New York Music Daily

Global Music With a New York Edge

Real NYC Punk Rock and a Grand Victory Show on Saturday by Scrapers

Scrapers play real punk rock. Not emo posing as punk rock. Not phony circus rock with loud guitars. Their album Dark Places – a free download at Bandcamp – is the kind of stuff you would have heard at the top of a good bill at CBGB around 1981. They’re playing Grand Victory at two in the afternoon on March 7 to kick off what’s more or less a hardcore matinee there; cover is ten bucks. It’s a good bet they’ll be playing more than what’s on the album, considering that it’s about fifteen minutes long. By the time it’s over, if classic punk is your thing, you’re left wishing it was twice as long.

And nobody would be complaining if the songs went on longer: most of them max out at less than two minutes. If anybody understands the concept about always leaving audiences wahting more, it’s these guys. Bee Wiseman fronts the band; Brian Darwas, formerly of Roger Miret & the Disasters, plays bass; Sol Keller and Dodi Wiemuth are the rest of the crew. The first track on the album seems to be sort of a theme song: these guys are just managing to scrape by, the guitars screaming over a practically oi-punk scramble: “You wanna see a dead body?” Wiseman leers at the end.

Gravity is a catchy number: it’s got those muted downstrokes and then big scorching chords and the hint of a big solo. And then it’s over. White Boys is half noisy intro and half murderous oldschool punk mence. Forget the catchy intro: Kids Will Kill has the same kind of head-on assault, the kind that makes you wonder whether you should highfive the band after the show or leave them the hell alone.

Bad Blood is over in less than a minute, a blast of searing chromatic fury like the album’s runaway express-train title cut. Shot Out has a few bass rumbles seeping out from under the pitchblende attack. Missing Person could be the Avengers with one of the guys out in front of the band; the album winds up with World War 4, a minute four seconds of what could be vintage X as played by the Ramones. This band is tight as a drum of toxic waste, loud as hell, and catchier than they probably want to admit. So many bands make complete fools of themselves trying to sound dark and desperate: these guys sound like they can’t help it. Get the album, blast it in your headphones and remember how it feels to be totally alive if not necessarily happy about it.

Intense, Eclectic Hot Club of Cowtown Fiddler Elana James Puts Out a Great New Album

Elana James is best known as the fiery fiddler in Austin western swing/Romany jazz trio the Hot Club of Cowtown, who’re coming to Subculture on March 7 at 8 PM: $20 advance tix are still available and highly recommended. In addition to James’ work with that band, she’s also put out a couple of albums as a solo bandleader, which she finds time to do when she’s not touring with her main band…or with Bob Dylan or Willie Nelson. Her latest release, Black Beauty, is just out and streaming at her webpage: it’s a smart, vivid combination of just about every one of the many  styles she’s spun off her bow in the last couple of decades. And since her Hot Club bandmates, guitarist Whit Smith and bassist Jake Erwin, both play on the new record, there’s a good chance they’ll be airing out some of those songs on the current tour.

The opening number, Only You, is a backbeat-driven As Tears Go By soundalike, more Americana than Stones chamber pop. Although James gets all kinds of props for her work on the fingerboard, she’s also a fantastic singer, and she pulls out all the stops on the menacingly breathy noir cabaret number Who Loves You More, from its starkly orchestrated intro, to a spiraling Whit Smith solo. Then she completely switches gears with a lively, step-dancing take of the Ola Belle Reed bluegrass classic High Upon the Mountain – is that Dave Biller playing that tersely soulful dobro? Or maybe that’s Cindy Cashdollar – the download that came down the pipeline here didn’t say.

James brings back the haunting, gloomy intensity with the stark Azeri folk tune Ayniliq, then switches gears again with a poignant, calmly shuffling take of Woody Guthrie’s Hobo’s Lullaby. Reunion (Livin’ Your Dream) is a wryly allusive tale from the life of a touring musician, veering between wary Romany swing and blithe bluegrass.

Earl Poole Ball’s elegant slip-key piano flavors James’ misty version of the torch jazz standard All I Need Is You, slinking along with her bandmate Jake Erwin’s bass and Damien Llanes’ brushes on the drums. Then the band picks up the pace with Eva’s Dance, which is equal parts western swing and bluegrass, and the closest thing to the HCOC on the album.

James does the Grateful Dead classic Ripple as a straight-up oldschool C&W sway, lowlit by Biller’s steel guitar work. Her take of Dylan’s I’ll Be Your Baby Tonight  is probably the best anybody’s ever done with that one, including the guy who wrote it, part irresistible torch song, part ragtime, part vintage country. The funniest number here is Telephone Man, a mashup of oldtimey swing, hokum blues and Salt ‘N Pepa.

The album’s most intense, powerful song is Hey Beautiful, Last Letter From Iraq, where James recounts the final words written by the late Army Staff Sergeant Juan Campos to his wife, setting them to to a stark country shuffle groove: “It’s like every time we go out, any little bump or sound freaks me out…I can’t wait to get out of this place,” the doomed soldier relates. James chooses to end the album with the pensive, bucolic Waltz of the Animals, no doubt inspired by her considerable experience as a horse wrangler. What else is there to say: one of the best albums of the year from somebody so talented that a lot of us take her for granted.

The Microscopic Septet Bring Their Wry, Irresistibly Fun Surrealistic Swing Back to Town

Soprano saxophonist Phillip Johnston was a mainstay of this city’s edgy downtown jazz scene throughout the 80s and into the 90s, most prominently as co-founder of wryly cinematic, sardonically entertaining “surrealistic swing” band the Microscopic Septet. Johnston returns to town for a week at the Stone from March 3 through 8, with a variety of ensembles and sets at 8 and 10 PM; cover is $15.

Since the late zeros, the Microscopic Septet have reunited frequently for albums and tours, and the full group will be playing the 10 PM set on March 5 (possibly their first-ever nighr of free improvisation), then airing out their vast back catalog of songs at 9:30 PM on March 19 at Smalls. The group’s four-man sax line will also be making their debut as an unaccompanied quartet at the Stone on March 7 at 8 PM. And another very auspicious set concludes the stand there at 10 PM on March 8, with Johnston leading an eleven-piece improvisational unit playing his utterly macabre score to the Japanese cult film Page of Madness.

On one hand, the Micros could be credited with being forerunners of the Gatsby jazz revival because they were swinging their collective asses off a good fifteen years before the new moldy fig crowd started doing it. On the other hand, the Micros’ music actually isn’t retro at all. Mashing up droll cartoonish themes and eerie Monkish blues with an unselfconsciously joyous dixieland flair (along with more brooding tunes, like the one that’s served as the theme for NPR’s Fresh Air since the 90s), there’s no other band out there who sound like them. Their latest album, Manhattan Moonrise, comprises both new and older, previously unreleased material – click the links below for what little of it is online, a frustrating issue with a lot of cult acts who go as far back as these guys do.

The opening track, When You Get In Over Your Head is a brisk, blustery, noir-tinged stroll, the reeds – Johnston (soprano sax); Don Davis (alto); Mike Hashim (tenor); Dave Sewelson (baritone) – teaming up for some Ellingtonian indigo. No Time has lustrously shifting, late summer shades as Hashim pulls if further into a latin groove over bassist Dave Hofstra, pianist Joel Forrester and drummer Richard Dworkin. The band revisits that tangent a bit later on with Hang It on a Line, this time shifting out of a rustic campfire gospel theme. Forrester’s sly, low-key stride piano gets the album’s title cut motoring along – and he can’t resist throwing a spitball or two at Hofstra’s dead-serious, racewalking bass solo.

Johnston explains Obeying the Chemicals as an attempt to merge funk and boogie-woogie: Sewelson’s gruff rhythm gives it a second-line feel. A Snapshot of the Soul juxtaposes an uneasily staggered Monk-ish theme with a lively, bubbly, straight-up swing. Star Turn turns a genial, Doc Pomus-style saloon blues tune into a springboard for a long, brightly sailing Davis solo, the longest one on the album

Let’s Coolerate One, Johnston’s theme song for another band of his, the Coolerators, brings the noir back over a lushly swirling swing shuffle, Sewelson and Hashin romping above it. Good-natured solos by Forrester and Sewelson light up the boogie-tinged nocturne Suspended Animation, while Blue hints briefly at melancholy balladry before going all out-of-focus and outside.

You Got That Right! mixes droll stop-and-starts with a jaunty Crescent City swing and lively, tongue-in-cheek conversations among the reeds. The album winds up with Occupy Your Life, which makes an enigmatic cha-cha out of Beethoven – it’s the band’s first-ever number with vocals. Because Johnston decamped for his native Australia awhile back, the Micros don’t play as much as they used to, so if you’ve been thinking of seeing them, now’s as good a time as any.

The Brighton Beat Bring Their Psychedelic, Danceable Grooves to Gowanus

How brave is it for a band to open an album with a nine-minute song? If you play Afrobeat, that’s like putting the hit single first. Fela would vamp on the same groove for half an hour, live or in the studio, no problem. So explosive Boston-based Afrobeat jamband the Brighton Beat‘s new album, Off We Go, kicks off relatively tersely. The whole thing is streaming at Bandcamp – and if you want a cd, they’re only eight bucks. The band play the album release show in the mellow, comfortable Gowanus confines of Shapeshifter Lab on March 5 at 7 PM; cover is $10. And much as the venue is a jazz club, more or less, nobody’s going to stop you if you feel like dancing.

Because that’s what the Brighton Beat’s music is all about – that, and working a trippy groove with lots of solos. So it’s head music and body music too, in fact, the band’s most psychedelic effort to date. They take their time launching into that first nine-minute cut, the album’s title track. A lithe, skeletal guitar intro from Mark Cocheo and Greg Schettino builds to a stormy brass peak and then the band kicks into cruise control mode, with Jon Bean’s tenor sax taking a long climb skyward before the guitars turn up the heat again.

Drummer/bandleader Sammy Wags and conguero Patrick Dalton open the second track, Green Monster, as they do several of the cuts here. Is this a Red Sox rally theme? Hmmm…maybe. There’s plenty of livewire energy in Zach Kamins’ blippy keys and the mighty horn section of multi-reedman Mark Zaleski (who takes a blazing solo along with one of the guitarists), trombonist/trumpeter Freddy Gonzalez, trumpeter Francesco Fratini and baritone saxophonist Gabe Yonkler.

Hit the Bricks mashes up vintage Booker T soul-funk with Pink Floyd and a tiptoeing Afrobeat pulse driven by bassist Ryan Hinchey, a searing Another Brick in the Wall Pt. 2-style guitar solo at its center. Fortune Teller, an original rather than the old Elvis song, artfully disperses a massive horn arrangement, with a warm, sophisticated 70s soul-funk vibe and cloudbusting trombone and tenor sax solos. Then they take the theme and make balmy, trombone-fueled dub reggae out of it.

Stand with the Herd is a two-parter, the first a vehicle for Kamins’ carbonated Rhodes piano ripples, the second a dubby nocturne with spot-on Gonzalez and Yonkler solos and an awesome afterburner twin-guitar solo out. Red Orange, another nine-minute monster, blends ska, stark Ethiopiques and Afrobeat, with all kinds of up-and-down dynamic shifts and some wry P-Funk keys. With its web of animated, conversational horns, Orange Sunshine is the most retro, Fela-inspired of all the tracks here. The album ends up with its strangest and strongest number, Summer Lullaby, which is about as far from Afrobeat as you can get: it’s a slowburning guitar-fueled sway straight out of the Shine On You Crazy Diamond school of eerie studio jams, and might be a hint of where this band is going in the future.

The Brighton Beat put out more albums than most bands, many of them recorded live and available as name-your-price downloads. The most recent one is Live at the Bean Runner, from about a year ago, and it’s something you should get if you like this kind of stuff.

New York City Live Music Calendar for March and April 2015

Massive data dump continuing over the next 48 hours, with daily updates after that – if you think there’s a lot here now, check back in a couple of days! And you might want to bookmark this page and return regularly to see what’s new. There’s a comprehensive, recently updated list of places where these shows are happening at New York Music Daily’s sister blog Lucid Culture.

Showtimes listed here are set times, not the time doors open – if a listing says something like “9ish,” that means it’ll probably start later than advertised. If you see a show listed without the start time, that’s because either the artist, their publicist or the venue in question sent incomplete info: those acts are usually listed last on a particular date.  Always best to check with the venue for the latest information on set times and door charges, since that information is often posted here weeks in advance. Weekly events first followed by the daily calendar.

On select Thursdays and Saturdays, an intimate, growing piano music salon on the Upper West Side featuring iconoclastically insightful, lyrical pianist Nancy Garniez – a cult favorite with an extraordinarily fluid, singing, legato style – exploring the delicious minutiae of works from across the centuries. Upcoming concerts feature music of Beethoven, Stravinsky, Handel  and Bartok, sugg don $30 (pay what you can), delicious gluten-free refreshments, beverages and lively conversation included! email for info/location.

Mondays in March, 7 and 9 PM, erudite pianist Orrin Evans‘ richly tuneful, purist, stampeding Captain Black Big Band at Smoke

Mondays at the Jazz Standard it’s all Mingus, whether with the Mingus Orchestra, Big Band or Mingus Dynasty: as jazz goes, it’s arguably the most exhilarating show of the week, every week. The first-rate players always rise to the level of the material. Sets 7:30/9:30 PM, $25 and worth it.

Also Monday and Tuesday nights Vince Giordano’s Nighthawks, a boisterous horn-driven 11-piece 1920s/early 30’s band play Iguana, 240 W. 54th St ( 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 nights at 9 PM charismatic Romany singer Eva Salina and her amazing, psychedelic band play high-voltage dub-tinged jams on classic themes from across the Balkans at Sisters Brooklyn, 900 Fulton St. (Washington/Waverly), Ft Greene, C to Clinton-Washington, free

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 March, 10 PM noir guitar legend Jim Campilongo leads his trio at the small room at the Rockwood. Now you can go see him since the Living Room, that hellhole where he used to rehearse on Monday nights, is closed forever!

Mondays at 10 PM there’s been quite a buzz about acoustic songbird Angela McCluskey and saxophonist Paul Cantelon’s weekly residency at the third stage at the Rockwood, with a rotating cast of high-quality special guests. It’s expensive: $15 plus a $10 drink minimum very strictly enforced.

Also Mondays in March Rev. Vince Anderson and his band play Union Pool in Williamsburg, two sets starting around 11:30 PM. The Rev. is one of the great keyboardists around, equally thrilling on organ or electric piano, an expert at Billy Preston style funk, honkytonk, gospel and blues. He writes very funny, very politically astute, 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 on trombone, with frequent special guests.

Tuesdays in March, 7 PM Ninth House‘s hotshot lead guitarist Keith Otten plays his own tuneful, Britrock-influenced sounds at Isle of Skye, 488 Driggs Ave (btwn N9th/N10th St.) in Williamsburg

Tuesdays in March, 8:30 PM the George Gee Swing Orchestra play surprising new arrangements of old big band standards at Swing 46, 349 W 46th St,  $15

Tuesdays in March clever, fiery, eclectic ten-piece Balkan/hip-hop/funk brass maniacs Slavic Soul Party  at 9 PM at Barbes. Get there as soon as you can as they’re very popular. $10 cover.

Tuesdays at around 10 Julia Haltigan and her band play 11th St. Bar. A torchy, charismatic force of nature, equally at home with fiery southwestern gothic rock, oldschool soul and steamy retro jazz ballads, and her band is just as good as she is.

Wednesdays in March, 8:30 PM guitarist Jonathan Kreisberg (of Dr. Lonnie Smith’s band) leads a trio at the Bar Next Door, $12.

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.

Fridays at 5 PM, adventurous indie classical string quartet Ethel (Ralph Farris, viola; Dorothy Lawson, cello; Kip Jones, violin; and Tema Watstein, violin) play the balcony bar with a rotating cast of interesting special guests at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, free w/museum adm.

The first Friday of the month, anytime between midnight and midnight you can download four songs from Kiam Records artists – like Jennifer O’Connor, Mascott and Tim Foljahn – for free.  Each month’s theme is different (previously they have tackled covers, colors and money)  December’s the fourth edition and a holiday theme.  Available to download only on Friday and then archived and streaming at Soundcloud.

Fridays in March at 9 Naomi Shelton and the Gospel Queens play oldschool 1960s style gospel at the Fat Cat.

Saturdays in March at 4 PM at Bargemusic there are impromptu free classical concerts, usually solo piano or small chamber ensembles: if you get lucky, you’ll catch pyrotechnic violinist/music director Mark Peskanov and/or the many members of his circle. Early arrival advised.

Saturdays in March at 6 PM dark, carnivalesque, urbane Romany song maven (and Berthold Brecht descendant) Sanda Weigl with special guests from throughout the Romany community at Barbes

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 at 4 PM in March the high-energy, harmony-and-strings-fueled oldtimey Dirty Waltz Project plays Barbes followed at 5 PM byvirtuoso cinematic psychedelic/western swing steel guitar player Raphael McGregor, who can do southern boogie, Bob Wills, creepy desert rock grooves, or sounds that run a lot further outside.

Every Sunday the Ear-Regulars, led by trumpeter Jon Kellso and (frequently) guitarist Matt Munisteri play NYC’s only weekly hot jazz session starting around 8 PM at the Ear Inn on Spring St. Hard to believe, in the city that springboarded the careers of thousands of jazz legends, but true. This is by far the best value in town for marquee-caliber jazz: for the price of a drink and a tip for the band, you can see world-famous players (and brilliant obscure ones) you’d usually have to drop $100 for at some big-ticket room. The material is mostly old-time stuff from the 30s and 40s, but the players (especially Kellso and Munisteri, who have a chemistry that goes back several years) push it into some deliciously unexpected places.

Sundays in March, 8:30 PM purist guitarist Peter Mazza – who gets the thumbs up from bop-era legend Gene Bertoncini – leads a series of trios at the Bar Next Door.

Sundays in March at 9 – check the Barbes calendar to make sure -Romany 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 like art-rock and post-Velvets noiserock. He’s also very popular: get there early.

3/1, 1 PM intense, boisterously fun clarinet and violin-fueled klezmer group Litvakus – who specialize in rare songs from Belarus -at JCH in Bensonhurst, 7802 Bay Pkwy., Brooklyn, D to Bay Parkway, walk 8 blocks.

3/1, 3 PM Ann Kim, violin; Benjamin Larsen, cello; Juliana Han, piano; Ian Rosenbaum, percussion play a Mozart Violin Sonata, then Golijov’s “Mariel”, before moving on to Sirota’s Cello Sonata, and wrap up with Beethoven’s Piano Trio in E flat, Opus 70 no. St. John’s Episcopal Church, Park Slope, 139 St. John’s Place at 7th Ave., any train to Grand Army Plaza and walk downhill

3/1, 7 PM socially aware, oldtimey-flavored Americana band 2/3 Goat at the big room at the Rockwood

3/1, 9:30 PM Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment (OAE) perform Mozart and Haydn on period instruments at Littlefield, $10

3/2, 6:30 PM noir chanteuse and Reid Paley collaborator Peg Simone followed by powerpop icons George Usher & Lisa Burns at the Mercury, $10 adv tix rec

3/2, 7 PM author Evan Rapport discusses his new book Greeted with Smiles: Bukharian Jewish Music & Musicians in New York followed by a performance by the haunting, otherworldly Ezro Malakov Maqom Ensemble at the Center for Jewish History, 15 W 16th St, free but rsvp reqd

3/2, 8 PM the NYC premiere of Duo Cracow: Jan Kalinowski (cello) and Marek Szlezer (piano) celebrating Chopin’s 250th birthday at Weill Hall at Carnegie Hall, free tickets available at the box office which opens at 7 PM, limit 4 per person

3/3, 6 PM celebrate World Musc Freedom Day with performances dedicated to Edward Snowden, Chelsea Manning and Mohamedou Ould Slahi.  Singer Jill Burton teams up with pianist Gordon Beeferman and guitarist Chris Cochrane, plus jams by violinist Sara Walraf and pianist Liz Kosack, and a screening from the forthcoming documentary They Will Have to Kill Us: Malian Music in Exile at Spectrum, $15

3/3, 7:30 PM high-voltage string-fueled klezmer dance tunes with the Klez Dispensers‘ Amy Zakar’s Fidl Kapelye at Stephen Wise Free Synagogue, 30 W 68th St, $15

3/3, 8 PM clarinetist/singer/composer Dave Ruder presents The Gentleman Rests, for five vocalists and five instrumentalists, contemplating the infamous events of the joint session of Congress on January 6th, 2001 which rubberstamped the “election” of George W. Bush as President after the Supreme Court-approved coup d’etat, at Roulette, $20/$15 stud/srs

3/3, 8 PM American Modern Ensemble with powerhouse pianists Stephen Gosling and Blair McMillen play music of Amanda Harberg, Robert Paterson and Frederic Rzewski, by Margaret Brouwer, George Crumb and Laura Subculture, $20 adv tix rec

3/3-8, 8/10 PM incisive soprano saxophonist Phillip Johnston plays a stand at the Stone with a whole slew of groups, $15. Also see below for his perennially fun swing band the Microscopic Septet‘s upcoming shows

3/3, 10 PM the NYU Jazz Orchestra plays a program tba followed at 11 by the NYU World Music Ensemble directed by Brad Shepik at Drom, free

3/3, midnight, careeningly noisy, occasionally Middle Eastern and African-influenced guitar instrumentalist Yonatan Gat at Union Pool, $10

3/4, 7 PM (early arrival advised) a rare (first-ever?) solo acoustic performance by Steel Pulse’s David Hinds plus a Q&A with Gary “Dr. Dread” Himmelfarb, well-known and well-connected 90s reggae producer reading from his memoir The Half That’s Never Been Told at the Dreck Center at the Brooklyn Public Library, free

3/4-6, 8 PM catchy reverbtoned janglerockers the Growlers at Baby’s All Right, $20. Be aware that the Saturday, 3/7 show is sold out

3/4, 8 PM auspicious new avant garde ensemble the RAM Players, with clarinetist Thomas Piercy, violinist Karen Kim, violist Robert Meyer and cellist Kate Dillingham play works by Guy Barash, David Fetherolf, Gilbert Galindo, Wang Jie, and Frances White at the Little Secret Theatre, 4402 23rd St, Long Island City, $10. The program repeats on 3/6, 8 PM at the DiMenna Center for $20, reception to follow

3/4, 9 PM psychedelic powerpop/new wave rocker Mike Rimbaud plays his characteristically tuneful, snarling, politically smart, Elvis Costello-esque songs at Bowery Electric, $8

3/4, 9 PM pianist Eugene Marlow’s tunefully cinematic latin-klezmer jazz group Heritage Ensemble with Bobby Sanabria on drums at Something Jazz Club, $15

3/4, 10 PM a good lo-fi blues twinbill: Pork Chop Willie and his Mississippi hill country sounds followed by the acerbic Breanna Barbara Arneson at the Way Station

3/4, 10 PM brooding darkwave songstress Alice Boman at Rough Trade, $12

3/5, 6:30 PM, not a music event but an important one: join the Village Independent Democrats in a discussion of how to save small independently owned businesses in this city: a panel discussion with speakers including Sung Soo Kim – Former Chair: Mayor’ Small Business Advisory Board;  Alfred Placeres – Founder, NYS Hispanic Chamber of Commerce; Jenny Dubnau – Spokesperson for The Artist Studio Affordability Project; Jack Segan – Community Affairs Representative for Jetro Foods;  Robert Perl – President of Tower Brokerage; Mark Crispin Miller – Professor of Media Studies; Critic of NYU overdevelopment, moderated by Lincoln Anderson, Editor-in-Chief, the Villager at Judson Church, 55 Washington Square South.

3/5, 7 PM Eve Lesov plays her birthday show at the big room at the Rockwood. Excellent, tuneful art-rock pianist, strong singer with dry wit, wickedly catchy songs and a great band.

3/5, 7 PM the Brighton Beat bring their deliriously fun Afrobeat jams to Shapeshifter Lab, playing material off ther high-voltage new album Off We Go

3/5, 7:30 PM the Phoenix Chamber Ensemble plays new works by Russian composers Inessa Zaretsky, Tanya Anismova, Yekaterina Merkulyeva, Jakov Jakoulov and Igor Tkachenko at the Center for Jewish History, 15 W 16th St. just off 5th Ave., $15/$10 stud/srs

3/5, 7:30 PM the up-and-coming new New York Festival Orchestra plays Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7 in A major and  Piano Concert No. 5 in E-flat major with pianist Ivan Donchev, plus the Overture to “The Marriage of Figaro” by Mozart; and the American premiere of “Misteri” (Mysteries) for Piano and String Orchestra by Italian composer Francesco Marino at Merkin Concert Hall, $30

3/5, 8 PM jaunty chamber pop stuff from the intriguing trio of Heather Robb of the Spring Standards, Lauren Balthrop & Neha Jiwrajka followed at 10 by fiddler Laura Cortese with Valerie Thompson (cello/vox) and Mariel Vandersteel (fiddle/hardingfele/vox) at Barbes

3/5, 8 PM JACK Quartet (who just played a stunning Georg Friedrich Haas premiere here) and Third Coast Percussion perform an all Augusta Read Thomas program at the Miller Theatre, $25 tix avail.

3/5, 8:30 PM a cutting-edge old and new banjo music twinbill with Jackson Lynch followed by North Carolina’s Ryan Cavanaugh at the Jalopy, $8

3/5, 9:30 PM iconic, satirical “surrealistic swing” band the Microscopic Septet play their first-ever concert of free improvisations at The Stone, as part of soprano saxophonist Phillip Johnston’s residency there – a one-time event! 3/7, 8 PM a unique variant, the Microscopic Saxophone Quartet, performs at the Stone. 3/19 at 9:30 the whole band is at Smalls

3/5, 11 PM  infectious Brazilian maracatu/funk/New Orleans/surf/country band Nation Beat at the small room at the Rockwood

3/5, 11ish individualistic guitarist Alyse Lamb’s jaggedly intense postpunk band Eula play the album release for their deliciously abrasive Siousxie-esque, Martin Bisi-produced new album Wool Sucking at Palisades

3/6, 7 PM the annual Battle of the Bands continues at the Greene Space with the Brooklyn edition. Of all the intra-borough battles, this one is a horse race. This blog’s pick is moody, intriguingly relevant, angst-fueled lo-fi folk-rock act Company of Selves, although pensive postpunks Teletextile and the lively, wryly lyrical New Orleans-flavored Nat Osborn Band are also good. Would be a shame if they lost out to a world-weary folkie girl who specializes in Xmas carols, an old Cuban guy struggling to master a Leonard Cohen song, a couple of Frank Ocean wannabes, or an autistic dude. Yup, one of the finalists is a retard. This is NYC, 2015, y’all. Cover is $15 which includes a drink or $30 for open bar

3/6, 7 PM guitarist David Moreno leads a first-class quartet with Arturo O’Farrill on piano, Renee Cruz on bass and Brandon Lewis on drums at Third Street Music School Settlement, free

3/6, 8 PM the extraordinary Lebanese-American composer/multi-instrumentalist Bassam Saba and his ensemble playing haunting, sweepingly majestic original works at Roulette, $30/$25 stud/srs.

3/6, 8 PM the pretty self-explanatory Sensational Country Blues Wonders at the Way Station

3/6, 8 PM eclectic soul-groove chanteuse Imani Uzuri premieres a new cantata inspired by the clever signification in the Black American quiltmaking tradition, as part of this year’s Avant Festival at Wild Project Theatre, 195 E 3rd St, $15/$10 stud.

3/6, 10ish powerhouse oldschool soul band the One and Nines - NJ’s counterpart to Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings – at the Park Tavern, 575 West Side Ave (Communipaw/Roosevelt, in Jersey City

3/6, 11 PM the Big Sleep play their drony instrumental dreampop noiserock cyclotron at Rough Trade, $12

3/6, 11:30 roots reggae group Royal Khaoz at the big room at the Rockwood

3/7, 2 PM tuneful oldschool early 80s style assaultive/relevant punk rockers the Scrapers play Grand Victory, $10

3/7, 7 PM Alan Gilbert conducts a NY Phil chamber ensemble playing exciting new Nordic music by Per Nogard, Kalevi Aho, Duro Zivkoric and Kaija Saariaho at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, $25

3/7, 7 PM a marathon evening of Randy Gibson‘s hypnotic, psychedelic minimalist drone music, part of this year’s Avant Festival at Wild Project Theatre, 195 E 3rd St, $15/$10 stud

3/7, 7 PM legendary jazz/blues/soul guitarist Ronnie Earl & the Broadcasters at B.B. King’s, $27 adv tix req

3/7, 7:15 PM charismatic blues harpist/resonator guitarist Wade Schuman’s dark psychedelic acoustic blues/klezmer/reggae/soca jamband Hazmat Modine at Terra Blues

3/7, 7:30 PM indie classical ensemble Contemporaneous plays introspective new chamber works by Dylan Mattingly, Tamzin Elliott, Matt Evans, Vicente Alexim and Finnegan Shanahan at the DiMenna Center, 450 W 37th St., free

3/7, 8 PM intense, lyrically brilliant , quirky female-fronted two-keyboard 80s-style art-rock/new wave revivalists Changing Modes at Lit

3/7, 8 PM Texas swing icons the Hot Club of Cowtown - whose fiddler Elana James has a sizzling new album out – at Subculture, $20 adv tix rec

3/7, 8 PM awful segues, good triplebill: Marta Hernández (aka Mar Salá) plays her acoustic flamenco rock followed at 9 by the Viva Vallenato Badass Accordion Band and then honktonk band the Lonesome Cupcakes at 10 at the Way Station

3/7, 8 PM the Aaron Diehl Quartet with Peter Washington, bass; Pete Van Nostrand, drums; Warren Wolf, vibes play the pianist’s elegant melodic straight-ahead jazz at the Miller Theatre, $20 tix avail.

3/7, 9 PM intense, grimly funny noir rocker Tom Warnick & World’s Fair followed by Tracy Island – the catchy, smart, literate new wave/psychedelic rock project from Ian and Liza of the WonderWheels and the Larch – at Freddy’s

3/7, 9 PM Unsteady Freddie’s monthly surf rock shindig at Otto’s kicks off at 9 with the trad Chillers, Los Pocos Locos at 10, the cinematic Commercial Interruption at 11 and Buzzchopper sometime after midnight, free

3/7, 9 PM intense, funky Indian brass bhangra band Red Baraat at Bowery Ballroom, $18 adv tix req. The following night 3/8 they’re at Brooklyn Bowl for three bucks less on a killer triplebill starting at 8 with the psychedelic Brooklyn Raga Massive followed by circus rock/noir cabaret chanteuse Rupa & the April Fishes.

3/7, 9 PM oldtimey harmony-fueled band the Calamity Janes and wryly humorous NYC urban country pioneer Alex Battles & the Whisky Rebellion play a Johnny Cash bday party show at the Bell House, $18 adv tix rec; there’s also a 3 PM all-ages show there on 3/8 for three bucks less in advance

3/7, 9 PM ten-piece country/carnivalesque/acoustic rock powerhouse M Shanghai String Band – whose latest album is amazing – at the Jalopy, $10

3/7, 9 PM charismatic, psychedelic funkmeistress Sister Sparrow & the Dirty Birds at Brooklyn Bowl, $12 adv tix rec

3/7. 9 PM pianist Vicki Ray plays solo works by Mel Powell, James Tenney, Stephen “Lucky” Mosko, and Arthur Jarvinen as well as a multi-composer piece composed in in the style of a cadavre exquis at Spectrum

3/7, 10ish Brooklyn What frontman Jamie Frey’s edgy, tuneful new band No Ice at Big Irv’s, 381 Hooper St (Grand/S 2nd) in Williamsburg, L to Lorimer St.

3/7, 10 PM brilliantly lyrical dark oldtimey songwriter/multi-instrumentalist Pete Lanctot and band at 68 Jay St. Bar

3/7, 10 PM upbeat Sinaloa-style Mexican mariachi/ranchera brass group Banda de los Muertos at Barbes, $10

3/7, 10 PM Black Taxi play their propulsive oldschool disco-funk at the big room at the Rockwood, $12

3/7, 11 PM a fiery Turkish rock doublebill: Twenty 7 followed by Gripin at Drom, $30 adv tix rec.

3/7 1:30 AM (actually wee hours of 3/8) a wild, deep-Brooklyn style postbop night with tenor sax powerhouse Eric Wyatt with Benito Gonzalez – piano , Essiet Essiet – bass , Jonathan Barber – drums  at Smalls, $20

3/8, 2 PM the Momenta Quartet play Tan Dun’s aptly named Ghost Opera at Flushing Town Hall, $15

3/8, 3 PM the Apple Hill String Quartet play “Stringsongs,” by Meredith Monk; “Suite for String Quartet and Fiddler,” a premiere by Dana Lyn and String Quartet no. 2, by Britten at St. Bartholomew’s Church, Park Ave//50th St., $tba

3/8, 4:30ish soulful, latin-inspired, lushly exciting new jazz chanteuse Marianne Solivan leads a 12-piece big band including Stacy Dillard, Dave Gibson and Carl Maraghi at Smalls, $20. Tuneful, first-rate original postbop jazz sextet the Flail play afterward at around 10:30

3/8, 7 PM legendary Piedmont fingerstyle blues guitarist Larry Johnson at Terra Blues

3/8, 7 PM new and recent works for violin duo by New York women composers: Debra Kaye, Max Lifchitz (token hombre), Beata Moon, Rain Worthington, Lynn Bechtold, Melissa Grey and Elena Ruehr at Spectrum, $15/$10 stud/srs

3/8, 8 PM indie classical ensemble Hotel Elefant plays new works by Paola Prestini, Lainie Fefferman and Leaha Maria Villarreal at Subculture, $17 adv tix rec

3/8, 9 PM surf/twang instrumental rockers the Bakersfield Breakers - whose new album is a dead ringer for something from 1963, unbelievably cool and fun – followed by fellow instrumentalists the Combine, who are reputedly just as good, upstairs at 2A

3/9, 8:30 PM the Frikativ Quartet presents compositions by Sarah Bernstein for improvising string quartet. Four inventive and soloistic musicians create a sound that taps the orchestral power of string ensembles and the agility of the jazz quartet. With Scott Tixier, violin, Sarah Bernstein, violin, Stephanie Griffin, viola, Malcolm Parson, cello at Cornelia St. Cafe

3/9, 9 PM psychedelic funk band the People’s Champs followed by the similarly fun, Colombian psychedelic cumbia band MAKU Soundsystem at Brooklyn Bowl, $8

3/9, 9:30 PM Cumbiagra – whose take on psychedelic cumbias is more rustic and purist than most bands who play that stuff – at Barbes

3/9, 11 PM the Doolittle Family play their jangly mix of 60s Laurel Canyon psych-pop and country at the Way Station

3/10, 6 PM cellist Elad Kabilio leads a trio with clarinet and vocals performing otherworldly, haunting themes played in synagogues around the world, throughout history, at the Center for Jewish History, 15 W 16th St. just off 5th Ave., $25/$15 stud/srs

3/10, 7 PM the Tarras Band play music associated with ferociously fun klezmer clarinet legend Dave Tarras, featuring Tarras’ former pianist Pete Sokolow (piano), Michael Winograd (clarinet,) Ben Holmes (trumpet), Jim Guttmann (bass,) and Dave Licht (drums. at Barbes followed by ten-piece funky Balkan brass/Ellington jazz monsters Slavic Soul Party at Barbes

3/10, 7:30 PM a slightly smaller subset of the explosive Ayn Sof big band playing epic klezmer jazz tunes with Greg Wall, Jordan Hirsch, Zev Zions, Brian Glassman, and Aaron Alexander among others at the Stephen Wise Free Synagogue, 30 W 68th St., $15.

3/10-15 elegantly melodic pianist Sylvie Courvoisier plays a weeklong stand at the Stone with sets at 8 and 10 PM, $15. Choice pick: opening night, the first set a duo with violinist Mark Feldman playing stuff from John Zorn’s Book of Angels, the second a duet with Marc Ribot!

3/10, 8 PM pyrotechnic pianist Kathleen Supove plays space-specific new works for piano and soundtrack by Joan La Barbara, Mary Kouyoumdjian, Randall Woolf, and Marti Epstein at Roulette

3/10, 8 PM 90s roots reggae nostalgia with Rasta crooner Luciano at B.B. King’s, $25 adv tix req

3/10, 9:30 PM saxophone powerhouse Lucas Pino‘s two-guitar No No Nonet at Smalls at Smalls, $20

3/10, 11 PM the Rat Problem – promising new wave ish band with sarcastic, sardonic, biting lyrics at the Way Station

3/10, 11 PM gritty, tuneful, Shane MacGowan-ish UK songwriter Adam Masterson at the third room at the Rockwood, $10 + two-drink minimum very strictly enforced

3/11, 7 PM the Isaye Trio - Rada Ovcharova, violin; Emlyn Stam, viola; Willem Stam, cello – play works by Teethoven, Donyanyi and Otterloo at the Bulgarian Consulate General, 121 E 62nd St, free

3/11, 7:30 PM a rare NYC apprearance by the extraordinary violist Kim Kashkashian with Péter Nagy, piano playing works by Schumann, Bartok, Brayms and  László Tihanyi at the Morgan Library, $35

3/11, 8:30 PM dark, sardonic, brilliantly tuneful jazz pianist Danny Fox and his Trio at Seeds

3/11 and 3/14, 9 PM phenomenal bandoneon virtuoso/nuevo tango composer JP Jofre leads a quintet with strings and piano at Something Jazz Club, $12

3/11, 9 PM brassy female-fronted Jerry Lee Lewis-influenced rockabilly band Rocket J & the 88s followed at 10 by Dr. Bluegrass & the Illbilly 8 and then the cleverly lyrical, darkly funny Nashville gothic rock of Maynard & the Musties at the Way Station

3/11, 8 PM psychedelic klezmer/bluegrass mandolin and clarinet legend Andy Statman at Barbes, $10

3/11, 10 PM a good psychedelic twinbill with jangly, gorgeously reverb guitar-and-organ-driven San Francisco psychedelic band the Cool Ghouls and fuzztone monsters the Mystery Lights at Union Pool, $10. The Cool Ghouls are also at Cake Shop on 3/12

3/12, 1 PM the Jack Quartet featuring soprano Rachel Calloway perform the world premiere of Jeff Myers’ Requiem Aeternam  at Trinity Church, free

3/12, 7  PM searingly intense, charismatic, fearless acoustic punk blues siren Molly Ruth followed by fiery Canadian gothic rocker Lorraine Leckie and her psychedelic band with Hugh Pool on lead guitar at the Mercury

3/12, 7 PM Pakistani chanteuse/bandleader Mai Dhai plays traditional Manganiyar songs at Elebash Hall at CUNY, 365 5th Ave. north of 34th St., $25

3/12, 7 PM Libaña Maraza play rarely heard, rustically haunting Honduran Garifuna songs at City Lore Gallery, 56 E. 1st St, $10

3/12, 7 PM Doron Schleifer, countertenor with Corina Marti on clavisymbalum and recorders perform Jewish and Christian music from late medieval Italy at Stephen Wise Free Synagogue, 30 W 68th St

3/12, 7 PM a rare performance of traditional Garifuna songs in endangered indigenous Caribbean languages by folk ensemble Libaña Maraza at City Lore Gallery, 56 E 1st St (between 1st and 2nd Ave), $10

3/12, 8 PM Zambubananas play original Brazilian forro music followed at 10 by the plush, balmy, oldtimey uke swing of Daria Grace & the Pre-War Ponies at Barbes

3/12, 8 PM Israeli reggae crew Moshav Band play the album release show for their new one at Highline Ballrooom, $15 adv tix req

3/12, 8 PM Anne Lanzilotti, viola, Alice Teyssier, flute, and Karl Larson, piano play premieres by Leah Asher, Martin Bresnick, and Scott Wollschleger, plus works by Andrew Norman, Caroline Shaw, and Mozart at the NYU Black Box theatre, Washington Pl. just east of the park (a block north of Washington Square South), free

3/12, 8:30 PM luminous, intense, enigmatic art-rock chanteuse/cellist/multi-instrumentalist Serena Jost at the third room at the Rockwood, $10

3/12, 9 PM irresistibly named, darkly jangling psychedelic garage/powerpop rockers Anderson Council at Maxwell’s

3/12, 9 PM edgy, politically-fueled French-American punk-jazz-soul chanteuse/guitarist Miss Elie Sorbsel aka Emilie Lesbros plays the album release show for her new one on a killer triplebill with the guy who’s arguably the best lyricist on the planet, the Coup’s Boots Riley, plus pensively intense violinist/singer Sarah Bernstein at the Nuyorican Poets Cafe, $10

3/12, 9 PM guitarist Patrick Brennan’s improvisational jazz orchestra the Transparency Kestra at Shapeshifter Lab, $tba

3/12, 10 PM NYC’s most intense, purist Peruvian cumbia-surf rockers, Moneco - who play all the classics by Juaneco, Los Destellos and other rare psychedelic treats – at the Way Station

3/12, 10 PM legendary Come and Steve Wynn guitarist Chris Brokaw at Union Pool, $10

3/13, 7 PM pianist Daniela Bracchi plays works by Bach, Schubert and Chopin at Third Street Music School Settlement, free

3/13, 7 PM violinist Rachel Koblyakov plays solo works by Boulez, Yuri Boguinia, Gideon Broshy, Johannes Maria Von Staud, Wolfgang Rihm and Jules Matton at Spectrum

3/13,  7:30 PM Chia’s Dance Party spinoff tthe Cumbia River Band play psychedelic, surfy grooves at Drom, $10 adv tix rec

3/13, 7:30 PM the NY Composers’ Circle ensemble plays eclectic new vocal music by Frank Retzel, Dana Dimitri Richardson, Eugene Marlow, Susan J. Fischer and Tamara Cashour’s plus instrumental pieces by Matt Weber and Robert S. Cohen (the latter inspired by an ant carrying the much larger carcass of a dead roach across a tennis court) at the DiMenna Center, 450 W 37th St., $20, reception to follow

3/13, 8 PM hypnotic guitarscaper Hubble, plantively sardonic, elegant nouveau-chamber violinist/composer Christopher Tignor and the similarly poignant, evocative indie chamber minimalists/pastoralists Bing & Ruth at Littlefield, $14 . Particularly appropriate that B&R would be on this bill here considering that they have an album titled Kentile Floors.

3/13, 9 PM legendary, sweepingly majestic,timelessly relevant Australian psychedelic rockers the Church - who were arguably the best rock band in the world for a good fifteen years back in the 80s and 90s – at Bowery Ballroom, $30. 3/14 they’re at Rough Trade for the same price and will undoubtedly sell out. Adv tix rec at the Marcury, from 5-7 PM, M-F

3/13, 9 PM Brandi & the Alexanders play their torchy oldschool soul and groove music at the Way Station

3/14, 5 PM edgy Argentine classical pianist Mirian Conti plays a solo recital tilted “$5 for 5 Composers” at the DiMenna Center, 450 W 37th St.

3/14, 7 PM Chicago-style blues guitar monster Bobby Radcliff at Terra Blues.

3/14, 8 PM the Brooklyn What, who are to this era in this city what the Dead Boys and for that matter, the Clash, were to 1979 – at Union Pool, $8, get there on time, this could sell out.

3/14, 8 PM sultry retro 1930s/40s Franco-American swing band les Chauds Lapins followed by horn-driven Colombian party band Chia’s Dance Party at Barbes

3/14, 8 PM Caribbean and south-of-the-border big band flavors with the sixteen-piece Gregorio Uribe Big Band and special guest violinist/singer Mireya Ramos from Mariachi Flor de Toloache at Roulette, $25; open rum bar 7-8 PM!

3/14, 8 PM the hilarious, politically astute Paranoid Larry & His Imaginary Band at 68 Jay St. Bar

3/14, 8:30/10:30 PM pianist Jason Moran joins with Bill Frisell and Alicia Hall Moran to play their newly commissioned work The Quilts of Gee’s Bend, exploring rustic rural African-American spirituals, at the Vanguard, $30

3/14, 9 PM tenor saxophonist Dayna Stephens leads a trio with Gilad Hekselman on guitar and Adam Arruda on drums followed by tunefully shapeshifting new postbop quartet Walking Distance – Caleb Curtis – alto saxophone, Kenny Pexton – tenor saxophone, Adam Coté – bass, Shawn Baltazor – drums – playing the album release show for their new one at Subculture, $15 adv tix rec

3/14, 9 PM cinematic soundtrack instrumentalists/surf rockers the Tarantinos NYC followed at 10 by edgy lefty guitarist Damian Quinones and his psychedelic latin soul band and then at midnight by instrumental trio the Grey Man, who put an acidic postpunk spin on early Can, at the Way Station

3/14, 9:30 PM elegant oldtime Americana chanteuse Nora Jane Struthers and the Party Line at Joe’s Pub, followed at 11:30 PM (separate admission) by haunting Portuguese noir surf band Dead Combo (not to be confused with the Stooges-influenced New York band from the mid-zeros) at Joe’s Pub, $12

3/14, midnight shapeshifting, often haunting female-fronted Americana/acoustic funk/art-rock jamband the Sometime Boys  – who put out this blog’s pick for best song of 2014 – at Freddy’s

3/15, 4-11 PM the annual New Music Bake Sale with performances by avant garde ensembles including AndPlay (violin and viola duo), Eleonore Oppenheim (solo upright bass), ThingNY (composer-performer chamber collective), C4: The Choral Composer/Conductor Collective (contemporary choral music), Anti-Depressant: Kathleen Supové and Jennifer Choi (outrageously fun piano and violin duo), Tigue (percussion trio), the Knells (art-rock ensemble) plus all kinds of yummy treats available, at Roulette, $10

3/15, 4:30ish the intense, occasionally Middle Eastern-tinged fifteen piece Eyal Vilner Big Band with singer Charenee Wade (who just finished a great stand with Rufus Reid’s big band) at Smalls, $20

3/15, 6 (six) PM 70s freak-folk legend Kath Bloom at the Mercury, $8 adv tix rec because this just might sell out

3/15, 7 PM a rare Portuguese superstar twinbill: fado crooner Camané and noir cabaret/monster surf band Dead Combo at NJPAC in Newark, $30 tix avail.

3/15, 8 PM legendary organ improviser Thomas Murray performs at Church of the Resurrection, 119 E. 74th St. (Park/Lexington). $20 ($15 students & seniors)

3/15, 8 PM fiery, trance-inducing  percussionist/bandleader Alessandra Belloni‘s ensemble Daughters of Cybele at the Italian American Museum,155 Mulberry St, $20

3/15, 8:30/10:30 PM tenor sax legend Charles Lloyd with his new quartet featuring Jason Moran, Reuben Rogers and Eric Harland at the Vanguard, $30

3/15, 9 PM the Anna & Elizabeth Show –  Anna Roberts-Gevalt (fiddle, banjo, guitar) and Elizabeth LaPrelle (ballads, banjo), with oldtime mountain music and real old-fashioned crankies at the Jalopy, $10

3/15, 10 PM eclectic, paradigm-shifting B3 jazz organist Brian Charette and band at 55 Bar

3/16, 7 PM Van Davis - with Chop & Quench singer Abena Koomson – who alternate between sunny oldschool soul and ferocious, guitar-fueled funk, followed at 8:30 by Afrobeat funk jamband the New York Horns – with Mojo Mancini’s Sean Pelton on drums – at Arlene’s, free

3/16, 8 PM a rare small club appearance by cutting-edge avant garde composer/performer Milica Paranosic at Silvana

3/16, 8 PM the DaCapo Chamber Players perform works by pan-American composers including Eleanor Alberga, Paquito D’Rivera, Martin Gendelman, Jorge Martin and Gabriela Ortiz at the DiMenna Center, 450 W 37th St. $20/$10 stud/sts

3/16, 8 PM the North-South Consonance Ensemble play music for spring (bring it on!) by Ari Ben-Shabetai’, Chan Kai-Young, Matthew Durrant and Max Lifchitz with horn soloist Anne Ellsworth at Christ & St Stephen’s Church, 120 W 69th S. free

3/16, 9:30 PM newschool latin soul dance band Spanglish Fly at Barbes – heavier on the salsa than the soul, with a charismatic frontwoman and the same kind of relevance the old boogaloo bands had back in the 60s.

3/17-22, 8/10 PM irrepressible, paradigm-shifting accordionist Guy Klucevsek plays with a whole bunch of ensembles, $20. Choice pick: 3/18 at 8 doing film music with Kamala Sankaram and Peter Brown (vocals); Phyllis Chen (toy piano & piano); Todd Reynolds (violin)

3/17, 7 PM pianists Simone Dinnerstein and Doris Stevenson play music of Ravel, Gershwin, and Philip Lasser at PS321 Auditorium, 180 7th Ave., Park Slope, Brooklyn, R to Union St and walk uphill, $15, all proceeds to benefit the school.

3/17, 8 PM a rare St. Paddy’s Day show for pros rather than amateurs: sly lyrical soul guy Leo Sidran (whose latest album is titled Don’t Cry for No Hipster), eclectic violinist and genre-smashing jazz/indie classical/cinematic/Celtic composer Skye Steele and lush, intense, anthemic female-fronted Celtic acoustic band Burning Bridget Cleary at the third room at the Rockwood, $12, $10 drink min. strictly enforced

3/17-22, 8:30/10:30 PM intimate guitar-bass duos with Bill Frisell and Thomas Morgan at the Vanguard, $30

3/17, 9 PM  intense, darkly cinematic slowcore/postrock guitarist Shannon Wright at St. Vitus, $15

3/17, 10 PM smart, purist oldtimey female-fronted swing band the Swingaroos at the big room at the Rockwood

3/18, 8 PM the alternatively explosive and shimmering Nakatani Gong Orchestra at the Green Building, 452 Union St (Nevins/Bond) in Gowanus, R to Union St. and walk downhill, $15

3/18, 8 PM smart, eclectic, harmony-driven oldtime Americana/Celtic/acoustic C&W band the Henry Girls at Barbes

3/18, 7ish the CTMD puts on one of their occasional Jewish zingeray folksong song swaps with tunes from the repertoires of Carol Freeman, Sarah Gordon, Esther Gottesman, Janet Leuchter, Jerry Marcus and CTMD’s Ethel Raim at City Lore Galley,  56 E 1st St.

3/18, 8 PM the Ariel Quartet continue their performance of the Beethoven string quartet cycle at Subculture, $25 adv tix rec

3/18 10 PM a killer triplebill at Rough Trade: creepy noir chamber pop/murder ballad duo Charming Disaster, eclectic art-rock violinist/bandleader Christina Courtin and sardonically clanging postpunks Frogbelly & Symphony (who have a new Martin Bisi-produced album out), $10 adv tix rec.

3/19, 1 PM Novus NY play the two chamber symphonies of John Adams’ Chamber Symphony and Arnold Schoenberg’s Chamber Symphony No. 1 at Trinity Church, free

3/19, 7 PM Romanian cimbalom icon Marius Mihalache plays solo and then joins torchy Romany singer Sanda Weigl‘s performance at 8 PM at Barbes. Martin Vejarano‘s Cumbia River Band plays afterward at 10.

3/19, 7:30 PM torchy intense southwestern gothic songwrite Julia Haltigan and her excellent band at the Mercury, $10 adv tix rec

3/19, 7:30 PM entrancing Middle Eastern/Nubian largescale jamband the Nile Project revisit the scene of their live album, the Lincoln Center Atrium, free, early arrival a must. They’re at the Schimmel Auditorium at Pace University, 3 Spruce St. in the financial district the following night, 3/20 for $30

3/19, 7:30 PM early music consort the Wayward Sisters perform a program titled The Naughty List: Music By Braggarts, Hotheads, Curmudgeons and Snobs with music by obnoxious men Matthew Locke, Tarquinio Merula, William Brade, Nicola Matteis, and Dario Castello at the Kosciuszko Foundation, 15 E 65th St, $25

3/19, 7:30 PM thrilling British violinist Rachel Podger leads the Julliard415 baroque ensemble in a performance of works from Vivaldi’s L’Estro Armonico at Madison Avenue Presbyterian Church, 921 Madison Ave (73/74), $20

3/19 and 3/24 at 7:30 PM, plus 3/20 at 11 AM (in the morning) and and 3/22 at 8? the NY Phil play Ravel’s Piano Concerto in G, Richard Strauss’ Der Rosenkavalier plus works by Debussy and Esa-Pekka Salonen at Avery Fisher Hall, $30 tix avail

3/19-21, 7:30 PM kabuki theatre maven Tamasaburo Bando‘s explosive taiko drum/Japanese folk ritual troupe play their new extravaganza Kodo One Earth Tour: Mystery at BAM, $25 tix avail

3/19, 8 PM Pistolera frontwoman Sandra Lilia Velasquez’s torchy, slinky, psychedelic downtempo/trip-hop/art-pop band SLV at Greenwich House Music School, $15

3/19, 8 PM a chamber-sized subset of beloved, adventurous young orchestra the Knights play works by Haydn, Schnittke, Timo Andres, Fred Lerdahl and Thomas Adès at Subculture, $20 adv tix rec

3/19, 8:30 PM Dervisi feat. guitar god Steve Antonakos play “exotic Greek gangsta blues” at Espresso 77, 35-57 77th Street, Jackson Hts., free. They’re also at Troost in Greenpoint, same time, on 3/25.

3/19, 9 PM the perennially intense, tuneful godfather of edgy, lyrical, anthemic downtown NYC rock, Willie Nile at Rough Trade, $30

3/19, 11 PM darkly cinematic saxophonist/composer Nick Hempton leads a quartet following the Microscopic Septet‘s album release show at Smalls, $20

3/19, 11:30 PM clarinet-fueled, explosively electric instrumentalists the NY Gypsy All-Stars at the big room at the Rockwood

3/20, 7 PM violinist Melissa Tong with members of the Artemis Chamber Ensemble play music by Part, Johnston and Messiaen at Third Street Music School Settlement, free

3/20, 7 PM Richard Bennett plays his cross-pollinating mashup of Indian ragas and neoromantic/minimalist piano music at the Rubin Museum of Art, $20

3/20, 7:30 PM intense, state-of-the-art alto saxophonist/composer Miguel Zenon and his quartet salute the Puerto Rican roots in much of jazz at the Hostos Center Theater, 450 Grand Concourse in the Bronx, 2/4/5 to Grand Concourese/149th St., $15/$7.50 stud/srs

3/20, 7:30 PM 90s indie powerpop/mod punk legends the Figgs play the album release show for their new one at the Mercury, $12 gen adm

3/20, 8 PM sultry retro 1930s/40s Franco-American swing band les Chauds Lapins followed at 10 by accordion-fueled oldschool Colombian vallenato punk band Very Be Careful at Barbes

3/20, 8 PM, repeating 3/21, 7:30 PM the Chelsea Symphony play Bedford: Flushing Meadows, 1964 for Saxophone and Orchestra (world premiere) with soloist Aaron Patterson; Vaughan Williams: Oboe Concerto with soloist Kelly Jo Breczka; Grafe: Cello Concerto with soloist Eric Allen; Sibelius: Overture to the Tempest and Tchaikovsky: The Tempest at St. Paul’s Church, 315 W 22nd St, $20 sugg don.

3/20, 9 PM a killer literate rock/powerpop twinbill: Paula Carino’s transgressively fun original band, Regular Einstein and Elvis Costello-esque underground powerpop heroes Lazy Lions both play the album release show for their new ones at Rock Shop, $10

3/20, 9 PM wild oldschool-style original bluegrass crew Foghorn String Band followed at 9 by the increasingly soul-oriented, guitarishly brilliant Miss Tess & the Talkbacks at the Jalopy, $15

3/20, 9:30 PM singer/pianist Rebecca Mimiaga plays the album release show for her new one Words in the Dark with a killer band including Doug Wieselman on oboe and strings, Maxim Moston on viola, Katie Krestek on cello and more at Shapeshifter Lab, $10

3/20, 9:30 PM Dan Finnerty’s hilarious, viciously sarcastic top 40 cover band the Dan Band at Joe’s Pub, $22

3/20, 9:30 PM downtown NYC supergroup Heroes of Toolik play deceptively catchy, hypnotically growling, post-Velvets grooves at Union Hall, $10

3/20, 11:30 PM the Nat Osborn Band – whose wry, cleverly lyrical New Orleans sounds come across somewhere in between Dr. John and Brother Joscephus at Rough Trade, $10 adv tix rec

3/21, 8 PM unique art-rock/chamber jazz singer/bandleader Karen Mantler at Barbes

3/21, 8 PM North Indian violinist Kala Ramnath and ensemble at Roulette

3/21, 10 PM hard-hitting bassist Dawn Drake & Zapote play hot Afrobeat-tinged funk grooves at the Way Station

3/21, 10:30 PM catchy original newgrass string band Cricket Tell the Weather at the third stage at the Rockwood, $10 + $10 drink minimum very strictly enforced

3/22, 3 PM composer Huang Ruo and up-and-coming chamber ensemble New Asia Chamber Music Society play music for modern dance to accompany Nai-Ni Chen’s dance group at Flushing Town Hall, free but rsvp reqd

3/22, 3 PM Hannah Min, violin; Monica Davis, viola; Isabelle Fairbanks and Benjamin Larsen, cello; Zach Mo, piano play Faure’s C minor Piano Quartet, and Arensky’s haunting A minor Quartet for violin, viola and two cellos at St. John’s Episcopal Church, Park Slope, 139 St. John’s Place at 7th Ave., any train to Grand Army Plaza and walk downhill

3/22, 4 PM viol consort Parthenia with guest harpist Christa Patton play works by Henry Purcell, Orlando Gibbons, Carlo Farina, Giovanni Battista Vitali, Nicolo Corradini and Giovanni Legrenzi plus a Eleonor Sandresky world premiere at Picture Ray Studio, 245 W 18th St, $25/$10 stud/srs

3/22, 6 PM an all-star downtown NYC rock cast: Erica Smith, John Sharples, American Ambulance’s Pete Cenedella, Lisa Dowling, Lizzie Edwards of Lizzie & the Sinners, Matt Keating, Tim Simmonds and others (hint: like…special guests!) play two classic albums: Richard & Linda Thompson’s Shoot Out the Lights and Graham Parker’s Squeezing Out Sparks at the Mercury, $10

3/22, 7 PM exhilarating  late-1800s style Appalachian/blues string band the Down Hill Strugglers, at the Jalopy, $10

3/22, 11 PM NYC;s only original Mexican son jarocho band, Radio Jarocho at the small room at the Rockwood

3/23, 8 PM eclectic Croatian-American jazz singer/composer Thana Alexa with special guests Antonio Sanchez and Donny McCaslin play the album release show for her new one at Subculture, $15 adv tix rec

3/23, 8 PM the Atlantic Ensemble plays newly commissioned chamber works by composers TBA at Symphony Space, free

3/24, drinks at 5:30 PM, show at 6, indie chamber group Yarn/Wire play electroacoustic works by Thomas Meadowcroft and Chiyoko Szlavnics at the Miller Theatre, free.

3/24-29, 8/10 PM vivid, intense, lyrical jazz pianist Myra Melford leads a series of ensembles at the Stone, $15. Choice pick: how do you choose from this feast of riches? Just for starters, the 3/25, 10 PM show with Miya Masaoka (koto) and Mary Halvorson (guitar) is pretty amazing.

3/24, 8 PM clear-voiced, classically-tinged jazz singer/bandleader Joanna Wallfisch and pianist Dan Tepfer play the album release show for their new one at Subculture, $15 adv tix rec

3/24, 8 PM new indie classical vocal/chamber group Arkora play Benton Roark’s troubled song cycle, Songs from the Rainshadow’s Edge: radical harpists Duo Scorpio play Andy Akiho works; and Ear Heart Music impresario Amelia Lukas joins them on flute for a rare Toru Takemitsu piece at Roulette, $25

3/24-29, 8:30/10:30 PM fiery downtown postbop sax personality Oliver Lake leads a trio with Reggie Workman on bass and Andrew Cyrille on drums at the Vanguard, $30

3/24, 10 PM the brass-fueled ten-piece Josh Evans Big Band at Smalls, $20. They’re also here on 3/31 at 9:30

3/25, 8 PM boisteroiusly funny oldschool 60s C&W and brooding southwestern gothic with the Jack Grace Band at Barbes

3/25, 10:45 PM Maxo plays his clever, witty, cinematic 16-bit keyb soundtracks at Baby’s All Right, $8

3/26, 7 PM badass, torchy Irish swing singer Tara O’Grady plays the album release for her new one Irish Bayou – tracing the rich history of the Irish in New Orleans – at the Metropolitan Room, 34 W 22 St

3/26, 7:30 PM the Heath Quartet play Janácek’s String Quartet No. 2 (“Intimate Letters”) and Beethoven’s String Quartet in C-sharp minor, Op. 131 at the Lincoln Center Atrium, free, early arrival advised

3/26, 7:30 PM cutting-edge vocal quartet NY Polyphony sing renaissance works by Dunstable, Plummer, Brumel, and Clemens as well as contemporary pieces by Ivan Moody, John Scott, Michael McGlynn and Geoffrey Williams at the Greene Space

3/26, 8 PM Drums of the Diaspora featuring Dendê, Joaquin Pozo and Bonga Jean-Baptiste blend Bahian, Cuban and Haitian beats at Meridian 23, 161 W 23rd St. just east of 7th Ave

3/26, 8:30 PM haunting, dusky, jangly southwestern gothic rock band And the Wiremen at Troost, 1011 Manhattan Ave, Greenpoint

3/26, 9:30 PM the irrepressible, theatrical, politically spot-on Ukuladies - who bring bacon to every show – at Freddy’s

3/26, 10 PM Jack Ladder & the Dreamlanders – late 80s Leonard Cohen wannabe crooning down-and-out synth/darkwave/noir pop – at Rough Trade, $15 adv tix rec.

3/27, 7 PM pianist Edmund Arkus plays plays music of Schubert, Chopin, Granados and Bach at Third Street Music School Settlement, free

3/27, 7:30 PM Sexmob – who’ve distinguished themselves with their noir jazz reinventions of Nino Rota Fellini soundtracks – perform the world premiere of their score to Guido Brignon’s classic Italian silent film Maciste all’inferno at Symphony Space, $25

3/27, 8 PM guitarist/mandolinist John Ehlis with his lively improvisational sextet at Shapeshifter Lab, $12

3/27, 9 PM one of the year’s best if most improbable twinbills: this era’s greatest cinematic noir guitar instrumentalists, Big Lazy and the Jack Grace Band at the Jalopy, $10. This bill might actually have happened (maybe in reverse) at the C-Note fifteen years ago or so. Jack’s no slouch on guitar, either.

3/27, 9 PM Indian carnatic jazz violinist Arun Ramamurthy and his funky trio followed at 10 by anthemic, eclectic often haunting female-fronted Americana/acoustic funk/art-rock jamband the Sometime Boys at the Way Station

3/28, 5 PM pianist Rosa Torres Pardo plays an all-Iberian program including works by Soler-Scarlatti, Albeniz, de Falla at the DiMenna Center, 450 W 37th St., $5

3/28, 7 PM high-voltage, eclectic acoustic-electric Americana band Spuyten Duyvil at the big room at the Rockwood

3/28, 8 PM omg what a fun doublebill: wild party band Litvakus, who rescue obscure Belorrusian klezmer dances from musty old archives, and the similarly wild, hilarious, accordion-and-violin-fueled klezmer punk band Golem at Drom, $15 adv tix very highly rec

3/28, 9 PM another rare appearance by the hilarious, politically astute Paranoid Larry & His Imaginary Band at Freddy’s  – this makes two in two months!

3/28, 9 PM a newschool roots reggae twinbill wih the Blue Dahlia followed by Thunda Vida at Silvana

3/29, 9ish Drina Seay – torchy Americana/soul/jazz siren who is to NYC now what Neko Case was to Portland in 1999 – upstairs at 2A.

3/29, 9:30ish the George Gee Swing Orchestra make a return appearance at Smalls with their lush new arrangements of old standards, $20

3/30, 6:30 PM sensational up-and-coming organist Stephen Buzard plays Camil van Hulse’s rarely performed Symphonia Elegiaca in its entirety at St. Thomas Church, 53rd St./5th Ave., sugg don.

3/30 biting, darkly psychedelic Eurofolk/rock band Carl Barât & The Jackals at the small downstairs studio space at Webster Hall is sold out – good for them

4/1, 9 PM surreal, Waits-influeuced, noirish, apocalyptic Americana guitar band Fellaheen at the Way Station

4/2, 11 PM wild, psychedelic Bay Area Romany/Middle Eastern/Balkan band Taraf de Locos – sort of the left coast version of Tribecastan – at Silvana

4/4, 9:30 PM acclaimed Turkish classical guitarist Sinan Ersahin at Bar Thalia adjacent to Symphony Space, free

4/6, 7:30 PM James Austin Smith, oboe; Tessa Lark, violin; Max Mandel, viola; Edward Arron, cello; and Pedja Muzijevic, piano, play Mozart’s Piano Quartet in G minor, K. 478, plus Luciano Berio’s Sequenza VII for oboe and John Cage pieces at the Baryshnikov Arts Center, 450 W 37th St., $20

4/8, 7:30 PM jazz pianist Steven Prutsman plays his third-stream album Passengers all the way through at the Baryshnikov Arts Center, 450 W 37th St., $20

4/9, 8 PM the NY Scandia Symphony celebrates the 150th anniversary of the births of  Carl Nielsen and Jean Sibelius at Symphony Space, $15 adv tix rec.

4/9, 9:30 PM coolly enigmatic original jazz/torch singer Dorian Devins and her first-rate combo at Bar Thalia adjacent to Symphony Space, free

4/10, 8 PM anthemic, eclectic often haunting female-fronted Americana/acoustic funk/art-rock jamband the Sometime Boys and hard funk band Afroskull at Rock Shop, $10

4/11, 5 PM Argentine pianist Agustin Anievas plays Schubert and Chopin at the DiMenna Center, 450 W 37th St., $5

4/11, 8 PM the Latvian National Choir sing rarely heard works by Arvo Part, Vytautas Miskinis, Vaclovas Augustinas, Ugis Praulins, Jekabs Janchevskis, Gundega Smite, Raimonds Tiguls, Eriks Esenvalds,  Veljo Tormis and Eric Whitacre’s luminous Lux Aurumque at the Baryshnikov Arts Center, 450 W 37th St., $20

4/11, 9 PM Trapper Schoepp – a Milwaukee minor-leaguer with some promise, in a growling, lyrical Jeffrey Foucault Americana vein – opens for noiserock/paisley underground/noir rock legend Steve Wynn at Bowery Ballroom, $20

4/12, 3 PM the Greenwich Village Orchestra play an all-Tchaikovsky program with the Festival Coronation March, the Violin Concerto with soloist Siwoo Kim, and Symphony No. 4 at Washington Irving HS Auditorium, 16th St./Irving Place, $15 sugg don., reception to follow

4/13, 8 PM legendary 70s art-rock/hippie band Magma keep their own invented Kobaiian language alive at le Poisson Rouge, $30 adv tix req

4/14, drinnks at 5:30 PM, show at 6, a quartet version of Ensemble Signal plays childhood-inspired works by Clemens Gadenstätter, Sean Griffin, Elliott Carter and Helmut Lachenmann at the Miller Theatre, free

4/14, 7:30 PM Brian Glassman’s brass-fueled Klezmer/Jazz Alliance at at Stephen Wise Free Synagogue, 30 W. 68th St, $15

4/16, 7:30 PM haunting Middle Eastern jazz trumpeter Amir El Saffar‘s Two Rivers Large Ensemble at the Lincoln Center Atrium, free, early arrival a must

4/17, 8 PM pensive, intense newgrass fiddler April Verch and her trio at Subculture

4/17, 9 PM edgy Chilean psychedelic cumbia/hip-hop/reggaeton bandleader Ana Tijouxat Bowery Ballroom, $15 adv tix rec

4/17-19 the Brooklyn Folk Festival at St. Ann’s Church in Brooklyn Heights, lineup tba

4/18 Australian sensation the Cat Empire – quirky, latin-and-ska-inflected and great fun organic stoner dance grooves – at the at Webster Hall, 9 PM $25

4/18 one of the year’s best rock doublebills: scorchingly lyrical, politically-fueled two-guitar anthemic punk/circus rock band the Brooklyn What followed by the similarly lyrically-driven, savagely political, hard-hitting Alabama populist rockers Lee Bains III and the Glory Fires at the Knitting Factory

4/22, 7 PM Norway, Sweden and the Shetland Islands’ virtuoso fiddling traditions represented by Olav Luksengård Mjelva, Anders Hall and Kevin Henderson at Symphony Space, $30

4/23, 7:30 PM otherworldly all-female choral quartet Anonymous 4 – on their final tour with Americana music maven Bruce Molsky – at the great hall at Cooper Union, $25 gen adm

4/24, 10 PM soulpunk/psychedelic band Clear Plastic Masks open for acoustic populist Alynda Lee Segarra aka Hurray for the Riff Raff at Bowery Ballroom, $15 adv tix rec

4/24 the queen of otherworldly, exhilarating Romany ballads, Esma Redžepova at le Poisson Rouge

4/25, 7 PM torchy, intense, dramatically soaring pianist/songwriter Elaine Romanelli at the third room at the Rockwood, $10

4/26, 3 PM the Australian Chamber Orchestra play works by Haydn, Mozart, Prokofiev and a world premiere by Radiohead’s Jonny Greenwood at Zankel Hall at Carnegie Hall

4/30, 8 PM Guinean Fula flute sounds with Bailo Bah & Sylvain Leroux followed by fiery Mauritanian pschedelic/desert rock bandleader/chanteuse Noura Mint Seymali at Roulette

4/30 8ish edgy gutter blues band Jane Lee Hooker followed at around 10 by the Bluebonnets with the Go Go’s Kathy Valentine (not only a superior bassist but a ferociously sizzling lead guitarist), $10 gen adm

5/1, 8 PM Pakistan’s Farid Ayaz, Abu Muhammad & Brothers Qawwali at Roulette

5/1, 9 PM this era’s version of Steve Earle, Joe Pug at Bowery Ballroom, $15

5/2, 8 PM entrancing Moroccan sintir virftuoso Hassan Hakmoun – the James Brown of gnawa – with his band at Roulette

5/3, 8 PM avant jazz grooves with Ned Rothenberg & Glen Velez followed by a rare global throat-singing twinbilll with Alash and Huun-Huur-Tu, the Throat-Singers of Tuva at Roulette

5/9, 5 PM pianist Josep Colom plays “a dialogue between Mozart and Chopin” at the DiMenna Center, 450 W 37th St., $5

5/16, 8 PM the band that put Haitian psychedelic funk on the map in the 90s, Boukman Eksperyans at Roulette, $25

5/16, 9 PM legendary Hoboken proto-dreampop jangleband the Feelies at the Bell House, $25 gen adm, adv tix rec, this might sell out

A Deliciously Menacing New Album and a Palisades Show from Edgy Postpunks Eula

Eula are one of the most individualistic bands in New York. As noisy as they can be onstage, the noise works because throughout their terse, relatively short postpunk songs, there’s always an underlying tune. Frontwoman/guitarist Alyse Lamb knows all the most menacing places on the fretboard and makes it to all of them on the band’s meticulously arranged new cassette album (which isn’t out yet, hence no streaming link, although a couple of tracks are up at Bandcamp and Soundcloud). Although they’ve been lumped in with the indie crowd, Eula are too edgy, purposeful and often downright Lynchian to be tagged with that logo. You have to go back a few years, to groups like the Throwing Muses at their most assaultive, or to Siouxsie & the Banshees, to find a real point of comparison. They’re playing the album release show at Palisades in Bushwick at around 11 on March 5, with psychedelic noiserock legend Martin Bisi, who produced it, playing earlier at around 9 along with a Swan and an ex-Sonic Youth: cover charge TBA. Eula will also be at Abbey’s Pub at 407 Monmouth St. in Jersey City on March 8 at around 11.

The album kicks off with Noose, which artfully scatters all kinds of eerily ringing, resonant shards of guitar over a percussively pitchblende, looping, qawwali-influenced groove. I Collapse reminds of X circa Wild Gift, bassist Jeff Maleri and drummer Nathan Rose giving it a galloping rhythm until Lamb’s guitar explodes on the chorus: “Can you handle nasty weather?” is the mantra.

Maleri’s creepy, bolero-ish bass and Rose’s murky cymbal washes open Little Hearts, which builds to another volcanic chorus before Lamb goes back to a whispery noir insistence: “And then you wake to find the circumstances are not so kind.” She anchors the snide, sarcastic Orderly in stomping, jagged, early Joy Division minimalism.

Rising slowly out of hypnotically misty jangle to a wistfully echoey sway, The Destroyer brings to mind Boston’s great Black Fortress of Opium. Like No Other also sways along, juxtaposing aggressive, late Sleater-Kinney style vocals against a swooping, looping backdrop. With its distant hints of Indian music and dark Appalachian folk, the subdued Your Beat is the album’s catchiest track.

Driven by Maleri’s gritty, circling bass, Aplomb is as punk as these songs get, followed by the noisiest number here, Meadows. The album – one of 2015’s three or four best up to this point – winds up with the trippy, disquietingly echoey Monument. Expect the band to rip these songs to shreds onstage, possibly with a power assist from some special guests.

Rufus Reid’s Big Band Delivers Sophistication and Tradition at the Jazz Standard

There was a lot of fun onstage last night at the Jazz Standard. There was a downwardly spiraling, menacingly chromatic Freddie Hendrix trumpet solo that might have been the higlight of the evening. There was an animated conversation between flugelhornist Scott Wendholt and pianist Steve Allee that emerged from two deep-space tangents. Guitarist Vic Juris supplied genially bubbling, melismatically warping interludes; tenor saxophonist Scott Robinson, bass clarinetist Carl Maraghi and trombonist Ryan Keberle took turns contributing judicious, purist, blues-infused lines when called on to take centerstage. But that’s the least of what was going on.

Big band jazz sometimes gets a rap for being simply a vehicle for solos: Phish with horns. And if you’ve got twenty people the caliber of the players in Rufus Reid‘s group, there’s no limit on where they can take the music. But despite the starpower on the bandstand, the large ensemble’s current stand here – which continues through March 1, with sets at 7:30 and 9:30 PM – is all about compositions. Reid has a hall of fame career as a sideman, but in recent years he’s devoted himself to composing. Last night’s opening set was marked by gravitas, and depth, and lustrously shifting segments, most of the numbers taken from Reid’s vivid, politically aware album Quiet Pride: The Elizabeth Catlett Project.

Reid left no doubt how much inspiration he’s drawn from sculptor and visual artist Catlett’s defiant, symbolically loaded images of resistance and endurance, and the music reaffirmed that. Singer Charenee Wade got the most choice spots, capping off the crescendos with remarkably nuanced vocalese, her vibrato trailing off elegantly as her phrases wound out, sometimes in harmony with french hornists John Clark and Vincent Chancey, at other times over a lush bed of high reed textures. Drummer Chris Beck got to trigger a deviously amusing false ending or two while the bandleader, amped well up in the mix, pushed the ensemble with an understatedly funky pulse when he wasn’t swinging it hard or circling around with tersely minimalist, avant garde-tinged phrasing. Notwithstanding the album’s epic, classically tinged sweep and sophistication, this show reminded just how deeply Reid’s writing is rooted in the jazz tradition. Taking the time to assemble a big band is a herculean effort to begin with; that this group could play this music as tightly and passionately as they did is tribute to how inspiring Reid is as a composer and bandleader. Although last night’s shows appeared to be sold out, there are seats left for the rest of this weekend; reservations to 212-576-2232 are always a good idea here.

The Sway Machinery Release Another Fiery, Eclectic, Psychedelic Masterpiece

The Sway Machinery are one of the real feel-good stories of the New York rock scene. They’ve come a long, long way since their days in the early zeros, when as one esteemed New York guitarist put it, they were sort of the “cantorial AC/DC.” There’s no band in the world who sound remotely like them. Mashing up hypnotic Saharan duskcore, biting postpunk, Afrobeat, funk and ancient Hasidic ngunim with a searing, guitar-fueled undercurrent, they’re one of the most individualistic and consistently exciting groups to emerge from this city in this century. They’ve got a new album, Purity and Danger, due out next week (hence no streaming link, although three of the tracks are up at soundcloud) and an album release show on March 1 at 6 (yes, six) PM at Baby’s All Right. Cover is $10, which is dirt cheap for that venue.

The big difference with this album is that it’s something of a return to their hard-rocking roots. Bass saxophonist Colin Stetson has been switched out for Antibalas‘ guitar-bass team of Tim Allen and Nikhil Yerawadekar, who provide a bouncy contrast for frontman Jeremiah Lockwood’s tersely searing reverbtoned guitar riffs. The album opens with the brisk, punchy Afrobeat-tinged instrumental title track, Lockwood’s chords blasting in the right channel, Allen playing lithe jangle in the left against the bright harmonies of trumpeter Jordan McLean and saxophonist Matt Bauder over a groove that’s equally catchy and hypnotic.

Rachamana D’Onay mashes up Middle Eastern rock, reggae and Ethiopiques into a surreallistically dancing stew. Revive the Dead has an irrepressible drive that’s part Sly Stone, part pensive 70s European art-rock, with a long jam that’s a study in tasty guitar contrasts, and a soulful trumpet solo out. My Dead Lover’s Wedding circles and careens around a rhythm that’s part 70s stoner art-rock, part camelwalking assouf desert rock.

On Magein Avos, Lockwood makes a bouncy, trickily rhythmic anthem out of its otherworldly, rustic cantorial theme, drummer John Bollinger pushing it with a restless, hard-hitting pulse. The band does Longa, another number based on an ancient traditional theme, as marauding Middle Eastern surf: imagine Eyal Maoz out in front of Budos Band. Then Lockwood returns to a lingering, resonantly psychedelic groove with Al Tashlicheini, a launching pad for his soaring, impassioned baritone vocals.

Od Hapaam is a mashup of joyous oldschool soul, blazing Ethiopiques and searing, suspensefully cinematic stadium rock, Lockwood’s rumbling solo leaving a long trail of sparks in its wake. My Angel’s House skirts funk, desert rock and rhythmically shapeshifting art-rock without hitting any of those style head-on, although Lockwood’s sputtering guitar here wouldn’t be out of place in a Bombino song. The album winds up with Rozo D’Shabbos, by the great Russian-American cantor Pierre Pinchik, reinvented as a vigorously crescendoing anthem that rises out of a hypnotic Afrobeat vamp. Knowing the band, they’ll probably jam the hell out of these songs live.

Girls Guns and Glory Bravely Tackle a Bunch of Hank Williams Classics

Why on earth would you want to do a whole album of Hank Williams covers? What could you possibly add to those iconic songs that could be better than the originals? OK, maybe you could completely reinvent them like Bryin Dall and Derek Rush did on their absolutely chilling Deconstructing Hank, transposing everything into a minor key and adding a layer of sepulchral atmospherics on top.

Or you could rip the hell out of them like George Thorogood did back when he was actually good. Girls Guns and Glory bravely tackle the challenge of amping up the songs while hanging onto a retro sensibility on their new album of Hank covers, most of which is streaming online. And it’s a rousing and improbable success. The Boston band recorded it on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day at hometown venue the Lizard Lounge in tribute to the last two shows he never got to play (he died in the back of that white Cadillac on January 1, 1953). The four-piece group – frontman Ward Hayden on guitar, Chris Hersch on lead guitar and banjo, Paul Dilley on bass and piano and Josh Kiggans on drums – are currently on East Coast tour, and would almost assuredly be making at stop at Rodeo Bar if it was still open. This time around they’ll be at the big room at the Rockwood on Feb 26 at 8 PM – kind of sad to see how the Rodeo scene has been dispersed, hasn’t it?

Most of the songs are pretty obvious choices, and they’re more bittersweet than sad. Hersch is the star of the show here: he spices Moanin’ the Blues with a nimble Chuck Berry-style solo as Hayden alternates between a high lonesome wail and a more exuberant bar-band delivery. Likewise, Hersch’s keening slide work soars over fiddler Jason Anick’s spare, oldschool lines on Hey Good Lookin. And an unexpected rampage down the fretboard steals the show from Miss Tess and Della Mae‘s Celia Woodsmith, who add exuberant harmonies on an otherwise straight-ahead take of Move It on Over. They do the same a bit later, on My Bucket’s Got a Hole in It.

The two Americana songstresses also lend their voices to a steady, wistful take of Your Cheatin’ Heart, then the band gives So Lonesome I Could Cry an almost stalking, swaying, suspenseful groove. Honkytonk Blues is yet another showcase for Hersch’s uncanny ability to impersonate a pedal steel.

Rockin’ Chair Money is an unexpected choice, and a good one: the hypnotic, jangly, resonant sway absolutely nails Hank’s understated desperation. Anick’s wild spiraling on I Saw the Light is arguably the album’s most exhilarating moment. There’s also a more-or-less obligatory version of Jambalaya; a liquored-up take of Dear John where everybody gamely takes a turn on vocals despite there being no mic in back with the drums; and a stark, vividly elegaic bonus version of Old Log Train with Lake Street Dive’s Mike Calabrese on bass.

Bassist Rufus Reid Brings His Stunningly Intense Big Band to the Jazz Standard

One of the most exciting and highly anticipated stands by any jazz group in recent months is coming up at the Jazz Standard starting this Thursday, Feb 26 when venerable bassist Rufus Reid and his big band air out the songs on his magnificent latest album, Quiet Pride: The Elizabeth Catlett Project (streaming at Spotify). They’re at the club through March 1, with sets at 7:30 and 9:30; cover is $30 ($35 on the weekend). Even more auspiciously, pretty much everybody among the album’s all-star cast will be onstage for all the shows.

The album is a lush, ambitious suite inspired by the striking, historically and politically-themed sculptures of Elizabeth Catlett. An inspiration to the civil rights movement, Catlett’s work embodies traditions and themes from both Africa and the west: her images are uncluttered, often very stark and while often optimistic, also have a withering subtext. Like Catlett’s sculptures, Reid’s music here – which draws directly on six of them – has a frequently persistent unease. The sophistication and acerbic colors of his compositions and arrangements are all the more impressive considering that this is his first adventure in writing for large ensemble – and that he is still best known as a sideman. That perception has definitely changed in the past year!

Although ostensibly divided into individual pieces, the album is best appreciated as a whole: a jazz symphony, essentially. A big, ominous, cinematically sweeping theme that will recur throughout the suite kicks it off, gives way to a broodingly vamping jazz waltz that picks up with a turbulently funky groove and blustery brass, then down to the rhythm section, Freddie Hendrix’ muted trumpet bringing it full circle. Reid utilizes Charenee Wade’s lustrous vocalese much like Asuka Kakitani did with Sara Serpa on her album a couple of years ago; the addition of two french horns adds both brightness and heft.

Throughout the rest of the album, Reid himself adds the occasional soberly dancing interlude. Guitarist Vic Juris plays both incisive flamenco lines on acoustic as well as adding bubbly electric textures. The brass section rises dramatically with a majestically ambered, blues-infused gravitas, Wade often changed with hitting the top of the peaks as well as supplying nebulous washes to the quieter sections. Reid allows for animated free interludes, pairing brass and piano or drums, then swings his way back to a precise theme. Trumpeter Tim Hagans and trombonist Ryan Keberle get to take it to the top of the mountain as a triumphant coda develops. It’s everything big band jazz can be: towering, majestic, unselfconsciously powerful and cutting-edge. Catlett, who died three years ago, would no doubt be proud.


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