Lucid Culture


2012 Undead Jazz Festival Calendar – This Year’s a Good One

This year’s Undead Music Festival opens Wednesday, May 9th with their signature multi-venue marathon night featuring over two dozen combos at three West Village venues (le Poisson Rouge, Sullivan Hall and Kenny’s Castaways). A noteworthy development this year is the presence of Melissa Caruso Scott and John Scott, the creative forces behind Tonic, the fertile and sorely missed Norfolk Street haven for improvised music of every stripe. In memory of that scene, the Scotts have assembled a Tonic reunion show at le Poisson Rouge featuring Sex Mob, White Out, Yuka C. Honda, Elysian Fields, Billy Martin and others. Here’s the May 9 lineup:


6:45 Heather Greene & Ursa Minor

7:45 Jamie Saft’s New Zion Trio

8:15 The Rufuseniks with Ted Reichman, John Hollenbeck & Reuben Radding

9:30 Billy Martin Improv with Shelley Hirsch, Erik Freidlander, and more TBA

10:00 Dougie Bowne’s Peninsula

10:30 Yuka C. Honda’s EUCADEMIX

11:00 White Out w/ Bill Nace

11:30 Elysian Fields

12:00 Steven Bernstein’s Sex Mob

12:30 Ben Perowsky’s Moodswing Orchestra with TK Webb, Danny Blume and Michael Blake

1:00 Vernon Reid, Calvin Weston and Jamaaladeen Tacuma Trio to close the show!


7:00 Secret Architecture

8:00 Ohad Talmor’s Newsreel (w/ Dan Weiss, Miles Okazaki, Shane Endsley, Jacob Sacks, Matt Pavolka)

9:00 Nate Wooley Quintet (w/ Josh Sinton, Matt Moran, Eivind Opsvik, Harris Eisenstadt)

10:00 Greg Ward Trio (w/ Joe Sanders, Damion Reid)

11:00 Chicago Underground Duo (Rob Mazurek, Chad Taylor)

12:00 Joe Sanders (w/ Pat Carroll, Rodney Green)

1:00 Val-Inc


7:30 Kris Davis Trio (w/ Michael Sarin, Eivind Opsvik)

8:30 Positive Catastrophe

9:30 Stabbing Eastward (Ryan Sawyer & Tunde Adebimpe of TV on the Radio)

10:30 Tony Malaby’s Paloma Recio (w/ Ben Monder, Drew Gress, and Flin van Hemmen)

11:30 Chris Dingman’s Waking Dreams (w/ Loren Stillman, Fabian Almazan, Ike Sturm, and Jared Schonig)

12:30 Gerald Cleaver’s Black Host (w/ Darius Jones, Brandon Seabrook, Cooper-Moore, Pascal Niggenkemper)

1:30 Jonathan Finlayson & Sicilian Defense (w/ Shane Endsley, Miles Okazaki, Keith Witty, Damion Reid)

Friday, May 11th is Night of the Living DIY, emphasis on the wilder side of improvisation. Each show has a suggested $10 donation which includes a beer for every $10. The lineup is:

Seeds – 617 Vanderbilt Ave, Ft. Greene: solo performances from Jacob Garchik (trombone / computer), Miles Okazaki (guitar), Greg Heffernan (cello / computer), Dan Weiss (drums), Ohad Talmor (tenor sax), Jacob Sacks (Rhodes) + special guests

35 Claver – 35 Claver, Bed-Stuy: Noah Garabedian’s Big Butter & Egg Men + Why I Must Be Careful + First Cousins Once Removed (Adam Schatz, Danny Fisher-Lochhead, Jonathan Goldberger, Skye Steele) + Arts & Sciences

IBeam – 168 7th St., Gowanus: Denver General (Kirk Knuffké, Jonathan Goldberger, Jeff Davis) + Goldberg Variations for String Trio (Miranda Sielaff, Kristi Helberg, Andrea Lee) + The Four Bags (Brian Drye, Jacob Garchik, Mike McGinnis, Sean Moran)

Big Snow Buffalo Lodge – 89 Varet St., Bushwick: Nate Wooley + The Home Of Easy Credit (Louise Dam Eckardt Jensen & Tom Blancarte) + Talibam + Vavatican

ShapeShifter Lab – 18 Whitwell Place, Gowanus: Travis Sullivan’s Bjorkestra

Andrew D’Angelo at 58 N 6th St.,, Williamsburg: featuring artists from Denmark, Norway + Sweden + the group GNOM (tube, drums, trombone) + D’Angelo on bass clarinet and alto saxophone; MERGER with Andrew N D’Angelo and Kirk Knuffke + Spontaneous Constructions featuring many great NY improvisers: Greg Ward, Jeff Lederer, Kirk Knuffke, Josh Sinton, Dan Weiss, Josh Roseman, Hilmar Jensson, Adam Schatz, Kenny Warren, Jesse Stacken, Skye Steele, Jonathan Finlayson, Andrew D’Angelo and more

The festival winds up on Saturday, May 12th with a night of round robin duet improvisations at the 92YTribeca featuring a total of 17 artists in random order, beginning with a solo improvisation and then a parade of others joining in succession. Artists include Mark Helias (bass), Brandon Seabrook (banjo / guitar), Hilmar Jensson (guitar), Allison Miller (drums), Amir Ziv (drums), Mike Pride (drums), Bob Stewart (tuba), Cooper Moore (piano), Miles Okazaki (guitar), Marika Hughes (cello), John Hollenbeck (drums), Matthew Mottel (keys), Fabian Almazan (piano) and others TBA.

Advance single-day tickets are available now for the May 9 show at the Poisson Rouge box office for $25, ($30 day of ), with tickets for May 11 and 12 available soon. For diehard festivalgoers, the best deal is the festival pass which gets you into all the shows, May 9-12 for $55 including that lame 90s jam band you may or may not remember who’re playing in Fort Greene. Single-night tickets will also be available each night at the participating venues.


May 3, 2012 Posted by | concert, jazz, Live Events, Music, New York City | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

2011 Undead Jazz Festival Schedule

This year’s Undead Jazz Festival moves around neighborhood by neighborhood: 6/23 in the West Village; 6/24-25 in Gowanus and ending on the 26th in Williamsburg. The complete calendar is below. Scroll to the bottom of this page for ticket and festival pass info.

June 23rd:

Le Poisson Rouge

7:00pm: Satoko Fujii ma-do

8:10pm: Marc Ribot solo

9:20pm: TARBABY (Eric Revis, Nasheet Waits, Orrin Evans, Oliver Lake)

10:30pm: Escreet / Binney / Krantz / Gilmore – “The Age We Live In”

11:40pm: Ceramic Dog w/ Marc Ribot, Shahzad Ismaily, and Ches Smith

12:50pm: Dave Torn’s GOLDFINGER w/ Tim Berne and Ches Smith

Sullivan Hall

7:20pm: Amir Elsaffar w/ Hafez Modirzade, Francois Moutin, and Dan Weiss

8:30pm: Kris Davis / Ingrid Laubrock / Tyshawn Sorey

9:40pm: Gerald Clayton

10:50pm: Andrew D’Angelo Big Band

12:00am: Dave King Trucking Company

1:10am: Harriet Tubman Double Trio w/ Brandon Ross, Melvin Gibbs, JT Lewis, Graham Haynes and Val Inc.

Kenny’s Castaways

7:40pm: Harris Eisenstedt’s Canada Day

8:50pm: David Fiuczynski’s Planet MicroJam

10:00pm: Alan Licht & Brian Chase

11:10pm: Doomsayer

12:20am: Michael Blake / Ben Allison / Rudy Royston

1:30am: Logan Richardson Trio w/ Nasheet Waits and Ben Street

June 24th:

The Bell House

11:00pm: “a night of round robin improvised duets” featuring: Dean Bowman, David Torn, Erik Friedlander, Jim Black, Elliott Sharp, and others

June 25th:


8:00pm: Jeff Lederer’s Sunwatcher

9:10pm: Sylvie Courvoisier & Mark Feldman

10:20pm: Darius Jones Trio

11:30pm: Anthony Coleman Trio with Brad Jones, and Satoshi Takeshi

12:40am: Jamie Saft’s New Zion Trio

Homage Skate Park, 151 Smith St., Cobble Hill, Brooklyn

8:40pm: Min Xiao-Fen’s Dim Sum w/ Satoshi Takeishi

9:50pm: Matt Wilson solo

11:00pm: Dean Bowman solo

12:10am: David S. Ware solo

1:20am: Jeremy Udden’s Plainville

June 26th:

Public Assembly stage 1 (assume they mean the back room)

8:00pm: Bizingas

9:00pm: The Claudia Quintet w/ Theo Bleckmann

10:00pm: Oliver Lake Organ Quartet

11:00pm: Ari Hoenig Quartet

12:00pm: Peter Brötzmann’s FULL BLAST

Public Assembly stage 2 (probably means the smaller stage in front, by the bar)

8:30pm: Gene Lake

9:30pm: Bobby Previte Quartet

10:30pm: Josh Roseman

11:30pm: Clark Gayton

Cubana Social, 70 N 6th St., Williamsburg

8:15pm: Marika Hughes

9:15pm: Graffito w/ Andrew D’Angelo

10:15pm: Erik Friedlander

11:15pm: Rashanim

Cameo Gallery

8:45pm: John Irabagon / Mike Pride

9:45pm: Ches Smith’s Congs for Brums

10:45pm: UB313 w/ Marshall Allen

11:45pm: Aperiodic

The best deal for tix  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.

June 4, 2011 Posted by | concert, jazz, Live Events, Music, music, concert, New York City | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The 20 Best New York Area Concerts of 2010

This is the list we like best for so many reasons. When we founded this blog in 2007, live music was our raison d’etre, and after all that time it’s still the biggest part of the picture here. While along with just about everyone else, our 100 Best Albums of 2010 and 100 Best Songs of 2010 lists have strayed further and further from what the corporate media and their imitators consider the “mainstream,” this is still our most personal list. As the year blusters to a close, between all of us here, we’ve seen around 250 concerts – the equivalent of maybe 25% of the shows on a single night here in New York. And the ones we saw are vastly outnumbered by the ones we wanted to see but didn’t. The Undead Jazz Festival, where all the cheesy Bleecker Street clubs suddenly became home to a horde of jazz legends and legends-to-be? We were out of town. We also missed this year’s Gypsy Tabor Festival way out in Gerritsen Beach, choosing to spend that weekend a little closer to home covering punk rock on the Lower East, latin music at Lincoln Center and oldschool soul in Williamsburg. We worked hard to cast a wide net for all the amazing shows that happened this year. But there’s no way this list could be anything close to definitive. Instead, consider this a sounding, a snapshot of some of the year’s best moments in live music, if not all of them. Because it’s impossible to rank these shows in any kind of order, they’re listed chronologically:

The Disclaimers at Spike Hill, 1/2/10 – that such a potently good band, with two charismatic frontwomen and so many catchy, dynamic soul-rock songs, could be so ignored by the rest of the New York media and blogs speaks for itself. On one of the coldest nights of the year, they turned in one of the hottests sets.

Jenifer Jackson at Banjo Jim’s, 1/21/10 – on a welcome if temporary stay from her native Austin, the incomparably eclectic, warmly cerebral tunesmith assembled a killer trio band and ripped joyously through a diverse set of Beatlesque pop, Americana and soul songs from throughout her career.

Gyan Riley and Chicha Libre at Merkin Concert Hall, 2/4/10 – Terry Riley’s guitarist kid opened with ambient, sometimes macabre soundscapes, followed by the world’s most entertaining retro 70s Peruvian surf band synching up amusingly and plaintively with two Charlie Chaplin films. Silent movie music has never been so fun or so psychedelic.

The New York Scandia String Symphony at Victor Borge Hall, 2/11/10 – the Scandia’s mission is to expose American audiences to obscure classical music from Scandinavia, a cause which is right up our alley. On a bitter, raw winter evening, their chamber orchestra sold out the house and turned in a frenetically intense version of Anders Koppel’s new Concerto Piccolo featuring hotshot accordionist Bjarke Mogensen, a deviously entertaining version of Frank Foerster’s Suite for Scandinavian Folk Tunes, and more obscure but equally enlightening pieces.

Masters of Persian Music at the Skirball Center, 2/18/10 – Kayhan Kalhor, Hossein Alizadeh and their ensemble improvised their way through an often wrenchingly powerful, climactic show that went on for almost three hours.

The Greenwich Village Orchestra playing Prokofiev and Shostakovich, 2/21/10 – like the Scandia, this well-loved yet underexposed ensemble plays some of the best classical concerts in New York, year after year. This was typical: a playful obscurity by Rienhold Gliere, and subtle, intuitive, deeply felt versions of Prokofiev’s First Violin Concerto along with Shostakovich’s dread-filled Fifth Symphony.

Charles Evans and Neil Shah at the Hudson View Lounge, 2/28/10 – February was a great month for us for some reason. Way uptown, baritone saxophonist Evans and pianist Shah turned in a relentlessly haunting, powerful duo performance of brooding, defly improvisational third-stream jazz.

AE at the Delancey, 3/8/10 – pronounced “ash,” Eva Salina Primack and Aurelia Shrenker’s innovative duo vocal project interpolates Balkan folk music with traditional Appalachian songs, creating all kinds of unexpectedly powerful connections between two seemingly disparate styles. They went in and found every bit of longing, intensity and exquisite joy hidden away in the songs’ austere harmonies and secret corners.

Electric Junkyard Gamelan at Barbes, 3/20/10 – most psychedelic show of the year, bar none. Terry Dame’s hypnotic group play homemade instruments made out of old dryer racks, rubber bands of all sizes, trash cans and more – in a marathon show that went almost two hours, they moved from gamelan trip-hop to rap to mesmerizing funk.

Peter Pierce, Erica Smith, Rebecca Turner, Paula Carino, the Larch, Solar Punch, Brute Force, Tom Warnick & the World’s Fair, the John Sharples Band, the Nopar King and Out of Order at the Full Moon Resort in Big Indian, NY, 4/10/10 – this one’s the ringer on the list. We actually listed a total of 21 concerts on this page because even though this one was outside of New York City, it’s as good a choice as any for best show of the year, anywhere. In order of appearance: janglerock; haunting solo acoustic Americana; country soul; more janglerock; lyrical retro new wave; jamband music; a theatrical 60s survivor and writer of novelty songs; a catchy, charismatic noir rocker; a band that specializes in obscure rock covers; soul/funk, and an amazing all-female noiserock/punk trio to wind up twelve hours of music. And that was just one night of the festival.

Rev. Billy & the Life After Shopping Gospel Choir at Highline Ballroom, 4/18/10 – an ecstatic, socially conscious 25-piece choir, soul band and a hilarious frontman who puts his life on the line every time out protesting attacks on our liberty. This time out the cause was to preserve mountaintop ecosystems, and the people around them, in the wake of ecologically dangerous stripmining.

The Big Small Beast: Spottiswoode, Barbez, Little Annie and Paul Wallfisch, Bee & Flower and Botanica at the Orensanz Center, 5/21/10 – this was Small Beast taken to its logical extreme. In the weeks before he abandoned this town for Dortmund, Germany, Botanica frontman Paul Wallfisch – creator of the Monday night Small Beast dark rock night at the Delancey – assembled the best dark rock night of the year with a mini-set from lyrical rocker Spottiswoode, followed by amazingly intricate gypsy-tinged instrumentals, Little Annie’s hilarious poignancy, and smoldering, intense sets from Bee & Flower and his own band.

The Grneta Duo+ at Bechstein Hall, 5/27/10 – Balkan clarinet titans Vasko Dukovski and Ismail Lumanovski joined with adrenalinista pianist Alexandra Joan for a gripping, fascinating performance of Bartok, Sarasate, Mohammed Fairouz and a clarinet duel that stunned the crowd.

The Brooklyn What at Trash, 5/28/10 – New York’s most charismatically entertaining rock band, whose monthly Saturday show here is a must-see, roared through a characteristically snarling, snidely funny set of mostly new material – followed by Tri-State Conspiracy, the popular, noirish ska band whose first few minutes were amazing. Too bad we had to leave and take a drunk person home at that point.

The New Collisions at Arlene’s, 7/1/10 – Boston’s best rock band unveiled a darker, more powerpop side, segueing into one killer song after another just a couple of months prior to releasing their stupendously good second album, The Optimist.

Martin Bisi, Humanwine and Marissa Nadler at Union Pool, 7/2/10 – darkly psychedelic bandleader Bisi spun a swirling, hypnotic, roaring set, followed by Humanwine’s savagely tuneful attack on post-9/11 paranoia and then Nadler’s pensively captivating solo acoustic atmospherics.

Maynard & the Musties, Me Before You, the Dixons and the Newton Gang at Urban Meadow in Red Hook, 7/10/10 – the one Brooklyn County Fair show we managed to catch this year was outdoors, the sky over the waterfront a venomous black. We lasted through a spirited attempt by the opening band to overcome some technical difficulties, followed by rousing bluegrass from Me Before You, the twangy, period-perfect 1964 Bakersfield songwriting and playing of the Dixons and the ferocious paisley underground Americana rock of the Newton Gang before the rains hit and everybody who stayed had to go indoors to the Jalopy to see Alana Amram & the Rough Gems and others.

The Universal Thump at Barbes, 7/16/10 – amazingly eclectic pianist Greta Gertler and her new chamber pop band, accompanied by a string quartet, played a lushly gorgeous set of unpredictable, richly tuneful art-rock.

Etran Finatawa, los Straitjackets and the Asylum Street Spankers at Lincoln Center, 8/1/10 – bad segues, great show, a perfect way to slowly return to reality from the previous night’s overindulgence. Niger’s premier desert blues band, the world’s most popular second-generation surf rockers and then the incomparably funny, oldtimey Spankers – playing what everybody thought would be their final New York concert – made it a Sunday to remember.

Elvis Costello at the Greene Space, 11/1/10 – as far as NYC shows went, this was the best one we saw, no question – along with maybe 150-200 other people, max. Backed by his most recent band the Sugarcanes, Costello fielded questions from interviewer Leonard Lopate with a gleeful defiance and played a ferociously lyrical, assaultively catchy set of songs from his latest classic album, National Ransom

Zikrayat, Raquy & the Cavemen and Copal at Drom, 11/4/10 – slinky, plaintive Levantine anthems and Mohammed Abdel Wahab classics from Egyptian film music revivalists Zikrayat, amazingly original, potent Turkish-flavored rock and percussion music from Raquy & the Cavemen and then Copal’s trance-inducing string band dancefloor grooves.

December 27, 2010 Posted by | classical music, concert, country music, folk music, gospel music, gypsy music, latin music, lists, Live Events, middle eastern music, Music, music, concert, New York City, rock music, world music | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment