New York Music Daily

Love's the Only Engine of Survival

Month: November, 2011

In Memoriam: Michal the Girl

Michal Friedman, who performed under the name Michal the Girl and was one of the finest powerpop songwriters of recent years, died unexpectedly last Friday of complications from childbirth after delivering healthy twins via cesarean section. A native of Halifax, Friedman came to New York in the late 90s and quickly gained a devoted following who flocked to her shows at clubs like Luna Lounge. With her cheery, spiky melodies, witty lyrics, indomitably pixieish stage presence and songs like Hook Line and Sink Me and Miss Guided, she good-naturedly skewered the ups and downs of relationships without being corny about it. A practicing Buddhist, she frequently spiced her songs with Asian motifs. Friedman was also highly regarded in the Losers Lounge scene, and was often called on to sing the more difficult melodies originally done by singers ranging from Michael Jackson to Kate Bush. More recently, she’d carved out a successful career as a voiceover artist while continuing to sing her inimitably catchy original material.

A memorial service will be held Wednesday, November 30th, at 4 PM at the New York Shambhala Centre, located at 118 W 22nd St, 6th floor; there will also be a memorial concert at Rockwood Music Hall on December 19 at 6 PM. New York Music Daily sends sincerest condolences to her husband Jay, her newborn children Jackson and Reverie, and the Friedman family. Michal will be missed.


New York City Live Music Calendar December 2011 – January 2012

For the new calendar for January and February 2012 click here.

For directions and other information on the venues where these shows are happening, check the exhaustive guide to over 200 New York live music venues at NYMD’s sister blog, Lucid Culture.

Times listed here are set times, not the time doors open – if a listing says “9ish,” that means it’ll probably run late. 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:

Oldschool Chicago style blues guitarist Irving Louis Lattinhas a lot of January shows coming up. He’s at Lucille’s at 8 on 1/6, 1/20 and 1/27.

 Jan 3, 10 and 24, 2012,  9 PM 70s electric blues star Johnny Winter at B.B. King’s, $30 adv tix rec.

Sundays in January, 8/11 PM the Arturo O’Farrill Latin Jazz Orchestra plays Birdland, $30 seats avail.

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

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

Mondays at the Jazz Standard it’s all Mingus, whether with the Mingus Orchestra, Big Band or Mingus Dynasty: you know the material and the players are all first rate. Sets 7:30/9:30 PM, $25 and worth it.

Mondays in January through March Butch Morris leads his improvisational big band at the Stone, open rehearsal at 7:30 for free, show at 9 for $10. The music is a lot like Burnt Sugar’s big, shifting soundscapes.

Also Monday nights Vince Giordano’s Nighthawks, a boisterous horn-driven 11-piece 1920s/early 30’s band play Sofia’s Restaurant, downstairs at the Edison Hotel, 221 West 46th Street between Broadway & 8th Ave., 3 sets from 8 to 11, surprisingly cheap $15 cover plus $15 minimum considering what you’re getting. Even before the Flying Neutrinos or the Moonlighters, multi-instrumentalist Giordano was pioneering the oldtimey sound in New York; his long-running residency at the old Cajun on lower 8th Ave. is legendary. He also gets a ton of film work (Giordano wrote the satirical number that Willie Nelson famously sang in Wag the Dog).

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

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

Mondays in January, 9:30ish Chicha Libre plays their home turf at Barbes. The world’s most vital, entertaining oldschool chicha band, they blend twangy, often noir Peruvian surf sounds with cumbia and other south-of-the-border styles along with swirling psychedelic jams and deep dub interludes. Show up early because they are insanely popular.

Also Mondays in January Rev. Vince Anderson and his band play Union Pool in Williamsburg, two sets starting around 11 PM. The Rev. is one of the great keyboardists around, equally thrilling on organ or electric piano, an expert at Billy Preston style funk, honkytonk, gospel and blues. He writes very funny, very politically astute, sexy original songs and is one of the most charismatic, intense live performers of our time. It’s a crazy dance party til past three in the morning. Paula Henderson from Burnt Sugar is the lead soloist on baritone sax, with Dave Smith from Smoota and the Fela pit band on trombone, with frequent special guests.

The first and fourth Tuesdays of the month at Central Synagogue (685 Lexington Ave. at 55th St.). there are free organ and sometimes chamber music concerts at half past noon, a great way to chill out if you can sneak away from work for about an hour. It’s a global mix of talent assembled by acclaimed organist Gail Archer.

Tuesdays 8-11 PM the Michael Arenella Quintet plays hot and cool vintage jazz at the Empire Room on the first floor of the Empire State Building, $10 cover plus $10 minimum

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

Wednesdays there are free organ concerts at 1:10 PM sharp on at St. Ann’s Church on Montague St. in downtown Brooklyn.

Wednesdays in December, 7 PM ex-Dictator Andy Shernoff – the good kind of former dictator – works up some new material solo at Lakeside.

Wednesdays in January at 7 PM Sasha Dobson plays Barbes. She’s got that torchy Billie Holiday-ish delivery that Norah Jones and all the wannabes have, but she also has gravitas, and really knows her bossa nova. A great afterwork show if you can get to the Slope in time.

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

Wednesdays at 9:30 Roosevelt Dime plays their unique mix of oldtimey string band music with a dash of classic 60s soul at Brooklyn Winery, 213 North 8th Street, Williamsburg

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

Thursdays in February (that’s 2/2012), 9 PM Laura Cantrell plays Hill Country, $10. The finest of this era’s country singers is a throwback to the age of Kitty Wells, tunewise and vocally, has an excellent band and a tremendously good batch of new songs as well.

Fridays in January 9 PM acoustic Americana guitar genius Lenny Molotov plays Sidewalk with his band. Steeped in history, cynically literate and politically aware, and with OMG good, terse guitar chops whether he’s playing any oldtime style of blues you can imagine.

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

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

Saturdays from 4 to 7 PM Balkan hellraisers Raya Brass Band – who have a killer new album coming out soon – play Radegast Hall

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

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

Sundays from half past noon to 3:30 PM, bluegrass cats Freshly Baked (f.k.a. Graveyard Shift), featuring excellent, incisive fiddle player Diane Stockwell and an A-list of players play Nolita House (upstairs over Botanica at 47 E Houston). Free drink with your entree.

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

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

11/29-12/5 the Arturo O’Farrill Jazz Orchestra play state-of-the-art Afro-Cuban jazz at Birdland, sets 8/11 PM, $30 seats avail.

11/29, 8 PM powerful lyrical songwriter Mary Lee Kortes sings another installment of her astonishingly multistylistic, often wrenchingly intense Songs of Beulah Rowley at the Cell Theatre, 338 W 23rd St (8/9) $20

11/29 the latest Malian desert blues guitar sensation, Bombino plays le Poisson Rouge, 8 PM, $15

11/29, 8 PM intense reedman Matt Darriau’s Shabbes Elevator – this must be his sloooooooooow songs project – at 6th St. Synagogue, 325 E. 6th. Synagogue, $15 incl. a drink.

11/29, 8 PM edgy latin pop songwriter Rene Lopez opens for deliriously danceable oldschool latin soul band Spanglish Fly at Brooklyn Bowl, $5

11/29-12/4 well-respected bassist Christian McBride & Insight Straight at the Vanguard, sets 9/11 PM, $25.

11/29, 9 PM  carnivalesque noir cabaret band Not Waving But Drowning at Sidewalk.

11/29, 10 PM Dr. Nerve feat. Kathleen Supove on piano, Leo Ciesa on drums and Nick Didkovsky on guitar, among others, play punk jazz at the Stone, $10

11/30, 8 PM Basya Schechter’s Songs of Wonder – which sets the powerful, philosophical, socially aware poetry of civil rights era Rabbi Abraham Heschel to the Divahn frontwoman’s edgy Middle Eastern tinged music – has been moved from Highline Ballroom to le Poisson Rouge, $12, all tix honored.

11/30, 8 PM undoubtedly the best-ever doublebill at Sullivan Hall: an “Autumn Suite with the Captain Black Big Band & the Revive da Live Big Band: the Captain Black Big Band lead by pianist Orrin Evans , the Revive da Live Big Band lead by trumpeter Igmar Thomas,” absurdly cheap at $10.

11/30, 9 PM intense Balkan/gypsy punk rockers La Gypsy play their cd release show at Spike Hill, free

11/30, 9ish King Dice followed by the Dave Fields Band- good solid intense blues guitar all around – at Keny’s Castaways.

11/30, 9ish torchy tuneful soul/Americana/indie pop chanteuse Janet LaBelle plays the cd release show for her new one at Bowery Electric

11/30, 9 PM jazz rabbi Greg Wall’s Later Prophets at 6th St. Synagogue, 325 E. 6th. Synagogue, $15 incl. a drink

11/30, 10 PM clarinetist Ken Thomson’s shapeshifting avant jazz group Gutbucket at the Stone, $10, feat. Ty Citerman (guitar) Eric Rockwin (bass) Adam D. Gold (drums)

11/30, 11 PM powerpop genius (and onstage cutup) Patti Rothberg & Wet Paint at the Bitter End.

11/30, 11ish 90s hardcore hip-hop stars Mobb Deep play the cd release show for their new one Black Cocaine at SOB’s, $10.

12/1, 7:30 PM Trio Metaxa with violinist Regi Papa, cellist Benjamin E. Capps, and pianist Konstantine Valianatos plays Shostakovich and Tschaikovsky at WMP Concert Hall, $20

12/1-4, 7:30/9:30 PM tango pianist Pablo Ziegler leads a smashingly good quintet with Hector DelCurto on bandoneon, Claudio Ragazzi on guitar and Pedro Giraudo on bass at the Jazz Standard with vibraphone star Joe Locke 12/1-2, and Regina Carter on violin afterward, $30

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

12/1, 7:30 PM violist Victor Lowrie leads a chamber ensemble through free improvisation and new works at the Tank.

12/1 Rachelle Garniez – inscrutably charismatic keyboard genius and powerfully lyrical songwriter – at Barbes, 8 PM

12/1, 8 PM energetic psychedelic pop band Plates of Cake at Union Hall, $7.

12/1, 8 PM dark, lo-fi indie/garage band the Dum Dum Girls at Brooklyn Bowl, $10.

12/1, 8:30 PM irreverent oldschool Williamsburg vocal jazz band the Old Rugged Sauce at Brooklyn Rod & Gun Club, where they made their excellent live album.

12/1, 9 PM charismatic, eclectic, avant-garde-esque acoustic psychedelic songwriter/chanteuse Larkin Grimm at Zebulon.

12/1, 9 PM diverse indie classical/chamberpop songwriter Christina Courtin followed eventually at 11 by another excellent, smartly lyrical chamberpop band, Elizabeth & the Catapult at Littlefield, $10.

12/1, 9 PM an oldschool-style roots reggae doublebill with the Hard Times and King Hammond at Shrine

12/1, 9 PM literate twangy highway rock with Chip Robinson at Lakeside.

12/1 pyrotechnically soulful clarinetist Ismail Lumanovsky’s NY Gypsy All-Stars play the cd release show for their new one at Drom, 9:30 PM, $10 adv tix highly rec.

12/1, 10 PM oldschool soul belter Nisha Asnani at Caffe Vivaldi – see her here before she sells out Bowery Ballroom

12/1, 10:30 PM tongue-in-cheek, period-perfect early 50s style country from Susquehanna Industrial Tool & Die Co. at the bar at the McKittrick Hotel, 532 W 27th St (between 10th & 11th Avenues), free with RSVP.

12/2, 7 PM if you’ve been priced out of the Patti Smith show at the Met, it’s streaming live here.

12/2, 7:30 PM pianists Joan Forsyth and William De Van play Liszt, Milhaud and Poulenc at Third Street Music School Settlement, free.

12/2, 8 PM Bliss Blood’s rustic oldtime delta blues band Delta Dreambox followed at 9ish by country crooner Sean Kershaw & the New Jack Ramblers at Brooklyn Rod & Gun Club

12/2, 8 PM at BAM the two-day fado festival kicks off with Lisboa Soul, “a one-time-only collective of virtuoso Portuguese guitarists and a multi-generation ensemble of singers” and crooner Camané, $25 tix avail.

12/2, 9 PM Elisa Flynn at Red Hook Bait & Tackle, 320 Van Brunt St. in Red Hook, B61 bus to the end of the line. Soaring vocals, dark, historically imbued songwriting, intense anthemic electric guitar: completely original, very good.

12/2 dark intense acoustic female-fronted Americana band the Sometime Boys at Branded Saloon in Ft. Greene, 9 PM

12/2, 9/10:30 PM cinematic, expansive jazz pianist Amina Figarova leads her tuneful Sextet at the Jazz Gallery, $20.

12/2, 9:30 PM a judiciously chosen Steve Wynn show at Bowery Electric, where the sound is good and the world’s greatest noir noiserock songwriter can smash his songs to bits, $10

12/2, 9:30 PM quietly intense, torchy indie pop chanteuse/bassist Caithlin de Marrais with her band at Glasslands.

12/2, 10 PM sultry, charismatic, oldtimey four-part harmony virtuosos the Roulette Sisters at Barbes.

12/2 the Downward Dogs at the National Underground upstairs, 10 PM. High lonesome southwestern gothic: Giant Sand with more balls, a political sensibility and a killer rhythm section.

12/2, 10 PM Thunda Vida plays roots reggae and dub at Two Boots Brooklyn

12/2, 10 PM fado chanteuse Nathalie Pires at BAM Cafe.

12/2 10:30 PM two guys who know their way around an oldschool soul groove – organist Jared Gold and trombonist Dave Gibson – lead a quartet at the Fat Cat, too good to be missed

12/2, 11ish clever bluegrass/country/pop songwriter Luther Wright & the Wrongs at Rodeo Bar.

12/3, 6 PM multistylistic Turkish classical pianist Emir Gamsizoglu at Caffe Vivaldi.

12/3 accordionist to the stars Rob Curto at Barbes at 7 followed by the torchy, historically rich oldtime/country/chamberpop sounds of Robin Aigner & Parlour Game at 8 and then the bouncy Mexican Banda Sinaloense de los Muertos.

12/3 edgy jazz guitarist Lage Lund leads a trio at 7:30/9:30 PM at the Bar Next Door.

12/3, 8 PM quirky, eclectic Portuguese acoustic group Deolinda and singer Amália Hoje at BAM as part of the two-day fado festival there, $25 tix avail.

12/3, 8 PM supersonic but soulful Chicago-style blues guitarist Bobby Radcliff at Terra Blues.

12/3, 8:30 PM Will Scott – guitarishly intense master of every Americana style – at the Jalopy followed at 9:30 by rhe original NYC acoustic metrobillies, M Shanghai String Band.

12/3, 9 PM Bad Buka plays their “gypsy punk meltdown” at Mehanata

12/3, 9 PM Javier Ruibal and his ensemble play virtuoso Andalusian guitar music at Alwan for the Arts, $20, early arrival advised

12/3, 9 PM Unsteady Freddie’s surf shindig at Otto’s with psychedelic cover band Pacifica Roadshow, the Boss Guitars at 10, Portand Maine’s best band, Thee Icepicks at 11 and the Maui Hurricane sometime after midnight.

12/3, 9 PM eclectic indie rock guitarist (usually an oxymoron, but she isn’t) Rony Corcos upstairs at the National Underground

12/3, 9 PM country siren Karen Hudson and guitar genius Homeboy Steve Antonakos at Pinebox Rock Shop, 12 Grattan St., Bushwick; 12/8 she’s at Gizzi’s on W 8th St. at 7.

12/3, 9:30 PM the Inner Banks play moody, atmospheric, smartly tuneful indie/chamber rock at Sycamore Bar.

12/3, 9:30 PM Wave Sleep Wave – the lushly intriguing new dreampop project from the Blam’s Jerry Adler – at Zebulon

12/3 oldschool soul crooner Charles Bradley & His Extraordinaires at Bowery Ballroom, 10 PM, $15 adv tix. available at the Mercury 5-7 PM weekdays.

12/3, 10 PM a contemporary fado summit with Ricardo Parreira, Marco Oliveira, Manuel D’Oliveira, Micaela Vaz, Vania Conde at BAM Cafe, winding up the two-day fado festival there.

12/3 10 PM the Brixton Riot at Maxwell’s, $8. Elvis C. lyricism; 90s Wilco meets GBV anthemic rock with Allman Bros. twin guitars.

12/4, 2 PM harpist Bridget Kibbey and violinist Kelly Hall-Tompkins play music by Sebastian Currier, Piazzolla and Saint-Saëns, and unveil a new duo by Jeffrey Mumford at Church of Saint Catherine of Siena, 411 E 68th St at 1st Ave, $20/$15 stud/srs.

12/4, 2 PM young avant garde ensemble Face the Music play a program TBA at PS 69Q, 7702 37th Ave., Jackson Heights, Queens, $15.

12/4, 3 PM pianist Olga Vinokur and the Cali Camerata Orchestra play Barber: Adagio for Strings and Shostakovich: Concerto in C minor for Piano, Trumpet, and String Orchestra, Op. 35 at Bargemusic, $35.

12/4, 4 PM Karen Dahlstrom -whose new album of haunting, period-perfect 1800s style western folk songs is one of the year’s best – at the small room at the Rockwood.

12/4, 5 PM Twosense (Lisa Moore, piano + Ashley Bathgate, cello) play Messiaen, Ulstvolskaya and some world premieres at the Rubin Museum of Art, 150 W 17th St., $20.

12/4, 6 PM large (10+ member), theatrical, lyrical indie/Americana band Balthrop Alabama at Public Assembly, $12

12/4, 7 PM technically dazzling indie classical ensemble YMusic plays the record release show for their new one Beautiful Mechanical at the big room at the Rockwood.

12/4, 8 PM a fundraiser for Egypt’s Tahrir Square Field Hospital at Alwan for the Arts feat. members of slinky oldschool Egyptian film music revivalists Zikrayat and the all-star Alwan Arab Music Ensemble, sugg. taxfree donation $25. 12/6 agt 8 PM Zikrayat is with crooner Salah Rajab on vocals with a dance set by Layla Isis at the Antique Garage, 41 Mercer St., free

12/4, 8:30 PM no-nonsense, imaginative, intense jazz pianist Bobby Avey leads a quintet featuring Miguel Zenon at Cornelia St. Cafe, $10.

12/4, 10 PM Portuguese-flavored dub reggae band Kiwi at Sullivan Hall, $10.

12/4, 10:30ish high-energy oldtime country/hillbilly band Filthy Still at Rodeo Bar

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

12/5, 9 PM a rare Brooklyn appearance by the Asuka Kakitani Jazz Orchestra at Tea Lounge in Park Slope

12/5, 9 PM 90s dancehall reggae firebrand Capleton at SOB’s, $18

12/5, 9 PM hot dance jazz with Swingadelic at Maxwell’s, free.

12/5 two-woman lo-fi Austin band Agent Ribbons – whose blend of guitar/drums garage rock and literate, noir oldtimey sounds is absolutely original, surreal and creepy – tour Brooklyn. Tonight they’re at Pete’s at 10 PM; on 12/9 they’re at Party Xpo; 12/10 at Public Assembly with the Secret History at around 9 and 12/11 at Goodbye Blue Monday at 10ish

12/5, 10 PM intriguing indie chamber-pop/folk band Colorform– who have an artist who does live painting to the music – at Trash, $7.

12/6-7, 9 PM Sharon Jones at the Music Hall of Williamsburg is sold out.

12/6-11, 7:30-9:30 PM eclectic violin virtuoso Jenny Scheinman leads a trio with her frequent collaborator pal Bill Frisell and Brian Blade at the Vanguard, $25

12/6, 8ish a killer songwriter triplebill at Freddy’s with the eclectic Alice Bierhorst, art-rock piano genius Greta Gertler and Erika Simonian’s subtle, captivating Little Silver.

12/6, 8 PM elegant improvisations followed by cruelly intense ones: at 8, Mark Feldman (violin); Sylvie Courvoisier (piano); John Hebert (bass); Billy Mintz (drums) at the Stone, $10 followed (with separate admission) at 10 by Darius Jones (alto); Brandon Seabrook (guitar); Cooper-Moore (piano, diddly-bow); Eric Revis (bass) Gerald Cleaver (drums)

12/6, 8 PM the Michael Winograd Trio play klezmer at 6th St. Synagogue, 325 E. 6th. Synagogue, $15 incl. a drink.

12/6, 8 PM innovative, intense guitarist/composer Joel Harrison at the new Roulette with his Large Ensemble, $15

12/6, 8:30 compelling, cutting-edge composer/singer Sara Serpa leads a characteristically excellent band: André Matos, guitar; Kris Davis, piano; Ben Street, bass; Tommy Crane, drums at Cornelia St. Cafe, $10.

12/6, 8:30 PM new big band sounds with the Ross Kratter Jazz Orchestra at Something Jazz Club (formerly Miles Cafe).

12/6, 9ish subtle improvisations from a drummer-led crew: the Jeff Davis Trio w/ Russ Lossing, Eivind Opsvik at Korzo.

12/6, 10:30 PM recommended with reservations: Dwight & Nicole at Southpaw, $10. Steve Cropper-class soul guitarist; astonishingly subtle, compelling oldschool-style soul chanteuse. Will the usually dreadful sonics here bury her voice?

12/7, 8 PM Danny Weiss and Mary Olive Smith’s gorgeously rustic oldschool country/honkytonk band Reckon So at 68 Jay St. Bar

12/7, 9 PM big funky band Burnt Sugar – who do Bowie just as well as they do James Brown – at Tammany Hall, $10

12/7, 9:30 PM a smart, imaginative southwestern rock doublebill: Ani Cordero opens for Giant Sand’s Howe Gelb at Littlefield, $20.

12/8, 7:15 PM the poppier, more lighthearted side of gypsy music with Occidental Gypsy at Caffe Vivaldi.

12/8, 7:30 PM the Dred Scott Trio at Smalls. Beatnik savant, slyly charismatic performer, monster pianist with a touch of noir and a great rhythm section.

12/8, 7:30 PM a fortuitous meeting of adventurous ensemble with adventurous compositions – Lunatics at Large play Berio Sequenzas at WMP Concert Hall, $20

12/8, 7:30 PM “croonercore” star Nicole Atkins and her dark, intense band at Symphony Space, $30 includes a glass of wine.

12/8, 8 PM Lee Feldman and Noah Hoffeld play from their new album Sacred Time: Jewish Music for Cello and Piano – which mixes originals with classic Hasidic melodies and compositions by Ernest Block, Shlomo Carlebach and Maurice Ravel – at Chabad of North Williamsburg, 132 North 5th Street #2C, free

12/8, 8 PM theatrical oldtimey songwriter Poor Baby Bree at Bowery Poetry Club

12/8, 8 PM oldschool downtown avant star Elliott Sharp, his axe and sax and two versions of his legendary band Carbon at Roulette, $10.

12/8, 9 PM eclectic, ecstatic Vermont latin/jazz/Middle Eastern hellraisers the As Yet Quintet followed at 10:30 by the even more intense Balkan sounds of Veveritse Brass Band at the Jalopy

12/8, 9 PM unstoppable bon vivant Mike Edison – inventor of the Bongcaster guitar, and author of I Have Fun Everywhere I Go – at the Way Station in Ft. Greene. Dunno if he’s playing or reading, but either way he’s pretty hilarious.

12/8, 10ish cinematic guitarist Rev. Screaming Fingers’ Big Band at Brooklyn Fire Proof

12/8, 10 PM big funk band the MK Groove Orchestra at Spike Hill, note $5 cover.

12/8, 11 PM funky hip-hop with brass from the Pitch Blak Brass Band at Shrine

12/9, 7 PM, Homayun Sakhi, Afghan rubab; Rahul Sharma, santur; Salar Nader, tabla and zerbaghali; Sirojiddin Juraev, dutar and tanbur; and Mukhtor Muborakqadomov, Badakhshani setar play traditional Tajik, Bangladeshi and Indian music at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, $35.

12/9, 7 PM a benefit for musicians harrassed by the po-po in New Orleans at the Eris Parade last March feat Raya Brass Band, Apocalypse Five and Dime (street band dance party pop), Mommy? (all Misfits covers only polka band!!!) and Morgan O’Kane at C-squat (155 Ave. C betw 9/10) $7 contributions and up gladly accepted

12/9, 7:30 PM Drina Seay – a phenomenally talented, dark Americana chanteuse who right now is where Neko Case was around 1999 – at Lakeside followed at 11 by the Pretty Babies, Tammy Faye Starlite’s hilarious and pretty spot-on Blondie cover band

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

12/9, 7:30 PM violinist Charlie Siem and pianist Kyoung Im Kim play Brahms, Ole Bull, Bazzini at WMP Concert Hall, $20

12/9, 7:30 PM jangly, crescendoing retro 90s REM-ish indie band Electric Engine at the Parkside

12/9, 8 PM bad segue, good bands: the wild cello metal of Stratospheerius followed at 9 by laid-back ska/reggae band Finotee at Shrine.

12/9, 8 PM the clever, tuneful third stream Steve Hudson Ensemble plays a house concert at 805 E. 21 St. (Glenwood and Farragut Rds) in Brooklyn, Q to Newkirk or 2/5 to Flatbush Ave, $15, rsvp reqd.

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

12/9, 8 PM New music ensemble Two Sides Sounding – soprano Eleanor Taylor and pianist Jocelyn Dueck – presents A Coney Island of the Mind: Songs of the Boardwalk including premieres by Eve Beglarian, Gilda Lyons and Eric Moe plus compositions by Daniel Felsenfeld, Christopher Gable, and Gabriel Kahane at South Oxford Space, 138 S Oxford St. in Ft. Greene, F to York St. and walk around the projects, $25/$15 artist/$10 it’sstud/srs.

12/9, 8:30 PM intriguing third-stream stuff with Isabelle Olivier – harp; David Binney – sax; Eivind Opsvik – bass; Dan Weiss – drums at I-Beam, $10 sugg don.

12/9, 9 PM Middle Eastern jazz with brilliant buzuq player Tareq Abboushi’s The Other Point of View at at Alwan for the Arts, $15.

12/9, 9ish hilarious 70s style metal spoof Mighty High at Hank’s.

12/9, 10 PM the Wahoo Skiffle Crazies play jug band music at Two Boots Brooklyn.

12/9, 11 PM oldschool New York style punk rockers the Live Ones at the Gutter bowling alley in Williamsburg, $5.

12/9, half past midnight (actually wee hours of 12/10) Emefe play Afrobeat at the Blue Note, $10.

12/10, 5 (five) PM Bern & the Brights at the small room at the Rockwood. Intriguing blend of stark chamber pop, careening indie rock and more plaintive, folkier sounds, with a powerhouse frontwoman and propulsive violinist.

12/10, 5:30 PM two eclecticists with a sense of humor, pianist Lee Feldman and cellist Noah Hoffeld play the cd release show for their new one Sacred Time at Something Jazz Club, $15 + $10 min.

12/10, 6 PM gypsy music maven Sanda Weigl accompanied by phenomenal keyboardist Shoko Nagai; Alexandros Papadakis, virtuoso of the spellbinding lyra (Cretan fiddle) and other traditional instruments from Crete; psychedelic Middle Eastern-flavored eclecticists TriBeCaStan and their array of exotic instruments; and  incomparable Balkan brass bashers Raya Brass Band – whose forthcoming album is as intense and ferocious as it is eclectic and sometimes sardonic – at Barbes for a WFMU simulcast

12/10, 7 PM, repeating on 12/11 at 2 PM, the Brooklyn Brandenburgers chamber ensemble play Bach, Vivaldi, Warlock, Nielson and Janacek at the Old Stone House in Park Slope, $10, limited seating, early arrival advised.

12/10, 7:15 PM 80s style darkwave chanteuse NLX followed at 8:30 by catchy, very smart, politically aware folk-pop buskers Left on Red at Caffe Vivaldi.

12/10, 8 PM Mazz Swift, Terry Dame and Phyllis Chen, not necessarily in that order, maybe in the round at Barbes – violinist, funky/jazzy multi-instrumentalist and toy pianist, all of them extremely versatile and entertaining.

12/10, 8 PM the self-explanatory and always amusing Toys & Tiny Instruments at Rock Shop, $8.

12/10, 8:30 PM dark lo-fi all-female indie/garage duo Agent Ribbons followed by catchy indie popsters the Secret History at Public Assembly, $8.

12/10, 9 PM Blayer Pointdulour & Rockers Galore playing Francophone roots reggae followed at 10 by Makane Kouyate Denbaya playing Malian sounds at Shrine

12/10, 9/10:30 PM percussionist bandleader Dende and his deliriously danceable Brazilian band at SOB’s, $10 w/rsvp.

12/10, 9:30 PM a rare chance to see A-list jazz chanteuse Gretchen Parlato for free at BAM Cafe.

12/10, 9:30 PM the genuinely funny, oldtimey Ukuladies at Sycamore Bar, $10; 12/22 they’re at Freddy’s at 7 for free.

12/10, 10ish intensely literate, unselfconsciously funny, jangly tuneful rocker Paula Carino and band at Freddy’s.

12/10, 10 PM psychedelic funk and and Afrobeat with the People’s Champs at the 92YTribeca, $10 adv tix rec.

12/10, 10ish reliably devious, amusingly literate all-female trio the Debutante Hour at Rock Shop

12/10, 10:15 PM psychedelic funk orchestra Turkuaz at the big room at the Rockwood, $10.

12/10 10:30 PM LES surf/soul/punk guitar legend Simon & the Bar Sinisters at Lakeside

12/11, 1 (one) PM string band Trio Tritticali – whose awesomely eclectic new album, a mix of Middle Eastern, Asian and classical styles is one of 2011′s best – at Linger Cafe, 533 Atlantic Ave. between 3rd and 4th Aves, Brooklyn, just down the block from Hank’s.

12/11, 3 PM the Aviv String Quartet play Mozart Quartet K.399 in C Major; Mendelssohn Quartet No. 6 in F minor, Op.80; Schubert Quartet in D minor, D. 819 “Death and The Maiden” at Bargemusic, $35

12/11, 5:30/7:30 PM Yale graduate piano students play the nine Prokofiev piano sonatas. The 5:30 set includes nos. 1,2,4,5 and 9; the 7:30 has nos. 3 and 6-8, at Weill Hall at Carnegie Hall, $10 (ten bucks)

12/11, 8 PM an all-female oldtime Americana trifecta: the Calamity Janes, Annie Lynch & Michaela Anne and then Miss Tess playing the record release show for her new one at Union Hall, $8.

12/11, 8 PM Jason Moran (piano) Mark Helias (bass) Tom Rainey (drums) at the Stone, $10, get there early, every fan of glimmery majestic piano jazz will be there.

12/11, 9:30 PM well-regarded, tuneful, smartly thoughtful alto saxophonist/composer Noah Preminger leads a quartet at 55 Bar, $10.

12/12, 6 PM a rare NYC appearance by the extraordinary soul/tropicalia songwriter/chanteuse Alice Lee at the small room at the Rockwood folowwed evenually at 8 by funky cello virtuoso Dave Eggar.

12/12, 12/18 and 12/20 edgy original female-fronted acoustic Americana band the Sometime Boys’ Xmas spectacular or something like that at the Duplex, 6:30 PM, should be pretty hilarous and musically amazing.

12/12, 7:30 PM the Brentano Quartet play an amazing program of old and newer classics with Schubert: Quartettsatz; Haydn: String Quartet, op. 103; Louis Andriessen: …miserere…; Debussy; String Quartet at Music Mondays at Advent/ Broadway Church, 2504 Broadway at 93rd St., free.

12/12, 7:30 PM Jean-Michel Pilc plays solo piano improvisations at Smalls. This guy is a force of nature and always full of surprises

12/12, 8:30/10:30 PM Sabrina Lastman sings what could be a transcendent trio show with noir pianist Fernando Otero and bassist Pablo Aslan – whose new album of Piazzolla jazz is superb – at the Bar Next Door.

12/12, 9 PM Cheetah Chrome’s Cleveland proto-punk legends Rocket from the Tombs at the Bell House, $15.

12/12, 9 PM a Small Beast just like the glory days at the Delancey starting at 9 with eclectic violin virtuoso Mazz Swift, loopmusic pioneer Hypnofolk, the Drone Twins (Vera Beren and Jon Diaz of Beren’s menacing, careening Gothic Chamber Blues Ensemble), the White Papers playing Texas murder ballads at midnight and afterward a silent screening of Kathleen Harty’s twisted God & the Machine, which “explores what would happen if you couldn’t have sex and had to drive a horror movie star back and forth to the set everyday. While in real life these two things

12/12, 9 PM powerhouse funk band Sister Sparrow & the Dirty Birds at Brooklyn Bowl, $8.

12/12, 9 PM the Idan Santhaus Jazz Orchestra at Tea Lounge in Park Slope

12/13, 6 PM Ashen Keilyn’s recently reinvigorated Scout – still one of the most bracingly compelling indie rock bands around – at the small rom at the Rockwood.

12/13 7 PM hypnotic, dreamy guitar/violin/electronics duo Itsnotyouitsme followed eventually at 9 by the eclectically Britrocking Minerva Lions at Southpaw

12/13, 8 PM sharp ukulele songwriter Bliss Blood’s lurid noir duo project Evanescent with guitarist Al Street at the Drink, 228 Manhattan Ave., Williamsburg; 12/15 they’re at the Castello Plan in Ft. Greene at 8. Bliss also has a whole bunch of her one-of-a-kind knit fashion creations for sale at the Deck the Halls holiday fair (open noon-8 PM) at 32 Prince St. in Soho.

12/13, 8 PM members of the Antara Ensemble play chamber works by Telemann, Mozart, Massenet, Puccini, Dvorák, Strauss,Yeston, Ives and Claude Bolling at Saint Peter’s Church, 619 Lexington Ave (54th St), $25/$20 stud/srs.

12/13, 8 PM pianist Christian Zacharias plays C. P. E. Bach’s Sonata in A Minor and his Rondo in C Minor; Brahms’ Klavierstücke, Op. 119; Beethoven’s Piano Sonata No. 31 in A-flat Major, Op. 110; and Schubert’s Piano Sonata in D Major, D. 850 at Carnegie Hall, $15.50 seats avail.

12/13, 8 PM klezmer with Joanne Borts at 6th St. Synagogue, 325 E. 6th. Synagogue, $15 incl. a drink.

12/13, 8 PM a “one-time only collaboration between dynamic, intense, theatrical avant garde composer/siren Amy X Neuburg and innovative pianist Cory Smythe at Roulette, $15.

12/13, 8:30 PM lo-fi Americana/garage rock guy/girl duo White Dress plays the Mercury; 12/14 they’re at the Rockwood

12/13, 9:30 PM violinist Michi Fuji leads a quartet at Something Jazz Club.

12/13 10:30 PM sharply lyrical, eclectically funky guitarist/songwriter Avi Fox-Rosen and band at Branded Saloon in Ft. Greene

12/13, 11 PM a “late night dream escape” with the inscrutable, darkly Americana-esque Raquel Bell plus her ex-Norden Bombsight guitarist David Marshall and the brilliant Ray Rizzo on drums at Goodbye Blue Monday.

12/14, 7:30 PM counterintuitive virtuoso classical pianist Alexandra Joan with special guest WQXR’s David Dubal at WMP Concert Hall, $20/$10 stud., program TBA, a “homage to Liszt.”

12/14, 8:30ish tongue-in-cheek, period-perfect early 50s style country from Susquehanna Industrial Tool & Die Co. at Rodeo Bar

12/14, 9 PM dark, cinematic, gypsyish instrumental band Barbez at 6th St. Synagogue, 325 E. 6th. Synagogue, $15 incl. a drink. Their Paul Celan homage album from last year is off the hook.

12/14 darkly funny yet poignant Nashville gothic band Maynard & the Musties at 9 at Lakeside after Andy Shernoff’s 7 PM show. 12/28 M&theM’s are at Rodeo Bar at 10:30ish.

12/14, 9 PM trombonist Dave Smith’s sly and lowdown retro 70s soul band Smoota at Southpaw

12/14, 11:30 PM the Strictly the Best reggae compilation concert hits NYC at B.B. King’s. As you would expect, it’s a mix of dancehall and crooners with Demarco & Laza Morgan, Wayne Marshall, Gyptian, Shaggy and Sean Paul, $20 adv tix avail. now and recommended

12/15, 7:30 PM Americana janglemeister Chris Erikson & the Wayward Puritans at Lakeside.

12/15, 7:30 PM energetic new music/chamber/jazz ensemble Loadbang plays new works at the Tank, $10.

12/15, 8 PM jazz guitar genius Matt Munisteri resurrects the “lost music of Willard Robison” which he loves so much, and does twisted justice to, at Barbes followed at 10 by the psychedelic funk/Afrobeat People’s Champs.

12/15, 8/10 PM Gamelan Kusuma Laras with an electric kalimba ensemble at the Stone, $10; 12/17 they’re here with trumpeter Kelly Pratt’s Large Band, whether there’ll also be room for spectators is the question.

12/15, 8:30/10 PM can you say “instant sellout?” Check out this tuneful lineup: Kris Davis, piano; Bill Frisell, guitar; Kermit Driscoll, bass; John Hollenbeck, drums at Cornelia St. Cafe, $15

12/15-16, 8:30 PM in the wake of the premiere of the monumental civil rights opus Ten Freedom Summers, a Wadada Leo Smith 70th bday celebration at Roulette with a phenomenal bunch of global free jazz talent: 12/15 with String Quartet Plus, Mbira with pipa virtuoso Min Xiao-fen and his Golden Quartet; 12/16 with his Silver Orchestra, Golden Quintet (with Pheeroan akLaff on drums) and his considerably louder, electric Organic ensemble.

12/15, 8:30 PM the Kyle Athayde Big Band at Something Jazz Club.

12/15, 9 PM charismatic, lyrically brilliant oldtimey banjo songwriter Curtis Eller at Rest-au-rant, 35-01 35th Ave. in Long Island City. He’s at Sidewalk on 12/16 at 11.

12/15, 9 PM a killer doublebill: anthemic, swirling, Radiohead-influenced art-rockers My Pet Dragon and sometimes austere, sometimes explosive indie chamber-rock band Bern & the Brights at Northern Soul, 557 1st St. in Hoboken

12/15, 9:30 PM wickedly literate, cleverly amusing Americana rock songwriter Marcellus Hall & the Hostages at Bowery Electric.

12/15, 10 PM imaginative, lush chamber pop ensemble Cuddle Magic at Union Hall, $12.

12/15, 11 PM pensive, smart cello rockers Pearl & the Beard at Bowery Ballroom, $15.

12/15, 11:30 PM NYC’s original metal parody band, the always hilarious Satanicide at Trash, $10

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

12/16, 7 PM the Damocles Trio play Villa-Lobos, Dvorak and Brotons at Third St. Music School Settlement, free.

12/16, 7:30 PM oldschool soul with JC Brooks & the Uptown Sound at the Mercury, $10 – a bit of a discount from the $25 they were trying to charge at Bowery Ballroom.

12/16, 8 PM Tin Pan play oldtimey jazz, hillbilly and ragtime sounds at the Tribeca Performing Arts Center (the BMCC auditorium on Chambers St.), $25.

12/16 trippy, charismatic downtempo/chillout siren Marilyn Carino at Drom, 8 PM

12/16, 8:30 PM a rare live appearance by Joe McGinty’s semi-legendary psychedelic pop band the Kustard Kings at Bowery Electric.

12/16, 8:30 PM an apocalyptic avant bill with Hannis Brown, Cheating on New York, Dave Treut’s Clarify, Killer Bob and the Rex Complex at Tea Factory Lofts, 175 Stockholm St. #102 (Wilson/Knickerbocker; M to Knickerbocker Ave), sugg don +/- $5-15

12/16, 9/10:30 PM pianist/saxophonist Peter Apfelbaum’s Heiroglyphics at the Jazz Gallery, $20.

12/16-17 9/10:30 PM drummer John Hollenbeck’s reliably lyricalClaudia Quintet at Cornelia St. Cafe, $15.

12/16-17 Irish drinking band Shilelagh Law records a live album at Connolly’s, 9 PM, again. Maybe they’ll get three albums’ worth out of it.

12/16, 9 PM irrepressible, surrealistic soul/rock crooner Sam Sherwin and band play a 20th anniversary celebration of Newark’s Capitol Theatre at Studio 201, 526 W 26th St., $20, BYOB

12/16, 10 PM ferocious, anthemic, literate rockers Wormburner at Bowery Ballroom, $15.

12/16, 10 PM funky psychedelic marching band bhangra with Red Baraat at Barbes.

12/16, 10 PM the Hard Times play roots reggae at Two Boots Brooklyn.

12/16 hilarious oldschool country crooner Jack Grace plays his drinking songs for lovers and others at Rodeo Bar, 10:30ish.

12/16 the Boss Guitars play surf classics and surfed-out covers of 60s pop hits at Lakeside, 11 PM.

12/17, 6 PM “amazing trumpet/reeds/bass trio” Thomas Heberer, Joachim Badenhorst, Pascal Niggenkemper, free, at Downtown Music Gallery

12/17, 6:45 PM it’s the 20th anniversary of Phil Kline’s shimmery, gamelanesque participatory antiwar composition Unsilent Night, a yearly event that has become a global phenomenon. Gather at the arch at Washington Square, march to Tompkins Square Park starting at 7; bring a boombox or your pod/phone and speakers: downloads are available here, cassettes will be handed out at the start of the procession, first come first served. Those outside New York can participate in the many Unsilent Night processions happening around the world starting 12/2 in Oxford, UK, check the site for times/dates/contact info.

12/17, 7:15 PM sprawling, rustic, psychedelic, harmonica-driven minor-key jamband Hazmat Modine at Terra Blues

12/17 the Raya Brass Band and Sway Machinery concert at le Poisson Rouge is CANCELLED because the club double-booked the night. Refunds available at point of purchase.

12/17, 7:30 PM the Damocles Trio play Brotons, Dvorak and Villa-Lobos at Third Street Music School Settlement, free.

12/17 at 8 Pierre de Gaillande’s Bad Reputation – frontman from intense dark chamber pop band the Snow playing his own marvelously filthy English translations of Georges Brassens classics – followed at 10 by the reliably haunting, slinky early 60s style latin sounds of Las Rubias Del Norte at Barbes

12/17, 8 PM Miller’s Farm – one of the original metrobilly bands, and one of the funniest – at 68 Jay St. Bar

12/17, 8 PM Talea Ensemble plays microtonal works from over the decades by Ivan Wyschnegradsky, Dean Drummond, Enno Poppe, Toby Twining, Tristan Murail and Anthony Cheung at Merkin Concert Hall, $10.

12/17, 8 PM the adventurous, challenging Ensemble Pamplemousse new music collective plays new works by Natacha Diels, Kiku Enomoto, Rama Gottfried, David Broome and Jessie Marino at the AC Institute, 547 W. 27th St, 6th fl.

12/17, 9 PM the Newton Gang – who veer from guitar-driven paisley underground intensity to quieter, more rustic sounds – at Hank’s.

12/17, 9 PM dark 80s-style goth/pop pianist/singer Kristin Hoffmann at Caffe Vivaldi.

12/17, 9:30 PM, repeating 12/18-19 7 PM pyrotechnic, deviously charismatic new music pianist Kathleen Supove plays new music by Marc Mellits, Matt Marks, Peteris Vasks (“a fiery, intense piece”) and Derek Bermel exploring the possibility of interspecies communication and revelry, at the Flea Theatre, 41 White St. in Tribeca, $15/$12 stud.

12/17, 10 PM incomparable, intense, fun, anti-gentrification punk rockers the Brooklyn What at Trash.

12/17, 11 PM  Americana punks Spanking Charlene – who keep putting out a series of excellent singles on Little Steven Van Zandt’s label – at Lakeside

12/18, 4 PM wildly popular Renaissance choir Stile Antico at Corpus Cristi Church, 59 W 121st St., $27.50 tix avail. but this is selling out fast.

12/18 the Delorean Sisters play comedic oldtimey acoustic cover versions of cheesy 80s hits at Barbes at 8 followed at 9 by Stephane Wrembel’s wild gypsy jazz.

12/18 the clever, reliably entertaining all-female all-accordion Main Squeeze Orchestra at Drom

12/18, 9ish roots reggae hitmaker Ras Shiloh backed by the Boom Squad Band at Sullivan Hall, $20.

12/19, 7:30 PM a sneak peak at next year’s Avant Music Festival feat. five movements of Schoenberg’s classic, creepy Pierrot Lunaire suite, plus selected works performed by Eve Beglarian and Mary Rowell, as well as Randy Gibson’s [take a deep breath] “The First Pillar Appearing in Palindrome with The Harbinger of The Second Pillar under the 27/28 Triple Primal Region” for voice with sine wave drones and digital delay, ensembles TBA, at Wild Project, 195 E 3rd St., $10

12/19, 8 PM a memorial concert for powerpop singer Michal the Girl – whom we tragically lost a couple of weeks ago – to benefit her newborn twins at the Canal Room, feat. Tiff Randol, Drew Blood, Chris Goerke, Beans, Steve Dawson, Laurie Trombley, Sarah Greenwood, and others, sugg. don. or you can donate online to help two kids who will never know their mom.

12/19, 9 PM the NewYorkestra play big band jazz at Tea Lounge in Park Slope

12/20, 8 PM Middle Eastern rock sounds: the Mast’s intense, no-nonsense frontwoman Haale and Basya Schecter’s psychedelic, haunting Pharaoh’s Daughter at le Poisson Rouge, $18.

12/20, 8 PM weird segue, good music: Osekre playing Afrobeat followed at 9 by Cretan lyra virtuoso Alexandros Papadakis at Shrine

12/20, 8 PM a klezmer doublebill with Yale Strom’s Hot Pstromi and Aaron Alexander’s Midrash Mish Mosh at 6th St. Synagogue, 325 E. 6th. Synagogue, $15 incl. a drink.

12/20 tight, irresistibly humorous, absolutely unique country/cowpunk band Uncle Leon & the Alibis at Rodeo Bar 10:30ish

12/21 it’s Make Music Winter which is all about audience participation – check the site for a parade or free interactive event near you.

12/21, 6:30 PM in the tradition of his classic Unsilent Night, Phil Kline presents a new interactive “boombox symphony,” Peregrine, and is assembling a parade of people to carry boomboxes playing the recording from Grand Army Plaza to JJ Byrne Park in Park Slope. Meet at Grand Army Plaza at 6:30, bring a boombox if you have one, boomboxes will be provided for those without and everybody will be given cassettes. Part of Make Music Winter 2011.

12/21, 7 PM Sami Abu Shumays, director of excellent Egyptian film music revivalists Zikrayat, is organizing an Umm Kulthum procession down Steinway Street in Astoria, open to any and all who know and love the music of the iconic Egyptian chanteuse. Songs will include classics such as Ghannili Shwayya, Alf Leyla, and Ana Fintizarek, but anybody can suggest and lead a song. Meetup at Egyptian Coffee Shop, 25-09 Steinway St; the procession will stop in at hookah lounges along the way! Part of Make Music Winter 2011; rsvp sugg. in an effort to figure out a set list in advance of the parade.

12/21, 7 PM lyrical powerhouse jazz pianist Dan Tepfer solo at the Rubin Museum of Art, 150 W 17th St., $20.

12/21 a great evening of jazz improvisation at the Brooklyn Lyceum starting at 8 with Yoni Kretzmer-saxophone; Ben Syversen-trumpet; Pascal Niggenkemper-bass; Haim Peskoff-drums; drummer Carlo Costa’s somewhat quieter, magically shapeshifting Minerva follows at 9:30

12/21, 8 PM at 68 Jay St. Bar soaring, intense Americana chanteuse Jan Bell plays a “fundraiser for Noelle Kalom’s surgery bills. Long time DUMBO resident and performance artist Noelle Kalom recently underwent major surgery resulting in almost $20,000 medical bills. Now living together in Washington State, her husband Wave Redfish is sending his one of a kind hand made artifacts for sale by donation. Wave is known as a world class lapidary, who learned his trade as a member of the South Dakota Sioux. Come and support a fellow artist and find some last minute holiday gifts as well.”

12/21, 8:30 PM eclectic whirlwind B3 jazz organist Brian Charette leads a quintet at Smalls

12/21, 9 PM a classic lineup from the Tonic era: Ned Rothenberg solo plus Marty Ehrlich and Hankus Netsky at 6th St. Synagogue, 325 E. 6th. Synagogue, $15 incl. a drink.

12/22 8 PM bluegrass/klezmer mandolinist/reedman Andy Statman – who’s got a great new double album out – at Barbes, $10.

12/22, 8 PM the One World Symphony play Beethoven’s Symphony No. 6, “Pastorale” at Holy Apostles Church, 296 9th Avenue at W 28th St, $10

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

12/22 tuneful, terse jazz guitarist guitarist Mike Baggetta leads a trio at 8:30/10:30 PM at the Bar Next Door.

12/22, 10:30ish a rare reunion show by the Hangdogs – who had a great run in the 90s and early zeros as NYC’s smartest, funnest, populist Americana rock band – at Rodeo Bar.

12/23, 7 PM klezmer with Yale Strom & Hot Pstromi at Barbes followed at 10 by the brass hip-hop of the Underground Horns.

12/23, 8 PM slyly funny acoustic Americana jamband Tall Tall Trees followed by funkstress Sister Sparrow & the Dirty Birds at Brooklyn Bowl, $8.

12/23, 9 PM the usually all-female, reliably cutting-edge klezmerettes Isle of Klezbos – who really know how to throw a party – free at Queens Kickshaw, 40-17 Broadway in Astoria

12/23, 10 PM the Chris Cawthray Trio play surf and jazz at Two Boots Brooklyn.

12/24, 8 PM Ben Holmes (trumpet), Karen Waltuch (viola), Reuben Radding (bass), Uri Sharlin (accordion) host a night of klezmer at Barbes with innumerable special guests.

12/24, 8:30 PM a Jewish jazz summit featuring many of the Tzadik creme de la creme: the Ayn Sof Arkestra and Bigger Band with Jake Marmer of Jazz Talmud, Rashanim meets Hasidic New Wave’s Rabbi Greg and Frank London, Cyro Baptista’s Banquet of the Spirits playing John Zorn’s Masada Book II, and John Zorn and the Aleph Trio, at 6th St. Synagogue in the east village, $25, early arrival advised.

12/24, 10 PM oldschool roots with Big Boss Reggae Band at Shrine.

12/27 innovative (ex-Soviet) Georgian guitarist Ilusha Tsinadze at Barbes at 7 followed at 9 by Slavic Soul Party.

12/27, 10 PM Raquel Bell at Pete’s. The ex-Norden Bombsight co-leader is a good pianist, good mandolinist, now working up her chops on guitar, and a charismatic presence who’s most recently gone deep into dark Americana. This is a solo show and highly recommended.

12/28, 10 PM Linda Draper with bassist Rob Woodcock at Sidewalk. A literate lyricist who never met a brain-warping double entendre she could resist, and also a nimble acoustic guitarist and first-class tunesmith. She’s playing with a first-class bassist she’s recorded with in the past; highly recommended, even at this horrible venue.

12/28, 10 PM the Brandywine Creek Boys feat. ex-Scout and Rawles Balls ringleader Nigel Rawles on drums plus the ubiquitously eclectic Pemberton Roach playing classic country songs at LIC Bar – download their first-ever gig here (in mono)

12/28, midnight, Brooklyn country band Yarn plays Grateful Dead covers at Sullivan Hall, $12 adv tix rec.

12/29, 6:30 PM Sam Sherwin’s rhythm guitarist/harmony singer Janet LaBelle – who blends oldschool soul with country sounds – at the Mercury, $10.

12/29, 8 PM charismatic, inscrutable, hilarious songwriter/chanteuse/accordionist Rachelle Garniez in a rare solo show at Brooklyn Rod & Gun Club

12/29, 8 PM eclectic klezmer reedman Matt Darriau at Barbes with his band.

12/29, 8:30 PM tongue-in-cheek, period-perfect early 50s style country from Susquehanna Industrial Tool & Die Co. at Otto’s.

12/29, 8:30 PM lyrical Montreal songwriter Chris Velan at the Lincoln Center Atrium, free, early arrival advised

12/29, 10 PM Peter Bernstein – guitar, Larry Goldings – organ, Bill Stewart – drums play the cd release show for their new Live at Smalls album where they made it.

12/30, 7:30 PM Mathieu Barbin, cello and Robin Stephenson, piano play Prokofiev: Cello Sonata in C Major, Op. 119; Beethoven: Sonata for cello and piano No. 3 in A Major, Op. 69 and Rachmaninoff: Sonata for cello and piano in G minor Op. 19 at WMP Concert Hall, free, early arrival a must

12/30 Gogol Bordello at Terminal 5, $35 adv tix. avail. at the Mercury Mon-Fri 5-7 PM. Note that the 12/31 show and the 2-day pass are both sold out.

12/30, 10 PM snarling, Syd Barrett/Iggy-influenced dark garage rockers Obits at the Bell House, $20. If you’re up for a bunch of indie pop cliches, Ted Leo plays afterward.

12/30, 10 PM Brooklyn’s #1 regressive rock act, hilarious metal spoof Mighty High at Union Hall, $7. The 9 PM band call themselves Fritz Kekich (think about that one for a minute if you’re a fan of baseball history).

12/30, 10 PM accordionist Rob Curto’s All Stars at Barbes.

12/31 literate Canadian songwriter Chris Velan at the small room at the Rockwood, 8 PM – free and not necessarily a New Year’s Eve show.

New Years Eve literate Irish-American anthemic punk rockers Black 47 at Connolly’s, 9ish.

 New Years Eve if you want to make it a really intense night, your best bet is Balkan brass powerhouse Raya Brass Band at 10ish at Radegast Hall, $10 includes a drink plus free garlic soup at 2 AM.

New Years Eve oldschool latin soul band Spanglish Fly at Barbes, 10ish, $15 and worth it.

New Years Eve, 10 PM O’Death at Spike Hill, $15

1/1 the hypnotically cinematic Quavers at Barbes 7 PM to quietly nurse your hangover followed by Stephane Wrembel at 9 probably still recovering from wherever he played the night before.

1/2, 11:30ish lo-fi dark garage punk rockers Xray Eyeballs at the Mercury, $10.

1/3, 9 PM ferocious surf rockers the Octomen at Pete’s. You should go just so you can see how long it takes before the cops shut this down.

1/3-8, 9/11 PM the art of the trio man himself, pianist Brad Mehldau leads a trio with Larry Grenadier and Jeff Ballard at the Vanguard, $25.

1/4-5, 8/10 PM tenor sax star and Phil Woods protegee Grace Kelly leads her band at Iridium, $25.

1/4, 8ish powerhouse funk orchestra Burnt Sugar at Tammany Hall in the old Annex space on Orchard St.

1/4, 8:30 PM eclectic, musically brilliant Americana styles with American String Conspiracy at 68 Jay St. Bar.

1/4, 8:30 PM dark electric gypsy rock with Yula Beeri & the Extended Family at the big room at the Rockwood

1/4, 8:30 PM intense literate chamber pop with Elizabeth & the Catapult at the Mercury, $10.

1/4-5, 8:30/11 PM trumpeter Nicholas Payton leads a quartet at Birdland, $30 seats avail; he leads his “Television Studio Orchestra” there 1/6-8, same time, same price.

1/4, 10ish quirky, edgy Japanese-American rockers the Hard Nips at Shea Stadium in Bushwick.

1/5, 7:30 PM Ehud Asherie on piano plus tenor saxophonist Bob Mover followed at 10 by trombonist Dave Gibson’s oldschool Memphis soul jazz Organ 4tet at Smalls.

1/5, 8ish dark, charismatic, deviously witty literate keyboardist/chanteuse Rachelle Garniez at Barbes.

1/5, 8 PM Americana/blues guitarist Michael Gomez’ Wormwood instrumental band at Brooklyn Rod & Gun Club.

1/5, 8:30 PM cellist Marika Hughes followed by Brandon Seabrook’s assaultive banjo jazz group Seabrook Power Plant at Rock Shop, $7.

1/5, 9 PM questionable segue but a great doublebill: acoustic Nashville gothic haunters Bobtown followed by concert harp virtuoso/Americana chanteuse Katie Brennan at the Jalopy

1/5, 9 PM dark Americana chanteuse Jessie Kilguss & Radio Gold at Pete’s

1/5, 9:30 PM a good indie pop doublebill: the quirky, unpredictable, fun all-female Walking Hellos followed by smart 80s revivalists Overlord at Union Hall, $8.

1/6, 7 PM legendary satirical soul man/filmmaker/Academie Francaise member Melvin Van Peebles wid Laxative at Joe’s Pub, $TBA, plus the club had better realize that Chicha Libre is playing Drom at 9:30 and not here as their calendar seems to forget.

1/6, 7:30 PM a strong contender for best NYC show of 2012, the “”first annual Alwan Maqam Festival, where Golden-Era Hollywood-style Egyptian movie musical numbers share the stage with centuries-old Baghdadi classical music, innovative compositions that combine Arab music with jazz, latin, and other musical forms, music from Greeks originating in Turkey, and much more,” with a phenomenal lineup of Middle Eastern bands: Egyptian film music revivalists Zikrayat, Greek rembetiko powerhouse Maeandros, Syrian chanteuse Gaida, cutting-edge Iraqi improvisers Safaafir with trumpeter Amir ElSaffar, funky Palestinian buzuq jamband Shusmo, and the allstar Alwan Arab Music Ensemble feat. George Ziadeh and Ahmed Gamal, plus dancers Mariyah, Dameshe, Sherine, and Layla Isis at Alwan for the Arts downtown, $25 adv tix a must, this will sell out fast.

1/6, 7:30ish a killer, purist ska triplebill with the rocksteady Forthrights, jazzy Dave Hillyard & the Rocksteady 7 and then Westbound Train at the downstairs studio space at Webster Hall, $14

1/6, 7:30 PM violists Eddy Malave and Sheila Browne play music by Bridge, Leclair and Handel followed by pianist Lee Feldman playing Bach and jazz at Third Street Music School Settlement, free.

1/6, 8 PM first night of the first annual Omniphonic Festival at the 92YTribeca starting at 8 with banjoist and West African music maven Jayme Stone, eclectic and sepulchrally gorgeous Mexican-style harmony group Las Rubias Del Norte at 9, fiery harmonica-driven minor-key klezmer/reggae/blues jam band Hazmat Modine at 10, vintage-style Cuban songwriter Jose Conde at 11, and wildly funky bhangra brass band Red Baraat at midnight $15.

1/6, 8 PM jazz guitar genius Matt Munisteri resurrects the “lost music of Willard Robison” which he loves so much, and does twisted justice to, at Barbes. He’s also here on 1/19 at 8.

1/6, 8 PM hilarious, oldschool 60s style country hellraisers the Jack Grace Band at Brooklyn Rod & Gun Club

1/6, 8 PM, free the latest edition of the annual avant garde NY Guitar Festival features ambient duo itsnotyouitsme, Larry Campbell from Bob Dylan’s band, Noveller and Tortoise’s Jeff Parker as well as scenes from Craig Teper’s documentary, Man in the Right Seat about Apollo 14 astronaut Edgar Mitchell, at the World Financial Ctr.

1/6, 8:30 PM fascinating Korean choral group Janya at Drom.

1/6, 9 PM dark Cat Power-style acoustic soul group MotherMoon at the Cameo Gallery, $8. They’re at Pete’s at 10 on 1/13.

1/6, 9 PM charismatic Americana songwriter/chanteuse Julia Haltigan at the small room at the Rockwood; at 1 AM that night excellent, darkly meandering Israeli guitar/drums/keys duo On is also on the bill.

1/6, 9 PM Alec Stephen -former lead guitarist of Railroad Jerk – at Rock Shop, $7.

1/6-7, 9/10:30 PM Darcy James Argue’s Secret Society at the Jazz Gallery, $20.

1/6, 9 PM pianist Mike Eckroth leads a quintet at Something Jazz Club.

1/6, 9:30 PM funk orchestra Sister Sparrow & the Dirty Birds at the big room at the Rockwood, $10

1/6, 10 PM funk orchestra the Pimps of Joytime followed by hypnotic dubwise roots reggae crew See-I at Bowery Ballroom, $15 adv tix rec., available at the Mercury weekdays 5-7 PM.

1/6, 10 PM the Breakers play surf music at Two Boots Brooklyn

1/6 NYC’s funnest, most tunefully insightful Americana/punk rockers Spanking Charlene at Lakeside, 11 PM. They’re also here on 1/21 at 11 playing the cd release show for their upcoming new one Where Are the Freaks produced by Little Steven Van Zandt.

1/6, midnight, killer melodic funk group Moon Hooch – two tenor saxes and drums – at the Knitting Factory, $8

Winter Jazzfest runs 1/6-7: too many acts to list, stay on top of it with the organizers’ constantly updated calendar!

1/7, 1:30 PM (half past one in the afternoon) Charlene Kaye at the Mercury, $15. She’s not a singer-songwriter – she’s powerpop, a little oldtimey, a little jazz, a hell of an interesting guitarist, smart lyricist and writes a good tune. Lots of fun.

1/7, 5 PM smart, melodic, eclectic new chamber music group the Parkington Sisters at the small room at the Rockwood.

1/7, 6 PM the closing party for artist Robin Hoffman’s latest exhibit of her joyous, kinetic illustrations of Jalopy performers in action onstage; followed at 9 by the Jalopy’s allstar house band, the Whiskey Spitters ($10 cover).

1/7, 7 PM ferocious but smartly terse electric blues guitarist Bobby Radcliff at Terra Blues

1/7, 8 PM at Drom, check out this musical feast: catchy hip-hop brass with No BS Brass; the hypnotic traditional Malian sounds of Cheick Hamala Diabate, Smokey Hormel’s soulful western swing; Chicha Libre, who might be the best live band in NYC, doing their trippy Peruvian-style surf music; and Raya Brass Band, who have a kick-ass new Balkan album coming out next year. All this for $10, insanely cheap for what’s on the bill.

1/7, 8 PM second night of the first annual Omniphonic Festival at the 92YTribeca starting with eclectic songwriter Pierre de Gaillande doing his original English translations of classic, smutty Georges Brassens songs, Colombian large band Folklore Urbano at 9, charmingly sultry French chanson revivalists Les Chauds Lapins at 10, theatrical Montreal gypsy rocker Marco Callari at 11 and at midnight the American godfathers of Balkan brass, Slavic Soul Party.

1/7, 8 PM at Otto’s it’s Unsteady Freddy’s monthly surf rock extravaganza at Otto’s with Bongo Surf at 8, the Surfalicious Dudes at 9, Doughboys at 10, Tarantinos NYC at 11 and sometime after midnight Tsunami of Sound.

1/7, 8 PM a rare solo show by Kristin Mueller of the charming, quirkyWalking Hellos at Pete’s.

1/7, 8 PM rusic Americana sounds with the Mercantillers at Brooklyn Rod & Gun Club.

1/7, 9:30 PM smart retro country band Megan Palmer and the Top Flights at 68 Jay St. Bar

1/7, 10 PM roots reggae jams with Gowanus Reggae and Ska Society at Two Boots Brooklyn.

1/7, 11 PM the Ben Allison Quartet feat. Ben Allison, bass; Steve Cardenas, guitar; Brandon Seabrook, banjo; Rogerio Boccato, percussion at Cornelia St. Cafe, $15

1/7, 11:30 PM the NY Gypsy All-Stars at Drom playing the cd release show for their new one Romantech.

1/8, 11 AM at City Winery, Metropolitan Klezmer and Isle of Klezbos seen together in the same room for the first time ever. Seriously. Discover if they are actually one and the same, or simply playing two different repertoires – either way the music is off the hook. $10, no minimum, kids get in free.

1/8, 6 PM pianistRoger Davidson and the Frank London Klezmer Orchestra play original klezmer romps and dirges at Drom.

1/8, 7 PM at Barbes the Brothers Nazaroff. “The joyous public debut of the united heirs of legendary outsider Yiddish troubadour Nathan “Prince” Nazaroff, recorder of the mysterious 1954 Folkways EP “Jewish Freilach Songs”, the missing link between our post-modern Babylonian exile and the lost Atlantis of Yiddish “Middle-Europe”. Scattered all over the globe from Moscow, Berlin, Budapest, and New York, the lost Nazaroff brothers come together one time only at Barbes, in Brooklyn. Together, Pasha Nazaroff, Danik Nazaroff, Meyshke Nazaroff, Zaelic Nazaroff, and Yankl Nazaroff will celebrate the discordant, obscure, jubilant, ecstatic legacy of their Happy Prince.” Which all sounds suspiciously like klezmer ironists Daniel Kahn & the Painted Bird. Followed at 9 by gypsy guitar paradigm-shifter Stephane Wrembel.

1/9, 7:30 PM the East Coast Chamber Orchestra plays Arnold Schoenberg: Suite in G major (“In the Old Style”); Ludwig van Beethoven: Grosse Fuge, op. 133; Benjamin Britten: Prelude and Fugue for 18 strings, op. 29; Antonín Dvorák: Serenade for Strings in E major, op.22 at Music Mondays at Advent Church, 93rd/Broadway.

1/8, 8 PM catchy hip-hop/soul flavored brass sounds with No BS Brass Band at Shrine.

1/8, 10 PM eclectic new-music violinistCarla Kihlstedt & pianist/percussionist Matthias Bossi at the Stone, $10.

1/8, 11:30 PM tuneful postbop saxophonist/composer Nick Hempton leads a quintet at Smalls.

1/9-12 7:30/9:30 PM the Clayton Bros. Quintet with Terell Stafford, Jeff Clayton, Gerald Clayton, John Clayton, and Obed Calvaire at Dizzy’s Club, $30 seats avail.

1/9, 7:30 PM Dmitry Volkov, cello and Tatiana Goncharova, piano play Debussy, Crumb, Saint-Saëns, Piazzolla, and Rostropovich at le Poisson Rouge, $12 adv tix rec.

1/9, 8 PM eclectic triplebill: Celtic, French and klezmer sounds with Lunasa, les Chauds Lapins and the Klezmatics at Highline Ballroom, $15 adv tix rec.

1/9, 9:30 PM retro soul siren Bettye LaVette at Joe’s Pub, $TBA.

1/10-11, 8/10 PM jazz piano icon McCoy Tyner leads a quartet at the Blue Note, $35 bar seats avail.

1/10, 9 PM wry, tuneful, eclectic Nashville gothic band Maynard & the Musties at Lakeside

1/11 and 1/15/12, 7:30 PM the Metropolis Ensemble with Bridget Kibbey on harp play world premieres and new music for harp by Kibbey, Kati Agocs, Kinan Azmeh, David Bruce , Susie Ibarra, Paquito d’Rivera, Ricardo Romaniero and Du Yun at le Poisson Rouge, $20 adv tix rec.

1/11, 7:30 PM here’s a fun one: bassoonist Jefferson Campbell is joined by pianist Tracy Lipke-Perry, and percussionists Gene Koshinski and Tim Brocious in a recital featuring exciting, fun new music for the bassoon in solo and chamber music settings with New York City premieres of works by Rubin, Hendricks, Koshinski and Moellering and more, at Symphony Space, free.

1/11-15, 7:30/9:30 PM B3 groovemeister Dr. Lonnie Smith leads his trio at the Jazz Standard, $25 ($30 Fri/Sat), res. rec.

1/11, 8 PM bracing, tuneful third-stream jazz with trumpeter Jacob Garchik plus Jacob Sacks, piano and Dan Weiss, drums at Barbes, $10 cover.

1/11, 8:30 PM tongue-in-cheek, period-perfect early 50s style country from Susquehanna Industrial Tool & Die Co. at Rodeo Bar.

1/11, 8:30 PM oldtime country with the Strung Out String Band at 68 Jay St. Bar

1/11, 9:30 PM indie pop summit: the Secret History’s catchy keyboard-driven buoyancy followed by Palomar, who have considerably more bite, at Union Hall, $8.

1/12, 7:15 PM Bulgarian choirmistress Svetlana Spajic at Drom, $10 adv tix very highly rec.

1/12, 7:30 PM Montreal cellist Émilie Girard-Charest plays eclectic 20th century works by Pascal Dusapin, Maxime McKinley, Vergil Sharkya, and Graciela Paraskevaidis at the Tank, $10.

1/12, 8 PM irreverent oldschool Williamsburg vocal jazz crew the Old Rugged Sauce at Brooklyn Rod & Gun Club. They’re also here on the 19th, same time.

1/12, 8 PM theatrical, historically aware oldtimey chanteuse Poor Baby Bree at Bowery Poetry Club.

1/12, 8 PM pensive, sometimes haunting indie folk/gothic band Little Embers at Pete’s

1/12, 8:30 PM the first great triplebill of the year: all-female noiserock/punk monsters Out of Order followed by Big Balls (allstar AC/DC cover band fronted by Anna Copacabanna with Gina Rodriguez of Moisturizer on bass, John Sharples and the Ks’ Ray Beyda on guitars and Tom Pope (from Paula Carino’s band) on drums. Half the band reconvenes and plays with perennially amusing faux French garage rock legends les Sans Culottes afterward, at Rock Shop

1/12 diverse Afrobeat/Americana banjo player Jayme Stone at the Lincoln Center Atrium, 8:30 PM, early arrival advised.

1/12, 9ish high-energy, alcohol-fueled oldschool 60s country with the Jack Grace Band at Lakeside. They’re at Barbes on the 13th at 10.

1/12, 9:30 PM oldschool country with Hilary Hawke & the Flipsides at Hill Country.

1/12, 10:30 PM Veveritse Brass Band – as intense as Slavic Soul Party but without the hip-hop influence and more improvisational – at the Jalopy, $10

1/12, 11 PM atmospheric shoegaze guitarist Samara Lubelski at Death by Audio $7

1/13-14 it’s the annual gypsy music extravaganza Golden Fest at Grand Prospect Hall, 263 Prospect Avenue in Brooklyn with Zlatne Uste and literally dozens of the world’s best bands. Your best deal is the $70 two-day pass; otherwise, you’re best off going to the Friday show which is the cheaper of the two at $25. Or you can volunteer: an 8-hour day gets you free admission for the show that night.

1/13, 7 PM punk-inspired electric bluegrass and country with Demolition String Band at Hill Country

1/13, 7:30 PM pianist Frederica Wyman and cellist Shanda Wooley play music by Martin, Prokofiev and Ravel;pianist Ning Yu plays Bartok, Scriabin and others at Third St. Music School Settlement, free.

1/13, 8 PM itsnotyouitsme – Caleb Burhans (violin, voice) Grey McMurray (guitar, etc.) play hypnotic soundscapes at the Stone, $10

1/13, 8 PM Danza Nova play klezmer at Bargemusic, $25.

1/13, 9 PM Americana chanteuse Cal Folger Day and her band Rayvon Browne at Red Hook Bait & Tackle.

1/13, 10 PM tuneful counterintuitive piano jazz compositions with Kris Davis – piano; Max Johnson – bass; Mike Pride – drums at I-Beam

1/13, 10 PM alto saxophonist Jaleel Shaw leads a quartet with Lawrence Fields – piano , Boris Kozlov – bass , EJ Strickland – drums at Smalls.

1/13, 10:30 PM modern roots reggae vibes with Rebelution at the Nokia Theatre, $20 adv tix rec.

1/13, 11 PM intense, tuneful southwestern gothic rock with the Downward Dogs at the National Underground

1/14, 7 PM at Freddy’s a preview of the upstate Beefstock 2012 festival with soul-rockers the Nopar King, solar-powered jamband Solar Punch, Sal Weex & the Pip Squeex (feat. members of scorching all-female noiserock band Out of Order), punk/metal monsters Black Death, satirical punks the Bloody Muffs, guitarist Dave Benjoya’s Brooklyn Tattoo, blues-rockers the Good Yeggs and world dance/avant jamband Plastic Beast headlining around one in the morning.

1/14, 8 PM from Canada: the Juno Award-winning Gryphon Trio and vocalist Patricia O’Callaghan celebrate the release of their new album Broken Hearts & Madmen with songs by Elvis Costello, Nick Drake, Leonard Cohen, Astor Piazzolla, Carlos Gardel, Pat Metheny and others at le Poisson Rouge, $15.

1/14, 8 PM repeating 1/15 at 3 PM Pauline Kim, violin; Dave Eggar, cello; Olga Vinokur, piano; Chuck Palmer, percussion play Beethoven Piano Trio in B flat Major; Brahms Sonata for cello and piano No. 1 in E minor, Op. 38; Fred Hersch Bittersweet Tango for piano, cello and percussion; Dvorák Piano Trio No. 4 in E minor, “Dumky” at Bargemusic, $35/$30srs/$15 stud

1/14, 9 PM clarinetist David Krakauer, cellist Matt Haimovitz, violinist Maria Bachmann and pianist Geoffrey Burleson perform Messiaen’s Quartet for the End of Time plus an improvisation in homage to Henri Akoka, the original clarinetist who premiered the Messiaen piece in the Nazi death camp, at Joe’s Pub, $20.

1/14, 9 PM Italian percussionist/bandleader Alessandra Belloni plays her otherworldly, trance-inducing tarantella beats at Mehanata.

1/14, 10 PM dark original bluegrass paradigm-shifters Frankenpine followed by the surf/country “power twang” of the Woodshed Prophets at the Jalopy, $10.

1/14, 10:30 PM LES punk/surf/soul legend Simon and the Bar Sinisters at Lakeside.

1/15, 6 PM eclectic multi-reed improviiser Yukari plays solo flutes at Downtown Music Gallery

1/15 a Russian music summit with one of that country’s first families of eclectic tunesmithing: composer and viola virtuoso Ljova Zhurbin and his wife Inna Barmash (charismatic frontwoman of gypsy hellraisers Romashka), and Ljova’s mom and dad, Alexander Zhurbin & Irena Ginzburg at Joe’s Pub, time/$TBA.

1/16, 7:30 PM pianist Jim Ridl leads a trio followed by Orrin Evans’ wildly popular, ferociously intense Captain Black Big Band at Smalls – this will sell out fast, early arrival advised.

1/17, 7:30 PM guitar loopscaper Keller Williams, hauntingly ambient chamber quartet Redhooker and soaring avant-vocal group My Brightest Diamond play soundtracks to Buster Keaton silent films at Merkin Concert Hall, $25.

1/17-22, 8/10 PM Bill Frisell leads a trio with Ron Carter and Joey Baron at the Blue Note, $20 bar seats avail.

1/17, 8 PM a free jazz summit with the Jon Irabagon Threedom Trio with Barry Altschul & Joe Fonda at Roulette $15.

1/17, 8:30 PM Karen Dahlstrom of Bobtown and other great Americana bands singing material from her new album of dark historical songs about Idaho, Gem State, at Caffe Vivaldi.

1/17, 9 PM Trailer Radio play amusing retro 60s original honkytonk songs at Shrine.

1/18, 7:30 PM pianist/impresario Alexandra Joan plays an exciting and characteristically eclectic “Homage to the 21st Century Shtetl” with violist Maria Lambros and clarinet powerhouse Vasko Dukovski feat. works by Jewish contemporary composers Cohen, Schoenfield, Mauer and Golijov at WMP Concert Hall, $20.

1/18-22, 7:30/9:30 PM drummer Willie Jones III leads a sextet with Eric Reed, Dezron Douglas, Stacy Dillard, Steve Davis, and Jeremy Pelt playing Max Roach compositions at Dizzy’s Club, $30 seats avail., reserve now, this may sell out.

1/18, 8 PM ukulele-flavored ska and rocksteady with the Brown Rice Family at Rock Shop, $10

1/18, 8:30 PM intense, smart, purist Americana chanteuse Jan Bell at 68 Jay St Bar.

1/19, 1 PM pianist Geoffrey Burleson plays Saint-Saens and Rameau at Trinity Church, free.

1/19, 7:30 PM soaring all-female Americana harmony trio Red Molly at the Jalopy, $12 adv tix highly rec., this will probably sell out.

1/19, 7:30 PM the Afiara String Quartet, cellist Denis Brott and pianist Kevin Loucks play Beethoven and Schubert at WMP Concert Hall, $20.

1/19, 8:30 PM smart, conversational free jazz with Marty Ehrlich – saxophone, clarinet; Mary Halvorson – guitar; Tomas Fujiwara – drums at I-Beam.

1/19, 9 PM oldschool soul/jazz vibraphonist and soundtrack maestro Roy Ayers at SOB’s $25.

1/20, 6 PM smart dark Americana songwriter Jessi Robertson at the American Folk Art Museum, free.

1/20, 7 PM neoLIT Ensemble with flutist Martha Cargo, clarinetist Erin Svoboda, violinist Nadya Meykson, cellist Aminda Asher and pianist Katya Mihailova play works by Borzova, Goldberg, Aversa, Schoenfield, Bond at WMP Concert Hall, $20.

1/20, 9 PM a modern roots reggae doublebill with the Green Genes followed at 11 by Royal Khaoz at Shrine

1/20 the Turkish Bob Dylan (and acclaimed filmmaker) Zulfu Livaneli and the NY Gypsy All-Stars at Drom, get there early, this will sell out fast.

1/20, 10 PM Afrobeat band Zongo Junction at Southpaw, $10.

1/20-21 10 PM oldschool toe-tapping tunefulness with reedman Ken Peplowski plus Ted Rosenthal – piano , Sean Smith – bass , Tom Melito – drums at Smalls.

1/20, 11 PM the Iharashu Quartet feat. members of Black 47, Tony Bennett and Dave Brubeck’s bands at Freddy’s.

1/20 surf classics and obscurities with the Boss Guitars at Lakeside, 11 PM.

1/21, 8 PM repeating on 1/22 at 3 PM the St. Petersburg String Quartet play Mozart String Quartet No. 19 in C Major, K. 465 “Dissonance;” Dvorák “American” String Quartet, Op. 96 in F Major; Brahms String Quartet No. 1 in C minor, Op. 51 at Bargemusic, $35/$30srs/$15 stud

1/21, 8:30 PM well-liked dark Americana jamband O’Death at le Poisson Rouge, $12.

1/21, 9 PM NYC’s most charismatic, entertaining band, anti-gentrification rockers the Brooklyn What at Trash.

1/21, 9/10:30 PM George Garzone, tenor saxophone; Jamie Oehlers, tenor saxophone; Graham Wood, piano; Sam Anning, bass at Cornelia St. Cafe, $15.

1/21, 9 PM dark 80s style keyboardist/songwriter Kristin Hoffmann at Caffe Vivaldi.

1/21, 9:30 PM klezmer legends the Andy Statman Trio at Sycamore Bar. On  1/25 they play the cd release show for their new one at le Poisson Rouge for $15.

1/21, 10 PM psychedelic funk with the People’s Champs at Barbes.

1/22, 3 PM slinky Moroccan/Lebanese classic-era Middle Eastern ensemble Layali el Andalus at 6th St. Synagogue, $15 includes a drink.

1/22, 7 PM vibraphonist Tyler Blanton leads a quartet at Something Jazz Club

1/22, 8 PM pianist Christopher O’Riley and cellist Matt Haimowitz play their fascinating classical versions of rock songs plus Bernard Herrmann’s creepy Hitchcock soundtrack classics at Highline Ballroom, $15 adv tix rec.

1/22, 8:30 PM improvisational hypnotic Indian new music quartet Karavika – Trina Basu, violin; Amali Premawardhana, cello; Perry Wortman, bass; Avi Shah, tabla – at Cornelia St. Cafe, $10.

1/23, 7:30/9:30 PM pianist George Cables leads a trio with Essiet Okon Essiet and Victor Lewis at Dizzy’s Club, $20 seats avail.

1/24 Palomar at Bowery Ballroom is sold out – good for them.

1/24-29, 7:30/9:30 PM Marcus Roberts, piano; Rodney Jordan, bass; Jason Marsalis, drums at Dizzy’s Club, $30 seats avail.

1/24, 10 PM irresistibly assaultive noiserockers the Sediment Club at Death by Audio, $7.

1/25, 8 PM the Kris Davis Trio at Barbes: Kris Davis-piano; Mike Sarin-drums and Eivind Opsvik-bass, $10.

1/25, 8:30 PM oldtimey music maven Bliss Blood’s torchy noir duo project Evanescent at 68 Jay St. Bar.

1/25, 8:30 PM smart, virtuosic acoustic Americana duo Jeremiah Birnbaum and Megan Palmer at Hill Country.

1/26, 1 PM the Emerald Trio – Karen Bogardus, flute; Orlando Wells, violin and viola; James Matthew Castle, piano play 20th century compositions at Trinity Church, free

1/26, 8 PM indie classical pianist Sunny Knable plays the cd release concert for his expansive, stunningly diverse new American Variations at Merkin Hall.

1/26, 9 PM guitarist Dave Ullmann leads a quintet at Something Jazz Club – $5 cover, $10 min only.

1/27, eclectic, hypnotic, deviously clever worldbeat rockers Tribecastan play the cd release show for their new one New Deli at Joe’s Pub.

1/27, 8 PM Llama plays psychedelic salsa followed at 10 by Cumbiagra at Barbes.

1/27, 8 PM repeating on 1/28 at 3 PM Mark Peskanov, violin and Doris Stevenson, piano play Bach Violin Sonata No. 1 in G minor, BWV 1001; Paganini Selection from 24 Caprices for violin solo, Op. 1; Bloch Nigun (Improvisation) No. 2 from “Baal Shem” suite and Schubert Fantasie in C major for violin and piano, D934 at Bargemusic, $35/$30srs/$15 stud

1/27 Aimee Mann at the Music Hall of Williamsburg is SOLD OUT.

1/27, 9/10:30 PM Jon Irabagon and Barry Altschul nudge and punch each other to new levels with a bassist TBA at Cornelia St. Cafe, $15.

1/27-28, 10 PM Seamus Blake – tenor sax , Lage Lund – guitar , Dave Kikoski – piano , Matt Clohesy – bass , Bill Stewart – drums at Smalls.

1/27, 10:30 PM the self-explanatory NY Funk Exchange at Hill Country.

1/27, 11:15 PM the NY Ska Jazz Ensemble play the cd release show for their new one Double Edge at Drom, $10 adv tix rec.

1/28, 7 PM Iranian spike fiddle virtuoso and first-rate composer Kayhan Kalhor in a rare solo at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, $35.

1/28, 7 PM accordionist Kamala Sankaram’s twangy, psychedelic Bollywood band the Bad at Barbes followed at 10 by hypnotic south Indian funk orchestra Brooklyn Qawwali Party.

1/28, 7 PM pianist Kris Bowers at the Tribeca Performing Arts Ctr at BMCC on Chambers St., $25.

1/28, 8:30 PM haunting acoustic Nashville gothic band Bobtown at 68 Jay St Bar.

1/28, 9 PM one of Brooklyn Country’s killer multi-band extravaganzas with badass oldtimey four-part harmony band Roulette Sisters, Spuyten Duyvil at 10 and ferocious paisley underground/honkytonk band the Newton Gang at 11 at the Jalopy, $10.

1/28, 9/10:30 PM pianist Bobby Avey leads a quartet with Chris Tordini, bass; Jordan Perlson, drums at Cornelia St. Cafe, $15.

1/28, 9:30ish one of the funnest bills of the year so far: Doll Parts play Dolly Parton covers followed by the satirical Menage a Twang and then the Delorean Sisters- who play oldtimey versions of 80s cheeseball pop songs – at Union Hall, $10.

1/28, 10:30 PM 90s NYC underground blues/soul legends King Dice downstairs at the National Underground.

1/28, 11 PM Tammy Faye Starlite’s hilarious Stones cover project the Mike Hunt Band at Lakeside.

1/28, 11 PM charismatic Ivoirian roots reggae bandleader Sekouba plays Shrine

1/29, the Philip Glass 75th bday celebration at le Poisson Rouge is cancelled.

1/29, 2 PM soul rockers Mighty Fine play a free show at the Bell House.

1/29, 3 PM the Salomé Chamber Orchestra play Mendelssohn String Symphony No. 8 in D major; Grieg Holberg Suite, Op. 40; Dvorák Serenade for Strings, in E Major, Op. 22 at Bargemusic, $35/$30srs/$15 stud.

1/29, 6 PM Dee Pop and probably a bunch of A-list NYC free jazz peeps improvise at Downtown Music Gallery.

1/29, 7 PM the Composers Play Composers Festival at Drom feat. Dan Cooper, Gene Pritzker, Milica Paranosic, Patrick Grant, Peter Jarvis and others, $10 adv tix highly rec.

1/30, 7:30 PM violinist Nicola Venedetti & Rebel play Bach and Vivaldi at le Poisson Rouge, $ 20 adv tixrec.

1/31, 8 PM the American Composers Orchestra celebrates Philip Glass’ 75th bday at Carnegie Hall playing the US premiere of Glass’ Symphony No. 9 and the New York premiere of Arvo Pärt’s Lamentate, get the $15 tix now while they’re still available.

1/31, 9 PM roots reggae jams with Passafire at the Gramercy Theatre, $19 tix avail.

1/31-2/5, 9/11 PM Tain Watts leads a quartet with David Kikoski on piano, Marcus Strickland on tenor sax,Orlando LeFleming on bass at the Vanguard, $25.

1/31-2/1, 9 PM Joe Henry and Marc Ribot at City Winery. An intriguing collaboration: can Ribot give Henry the edge he needs? Can Henry give Ribot the focus he needs? Could be auspicious, could be a trainwreck. $30 standing room tix avail if you want to find out.

1/31, 9:30 PM eclectic bassist Lauren Falls leads a quintet with Seamus Blake, tenor sax; Mike Moreno, guitar; Can Olgun, piano; Trevor Falls, drums at Cornelia St. Cafe, $10.

2/1, 7:30 PM cellist Maya Beiser, pianist Pablo Ziegler and percussionist Satoshi Takeishi play music of Astor Piazzolla at le Poisson Rouge, $20.

2/1, 9 PM eclectic, smartly lyrical rock/funk songwriter Avi Fox-Rosen and band at the Way Station in Ft. Greene.

2/2, 7:30 PM wry, clever acoustic Americana jamband Tall Tall Trees followed eventually at 9:30 PM by charismatic, intense indie folk chanteuse Larkin Grimm at Rock Shop, $8

2/2, 8 PM pianist Simone Dinnerstein plays Chopin’s Nocturne No. 8 in D-flat Major, Op. 27; Daniel Felsenfeld’s The Cohen Variations (NY premiere); Brahms’ Intermezzo, Op. 118, No. 2 in A; Bach’s Partita No. 2 in C Minor; Schubert’s Four Impromptus, Op. 90; Bach’s Partita No. 1 in B-flat Major at the Miller Theatre, 116th/Bwy, $35.

2/3-4, 7:30 PM the Cannabis Cup Reggae Band play Marley covers for Jah Bob’s b-day at B.B. King’s, $23 adv tix rec.

2/3, 7:30 PM Lunatics at Large play an “experimental” program TBA at WMP Concert Hall, $20 res. rec., this will probably sell out.

2/4, 4 PM-midnight the Music of Now marathon at the downstairs Thalia theatre at Symphony Space – sort of a composers-playing-composers Bang on a Can type of thing, too many performers to list, but lots of good ones, full schedule is here, $15 including a drink seems more than reasonable.

2/4, 8 PM sitar virtuoso Kartik Seshadri upstairs at Symphony Space, $30.

2/4, 9 PM dark 80s style rockers Her Vanished Grace at Spike Hill, $7 cover.

2/7, 7:30 PM violinist Ray Chen plays Mozart, Brahms, Ysaÿe, and Saint-Saëns at le Poisson Rouge, $20.

2/8, 8 PM George Clinton & the P-Funk Allstars at B.B. King’s, $37.50 adv tix rec. He’s still got it.

2/9, 8 PM 90s conscious dancehall reggae hellraiser  Anthony B at B.B. King’s, $20 adv tix rec.

2/9, 9 PM SOJA (f.k.a. Souljahs of Jah Army) at Bowery Ballroom, $17.50 adv tix highly rec; they’re at the Music Hall of Williamsburg on 2/10, same time, same price, adv tix also rec. from the Mercury box office open weekdays 5-7 PM.

2/10, 7:30 PM pianist Mary Jo Pagano plays Berg, Chopin and and Schumann at Third St. Music School Settlement, free.

2/10, 8 PM Roswell Rudd leads a quartet at Roulette, $15, early arrival advised.

2/10, 9 PM Simon & Garfunkel-ish harmony-driven acoustic band the Wowz, Tatters & Rags and then the devious, hilarious all-female trio the Debutante Hour around 11 at Union Hall, $12.

2/11 9 PM janglerockers the Nu-Sonics followed evetually by a very very rare Brooklyn show -their first ever? – by postpunk guitar legends Band of Outsiders plus Il Albanico’s surf/psychedelic sounds at Goodbye Blue Monday

2/12, 3 PM the Greenwich Village Orchestra plays Samuel Barber’s Adagio, Bruch’s Scottish Fantasy and Sibelius’ big, sweeping Symphony No. 1 at Washington Irving HS Auditorium, Irving Place at 16th St., $15 sugg don.

2/12, 7 PM charismatic;literate oldtime Americana ukulele songwriter/chanteuse Kelli Rae Powell at Sidewalk.

2/12, 8 PM Dr. Ralph Stanley and band at B.B. King’s, $29.50 adv tix rec.

2/15, 8 PM Adam Ant at the Nokia Theatre, $30 – not a joke.

2/16, 7:30 PM violinist Gil Morgenstern and cellist Darrett Adkins play a characteristically counterintuitive program of duos by Ravel, Kodály and Glière at WMP Concert Hall, $35.

2/16, 9 PM thoughtful cello rockers Pearl & the Beard at the Music Hall of Williamsburg, $13 adv tix avail at the Mercury.

2/17, 7:30 PM pianist Marc Ponthus plays Beethoven and Xenakis; violinist Sarah Pratt plays Bach and Beethoven at Third St. Music School Settlement, free.

2/17, 8 PM jazz guitar virtuoso Ronnie Earl at B.B. King’s, $25 adv tix rec

2/18-19 this year’s Music from Japan festival at Merkin Concert Hall features an eclectic mix of new works by Japanese composers and a special dedication to the areas rendered uninhabitable by the Fukushima holocaust.

2/18, 10 PM gypsy rockers World Inferno at the Music Hall of Williamsburg, $15 adv tix rec.

2/24, 7:15 PM clever, psychedelic Asian tropicalia jazz group Mr. Ho’s Orchestrotica at Drom, $10 adv tix rec.

2/24, 7:30 PM pianist Edmund Arkus plays Beethoven, Debussy, Ravel and Schumann at Third St. Music School Settlement, free.

2/24, 9 PM the Hit Squad tour feat. Keith Murray, EPMD, Redman and countless other 90s hip-hop luminaries at the Nokia Theatre, $30 adv tix avail.

2/26, 4 PM Leon Botstein and the American Symphony Orchestra play Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring at Symphony Space, $25.

2/27, 8 PM the Ventures at B.B. King’s, $30 adv tix a must.

3/21, 10:30 PM the Wedding Present at the Bell House.

3/28, 7:30 PM revivalist and virtuoso of the ancient kugo harp, Tomoko Sugawara plays a recital at Symphony Space, $30.

4/5 cutting-edge Palestinian oud player Kamiliya Jubran plays her 9-part song cycle Makan (Arabic for “place”) examining the shrinking sense of individual space in the world, at the Lincoln Center Atrium, 8:30 PM,early arrival a must.

Freebies from New Amsterdam Records

How about some free music from one of the most cutting-edge labels around? Starting December 5 at 10 AM, New Amsterdam Records will be putting up a new album every day for the following five days for free download. December 5’s album will be Sarah Kirkland Snider’s excellent Penelope album, a lushly uneasy avant garde antiwar suite told from the point of view of Odysseus’ wife, with Shara Worden of My Brightest Diamond on vocals. The label is keeping mum on what else is in the pipeline: you’ll have to hit their fundraising page every day in order to find out.

The reason they’re doing this is to sweeten the pot for their DIY Kickstarter-style fundraising campaign: on the high end, ten grand gets you dinner with Kirkland Snider plus her co-directors William Brittelle and Judd Greenstein, plus a private concert featuring a label artist at a location of your choice within 2 hours of NYC, plus a thank-you in the liner notes on all 2012 NA releases, plus VIP admission to all the label’s artists’ concerts in 2012, plus the label’s full back catalog, plus all kinds of autographed stuff. Obviously, there are plenty of other rewards for considerably less than five figures.

What’s impressive here is that unlike a whole lot of other labels, New Amsterdam has figured out that people aren’t willing to buy a pig in a poke anymore: music fans want to hear what it is they’re being asked to purchase. And it goes without saying that if you like, say, the new yMusic album – one of the label’s 2011 highlights – on mp3, you’ll REALLY like how the cd sounds.

Now if they’d only do vinyl…

Stephane Wrembel Rips the Roof Off Trinity Church

Stephane Wrembel is the most exciting thing happening in gypsy jazz right now, which is pretty intense since gypsy jazz isn’t exactly sedate music. His weekly Sunday night shows at Barbes, where he’s played for several years now, have become legendary. Tuesday the guitarist got the chance to perform for a completely different audience at Trinity Church and although it was only the early afternoon, he ripped the roof off the place – and was soaked in sweat afterward. This time out he had a quartet: Dave Speranza tirelessly walking his basslines alongside a rhythm guitarist who synched with Wrembel’s split-second timing and made the most of his single solo late in the set, and a percussionist who switched between a boomy conga and a rattling, rippling tambourine, which he played by hitting it with metal rings on his fingers.

There was plenty of improvisation, but that was limited to the occasional extra verse or chorus – this show was meant to air out Wrembel’s eclectic and absolutely brilliant compositions, several of them from his latest album Terre des Hommes. For a gypsy jazz player, Wrembel has an extraordinarily fluid, smooth legato style that contrasts with his usual relentlessly precise staccato attack. And there was a lot more in the set than fast flurries of minor sixth chords and shuffle beats: Middle Eastern and African themes as well as American jazz modes appeared throughout the songs, typically when least expected. The most gripping song of the set was a new one, Toute la Vie, a brooding, somewhat horrified slow waltz inspired by youtube accounts of the Japanese tsunami aftermath, and, one assumes, the Fukushima disaster. At the end, Wrembel finally went up with a searing tremolo-picked intensity, Japanese surf music style, before retreating to the wounded central theme.

Woody Allen is a big fan of Wrembel’s music. Wrembel had a song on the soundtrack to Vicky Christina Barcelona, and wrote Bistro Fada, the theme to Allen’s latest film, Midnight in Paris. He played that one – a jaunty, sly barroom shuffle – as well as another more expansive variation from the movie. A lickety-split later number was part Django Reinhardt, part Fats Waller, Wrembel soloing so fast that his notes blended into each other in the church’s boomy sonics, an effect that would recur. He built another song that rose from an apprehensive art-rock riff to crying, bluesy upper-register wails and then back down again. At the end, after another long, machine-gun interlude, he dug in and methodically chord-chopped his way to the top of the scale, his picking hand a blur. Those who missed this show have many opportunities to see him, including Saturday nights at about 8 Fada at North 7th and Driggs in Williamsburg, and Thursday nights starting around 7 at Bar Tabac on Smith Street in Carroll Gardens as well as in the cozy confines of Barbes, which get filled up very quickly since he’s an institution there.

Willie Nile – Still a Great Performer in Daylight

“How’re the levels? How’s my guitar? Is it wallpaper folk music, or let’s-blow-up-this-building?” Willie Nile asked the crowd at J&R’s downtown Friday. On one level, it was weird seeing Willie Nile play in broad daylight. On the other hand, Nile is the rare rock musician who plays well before sunset: his recently reissued Live in Central Park album is legendary. It’s been thirty years since Nile debuted on Columbia Records as the latest in a long line of New Dylans, at least fifteen since his last misadventure with a major label; not surprisingly, his independence is what gained him a worldwide following (he’s off on European tour again next week after a VH1 live appearance Monday morning). This time out it was just a trio, Nile playing acoustic (but still wanting to blow up the building with it) plus Alex Alexander on drums and Johnny Pisano on bass.

Rock bass solos are usually a recipe for disaster, but Pisano got all the solos this time and still left the crowd wanting more: elegant, thoughtful rises and falls, torrents of eight-note punches and a few bluesy bends, basically guitar voicings simply moved a couple of octaves lower. And he sang harmonies while playing a lot of them. Yet he didn’t overshadow the frontguy, who’s become the undisputed champ of the killer chorus, and Nile launched into one after the other. The opening track, Singin’ Bell (from Nile’s new album The Innocent Ones) sounded like a Woody Guthrie song done as a big rock anthem. The title track, a dedication to children endangered and killed by violence around the world, moved from a verse that reminded of Bob Dylan’s Hurricane – thanks to the soaring bass – to a singalong as the chorus kicked in. As a chronicle of a strung-out talent wasting her life away, Rich and Broken could have just as easily been sarcastic and vicious, but it wasn’t: it could have been an Amy Winehouse requiem. And while Cell Phones Ringing in the Pockets of the Dead is actually very sarcastic, Nile firing off one surreal, sometimes twisted image after another, he left no doubt at the end that the song was in memory of the victims of the Madrid train bombings, right down to the false ending and explosive chord-chopping outro.

The slow ballad On the Road to Calvary, dedicated to his friend Jeff who’d perished when the twin towers were demolished, was even more poignant than usual (it’s usually a vehicle for a long guitar solo). But as deeply aware as Nile’s music is, he’s an old pro at working a crowd, deciding in a split second that he wanted to do Champs Elysees, a proto-Ramones hit whose narrator isn’t so starstruck by the sights of Paris that he doesn’t notice the pretty girls before everything else. “It’s simple, just follow me,” he grinned at Alexander, whose swinging backbeat brushwork was absolutely perfect for the space they were playing.

Since J&R’s is a stone’s throw from the Occupy site/s, Nile took care to offer his solidarity with them. “I believe in the dream of America. I think it’s all about information. If we all had the same information, we’d make the same decisions. No matter what your beliefs, if a seven-year-old on a bike gets hit by a car, we all come out of our houses to help,” Nile explained before running through One Guitar, a surprisingly New Order-ish anthem that USA Today recently picked as their #1 song of the week. Nile closed with a request, House of 1000 Guitars, the title track from his previous album, which covers the same turf that Leonard Cohen did with Tower of Song except that this isn’t the kind of place you’d hear Hank Williams coughing all night long – but you might hear a holler or two, alongside Hendrix and the rest of Nile’s guitar pantheon.

Yet more evidence of how the scales have tilted in favor of independent musicians: this was Black Friday. There aren’t many record stores left in New York, so J&R’s pretty much has their pick of who they want for in-store shows like this one. Maybe they could have had Rihanna, or Lady Gag. But they got Willie Nile instead. That pretty much says it all.

Karikatura – Party Music for Smart People

Besides being tuneful and fun, can a party band also be smart, thoughtful, and sometimes poetic? That’s Karikatura. With gorgeously dark, terse horn arrangements, minor keys, and eerie gypsy chromatics along with a slinky latin rock bounce, the Brooklyn band’s music is danceable and also surprisingly deep. Their latest release, Departures, is up at their bandcamp, along with a couple of free downloads. The first freebie is Suitcase, a pulsing, minor-key reggae tune about a traveler whose suitcase is his table, his pillow, and also his home. Then somebody steals it – which is where he gets philosophical. The other freebie – from the band’s more reggae-centric 2010 album Muzon, full of revolutionary hopes and immigrant dreams – is Past Life, a brisk, catchy ska tune with a funny ending.

The Departures ep gives you an idea of how diverse this band has become. The opening track, Sleep of No Peace is a gypsy rock song that kicks off with a big riff from the baritone sax, which is this band’s not-so-secret weapon. The next song, Una Idea has a gypsy/flamenco rock groove with pinpoint dual horns and a dream about how a random encounter with an old guy gives the narrator a vision of a city where the 99% take charge and “politicos, criminals, police were swallowed whole…a new geography, oh what a dream.” Another flamenco-flavored tune, Red Shade works its way up to a swinging, practically ska beat with that killer horn section again and some especially tasty alto sax. It reminds a lot of the more psychedelic, musically adventurous side of Gogol Bordello. Karikatura are on world tour now; watch this space for NYC live dates.

Ukulele Benefit Concert for Goldman Sachs at the Brooklyn Bowl

The 4th Annual Beatles Complete on Ukulele Marathon Concert returns to the Brooklyn Bowl on Saturday, January 14, 2012 from 3-11 PM. Every original Beatle song, a total of 185, will be performed by some of New York’s top players. Previous shows have featured Nellie McKay, the Pierces, the Naked Brothers Band and countless others.

The event is produced by performance philanthropist and ukulele master Roger Greenawalt, who has raised literally hundreds of dollars for the likes of Yoko Ono, EMI Records, and most famously, beloved billionaire Warren Buffett. Buffett used his 2009 donation to buy 17 ukuleles for at risk inner city youth through his daughter Susie’s pet charity, Girls Inc. of Omaha.

This year’s beneficiary is the world’s leading investment bank, Goldman Sachs. Why give money to Goldman Sachs, when they already have so much? Greenawalt explains: “Unfortunately it appears that by entirely legal means, Goldman Sachs has been able to acquire the Government of the United States of America. It’s up to We the People to get creative. I have an idea that’s so crazy it might just work. It’s called Buy America Back from Wall Street!”

Based on past shows, Greenawalt feels confident that the concert will be able to comfortably raise somewhere in the neighborhood of “the high three figures.” Greenawalt hopes this will serve as an initial good faith gesture and down payment until the American People are able to come up with the other $14 trillion or so to Buy America Back from Wall Street. After the show, Greenawalt will personally deliver the cash to Goldman Sachs in a brown paper bag just like he did with Warren Buffett.

Opening the festivities again this year will be the Mass Uke Mob: all audience members who show up between 2 and 2:30 PM with a ukulele will be admitted free. There will be a rehearsal and then the entire volunteer uke group will take to the stage to play together two easy three-chord Beatle songs, “Why Don’t We Do It In The Road,” and “All Together Now.”

In the meantime, Greenawalt is rerecording uke versions of the entire Beatles catalog.

Free Download from Marissa Nadler

Marissa Nadler covers Springsteen’s The River. It’s ghostly as you can imagine – and when she sings “lately there ain’t been much work on account of the economy,” it’s downright chilling. Download it free here. From a forthcoming covers album including some intriguing choices by Dylan, Leonard Cohen, Neil Young and Clinic which will be available at her etsy shop.

Download Free Acoustic and Electric Versions of We Can’t Make It Here

There are a million versions of James McMurtry’s classic Bush-era indictment We Can’t Make It Here out there. But do you have the original? Download it free here. McMurtry is also giving away the electric version – which is probably better, the debate continues to rage about this – and he’s encouraging people to make videos to it for youtube, to support the Occupy movement.

Good Stuff from Nicole Atkins and Janet LaBelle

Nicole Atkins has a nice, raw live soundboard recording from a show this year at the Music Hall of Williamsburg up at her bandcamp as a free download. Called …Till Dawn, it’s an enticement: try this for free, you’ll like it, buy the rest! See the show! And why not, this stuff is excellent. Those who don’t know Atkins may assume she’s a singer-songwriter, but this rocks, hard. The first track, This Is for Love, is sort of Lucinda Williams for a younger audience, starting out lurid with reverb-drenched slide guitar from Irina Yalkowsky (who is the absolute star of this whole thing), then turning into a big anthem, with some nice, vicious white-noise swells. You Come to Me sets biting, desperate 80s lead guitar over a fast ska bassline and a staggering bridge that jumps out of nowhere and then retreats as the guitar scorches in again. The down-and-out scenario Hotel Plaster sets Atkins’ shivery vintage Dolly Parton vocals to a reverberating Nashville noir tune. “This next song is about punching a bitch in the face,” Atkins tells the crowd and follows with My Baby Don’t Lie, a country shuffle done with a big, roaring Stonesy edge and a crazy solo slide guitar break. She ends the ep with an absolutely titanic, deliciously intense version of The Tower, the slowly swaying, funereal epic that closes her Mondo Amore album from this past spring. “We finally know why they call the dawn the mourning,” Atkins wails woundedly, Yalkowsky drawing roars of appreciation for her crazed chord-chopping solo that all of a sudden goes somber and bluesy. Atkins is at Symphony Space on Dec 8.

Where Atkins uses vintage 60s country as a stepping-off point, Janet LaBelle uses vintage 60s soul. Her most recent release, Moon Songs, is also up at her bandcamp. As with Atkins, it’s full of neat, unexpected flourishes. For instance, the opening track, The Moon is Ours shifts without warning from a pretty, jangly country vibe to a Do the Locomotion groove. Somehow they get a nice, full sound from just vocals, acoustic and electric guitar and a little percussion. The ridiculously catchy highway rock anthem Not Tonight is the best song here: as she does throughout the album, LaBelle’s full-throttle wail evokes Patricia Vonne with a little less angst: “I will get it right on the second try,” she insists.

The rest of the album is oldschool soul, for the most part, anyway. Apologies, a big, Aretha-style ballad swoops down into trip-hop on the chorus, while the big soul/gospel anthem Without You, a showcase for LaBelle’s lower register, also hits a trip-hop groove once the chorus kicks in. The last song is happy, catchy 60s Memphis pop done simply and elegantly with just acoustic guitars and vocals.