t get in.

7/2, 7 PM creepy intense cool chanteuses: Lorraine Leckie solo followed by Carol Lipnik and Spookarama doing her covers project at 8 at Banjo Jim’s

7/2, 7:30 PM lyrical songwriter Niall Connolly plays the big room at the Rockwood

7/2, 8 PM blistering bluegrass jamband Thy Burden’s cd release show at Union Hall, free.

7/2, 8:30 PM torchy noir German songwriter Sophie Hunger at le Poisson Rouge, $15 gen adm.

7/2 intense gypsy punks Bad Buka at Mehanata, 9 PM.

7/2, 10 PM oldschool vallenato/cumbia hellraisers Very Be Carefulat Barbes.

7/3 the reliably intense, charismatic anti-gentrification rockers the Brooklyn What at Fort Tilden in the Rockaways, time TBA.

7/3, 8 PM new music ensemble Transit plays an intriguing evening of new electroacoustic works by Tristan Perich, Lesley Flanigan (very highly recommended) and Daniel Wohl at St. Paul’s Chapel downtown, Broadway at Fulton, free.

7/5, 7:30/9:30 PM Dario Boente & Proyecto Sur play tango nuevo jazz at the Jazz Standard, $20

7/5, 8 PM classic boricua sounds with the Lavoe All Stars and Cantando Renzo Padilla at St. Mary’s Park in the Bronx, St. Ann’s Ave and E 144th Street, 6 train to Brook Ave.

7/6, 6 PM African and Afro-Cuban sounds with the Edmar Castaneda Trio plus special guest Andrea Tierra and then the Lionel Loueke Trio at Madison Square Park, free.

7/6 pianist Osmany Paredes’ latin jazz quartet at the Jazz Standard, 7:30/9:30 PM, $20.

7/6, 7 PM pianist Eugene Marlow’s Heritage Ensemble playing latin/Jewish jazz – real cool stuff – at the Triad Theatre, 158 W. 72nd St., 2nd Fl.., just west of Broadway, $10

7/6, 8 PM intense, powerful Afrobeat/desert blue siren Khaira Arby at the Brooklyn Bowl, $5.

7/7, half past noon trombonist Art Baron leads a small combo at St. Marks Park, 2nd Ave/10th St.

7/7, 5:30 PM Cuban pianist Elio Villafranca at the World Financial Center, free.

7/7, 7 PM My Brightest Diamond at Castle Clinton in Battery Park, free tix avail. 2 per person on the line outside the castle starting at 4 PM.

7/7, 7 PM edgy comedic musical chicks Mel & El (their album is called She’s My Bitch) put on their latest show Mel & El: Our Time of the Month (Flight of the Conchords as done by Tammy Faye Starlite, maybe) at the 92YTribeca, $15.

7/7, 7:15 PM torchy, no-nonsense piano chanteuse Jeanne Marie Boes at Caffe Vivaldi

7/7, 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 followed at 10 by eclectic Virginia hellraisers the No BS Brass Band.

7/7, 8 PM cello rockers Deoro plays Bach, Ravel, Messaien, Bizet, Michael Brecker and Randy Wolff at Bargemusic, $35/$30 srs./$15 stud. On 7/8, same time, same price, the band returns, playing an acoustic set from their Kingston Morning reggae-rock album.

7/7, 8ish hip-hop/rock at the downstairs space at Webster Hall with White House Band, Mickey Factz, Tunde Olaniran, Rocky Business, Nyle vs. the Naysayers, Ra the MC and Mahogany, no idea who’s playing when but if you’re into this stuff, check it out.

7/7, 8:30 PM extraordinary oudist Tareq Abboushi plus percussionist Hector Morales at Cornelia St. Cafe, $10

7/7, 8:30 PM the Court Yard Hounds (that’s sisters Martie Maguire and Emily Robison of the Dixie Chicks) at Prospect Park Bandshell.

7/7, 9 PM filmmaker/hilarious satirical bandleader Melvin Van Peebles wid Laxative (his funk band feat. members of Burnt Sugar) at Zebulon

7/7, 9 PM quirky, rustic cello rockers Pearl & the Beard at the Music Hall of Williamsburg, $12 adv tix avail. til 7 PM weekdays at the Mercury.

7/7 captivating Americana chanteuse Megan Reilly with her band at Lakeside, 9 PM.

7/7, 9 PM smart, original, eclectic Americana songwriter Kelley Swindall at Banjo Jim’s

7/7 midnight smart oldtimey chanteuse/swing guitarist Miss Tess at the small room at the Rockwood.

7/8, 7:30 PM a killer dark Jewish jazz/instrumental doublebill with Anthony Coleman’s Sephardic Tinge followed by Barbez – whose latest album, a homage to Holocaust poet Paul Celan, is absolutely transcendent – at le Poisson Rouge, $12 gen adm.

7/8 smart new tuneful guitar jazz with the Brent Canter Group: Brent Canter – guitar , Noah Preminger – tenor sax , Adam Klipple – organ , Matt Clohesy – bass , Greg Ritchie – drums, 7:30 PM at Smalls

7/8, 8 PM Noah & the Megafauna play lush Tom Waits-ish stuff at Barbes followed at 10 by the high-energy oldtimey Baby Soda Jazz Band.

7/8, 8 PM Ocote Soul Sounds play trippy live dub cumbia at Bowery Poetry Club

7/8 tight, soaring oldschool honkytonk band Yarn – with a horn section – at Southpaw, 9ish, $12.

7/8 haunting soulful 60s soul/rock lyrical songwriter Dina Rudeen at the Jalopy, 9 PM, $5

7/8, 9 PM badass Australian country songwriter Kasey Chambers at Bowery Ballroom, $25 gen adm.

7/8, 9 PM veteran Cali-Mex rockers Los Lobos at Prospect Park Bandshell.

7/8 dark rock chanteuse Nicole Atkins & the Sea at the Music Hall of Williamsburg, 9 PM, $12 adv tix avail. at the Mercury weekdays til 7 PM.

7/8, 10 PM El Pueblo, one of the most eclectic and dubwise reggae-en-Espanol bands around, at Shrine

7/8 the Jack Grace Band bring their oldschool 60s country cool and crazed antics to Rodeo Bar, 10ish.

7/8 clever, sardonically amusing Nashville gothic band Maynard & the Musties at Kenny’s Castaways, 10 PM

7/8, 11:30 PM a rare and truly intense Ecuadorian skaragga triplebill at Drom with M.A.K.U, rustic frenetic Chota Madre and the psychedelic, reggae-tinged Bachaco at half past one in the morning, $10

7/8, midnight, sly acoustic jam band Tall Tall Trees at the big room at the Rockwood.

7/9, 1 (one) PM SAS Orchestra – a 12 piece orchestra playing music of legendary Pittsburgh no wave/funk outfit Stick Against Stone at Von King Park in Bed Stuy (Marcy between Greene & Lafayette).

7/9, 4 PM a cool melodic punk triplebill with the Ovens, Homewreckers and Little Victory at ABC No Rio.

7/9, 4 (four) PM an auspicious start to the night with the Jordan Young organ trio with Jordan Young – drums , Joe Sucato – tenor sax , Brian Charette – B3 organ at Smalls

7/9, 5 (five) PM at Barbes: Day in Pictures with Matt Bauder on reeds; Justin Walter on trumpet, Kris Davis on piano, Jason Ajemian on bass and Chad Taylor on drums, followed at 8 by tango bass maven Pedro Giraudo’s sextet. Day in Pictures are also here on 7/16.

7/9, 7 PM politically aware indie rocker Ted Leo & the Pharmacists play South St. Seaport

7/9, 7:30 PM late golden-age hip-hop with Raekwon, Smif-N-Wessun, Joell Ortiz, Skyzoo, Neek the Exotic & Large Professor, no idea who’s opening or headlining, at Prospect Park Bandshell.

7/9, 7:30 PM smart, tuneful, literate, Aimee Mann-inflected chamber pop band Elizabeth & the Catapult at the Mercury, $12 gen adm.

7/9, 8:30 PM torchy jazz/pop pianist/songwriter Abby Payne at Caffe Vivaldi

7/9, 9 PM creepily haunting, intense female-fronted trip-hop/goth band Vespertina – who put on one of the best shows we’ve seen all year – at the Delancey, followed eventually at 11 by hypnotic groovy shoegaze/downtempo band El Jezel

7/9, 9/10:30 PM multi-reed paradigm-shifter Matana Roberts leads a quintet with Daniel Levin – cello, Shoko Nagai – piano, Thomson Kneeland – bass, Tomas Fujiwara – drums, at the Jazz Gallery, $20.

7/9, 9 PM low-key, rustic the Weal and the Woe, haunting newschool bluegrass/gothic Frankenpine and kick-ass country band the Flanks play the tail end of the latest Brooklyn County Fair extravaganza at the Jalopy, $10; the whole thing starts during the day at the Urban Meadow just around the corner around noon with half-hour sets by a ton of bands.

7/9, 9 PM hilarious fake French garage rockers les Sans Culottes at Coco 66, $10

7/9 Jazzimodo – sort of the Chilean Goldfrapp – at Drom, 9:30 PM, only $5.

7/9, 10 PM ferocious female-fronted noise/art-rock/funk powerhouse System Noise at the Parkside, $5.

7/9, 10 PM Rockers Galore play roots reggae at Shrine.

7/9, 10 PM ska jazz sax legend Dave Hillyard & the Rocksteady 7 at Two Boots Brooklyn

7/9, rockabilly/surf/punk legend Simon & the Bar Sinisters at Lakeside, 10:15ish.

7/10 it’s the Mafrika festival at Marcus Garvey Park in Spanish Harlem, an all-day extravaganza of global African-influenced music starting at 10 AM?!!? with Brazil’s Quenia Ribeiro & Samba Samba, rocksteady/reggae band Finotee, Makane Kouyate & Denbaya, the Dakar All-Stars, Afrobeat band Super Hi-Fi, hip-hop with Skotch Davis, kora virtuoso Yacouba Diabate, Sekouba, the Band Droids, eclectic psychedelic funksters the People’s Champs, Soul of Anubis and Ethiopia’s Arki headlining.

7/10 Les Chauds Lapins play a Bastille Day show at E. 60th Street near Park Ave., 2 PM – sultry vocals, chiming ukuleles and lots of innuendo, in French.

7/10, 3 (three) PM the Hard Nips play the Fulton Stall Market at South St. Seaport. Imagine if Shonen Knife had been born 20 years later and were better musicians. Their album is titled I Shit U Not.

7/10, 7 PM hypnotic African sounds on the water: Abdoulaye Alhassane and the Deep Sahara Band at Pier One on the upper west.

7/10, 7 PM Crepuscular Activity with Yukari on flutes and up-and-coming drummer Carlo Costa at Downtown Music Gallery.

7/10, 8 PM the Microscopic Septet’s reliably eclectic, devious Joel Forrester plays the piano to accompany the silent films: Brats with Laurel & Hardy, The High Sigh by Buster Keaton, and Diary of a Rarebit Fiend by Windsor McCay at the Gershwin Hotel, $10

7/10, 9 PM drummer Jordan Young leads his excellent jazz quartet at the Fat Cat.

7/11, 7 PM 40Twenty with Vinnie Sperraza – drums; Jacob Sacks – piano; Jacob Garchik – trombone, and Dave Ambrosio – bass play melodic jazz with third-stream tinges followed at 9:30 PM by incomparably fun, danceable latin soul revivalists Spanglish Fly at Barbes

7/11, 7:30 PM Bjorkestra frontwoman Becca Stevens’ Band at the big room at the Rockwood.

7/11, 9 PM cleverly haunting, intense Americana/art-rock/punk songwriter Raquel Bell at Pete’s.

7/11, 9 PM oldtimey night at Local 269: the Cornell Bros. Washtub Band followed by the Shaggy Dolls at 10.

7/11, 9 PM trombonist David White leads his Jazz Orchestra at Tea Lounge in Park Slope

7/11 hypnotic pensive indie songwriter Bill Callahan f.k.a. Smog at the Music Hall of Williamsburg, 9 PM, $20 gen adm; 7/12 he’s at Bowery Ballroom, same time, same price.

7/12, 7 PM interesting solo guitarists: Tim Heap at Local 269 followed by Homeboy Steve Antonakos. Antonakos is also at Banjo Jim’s solo on 7/25 at 9.

7/12, 7:30 PM a characteristically eclectic cross-pollinating show with string quartet Brooklyn Rider plus shakuhachi virtuoso Kojiro Umezaki at the Schimmel Center at Pace Univ. 3 Spruce St. downtown, free tix avail. starting at 5 PM.

7/12-17 pianist Marcus Roberts leads a trio with Rodney Jordan and Jason Marsalis at Dizzy’s Club, 7:30/9:30 PM, $30 seats avail.

7/12, 8 PM oldschool NYC rock supergroup the Peaceniks – with Patti Rothberg and Utopia’s Moogy Klingman – at Banjo Jim’s

7/12-16, 8:30/11 PM Pablo Zeigler’s tango nuevo project with cantante Sandra Luna at Birdland, $30 seats avail.

7/12, 9:30 PM the Dave Gibson Group play the cd release show for their excellent new soul-jazz cd End of the Tunnel with Dave Gibson – trombone , Julius Tolentino – alto sax , Jared Gold – organ , Anwar Marshall – drums at Smalls

7/13 noirish soul/rock band Shenandoah & the Night at Bryant Park, free, 6 PM

7/13, 7 PM jazz bass powerhouse Christian McBride & Inside Straight at Madison Square Park, free.

7/13, 7 PM a Jonathan Schwartz tribute at Rockefeller Park featuring a huge cast of jazz luminaries incl. John Pizzarelli, Jessica Molaskey, Bill Charlap, Meredith D’ambrosio, Tony DeSare, Rebecca Kilgore, Hilary Kole, Jay Leonhart, Tony Monte, Bucky Pizzarelli, Tierney Sutton and others, no idea who’s playing when but the band should be killer.

7/13, 9 PM blistering improvisational Balkan madness with Raya Brass Band at Radegast Hall

7/13, 10ish tongue-in-cheek, period-perfect early 50s style country from Susquehanna Industrial Tool & Die Co. at Rodeo Bar.

7/13, 11 PM golden-age hip-hop stars Pharoahe Monch & Black Rob, OGC (from Fab 5), Helta Skeltah,, Smif & Wessun, Black Moon at B.B. King’s

7/14, 7 PM Patti Smith at Castle Clinton in Battery Park, free tix avail. 2 per person on the line outside the castle starting at 4 PM.

7/14, 8:30 PM haunting noir southwestern gothic chanteuse Kerry Kennedy and Ghostwise, at Public Assembly, free – a good choice if you can’t make it to Patti Smith.

7/14 drummer Tim Kuhl leads a group feat. Michael Formanek, bass; Ben Gerstein, trombone; Jonathan Goldberger, guitar; Frantz Loriot, viola; Jonathan Moritz, saxes playing the cd release show for his new one at 8:30 PM at Cornelia St. Cafe.

7/14, 10 PM melodic adventurous jazz improv with Kris Davis, Ingrid Laubrock and Tyshawn Sorey at the Stone, $10

7/14, 10 PM eclectically captivating Americana chanteuse Julia Haltigan at the small room at the Rockwood. Then she goes next door and plays a set with the Dirty Urchins in the big room at midnight.

7/14, 10 PM scorching, fun glampunk/noiserockers the K-Holes at Union Hall, $8.

/14, 10 PM dubwise Brazilian-influenced roots reggae band Kiwi at Maxwell’s, $8

7/14, 10 PM New Madrid play Spike Hill. Catchy, hook-driven rock en Espanol from this drummer-led band with a genuinely dark 80s feel.

7/14, 10:30 PM wild improvisational Balkan madness with Veveritse Brass Band at the Jalopy, $10.

7/14 the Snow’s clever lyrical frontman Pierre de Gaillande sings his own hilariously accurate translations of classic Georges Brassens songs at 10:30 PM at Barbes.

7/15, 6 PM haunting acoustic Nashville gothic band the Whispering Tree at the small room at the Rockwood.

7/15, 6:40 PM (six forty in the evening) sultry, ferociously lyrical, hilarious oldtimey siren Kelli Rae Powell at the American Folk Art Museum (new location, 2 Lincoln Center, across Amsterdam from the main Lincoln Center plaza)

7/15, 8 PM crazy funky brass band the Underground Horns at Barbes followed at 10 by Brian Carpenter’s Ghost Train Orchestra playing rare 1920s hot jazz classics from Harlem and Chicago from their pretty amazing new album.

7/15, 8 PM art-rock multi-instrumentalist/composer Christina Courtin at Bowery Electric

7/15, 8 PM Colorform followed by Cementhead – awful segue, good bands – at Local 269. The first play chamber pop while a band member paints; the second are an oldschool Williamsburg power trio with savage post-Johnny Marr guitar.

7/15, 8 PM notable free jazz trumpeter Nate Wooley leads a quintet with Josh Sinton (bass clarinet) Matt Moran (vibes) Dan Peck (tuba) Harris Eisenstadt (drums) at the Stone, $10.

7/15, 9 PM indie pop maven Kendall Meade brings her gorgeously tuneful most recent project Mascott out of mothballs at Rock Shop, $10 adv tix rec.

7/15, 9 PM a cool roots reggae doublebill with Khalilah and Melekel at Shrine.

7/15, 9ish Colombian band Frente Cumbiero play live dub cumbia at Sycamore Bar in Ditmas Park.

7/15, 9:30 PM best doublebill of the year? Maybe. Neko Case’s backing band the Sadies followed by the Syd Barrett-ish Black Angels at Maxwell’s, $20 adv tix absolutely required, at either the club or Other Music in Manhatan, this will sell out.

7/15 the Boss Guitars play surf classics and obscurities at 11 at Lakeside.

7/15 ferocious Pogues cover band Streams of Whiskey play Paddy Reilly’s at 11; they’re back here on 7/22 at 8:30 opening for the Prodigals (who are also back here on 7/29 at 11 – got it?)

7/15, half past midnight Kris Davis on piano and Barry Altschul on drums plus guests TBA at the Blue Note, $10, best lineup they’ve had here in months.

7/16, half past noon, classic pop maven Elisa Peimer and her band followed by Americana rockers Whisperado on Governor’s Island, free, follow the sound

7/16, 4 PM C&W/Brazilian dance band Nation Beat, sultry Nina Simone-influenced worldbeat siren Meklit Hadero and then Arturo O’Farrill’s latin jazz quartet at the Stuyvesant Town oval, free, take the 15th St. entrance.

7/16, 5 PM a typical brilliant eclectic triplebill at Barbes: sax player Matt Bauder’s Day in Pictures with Kris Davis on piano followed at 8 by the psychedelic south Asian trance jazz of Mr. Ho’s Orchestrotica Quartet and then at 10 by Colombian band Frente Cumbiero who play live dub cumbia

7/16, 7ish PM-ish the Black Angels play their hypnotic eerie psychedelic rock at South St. Seaport.

7/16, 7 PM charismatic, ferociously lyrical NYC noir rock legend LJ Murphy at Banjo Jim’s.

7/16, 7 PM tuneful alto saxophonist Marc McDonald leads his Quartet with the reliably excellent Jim Ridl on piano at Miles Cafe, $20 includes a drink and snacks

7/16, 7:30 PM percussionist/composer Alessandra Belloni leads an all-female quintet with Jessica Valiente on reeds and Eve Sicular on drums playing Belloni’s mystical sea goddess tribute at the NY Open Center, 22 East 30th St., $25.

7/16 as usual, the month’s best rock night is at Trash Bar starting at 8 with the Highway Gimps – the missing link between Motorhead and My Bloody Valentine – quirky upbeat indie duo Eleanor, Let Me Crazy, legendary Dead Milkmen frontman Joe Jack Talcum, the ferociously tuneful, charismatic anti-gentrification rockers the Brooklyn What, and Grand Rapids sometime around midnight.

7/16, 8 PM creepy Nashville gothic siren Lorraine Leckie followed by the quieter but equally captivating Kelley Swindall at Otto’s

7/16, 8 PM high-energy soul legend Andre Williams with Neko Case’s backing band the Sadies at Brooklyn Bowl, $8.

7/16, 8 PM Brother Num, frontman of the Nu Afrika Project plays roots reggae at Shrine.

7/16, 8:30 PM guitarist Travis Reuter – who just put out a tremendously enjoyable new free-ish, atmospheric jazz album – leads a quintet at I-Beam, $10

7/16, 9 PM intense, politically aware, eclectic gypsy punk/latin band Rupa & the April Fishes at the Bell House, $15 gen adm.

7/16, 9 PM, melodically ornate, goth-inflected pianist/songwriter Kristin Hoffmann at Caffe Vivaldi.

7/16, 9:30 PM the recently revamped and reinvigorated retro soul band the One and Nines at Maxwell’s, $8

7/16, 10 PM guitarist Dave Benjoya’s eclectic gypsy/latin/klezmer band Magpie at Freddy’s.

7/16, 10:30 PM Patti Smith guitarist (and powerpop maven) Lenny Kaye followed by garage rock legends the Fleshtones‘ cd release show at the Mercury $12 adv tix rec.

7/16 clever, funny, fiery Americana punk band Spanking Charlene – playing stuff from their auspicious forthcoming Where Are the Freaks album – at Lakeside, 11 PM.

7/16, 11 PM torchy, hypnotic, downtempo keyboard soul/pop trio Mattison in the back room at the Gutter bowling alley in Williamsburg, $5.

7/17, 7 PM free jazz sax legend George Garzone and the Fringe at MOMA’s Summergarden, free with $20 admission.

7/17 noir guitar maven Marc Ribot’s Ceramic Dog play the Rocks Off Concert Cruise aboard the Half Moon, boarding at 7, leaving at 8 from the 23rd St. heliport and the East River, $20 tix available at the Highline Ballroom box ofc. Ostensibly this is the “danceable” set.

7/17 Pink Martini at Central Park Summerstage, early arrival 7 PM highly advised.

7/17 a cool bluegrass doublebill at Rodeo Bar starting at 9ish with Rhode Island’s Filthy Still followed by Brooklyn’s exhilarating Thy Burden at 10:30 or so

7/17, 9:30 PM ferociously literate and side-splittingly funny ukelele siren Kelli Rae Powell at the Jalopy, $10.

7/18, 7 PM concertina virtuoso Padraig Rynne at Barbes followed at 9:30 by Spanglish Fly’s bugalu party.

7/18, 9 PM smart, intense, anthemic noir rocker Alice Texas at LIC Bar.

7/18, 9 PM the Yaozeki Big Band at Tea Lounge in Park Slope

7/18 the K-Holes play fiery dark eclectic punk/garage/swamp rock at Death by Audio, midnight-ish

7/19 the Williamsburg Salsa Orchestra in the parking lot out behind City Winery, 5:30 PM, free.

7/19-24, 7:30/9:30 PM lyrical jazz pianist Fred Hersch leads a trio at the Vanguard

7/19, 7:30ish 80s hip-hop legend (and LL Cool nemesis) Kool Moe Dee at Queensbridge Park, F to 21st St.

7/19, 8 PM two excellent jazz acts for the price of less than half of one: the Pedro Giraudo Jazz Orchestra followed by bassist Ben Williams & the Checkout at the 92YTribeca, $12 gen adm.

7/19, 9 PM dark lyrical rocker Randi Russo – whose new album Fragile Animal is our pick for best of 2011 so far – at Pete’s followed at 10 by the Dive Bar Dukes. Too funny. Not that the Dive Bar Dukes are a bad band – they’re actually a lot of fun – it’s just one extreme to the other.

7/19, 9 PM intense yet subtle pan-Asian jazz chanteuse/composer Jen Shyu at Korzo.

7/19, 10 PM Balkan/jazz trumpeter Ben Syversen’s Cracked Vessel play their assaultive, intense improvs at Local 269, $7

7/19, 10 PM talented avant garde guitarist Gyan Riley with adventurous guzheng virtuoso Wu Fei at the Stone, $10. Fei is also solo at MOMA’s Summergarden on 7/21 at 5:30, free w/$20 museum adm.

7/19 it appears that the Toots & the Maytals show at Brooklyn Bowl is sold out. He’ll also be there on 7/25 and $26 tix are still available.

7/20 haunting psychedelic Iranian/American rock with the Mast, 8 PM at Mehanata; 7/28 they’re at Bar 4 in Park Slope at 9

7/20 eclectic tuneful female-fronted new wave/art-rock band Changing Modes – responsible for our pick for best song of 2010 – 9 PM at Fontana’s

7/20 desert blues legends Tinariwen at Highline Ballroom, 9 PM, $27 adv tix rec.

7/20, 9 PM impressively diverse Hammond B3 organ jazz grooves with the Brian Charette Trio at the Fat Cat.

7/20, 10 PM Baron Misuraca’s Vampire Lounge (twisted versions of “lounge classics”) followed at 11 by the Apehangers playing Joe Meek-style surf music at Otto’s

7/20, 10 PM San Juan Hill play latin soul with funk, Caribbean and Brazilian influences at Bowery Poetry Club, it’s a dance party for sure

7/20 the charming but biting oldtimey swing sounds of Miss Tess & the Bon Ton Parade at Rodeo Bar, 10:30 PM.

7/21-22 the Jazz Passengers’ Bill Ware’s Vibes Trio at Puppets Jazz Bar, 6 PM; on 7/23 they take over the midnight slot.

7/21, 7 PM the Plumbers play “”Tex-Mex-Calypso-billy” at Sinatra Park, Sinatra Dr. btwn 4th & 5th Sts in Hoboken.

7/21, 7 PM purist expat Chicago blues guitarist Irving Louis Lattin at Terra Blues. He’s also here on 7/23 and 7/24, same time.

7/21, 8 PM a killer modern roots reggae triplebill with Ilamawana, Kevin Kinsella (ex-John Brown’s Body) and Groundation at Hiro Ballroom, adv tix $30 at the Highline Ballroom box ofc.

7/21 ecstatic Eastern European dance mashup band Balkan Beat Box, 8 PM at Brooklyn Bowl, $12.

7/21, 8 PM piano virtuoso Nurit Tilles followed at10 by the pipa/sax/komungo wildness of Min Xiao-Fen, Jane Ira Bloom and Jin Hi Kim at the Stone, $10

7/21, 8 PM 21st century style garage rock night with Plastic Traps, the Boom Bang and the Vandelles at Union Hall, $8.

7/21, 8 PM thoughtful guitar jazz with Tin/Bag (Kris Tiner, trumpet & Mike Baggetta, guitar) with the James Ilgenfritz Group at Brooklyn Conservatory of Music, 58 7th Ave, Park Slope), $15 ($10 stud/srs).

7/21, 8 PM free jazz pianist Rema Hasumi plays the Gershwin Hotel, $10.

7/21, 8:30 PM dizzyingly eclectic Deoro feat. world music siren Dina Fanai at the big room at the Rockwood

7/21, 9 PM period-perfect, hilariously literate oldtimey songwriter Al Duvall and sultry 1920s style harmony sirens the Roulette Sisters plus some sideshow freaks (evicted from Coney Island by swindler developers?) at the Jalopy, $10

7/21 Lucinda Williams at the Beacon, 9 PM, $39.50 tix avail. at the box office – most likely sold out by now.

7/21, 10 PM a kick-ass surf music doublebill with the The Tarantinos NYC – who just keep getting better and better and more diverse – followed by the Octomen at Sugarland, 221 N 9th St. in Williamsburg, $5

7/22, 7 PM it’s been a good year for good bands winning contests. WNYC put on a “battle of the bands” contest and Queens Indian jazz band Charanams won! They’re playing the Greene Space to celebrate, $15 cover includes a beer

7/22, 7:30/9:30 PM Cuba’s excellent, original Joven Jazz Quartet – who blend oldschool Afro-Cuban beats and modern arrangements – at Drom, $TBA, adv tix highly rec.

7/22, 8 PM charming, harmony-driven oldtimey Hawaiian swing band the Moonlighters at Barbes.

7/22, 8 PM Los Chantas Tango Quartet play a free show at the Queens Theatre in the Park incl. dance lessons for the milonga-challenged, res. req. to 718-760-0064.

7/22 Brooklyn’s #1 regressive rock act, Spinal Tap style metal spoof Mighty Highat the Fortune Cookie Lounge under Lucky Cheng’s, 9 PM

7/22, 9/10:30 PM bassist Carlo DeRosa’s Cross-Fade with Mark Shim, tenor sax; Vijay Iyer, piano; Marcus Gilmore, drums at Cornelia St. Cafe, $15.

7/22, 9:45 PM Australian darkwave sensation Wendy Rule at Caffe Vivaldi

7/22 NYC’s pre-eminent alt-country crew Demolition String Band at Rodeo Bar, 10:30 PM.

7/23, 4 PM fast fearless politically-aware hardcore with Desikilibrio, Adelitas and Huasipungo at ABC No Rio.

7/23, the A-Bones and the Greenhornes play a garage rock Rocks Off Concert Cruise aboard the Queen of Hearts, boarding at 7, departing at 8 from Pier 40, Houston St. and the westside highway, adv tix $30 available at the Highline Ballroom box ofc.

7/23, 8 PM sitar virtuoso Ikhlaq Hussain at the Gershwin Hotel, $25/$20 stud.

7/23, 9/10:30 PM intense, smartly lyrical pianist Michael Cain leads a trio with Lonnie Plaxico – bass, Rudy Royston – drums at the Jazz Gallery, $20.

7/23, 10 PM authentic oldschool rocksteady band the Bluebeats at Two Boots Brooklyn

7/23, midnight, hilarious theatrical hip-hop personality Schaffer the Darklord at Arlene’s.

7/24, 6 (six) PM AwShockKiss play fiery tuneful female-fronted anthemic rock with an 80s vibe that’s not cheesy at LIC Bar

7/24, 7 PM eclecic violist Ljova joins Octavio Brunetti’s Apeadero Sur Tango Orchestra for a night of tangos on Pier 84, free.

7/24, 8 PM a killer doublebill at le Poisson Rouge with reliably menacing retro rocker Reid Paley followed by Frank Black, and probably some collaboration between the two. This will sell out – $20 adv tix a must.

7/24 Susan Mitchell – violinist to the stars, and a star in her own right – with ubiquitous guitar genius Homeboy Steve Antonakos at Caravan of Dreams, E. 6th St. off 1st Ave., 8 PM.

7/24, 8 PM LES powerpop vets Beat Rodeo at the small room at the Rockwood

7/24, 8:30 PM fiery, lyrical jazz pianist Bobby Avey leads a quartet with Dave Liebman, alto saxophone; Thomson Kneeland, bass; Jordan Perlson, drums at Cornelia St. Cafe, $10.

7/24, 8:30 PM hypnotic cello/vibraphone duo Goli at 9:30. followed at 9:30 by Petaluma Vale’s classical harp stylings at Caffe Vivaldi.

7/25 one of the most captivating, underrated composers in jazz, alto flugelhornist Scott Reeves leads a jazz orchestra at Tea Lounge in Park Slope, 9 PM – free and highly recommended.

7/25, 9 PM David Honeyboy Edwards – the last guy to see Robert Johnson alive – at B.B. King’s, $20 adv tix rec.

7/25, 10 PM guitarist Joel Harrison and sarodist Anupam Shobhakar lead an adventurous south Asian jazz quintet at 55 Bar.

7/25, 10:30 PM Cuban jazz legends Sierra Maestra at SOB’s, $20 adv tix highly rec.

7/25 Daria Grace and the Pre-War Ponies play charming oldtimey and country songs at Rodeo Bar, 10:30 PM

7/26 Brazilian nocturnes and grooves with Forro in the Dark in the parking lot out behind City Winery, 5:30 PM, free.

7/26, 7 PM NYC’s only black old time string band, the Ebony Hillbillies at Gantry Plaza State Park in Long Island City.

7/26 Grupo Los Santos with saxophonist Paul Carlon and Hazmat Modine’s Pete Smith on guitar at Miles Cafe, 7 PM, $20 includes a drink and snacks

7/26-31 understatedly soulful chanteuse Claudia Acuna leads her amazing quintet with Marc Cary on piano and Juancho Herrera on guitar at Dizzy’s Club, 7:30/9:30 PM, $30 seats avail.

7/26, 7:30 PM the Matt Herskowitz Trio plays Bach, Schumann and Chopin at the Naumburg Bandshell in Central Park, early arrival advised if you want a seat.

7/26, 8:30 PM clever lyrical songwriters Joe McGinty and Ward White at Bowery Electric.

7/26, 9 PM the Five Deadly Venoms play bluegrass at Caffe Vivaldi.

7/26 guitarslinger/janglemeister Sam Sherwin plays the cd release show for his new one Iodine Cocktails at Sullivan Hall, 9:30 PM

7/27, 6 PM clever, comedic Erin & Her Cello at Bryant Park, 6 PM, free

7/27, 7:30 PM dark hypnotic songwriter Marissa Nadler at the Mercury; 7/30, 9 PM she’s at at Littlefield, both shows are $12

7/27 rockabilly legend Wanda Jackson at Central Park Summerstage, early arrival 7 PM highly advised.

7/27, 7:30 PM the Black Earth Boys feat. kora virtuoso Juldeh Camara followed by Billy Bragg at Damrosch Park out back of Lincoln Center.

7/27, 8 PM powerhouse classical guitarists Thomas Flippin and Rupert Boyd team up as a duo, and share the bill with the cutting-edge flute/efx duo Flutronix at the Gershwin Hotel, $10

7/27, 8 PM smartly aware, tuneful Americana rocker Amy Speace at the small room at the Rockwood.

7/27, 8:30 PM Ollabelle spinoff the Silver Hollers play oldtime Americana at Cornelia St. Cafe, $10.

7/27, 9 PM deliciously creepy noir psychedelic soundtrack instrumentals with Mojo Mancini (feat. John Leventhal from Rosanne Cash’s band plus Brian Mitchell from Dylan’s touring band) at the big room at the Rockwood, $10

7/27, 9 PM eclectic powerhouse Malian chanteuse Oumou Sangare at City Winery, $35 tix avail.

7/27,9 PM Niger’s desert blues legends Etran Finatawa at the 92YTribeca, $22 adv tix highly rec.

7/27, 9 PM trumpeter Ben Syversen’s noisy, intense free jazz outfit Cracked Vessel at Freddy’s.

7/27, 9:30 PM arguably the most ecstatically fun live band in NYC, “turbo tropical cumbia tangomuffins (?)” Escarioka at Bowery Electric.

7/28, the Roulette Sisters’ sultry oldtime music maven Mamie Minch at MOMA’s Summergarden, 5:30 PM, free w/$20 museum adm.

7/28, 8 PM trombonist Joseph Bowie’s legendary Defunkt – who tore up clubs all over town in the 80s, and are reputedly as groovalicious as ever – at Drom, $10 adv tix highly rec.

7/28, 8 PM Pauline Oliveros (accordion) Rosi Herlein (violin, voice) at the Stone, $10, get there early if you want to get in.

7/28 Budos Band play a concert cruise aboard the Queen of Hearts, leaving from 40. West Houston St. at West Side Highway at 8 PM sharp, adv tix $30 avail. at the Highline Ballroom box ofc.

7/28, 8 PM vocal jazz quintet Detour Ahead butcher schlocky pop hits by Lady Gag, Duran Duran, Kiss and others at the Gershwin Hotel, $10 – could be hilarious, could be hell.

7/28 first-class up-and-coming country siren Drina and the Deep Blue Sea, 9 PM at Banjo Jim’s

7/28, 9 PM smart, funny, female-fronted, indelibly NYC urban pop band Delusions of Grand Street at Fontana’s.

7/28, 9:30 PM powerhouse melodic postbop jazz with Ralph Bowen – tenor sax , Jim Ridl – piano , Kenny Davis – bass , Billy Drummond – drums at Smalls.

7/28, 10:30 PM big buzz band New Atlantic Youth – a powerpop spinoff of the Brooklyn What – at Rock Shop, $8

7/29, 7:30 PM brilliant, soulful Lebanese multi-instrumentalist/composer Bassam Saba and his ensemble followed by eclectic, fearless Malian siren Oumou Sangare at Prospect Park Bandshell.

7/29, 7:30 PM hilarious, virtuosic oldtimey/grasscore band The Devil Makes Three at the Mercury, $12 adv tix very highly rec.

7/29, 8 PM excellent eclectic danceable doublebill: Brazilian/C&W band Nation Beat followed by the Mexican-American Go-Go’s, Pistolera, playing the cd release for their new one El Desierto y La Ciudad at Drom, $10 adv tix highly rec.

7/29, 8 PM the monthly ska extravaganza returns to Trash Bar with the Fighting 405, Big Shots, Scrapers, 45 Adapters, Unit 6 and Hub City Stompers sometime around midnight.

7/29, 8 PM in case you can’t make it out to Barbes for deliriously fun, danceable latin soul bugalu revivalists Spanglish Fly‘s Monday residency this month, they’re playing SOB’s for just $10

7/29, 8 PM avant garde piano star Sarah Cahill plays the world premiere of Paul Dresher’s new piece “Two, Entwined” at the Stone.

7/29 an amazing lineup led by guitarist Mary Halvorson: Jonathan Finlayson, trumpet; Jon Irabagon, alto saxophone; John Hebert , bass; Ches Smith, drums, 9/10:30 PM at Cornelia St. Cafe, $15.

7/29, 9/10:30 PM percussionist Adam Rudolph leads a globally astute octet with Joseph Bowie – trombone; Graham Haynes – cornet/flugelhorn; Brahim Fribgane – oud; Kenny Wessel – guitars; Peter Apfelbaum – flute/tenor saxophone; Jerome Harris – acoustic bass guitar/slide guitar; Matt Kilmer – percussion at the Jazz Gallery, $20

7/29-30 the Eels at the Music Hall of Williamsburg, 9 PM, $30 gen adm., adv tix avail. at the Mercury weekdays til 7, this may sell out.

7/29, 9ish the Night Beats play ominous lo-fi psychedelic garage rock at Maxwell’s

7/29, 9 PM Iranian indie rock with Raam (frontman of Hypernova) and Radio Tehran at the 92YTribeca, $10 adv tix rec.

7/29, 9 PM Big Star-influenced janglerockers the Nu-Sonics at Freddy’s.

7/29 Canadian bluegrass stars Luther Wright and the Wrongs – the folks responsible for the bluegrass version of Pink Floyd’s The Wall – at Rodeo Bar 10ish

7/30, 4 PM psychedelic, rustic, horn-driven blues/klezmer/minor-key band Hazmat Modine followed by Steven Bernstein’s Millennian Territory Orchestra (no idea if they’re doing their Sly Stone set or not) at the World Financial Center plaza.

7/30, 6 PM a cool country doublebill: Rhett Miller followed by the always hilarious Hayes Carll at the Stuyvesant Town oval, free, take the 15th St. entrance

7/30, 6 PM Indian brass band Red Baraat, go-go godfather Chuck Brown and Dr. John & the Lower 9/11 at Prospect Park Bandshell.

7/30, 7:30 PM comedic and virtuosic Erin & Her Cello at the big room at the Rockwood.

7/30, 7:30/9:30 PM a cool B3 trio with Jacam Manricks – alto sax; Gary Versace – organ; Matt Wilson – drums at the Bar Next Door

7/30, 9 PM ecstatically fun, intense gypsy punk/metal cumbia/rock en Espanol band Escarioka – one of our favorites – at Mehanata.

7/30, 9/10:30 PM Ralph Alessi – trumpet, Kris Davis – piano, Ingrid Laubrock – saxophone, Tom Rainey – drums at the Jazz Gallery, $20.

7/30, 9:30 PM baritone western swing crooner Sean Kershaw & the New Jack Ramblers at Hill Country

7/30, 10 PM Kiwi plays roots reggae with dub and Brazilian tinges at Shrine.

7/30 the Pretty Babies (Tammy Faye Starlite’s twisted, funny Blondie cover band) at Lakeside, 11 PM

7/31 French gypsy rockers Watcha Clan followed by Israeli Middle Eastern/Indian jam band Yemen Blues at Central Park Summerstage, early arrival 3 PM highly advised.

7/31, 4 PM the Raveonettes at the Beekman Beer Garden (formerly Water Taxi Beach) at Pier 17 at South St. Seaport.

7/31, 4:45 PM a dual organ recital by Steven Distad and Robert Frazier playing Eben, Paulus, Widor and Liszt at St. Patrick’s Cathedral.

7/31 the NJMH Afro-Cuban All Stars play sizzling salsa jazz at 6:30 PM at Grant’s Tomb, 122nd St. and Riverside Drive, free. When’s the last time you saw a concert at Grant’s Tomb?

7/31, 7 PM stars of the NYC Balkan underground: Patrick Farrell (accordion) and Ben Holmes (trumpet) at Barbes followed at 9 by gypsy guitar genius Stephane Wrembel.

7/31, 9ish oldtime hot jazz with the Dysfunctional Family Jazz Band at Rodeo Bar.

7/31, 1 AM (actually wee hours of 8/2) El Pueblo plays eclectic dub reggae en Espanol at the small room at the Rockwood

8/1, 8:30 PM alto sax powerhouse Jon Irabagon and brilliant free jazz drummer Barry Altschul, probably revisiting Irabagon’s recent Pharaoh Sanders homage at Cornelia St. Cafe $10 followed at 10 by his much funnier, satirical band Mostly Other People Do the Killing (separate admission, $10).

8/1 midnight-ish the Kottonmouth Kings – yeah, they’re sort of the reggae version of Cypress Hill, but they’re still fun – at Highline Ballroom, $22 adv tix highly rec.

8/2 the CCB Reggae Allstars in the parking lot out behind City Winery, 5:30 PM, free.

8/2 gamelan orchestra Yowana Sari play 7 PM at Gantry Plaza State Park in Long Island City.

8/2, 7:30/9:30 PM veteran bassist Rufus Reid leads a killer quartet including Bobby Watson and JD Allen playing the cd release show for his new one at Dizzy’s Club, $30 seats avail., this will sell out

8/2, 8 PM the Mingus Orchestra plays Washington Square Park, free.

8/2, 10 PM smart guitar-driven Sephardic-tinged rock with Sway Machinery at the 92YTribeca, $10 adv tix rec

8/3 Ethiopian groove unit Budos Band at Tappen Park in Staten Island, Staten Island train to Stapleton.

8/3, 8 PM intense, ferocious Americana/paisley underground rockers the Newton Gang at Union Hall, $10

8/3, 10 PM Cambodian psychedelic pop revivalists Dengue Fever  at Southpaw $15 gen adm.; 8/4 they’re at Damrosch Park out back of Lincoln Center for free

8/4, 6:30 PM Balkan powerhouse Raya Brass Band on the Broadway plaza at Lincoln Center, free.

8/4 Chilean cumbia sensation Chico Trujillo at MOMA’s Summergarden, 5:30 PM, free w/$20 museum adm.; they’re at le Poisson Rouge at 11ish the same night for $8 less if you get advance tix.

8/4, 8 PM charming yet badass Americana harmony sirens the Sweetback Sisters at the big room at the Rockwood

8/4, a twangy guitar summit with the eclectic Bill Kirchen and surf rockers Los Straitjackets at Maxwell’s, 9ish, $15.

8/5, 7 PM Tom Waits-ish Nashville gothic singer Mark Growden at the small room at the Rockwood

8/5, 7:30 PM one of the western world’s premier Middle Eastern ensembles, Bassam Saba and the NY Arabic Orchestra at Damrosch Park out back of Lincoln Center, free.

8/5, 8 PM a roots reggae triplebill with the Rootsetters, Tronika and the Hard Times at Shrine.

8/5, 9:30 PM noir Americana pop band Little Embers followed by exhilarating Radiohead-influenced art-rockers My Pet Dragon playing their cd release show at the Mercury, $10 gen adm.

8/5 kick ass Americana rockers Tom Clark & the High Action Boys at Lakeside, 11 PM.

8/6 jazz trumpeter Leron Thomas – a fearless, charismatic, frequently hilarious performer – plays the cd release show for his characteristically eclectic new cd Dirty Draws Volume Three at the 92YTribeca, 9 PM, $10 adv tix highly rec.

8/6, 9 PM satirical Chinese-American hip-hop crew the Notorious MSG play the cd release show for their new one at the Mercury, $10 gen adm.

8/7, 7 PM haunting hypnotic Sephardic soundscapes and rock songs with Galeet Dardashti and Divahn at Pier One on the upper west

8/7, 9:30 PM hip-hop/Afrobeat innovator/bandleader Blitz the Ambassador at Damrosch Park out back of Lincoln Center, free.

8/7, 10ish excellent Boston honkytonk rockers Girls Guns & Glory play songs off their highly anticipated forthcoming album Sweet Nothings at Rodeo Bar

8/8, 8:30 PM bassist Chris Tordini’s Tiger Blood with Jeremy Viner , tenor sax, clarinet; Sasha Brown, guitar; Kris Davis, piano; Jim Black, drums at Cornelia St. Cafe, $10

8/9 noir retro rock bandleader Nicole Atkins in the parking lot out behind City Winery, 5:30 PM, free.

8/9, 7 PM vibraphone/harp/percussion new music ensemble Percussia at Gantry Plaza State Park in Long Island City.

8/9-13, 7:30/9:30 PM guitarist Ed Cherry leads an intriguing trio with killer B3 organist Pat Bianchi at Dizzy’s Club, $30 seats avail.

8/9, 7:30 PM members of the Jupiter Symphony play Schubert, Mozart and Dvorak at the Naumburg Bandshell in Central Park, early arrival advised if you want a seat.

8/9, 8 PM classic roots reggae with the Abyssinians and Black Uhuru’s Mykal Rose at Highline Ballroom, $18 adv tix rec.

8/9, 8 PM purist new jazz with saxophonist Marcus Strickland with drummer Eric Harland at the 92YTribeca, $12 adv tix rec.

8/10, 7 PM oldschool latin soul stars Johnny Colon and Joe Bataan at Central Park Summerstage

8/10, 7:30 PM violinist/composer Todd Reynolds, beatboxer Adam Matta and vaudevillian Luminescent Orchestrii bandleader Sxip Shirey with Caleb Burhans, Conrad Harris, Pauline Kim Harris, Yuki Numata, Courtney Orlando, and Ben Russell followed by Laurie Anderson at Damrosch Park out back of Lincoln Center, free.

8/11, 7 PM two generations, two continents of Ethiopian grooves with Fendika and Debo Band at Damrosch Park out back of Lincoln Center, free.

8/10, 11 PM eclectic, completely original psychedelic funk/Afrobeat band the Peoples Champs at the big room at the Rockwood.

8/11, 5:30 PM highly regarded Americana songwriter James Maddock on the plaza at the World Financial Center.

8/11, 8 PM oldschool soul duo Dwight & Nicole at the big room at the Rockwood. He plays purist Steve Cropper-style guitar; she works the ethereal sultry tip for an classic wee-hours vibe.

8/11, midnight, North Carolina’s Kickin Grass play sizzling modern bluegrass at the small room at the Rockwood

8/12, 8:30ish the Detroit Cobras at the Bell House, $15 gen adm.

8/12, 9 PM Tris McCall at Littlefield. By day, he chronicles boring corporate pop music for a suburban New Jersey newspaper; at night, he sheds his skin, plugs in his keyboard and becomes one of the most acerbic, tuneful songwriters out there.

8/12, 9 PM Korean vocalese chanteuse Seung-Hee with Adam Kolker, tenor sax, bass clarinet; Ike Sturm, bass; George Schuller, drums; Seung-Hee, voice, compositions; Toru Dodo, piano at Cornelia St. Cafe, $15.

8/12, 10 PM clever, funny hip-hop/Americana band Under the Elephant at the small downstairs studio space at Webster Hall

8/13, 1 and 3 PM pioneering new-music string quartet Ethel play a free show on Governors Island, free ferries leave from the old Staten Island ferry terminal every hour on the half hour

8/13 clawhammer banjo player/songwriter Abigail Washburn at 4 PM at the plaza on the northwest side of Lincoln Center, free.

8/13, 7 PM Brooklyn’s best band, tuneful anti-gentrification punk rockers the Brooklyn What – sort of the teens equivalent of what the Dead Boys were in the 70s – at Europa, dirt cheap, $8

8/13, 7 PM 1950s rockabilly legend Sonny Burgess followed by Marty Stuart at Damrosch Park out back of Lincoln Center, free.

8/13, 9 PM a monster triplebill at Freddy’s: Americana chanteuse Rebecca Turner, Brooklyn’s own man in black, John Pinamonti and charismatic noir rocker Tom Warnick & World’s Fair at Freddy’s.

8/13, 9 PM soundtrack mini-orchestra Morricone Youth at the big room at the Rockwood.

8/14, 4:45 PM Michael Bower plays an organ recital at St. Patrick’s Cathedral

8/14, 7 PM the Bar-Kays plus Steve Cropper with Bettye LaVette, Ellis Hooks and Dylan Leblanc at Damrosch Park out back of Lincoln Center, free.

8/14, 7 PM Cuban son montuno powerhouse Los Soneros de Oriente at Pier One on the upper west

8/15 Queen Latifah at Wingate Field in Crown Heights, early arrival 6:30 PM highly advised.

8/15 and 8/17 Sameer Gupta’s Namaskar trio play hypnotic Indian jazz at Cornelia St. Cafe, $10

8/16, 7ish Bachata Heightz at Highbridge Park in Harlem, 171st and Amsterdam, A/C to 168th St.

8/17, 7 PM legendary 70s psychedelic art-rock band Nektar – who were sort of a cross between Pink Floyd and the Grateful Dead – with original members Roye Albrighton and Ron Howden at B.B. King’s, $25.

8/18, 8 PM one of the year’s best triplebills with Bakersfield-style country twanglers Alana Amram & the Rough Gems, the Texas honkytonk and zydeco of the Doc Marshalls and haunting intense original acoustic Nashville gothic/bluegrass of Frankenpine at Union Hall, $7.

8/18, 8 PM deviously fun, virtuoso art-rock piano chanteuse Greta Gertler solo at Waltz-Astoria, 24th and Ditmars Blvd., Astoria, N to Ditmars Blvd. and a six block walk

8/19, 7 PM torchy oldtime Americana quartet the Dirty Urchins at the small room at the Rockwood

8/19, 9 PM wild crazy female-fronted gypsy band Fishtank Ensemble at Union Hall, $10.

8/19 torchy intense theatrical oldtimey chanteuse April Smith & the Great Picture Show at Bowery Ballroom, 9 PM, $15 gen adm.

8/19, midnight, African roots reggae legend Tiken Jah Fakoly at SOB’s $25 adv tix highly rec., this will probably sell out. He’s also headlining Central Park Summerstage on 8/20 around 5:30, early arrival around 3 PM a must.

8/20 African reggae with Meta & the Cornerstones and Ivoirien star/freedom fighter Tiken Jah Fakoly at Central Park Summerstage, 3 PM early arrival a must.

8/20 ageless ska/rock/soul party machine the Slackers play a Rocks Off Concert Cruise aboard the Star of Palm Beach, boarding at 7, leaving at 8 from Pier 40, Houston St. and the westside highway, $30 adv tix avail. at the Highline Ballroom box ofc.

8/20, 8 PM a killer oldtimey/Americana acoustic night at the Bell House with the Resurrectionists, Woodpecker and satirical faux-country girls Menage a Twang.

8/21 oldschool hip-hop stars EPMD at Central Park Summerstage, 3 PM early arrival highly advised.

8/22 really oldschool soca with Mighty Sparrow and oldschool 80s dancehall reggae with Shaggy at Wingate Field in Crown Heights, early arrival 6:30 PM highly advised

8/22, 7:30 PM the Knights play Schubert and Liszt at the Naumburg Bandshell in Central Park, early arrival advised if you want a seat.

8/22 creepy indie band Deerhunter at Webster Hall, 10ish. If you’re going to miss the Eels, these guys are very similar.

8/23, 7ish Tito Rojas at East River Park, Grand St. and the river, F to East Broadway or J/M to Delancey.

8/23-28 the JD Allen Trio at the Vanguard, 7:30/9:30 PM. This is a good year for good artists and composers winning awards: tenor sax powerhouse Allen has been long, long overdue for his Downbeat #1 Rising Star award this year. His trio with Gregg August on bass and Rudy Royston on drums hit a lot of transcendent notes back in May at le Poisson Rouge.

8/24, 7ish the Cold Crush Brothers at East River Park, Grand St. and the river, F to East Broadway or J/M to Delancey.

8/25, 5:30 PM NYC’s own hypnotic Balinese gamelan orchestra, Gamelan Dharma Swara at MOMA’s Summergarden, 5:30 PM, free w/$20 museum adm.

8/26 smart, lyrical Irish-American rock legends Black 47 play a Rocks Off Concert Cruise aboard the Half Moon, boarding at 7, leaving at 8 from the heliport at 23rd St.and the FDR, $25 adv tix avail. at the Highline Ballroom box ofc.

8/26, 7 PM cellist Marika Hughes at the small room at the Rockwood.

8/26, 8 PM deviously fun, virtuoso art-rock piano chanteuse Greta Gertler followed at 1 by lush “historical orchestrette” Pinataland playing the cd release show for their long-anticipated new one Hymns for the Dreadful Night at Barbes

8/26, 9 PM garage punk guitar genius Deniz Tek of Radio Birdman in a rare trio show with Art and Steve Godoy, at the Bell House, $10 adv tix rec., this will sell out.

8/27, 1 PM day one of the Charlie Parker Jazz Festival has Tia Fuller and James Carter at Marcus Garvey Park in Spanish Harlem

8/28, 1 PM day two of the Charlie Parker Jazz Festival with the Gerald Clayton trio, Ali Jackson and the Archie Sheppp Quartet at Tompkins Square Park.

8/28, 3 PM accordion-driven klezmer quintet Danzanova at Bargemusic $25/$20 stud/srs.

8/30, 11 PM sultry chanteuse Marilyn Carino Paula’s big sister – does her Little Genius project at the small room at the Rockwood

8/31 cutting edge melodic jazz with the John Farnsworth Quintet at Bryant Park, 6 PM, free.

8/30-31 fascinating tuneful piano-based free jazz with Pilc/Moutin/Hoenig at the Blue Note, 8/10:30 PM, $10 seats avail.

9/4, 1 and 3 PM pianists Blair McMillen and Pam Goldberg play Bach, John Adams and others with a string ensemble on Governors Island, free ferries leave from the old Staten Island ferry terminal every hour on the half hour.

9/4 Manu Chao at Terminal 5 is sold out but the 9/5, 8 PM show still has $35 tix avail.

9/8-9 plus 9/15-16, 9 PM Ian Hunter at City Winery, $35 tix avail.

9/9 Chinese-American hip-hop sensations the Notorious MSG at Southpaw, 10 PM, $10.

9/11, 7 PM at Symphony Space, free, a 9/11 memorial concert, “will feature appearances by some of New York’s most illustrious artists, actors, athletes and politicians!” How about Melora Creager of Rasputina, one of the few artists unafraid to acknowledge that 9/11 was an inside job engineered by Dick Cheney? How about Mike Piazza and John Kerry? And if there are any politicians in the house who benefited from the police state tactics that the Bush regime put into effect that fall, we encourage you to vent your frustration as sadistically as possible.

9/13, 8 PM Steve Earle at the Town Hall, $35 tix avail. at the Irving Plaza box ofc.

9/15, 8 PM the recently regrouped Klezmatics at Highline Ballroom.

9/16-17 majestic yet funk jazz piano titan Marc Cary’s Focus Trio at Smoke uptown

9/20 interestingly weird avant/indie/pop band Deerhoof at the Music Hall of Williamsburg, 11 PM, $17 gen adm.

9/21-22 Beirut at Terminal 5, 8 PM, $27 adv tix onsale 7/8.

9/23 Sameer Gupta’s amazing, hypnotic Indian-flavored jazz group with Marc Cary on piano at Baruch College Auditorium, 23rd St. and Lex., time/price TBA

9/27, 8 PM Malian guitar legend Boubacar Traore at the Bell House, $17 adv tix very highly rec.

9/27, 8 PM dark Middle Eastern-tinged instrumentalist Sir Richard Bishop opens for the Swans at the Music Hall of Williamsburg, $30 adv tix avail. at the Mercury weekdays til 7 PM, this may sell out.

9/28, 8:30ish a killer eclectic triplebill with desert blues-influenced Chicago band Pillars and Tongues, Bay area gypsy/balkan supernova A Hawk & a Hacksaw and gypsy punk band Dark Dark Dark at the Bell House, $13 adv tix very highly rec.

10/1, 10ish long-runnning original punk-pop band the Vibrators at Union Hall – the venues keep getting smaller, they keep playing the nostalgia angle – $13 adv tix rec.

10/22, 8 PM popular Americana chanteuse Gillian Welch at the Beacon Theatre, $35 tix avail.

11/17 well-loved harmony-driven Americana trio Red Molly – whose new lineup is just as captivating as the previous one – at the big room at the Rockwood, 7:30 PM

12/21 it’s Make Music Winter. Inspired by Phil Kline’s famous Gulf War-era interactive antiwar composition Unsilent Night, the Make Music NY organizers are working to schedule another citywide day/night of interesting, free live music. Pure genius. Watch this space for updates.

WEEKLY EVENTS

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.

Sundays at 7:30 at Theatre 80 St. Marks the world’s most socially aware “reverend” and activist, Rev. Billy and his wild, ecstatic 30-piece gospel Church of Earthalujah Choir, $10 cover but “no one turned away.”

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 in August the Quavers – who mix trippy downtempo art-rock with indie pop – play Barbes early at 7 PM

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.

Mondays in July Spanglish Fly, with their sultry retro 60s latin soul vibe, play Barbes at 9:30 PM while Chicha Libre is off doing other things

Also Mondays in July 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.

Tuesdays at 7 PM in July it’s a classical piano series playfully titled Upright Piano Brigade, an A-list of classical talent playing the brand-new Sauter piano at Barbes.

Tuesdays in July clever, fiery, eclectic Balkan/hip-hop/funk brass maniacs Slavic Soul Party play Barbes at 9. Get here as soon as you can as they’re very popular.

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

Wednesdays in July Andy Shernoff of the Dictators and the Masterplan plays Lakeside early at 7 PM. Working up new material, no doubt. Worth checking out if edgy oldschool NYC rock is your thing

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.

Wednesdays in July at 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.

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

Thursdays and Fridays in July 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 July at 9 Naomi Shelton and the Gospel Queens play oldschool 1960s style gospel at the Fat Cat.

Saturdays at 1 PM continuing through August (except for August 13), at 1 PM there are free concerts at Bargemusic – early arrival advised. Usually these are piano recitals, with the occasional string ensemble.

Saturdays eclectic compelling Brazilian jazz chanteuse Marianni and her excellent band at Zinc Bar, three sets starting at 10 PM.

July 2, 2011 Posted by | avant garde music, blues music, classical music, concert, country music, experimental music, folk music, funk music, gospel music, gypsy music, jazz, Live Events, middle eastern music, Music, music, concert, New York City, NYC Live Music Calendar, rap music, reggae music, rock music, world music | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The 1000 Best Albums of All Time 500-599

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

Albums #800-899 continue here.

Albums #700-799 continue here.

Albums #600-699 continue here.

599. Angie Pepper & the Passengers – It’s Just That I Miss You

The greatest voice ever to come out of Australia, Angie Pepper was the frontwoman in the late 70s janglerock band the Passengers, an edgy, wickedly tuneful band who would have been famous beyond their home turf had the master tapes for their one album not gone AWOL. For years, the only Passengers album was a 1986 release of tinny but still gorgeous rehearsal recordings; this 2000 reissue collects the original late 70s masters along with Pepper’s first 1978 Aussie hit, Frozen World (written by her husband, Radio Birdman mastermind Deniz Tek) plus additional material originally released on Tek’s 1988 Orphan Tracks collection. Pepper can say more in a wary bent note than most can in a whole album, best exemplified in the righteous rage of Last Chance, when she finally, finally cuts loose at the end. There’s also the sultry, Doorsy Miss You Too Much; the garage rock stomp No Way Out; the early new wave Love Execution, and the haunting pop anthems Face with No Name and My Sad Day among the thirteen tracks here. Pepper (and her talented daughter Hana) continue to record and occasionally play live along with Tek. Here’s a random torrent via Striped Sunlight.

598. The Jayhawks – Sound of Lies

Wounded angst has never sounded this romantic – or tuneful. From 1997, it’s the Minneapolis band’s most rock-oriented record, their only real classic. It’s frontman Gary Louris’ record all the way through, rich with jangly guitars, judicious piano and crystalline, three-part harmonies, more Beatles or Big Star than Nashville. The Man Who Loved Life is a majestically bittersweet homage to living intensely. They match that towering, angst-ridden ambience with Sixteen Down, Think About It, Haywire and the gorgeously sad foreshadowing of Trouble. Big Star manages to blend unbridled hope and cynicism, with a big, tongue-in-cheek guitar break. The most stunning track here is Dying on the Vine, a crushingly intense theme for anyone who’s ever been rejected, Marc Pearlman’s insistent, staccato bassline anticipating Louris’ pessimistic lyric: “I’m dying in the shadows.” The quieter tracks include the irresistibly bouncy It’s Up to You, the vicious Poor Little Fish (a dis for a spoiled bitch), drummer Tim O’Reagan’s bucolic Bottomless Cup and the pensive title track. Here’s a random torrent.

597. The Highwaymen’s first album

From 1985, this is the ultimate outlaw country summit: Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson and Kris Kristofferson. Sly, often surreal, it’s a party, the guys trading verses (although not everybody sings on every song) through a mix of smartly chosen covers and originals. The funniest one is Cash’s Committed to Parkview, part nuthouse, part rehab; likewise, Welfare Line, a Reagan-era souvenir, perfectly captures the angst of the times. There’s also the defiantly gloomy Desperados Waiting for a Train; Cindy Walker’s elegaic Jim, I Wore a Tie Today; the Jimmy Webb-penned title track; a plaintive version of Woody Guthrie’s Deportees; a singalong of Big River; and Steve Goodman’s not-so-optimistic The 20th Century Is Almost Over. The only dud here is Bob Seger’s Against the Wind, which the band has absolutely no clue how to play. If you like this, the other two Highwaymen albums from the 90s are also worth a spin. Caveat: purists may have a hard time with the synthesizers and chorus-box guitar here – it’s a period piece for sure. Here’s a random torrent.

596. The Electric Prunes – Mass in F Minor

From 1968, this is one of the great stoner albums of all time, not bad considering that the band it’s credited to reputedly didn’t play on several of the tracks (history is fuzzy on this – a Canadian garage band, the Collectors, were reputedly brought in by composer David Axelrod to complete it when the Prunes basically broke up mid-session). It’s an attempt to make psychedelic rock out of imitation pre-baroque themes, and it’s successful beyond belief: with layers and layers of stinging reverb guitar, eerie organ and trebly, melodic bass, it’s a wild ride. The track everybody knows is Kyrie Eleison, which is on the Easy Rider soundtrack. All the song titles are in Latin, in the manner of a Catholic mass – Agnus Dei; Benedictus; Credo, Sanctus and Gloria – with occasional deadpan, monklike chanting amidst the chaos. Fuzz tones, feedback, all manner of cheap production tricks and some deliriously inspired (some would say sloppy) playing are everywhere. Here’s a random torrent.

595. Erica Smith & the 99 Cent Dreams – Snowblind

Erica Smith is the finest singer to come out of New York during the decade of the zeros, capable of extraordinary nuance as well as extraordinary power (check out her Memphis soul wail on the red-hot shuffle Feel You Go). This 2008 album showcases the diversity of her songwriting: the irresistible 60s style psychedelic pop of Firefly; the lush janglerock of Easy Now and Amanda Carolyn; the bucolic Pink Floyd-esque art-rock of In Late July; the chilling Nashville gothic of Nashville, Tennessee and The World Is Full of Pretty Girls as well as sultry bossa nova and hypnotic Velvets pop tunes. There are also two ferocious covers: Judy Henske’s Snowblind, done as early 70s style metal, and Blow This Nightclub’s Where and When, amped up like early new wave. Guitarist Dann Baker and drummer Dave Campbell (both of Love Camp 7) add rich layers of jangle and clang along with a devious jazz edge. Campbell’s unexpected death in 2010 brought an end to the 99 Cent Dreams; Smith continues to perform and record as a solo artist and with her husband, powerpopmeister John Sharples and his band. This one hasn’t made it to the sharelockers yet, but it’s still available at Smith’s site.

594. Richard Thompson – Mirror Blue

In case you’re wondering, these albums are in totally random order – if we were actually trying to rank them (an impossible task), this would be somewhere in the top hundred for certain. The British songwriter/guitar god is best known for his volcanic live shows (our predecessor e-zine picked his concert album Semi-Detached Mock Tudor as the best one of 2002). This 1994 release is his hardest-rocking studio record. The anguish factor reaches fever pitch on the swaying, opening Britfolk anthem I Can’t Wake Up to Save My Life, echoed in the haunting shuffles Easy There Steady Now and Slipstream as well as the sad, closing breakup ballad Taking My Business Elsewhere. The obligatory guitar epic is The Way That It Shows, a real barn-burner; the best song here is the ferocious, bitter Mascara Tears, maybe the loudest song Thompson ever recorded. There’s also plenty of typical Thompson wit: the Jethro Tull-ish MGB-GT and the sardonic Fast Food along with the hypnotic, brooding Mingus Eyes and King of Bohemia and the big hit Beeswing, a thinly veiled, nostalgic ballad that has not aged well. Although the album has been criticized for having too many weird percussion tracks (fault of Suzanne Vega’s ex-husband, who was producer du jour that year), happily most of that is pretty much buried in the mix. Here’s a random torrent.

593. Gil Evans – The Individualism of Gil Evans

Best known for his arrangements for Miles Davis, pianist Gil Evans was also an extraordinary big band jazz composer. Almost fifty years later, this 1964 album is still so beyond cutting edge – there are other writers today doing this kind of thing, but nobody in the mainstream. Evans’ compositions are fearless, intense, often completely noir, sometimes lavish, sometimes skeletal and creepy. Here he’s backed by a killer band including Eric Dolphy, Thad Jones, and Elvin Jones on drums. It starts with the shattering, evil, mysterious, syncopated sway of Time of the Barracudas; Kurt Weill’s Barbara Song follows in a similar vein. Las Vegas Tango is a chilly, noir number where the Sketches of Spain influence really cuts through, while El Toreador could have been an outtake from that album. Flute Song/Hotel Me builds from whispery and murderous to a blithe, swinging piano blues. The rest of the album includes the ominous Proclamation, the bustling Nothing Like You, the bossa-tinged Concorde and closes with Willie Dixon’s Spoonful, thirteen minutes of twisted blues. Pretty much everything Evans ever touched, from the 30s onward, is worth a listen: composer Ryan Truesdell’s Gil Evans Project is due to come out with a new album of rare and unrecorded Evans works later this year. Most every track here is streaming at grooveshark; here’s a random torrent via Singers & Saints 2.

592. The Dils – Class War

An early Americana-flavored punk band and obvious inspiration for Social Distortion, San Francisco trio the Dils confronted issues of class and race in America head-on when so many of the era’s wannabes just jumped on the punk bandwagon to be cool. This compilation collects many if not all of their best-known late 70s/early 80s singles and b-sides. The best-known track is the trebly, super-catchy I Hate the Rich. You’re Not Blank makes fun of Cali hippie complacency: “the summer of love is ten years gone.” The best song here is the gorgeously jangly Sound of the Rain, steeped in alienation; the defiantly socialist Red Rockers Rule is a Social Distortion prototype for sure (and the inspiration for another band name); Mr. Big raises a middle finger at the powers that be. There’s also the sarcastic Tell Me What I Want to Hear, It’s Not Worth It, Gimme a Break, and the furious hardcore Class War, a casually vicious anti-racist broadside. The only dud here is an awkward Buddy Holly cover. The two brothers who fronted the band would move on to form one of the first alt-country bands, Rank & File. Here’s a random torrent via Ustedville.

591. Black Box Recorder – Passionoia

Possibly the most witheringly cynical album ever recorded. Bandleader Luke Haines (also of the Auteurs – see #744 on this list) has said innocuously that this 1999 release was his adventure in exploring keyboard textures, but it sounds suspiciously like a parody of 90s British dance-pop, albeit with better tunes and artsy flourishes. Frontwoman Sarah Nixey delivers Haines’ corrosive lyrics in an ice-goddess whisper over the glossy sheen. The School Song does double duty as Eurovision satire (a moment that will return again with a vengeance on When Britain Refused to Sing) and knowing chronicle of the kind of torture schoolkids have to endure. GSOH QED is an early satire of internet dating; British Racing Green quietly and cruelly alludes to Britain’s fall from first world power to third world irrelevance. Although much of this is a period piece, the songs stand the test of time – The New Diana mocks the Princess Diana cult, but it’s a brutally insightful look at the cult of celebrity, as is Andrew Ridgeley, the funniest song here, a reference to the guy in Wham who wasn’t George Michael. Being Number One, These Are the Things and Girls Guide for the Modern Diva are savage sendups of yuppie narcissism. The album ends on a surprisingly poignant, haunting note with I Ran All the Way Home, a gorgeously apprehensive omnichord-driven art-pop song straight out of the ELO catalog, told from the point of view of an abused little girl. All the songs are streamable at myspace, but wait fifteen seconds before you put your earphones on, AND refresh the page after each listen or else you’ll be assaulted by a loud audio ad. Won’t it be a good day when myspace finally dies? Otherwise, here’s a random torrent.

590. Jean Shepard – Best By Request

Along with Kitty Wells, Jean Shepard was one of the few women who achieved genuine stardom in Nashville in the 1950s. This 1970 compilation of mostly 1950s hits often plays up the bad-girl persona she cultivated, with considerable relish – it may seem tame now, but it wasn’t then. Backed tersely and inspiredly by some of the era’s top honkytonk players, she can be coy one moment, vengeful the next, as I Learned It All from You, I’d Rather Die Young and Why Did You Wait. Uncharacteristically, her biggest hit was the considerably less downbeat A Satisfied Mind, since covered by a million country artists. Under Suspicion and Don’t Fall In Love with a Married Man are typically characteristic themes for her, and she nails them. She’s still around and well-loved for her sardonic sense of humor on frequent CMT appearances. Here’s a random torrent via El Rancho 1.

589. Jolie Holland – Springtime Can Kill You

From 2006, this is the Texas Americana roots songwriter/chanteuse’s masterpiece so far. “My sullen songs have taken me far down this darkened road,” she drawls in the characteristically brooding Stubborn Beast, an insight that pretty much capsulizes her career. Setting wryly gloomy, often death-obsessed imagery to rustic, terse arrangements with resonator guitar, piano and sometimes strings, she evokes a way, way after-hours speakeasy of the mind. Crush in the Ghetto reminds that the boondocks are also ghettos; the jazzy title track’s offhandedness only raises the menace factor. There’s also the defiant waltz You’re Not Satisfied; C.R. Avery’s surreal, tormented Crazy Dreams; the austere Mehitibell’s Blues; the creepy piano waltz Don’t Tell’ Em; Moonshiner, a sultry, seductive blues; the whispery, nuanced Ghostly Girl; and the pensive nocturne Mexican Blue among the twelve tracks. Lately Holland has joined forces with similarly talented oldtimey siren Mamie Minch in the harmony trio Midnight Hours. Here’s a random torrent.

588. Art Tatum – The Chronological Classics 1932-34

If Sergei Rachmaninoff’s favorite pianist did a lot of composing, the historical record doesn’t reflect it: his favorite pastime was shredding his way through the hits of the day. Which he did with equal amounts precision and power: don’t listen to this if you have a weak heart. Most of his recordings are solo, no wonder since there were few players out there who could keep up with him. The genius of all this is that Tatum wasn’t all cold and mathematical: this digitized singles collection is a Depression-era party album. The number that raises the bar for every historically aware hotshot keyboardist is Tiger Rag; the purist favorites here are St. Louis Blues, Bessie Smith’s After You’ve Gone and Hoagy Carmichael’s Stardust. But Tatum also ratchets up the adrenaline with ballads like Strange As It Seems, I’ll Never Be the Same, a surprisingly visceral Tea for Two, Emaline and I Would Do Anything for You among the 25 brief, barely three-minute tracks here. Here’s a random torrent via Paging Mr. Volstead.

587. Larry Young – Unity

Hammond B3 organist Young pushed the envelope with this hot, wickedly tuneful, inspired and cerebral 1965 session with trumpeter Woody Shaw, tenor saxophonist Joe Henderson and drummer Elvin Jones pushing the juggernaut with characteristic intensity. It’s a lot more than just funky Jimmy Smith-style shuffles – melodic jazz doesn’t get any more interesting than this. The artful horn overlays on Zoltan, the shapeshifting version of Monk’s Dream, Shaw’s brisk Moontrane blaze along before the suspenseful If and Softly As in the Morning Sunrise, then the album picks up again, the whole band pushing each other, on the aptly titled Beyond All Limits. Young doesn’t get enough credit as one of the great organists of all time – this is our shout-out. Here’s a random torrent via Jazzgrita.

586. Manfred Hubler and Siegfried Schwab – Vampyros Lesbos Sexadelic Dance Party

One of the iconic psychedelic remnants from the late 60s, this late 90s anthology assembles a bunch of obscure soundtrack cuts from some truly terrible German B movies. But the music is as inspired, and as trippy, as the dialogue and everything else about those flicks was awful. The two composers approach psychedelic rock with a mix of classical rigor and joy about being freed from that rigor: the brightly staggering faux jazz of Droge CX9; the fuzztone menace of The Lions & the Cucumber; the psychedelic piano theme There’s No Satisfaction; the lavish, funky Dedicated to Love; the noir bedroom theme The Message; Shindai Lovers, which inspired a million 90s downtempo themes; and the absolutely macabre, trippy Necronomania among the sixteen off-the-wall instrumentals here. Electric harpsichords, reverb guitars, fake Indian and soul music grooves: pre-internet syncretism taken to a deliriously entertaining extreme. Here’s a random torrent via Devo MK.

585. Loretta Lynn – Greatest Hits

As we’ve put together this list, one aspect that’s frustrated us is how hard it’s been to find country albums that are solid all the way through: there’s always a dud, an obligatory halfhearted country gospel tune, a favor to a friend of the producer that always takes the album down a notch or two. As a result, we’ve had to go to the well for greatest-hits collections like this one, a 1968 compilation that’s a solidly good representation of the fearless country siren and songwriter (who wrote her own stuff, and insisted on playing it instead of songs that had been selected for her, paving the way for dozens of other self-directed women artists) during her peak years as a honkytonk singer. It’s got her first big hit, Don’t Come Home A ‘Drinkin’ (With Lovin’ On Your Mind); the rustic Blue Kentucky Girl (redone famously by Emmylou Harris); the accusatory Before I’m Over You, and You Ain’t Woman Enough. The real stunners here are Dear Uncle Sam, a plaintive Vietnam-era antiwar number imploring the Johnson administration to end the war, and Success, the much more subtle, equally sad number, now a country classic, powerfully underscoring the fact that money doesn’t equal happiness. Here’s a random torrent.

584. Junior Kimbrough – Sad Days Lonely Nights

Kimbrough was sort of the Mississippi hill country equivalent of Roscoe Ambel: a bar owner who happened to be a hell of a guitarist (or a hell of a guitarist who just happened to own a bar). Mostly, it’s just Kimbrough with either a rhythm section, or just a drummer. But unlike T-Model Ford and R.L. Burnside, Kimbrough didn’t go for interminable, overtone-packed chordal vamps: his slowly crescendoing, gorgeously expansive, broodingly meandering blues songs go on for ten minutes at a clip, a clinic in subtlety and minimalism. This stuff is mournful, gently intense, soulful in the purest sense of the word. The title track from this 1993 album, generally considered his best, is the iconic one, setting the tone for a judicious, bent-note style he’d reprise again and again in Lonesome in My Home, Lord Have Mercy on Me, My Mind Is Rambling and Leaving in the Morning. Old Black Mattie is the closest thing to the raw, hypnotic dance music of Burnside and Ford here; I’m in Love is unexpectedly upbeat, but Pull Your Clothes Off is about the most cynically depressing attempt at seduction anybody ever made. And the version of Crawling King Snake here is seriously creepy, in fact barely recognizable compared to John Lee Hooker, or for that matter, the Doors. Here’s a random torrent via Rukusjuice.

583. Marty Willson-Piper – Nightjar

The preeminent twelve-string guitarist of our time, Marty Willson-Piper is also a powerful and eclectic lyrical rock songwriter, much like Steve Kilbey, his bandmate in legendary Australian art-rockers the Church. This 2009 masterpiece is every bit as good as any of his albums with that band. Willson-Piper proves as adept at period-perfect mid-60s Bakersfield country (the wistful A Game for Losers and the stern The Love You Never Had) as he is at towering, intense, swirlingly orchestrated anthems like No One There. The album’s centerpiece, The Sniper, is one of the latter, a bitter contemplation of whether murder is ever justifiable (in this case, there’s a tyrant in the crosshairs). There’s also the early 70s style Britfolk of Lullaby for the Lonely; the casually and savagely hilarious eco-anthem More Is Less; the even more brutally funny Feed Your Mind; the blistering, sardonic rocker High Down Below;and the vividly elegaic Song for Victor Jara. Here’s a random torrent; the cd is still available from Second Motion.

582. Kayhan Kalhor, Shujaat Husain Khan and Swapan Chaudhuri – Ghazal: Lost Songs of the Silk Road

This landmark 1997 cross-genre collaboration put “silk road music” on the global map. The medieval mercantile trail from Asia, through the Middle East, to Europe, brought a lot more than spices, fabric and luxury goods: it was arguably the world’s most important bridge for musical cross-pollination. Here, Iranian Kayhan Kalhor, one of the most important and compelling composers of this era, plays the kamancheh, the rustic, plaintive spike fiddle. Khan is a renowned sitar player, Chaudhuri a percussionist. Revisiting the centuries-old trail, they blend classical Indian and Middle Eastern sounds into a hypnotic, often haunting mix. The big epic here is the almost twenty-minute Saga of the Rising Sun, which is the most overtly Indian of the compositions; the concluding Safar (Journey) is the most Iranian. In between, the almost half-hour of Come with Me and You Are My Moon are a showcase for these great musicians branching out into unfamiliar territory and achieving mesmerizingly intense results. We were only able to find torrents for the whole album in two parts, here and here.

581. David Bowie – Diamond Dogs

The 1974 highlight of Bowie’s completely over-the-top glam period, this eclectic, surreal, Orwellian concept album of sorts has always been underrated. It’s as notable for its strangeness (even for this guy) as it is for the fact that he played all the guitars and saxes here. The creepy, atmospheric vignette Future Legend segues into the scorching, iconic slide guitar-driven title track, followed by the fractured soul of Sweet Thing, the disquietingly disjointed Candidate and eventually the big riff-rock hit Rebel Rebel. 1984 takes Philly soul to the next level; We are the Dead, Big Brother and Chant of the Ever Circling Skeletal Family work the creepy psychedelic side of the street. Lots of jarring segues, but a ton of good songs and a lot to think about too. Here’s a random torrent.

580. Minamo – Kuroi Kawa

Minamo is Japanese for “surface of the water;” Kuroi Kawa means “black river.” This largely improvisational double-cd duo album by Japanese pianist Satoko Fujii and American violinist Carla Kihlstedt is aptly titled: it’s menacing, often impenetrable and sometimes downright macabre. There are amusing moments – a cat at play, two sisters struggling to open a window – but most of it is just plain white-knuckle intense. Kihlstedt moves from a whisper to a scream and back again against Fujii’s murderous cascades, ghostly music-box interludes and raw assaultiveness. It ends with long, color-coded suite: the rain-drenched Blue Slope; the head-on attack of Purple Summer; the surprisingly carefree Red Wind, hallucinatory Green Mirage and lethal, relentless snowstorm that winds up well over an hour’s worth of music. It came out on Tzadik in 2009 and still hasn’t made it to the usual sites but is well worth tracking down if raw adrenaline is your thing.

579. Kitty Wells – 20 Greatest Hits

The biggest female country star of the 1950s, Kitty Wells’ gently resolute, crystalline voice made her the perfect vehicle for songs about indomitable women gently and resolutely surmounting a never-ending series of obstacles. From her 1952 breakthrough It Wasn’t God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels, 1955′s Making Believe, 1957′s She’s No Angel and into the early 60s, she had her choice of Nashville’s top songwriters and honkytonk bands. This isn’t definitive, but it’s a good representation of Wells at her peak, with the defiant ballads This White Circle and I Gave My Wedding Dress Away, the wounded Lonely Side of Town, the outraged Will Your Lawyer Talk to God and the sardonic Meanwhile Down at Joe’s and Paying for That Back Street Affair. Here’s a random torrent via El Rancho 1.

578. Hector Lavoe – 15 Exitos

This is a decent if incomplete representation of the career of El Cantante, regarded by many as the greatest classic salsa singer of the golden age back in the 70s. His life, recounted in the 2003 biopic of the same name, was as uncertain as the angst and passion he channeled in his songs was direct. He died young, in 1993. This compilation, which covers pretty much his entire career, has his signature songs, El Cantante and Mi Gente; the tongue-in-cheek El Rey de la Puntualidad; the rough-and-ready Hacha y Machete, from 1970; the scorching Mentira, from 1976; the much slicker Noche de Farra, from 1980, and Cancer, from 1985. While the brass wails behind him, he’s never at ease: it seems that Fama was the last thing he wanted. Here’s a random torrent via Principiante Salsero.

577. The 13th Floor Elevators – The Psychedelic Sounds of the 13th Floor Elevators

45 years later, the 1966 debut of this legendary, creepy Texas acid garage band – with an amplified jug that sounded a little like a tabla – is still the standard for pretty much every other psychedelic garage group. Setting Roky Erikson’s reverb-drenched, deadpan nasal snarl and nonstop barrage of surreal imagery against tinny, clanging riff-rock that frequently ventures into R&B and funk, it’s a trip, in every sense of the word. The iconic song here is You’re Gonna Miss Me, famously covered by Radio Birdman and a million others; the b-side, Tried to Hide, isn’t bad either. Roller Coaster introduces a macabre riff that would resurface in the Cramps; Through the Rhythm invents a new genre, apocalyptic soul music. There’s also Monkey Island, whose theme the J. Geils Band would echo ten years later, and the more ornate Kingdom of Heaven, You Don’t Know How Young You Are and Splash 1 (Now I’m Coming Home) along with the proto-punk Don’t Fall Down and Fire Engine. Here’s a random torrent.

576. The Larch – Larix Americana

The Brooklyn psychedelic Britpop band’s best and most recent album, from 2010, blends Richard Lloyd-style guitar sizzle, frontman Ian Roure’s clever Elvis Costelloish wordplay and wickedly catchy guitar-and-keys hooks. Sub-Orbital Getaway is paisley underground disguised as new wave, with a characteristically paradoxical double entendre for a theme: it’s a trip, but where to? With Love from Region One is a bittersweet tribute to all good things American; Tracking Tina, a caustic look at cluelessly hypervigilant yuppie parents. The offhandedly charming Strawberry Coast has an ominous undercurrent: behind the chalet, the holiday’s complete. “Smile cause you’re on cctv as you’re walking home.” In the Name Of…, a slam at religious zealots, has a Moods for Moderns vibe; Inside Hugh chronicles a dayjob from hell. Queues Likely is equally caustic, imagining no respite from a wait “from bumper to brakelight.” Space Vacation updates the faux reggae of the Boomtown Rats’ House on Fire; The Long Tail closes it, an aptly sardonic sendup of corporate groupthink. This one hasn’t made it to the sharelockers yet but it’s still available from cdbaby.

575. Telephone – Dure Limite

In their late 70s/early 80s heyday, Telephone were commonly known as the French Rolling Stones, but they were closer to the Boomtown Rats, especially by 1982 when they put out this eclectic mix of gritty riff-rock, snarling punkish broadsides and a small handful of artsy ballads. The former are well represented by the title track (“Hard Limit”), Serrez (Squeeze) and the funky, sarcastic Ça (C’est Vraiment Toi), which translates loosely as “Yeah, That’s You, All Right.” Bassist Corinne Marienneau takes over lead vocals on the sexy faux-jazz stripper groove of Le Chat, while frontman Jean-Louis Aubert brings a plaintive, brooding lyrical edge to Jour Contre Jour (Day After Day), Juste Un Autre Genre (Just Another Guy) and the slowly unwinding, Lou Reed-influenced Le Temps. The best tracks here are the scorching Ex-Robin des Bois (Ex-Robin Hood), a metaphorically-charged slam at a sellout traitor; the iconic Cendrillon (Cinderella), who goes from prom queen to dead junkie on the wings of Louis Bertignac’s gorgeously elegaic guitar; and the concluding, towering, angst-driven epic Ce Soir Est Ce Soir (Tonight’s the Night). In lieu of a torrent for this particular album, here’s one for all five of the band’s studio efforts: the first two are hit-and-miss, but everything else afterward is worth a spin, even if you don’t speak French.

574. The Microscopic Septet – Take the Z Train

Drawing as deeply from punk esthetics as from Monk and Ellington, the Microscopic Septet’s playful, often satirical, always swinging charts have tickled jazz fans since their inception in 1981: in a sense, they’re sort of the Spinal Tap of jazz. This is their debut from two years later. Imagine the Lounge Lizards if they’d showed off their chops and you get some idea of what this sounds like (pianist Joel Forrester, one of the group’s two main writers, would later come up with the theme for NPR’s Fresh Air). Soprano saxophonist Phillip Johnston is responsible for the spy narrative Mr. Bradley, Mr. Martin, the breathless, bustling Pack the Ermines, Mary, and the latin swing of I Didn’t Do It. Johnston’s compositions here include Chinese Twilight Zone (the album was recorded in New York’s Chinatown utilizing a piano that had once reputedly belonged to Eubie Blake), as well as the tongue-in-cheek title track, the coy Wishful Thinking and the psychedelic closing cut, A Strange Thought Entered My Head, the band’s four-sax frontline blazing through one devious, tricky chart after another. Here’s a random torrent; repackaged as a twofer on the absolutely dynamite 2006 double-disc Seven Men in Neckties, it’s still available from Cuneiform.

573. Emily Remler – Transitions

Emily Remler was such a proficient jazz guitarist that early in her career, she made good on a promise to learn a new Wes Montgomery song all the way through, every day. This 1983 album was where she took her talent to the next level, further establishing the warmly exploratory, insatiably curious voice that would come to define her work. At her best, she wrote songs that you can absolutely get lost in. Here drummer Rakalam Bob Moses gives her a swinging launching pad, and she gets trumpeter John D’Earth and bassist Eddie Gomez to take their game up a notch. It’s notable for her own tunes Nunca Mais, with its bittersweet latinisms along with the thoughtful title track and the psychedelic Ode to Mali. The covers are good too: the obscure Ellington tune Searchin’, a swinging version of Sam Jones’ Del Sasser and an intriguing arrangement of Keith Jarrett’s Coral. Remler undoubtedly would have gone on to even greater things had she not died of a drug overdose at 32. Here’s a random torrent via Virtuosos Guitarristas.

572. Don Drummond – 100 Years After

Classic ska instrumentals from the legendary Skatalites trombonist, 1965. Not only did the Skatalites record an enormous amount of material as a band, they also did numerous solo albums, most of them billed to individual group members Tommy McCook and Roland Alphonso – a model that both George Clinton and the Wu-tang Clan would follow with similar success. Drummond was arguably the most talented of all of them, but also the most erratic. This whole thing has the feel of a late-night session fueled by ceiling fans and lots of collie weed. A handful of the dozen danceable cuts here have made it to youtube: the evocative Last Call; the energetic Heaven and Earth; a signature song of sorts, Roll On Sweet Don; a lively ska version of Vienna Woods; and a surprisingly subtle version of the Dick Tracy theme popularized by the Ventures. Drummond would shortly thereafter murder his girlfriend; he died behind bars in 1969. Here’s a random torrent via You and Me on a Jamboree.

571. Penelope Houston – Pale Green Girl

Best known as the leader of late 70s punk rockers the Avengers – who were sort of the American Sex Pistols – Penelope Houston subsequently forged out a brilliant career as a much quieter, mostly acoustic tunesmith. She’s literally never made a bad album. Among the many cult classics in her catalog, this 2004 release gets the nod, if only for its consistency all the way through. Aside from the Avengers, it’s her hardest-rocking effort to date, with a late 60s psychedelic pop vibe fueled by gorgeous twelve-string guitar. As you would expect, it’s eclectic, ranging from the hopeful, jangly Take My Hand, to the sad, ghostly Aviatrix, the disarmingly poppy, metaphorically-charged Flight 609, and the quietly savage outsider anthem that serves as the title track. Bottom Line veers from dark reggae to jangly Byrdsiness; Privilege & Gold, Walnut, and Snow are bitterly vivid, lyrical Britfolk-inflected laments; the album ends with Soul Redeemer, the searing account of a rape survivor, and a lushly beautiful cover of John Cale’s Buffalo Ballet. This one hasn’t made it to the sharelockers, surprisingly, but the whole thing is streaming at myspace (don’t forget to reload the page after each song or else you’ll be assaulted by a loud audio ad) and it’s still available from Houston’s site.

570. Dolly Parton, Emmylou Harris and Linda Ronstadt – Trio

Three of the finest voices of the past decades joined forces in 1987 for this spirited, inspired mix of traditional Americana classics and a few originals. This is Dolly’s project, a landmark in her career because it represented her first break from the pop schlock she’d been covering for the previous ten years or so; likewise, it reinvigorated Harris’ career and underscored Ronstadt’s then-newfound cred as a purist equally adept at rancheras, country and jazz. They do the old Dolly/Porter Wagoner tune Making Plans as well as her own Wildflowers, take their time with The Pain of Loving You, These Memories of You and a plaintive Telling Me Lies, go more rustic with Jimmie Rodgers’ Hobo’s Meditation, the traditional English folk song My Dear Companion and the early Nashville gothic tune Rosewood Casket. Despite dating from the synth era, the musicianship is remarkably inspired as well; the only dud here is a forgettable Phil Spector bubblegum hit. Here’s a random torrent.

569.Lenny Molotov – Illuminated Blues

A virtuoso guitarist equally adept at delta blues, vintage Appalachian folk, early jazz and rock, Lenny Molotov is also an acerbic, brutally perceptive songwriter and lyricist. This is his latest album, from 2010, an eclectic mix of all of those styles: if the Dead Kennedys had tried their hand at oldtimey music, it might have sounded something like this. Here he’s backed by a rustic, inspired string band including bass, drums, fiddle and blues harp. The early Dylanesque Wilderness Bound chronicles a symbolically-charged journey its narrator never wanted to make; Book of Splendor and the eerily hypnotic Ill Moon hark back to the delta, while Glorious evokes Woody Guthrie. The classic here is Freedom Tower, dating from the early days of the Bush regime, a witheringly sarcastic sendup of fascist architectural iconography (he says it much more simply and poetically than that). David Reddin’s Blues follows a similar tangent, a sardonic modern-day outlaw ballad, its killer on the run caught in an Orwellian snare. There’s also the swinging Faded Label Blues, a wryly bitter Jelly Roll Morton homage; the quietly defiant Devil’s Empire, and the bucolic waltz New Every Morning, which leaves no doubt where Molotov stands: “There’s just two kinds of music under the law/The real live blues, and zip-a-dee-doo-dah.” This one’s real hard to find, but still available at shows – or check the blues bin at your local used record store, if you have one.

568. Sally Norvell – Choking Victim

Recorded in an old church in Northhampton, Massachusetts, this 2002 noir classic pairs off cult heroine Norvell’s icy/sultry vocals with Botanica frontman Paul Wallfisch’s plaintive, haunting, reverb-drenched piano. The pitch-black intensity never lets up, through the Marlene Dietrich-ish gothic waltz Blake in the Cake; the seductive Brecht/Weill-tinged One Gentle Thing; Big Louise, a sad ballad for an aging party animal; the blackly sardonic AIDS-era memoir November; the self-explanatory Goodbye Song; the gleefully opiated wee-hours madness of Murder, as well as a hypnotic setting of a Paul Bowles poem, Tom Waits’ Please Call Me, Baby done as noir cabaret, and the Appalachian gothic ballad Forgotten and Abandoned done as straight-up, creepy neoclassical. Surprisingly, it ends on a very funny note (alluded to by the album cover), complete with a deadpan, amusing cameo from Norvell’s old bandmate Kid Congo Powers, with whom she recorded more rock-oriented versions of some of these songs. This one’s very hard to find. The sharelockers have nothing; once in awhile copies will turn up in the used bins – check your local used record store, if one still exists.

567. Squeeze – East Side Story

Ironically, this 1982 album is best known for the band’s worst song (and biggest hit – go figure), Tempted, the only cut that keyboardist Paul Carrack, who was in the group for only this album, ever gave them. But the rest of the songs are so good that they make you forget it’s there. More effectively than any of the well-loved British new wave band’s other albums, it contrasts Chris Difford’s quintessentially English, vaudevillian-tinged, lyrically dense tableaux with Glenn Tilbrook’s more diverse, Beatlesque tunesmithing and blazing lead guitar. Many of these songs take a sardonic but genuinely warmhearted look at romance from a woman’s point of view, without being sappy, notably Woman’s World, the poignant Someone Else’s Heart, the scurrying Is That Love and playful Mumbo Jumbo. The rest of the album is more eclectic than anything the band would do before or afterward, with the bitter country ballad Labelled with Love; the shapeshifting psychedelia of There’s No Tomorrow and F-Hole; Heaven, with its eerie, lickety-split banjo outro, the bouncy, cheery Piccadilly, Someone Else’s Bell and In Quintessence among the fourteen tracks on the original vinyl release. Here’s a random torrent via Ustedville.

566. Rasputina – A Radical Recital

Since the 90s, cellist/songwriter Melora Creager has created an eerily surreal, twistedly lyrical, frequently hilarious, visionary body of work that ranks with any other songwriter or composer’s output during that time. Literally everything she’s ever made is worth owning. This particular edition of Rasputina, from 2005, features three cellos and drums (the drum guy sings a silly English folk song, When I Was a Young Girl, for comic relief from the relentless, dark intensity) plus Creager on vocals doing essentially a greatest hits-live set. It’s a strong if incomplete representation, with the searing chromatics of Saline the Salt Lake Queen; the ferociously sarcastic Howard Hughes; the ethereally sad Sign of the Zodiac and Watch TV; a blistering cover of the old swing tune If Your Kisses Can’t Hold the Man You Love; the amusing Mama Was an Opium Smoker; the entertainingly vicious anti-Rudy Guiliani broadside The Mayor; the pensive suicide anthem A Quitter, plus tongue-in-cheek chamber rock versions of Led Zep’s Rock & Roll and Barracuda by Heart. The cd is still available at the band’s site; here’s a random torrent.

565. Sade – Lovers Live

At the risk of alienating our entire base with the poppiest album on this list so far, here’s a counterinituitive pick, to the extreme. Why? Sade was the default boudoir chanteuse for an entire generation. As with Al Green fifteen years before, thousands (maybe millions) of babies born in the late 80s and 90s owe their existence to Helen Folasade Adu’s wistful, slightly smoky, come-hither vocals. This surprisingly energetic 1999 live album cements her reputation not only as an avatar of seduction, but also as a first-class singer who transcends the torch-song limitations of most of her material. As expected, this set is heavy with bedroom anthems from early in her career: Cherish the Day, Kiss of Life, The Sweetest Taboo, No Ordinary Love, By Your Side and of course Smooth Operator, which is actually pretty ragged here. There’s also Jezebel, a sad ballad for a heartbreaker; the quietly poignant Slave Song, and a swaying, blues-infused version of Is It a Crime among the thirteen tracks here. The band don’t quite make it to the level of jazz, but as trip-hop, nobody ever did it better than they did. Break out the incense, wine and candles, and this random torrent.

564. Canibus – Mic Club: The Curriculum

A rare example of a lyricist who more than lived up to the extreme hype surrounding his 1998 debut, Canibus represents the pinnacle of East Coast hardcore hip-hop wordsmithing: he’s never made a bad album. This 2002 underground classic is where he really took his game to the next level: erudite, serious as hell but also funny as hell with the mot juste when he wants to skewer someone. He’s so articulate here that he doesn’t even feel the need to use any curse words until track six. The rhymes come fast and furious with Poet Laureate; Masters Thesis; the scathing Behind Enemy Rhymes; Allied Meta-Forces, with a typically potent Kool G Rap cameo; Cenoir Studies 02; C Section; Literal Arts (featuring heavy-hitting Philly artist Jedi Mind Tricks) and Curriculum 101. As much as hip-hop has always been more about the lyrics than the backing tracks, the samples here are especially imaginative (when’s the last time you heard somebody sample Pink Floyd’s Summer ’68?). Here’s a random torrent.

563. Firewater – The Ponzi Scheme

A pre-millennial concept album about the deadly consequences of capitalist excess: the personal as political taken to a stunningly prophetic extreme. Fiery art-punks Firewater get extra props for spawning both Balkan Beat Box and Botanica, groups they heavily influenced. This 1998 release is intense and brilliantly lyrical all the way through, along with a couple of evilly cartoonish Balkan brass instrumental romps. The gypsy barroom rock of Green Light comments on the perils of chasing the almighty dollar, “going down like a pederast in a boys school;” Dropping Like Flies sounds like the Damned on a literate gypsy rampage. Caroline cruelly chronicles a girl who “starved herself of everything that money couldn’t buy,” while the noir piano boogie Whistling in the Dark reminds that you can only live on borrowed time for so long. There’s also Isle of Dogs, a snarling, spot-on hypocrite’s tale fueled by Oren Kaplan’s reverb guitar; the twisted tango Another Perfect Catastrophe; the savagely mocking So Long Superman, essentially a punk rock remake of Tainted Love; I Still Love You Judas, proof positive that there really is no honor among thieves; Knock Em Down, a savagely sarcastic noir cabaret tune, and the potent concluding song, Drunkard’s Lament, a searing look at the psychology of spectacles like reality tv a few years before it existed: “Misery loves company, that’s why everybody loves me.” Firewater frontman Tod A. has kept the band alive over the years with a shifting cast of characters, slowly moving further away from rock toward the East, with excellent results. The whole album is streaming at Spotify (as of July 2011) ; here’s a random torrent via Cosmo Zebra.

562. The Modern Lovers’ first album

We’re trying hard not to duplicate the two best-known “best albums” lists on the web, but this one pretty much everybody agrees on. Recorded in 1972 (back when Jonathan Richman still had an edge, before he turned into a parody of himself), not released until 1976, enormously influential and still a great party album after all these years, it’s a mix of scurrying second-generation Velvets vamps and poppier janglerock. The iconic one here is Roadrunner (memorably butchered by the Sex Pistols). Richman may have held hippies in contempt (the hilarious bonus track I’m Straight), but he goes in that direction on Astral Plane. Otherwise, he’s cranky and defiantly retro on Old World and Modern World, hauntingly poignant on She Cracked and Hospital, LOL funny on their cover of John Cale’s Pablo Picasso (who really was an asshole), and only gets sappy on Someone I Care About. The early zeros reissue comes with a bunch of bonus tracks which include the Boston classic Government Center but otherwise aren’t up to the level of the John Cale-produced originals. Extra props to the band for contributing members to both the Talking Heads and Robin Lane & the Chartbusters. Here’s a random torrent.

561. The Hangdogs – Wallace ’48

These New York hellraisers got their start as sharply literate if drunken alt-country types in the late 90s. By 2003, when this final album came out, they’d gone in more of an Americana rock direction: imagine Jello Biafra fronting Social Distortion, and you’ll get some idea of what the Hangdogs were all about at the end. This is a slice of life from the early Bush era, a scathingly hilarious account of everyday people battling sadistic bosses, broke and too wasted on reality tv to realize how much closer to slaves they became every day. The title track is a bluegrass homage to perennial Socialist Party candidate George Wallace, followed by Waiting For the Stars To Fall, the towering, elegaic ballad that Oasis never wrote. Lots of funny country songs here: Memo from the Head Office, making sure that we max out our credit cards on the all shit we don’t need; Drink Yourself to Death, a spot-on satire of “new Nashville” music; the self-explanatory Alcohol of Fame, and Serious Guy, who’s somebody you hope you never work for. And just as many genuinely serious songs: the workingman’s lament Early to Bed; the plaintive She’s Leaving You; lead guitarist Texas Tex’s hallucinatory, somber Porch Swing; and the bitter band-on-the-road anthem Goodnight, Texas. Frontman Matthew Grimm would go on to equally good things as the leader of socially aware Iowa rockers the Red Smear later in the decade. Utterly impossible to find as a torrent; the usual pay sites have mp3s, and the whole thing is streaming at Spotify (as/of July 2011).

560. Siouxsie & the Banshees – Join Hands

Over the course of their long career, Siouxsie & the Banshees have pushed the envelope with punk rock, goth, psychedelia and gamelan-inspired experimental sounds. This 1979 album, their second, is where Siouxsie Sioux crystallized her inimitable microtonal vocal style, along with her outraged-witness persona. Side one of this album follows a loosely thematic World War I theme, beginning with the acidic, atonal Poppy Day (sort of a punk version of the famous antiwar poem In Flanders Field). Guitarist John McKay hits his chords like he’s swinging a machete, through the scorching Regal Zone and Placebo Effect, while bassist Steven Severin’s minimalist chords fuel the fires in the savagely menacing Icon (which kicks off with the distant rumble of cannon fire). Premature Burial is as morbidly memorable as the band ever got; Playground Twist a vivid look at the cruelty children inflict on each other; Mother, a horror-movie music-box theme. The album ends with the eleven-minute, dadaist sacrilege of The Lord’s Prayer, originally done by Sid Vicious’ first band the Flowers of Romance. It’s most likely the only instance ever where anyone called Muhammad Ali a ”fucking dick” on vinyl. Here’s a random torrent.

559. Jethro Tull – A

Some of you may be wondering what kind of drugs we’ve been doing, considering that there are not only one but two Jethro Tull albums here (Aqualung is also on the list – see our “obvious picks” page). And while there is a track on this album called the Pine Marten’s Jig, it’s the only hobbity tune here. All the jigging and whistling – and the band’s atrocious metal albums from the late 80s – obscure the fact that when this band was at the top of their game, they made several albums’ worth of terrifically lyrical, absolutely unique, metal and Britfolk-flavored art-rock. This is a 1980 concept album about nuclear armageddon (back then, everybody thought that the world would end in a shower of bombs instead of a meltdown in Japan). Thematically, everything that can go wrong here does. Crossfire was inspired by a hostage situation at the Iranian Embassy in London, while the catchy, spiraling Fylingdale Flyer looks at the logical extreme created when a false alarm signals a nuclear attack. The swaying Working John, Working Joe is a call for solidarity; the real gem, Black Sunday is a tricky, eerie countdown to the end. The metalish Protect and Survive has lyrics taken from a Soviet army manual, followed eventually by the creepy, surreal Batteries Not Included, the nonconformist anthem Uniforms, and the requiem And Further On. In lieu of the album – absolutely impossible to find online because of the title, and because ours is on vinyl – we give you this contemporaneous 1980 live set, with many of these tracks, via theultimatebootlegexperience.

558. The Moody Blues – Long Distance Voyager

Did the Moody Blues invent art-rock…or at least chamber pop? Maybe. Fans of the tuneful, philosophically inclined psychedelic pop band are probably mystified why we chose this 1981 reunion album of sorts over well-loved 60s releases like In Search of the Lost Chord or On the Threshold of a Dream. Answer: all of those albums have some great tunes, but also a bunch of real clunkers as well. This, on the other hand is solid virtually all the way through, and the songwriting is arguably the band’s strongest. The production manages to be ornate and genuinely majestic despite the heavy synthesizers. The big, brisk top 40 hit was The Voice, followed closely by the artsy, ELOish, disco-tinged Gemini Dream (a great song to cover if you played it loud and fast like a lot of bands of the era did). The irresistible Talking out of Turn is a seven-minute pop song that actually works. Guitarist Justin Hayward’s lush kiss-off anthem Meanwhile is genuinely poignant, as is bassist John Lodge’s sweeping, understatedly anguished art-pop ballad Nervous. There’s also the morbid 22,000 Days, the twisted cabaret of Painted Smile and the even more twisted Veteran Cosmic Rocker, a surprisingly snarling satire of aging hippie rockers by a band who knew a little something about being one. Here’s a random torrent.

557. The Jam – Setting Sons

Maybe someday in 2013 when this list is finally finished, we’ll move this 1979 punk rock classic a little higher…or maybe into the alltime top 10, where it probably deserves to be. This might be the best rock bass record ever made, Bruce Foxton growling and punching his way through one fiery, melodic riff after another. The best of all of them might be the one in Private Hell, frontman/guitarist Paul Weller’s searing, sarcastic account of a day in the life of a yuppie shopper. There’s also the ripping, mod-punk Girl on the Phone; the rueful, metaphorically-charged Thick As Thieves; the scorching, anti-imperialist Little Boy Soldiers and The Eton Rifles; the alienation anthems Burning Sky and Wasteland; the populist Saturday’s Kids; the best version of Smithers-Jones, done with a string quartet here; and a punked-out cover of the old Motown hit Heat Wave. Foxton and drummer Rick Buckler still tour, with a new guitarist; Weller sadly and unexpectedly lost his touch as a songwriter when the band broke up in 1984 and never got it back. Here’s a random torrent via Mod 64.

556. Arsenio Rodriguez y Su Conjunto – Sabroso y Caliente

Rustic yet cutting-edge for its time, this is an update on classic Cuban son. Bandleader Rodriguez, blinded in a childhood accident, played the Cuban acoustic guitar known as the tres. Highly sought after in his later years as a sideman, he was a major influence on the great salsa bands of the 70s. This flavorful, hot 1957 session carves out a niche halfway between the blazing big band sounds of Tito Puente or Perez Prado, and the Cuban country music that Rodriguez grew up with. Some may find the vocals a little over the top, but the band is cooking. The dozen tracks here include the soaring, upbeat Carraguao Alante; the lush, minor key Hay Fuego En el 23; Buenavista en Guaguancó, an old song from Rodriguez’s small-combo period in the 40s; the slinky Blanca Paloma; the sly mambo Mami Me Gusto, the hypnotically insistent La Fonda de Bienvenido, and Adorenla Como a Marti, which evades the censors by allusively referencing the notorious 1912 massacres of Afro-Cubans on the island. Here’s a random torrent via Global Groovers.

555. Bartok – String Quartets Nos. 1-6 – The Alban Berg Quartett

Angry, sardonic, brooding, bitter but also surprisingly peaceful in places, Bela Bartok’s six string quartets are among the most gripping pieces of chamber music ever written. Demanding? Yes. Offputting? Not really, unless your ears can’t handle anything more sophisticated than Lady Gag. They’re extremely difficult to play, utilizing the entire sonic spectrum and complicated technique (Bartok, a pianist, performed many small-group or duo concerts with string players and was obviously paying close attention to the challenges his work afforded his bandmates). He drew heavily on the most jarring tonalities of the Hungarian gypsy music he came to love so much, but as abrasive as some of these are (the first is one of the most wrathful compositions you’ll ever hear), they can also be very memorably tuneful. This 2004 box set is notable for being one of the last made by the group’s excellent violist Thomas Kakuska shortly before his death…and it’s also mysteriously hard to find on the web. In lieu of this one we suggest another excellent collection from a couple of years later by the Emerson String Quartet via Holy Fucking Shit 40000.

554. The Who – The Who Sings My Generation

OK, OK, this is “classic rock,” the one thing we’re trying to stay away from here. But what a rhythm section – and a tragedy that both John Entwistle and Keith Moon both left us so young. This album came out in 1965, when the band’s sound was new and fresh, before Pete Townshend turned into a Jimmy Page wannabe and Daltrey…well, the music here is good enough to make you forget he’s on it. With his completely unpredictable rumbling thunder attack, Moon absolutely owns La-La-La-Lies and Much Too Much. A Legal Matter mines the same amped-up R&B style as the Pretty Things and the early Kinks; the Good’s Gone foreshadows the Move. There’s also the country dancehall stomp of It’s Not True, the blue eyed soul ballad I Don’t Mind and Out in the Street, with its cool tremoloing intro. Oh yeah, there’s also an oldies radio standard, a future movie theme and a primitive, fuzztoned quasi-surf instrumental. The band only miss when they misguidedly try their hand at James Brown. Here’s a random torrent.

553. Dan Bryk – Pop Psychology

A caustic, wickedly tuneful concept album about the struggle for a musician to reach an audience in the last dying days of the major label era, 2009. Treat of the Week scathingly chronicles a wannabe corporate pop star’s pathetic fifteen minutes of fame; the deadpan 60s Britpop bounce of Discount Store masks its sting as an anthem for the current depression. The Next Best Thing, with its slow-burning crescendo, looks at people who’re content to settle: the funniest song here, Apologia is a faux power ballad ballad, a label exec’s disingenuous kiss-off to a troublesome rocker who dared to fight the system. The classic here is City Of… a cruelly spot-on analysis of music fandom (and its Balkanized subcultures) in a Toronto of the mind; Street Team, a spot-on, Orwellian look at how marketers attempt to create those Balkanized audiences; My Alleged Career, an alienated distillation of how Bryk’s music was probably received in the corporate world. The rest of the cd includes a pretty ballad, a musical joke, and the ironically titled closing cut, Whatever, a bitter piano ballad: “Whatever doesn’t kill me can still make you cry,” Bryk insists. Mystifyingly, this one hasn’t made it to the sharelockers yet, but it’s streaming at Spotify (as of July 2011) and it’s still available at Bryk’s site, where you can also hear the whole thing.

552. Wadi Al-Safi: Ajmal Aghani – The Very Best of Wadi Al-Safi

The career of crooner/oudist Wadi Al-Safi, “the Voice of Lebanon,” has spanned eight decades. Essentially, he’s a soul singer, with a warm baritone characterized more by nuance than bite. Like so many levantine artists dating back to the 1940s, he was also a star of screwball comedies; much of his repertoire has iconic status that extends beyond his home turf. This is hardly comprehensive, but it’s a decent overview. Lots of hits here: the lushly orchestrated La La Aini La; the sweeping Tallou Hbabna; the plaintive, hypnotic, accordion-driven Remche Ouyounek; the suspenseful, slow Ma Atwalak Ya Layl; the slinky snakecharmer dance Albi Yehwak; Betrehlak Mechwar, with its cool qanun/bass intro; and Ya Rabe’ena, which works equally well as military march or wedding dance. The whole album is streaming at Spotify; here’s a random torrent via Folk Music SMB.

551. Greta Gertler & Peccadillo – Nervous Breakthroughs

Recorded mostly in the late 90s but not available outside Australia until 2004, this is a lush, sweeping classic of chamber pop and art-rock. With her sometimes stratospheric high soprano voice, sizzling keyboard chops and playful, unpredictable songwriting, Gertler comes across as something of a down-to-earth Kate Bush (hard to imagine, but try anyway). With a rock band and string section behind her, she veers from the Supertramp-style pop of Happy Again and the vividly anxious Highest Story to more austere, windswept pieces like Away and the quirky I’m Not a Lizard, and even a blazing Russian folk dance, The Hot Bulgar. The bitterly triumphant, intensely crescendoing Moving Backwards is the real killer cut here, although all the tracks are strong. With its killer chorus, Julian should have been the big radio hit; there’s also a boisterous Aussie football song, and the bouncy, Split Enz-ish Charlie #3. Mysteriously absent from the blogosphere and the sharelockers, it’s still available at cdbaby. Gertler has since taken her game up yet another notch as leader of the symphonic rock crew the Universal Thump, whose current album in progress is every bit as good as this one. You may even see it on this list someday.

550. Machito – Kenya

A landmark of latin big band jazz. Hard to believe, but this stuff was actually mainstream in 1957 when the album came out (one of Machito’s most popular albums was marketed as being recorded at the Catskills resort where he held an annual summer residency for years). On one hand, this doesn’t have the raw bite of the legendary bandleader’s stuff from the 30s and 40s, but the songs and the charts are killer. All of these are originals save for percussionist Chano Pozo’s noir classic Tin Tin Deo. Lots of flavors here: the brisk, blazing guaguanco of Wild Jungle; the slinky, suspenseful Congo Mulence; the lush, majestic title track; the stop-and-start intenstiy of Oyeme; Holiday, with its surgically precise Cannonball Adderley solo; Cannonology, a sideways Charlie Parker tribute; the sinister-tinged Frenzy; proto-ska Conversation; bustling Minot Rama; hypnotically soulful Tururato, and Blues A La Machito, which is more Machito than blues. Here’s a random torrent via Hasta Luego Baby.

549. Genesis – Nursery Cryme

While the veteran British art-rockers’ legacy suffers under the weight of a lot of lousy material from the Phil Collins years and then the 80s, up through the mid-70s they were a sensationally good, theatrical, guitar-and-keyboard-driven symphonic rock machine. This 1971 album may be the best of the bunch, although everything else they did while Peter Gabriel was in the band is worth hearing. Trippy, surreal and often macabre, it’s got many of the band’s best-loved epics: The Musical Box, a metaphorically-charged suite; The Return of the Giant Hogweed, which reminds that in the end, nature always wins; the bizarre, mythological Fountain of Salmacis; the wistful folk-rock vignette For Absent Friends, and Harold the Barrel, one of the weirdest, creepiest three-minute songs ever written. Gabriel imbues it all with a defiant, literate individualism, much as Roger Waters did in Pink Floyd. Here’s a random torrent.

548. Bessie Smith – Complete Recorded Works 1922-23

The real primo Bessie Smith albums are not available digitally: they’re double-vinyl reissues from the 60s and 70s, a series with faux-antique trellis edging the album covers in various colors, still frequently found in used record stores. If you see one, pick it up, because pretty much everything the Queen of the Blues ever did is worth owning. We suggest this double-cd reissue because it has a mix of her most iconic songs, i.e. Down Hearted Blues, Bleeding Hearted Blues and ‘Tain’t Nobody’s Bizness If I Do, some of her famously suggestive stuff like Nobody In Town Can Bake A Sweet Jelly Roll Like Mine and also a whole bunch of her creepiest sides. It doesn’t have Sing Sing Blues, but it does have Sam Jones’ Blues, the chillingly surreal Graveyard Dream Blues, Cemetery Blues, Frosty Morning Blues, Haunted House Blues and the absolutely awesome Hateful Blues. There’s cleverly funny stuff like Eavesdropper’s Blues and topical songs like the escaped-slave allegory Ticket Agent, Ease Your Window Down and for the country crowd, Boweavil Blues. Most of the songs are just piano and vocals, some with the guy who was arguably the greatest blues pianist ever, James P. Johnson. No Louis Armstrong duets here – while it’s quaint to imagine him smoking her up, her strongest songs were always her darkest ones. If you don’t already know her, this will hook you for life. Here’s a random torrent via Dirty Music.

547. The Wirebirds – Past and Gone

By the time this 2003 album came out, the great New York Britfolk band was finished: they did one final show that year, and that was the end. With three first-rate songwriters – frontwoman Amanda Thorpe, guitarists Will Dial and Peter Stuart – they alternated between lush, Richard Thompson-inflected anthems and more stark, bucolic material. This album is pretty much their entire catalog. The album opens with a blast of twelve-string guitar a la the Church with the big, sweeping Can You, winds through a bunch of warily apprehensive ballads before they hit their high point with Dial’s towering, apocalyptic This Green Hell (our predecessor e-zine’s pick for best song of 2003). Stuart’s catchy, lusciously jangly, rueful One Way Ticket would have been the big radio hit in a smarter universe, a vibe he takes to the next level with Time Stands Still.  Fourteen tracks in all, including a biting cover of the English folksong Three Ravens, all with soaring three-part harmonies and layer upon layer of jangling, roaring, crashing guitar. Thorpe would go on to reach equally intense heights as a solo artist, and then with the Bedsit Poets. Strangely absent from the sharelockers, the whole thing is streaming at Spotify, and it’s still available from cdbaby.

546. Sister Rosetta Tharpe – Complete Recorded Works 1942-44

A gospel guitar goddess who frequently collaborated with the jazz and blues stars who revered her, from the 1940s into the 60s. Not all her songs were completely sanctified, either: I Want a Tall Skinnny Papa, or Trouble in Mind, for example. She played acoustic, she played electric, didn’t waste notes, kept her solos terse and intense. This is as good an overview of her career as any, although if you like this stuff you’ll want to investigate the rest of her extensive catalog. This double-disc set has Big Bill Broonzy’s This Train, gospel hits like What He Done for Me, I Want Jesus to Walk Around My Bedside and inspired, rocking versions of spirituals and folk songs like All Over This World and Down by the Riverside.  There’s also the plaintive Nobody Knows, Nobody Cares and the inspiring Strange Things Happening Every Day among the 27 tracks here. Here’s a random torrent via Flabbergasted Vibes.

545. Cocktail Angst – Our Big Top Parade

Like Richard Cheese, New York band Cocktail Angst made fun of lounge music, but much more subtly. Frontwoman Toby Williams, keyboardist Jon Dryden, vibraphonist Tom Beckham, bassist Tim Luntzel and drummer John Mettam gave their songs period-perfect torchy 1950s latin jazz arrangements, then gently and expertly mocked them. This 2001 release is the better (or at least longer) of their two often pricelessly funny albums, much of it foreshadowing the considerably darker direction Beckham would take as a solo artist. It’s got the title track’s seedy circus milieu; the absolutely silly, over-the-top, Pineapples, a spoof of 50s “exotica;” Samba de Angst, a cynical look through the eyes of a gold-digging stripper; and Mindless, which reminds that the New York City subway was just as bad fifteen years ago as it is now. Last Tango in Vegas is actually a creepy blues lamenting the Disneyfication of the city: “Be wary of the great American dream/The Elk’s Club bids you all a good night.” With its big Henry Mancini-esque crescendos, Kama Sutra is even creepier. There’s also Bates Motel, a twisted noir vacation scenario and the blithe yet bitter Case of Cheap Goodnight along with a John Denver cover which is as hideously awful as the original, probably for a reason. Mysteriously AWOL from the usual sources for free music, it’s still available from cdbaby.

544. Pulp – Separations

The best British band of the 90s made a bunch of great albums. This one, from 1992, is their most theatrical. There’s a distinct A-side and a B-side, the first an update on noir 60s American pop, the second a cruelly deadpan parody of the era’s computerized disco music. Love Is Blind and Don’t You Want Me Anymore are Jarvis Cocker at his most glammy and sarcastic; She’s Dead, the title track and the absolutely creepy Down by the River aren’t particularly subtle, but they’re troubling nonetheless (Cocker has always dealt with death and tragedy by exposing others’ callousness and obliviousness to it, and these are prime examples). Side 2 is just plain funny, even if the joke starts to get old by the time they reach the end, with eight mindlessly throbbing minutes of This House Is Condemned. Leading up to it are the moronically repetitive Countdown, the catchy synth-pop of My Legendary Girlfriend and Death II, which revisits the morbid vibe of side one. Here’s a random torrent.

543. Ruben Blades y Seis Del Solar – Escenas

One of the most socially aware artists of the classic salsa era, Ruben Blades gets extra props for introducing Hector Lavoe to Willie Colon while working in the Fania Records mailroom and writing songs on the side. The rest is history. While he bridges several eras, Blades’ songwriting has never wavered. The production on this 1984 release isn’t as ballsy as it would have been ten years previously, but the songs are consistently excellent, even Silencios, which is badly miscast as a pop ballad. Otherwise, there’s the starkly scurrying widow’s lament Cuentas Del Alma; the scathing Tierra Dura, which addresses famine in Ethiopia; the blackly humorous La Cancion Del Final Del Mundo; Sorpresas, which continues the story of the struggling blue-collar Pedro Navaja, star of Blades’ signature song; Caina, a gritty look at the not-so-glamorous side of the cocaine trade (“Why would you want to do coke/It makes you edgy and obnoxious”) and an update on the Los Van Van hit Muevete. Here’s a random torrent.

542. The Long Ryders – Native Sons

This 1984 album is one of the best early alt-country records. Frontman Sid Griffin – who would go on to write an acclaimed Gram Parsons biopic – shifted from Stonesy stomp, to twang, to the occasional venture into the psychedelic paisley underground sound that the other northern California bands of the era were so well known for. The real gem here is the ferocious Cali gothic Wreck of the 809, driven by its eerily soaring bassline. The rocking stuff includes the surreal Final Wild Son and Run Dusty Run (a Steve Wynn reference); the country is represented by the bittersweet Ivory Tower, I Had a Dream, Fair Game, the wry bluegrass-tinged Never Got to Meet the Mom and a boisterous cover of Mel Tillis’ Sweet Sweet Mental Revenge. The band would stay together through the 80s; everything they put out is worth a spin. Here’s a random torrent via Gas Music.

541. Elvis Costello – Costello & Nieve Live

Recorded on tour in five different cities, one per cd, this limited-edition box set went out of print shortly after its 1996 release – but thanks to the folks at For the Dishwasher, you can still download it. Just Costello playing acoustic guitar, and genius noir pianist Steve Nieve turning in a lot of characteristically transcendent performances. Highlights of the 27 tracks here: the best-ever version of what might be Costello’s most paradoxically brilliant song, Man Out of Time; an especially creepy Long Honeymoon; a skeletal, low-key Temptation; the surreal, seven-minute Brecht/Weill-influenced My Dark Life; a plaintively plainspoken cover of the Grateful Dead’s Ship of Fools; a biting, jaunty You’ll Never Be a Man; a real showstopping version of the suicide anthem All the Rage; and a lot of stuff from All This Useless Beauty, including takes of The Other End of the Telescope, Little Atoms, Poor Fractured Atlas and I Want to Vanish, all of which are even better than the studio versions. To those who say there are too many Elvis Costello albums on this list: he’s probably made at least a dozen classic albums, and plenty more than that are also worth hearing, so why shouldn’t we include half of them?

540. The Kinks – Something Else by the Kinks

This was a tough call. Everybody loves Village Green; Arthur is also a great album. But how about this 1967 release? What an eclectic, smart, catchy bunch of songs. The ones everybody knows and loves are Waterloo Sunset and David Watts (thanks to the Jam for making that one a punk classic). But the rest of the album is just as strong: the sarcastic Situation Vacant; the austere chamber pop tunes Death of a Clown, Two Sisters and No Return; the antiwar Tin Soldier Man, no less true today than it was then; the sly stoner anthem Harry Rag; Lazy Old Sun and Afternoon Tea, which foreshadow what was to come on Village Green; and the soul-infused ballad Love Me Til the Sun Shines, which would be a hit for the Lyres almost twenty years later. Here’s a random torrent via Oldish Psych Prog.

539. Either/Orchestra – The Calculus of Pleasure

Before Ethiopiques, before Either/Orchestra became Mulatu Astatke’s North American backing unit, they were a very clever, original, often noirish big band. When they weren’t doing cinematic, genre-defying instrumentals that bridge the gap between rock and jazz, that is. Literally everything saxophonist/composer Russ Gershon’s long-running Boston outfit has released is worth hearing; this 1992 album gets the nod because it’s probably their darkest and most cohesive. The real stunner here is a sad, elegaic ballad aptly titled Grey. There’s also the bracing, uneasy swing of Whisper Not; Bennie Moten’s Weird Nightmare, with its tongue-in-cheek Mingus echoes; the cinematic, suspenseful Consenting Adults; Ecaroh, which alternates between creepy bossa nova and swinging contentment; Unnatural Pastime, which begins as an animated jump blues but gets dark fast; and the epics Miles Away and The Hard Blues. Most of this is streaming at myspace (and surprisingly, this playlist isn’t interrupted by ads); here’s a random torrent via Six By Six.

538. Bobby Vacant and the Weary – Tear Back the Night

We picked this as one of the best albums of 2009. It’s as much a masterpiece of simple, potently imagistic wordsmithing as it is musically, multi-instrumentalist George Reisch a.k.a. The Weary giving these haunted, alienated songs the gravitas they deserve with some stunningly eclectic arrangements. Stand in Time gets an elegaic, vintage Moody Blues arrangement, while the surprisingly witty Waveflowers paints a portrait of slipping away in the night against a vividly nocturnal mid-period Pink Floyd style backdrop. Bobby Vacant opens the album by cautioning everybody to stay away; by the end, he’s willing to open the door a crack. In between, he chronicles acid casualties, sold-out ex-idealists and the down-and-out on the Arthur Lee-esque Clark Street and the snide country-rock romp Dylan’s Dead. The death obsession goes front and center on the dirge Some Walk; the most powerful tracks here are the title track, a creepy post-party scenario, and Never Looking Back, a bitter, morbid escape anthem set to a triumphant janglerock tune that will resonate with anyone who ever felt surrounded and threatened by people who just don’t get it. Too obscure to make it to the sharelockers, it’s still available from the excellent Chicago label Luxotone, where you can hear the whole thing. Bobby Vacant continues as a solo artist while running another excellent upstart label, Switzerland’s Weak Records.

537. Mama Cass Elliot – Dream a Little Dream

What a voice. What soul, and longing, and sensuality. Some of the tunes on the 60s cult heroine’s torchy 1968 debut release, like Burn Your Hatred and Rubber Band, are a little dated, but those vocals are timeless. And it’s too bad she isn’t with us anymore (the story about choking on a sandwich is cruelly untrue – it was bad dope that did her in). As you would expect from the hippie milieu she inhabited at that point, a lot of usual suspects stepped up to help out. Steven Stills’ guitar spices up the surprisingly plaintive Talking To Your Toothbrush; the Band’s Richard Manuel contributes Blues for Breakfast; John Sebastian throws in the pensive chamber-pop Room Nobody Lives In; and Leonard Cohen – who knows something about sexy allure – gives her You Know Who I Am (and she reciprocates mightily). There’s also the heavily reworked title track, a Bessie Smith hit forty years previously; California Earthquake, a psychedelic pop period piece that still resonates;  the big ballads What Was I Thinking Of and Long Time Loving You; the blue-eyed soul of Sweet Believer, and the jokey but actually very spot-on Jane the Insane Dog Lady. Here’s a random torrent via Jensen Brazil.

536. Ward White – Pulling Out

One of the world’s most literate rock songwriters, Ward White’s sardonic, sometimes scathing lyrics use devices usually found only in latin poetry or great novels – but he makes it seem effortless, maybe because he’s got a great sense of humor. He’s also a great tunesmith, and a first-class lead guitarist. Choosing from among his half-dozen albums is a crapshoot, since they’re all excellent. This one, from 2008, has a purist janglerock vibe, with keyboardist Joe McGinty turning in his finest, most deviously textural work since his days with the Psychedelic Furs. It opens with the bitter Beautiful Reward; Getting Along Is Easy cruelly chronicles a high-profile breakup; Let It All Go hilariously explores family dysfunction in Connecticut WASP-land. Miserable contrasts the catchiest tune here with the album’s most morose, doomed lyric. And The Ballad of Rawles Balls (White was once their bass player) immortalizes the legendary, satirical New York cover band from hell. There’s also bleak, jaundiced chamber-pop and a Big Star homage of sorts. Too obscure to make it to the share sites, it’s still streaming at White’s own site, where copies are also available. And his latest, 2011 release, Done with the Talking Cure, is just about as good as this one.

535. Exotica – Original Soundtrack

Canadian composer Mychael Danna has gotten a lot of Hollywood work; the best of his extensive career is this obscure 1994 score for an Atom Egoyan film that pretty much sank without a trace. Marketed as a suspense flick about a Montreal stripper and her stalker, it’s reputedly awful. But the music is a treat. It’s the kind of thing you might have discovered around that time on an adventurous late-night show on a good NPR affiliate. It’s notable for including several haunting, astringent Armenian melodies, including the folk songs Dilko Tamay Huay and Mujay Yaad (the latter completely redone as proto-bhangra). Some of these themes Danna expands on for his own compositions, most chillingly a series titled Field 1 through Field 4, a simple motif that in the end has grown to become downright macabre. There’s also the (possibly deliberately) silly disco title theme; the appropriately titled Something Hidden, Snake Dance, and the final track, The Ride Home, lush and more than a little exhausted, a bit of a respite from all the intensity. Here’s a random torrent via Judy Step.

534. New York City: Global Beat of the Boroughs

This 2001 Smithsonian Folkways release may be a long series of ludicrously bad segues, but multicultural party playlists don’t get much better than this. It’s predominantly latin and Balkan music played by obscure but frequently brilliant expatriate New York-based groups, although other immigrant cultures are represented. While the tracks by Irish group Cherish the Ladies and klezmer stars Andy Statman and the Klezmatics are all excellent, it’s surprising that the compilers couldn’t come up with the same kind of obscure treasures they unearthed from Puerto Rican plena groups Vienta de Agua and Los Pleneros de 21; or Albanian Besim Muriqi’s scorching dance tunes; or stately theatrical pieces by the prosaically titled traditional groups Music From China and the Korean Traditional Performing Arts Association. There are also rousing Greek and Bulgarian romps from Grigoris Maninakis and Yuri Yunakov, respectively; a soulful suite of Lebanese songs by crooner Naji Youssef; and even a spirited if roughhewn version of the Italian theme for the Williamsburg “Walking of the Giglio,” a big wooden tower paraded through the streets by a large troupe of hardworking men every August, among the 31 fascinating tracks here. Mysteriously AWOL from the usual sources for free music, it’s still available from the folks at the Smithsonian.

533. Matthew Grimm & the Red Smear – The Ghost of Rock n Roll

Ex-Hangdogs frontman Grimm’s second album with this fiery, Social Distortion-esque Iowa highway rock band is what the Dead Kennedys might have sounded like had they survived Tipper Gore’s assault and traded in the surf music for Americana. This 2009 release mixes snidely, sometimes viciously humorous cuts like Hang Up and Drive (a hilarious chronicle of idiots calling and texting behind the wheel), Cinderella (the self-centered girl who wants it all) and My Girlfriend’s Way Too Hot for Me (a raised middle finger at the yuppie who has everything but the hot chick, and who just can’t seem to complete his collection) with more savage, politically fueled songs. The centerpiece is the cold-blooded, murderous 1/20/09, celebrating the end of the Bush regime and looking forward the day when the “cloistered and dull trust-fund kid” might have to face up to his crimes in The Hague. There’s also the amusing Wrath of God, a sendup of doomsday Christians; White, an irresistibly funny, spot-on parody of white hip-hop; the triumphant and quite possibly prophetic singalong One Big Union, and the LMFAO Ayn Rand Sucks, which bitchslaps the memory of the “Nazi skank.” Also strangely AWOL from the usual sources for free music, but it’s still available from cdbaby. The band’s first album, Dawn’s Early Apocalypse, is just about as entertaining too.

532. Linda Draper – Bridge & Tunnel

Quietly and methodically, New York tunesmith Linda Draper has established herself as an elite lyrical songwriter. This 2009 release is the best and slightly most rock-oriented of her six consistently excellent, melodic albums. In a cool, nuanced voice, backed by her own nimbly fingerpicked acoustic guitar and a terse rhythm section, she stakes out characteristically sardonic, richly literate territory from a defiant outsider’s point of view. With its chilly organ background, the title track (Manhattanite slang for “suburban moron”) packs a quiet bite; the nonconformist anthems Sharks and Royalty and Broken Eggshell reflect a similar gentle confidence. Pushing up the Days is a snarky, pun-infused kiss-off, while Time Will Tell reverts to the psychedelic stream-of-consciousness vibe of her earlier work. The charmingly rustic Last One Standing hints that there could be a third choice other than leading or following; there’s also a casual, fun cover of the Stones’ Mother’s Little Helper. Here’s a random torrent via The Terminal; cd’s are still available at Draper’s site, with a highly anticipated new one due out sometime around the end of 2011.

531. Monty Alexander – Yard Movement

What the Jamaican pianist did on this 1995 live release was pretty radical at the time, but when you think about it, all he did was basically bring reggae full circle. Consider: reggae comes from rocksteady, rocksteady from ska, ska from calypso and calypso from jazz. Alexander has been a lyrical, exuberant player for decades, and immersed in reggae even if he didn’t start out playing it, so it was a natural progression for him. His equally ecstatic band here includes reggae guitar icon Ernest Ranglin (a jazzcat himself – see #903 on this list). They kick it off by winding their way up slowly and deliberately into a twelve-plus minute version of Bob Marley’s Exodus, hitting the same hypnotic groove as the original but with cascading, incisive leads by the piano instead of the guitar. The rest of the album is all Alexander originals: the more stern Regulator; the blissful ballads Crying, Love Notes and Moonlight City, his popular tribute to his favorite Jamdown spot, Strawberry Hill, and the hot closing jam, Sneaky Steppers. Pretty much everything Alexander has ever done is worth a spin, including his latest, Harlem-Kingston Express live record. This one is streaming in its entirety at grooveshark; here’s a random torrent via Ras Cope.

530. Devi – Get Free

The 2009 debut release by this Hoboken, New Jersey psychedelic powerpop trio is a feast of good guitar and solid tunesmithing. But Debra, the band’s frontwoman, doesn’t let her virtuoso chops clutter the songs: instead, she goes for intricate layers and textures, with the occasional long, exhilarating, blues-infused solo. The genuine classic here is Welcome to the Boneyard, a haunted 9/11 memoir told from the point of a ghost in the rubble, drenched in watery riffs played through a Leslie organ speaker. When It Comes Down and the title track are the big concert favorites, all rises and falls and scorching solos. There’s also the wickedly catchy, gritty Howl at the Moon; Another Day (which could be the Runaways if they’d had better chops); Demon in the Sack, which pokes fun at gender stereotypes and sexual politics; Love That Lasts, which finally crosses the bridge over into exuberant metal; and a richly textured cover of Neil Young’s The Needle and the Damage Done. The album is streaming in its entirety at bandcamp and available as a free download at the band’s site.

529. Charles Evans/Neil Shah – Live at Saint Stephens

We go to the well, or to be precise, to a church in the wilds of Pennsylvania for this one, a hypnotic, often downright macabre 2009 set of originals and improvisations by this dynamic baritone sax/piano duo. Shah’s glimmering chromatics evoke Erik Satie as much as they do Keith Jarrett, livened and eclectically flavored by Evans’ panoramic lines – he uses the entirety of his range including all kinds of harmonics. Yet as bracing and strange as this is, most of it you can hum. It’s a couple of mini-suites, a playful, bluesy Jan Roth cover, and many lengthy passages alternating terse, blues-based purism with murky, often menacing suspense from both instruments. Too obscure to make it to the usual sources for free music, it’s still available from Moppa Elliott’s fantastic Hot Cup Records label.

528. Memphis Minnie – I Ain’t No Bad Gal

The prototypical blues guitar goddess, Memphis Minnie’s career spanned from the delta into the Chicago era in the early 1950s. She could outplay most of the guys around her and never really got the credit she deserves. Like many blues artists of the time, she recorded for quick money, very frequently – she wrote hundreds, maybe thousands of songs. This 1998 reissue doesn’t have her signature tune When the Levee Breaks (famously covered by Led Zep), but it’s as good a representation as any. Most of the sides here date from the late 30s or early 40s. Some, like Can’t Afford to Lose My Man and You Need a Friend echo popular artists like Bessie Smith; others (Looking the World Over and Down by the Riverside) offer an update on old folk themes; but the best are her most defiant, rebellious ones like the title track, Remember Me Blues, You Got to Get Out of Here and I Am Sailing. It’s surprisingly absent from the usual sources for free music, but in lieu of this one you can check out the first volume in the “complete recorded works” collection via On Muddy Sava Riverbank.

527. Curtis Eller – Wirewalkers and Assassins

2009 was a particularly good year for music – if you’ve been following this space, you’ll see we’ve been mining it quite a bit lately. This is Curtis Eller’s latest and best album – he plays banjo and happens to be one of the finest lyrical songwriters of our time. His specialty is fiery, minor-key, bluesy songs full of historical references and punk energy. This one has his very best one, the apocalyptic After the Soil Fails; the New York-centric Sugar for the Horses; the grim party anthem Sweatshop Fire; the chillingly summery, hallucinatory Hartford Circus Fire; the sardonic Firing Squad; the gentle, blackly humorous country sway of the Plea of the Aerialist’s Wife, and the wrenchingly haunting, whispery Save Me Joe Louis, its title taken from what were reputedly the last words of the first man (who was probably wrongfully convicted) to be executed in the gas chamber. It hasn’t made it to the filesharing sites yet but it’s still available from Eller’s bandcamp, where you can hear the whole thing.

526. The JPT Scare Band – Past Is Prologue

Legendary in the midwest, the Kansas City power trio of drummer Jeff Littrell, bassist Paul Grigsby and guitarist Terry Swope recorded most of this between 1973 and 1975. While none of these tracks were officially released until 2001, the band was a cult favorite of the “cassette underground” for years. The opening track here, Burn In Hell, a forest of tense, flanged minor chords, was actually recorded that year and shows that the band was keeping up with the times. But it’s the old stuff that’s the most riveting: Sleeping Sickness, practically fourteen minutes of virtuoso Texas blues with metal flourishes, ten years before Stevie Ray Vaughan mastered the art; the wildly Hendrix-inspired proto-noiserock of I’ve Been Waiting and Time to Cry (which clocks in at a modest 12:59); Jerry’s Blues, which sounds a lot more like Jimi than the Dead; and the riff-rocking psychedelia of Titan’s Sirens. Recently reunited, the band played their first show in thirty years earlier this summer and are reputedly as scary as ever. Most of the tracks are streaming at myspace (without ads, happily); here’s a random torrent via Cavites Pride. The album, along with the equally good, bizarrely titled Acid Blues Is the White Man’s Burden, is also still available from Ripple Music.

525. Melomane – Glaciers

This eclectic 2007 release captures the lushly lyrical New York art-rockers at the top of their game. It opens with the blackly amusing Hilarious, a breezy Crowded House-ish art-pop tune, frontman/guitarist Pierre de Gaillande blithely chatting up a girl while the climate and the arms race heat up on all sides. Unfriendly Skies is Elvis Costello’s Radio Radio for the millennial generation, followed by the darkly romantic Open Invitation and then Nobody, which takes a turn into tropicalia with its bossa rhythm, trumpet and strings. The real classic here is The Ballot Is the Bullet, a quietly ferocious, stately funeral march in advance for the Bush regime. There’s also the defiantly populist, catchy Little Man’s Castles; the quirky, psychedelic mini-suite This Is Skyhorse; the clever satirical, Gruppo Sportivo-esque Pistolla di Colla (Italian for “glue gun”) and the pensive Thin Ice. The whole thing is streaming at myspace, of all places; strangely missing from the usual sources for free music, it’s still available from Melomane’s site. In the years since this came out, De Gaillande has gone on to equally gripping projects including the Snow (see #890 on this list) and his Bad Reputation project, which plays witty English translations of classic Georges Brassens songs.

524. Black Fortress of Opium’s first album

Led by a charismatic multi-instrumentalist who goes by Ajda the Turkish Queen, the Boston noir rockers’ 2008 debut alternates between assaultive, noir anthems and more hypnotic but equally dark stuff. Martin Bisi’s raw yet rich production blends layer upon layer of reverb guitar in with Ajda’s mandolin, banjo, wind instruments and “field recordings,” creating an irresistible sonic tar pit. The gothic-titled House of Edward Devotion sets the stage for what’s to come with its eerie overtones, the melody only baring its fangs in the quietest moments, followed by the savage Black Rope Burns. The most stunning moment here is the seven-minute Ari (dedicated to the son Nico had with Alain Delon) with its ferocious sheets of distorted slide guitar and an earth-shattering plummet into the abyss at the end. There’s also the wistful Crack + Pool and its reprise; the Nina Nastasia-esque Twelve Gross; the jarringly percussive Your Past; the sad, sarcastic lament Model Café; the sultry, bluesy soul ballad From a Woman to a Man and the trance-inducing, ominous, nine-minute Dulcet TV. Most of this is streaming at the band’s myspace; AWOL from the sharelockers, it’s still available at cdbaby.

523. Woody Guthrie – The Complete Library of Congress Recordings

This isn’t all of them, but it was in 1940 when Alan Lomax recorded Woody solo, and as you would expect from Lomax, there’s an awful lot of traditional stuff – Rye Whiskey, Foggy Mountain Top and Going Down the Road Feeling Bad – along with the originals. While Guthrie was just as much an archivist as activist and performer, it’s his own songs that everybody wants, and this has most of the early classics. The 3-cd box set intersperses dust bowl ballads – Talking Dust Bowl Blues and Dust Bowl Refugee, to name just two – with less contemporaneous populist anthems like I Don’t Want Your Greenback Dollar, Hard Times and Pretty Boy Floyd along with modern day folk classics like So Long and a handful of instrumentals (Guthrie never would have been so popular if he hadn’t been such a great tunesmith, and a surprisingly good picker). The whole thing is streaming at grooveshark; here’s a random torrent via 0 Earth.

522. Quincy Jones – In the Heat of the Night: Original Soundtrack

This 1967 psychedelic soul classic is more of a collection of songs, some of them without words, than it is atmospheric mood pieces. Twenty tracks in all, many of them clocking in at barely two minutes apiece: detective Tibbs’ confrontation with the cops; a tense jail scene; and edgy, noirishly funky chase scenes galore. Ray Charles sings the title theme and Mama Caleba’s Blues. There’s also jaw-droppingly silly, satirical C&W from Glen Campbell and Boomer & Travis and Gil Bernal’s It Sure Is Groovy, which sounds like one of the Vampyros Lesbos tracks. Reissued in the 80s as a twofer with Jones’ soundtrack to the long-forgotten 1970 followup flick They Call Me Mr. Tibbs, here’s a random torrent via Banana Spliff.

521. The Violent Femmes’ first album

When Chrissie Hynde discovered these snotty acoustic punks in Milwaukee in 1983, little did anybody know that they’d be able to base an entire thirty-year career on this one album. The catchy intros to Blister in the Sun and Add It Up may blare over sports stadium PA systems these days, which is especially amusing since the lyrics that always get faded out quickly are so filthy. Brilliant acoustic bass guitarist Brian Ritchie plays the leads behind Gordon Gano’s petulant, smirky whine as they move from post-Velvets angst (Please Do Not Go, Prove My Love and Good Feeling) to belligerence (Kiss Off) to bluesy pop (Gone Daddy Gone) to more menacing stuff like Promise, The Kill and Confessions that could be the real deal, or just a spoof. Still a great party record after all these years. Here’s a random torrent.

520. Noir Desir – Dies Irae

Often compared to Joy Division, these French rockers were actually closer to the Gun Club, with a twangy, noir, often Middle Eastern-tinged guitar sound and frontman Bertrand Cantat’s bitter, doomed lyricism. This blistering 1994 double-disc live set is the band at their most raw and assaultive, and contains most of their best songs, including the hypnotically galloping Mexican immigration epic Tostaky and the savage anti-globalization anthem Ici Paris. It opens with a signature song of sorts, La Rage, and closes with the bitter, cynical En Route Pour la Joie (Looking for Some Fun). In between, the 22 tracks include Les Écorchés (The Burnouts); the punked-out folk song Johnny Colère; the hallucinatory La Chaleur (Heat); the furtive À L’arrière des Taxis (In the Backs of Cabs); and dirges like Marlène and Sober Song (about the hangover from hell). Cantat is vastly more articulate in French than English, although he means well, as in The Holy Economic War. The band broke up in 2003 when Cantat murdered his mistress in a coke-fueled rage; a comeback after his release from prison generated considerable controversy. Here’s a random torrent.

519. The Angelic Upstarts – Live

A high point of the classic punk era. Over the course of a long career and innumerable lineup changes, this captures the original 1981 edition of the band playing most of their best early songs. It’s a long album, 15 songs: the alienation anthems Never Had Nothing and Leave Me Alone; the kids-against-the-world broadsides Teenage Warning, Kids on the Street, 2,000,000 Voices and their signature song, I’m an Upstart; and the antiwar Last Night Another Soldier. Aware of what was going on in the outside world, they sided with the people of Poland in Solidarity; with the Afghans against the Soviets in the ironic-to-the-extreme Guns for the Afghan Rebels (which had absolutely nothing to do with Osama Bin Laden or the CIA); sided with the outlaws and the kids against the cops with Machine Gun Kelly, Police Oppression, Who Killed Liddle Towers (a West Indian immigrant who died suspiciously in police custody) and a version of the Clash’s White Riot that beats the original. Here’s a random torrent via Mirotvorce.

518. King Tubby Meets the Rockers Uptown

Not bad for a bunch of cover versions that were all initially released as b-sides. Along with Lee “Scratch” Perry, the late King Tubby is considered to be one of the inventors and early giants of dub reggae, and this is his high-water mark. As you would expect with a hit album from Jamaica, 1976, versions exist which are credited to King Tubby himself (who engineered it), others to the other groove genius behind this, producer/melodica player Augustus Pablo. Either way, it’s a woozy, intoxicating ride, guitar, horn flourishes and all those echoey drum bits fading up and then out of the picture. Many of these songs rework hits by Jacob Miller, including the title track, Stop Them Jah, and Each One Dub, while Frozen Dub reinvents an old Heptones hit. There’s also Keep on Dubbing; Young Generation Dub; 555 Dub Street; Brace’s Tower Dub (part one and part two); Corner Crew Dub; Skanking Dub and Satta Dub. The late 80s reissue comes with four bonus tracks, included here in this random torrent via It’s Coming Out of Your Speaker.

517. Iron Maiden – Live After Death

“Scream for me Long Beach!” Bruce Dickinson howls again and again. By the time the standard bearers of the new wave of British heavy metal (NWOBHM for short) made this double vinyl monstrosity, they were a well-oiled machine in the midst of a 1985 tour that would take them around the world more than once in over a year. It’s basically their greatest hits live done by the classic lineup with the two-guitar attack of Dave Murray and Adrian Smith, with the unsurpassed, nimble rhythm section of bass god Steve Harris and Nicko McBain on drums. Every facet of the band is represented: the pounding, punkish Aces High, Die with Your Boots On, Running Free and 22 Acacia Ave.; the artsy, classically-flavored epics Rime of the Ancient Mariner, Powerslave and Phantom of the Opera (no relation to the musical); and catchy, anthemic classics including Run to the Hills, 2 Minutes to Midnight and of course The Number of the Beast. Tuneful, melodic and intelligent, this band transcends any metal stereotype. Don’t confuse these guys with another great British band called Iron Maiden, a proto-metal group from the late 60s/early 70s. Here’s a random torrent via Sergio Maiden.

516. Bahamadia – Kollage

One of the tracks on this late golden-age hip-hop album is simply called Innovation, which pretty much sums up what Bahamadia is all about. She was respected in her native Philadelphia before Guru and Primo from Gang Starr discovered her and produced most of the tracks on this 1996 debut. It’s easy to see why they liked her. She’s a purist who – other than on Tru Honey Buns, where she gets off on playing a clueless guy for his money – puts lyrics and ideas out front rather than posturing for fame or namechecking luxury brands. Think a mature Roxanne Shante without the Brooklyn accent. Some of the best of the 15 tracks here: Spontaneity, a rapidfire freestyle with Razhel; the calmly erudite Wordplay; the Nas-influenced Rugged Ruff; the plaintive I Confess, ecstatic Uknowhowwedo, kick-ass Total Wreck and the single that should have been huge, 3 the Hard Way. The only dud here is a maudlin, sentimental piece that samples 70s elevator-pop band Ambrosia. Here’s a random torrent via Blazewon.

515. Mike Ness – Cheating at Solitaire

The reaction to this one was mixed when it came out in 1999, but it’s aged well, especially since this foreshadows so much of what the Social Distortion frontman would do with his main project in the years ahead. A lot of the covers here hint at the more somber, straight-up country direction he’d take, particularly the carpe-diem anthems Charmed Life, If You Leave Before Me, Rest of Our Lives, the troublemaker’s lament  that serves as the title track, and also the unexpectly upbeat kiss-off number Ballad of a Lonely Man. Bruce Springsteen guests on Misery Loves Company, and the covers are absolutely killer as well – have you ever heard a more intense version of Long Black Veil…or an actually good version of Bob Dylan’s Don’t Think Twice? Hank Williams’ You Win Again isn’t bad either. This random torrent has everything except the bonus track that appeared on the vinyl version.

514. Motorhead – No Sleep Til Hammersmith

How does Motorhead manage to sound so titanic with only one guitarist? Lemmy’s wall-of-sound bass chords. He plays bass like a guitarist, which enables whoever’s on guitar – in this case, Fast Eddie Clarke, in his last stint in the classic original lineup – to take off and go way, way out into the bluesmetal ionosphere as much as he wants. This raw, cheaply produced but intensely adrenalinized 1981 live set – which went to #1 on the British charts – includes the longer anthems like Capricorn and Bomber that the band was beginning to introduce alongside their more punk numbers like their signature song, Stay Clean (what a joke that title is), The Hammer, Overkill and of course Ace of Spades. The best track is actually a mammoth version of We Are the Road Crew, the irresistibly catchy tribute to the guys who lug all the gear and never get any credit; the band also tackle a cover of Born to Lose and actually avoid embarrassing themselves. Why’d we choose this one? Only because everybody else seems to choose Ace of Spades. Here’s a random torrent.

513. Nina Simone in Concert

How do you choose one Nina Simone album over another? You don’t. You could point, blindfolded, and still hit a bullseye most of the time with the iconic, fearless, badass soul siren. We picked this one because it’s from when she was young and embittered but not worn down by that bitterness: she still had an awful lot of fight left in her. This one’s got her fronting a solid jazz quartet – with her playing piano of course – doing a few tracks from her popular debut album like I Loves You Porgy and a towering, theatrical version of Kurt Weill’s Pirate Jenny along with a coy take of Willard Robison’s Don’t Smoke in Bed, her own sultry Go Limp and Plain Gold Ring. But the real stunners here are the civil rights anthems Old Jim Crow and the totally punk rock Mississippi Goddamn – you can hear the mostly-white audience laughing nervously, especially after she introduces it as a showtune for a musical “that hasn’t been written yet.” In 1964, it hadn’t. Here’s a random torrent.

512. George Jones – The Best of George Jones: Hardcore Honkytonk Vol. 1

Let’s stick with iconic voices for two days in a row, ok? If you’ve followed this countdown for any length of time, you’ve noticed that most of the country albums here are greatest-hits collections, and that’s not just us being lazy: it’s because so many of the great C&W artists date from the pre-album era, and also because a lot of country albums have a lot of filler. Not this one! It doesn’t have She Thinks I Still Care (the Definitive Collection 1955-62 does, and that album’s also impossible to find as a download), but it’s a good representation of the great honkytonk singer’s career, before he turned into No-Show Jones. Some primo drinking songs: Just One More (“Put the bottle on the table/Let it stay there til I’m not able…”); Relief Is Just a Swallow Away, and The Last Town I Painted. A bunch of anguished ballads: You’re Still on My Mind; Out of Control; Color of the Blues; Mr. Fool; and more upbeat stuff like Why Baby Why and Window Up Above among the 20 choice cuts from the late 50s and early 60s. Here’s a random torrent via Down Underground.

511. Led Zeppelin – Physical Graffiti

At the risk of losing our entire subscriber base, here’s something that might be kind of obvious to some of you and completely offensive to everybody else. In order to “get” Led Zep, you have to remember that they were a bunch of hippies, consequently, they didn’t take themselves all that seriously (especially the goofball singer). Ironically, this is the one place where they reached for epic grandeur and actually nailed it, particularly on the magnificently arranged, utterly chilling Ten Years Gone and the eleven-minute bluesmetal epic In My Time of Dying. The rest of this sprawling 1974 double album is eclectic to the extreme: woozy stoner metal like Custard Pie, Sick Again (a prototype for AC/DC) and the tongue-in-cheek prog-rock Houses of the Holy; In the Light, with its almost nine-minute, twisted Indian vibe that the Beatles reached for but never quite achieved; Trampled Under Foot, which sounds like Stevie Wonder gone metal; the delicate instrumental Bron-Yr-Aur; the gentle, bucolic Down by the Seaside; the completely sick funk-metal of The Wanton Song; The Rover, a midtempo riff-rocker; Night Flight, a 1971 shot at a pop hit with swirling organ; an amusing Beggars Banquet-era Stones ripoff, a jam with the Stones’ keyboardist, and, oh yeah, that song from Fast Times at Ridgemont High. Here’s a random torrent.

510. Esma Redzepova – Queen of the Gypsies

This 2007 album from the legendary Macedonian chanteuse includes both a disc of songs from her native land as well as the Roma songs she was brought up on, which earned her fame throughout Europe. The Macedonian stuff here tends to be more plaintive, Zosto Si Me Majko (Oh Mother Why Was I Born) being a prime example. Backed by a rustic, often haunting acoustic band, Rezdepova makes her way through anthems like Zapej Makedonijo (Macedonia Sings), Svadba Makedonska (Macedonian Wedding) and the wistful Grade Moj (My Town). The gypsy material is a lot more upbeat, often absolutely exhilarating,  a showcase for both her wild vocal ornamentation and also her minutely honed nuance, especially on dance numbers like Esma Cocek and Romano Horo, and the towering, dramatic Hajri Ma Te Dike. Pretty much everything she’s recorded is worth hearing; these 24 tracks are a good overview of her career. Here’s a random torrent.

509. The Knitters – Poor Little Critter on the Road

This is basically the X record between More Fun in the New World (#936 on this list’s “such an obvious choice that we didn’t bother to explain” page) and Ain’t Love Grand. From 1985, it’s not the first alt-country album, but it is one of the best. Foreshadowing the popular Pete’s Candy Store sound that came out of in Brooklyn in the late 90s/early zeros, it’s a bunch of punk rockers playing old country and folk music, with both passion and chops. Before country was cool, Exene and John Doe really understood the kinship between hillbilly music and punk, exemplified by the blithely grisly title track, sad songs like Silver Wings and Poor Old Heartsick Me, the defiant Baby Out of Jail and rattling versions of Rock Island Line and Walkin’ Cane. There are also mellower yet still edgy versions of a few X tunes including The New World and The Call of the Wreckin’ Ball, which the band has amusingly updated over the years. X has done a couple of tours as the Knitters in recent years: if you get the chance to see them, don’t pass it up. Here’s a random torrent.

508. Amalia Rodrigues – Com Que Voz

The best-known and most influential singer in the world of fado – the sad ballads considered to be the national music of Portugal – was 49 when she made this album in 1969. It’s a collection of iconic Portuguese poems set to music by her longtime musical director Alain Oulman, who gets credit for expanding her sound to include styles from all over Europe. The sonics are lushly orchestrated but not cheesy, and Rodrigues’ steely, resolute, plaintive voice is in top form, through the bitter expatriate anthem Trova Do Vento Que Passa (Tradewinds); a remake of her 1961 hit Maria Lisboa; ballads like As Mãos Que Trago (I Give You My Hand); the stately title track, swaying Gaivota and Formiga Bossa Nova; the haunting Cuidei Que Tinhas Morrido (I Saw That You Died) and Naufragio (Shipwreck); nostalgic Havemos de Ir a Viana (Back to Vienna), Madrugada de Alfama (Alfama Morning) and Meu Amor, Meu Amor. Everything else Rodrigues did before this point is also worth seeking out, if your taste runs to quiet, emotionally vivid songs, Portuguese not required. Most of this album is streaming at myspace; here’s a random torrent.

507. Willie Nelson – One Hell of a Ride

On one level, this mammoth four-cd retrospective box set is kind of overkill: everything by Willie that you’ve ever heard on the radio – you know, On the Road Again, and Whiskey River, ad infinitum – plus a solid mix of stuff from throughout his career. It’s got pro songwriter Willie, outlaw stoner Willie, jazz crooner Willie, and also ridiculous eclecticist Willie, which is most of cd four, when the overkill factor kicks in. Ironically, the choicest material here is the stuff he wrote for other people: Crazy for Patsy Cline; Night Life for B.B. King; Hello Walls for Faron Young; and Funny How Time Slips Away, to name a few. And delightful oddities like Texas in My Soul and Mr. Record Man, along with modern-day standards like Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain, Yesterday’s Wine and Townes Van Zandt’s Pancho and Lefty, to name just a few of the one hundred tracks here, many of which you know by heart. Here’s a random torrent via Nathan’s Hideaway.

506. Tandy – To a Friend/Did You Think I Was Gone

This is cheating a little, since this twofer combines Steve Earle’s favorite rock band’s two most recent albums, from 2005 and 2006. But it’s double the goodness. Frontman/guitarist Mike Ferrio’s jangly, lyrically driven songs linger in your mind, pensive and often haunting. Some of them, like The Fever Breaks, Evensong and I Am the Werewolf, mine a creepy southwestern gothic vein; others, like Home and Girls Like Us look back toward Springsteen when he was still blue-collar. There’s also the brooding Epitaph, On the Hill and Bait along with more upbeat stuff like the first album’s title track, which reverts to the Wilco-inflected pop that Ferrio was writing around the turn of the century. The band was until very recently extremely popular in Europe, but suffered a tragic setback with the unexpected death of their brilliant, eclectic lead player Drew Glackin. Since then, the band has performed sporadically but extremely well with a number of guest guitarists. Both albums are streaming in their entirety at cheesy myspace, here and here; surprisingly, the blogosphere hasn’t caught up with them yet, but the double cd is still available from the band.

505. The Very Best Of Marlene Dietrich

42 tracks from the prototypical world-weary chanteuse, goth girl and lesbian icon, 1930 through the late 50s. As you would expect, there are a million Dietrich anthologies out there, and pretty much anything she did in German before 1940 is worth a listen. We chose this one because A) it’s downloadable and B) it’s a good mix of both the teutonic and the American stuff. It wouldn’t be here if it didn’t have Lili Marlene and My Blue Heaven; it’s also got Ich bin die fesche Lola, and its American translation; Nimm dich in acht vor blonden Frauen (and Blonde Women); Das Lied is aus; the amusing German version of Miss Otis Regrets, Mein Mann ist verhindert; along with risque American dancehall stuff like The Boys in the Back Room, Makin’ Whoopee and You’re the Cream in My Coffee. If you think this is all camp, give a listen: it’s actually pretty creepy. Nico couldn’t have existed without her. Here’s a random torrent.

504. Crowded House – Together Alone

Their best album, an alternately lush, jangly, and sensual Beatlesque psychedelic pop gem from 1993. The opening track, Kare Kare offers swirling atmospherics, followed by the catchy pop tune In My Command, and the album’s best track, the absolutely gorgeous, crescendoing Nails in My Feet. Neil Finn, as good a guitarist as he is a tunesmith, gets dark and edgy on the biting mood piece Fingers of Love; Pineapple Head and Private Universe are gently romantic, while Black and White Boy and Locked Out are scorching, guitar-fueled riff-pop. A janglerock masterpiece, Distant Sun has one of the alltime great choruses; there’s also the jagged Skin Feeling along with the slightly trippy Catherine Wheels and the title track. The suicide of excellent drummer Paul Hester made the prospect of a reunion unlikely, but Finn’s put the group back together with a new one, and they’re reputedly as entertaining and tuneful as ever. Here’s a random torrent via Neurotico y Romantico.

503. The Dukes of Stratosphear – 25 O’Clock

This is XTC in 1985 doing a loving parody of pretty much every 60s psychedelic band and every 60s psychedelic rock production trope, having a great time making fun of stoners in the process. Blippy loops, echoes, thumps and swirls pan back and forth across the speakers as they parody the Electric Prunes on the title track, early Pink Floyd on Bike Ride to the Moon, the Yardbirds on My Love Explodes, the Beatles and Stones on What in the World, the Stones again with the fuzztone-fueled Your Gold Dress (whose leapfrogging brontosaurus drums are LMFAO funny) and finally the Move on the surprisingly sweeping, majestic The Mole from the Ministry. The keyboard settings are as trebly and cheesy as you would expect; perhaps surprisingly, Colin Moulding would never play more interesting, soaringly melodic basslines than he does here. There’s also a full-length album, Psonic Psunspot, which includes these songs along with several vastly less interesting Beach Boys ripoffs. Here’s a random torrent.

502. The Only Ones – Even Serpents Shine

Although this British band got their start during the punk era, they’re not particularly punk at all. Sometimes jangly, sometimes growling, their two-guitar attack reminds a lot more of a more terse, powerpop-oriented version of Television than any punk band. This 1979 album, their second, doesn’t have their big hit Another Girl Another Planet: it’s a lot more serious. The real stunner here is the opening anthem, From Here to Eternity, as assaultively menacing as it is seductive, frontman Peter Perrett’s suave croon giving nothing away. There’s also the sarcastic No Solution; the glamrock-inspired Out There in the Night; the seedily picturesque Programme; brisk pub-rockers like Oh No and Curtains for You as well as more slowly unwinding, guitar-fueled tracks like Flaming Torch, You’ve Got to Pay, In Betweens and the wryly titled Instrumental. Here’s a random torrent via Straighten Out.

501. JB Lenoir and Sunnyland Slim – Live ’63

Recorded in lo-fi mono by blues enthusiast Norman Oden at the obscure Chicago nightspot Nina’s Lounge and reissued 37 years later, this is a prime example of the blues as blue-collar neighborhood drinking music, not cultural tourism for politically correct yuppies. As The Hound has insightfully observed, Lenoir’s subtly chordal guitar style was a big influence on Ali Farka Toure, helping to jumpstart the desert blues movement. This doesn’t have Lenoir’s “protest songs” like Eisenhower Blues or Vietnam Blues, but this mostly solo set on his home turf is a treat. Pianist Sunnyland Slim – the guy who introduced Muddy Waters to Big Bill Broonzy and springboarded Waters’ career – plays with his usual casual, incisively smart style as Lenoir makes his way through the understatedly biting Harlem Can’t Be Heaven, hits like It’s You Baby and Brown Skin Woman along with a bunch of jams with titles obviously not supplied by the musicians, i.e. J.B.’s Harp-Rack Blues.The whole thing is streaming at spotify if you have it, deezer also (if you haven’t used your allotted monthly hour or whatever it is now); here’s a random torrent via The Blues-That Jazz.

500. Twin Turbine – Jolly Green Giant

The second album from these New York underground rock legends blends the surreal guitar assault of Guided by Voices with more straightforwardly melodic British Invasion and punk sounds. It’s got creepy, intense stuff like Fade For Sunday – frontman/guitarist Dave Popeck sounding like Roger Waters doing his best Darth Vader imitation – along with the scathing Made for TV Murder, a Jon-Benet Ramsey narrative. Downsizer, the single, is even more timely in these depression days, with its bitter lyrics and catchy Stiff Little Fingers-inflected tune. The best of all of these is Susquehanna, a gorgeous, vengefully hallucinatory anthem setting layers of guitars over a swaying country backbeat. There’s also the squalling Love Rock & Roll, the Stoogoid Stop This Thing and Womankind, and Both Kinds, which sets an old 60s garage rock riff to 90s GBV crunch. A cult classic from 2005, it’s AWOL from the usual sources for free music – even Spotify doesn’t have it – but it’s still available from the band.

June 11, 2011 Posted by | blues music, classical music, country music, funk music, jazz, lists, Music, music, concert, reggae music, rock music, soul music, world music | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

New York City Live Music Calendar for June and July 2011 Plus Other Events

Click here for an updated concert calendar for July and August 2011.

As always, weekly events are listed at the bottom of the page, after the last of the daily listings: scroll down and you’ll find them. If you didn’t see anything that struck you as fun this time around, check back later because we update this obsessively.

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. This is not a list of every band playing every club in NYC; this is a list of good shows, many of which we will go see ourselves. We focus on edgy, entertaining stuff: if you’re looking for Lady Gag or Fleet Foxes, you’re in the wrong place. We try to be descriptive rather than using all kinds of superlative adjectives.

6/1, 7:30 PM adventurous pianist Alexandra Joan winds up her entertainingly counterintuitive Kaleidoscope Series with a program of original material and improvisations featuring jazz guitarist Peter Mazza, Thomson Kneeland on bass and Timothy Hayward on sax at WMP Concert Hall, 31 W 28th St., $25

6/1, 7:30 PM dark incisive classical composer/pianist Fernando Otero and cellist Inbal Segev play Bach, Kodály, and Otero at le Poisson Rouge, $15 adv tix rec.

6/1, 8 PM delightfully fun, quirky, counterintuitive all-female indie pop band the Walking Hellos at Fontana’s.

6/1, 10 PM, intense frontwoman Wendy Griffiths and her powerfully tuneful 80s punk/new wave influenced Changing Modes – who recorded our pick for best song of 2010 – at Sullivan Hall, $10.

6/1 midnight-ish big sprawling funk band Turkuaz at Southpaw, $5.

6/2, noon, George Clinton & the P-Funk All Stars at Metrotech Park in downtown Brooklyn, free.

6/2, half past noon Klezmatics violin powerhouse Alicia Svigals’ Klezmer Fiddle Express at St. Marks Park, 2nd Ave./10th St.

6/2, 2:30 PM acoustic guitarist Don DeMarco plays instruments similar to those in the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s collection in their musical instruments section, free w/museum adm

6/2, 7 PM fiery noir cabaret songwriter Sabrina Chap at Banjo Jim’s followed eventually at 9 with the psychedelic folk of the Peaceniks feat. Moogy Klingman and Patti Rothberg at Banjo Jim’s.

6/2, 7 PM gorgeously lyrical jazz quintet the Flail at the Fat Cat. They’re also at Smalls at 9:30 on 6/16.

6/2, 8 PM smartly multistylistic retro keyboardist/singer and Jack White collaborator Rachelle Garniez (whose most recent album we rated best of the year) at Barbes.

6/2, 8 PM legendary, brilliant first-wave Irish punk rockers Stiff Little Fingers make their Brooklyn debut at Europa, $20. They’re at the Gramercy Theatre the following night for an extra $13 – that’s how much Live Nation is ripping you off for this one.

6/2, 8 PM the Da Capo Chamber Players’ 40th anniversary concert at Merkin Concert Hall feat. Pierrot lunaire, OP. 21 by Arnold Schoenberg, with guest soprano, Lucy Shelton; the world premiere performance of Gravity by George Tsontakis (written for the 40th anniversary of Da Capo); the New York premiere of Midnight Rounds by Keith Fitch (written for the 40th anniversary of Da Capo); Tres Lent as well as And…They’re Off! by Joan Tower (who was the ensemble’s founding pianist), $20 adv tix very highly rec., this should sell out.

6/2 country and bluegrass night with the Wicked Messengers, Freshly Baked and Dang-It Bobbys at Freddy’s, 8 PM.

6/2, 8 PM guitar funkmeister Askold Buk followed at 9 by Jimmy Buffett’s legendary first lead guitarist Roger Bartlett at P&G Bar on the upper west.

6/2, 8 PM the New Amsterdam Symphony plays Bizet’s Carmen Suite, Grieg’s Peer Gynt Suite and Brahms’ Symphony #2 at Symphony Space, $20

6/2, 8:30 PM trombonist Samuel Blaser leads a quartet with Russ Lossing, piano; Eivind Opsvik, bass; Paul Motian, drums; Samuel Blaser, trombone playing the cd release show for his latest one at Cornelia St. Cafe, $15

6/2, 8:30 PM new music ensemble Sybarite5 play the Lincoln Center Atrium at 65th/Bwy, letting their ipod shuffle choose the pieces they’ll be performing, early arrival advised.

6/2, 9 PM Melvin Van Peebles wid Laxative at Zebulon. The legendary filmmaker also writes absolutely hilarious, subtly provocative, socially aware songs that skewer all kinds of stereotypes. He’s backed by a killer funk band comprised of members of Burnt Sugar.

6/2, 10 PM atmospheric, pensive rock anthems with Hurricane Bells feat. Steve Schiltz (ex-Longwave and Scout) at Culturefix on Clinton St.

6/2, 10 PM a solid oldtime country doublebill with Brotherhood of the Jug Band Blues followed by Alex Battles & Whisky Rebellion at the Jalopy, $10

6/2 powerpop/psychedelic guitar monsters Devi at Arlene’s, 11 PM recording a live album! Get your screams on vinyl!

6/2, midnight, dark female-fronted soul band MotherMoon at Spike Hill.

6/3, 7 PM ferocious, hilarious, theatrical, Beatlesque lyrical songwriter Walter Ego at Banjo Jim’s feat. some of NYC’s best guests (secret – we won’t give it away).

6/3, 7:30 PM the Prism Quartet plays world premieres by works by David Rakowski, Lisa Bielawa, Perry Goldstein, Matthew Levy, and Cara Haxo at Symphony Space, $20

6/3, 8 PM filmmakers Suki Hawley, Mike Galinsky and David Beilinson’s documentary the Battle for Brooklyn, which confronts the destructive effects of gentrification, notably the graft and fraud-ridden Atlantic Yards arena and parking-lot project where private property was illegally seized by a real estate swindler through an eniment domain claim. At the Brooklyn Heights Cinema; also screening 6/9 at 9 PM at Myrtle Avenue Hill in Ft. Greene Park, free; and on 6/11, 8 PM at Indie Screen, 285 Kent Ave., Williamsburg. A weeklong run begins on 6/17 at Cinema Village in Manhattan.

6/3, 8 PM torchy noir Americana siren Lily & the Parlour Tricks followed by oldschool soul revivalist/crooner Eli Paperboy Reed at Southpaw, $12 gen adm.

6/3, 8 PM grease up your pompadours: Smokey Hormel’s western swing band, retro rock chanteuse Eilen Jewel and Big Sandy & the Fly-Rite Boys at the Bell House, $12 adv tix rec.

6/3, 9 PM Caithlin De Marrais – one of the most unselfconsciously riveting singers in any style of music – sings her plaintive, tersely compelling songs at Pete’s

6/3, 9/10:30 PM Ingrid Laubrock, tenor sax; Ralph Alessi, trumpet; Kris Davis, piano; Tom Rainey, drums at Cornelia St. Cafe, $15.

6/3, 10 PM the funniest oldschool country band around, the Jack Grace Band at Rodeo Bar. They’re also at Barbes on 6/10 at 10.

6/3, 10:30ish eclectic Afrobeat/funk band Mamarazzi – whose new album is excellent – at Zebulon

6/3, 10:30 PM organist Jared Gold and trombonist Dave Gibson lead a quintet at the Fat Cat

6/3 ferocious Nashville gothic rockers Ninth House play Sathony in Astoria, 11 PM.

6/3 wry, literate Nashville gothic with Maynard & the Mustiesat Lakeside, 11 PM.

6/3, 11 PM wild intense original bluegrass band Thy Burden at Spike Hill.

6/3, 11 PM horn-driven funk band the Kickdown at Bowery Poetry Club, $10

6/3, 11:30 PM ecstatic Brazilian funk/reggae/maracatu band Dende & Hahahaes at Joe’s Pub $12.

6/4, 3:30 PM charismatic, literate NYC noir rock legend LJ Murphy at the Howl Festival, Tompkins Square Park; on 6/8 he’s at Bar 82 with his trio at 9.

6/4 Blitz the Ambassador at the Brooklyn Museum, free w/museum adm.

6/4, 6:30 PM intriguing dark 80 style dreampop band Teletextile at Ft. Useless in Bushwick

6/4, 6:30 PM, free, the St. Luke’s Chamber Ensemble play Gershwin: Lullaby for Strings; Barber:Adagio for Strings; Dvorak: String Quartet No. 12, “American” at Flushing Town Hall, tix req., early arrival advised.

6/4, 7 PM Nashville gothic goddess – and indie film star – Lorraine Leckie at Banjo Jim’s

6/4 a blast from the past – legendary oldschool Williamsburg punk/indie rockers FF (which stands for Fat Fuck) at Lakeside, 7 PM.

6/4, 7 PM powerhouse blues guitarist Bobby Radcliff – the rare guy who plays a lot of notes but doesn’t waste any – at Terra Blues.

6/4, 8 PM oldschool rocksteady with the Forthrights, kick-ass third generation ska with the Scofflaws and early 80s British band Bad Manners for those who like their ska on the pop side, $15 at the downstairs studio space at Webster Hall

6/4, 8 PM Bamba Sacko play African roots reggae at Shrine followed at 10 by the reggae/rocksteady of Finotee.

6/4, 8 PM the Moonlighters’ wickedly smart, torchy Bliss Blood plus Jim Fryer on trombone at Rest Au Rant, 30-01 35th Avenue (corner of 30th St.) in Long Island City

6/4, 10 PM catchy powerpop rockers Elk City followed by sprawling acoustic Americana band the Woes at Rock Shop in Gowanus, $10; the Woes are at Sunny’s at 10 the following night for free.

6/4, 8 PM the Silk Road Ensemble with Yo-Yo Ma at NJPAC in Newark, $25 seats avail.

6/4, 8 PM bossa jazz siren Sasha Dobson’s country band Chola followed by Banda Sinaloense de los Muertos at Barbes. Chola are also here Mondays in June at 8 PM starting on the 13th.

6/4, 8 PM witty jazz guitar star Matt Munisteri at the Jalopy, $10.

6/4, 8:30 PM hypnotic marimba/cello duo Goli at Caffe Vivaldi followed by bluegrass band the Five Deadly Venoms (who are also here on 6/7 and 6/28 at 9:45)

6/4, 9 PM Unsteady Freddie’s monthly surf rock extravaganza with Connecticut’s surprisingly agile Clams, high-intensity Reverb Galaxy, the diverse, country-tinged Matt Rae Trio and the Octomen (excellent fiery surf trio) at midnight-ish.

6/4 intense gypsy punks Bad Buka at Mehanata, 9 PM

6/4, 9/10:30 PM drummer Ralph Peterson’s brilliant B3 band the Unity Project plays the cd release show for their spectacularly good new one with Pat Bianchi, organ; Josh Evan, trumpet; Wayne Escoffery, tenor sax at Cornelia St. Cafe, $15.

6/4, 10 PM, 90s Detroit rock cult figures the Dirtbombs at the Bell House, $20

6/4, 10 PM cowpunk with the Nightmare River Band at Spike Hill.

6/4, 11 PM eclectic Selegalese flavored roots reggae with Meta & the Cornerstones at the 92YTribeca, $12 adv tix rec.

6/5, repeating on 6/ 12, and 6/19 the NY Scandia Symphony at the Billings Lawn in Ft. Tryon Park uptown, 2 PM. This extraordinary and clever ensemble plays a Frank Foerster piece called Summer in Ft. Tryon Park which has to be heard to be appreciated, along with works by numerous brilliant obscure Scandinavian composers.

6/5, 3 PM harpsichordist Elaine Comparone and The Queen’s Chamber Band play world premieres by Michael Cohen, Stephen Kemp, Elodie Lauten, David J. MacDonald & Eugene W. McBride at St. Mark’s Church, 10th St./2nd Ave., $25.

6/5, 5 PM oldtimey doublebill with irrepressible trombonist J. Walter Hawkes and then his sultry swing bandmate Daria Grace & the Pre-War Ponies at LIC Bar, 5

6/5, 6 PM B3 groove organist Ehud Asherie’s No Bass Hit Trio ft. Harry Allen & Chuck Riggs at the Fat Cat

6/5, 7:30 PM trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith’s Golden Quartet w/ Angelica Sanchez (piano), John Lindberg (bass) and Pheeroan akLaff (drums) at le Poisson Rouge, adv tix $15 rec.

6/5, 8 PM deviously fun new music duo Anti-Depressant (violinist Jennifer Choi and pianist Kathy Supove) play Galapagos, $15/$10 stud.

6/5, 8 PM slinky low-register retro Cuban band Gato Loco – with baritone guitar, baritone sax, tuba and bass – at Bowery Poetry Club

6/5, 8 PM tuneful Americana harmony band the Bowmans at the small room at the Rockwood

6/5, 8 PM composer Eve Beglarian and her new band Brim at Galapagos, $15.

6/5, 8:30 PM bassist Petros Klampanis plays the cd release show for his eclectic new one with a scary-good lineup feat. Megan Gould , violin; Heather Paauwe, violin; Lev “Ljova” Zhurbin, viola; Yoed Nir, cello; Gilad Hekselman, guitar; Magda Giannikou, guest vocalist at Cornelia St. Cafe, $10.

6/5, 9 PM Steve Wynn’s indie rock supergroup the Baseball Project at City Winery , $25 seats avail.

6/5, 9 PM gypsy pop band Occidental Gypsy – “Found somewhere on the music tree between John Pizzarelli and Caravan Palace” – at the Metropolitan Room, 34 West 22nd St.

6/5 hilarious, diverse satirical cowpunk rockers Uncle Leon & the Alibis at Rodeo Bar 10ish

6/6, 6:30 PM an interfaith 9/11 commemorative concert at St. Paul’s Chapel downtown with pianist Simone Dinnerstein playing Bach’s English Suite as well as two of his Chorale Preludes – BWV 639 and 147, free but rsvp reqd

6/6, 7:30/9:30 PM Orrin Evans & the Captain Black Big Band at Dizzy’s Club, $20, better reserve now, these guys sell out fast.

6/6 arguably the first-ever guitar jazz triplebill at the Mercury with the astonishingly smart, intense, original, bluesy Marvin Sewell at 8, Liberty Ellman at 9 and then Moroccan-inspired Dave Fiuczynski at 10, $15.

6/6, 8 PM stars of the NYC Balkan underground, trumpeter Ben Holmes and trio followed by at 9:30 by Chicha Libre at Barbes.

6/6, 9 PM the New Yorkestra big band at Tea Lounge in Park Slope

6/6-7 the Melvins at the Music Hall of Williamsburg, 9 PM, $20 adv tix avail. at the Mercury weekdays til 7 PM.

6/6, 9 PM the New Yorkestra big band at Tea Lounge in Park Slope

6/6, 9 PM at Otto’s a screening of the 1982 punk rock movie Ladies & Gentlemen: The Fabulous Stains starring Diane Lane, Laura Dern, Paul Simonon, Steve Jones, Paul Cook and others from the era.

6/6, 10:30 PM Middle Eastern-tinged violist Dina Maccabee and her group at Pete’s

6/7, 6:30 PM, Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble at Central Park Summerstage, early arrival a must.

6/7, 6:30 PM the Tomsk Chamber Orchestra plays Tschaikovsky and Shostakovich at Symphony Space, $30

6/7, 7 PM ICE pianist Jacob Greenberg at Barbes followed at 9 by Slavic Soul Party.

6/7, 7:30ish oldschool hip-hop with EPMD at Betsy Head Playground, Livonia Ave. & Strauss St., Brooklyn, 2/3/4/5 to Saratoga Ave.

6/7, 7:30 PM Rose of the Compass – recorder player Nina Stern, with Glen Velez, frame drum, and Ara Dinkjian, oud – play an intriguing set of music from the Mediterranean to the Balkans at the cd release show for their new one at Drom, $10 adv tix highly rec.

6/7, 8 PM Carol Lipnik & Spookarama play the cd release show for their hypnotic, haunting new one M.O.T.H. at the big room at the Rockwood.

6/7, 8ish energetic lo-fi guitar/drums duo Eleanor followed by the Highway Gimps – the missing link between Motorhead and My Bloody Valentine – at Tammany Hall in the old Annex space on Orchard St., $5

6/7, 8 PM McCoy Tyner – who’s still got the most powerful left hand in jazz – leads a trio with Gary Bartz and Bill Frisell at Highline Ballroom, $35

6/8, 8 PM fiery literate steampunk songwriter Kelli Rae Powell at Southpaw.

6/8, 8 PM 60s soul legend Eric Burdon & the Animals at B.B. King’s, $35 adv tix a must.

6/8, 8 PM soulful, soaring country/rock siren Alana Amram & the Rough Gems at Bruar Falls, $6.

6/8, 9 PM Meschiya Lake & the Little Big Horns at Radegast Hall – if anybody can get all the douches to shut up and listen, this oldtimey New Orleans siren can.

6/8, 10 PM Sistermonk play their high energy gypsy funk at Shrine

6/8, 10ish tongue-in-cheek, period-perfect early 50s style country from Susquehanna Industrial Tool & Die Co. at Rodeo Bar.

6/8 Bauhaus frontman Peter Murphy makes a rare small room appearance at midnight at the Delancey, $25, this will sell out fast, get adv tix at the club

6/9, half past noon the Arturo O’Farrill latin jazz group at St. Marks Park, 2nd Ave/10th St.

6/9, 7:30 PM intense Balkan-influenced songwriter Alina Simone at Joe’s Pub $12.

6/9, 8 PM irrepressible, fun ska-pop band Across the Aisle at Otto’s

6/9, 9 PM dark compelling historically-fixated songwriter Elisa Flynn at the Way Station, 683 Washington Ave, Brooklyn (at Prospect Place; 2/3 to Grand Army Plaza).

6/9, 9:30 PM lush, atmospheric, socially aware, Radiohead-influenced rockers My Pet Dragon play the cd release show for their new one at the big room at the Rockwood.

6/9 Chicago blues guitar/piano legend Lucky Peterson at 10 PM at Terra Blues

6/9  Afrobeat crew Ikebe Shakedown’s cd release show, 10 PM at Southpaw, $10 gen adm.

6/9, 9 PM honkytonk hellraisers the Steamboat Disasters at Freddy’s

6/9, 10 PM Banda Magda play their cosmopolitan gypsy/Mediteranean/latin accordion-driven songs at Drom, $10 gen adm

6/9, 10ish the twangy, clever Trailer Radio at Rodeo Bar.

6/9, 10:30 PM careening Balkan brass intensity with Veveritse Brass Band at the Jalopy, $10

6/10-12 the global-themed Brooklyn Folk Festival is $20 per day; the best deal if you’re making a weekend out of it is the three-day $55 pass available at the Jalopy, who are hosting night one. Nights two and three are at BWAC, 49 Van Brunt St. in Red Hook. Too many awesome artists to list: Peter Stampfel, the Roulette Sisters, Elizabeth Butters, Uncle Monk, Black Sea Hotel, Radio Jarocho, the Newton Gang and many more, the complete lineup is here.

6/10, 7 PM smart twangy literate Americana rock with Chip Robinson at Lakeside.

6/10, 7:30 PM all-girl punk/no wave legends the Bush Tetras at le Poisson Rouge, $12 adv tix rec.

6/10, 8 PM assaultive hilarious Chinatown hip-hop pioneers the Notorious MSG’s cd release show at the Brooklyn Bowl, only $5.

6/10, 8 PM Koleurz play French African roots reggae at Shrine.

6/10 dreamy shoegaze soundscapes from Balun followed by the film NY Non-Fiction at Open Road Rooftop, 350 Grand St. at Essex, 8 PM, $10

6/10, 8 PM Gyan Riley (Terry’s talented guitarist kid) at Barbes followed by the Jack Grace Band at 10

6/10, 8 PM Lisle Atkinson & Neo Bass play bass arrangements of Ellington feat. guests pianists at Symphony Space, $25 adv tix rec.

6/10, 8 PM antique Americana harmony band Ollabelle (all original members) at City Winery, $20 standing room tix avail.

6/10, 8 PM terse oldschool Chicago blues guitarist Irving Louis Lattin at Lucille’s.

6/10, 9 PM sharp, tuneful, Aimee Mann-esque literate rockers Elizabeth & the Catapult at Bowery Ballroom, $15 gen adm.

6/10 Cuban reggaeton siren Telmary Diaz with a live band at BAM Cafe, 9:30 PM – early arrival advised, this will sell out.

6/10 Vietnamese psychedelic rock revivalists Dengue Fever, 10 PM at Highline Ballroom.

6/10 baritone country crooner/bandleader Dale Watson at Maxwell’s 10ish, $10 (note separate admission from earlier NRBQ concert).

6/10, 10 PM the Hard Times play reggae at Two Boots Brooklyn.

6/10 midnight the Peoples’ Champs play their psychedelic mix of funk and Afrobeat at the small room at the Rockwood

6/10, midnight, witty guitar star of a million bands Homeboy Steve Antonakos plays his own wry Americana stuff at Banjo Jim’s

6/10, midnight, clever fun retro 80s synth-disco duo Hank & Cupcakes at the Mercury, $10.

6/11 Jim Black’s AlasNoAxis and Josh Roseman & The King Froopy All Stars at Central Park Summerstage – be aware that they’re opening for a popular, lame jam band from the 90s and that you may not be able to get in unless you show up before 3.

6/11, 4:30 PM baritone Austin honkytonk crooner Dale Watson at Madison Square Park, free

6/11, 6 PM singer-songwriter satirists the Lascivious Biddies at the small room at the Rockwood.

6/11, 7 PM lyrical jazz pianist Mika Pohjola at Miles Cafe with his quartet, $20 includes a drink and “snacks”

6/11, 7:30/9:30 PM eclectic Middle Eastern-tinged jazz guitarist Gilad Hekselman leads a trio at the Bar Next Door.

6/11, 8 PM an amazing psychedelic dub reggae doublebill (say that five times fast) with Dub Is a Weapon and Giant Panda Guerrilla Dub Squad at Brooklyn Bowl, $7.

6/11, 8 PM oldtimey/Americana/indie band Dastardly – sort of very funny version of Mumford & Sons – at Pete’s. They’re at Spike Hill at 9 on 6/12.

6/11, 8 PM psychedelic steampunk/gypsy band the Wyld Old Souls’ cd release show at Drom, $10 adv tix highly rec.

6/11 a good roots reggae doublebill at Shrine starting at 8 PM with Num & Nu Afrika followed at 9 by the Pressers.

6/11, 8 PM Mississippi hill country blues guitar genius Will Scott (who’s got an excellent new album out) plays a NYC show at 68 Jay St. Bar to kick off his latest European tour.

6/11, 9 PM ecstatically fun, intense gypsy punk/metal cumbia/rock en Espanol band Escarioka – one of our favorites – at Mehanata

6/11 haunting noir Americana crooner Mark Sinnis (of Ninth House) plays the cd release for his new one The Undertaker In My Rearview Mirror at Duff’s Bar in South Williamsburg, 9 PM.

6/11, 9 PM Taj Weekes & Adowa – who are about the best thing happening in roots reggae right now – at the 92YTribeca, $14 gen adm.

6/11, 9/10:30 PM the cleverly lyrical John McNeil/Bill McHenry jazz group at Cornelia St. Cafe, $15

6/11, 10 PM oldtime country harmony hellraisers Those Darlins at Maxwell’s, $10.

6/11, 10 PM hellraising Irish band Jameson’s Revenge at Connolly’s

6/11 LES rockabilly/surf/punk legend Simon & the Bar Sinisters at Lakeside, 10:15ish.

6/11, 11 PM clever, funny faux-French garage rockers Les Sans Culottes at Freddy’s.

6/11 high-energy all-girl country harmony band Those Darlins, 11 PM at Maxwell’s.

6/11 we are not making this up – L’il Kim shares the stage with transvestite Amanda Lepore at gay bar Club 57, 311 W 57th St.(8th/9th Ave), $15 before midnight.

6/12 hellraising country harmony women Those Darlins at 2:45 PM followed by the intensely charismatic retro nuevo funkster Black Joe Lewis & the Honeybears at 4:30 at Madison Square Park, free.

6/12, 3 PM a toy piano festival at Bargemusic feat. Phyllis Chen, Karlheinz Essl, Konrad Kaczmarek, John McDonald, Matthew Malsky and others, $25/$20 srs/$15 stud.

6/12 ska on the water: Royal City Riot and the Toasters play a concert cruise aboard the Jewel, leaving at 7 PM sharp from behind the heliport at 23rd & the FDR, $25 adv tix. available at the Highline Ballroom box office.

6/12, 7:30 PM cutting-edge string quartet Brooklyn Riderwith Silk Road Project shakuhachi player Kojiro Umezaki at the Schimmel Auditorium at Pace University downtown (Spruce St. between William/Nassau), 2 free tix per person available starting at 5 PM at the box office. Then Brooklyn Rider sprint up to Bleecker St. to le Poisson Rouge where they’re playing with Christina Courtin for $15 at 10:30.

6/12, 8 PM Syrian pop star Omar Souleyman at the Music Hall of Williamsburg, $15 adv tix available at the Mercury til 7 PM weekdays

6/12, 8 PM alt-country pioneer and Flatlanders honcho Joe Ely at B.B. King’s, $25 adv tix rec.

6/12, 8:30-midnight PM Sousalves’ Songwriters from Hell at Banjo Jim’s featuring (in order) Maya Solovey, Katie Dixon, Kerry Davis, Sousalves, Alan Merrill, Benjamin Cartel and finally Liz Tormes headlining at half past eleven.

6/12, 8:30 PM trumpeter Sarah Wilson plays the cd release for her new one with Myra Melford, piano; Ben Goldberg, clarinet; Jerome Harris, bass; Matt Wilson, drums at Cornelia St. Cafe, $10.

6/12, 9 PM killer doublebill: torchy intense chanteuse April Smith & the Great Picture Show plus the phenomenally charismatic soul man/guitarist Black Joe Lewis & the Honeybears at Maxwell’s, $18 adv tix highly rec., this will sell out.

6/12, 9 PM cowpunks Nightmare River Band open for nine-piece grasscore jam band Old Man Markley at Union Hall, $10

6/12, 10 PM lyrical, dark Texas Americana rocker John Pinamonti at Sunny’s in Red Hook

6/12, 11:30 PM innovative new big band jazz with Ensemble Denada at Drom, $15 gen adm.

6/13, 6:30 PM an interfaith 9/11 commemorative concert at St. Paul’s Chapel downtown with Bach’s Sonata #2 in D Major for Harpsichord and Cello performed by harpsichordist Kenneth Cooper and cellist Fred Zlotkin, free but rsvp reqd.

6/13, 8:30 PM pianist Melody Fader leads a string trio playing Beethoven, Berio, Chopin, Carter, and Dvorak’s Dumky Trio at Cornelia St. Cafe, $10.

6/13, 9 PM the Asuka Kakitani Jazz Orchestra – one of the world’s most interesting – makes a rare Brooklyn appearance at Tea Lounge in Park Slope. Don’t miss it if big band jazz is your thing

6/13, 10:30 PM Oran Etkin does his West African jazz thing followed by eclectic captivating Moroccan jazz/soul chanteuse Malika Zarra and her band at Joe’s Pub, $12

6/13 gypsy rocker Yula Beeri and the Extended Family at the big room at the Rockwood.

6/14, 6-9 PM the Museum Mile Festival features free admission at most every museum starting at 103rd St.

6/14, 7 PM fearless mostly female klezmer powerhouse Isle of Klezbos at the community garden at 520 E 12th (Ave. A/B); in case of rain, it’s at Bluestockings Bookstore on Allen St. just south of Stanton.

6/14, 8 PM witty, stinging lyrical tunesmith Marcellus Hall (of White Hassle) at Rock Shop in Gowanus, $10

6/14, 8 PM the Sirius Quartet play world premieres by Mikael Karlsson and Fung Chern Hwei at the Gershwin Hotel, $10

6/14, 9:45 PM bluegrass with the Sleepy Hollow String Band at Caffe Vivaldi.

6/14 dark politically aware jazz/pan-Asian chanteuse/pianiast Jen Shyu at Korzo, 10 PM.

6/14, 10:20 PM ethereal dark art-rockers Elysian Fields play the cd release show for their new one at le Poisson Rouge, $15 gen adm.

6/15, 7 PM twangy, tuneful Texas-flavored alt-country band Two Cent Revival play. their cd release show at the Rockwood.

6/15, 7:30 PM adventurous new music quartet Cadillac Moon Ensemble plays Luciano Berio and others including two world premieres at Culturefix, 9 Clinton St., free

6/15 the Dictators’ ageless Andy Shernoff at 7 followed eventually by the soul/garage sounds of the Solid Set at 9 at Lakeside.

6/15, 7:30 PM smartly tuneful jazz pianist Art Hirahara solo at Smalls

6/15, 7:30 PM violinist Veronique Mathieu plays works by Csickso and Shepherd followed by fearless avant ensemble Lunatics at Large performing works by Raoul Pleskow, Frederick Tillis, Elizabeth Bell, Steven Gerber and Marilyn Bliss at Symphony Space, $11.

6/15, 8 PM endlessly surprising, astonishingly intense piano virtuoso Kathleen Supove plays Julia Wolfe – Compassion; Lainie Fefferman – Barnacles (NY premiere); Alvin Curran – Inner Cities (selections); Michael Gatonska – A Shaking of the Pumpkin; Frederic Rzewski – Winnsboro Cotton Mill Blues at Bargemusic, $35/$30 srs./$25 stud.

6/15, 8 PM John Zorn plays a rare duo show with Tyshawn Sorey on drums at the Stone, their calendar doesn’t say it’s any more than $10. Could be a lot of fun. Get there early.

6/15, 9 PM New Orleans band the Grand Street Stompers play the cd release show for their new one at Radegast Hall.

6/16 the Northside Festival in Williamsburg kicks off – in reality what that means is that whatever bands all the Williamsburg clubs happened to have on their calendar this week are part of it. Last year’s was badly attended and didn’t have many good bands, pretty much what you’d expect in this part of town. There are a few choice shows including Beirut on 6/16 at 8:30 and Guided by Voices on 6/18 at 7 at McCarren Park, both of which are SOLD OUT but you might be able to get close enough to hear anyway.

6/15, 9:30ish the eclectic, funny, ferociously tuneful instrumental rockers TarantinosNYC at Otto’s.

6/15 a rare non-stadium show by edgy, lyrical powerpop siren Patti Rothberg at the Bitter End, of all places, 10 PM

6/16, half past noon baritone saxophonist Claire Daly leads a quartet at at St. Marks Park, 2nd Ave/10th St.

6/16-19 James Farm (the new quartet with featuring saxophonist Joshua Redman, pianist Aaron Parks, bassist Matt Penman, and drummer Eric Harland) at the Jazz Standard, 7:30/9:30 PM, $35, res. very highly rec., this will sell out quickly.

6/16, 7:30 PM the highlight of the American Composers’ Association’s multiple nights at Symphony Space looks to be this one,with works by Christopher Shultis, Jody Rockmaker, Joyce Hope Suskind, Lewis Nielson, Barbara Jazwinski, and Glenn Stallcop. Performers include Esther Lamneck, clarinet, Falko Steinbach, piano, Martin Schuring, oboe, and Lynne Aspnes, harp, $11.

6/16, 7:30 PM violinist Emilie-Anne Gendron and pianist Yelena Grinberg play Liszt, Bartók, Kurtag, Schubert, Saint-Saëns at WMP Concert Hall, $25.

6/16 flutist Ransom Wilson’s new music ensemble Le Train Bleu at Galapagos, 7:30 PM, $15.

6/16-19, 7:30/9:30 PM Jamaican jazz/reggae piano legend Monty Alexander & the Harlem Kingston Express at Dizzy’s Club, $30 seats avail. Note that the 6/15 show is sold out.

6/16, 8 PM eclectic, witty jazz guitarist Matt Munisteri at Barbes followed at 10 by bluegrass mandolin monster Andy Statman ($10 cover).

6/16, 8:30 PM Mamie Minch and Jolie Holland’s oldtimey supergroup Midnight Hours at the Jalopy, $10

6/16, 8:30 PM eclectic electric guitar powerhouse Joel Harrison leads a quartet with Anupam Shobhakar, sarod; Stephan Crump, bass; Satoshi Takeishi, percussion at Cornelia St. Cafe, $10

6/16 subtle, psychedelic, completely original roots reggae/dub/worldbeat band Kiwi  followed by John Brown’s Body – who absolutely slayed on 4/20 at Highline Ballroom – at Maxwell’s, 9 PM $15.

6/16 Esquela – the new Americana rock project from the Yayhoos’ Keith Christopher with powerhouse singer Rebecca Frame – at Lakeside, 9 PM.

6/16, 9 PM Garth Stevenson – who creates songs live from loops using his bass and a pedal – followed by intricate “American mystic music” acoustic guitarist John Shannon at the 92YTribeca, $10 gen adm.

6/16 electric bluegrass/country/rock guitar/mandolin monsters Demolition String Band at Rodeo Bar, 10ish.

6/16 dark lyrical songwriter Daniel Bernstein & the Everybody Knows at Fontana’s, 10 PM.

6/17 the third annual Istanbulive Turkish music festival at Central Park Summerstage features iconic songwriter/freedom fighter/filmmaker Zulfu Livaneli (sort of the Turkish Bob Dylan), early arrival, i.e. 3 PM at the latest, highly advised.

6/17, 7 PM the Shannon Baker/Erica Seguine Jazz Orchestra at Miles Cafe, $20 includes a drink and “snacks”

6/17, 8 PM keyboardist Kate Mattison’s sultry downtempo soul/pop band Mattison opens for Kathryn Calder of the New Pornographers at Rock Shop in Gowanus, $10

6/17, 9 PM soul/groove band the Del-Reys followed by potently politically aware third-wave ska/soul legends the Slackers at Bowery Ballroom, $16 adv tix highly rec.

6/17, 9/10:30 PM dark 80s-style goth/pop pianist/singer Kristin Hoffmann.at Caffe Vivaldi.

6/17 wickedly tuneful, fearless, funny, socially aware all-girl janglerock/folk band Left on Red play Bar 82 at 10

6/17 surf music classics and obscuities with the Boss Guitars at Lakeside, 11 PM.

6/17, 11:30 PM clarinet monster Ismail Lumanovski and his band the NY Gypsy All-Stars at Drom, $15 adv tix rec.

6/18, 7 PM charismatic, literate NYC noir rock legend LJ Murphy at Banjo Jim’s.

6/18, 7 PM Metal Mountains (Helen Rush and Samara Lubelski’s ethereal project) followed by Thurston Moore’s Whiteout and then legendary 1960s psychedelic garage band Bardo Pond, no idea how many original members are left, at le Poisson Rouge, $10 gen adm.

6/18, 7:30 PM tuneful death-obsessed indie pop pianist/songwriter Jeremy Messersmith at the Mercury, $10.

6/18, 7:30 PM salsa dura doublebill: La Excelencia and the Larry Harlow Latin Legends Big Band at Prospect Park Bandshell.

6/18 the highlight of the Northside Festival is at Trash Bar starting at 8 with the Highway Gimps, the Viennagram at 9, Gunfight at 10, the Brooklyn What – NYC’s most intense, funny, socially aware rockers, and the Shapes (the Texas psychedelic pop band?) at midnight.

6/18, 8 PM for all you percussion fans: imagine tarantella sorceress Alessandra Belloni and Bahian groove monster Dende on the same stage. It’s gonna happen – wow. A summer solstice show with John LaBarbera on guitar and Steve Gorn on reeds, at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, $25

6/18, 8 PM trumpeter Nate Wooley does double duty: first, premiering Atemwende” by Yugoslavian composer Bojan Vuleticwith the Mivos string quartet, then in a duo cd release performance with fellow trumpeter Peter Evans at Issue Project Room, free.

6/18, 8 PM Irish acoustic punk band Box of Crayons celebrate Bloomsday with the cd release show for their new album Dublin Over at Freddy’s

6/18, 9 PM hauntingly lyrical, intense Americana songwriter James McMurtry at the Bell House, $15. He’s also at Maxwell’s on 6/17 at 7:30 for the same price.

6/18, 9 PM yet another good diverse roots reggae doublebill at Shrine with 6th Degree followed at 10 by Zion Judah.

6/18, 9 PM funny, fearless oldschool style punk rockers the Live Ones, Boston’s Cortez and hilarious metal spoof Mighty High at Cake Shop

6/18 vibraphone-based Mr. Ho’s Orchestrotica play the cd release show for their hypnotic, psychedelic new one Third River Rangoon at Otto’s – definitely the classiest band ever to play this dive.

6/18, 9 PM eclectic country juggernaut M Shanghai String Band at the Jalopy, $10.

6/18, 10:30 PM dark gypsy/goth rock and then slinky Cuban sounds with low-register instruments: Yula Beeri & the Extended Family followed by Gato Loco at Littlefield, $10

6/18 fearlessly fun Americana-punk rockers Spanking Charlene – winners of the Sirius/XM best unsigned band contest, now on Little Steven Van Zandt’s label – at Lakeside, 11 PM

6/19, 11 AM this year’s Bang on a Can Marathon – a NYC institution – at the World Financial Center.

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. This year, it’s been put together by the folks at ABC No Rio, a cool, eclectic, completely non-corporate lineup with bands as diverse as Humanwine, Fashion Week, Star Fucking Hipsters and Yula & the Extended Family. Take the free ferry which leaves every hour on the half hour from the old Shaolin ferry terminal (to the north of the new one). This year, they’re letting you bring food and drinks but be careful how you hide that booze, since it’s verboten – security is probably going to paw through your stuff, so wrap it up tight. After all, as the MMNY site reminds you, “The Trust for Governors Island reserves the right to deny access to the island at its discretion.” Let’s take over the island! Bust the trust!

6/19, 2 PM, free, extraordinary painter/performance artist Theresa Byrnes, guitarist Ronny Drayton, curator/producer Shantrelle Lewis, and actress Marie Claudine Mukamabano address issues of survival over adversity: sexual assault, illness, genocide, and a son’s incarceration, exploring the question of “how we continue after facing the unthinkable.” Moderated by musician K. Neycha Herford at Danny Simmons’ Corridor Gallery, 334 Grand Ave btwn Gates & Greene, Ft. Greene, Brooklyn, C to Clinton-Washington (G train not running)

6/19 a rare solo set by saxophone adventurer Matana Roberts at Downtown Music Gallery, 6 PM.

6/19, 8 PM Abbie Gardner of Red Molly does her gorgeously torchy jazz stuff at the Jalopy followed at 9:30 by haunting oldtime Nashville gothic/bluegrass band Bobtown

6/19, 9:30 PM rustic, lyrical Americana songwriter Andrew Vladeck’s dual cd/book release show at Joe’s Pub, $12.

6/19 soaring Americana with banjo player Hilary Hawke & the Flipsides at Rodeo Bar 10ish

6/19, 10 PM terrorist jazz with Peter Evans, Trumpet; Moppa Elliot, bass; Kassa Overall, drums at Cornelia St. Cafe, $10.

6/20 indie classical orchestra the Knights play the world premiere of Lisa Bielawa’s Templehof Etude, Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony plus a Morton Feldman piece at the Naumburg Bandshell in Central Park, 7:30 PM, early arrival advised.

6/20 Piaf scholar/noir accordion siren Marni Rice at 9 at Small Beast at the Delancey followed eventually at 11 by the magnificently intense, ferocious, gypsy rock/art-rock of Vera Beren’s Gothic Chamber Blues Ensemble.

6/20, 9 PM the JC Sanford Orchestra at Tea Lounge in Park Slope. They absolutely killed here last fall.

6/20, 10 PM tuneful danceable funk/Afrobeat band Mamarazzi at the Mercury, $15.

6/21 is Make Music NY. We’ve cherrypicked the best shows and put up a separate page here since there are so many of them. Nice to see that the very last band on the list is Zion Judah, one of our favorite reggae bands.

6/21, 1 PM Louis Andriessen’s Hoketus performed by two groups TBA at Federal Hall downtown

6/21, 7ish Talib Kweli at Red Hook Park (bordered by Hicks and Henry in Red Hook – same directions as if you’re going to the Jalopy: F to Carroll St., exit front of Brooklyn-bound train. Left on Smith, right on 1st Place, continue as 1st Place becomes Summit. Go over the BQE, make a U-turn, continue on Summit).

6/22, 7 PM at Alwan for the Arts, a panel discussion: Detained Without Cause – Muslims’ Stories of Detention and Deportation in America. “The post-9/11 emergence of Islamophobic media hysteria, oppressive law enforcement tactics and increasing surveillance in the name of security is a package sold to the public as the inevitable cost of freedom. Learn what that cost really means in human terms: the stories of fellow New Yorkers disappeared from our communities during the first months after the terrible events of 9/11.” Free and open to the public, early arrival advised.

6/22, 7 PM alt-country chanteuse Tift Merritt at Madison Square Park, free.

6/22, 7:30/9:30 PM eclectic pan-latin bassist Pedro Giraudo leads his jazz orchestra at the Jazz Standard,  $20.

6/22, 8 PM eclectic, poignant yet quirkly funny art-rock keyboardist Greta Gertler solo at the Gershwin Hotel, a benefit for the homeless, $15

6/22, 8 PM Pete Rock (of Pete Rock & CL Smooth) opens for psychedelic vibraphone jazz legend (and brilliant film composer) Roy Ayers at Highline Ballroom, $25 gen adm.

6/22, 8 PM a Roy Nathanson doublebill at the Stone: first his Sotto Voce quintet, then his Akhenaten Ensemble featuring vibroharp and trumpet, $10. He’s a NYC institution and an unbeatable raconteur, somebody you should see at least once.

6/22, 9 PM the Japonize Elephants play gypsy punk at Freddy’s.

6/22, 9 PM powerhouse soul-infused songwriter Jo Williamson at LIC Bar.

6/23 this year’s four-day Undead Jazz Festival begins. Some amazing shows: 6/23 at le Poisson Rouge with pianist Satoko Fuji’s lyrical Ma-Do quartet followed by Marc Ribot solo and Orrin Evans’ gritty, cerebral, intense Tarbaby; also on 6/23, haunting trumpeter Amir ElSaffar as well as lyrical pianists Kris Davis and Gerald Clayton each leading a band at Sullivan Hall; 6/25 pipa virtuoso Min Xiao-Fen’s Dim Sum and then later Jeremy Udden’s plaintive Americana jazz band Plainville at Homage Skate Park, 151 Smith St., in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn; and all kinds of great stuff scattered around on closing night. They’re doing it by neighborhood: West Village on day one, Gowanus for the next two and then Williamsburg. Your best bet the best deal is the four-day pass for $50 which works out to $12.50 a night, a real steal for these A-list shows. There are also two-day passes ($35), single-day passes ($25) and single tix to the 6/24 show at the Bell House (not included in the two-day pass), all available at the Poisson Rouge box office. Too many acts to list individually: the full calendar is here.

6/23, 7 PM the Vijay Iyer Quintet at Castle Clinton in Battery Park, free tix avail. 2 per person on the line outside the castle starting at 4 PM.

6/23, 7:15 PM oboeist Keve Wilson leads an ensemble at Caffe Vivaldi.

6/23 Greensboro, NC’s deliriously fun, lickety-split, witty oldtimey banjo/euphonium band Holy Ghost Tent Revival at Littlefield, 8 PM, $10; they’re at the Rockwood at midnight on 6/24.

6/23, 8 PM clever, entertaining toy piano expert Phyllis Chen at Barbes at 8 followed at 10 by Nation Beat drummer Scott Kettner’s Forro Brass Band.

6/23, 8 PM drummer Mike Pride’s always interesting, psychedelic jazz band From Bacteria To Boys at the Stone, $10

6/23, 8/10:30 PM vocal jazz legend Little Jimmy Scott celebrates his 85th birthday at the Blue Note, $20 “seats” avail. His show last year at the Charlie Parker Festival was characteristically shattering – he’s still got it.

6/23-24, 8 PM this era’s biggest surf band, Los Straitjackets at City Winery, $20.

6/23, 8 PM hypnotic, sometimes lush, sometimes austere new music quintet Build play the Gershwin Hotel, $10.

6/23, 9 PM one of the year’s best doublebills – haunting, hypnotic duo AE (Eva Primack and Aurelia Shrenker) who interpolate Appalachian and Balkan music, followed by badass oldtimey sirens the Roulette Sisters at 10:30 at the Jalopy, $10

6/23 Shane Endsley, trumpet; Gerald Clayton, piano; Matt Brewer, bass; John Ellis, tenor sax at Cornelia St Cafe, 9/10:30 PM, $15.

6/23, 9:30 PM Palestinian-American oudist Tareq Abboushi’s Shusmo project at Joe’s Pub, $15.

6/24, 6 PM coy, fun Israeli dance-pop duo Hank & Cupcakes at Union Square on the south side of the park

6/24, 7 PM cinematic Microscopic Septet pianist Joel Forrester’s Secret Identity with Claire Daly on baritone sax, Vito Dieterle on tenor, David Hofstra on bass, and Matthew Garrity on drums at the Gershwin Hotel, $5.

6/24, 7 PM Octavio Brunetti’s Apeadero Sur Tango Orchestra at Hudson River Park, 44th St. and the Hudson

6/24, 7:30 PM Badwagon (the Bad Plus plus Jason Moran’s Bandwagon) make their world premiere followed by Roy Hargrove’s quintet at Prospect Park Bandshell.

6/24, 8 PM unstoppably romantic, effervescent, razor-sharp Hawaiian swing band the Moonlighters at Barbes followed at 10 by the Jug Addicts.

6/24, 8ish swirling dreampop band Zaza, Quiet Light and noir psychedelic rock legend Martin Bisi at Littlefield, $8.

6/24, 8 PM new music ensemble Transit play world premieres by Pat Muchmore, Daniel Felsenfeld and Ryan Brown at St. Peter’s Church, 346 W 20th St. (8th/9th), $15

6/24, 8:30 PM Canadian darkwave/goth chanteuse NLX at Caffe Vivaldi.

6/24, 9ish intense, potently lyrical, dark songwriter Erin Regan at Goodbye Blue Monday.

6/24, 9 PM Greta Gertler’s lush, gorgeously tuneful orchestrated rock band the Universal Thump at Bowery Electric, $12

6/24, 9 PM cult legend soul/blues harpist/belter Syl Johnston at the Bell House, $20.

6/24, 9 PM garage rock night with Electric Mess and the Insomniacs at Union Hall, $8

6/24, 10 PM intense Irish party band Shilelagh Law at Connolly’s.

6/24, 10 PM Tall Tall Trees at Pete’s followed at 11 by Tumbling Bones and their similar ramshackle oldtimey country/blues sound.

6/24 original 2/3 female (2 girls, 1 guy) rockabilly/surf rockers Catspaw at the Fortune Cookie Lounge under Lucky Cheng’s, 10:30 PM, $5

6/24 kick ass Americana rockers Tom Clark & the High Action Boys at Lakeside, 11 PM

6/25 popular British soul revivalists Fitz & the Tantrums followed by James Brown-influenced soul/funk vet Lee Fields & the Expressions at Central Park Summerstage, early arrival, i.e. 4 PM at the latest highly advised.

6/25, 5:30 PM alto sax powerhouse Jacam Manricks leads a trio at Miles Cafe, $20 includes a drink and “snacks”

6/25, 7:15 PM chamber-pop band BoxFive followed by cello/marimba duo Goli at Caffe Vivaldi.

6/25, 7:30 PM snarling garage-punk band Des Roar – of Ted Bundy Was a Ladies Man notoriety – at the Mercury

6/25, 8 PM slinky, haunting vintage Middle Eastern/East African group Sounds of Taraab at Barbes.

6/25, 8 PM the Undead Jazz Festival at Littlefield is sort of the Stone transplanted to the Gowanus, with Jeff Lederer’s Sunwatcher, Sylvie Courvoisier & Mark Feldman, the Darius Jones Trio, Anthony Coleman Trio w/ Brad Jones and Satoshi Takeshi, and Jamie Saft’s New Zion Trio, $25 adv tix rec.

6/25, 8 PM the London Souls’ third-rate fifth-generation garage rock followed by the Heavy, who do oldschool funk/soul vamps with lots of loops and samples, at Prospect Park Bandshell.

6/25, 8 PM the CCB Reggae Allstars play Marley’s Rastaman Vibration in its entirety plus other Marley hits at the Brooklyn Bowl, $5.

6/25, 8ish tuneful, high-energy ska-punk with King Django at Shrine.

6/25, 10:30 PM ornate, intense, amazingly tuneful art-rock/metal band Of Earth – fresh off a world tour opening for Guns & Roses?!? at Local 269, $7. Their excellent album is now available for free download.

6/26, 3 PM Renaissance ensemble Parthenia play “an intimate collection of early English art songs for voice, viols and lute, illustrating Renaissance life and love” including music by Dowland, Purcell and Henry VIII at Bargemusic, $35/$30 srs/$15 stud.

6/26, 7 PM a characteristically eclectic triplebill at Barbes – Yukie and Ryoji playing classic tango and tango nuevo on bandoneon and guitar followed by at 8 by Ben Holmes, Curtis Hasselbring and Marcus Rojas playing brass trio improvisations and then at 10 gypsy punk band the Japonize Elephants.

6/27, 7 PM the Ossia Chamber Players perform interesting new works by Rubin Kodheli, Theo Bleckmann, Michael Gatonska, Daniel Wohl and Kono Michi at le Poisson Rouge.

6/27, 8 PM eclectic, always interesting jazz bassist Dave Holland leads a quintet at the Highline Ballroom, $25.

6/27 charming oldtimey swing and hillbilly sounds with Daria Grace & the Prewar Ponies at Rodeo Bar, 9ish.

6/27, 9 PM the Schumacher Group plays innovative third-stream big band jazz at Tea Lounge in Park Slope.

6/27, 9:30 PM drummer Ari Hoenig leads an intriguing quartet with intense, Middle Eastern influenced guitarist Gilad Hekselman at Smalls

6/28, half past noon up-and-coming jazz pianist Emmet Cohen at 1 NY Plaza downtown, free. He’s also at the World Financial Center plaza at 5:30 on 6/30.

6/28, 5:30 PM the NY Gypsy All-Stars in the parking lot out back of City Winery, free.

6/28, 7 PM maverick viola virtuoso Ljova with the Fernando Otero Quintet at Klavierhaus, 211 W 58th St., $20. Moody Argentinian pianist Otero tore up le Poisson Rouge his last time there; Ljova is always up for a challenge and maybe some serious jousting.

6/28-7/3, 7:30/9:30 PM the Kenny Garrett Quartet at Dizzy’s Club, $30 seats avail.

6/28, 10 PM dark steampunk siren Jolie Holland plays the cd release show for her latest one at Bowery Ballroom, $15 adv tix highly rec.

6/28-7/2, 11 PM alto saxophonist Sharel Cassity leads a quartet at Dizzy’s Club, $10 seats avail.

6/29, 7 PM a spectacularly good new music doublebill at Galapagos: Mivos Quartet play world premieres by Tristan Perich and Samson Young followed by Redshift Ensemble’s highly anticipated Arctic Sounds suite incorporating found sounds from the rapidly disappearing great white north, $15 gen adm., early arrival highly rec.

6/29, 7 PM short sets by powerpop goddess Patti Rothberg and ex-Utopian Moogy Klingman followed by two sets by the Peaceniks at the big room at the Rockwood, $10

6/29, 7 PM latin jazz piano legend Larry Harlow & Latin Legends Big Band at Soundview Park in the Bronx, 6 train to Morrison Ave/Soundview

6/29, 7 PM cellist Marika Hughes at the small room at the Rockwood.

6/29, 7 PM a Bernard Herrmann 100th Birthday celebration conducted by Hollywood Bowl Orchestra (?!?) conductor John Mauceri at the Greene Space, $20 includes a glass of wine.

6/29, 8 PM Brian Carpenter’s Ghost Train Orchestra – who just put out a sizzling album of classic/obscure 1920s swing jazz tunes – at Highline Ballroom, $10 adv tix very highly rec.

6/29, 8 PM hard-hitting psychedelic powerpop trio Devi play outdoors at the Grove St. Path train station in Jersey City, free

6/29, 8:30 PM the monthly ska-xtravaganza has found a new home at Southpaw. This month’s lineup is the Big Takeover, Cosmolingo, The Rudie Crew, the Times and King Django, $10, note that this is 21 and over

6/29-7/3 the annual Django Reinhardt gypsy jazz festival at Birdland, sets 8:30/11 PM, $30 seats avail., too many artists to list here but it’s a good lineup as always.

6/29, 10 PM Beninghove’s Hangmen play the release show for their new noir jazz cd at Drom, $10 gen adm

6/29 Paleface – the original sardonic 90s white funk/hip-hop guy – at Rodeo Bar 10ish. 6/30 he’s at Southpaw at 10:30 followed by dark soul/rock chanteuse Shenandoah & the Night for $10.

6/30, 7 PM Ehud Asherie plays solo piano followed at 9:30 PM by tenor saxophonist Noah Preminger’s fascinating, tuneful Quintet at Smalls.

6/30, 7 PM Laurie Anderson and Bill Laswell at Castle Clinton in Battery Park, free tix avail. 2 per person on the line outside the castle starting at 4 PM.

6/30-7/3 one of the leading lights of jazz piano, Gerald Clayton leads a trio at the Jazz Standard, sets 7:30/9:30 PM, $25 ($30 Fri-Sat).

6/30, 8 PM Burritos-style country band Whisperado followed by a birthday show by classic pop maven Elisa Peimer at Kenny’s Castaways, free, birthday cake also available (we think).

6/30, 8 PM film historian/Yiddish culturist Eve Sicular (Metropolitan Klezmer’s awesome drummer) presents “The Celluloid Closet of Yiddish Film: A Yingl Mit a Yingl Hot Epes a Tam?” addressing gay subtext in classic Yiddish celluloid. Free outdoor video/multimedia presentation at Le Petit Versailles Garden, 346 E Houston at Ave C.

6/30, 8:30 PM intense, crystalline-voices singer/composer Sara Serpa leads a quintet with Andre Matos, guitar; Pete Rende, piano; Matt Brewer, bass; Tommy Crane, drums at Cornelia St. Cafe, $10.

6/30, 9 PM fearless charismatic dark oldtimey siren Kelli Rae Powell at Freddy’s followed at 10 by a one-off NYC show by Wytchhyker, Electric Six frontman Joshua Darsky’s old “stoner pop” band.

6/30, 9:30 PM Nellie McKay’s surreal, twisted one-woman biographical show about the execution of convicted murderer Barbara Graham (who was probably innocent) in California in 1956, $20, this will sell out, adv tix a must. “Good people think they’re always right.”

6/30, 10:15 PM tuneful Americana siren Julia Haltigan plays the big room at the Rockwood

If you’re looking for weekly events for June or July, scroll down to the bottom of this page.

7/1, 8:30 PM roots reggae legends Steel Pulse at Prospect Park Bandshell.

7/1, 9 PM a clever melodic trio with JD Allen, tenor sax; Michael Bates, double bass; Jeff Davis, drums at Cornelia St. Cafe, $15.

7/1, 9 PM dark intense rock songwriter Elisa Flynn at Banjo Jim’s playing new “19th Century Songs” from her ep and a bunch of new ones “about bears, speaking in tongues, and murder…nothing but murder.”

7/1, 10 PM oldschool vallenato/cumbia hellraisers Very Be Careful at Bowery Poetry Club; they’re at Barbes 7/2 at 10.

7/2, 1 and 3 PM Jed Distler leads a 40-piece ensemble playing Terry Riley’s In C on Governors Island, free ferries leave from the old Staten Island ferry terminal every hour on the half hour

7/2 Roy Ayers and the Jazz Mafia Symphony at Central Park Summerstage, get there by 7 PM or else you probably won’t get in.

7/2, 7 PM creepy intense cool chanteuses: Lorraine Leckie solo followed by Carol Lipnik and Spookarama doing her covers project at 8 at Banjo Jim’s

7/2, 7:30 PM lyrical songwriter Niall Connolly plays the big room at the Rockwood

7/2, 8 PM blistering bluegrass jamband Thy Burden’s cd release show at Union Hall, free.

7/2, 8:30 PM torchy noir German songwriter Sophie Hunger at le Poisson Rouge, $15 gen adm.

7/2 intense gypsy punks Bad Buka at Mehanata, 9 PM.

7/3 the reliably intense, charismatic anti-gentrification rockers the Brooklyn What at Fort Tilden in the Rockaways, time TBA.

7/3, 8 PM new music ensemble Transit plays an intriguing evening of new electroacoustic works by Tristan Perich, Lesley Flanigan (very highly recommended) and Daniel Wohl at St. Paul’s Chapel downtown, Broadway at Fulton, free.

7/5, 7:30/9:30 PM Dario Boente & Proyecto Sur play tango nuevo jazz at the Jazz Standard, $20

7/5, 8 PM classic boricua sounds with the Lavoe All Stars and Cantando Renzo Padilla at St. Mary’s Park in the Bronx, St. Ann’s Ave and E 144th Street, 6 train to Brook Ave.

7/6, 6 PM African and Afro-Cuban sounds with the Edmar Castaneda Trio plus special guest Andrea Tierra and then the Lionel Loueke Trio at Madison Square Park, free.

7/6 pianist Osmany Paredes’ latin jazz quartet at the Jazz Standard, 7:30/9:30 PM, $20.

7/6, 7 PM pianist Eugene Marlow’s Heritage Ensemble playing latin/Jewish jazz – real cool stuff – at the Triad Theatre, 158 W. 72nd St., 2nd Fl.., just west of Broadway, $10

7/6, 8 PM intense, powerful Afrobeat/desert blue siren Khaira Arby at the Brooklyn Bowl, $5.

7/7, half past noon trombonist Art Baron leads a small combo at St. Marks Park, 2nd Ave/10th St.

7/7, 5:30 PM Cuban pianist Elio Villafranca at the World Financial Center, free.

7/7, 7 PM My Brightest Diamond at Castle Clinton in Battery Park, free tix avail. 2 per person on the line outside the castle starting at 4 PM.

7/7, 7 PM edgy comedic musical chicks Mel & El (their album is called She’s My Bitch) put on their latest show Mel & El: Our Time of the Month (Flight of the Conchords as done by Tammy Faye Starlite, maybe) at the 92YTribeca, $15

7/7, 8 PM cello rockers Deoro plays Bach, Ravel, Messaien, Bizet, Michael Brecker and Randy Wolff at Bargemusic, $35/$30 srs./$15 stud. On 7/8, same time, same price, the band returns, playing an acoustic set from their Kingston Morning reggae-rock album.

7/7, 8ish hip-hop/rock at the downstairs space at Webster Hall with White House Band, Mickey Factz, Tunde Olaniran, Rocky Business, Nyle vs. the Naysayers, Ra the MC and Mahogany, no idea who’s playing when but if you’re into this stuff, check it out.

7/7, 8:30 PM extraordinary oudist Tareq Abboushi plus percussionist Hector Morales at Cornelia St. Cafe, $10

7/7, 8:30 PM the Court Yard Hounds (that’s sisters Martie Maguire and Emily Robison of the Dixie Chicks) at Prospect Park Bandshell.

7/7, 9 PM filmmaker/hilarious satirical bandleader Melvin Van Peebles wid Laxative (his funk band feat. members of Burnt Sugar) at Zebulon

7/7, 9 PM quirky, rustic cello rockers Pearl & the Beard at the Music Hall of Williamsburg, $12 adv tix avail. til 7 PM weekdays at the Mercury.

7/7 midnight smart oldtimey chanteuse/swing guitarist Miss Tess at the small room at the Rockwood.

7/8 tight, soaring oldschool honkytonk band Yarn – with a horn section – at Southpaw, time TBA $12

7/8, 9 PM badass Australian country songwriter Kasey Chambers at Bowery Ballroom, $25 gen adm.

7/8, 9 PM Los Lobos at Prospect Park Bandshell.

7/8 dark rock chanteuse Nicole Atkins & the Sea at the Music Hall of Williamsburg, 9 PM, $12 adv tix avail. at the Mercury weekdays til 7 PM.

7/8 midnight sly acoustic jam band Tall Tall Trees at the big room at the Rockwood.

7/9, 7 PM politically aware indie rocker Ted Leo & the Pharmacists play South St. Seaport

7/9, 7:30 PM late golden-age hip-hop with Raekwon, Smif-N-Wessun, Joell Ortiz, Skyzoo, Neek the Exotic & Large Professor, no idea who’s opening or headlining, at Prospect Park Bandshell.

7/9, 9/10:30 PM multi-reed paradigm-shifter Matana Roberts leads a quintet with Daniel Levin – cello, Shoko Nagai – piano, Thomson Kneeland – bass, Tomas Fujiwara – drums, at the Jazz Gallery, $20.

7/11, 7:30 PM Bjorkestra frontwoman Becca Stevens’ Band at the big room at the Rockwood.

7/11, 9 PM cleverly haunting, intense Americana/art-rock/punk songwriter Raquel Bell at Pete’s

7/11 hypnotic pensive indie songwriter Bill Callahan f.k.a. Smog at the Music Hall of Williamsburg, 9 PM, $20 gen adm; 7/12 he’s at Bowery Ballroom, same time, same price

7/12-16, 8:30/11 PM Pablo Zeigler’s tango nuevo project with cantante Sandra Luna at Birdland, $30 seats avail.

7/13 noirish soul/rock band Shenandoah & the Night at Bryant Park, free, 6 PM

7/13, 7 PM jazz bass powerhouse Christian McBride & Inside Straight at Madison Square Park, free.

7/13, 11 PM golden-age hip-hop stars Pharoahe Monch & Black Rob, OGC (from Fab 5), Helta Skeltah,, Smif & Wessun, Black Moon at B.B. King’s

7/14, 7 PM Patti Smith at Castle Clinton in Battery Park, free tix avail. 2 per person on the line outside the castle starting at 4 PM.

7/14 drummer Tim Kuhl leads a group feat. Michael Formanek, bass; Ben Gerstein, trombone; Jonathan Goldberger, guitar; Frantz Loriot, viola; Jonathan Moritz, saxes playing the cd release show for his new one at 8:30 PM at Cornelia St. Cafe.

7/16, 4 PM C&W/Brazilian dance band Nation Beat, sultry Nina Simone-influenced worldbeat siren Meklit Hadero and then Arturo O’Farrill’s latin jazz quartet at the Stuyvesant Town oval, free, take the 15th St. entrance

7/16, 5 PM-ish PM the Black Angels at South St. Seaport.

7/16, 7:30 PM percussionist/composer Alessandra Belloni leads an all-female quintet with Jessica Valiente on reeds and Eve Sicular on drums playing Belloni’s mystical sea goddess tribute at the NY Open Center, 22 East 30th St., $25

7/16, 8 PM high-energy soul legend Andre Williams with Neko Case’s backing band the Sadies at Brooklyn Bowl, $8

7/16, 10:30 PM Patti Smith guitarist (and powerpop maven) Lenny Kaye followed by garage rock legends the Fleshtones cd release show at the Mercury $12 adv tix rec.

7/17 Pink Martini at Central Park Summerstage, early arrival 7 PM highly advised.

7/19 the Williamsburg Salsa Orchestra in the parking lot out behind City Winery, 5:30 PM, free

7/19, 7:30ish 80s hip-hop legend (and LL Cool nemesis) Kool Moe Dee at Queensbridge Park, F to 21st St.

7/19, 8 PM two excellent jazz acts for the price of less than half of one: the Pedro Giraudo Jazz Orchestra followed by bassist Ben Williams & the Checkout at the 92YTribeca, $12 gen adm.

7/19-24 lyrical jazz pianist Fred Hersch leads a trio at the Vanguard, 9/11 PM

7/19, 10 PM Toots & the Maytals at Brooklyn Bowl, $26. He’ll also be here on 7/25.

7/20 desert blues legends Tinariwen at Highline Ballroom, 9 PM, $27 adv tix rec.

7/21 ecstatic Eastern European dance mashup band Balkan Beat Box, 8 PM at Brooklyn Bowl, $12.

7/21, 8 PM 21st century style garage rock night with Plastic Traps, the Boom Bang and the Vandelles at Union Hall, $8.

7/21, 8 PM thoughtful guitar jazz with Tin/Bag (Kris Tiner, trumpet & Mike Baggetta, guitar) with the James Ilgenfritz Group at Brooklyn Conservatory of Music, 58 7th Ave, Park Slope), $15 ($10 stud/srs)

7/21 Lucinda Williams at the Beacon, 9 PM, $39.50 tix avail. at the box office – may be sold out by now.

7/23, 9/10:30 PM intense, smartly lyrical pianist Michael Cain leads a trio with Lonnie Plaxico – bass, Rudy Royston – drums at the Jazz Gallery, $20.

7/24, 7 PM eclecic violist Ljova joins Octavio Brunetti’s Apeadero Sur Tango Orchestra for a night of tangos on Pier 84, free.

7/24, 8:30 PM fiery, lyrical jazz pianist Bobby Avey leads a quartet with Miguel Zenon, alto saxophone; Thomson Kneeland, bass; Jordan Perlson, drums at Cornelia St. Cafe, $10.

7/26 Brazilian nocturnes and grooves with Forro in the Dark in the parking lot out behind City Winery, 5:30 PM, free.

7/26-31 7:30/9:30 subtle, soulful latin chanteuse Claudia Acuna leads her brilliant intense quintet at Dizzy’s Club, $30 seats avail.

7/27, 6 PM clever, comedic Erin & Her Cello at Bryant Park, 6 PM, free

7/27, 7:30 PM dark hypnotic songwriter Marissa Nadler at the Mercury; 7/30, 9 PM she’s at at Littlefield, both shows are $12

7/26, 7:30 PM the Matt Herskowitz Trio plays Bach, Schumann and Chopin at the Naumburg Bandshell in Central Park, early arrival advised if you want a seat.

7/26, 8:30 PM clever lyrical songwriters Joe McGinty and Ward White at Bowery Electric

7/27 rockabilly legend Wanda Jackson at Central Park Summerstage, early arrival 7 PM highly advised.

7/27, 7:30 PM the Black Earth Boys feat. kora virtuoso Juldeh Camara followed by Billy Bragg at Damrosch Park out back of Lincoln Center.

7/27, 8 PM smartly aware, tuneful Americana rocker Amy Speace at the small room at the Rockwood.

7/28 Budos Band play a concert cruise aboard the Queen of Hearts, leaving from 40. West Houston St. at West Side Highway at 8 PM sharp, adv tix $30 avail. at the Highline Ballroom box ofc.

7/29, 7:30 PM brilliant, soulful Lebanese multi-instrumentalist/composer Bassam Saba and his ensemble followed by eclectic, fearless Malian siren Oumou Sangare at Prospect Park Bandshell.

7/29, 7:30 PM hilarious, virtuosic oldtimey/grasscore band The Devil Makes Three at the Mercury, $12 adv tix very highly rec.

7/29, 8 PM excellent eclectic danceable doublebill: Brazilian/C&W band Nation Beat followed by the Mexican-American Go-Go’s, Pistolera, playing the cd release for their new one El Desierto y La Ciudad at Drom, $10 adv tix highly rec.

7/29, 9/10:30 PM percussionist Adam Rudolph leads a globally astute octet with Joseph Bowie – trombone; Graham Haynes – cornet/flugelhorn; Brahim Fribgane – oud; Kenny Wessel – guitars; Peter Apfelbaum – flute/tenor saxophone; Jerome Harris – acoustic bass guitar/slide guitar; Matt Kilmer – percussion at the Jazz Gallery, $20

7/29-30 the Eels at the Music Hall of Williamsburg, 9 PM, $30 gen adm., adv tix avail. at the Mercury weekdays til 7, this may sell out.

7/30, 4 PM psychedelic, rustic, horn-driven blues/klezmer/minor-key band Hazmat Modine followed by Steven Bernstein’s Millennian Territory Orchestra (no idea if they’re doing their Sly Stone set or not) at the World Financial Center plaza.

7/30, 6 PM a cool country doublebill: Rhett Miller followed by the always hilarious Hayes Carll at the Stuyvesant Town oval, free, take the 15th St. entrance

7/30, 6 PM Indian brass band Red Baraat, go-go godfather Chuck Brown and Dr. John & the Lower 9/11 at Prospect Park Bandshell.

7/30, 7:30 PM comedic and virtuosic Erin & Her Cello at the big room at the Rockwood

7/30, 9 PM ecstatically fun, intense gypsy punk/metal cumbia/rock en Espanol band Escarioka – one of our favorites – at Mehanata.

7/30, 9/10:30 PM Ralph Alessi – trumpet, Kris Davis – piano, Ingrid Laubrock – saxophone, Tom Rainey – drums at the Jazz Gallery, $20

7/31 French gypsy rockers Watcha Clan followed by Israeli Middle Eastern/Indian jam band Yemen Blues at Central Park Summerstage, early arrival 3 PM highly advised.

8/2 the CCB Reggae Allstars in the parking lot out behind City Winery, 5:30 PM, free.

8/2, 8 PM the Mingus Orchestra plays Washington Square Park, free

8/3 Ethiopian groove unit Budos Band at Tappen Park in Staten Island, Staten Island train to Stapleton.

8/4, 6:30 PM Balkan powerhouse Raya Brass Band on the Broadway plaza at Lincoln Center, free.

8/4, 7:30 PM Vietnamese psychedelic rockers Dengue Fever at Damrosch Park out back of Lincoln Center, free

8/4, a twangy guitar summit with the eclectic Bill Kirchen and surf rockers Los Straitjackets at Maxwell’s $15.

8/5, 7 PM Tom Waits-ish Nashville gothic singer Mark Growden at the small room at the Rockwood

8/5, 7:30 PM Bassam Saba and the NY Arabic Orchestra at Damrosch Park out back of Lincoln Center, free.

8/7, 9:30 PM hip-hop/Afrobeat innovator/bandleader Blitz the Ambassador at Damrosch Park out back of Lincoln Center, free.

8/9 noir retro rock bandleader Nicole Atkins in the parking lot out behind City Winery, 5:30 PM, free

8/9 classic roots reggae with the Abyssinians and Black Uhuru’s Mykal Rose at Highline Ballroom

8/9, 7:30 PM members of the Jupiter Symphony play Schubert, Mozart and Dvorak at the Naumburg Bandshell in Central Park, early arrival advised if you want a seat.

8/10, 7 PM oldschool latin soul stars Johnny Colon and Joe Bataan at Central Park Summerstage

8/10, 7:30 PM violinist/composer Todd Reynolds, beatboxer Adam Matta and vaudevillian Luminescent Orchestrii bandleader Sxip Shirey with Caleb Burhans, Conrad Harris, Pauline Kim Harris, Yuki Numata, Courtney Orlando, and Ben Russell followed by Laurie Anderson at Damrosch Park out back of Lincoln Center, free.

8/11, 7 PM two generations, two continents of Ethiopian grooves with Fendika and Debo Band at Damrosch Park out back of Lincoln Center, free.

8/13, 1 and 3 PM pioneering new-music string quartet Ethel play a free show on Governors Island, free ferries leave from the old Staten Island ferry terminal every hour on the half hour

8/13 clawhammer banjo player/songwriter Abigail Washburn at 4 PM at the plaza on the northwest side of Lincoln Center, free.

8/13, 7 PM 1950s rockabilly legend Sonny Burgess followed by Marty Stuart at Damrosch Park out back of Lincoln Center, free.

8/14, 7 PM the Bar-Kays plus Steve Cropper with Bettye LaVette, Ellis Hooks and Dylan Leblanc at Damrosch Park out back of Lincoln Center, free

8/16, 7ish Bachata Heightz at Highbridge Park in Harlem, 171st and Amsterdam, A/C to 168th St.

8/17, 7 PM legendary 70s psychedelic art-rock band Nektar – who were sort of a cross between Pink Floyd and the Grateful Dead – with original members Roye Albrighton and Ron Howden at B.B. King’s, $25.

8/18, 8 PM one of the year’s best triplebills with Bakersfield-style country twanglers Alana Amram & the Rough Gems, the Texas honkytonk and zydeco of the Doc Marshalls and haunting intense original acoustic Nashville gothic/bluegrass of Frankenpine at Union Hall, $7.

8/19, 9 PM wild crazy female-fronted gypsy band Fishtank Ensemble at Union Hall, $10

8/20 African reggae with Meta & the Cornerstones and Ivoirien star/freedom fighter Tiken Jah Fakoly at Central Park Summerstage, 3 PM early arrival a must.

8/21 oldschool hip-hop stars EPMD at Central Park Summerstage, 3 PM early arrival highly advised.

8/22, 7:30 PM the Knights play Schubert and Liszt at the Naumburg Bandshell in Central Park, early arrival advised if you want a seat.

8/23, 7ish Tito Rojas at East River Park, Grand St. and the river, F to East Broadway or J/M to Delancey.

8/24, 7ish the Cold Crush Brothers at East River Park, Grand St. and the river, F to East Broadway or J/M to Delancey

8/27, 1 PM day one of the Charlie Parker Jazz Festival has Tia Fuller and James Carter at Marcus Garvey Park in Spanish Harlem

8/28, 1 PM day two of the Charlie Parker Jazz Festival with the Gerald Clayton trio, Ali Jackson and the Archie Sheppp Quartet at Tompkins Square Park.

8/31 cutting edge tuneful jazz with the John Farnsworth Quintet at Bryant Park, 6 PM, free.

9/4, 1 and 3 PM pianists Blair McMillen and Pam Goldberg play Bach, John Adams and others with a string ensemble on Governors Island, free ferries leave from the old Staten Island ferry terminal every hour on the half hour

9/8-9 plus 9/15-16, 9 PM Ian Hunter at City Winery, $35 tix avail.

9/15, 8 PM the recently regrouped Klezmatics at Highline Ballroom

9/27, 8 PM Malian guitar legend Boubacar Traore at the Bell House, $17 adv tix very highly rec.

9/27, 8 PM dark Middle Eastern-tinged instrumentalist Sir Richard Bishop opens for the Swans at the Music Hall of Williamsburg, $30 adv tix avail. at the Mercury weekdays til 7 PM, this may sell out

WEEKLY EVENTS

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.

Sundays at 7:30 at Theatre 80 St. Marks the world’s most socially aware “reverend” and activist, Rev. Billy and his wild, ecstatic 30-piece gospel Church of Earthalujah Choir, $10 cover but “no one turned away.”

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 in June at 9 PM at the Brooklyn Bowl Afrobeat band Zongo Junction and funk orchestra Turkuaz play a doublebill, sometimes with an opening act at 8; 6/13 the opener is reggae band Buru Style. $5 cover.

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 June 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 June 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.

Tuesdays at 7 PM from May through July it’s a classical piano series playfully titled Upright Piano Brigade, an A-list of classical talent playing the brand-new Sauter piano at Barbes. May artists include Michael Brown on May 3; Evan Shinners on May 10; Tanya Bannister on May 17; Gregg Kallor on the 24th and William McNally on the 31st.

Tuesdays in June clever, fiery, eclectic Balkan/hip-hop/funk brass maniacs Slavic Soul Party play Barbes at 9. Get here as soon as you can as they’re very popular.

Tuesdays in June 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 June 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 June at 9 Naomi Shelton and the Gospel Queens play oldschool 1960s style gospel the Fat Cat.

Saturdays in June through August, 1 PM there are free concerts at Bargemusic – early arrival advised. Usually these are piano recitals, with the occasional string ensemble. Note that there is no concert on August 13.

Saturday nights in June, 9:30 PM Tammy Faye Starlite stars in Chelsea Madchen: An Evening with Nico at the Duplex, Duplex (61 Christopher St. at 7th Ave.), $15 plus 2 drink min. Less one of Starlite’s venomously hilarious parodies than an exploration of Nico the individual: “Nico was, and remains, a heroine and emblem for these dark days of civil unrest and our unceasing fascination with sybaritic self-destruction and the willful deconstruction and annihilation of beauty,” says Tammy Faye. “I’ve got the songs, the accent and the hair down and am working tirelessly on the cheekbones.” Let’s see if she’s learned to sing flat.

Saturdays eclectic compelling Brazilian jazz chanteuse Marianni and her excellent band at Zinc Bar, three sets starting at 10 PM.

May 31, 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, world music | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Blitz the Ambassador’s Native Sun Blazes and Burns

This is the rare hip-hop album that’s as interesting musically as it is lyrically, in fact more so. That’s because Ghanian-American hip-hop artist Blitz the Ambasssador is also a bandleader, mixing Afrobeat with funk, the occasional slow jam and roots reggae for a completely unique sound. The hooks here are wicked: like Blitz’s lyrics, they come at you hard and fast. There are a lot of musicians on the album: the core band, with Raja Kassis on guitar, Ramon de Bruyn on bass and a soaring horn section with Jonathan Powell on trumpet, Ron Prokopez on trombone and Ezra Brown on tenor sax is killer, with a mix of real percussion and canned beats that sound organic more often than not.

The opening track sets the stage for everything that follows: snakecharmer flute kicks off a balmy, hypnotic Afrobeat instrumental, slinky guitar intermingling with the horns and Blitz’s rapidfire lyrics: he wants to leave no doubt that he’s arrived, “Top ten on itunes without a deal.” A love letter to Africa personifies the continent as a woman: “Most of the men that said they loved you robbed you blind,” Blitz snarls, the sway behind him building to a biting, staccato Afro-funk interlude. He delivers a couple of joints in his native dialect over catchy, Ethiopian-flavored, hypnotic vamps; the reggae-flavored Best I Can gives a shout-out to the American hip-hop artists who inspire their African colleagues, Blitz making it clear that all he’s interested in is rocking the mic, not striking any stereotypical, corporate faux-gangbanger pose.

The next track is a slow jam with a breezy sax solo, segueing into the album’s best cut, the absolutely gorgeous Accra City Blues. A lament for a lost girlfriend in both English and Blitz’s native tongue, it’s packed with delicious touches like a sax solo run very subtly through a phaser, and an eerily twangy, absolutely noir guitar outro. With its mighty horn hook, Free Your Mind is a call for solidarity against corruption and African tyrants that couldn’t have come at a more appropriate time. The brief Victory is the most traditional, American-style rap number here, which segues into the bitter, knowing title track, illuminating the struggle that African immigrants face here as the band works a richly psychedelic early 70s style wah funk groove. The album winds out with a surprisingly mellow, thoughtful acoustic guitar interlude. So many different styles of music here, so many different possible fans: this guy’s no dummy. Blitz the Ambassador plays the cd release show for this one at SOB’s on May 4 at 9.

May 2, 2011 Posted by | funk music, Music, music, concert, rap music, review, Reviews, world music | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment