New York Music Daily

Love's the Only Engine of Survival

Month: December, 2011

Kotorino’s Broken Land – One of This Past Year’s Best Albums

Brooklyn band Kotorino play darkly elegant, trippy, gypsy-flavored “parlor rock” with carnivalesque touches. It’s astonishing that their most recent album Broken Land hasn’t gotten more press than it has: there’s a huge audience out there who will love this record (this blog didn’t yet exist when it came out about a year ago). There are other bands who work the same territory – Oregon gypsy band Fishtank Ensemble, in their quieter moments, or fellow Brooklyn chamber-rock band the Snow – but Kotorino’s sound is unique. Often their lead instrument is Stefan Zeniuk’s clarinet or bass clarinet, other times it’s a singing saw. Frontman Jeff Morris’ guitar gives some of the songs a slinky tango vibe; then he’ll play with a slide, adding a rustic, nocturnal, bluesy edge, or switch to pump organ. Onstage, the band members all switch and play each others’ instruments, adding a level of mystery here as to who’s playing what – drummer Jerome Morris on guitar? Could be. Harmony singer Amy Morris and violinist Molly White add to the lush, low-key ambience, joining voices conspiratorially over accordionist Nicki Pfoutz’s plaintive chords.

The album kicks off with a tango vibe enhanced by White’s stark violin accents and a nicely layered horn arrangement. The second track, Little Boat goes for an understated unease which bobs to the surface again and again throughout the album. It’s a metaphorically-loaded escape anthem: “Sitting there with my myserious frown, Mona Lisa turned upside down,” explains Jeff Morris as his craft loses sight of shore, a torchy chromatic harp solo raising the apprehension another notch. Under the Moon sounds like the Snow playing dub reggae; the next track, Hawaii, drenched in dreamy steel guitars, could be El Radio Fantastique covering the Moonlighters. It’s a shipwreck survivor’s tale, with what seems to be an unexpectedly happy ending.

The best song on the album is Sky’s on Fire, an ominous banjo tune with a casually chilling violin solo that underscores its narrator’s madness: “From a butterfly to a hurricane, there’s a sky in my eye, it’s on fire,” Jeff Morris intones quietly. They go back to reggae – and a surreal, woozy carousel interlude – with Paris Underground, then Dangle Tango builds a series of suspenseful crescendos around a would-be suicide’s tale:

Angels are circling my head
Flying sweetly round and round
I feel like old King Kong
As I try to knock them down

The slow, singing saw sway of Oh My God – a metaphorical tale of flying off in a balloon – is irresistibly romantic. They close the album with the title track, a bluesy 6/8 steampunk anthem for a bucolic Brooklyn of the mind in some alternate future. Kotorino choose their gigs wisely: watch this space for upcoming live dates.


New Sounds in Reggae and Dub From Extra Classic

Los Angeles-based Extra Classic’s album Your Light Like White Lightning, Your Light Like a Laser Beam is an imaginative update on classic roots reggae with purist sonics and an edgy soul/rock vibe. Josh Adams’ drums are more straight-up rock than reggae, but the music still swings and sways, and keyboardist Adrienne Verhoeven’s shoegazy vocals make a great match with the deliciously analog-sounding, reverb-toned Lee “Scratch” Perry-influenced production. Alex deLanda’s tasteful, bluesy Chinna Smith-style lead guitar, propulsive bass and a gently trippy cascade of oldschool dub effects round out the mix.

The first track is Congo Rebel. It’s got distorted guitar and busy drums that go prowling around. Metal Tiger blends a catchy reggae bass lick with understated, smart piano and bluesrock lead guitar. With a nice, creepy organ intro, You Can’t Bring Me Down sounds like a classic reggae-pop hit from the early 70s, a vibe echoed on the absolutely gorgeous, swirling, organ-driven Creation. Electric Stars has the same kind of dubwise vein the Clash mined on Sandinista – you can imagine the crew gathered around the mixing board, its lights twinkling through the haze of ganja smoke. It comes together with a warmly atmospheric vibe before the bass picks it up with an unexpectedly funky edge.

Verhoeven gets a chance to really cut loose on Give Them the Same, her big soul crescendos alternating with more of those tersely bluesy guitar leads. The aptly titled Demon Hit swirls around a catchy bass riff, while Lesser Pan has noir trombone and absolutely luscious layers of sound. The album ends with a couple of straight-up soul songs: Angel Eyes, with its pretty two-chord melody and stripped-down production (just bass, guitar and vocals) and Give Me Your Love, a wickedly catchy, soaring number that wouldn’t be out of place in the One and Nines catalog. Whether your taste in reggae leans toward greats like Burning Spear or Jah Bob, or current-day bands like John Brown’s Body or iLamawana, Extra Classic are worth checking out. As a nice plus, the album is available on vinyl – where the richness of the sonics really rings out – as well as the usual digital formats.

Bruce Levingston’s Nightbreak: Nocturnes for a Dark Time of Year

[republished from New York Music Daily’s older, more sober sister blog Lucid Culture]

Bruce Levingston, one of the go-to pianists in the shadowy world where indie classical meets the Romantics, has an excellent new album of nocturnes just out on Sono Luminus, titled Nightbreak. The new album’s big drawing card is the world premiere of a new piano arrangement of Philip Glass’ Dracula Suite. It’s a characteristically hypnotic, circular theme based on a descending progression, Glass at his catchiest and most accessible. In fact, this version bears a closer resemblance to the dark rock music of artsy 90s bands like Blonde Redhead or DollHouse than it does to the Indian music that Glass has drawn on for decades. Levingston plays this stripped-down version of what was originally a string quartet plaintively and sensitively: this Dracula is a genuinely tragic character.

There’s more eye-opening (or ear-opening) material here as well. The Liszt homages long since reached overkill point this year, but Levingston has pulled a trio of particularly vivid, impressively dynamic, lesser-known works out of the archives. He takes the crescendoing overture Vallee d’Obermann from Chopinesque pensiveness to a carefully precise crescendo and follows that with warm, contemplative takes on the Nocturne from Les Cloches de Geneve and Les jeux d’eaux. The Brahms pieces afterward: Intermezzo, Op.116, No.4; Ballade in D minor, Op.10, No.1;and the Waltz in D minor, Op.39, No.9 are period pieces, nothing special, even if they’re as warmly melodic as you would expect. And then Wolfgang Rihm’s Brahmsliebewaltzer, just a hair strange enough to be really creepy instead of the Brahms homage that the title hints at, sets the stage. Alone in a darkened room, The Count!

Sweet Oldschool Country from Caleb Klauder

Here’s one from last year that slipped under the radar, at least in the Northeast, but it’s worth spreading the word about. Caleb Klauder’s Worn Out Shoes sounds like the Dixie Bee-Liners doing classic honkytonk, a midtempo shuffle with a sweet mandolin solo and good guitar – and it sounds totally live. Download it here.

Today’s Free Download

How about this for irony: a post-Berlin Wall klezmer accordion tune. For a free download from devious German klezmer band Daniel Kahn & the Painted Bird, click this link, then click on “news” at the bottom of the page, then rightclick and “save as” when you see the mp3 link.

“So don’t look for our final solution, here in Berlin
For capitalist prostitution comes from within
And don’t worry about revolution, we’ll just keep the esthetic ‘cliches’
In this market of fleas, selling klezmer cd’s for the good old bad old days”

This band or some version thereof may or may not be playing Barbes at 7 on January 8.

New York City Live Music Calendar for January and February 2012

The new calendar for February and March is 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 Lattin has 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.

Bandleader and “conduction” inventor Butch Morris is very busy this month. He’s downstairs at Lucky Cheng’s on Tuesdays at 8 ($10 cover), at the Stone on Wednesdays at 7:30 and also at Zebulon on Sundays at 4:30 PM ($10 cover, all ages; 12 and under free).

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 January, 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.

Thursdays in February latin rock/soul crooner Rene Lopez and band at Nublu, 11ish (calendar says 9, but you know Nublu); he’s also at Arlene’s on 2/28 at 10.

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

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 January 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.

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, 9:30 PM Senegalese-flavored oldschool conscious roots reggae with Meta & the Cornerstones at Joe’s Pub, $TBA

1/4, 10 PM 90s NYC underground blues/soul legends King Dice at Kenny’s Castaways; 1/28 they’re downstairs at the National Underground at 10:30.

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 Hughesfollowed 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.

1/5, 10ish trombonist Dave Smith’s sly 70s style soul band Smoota at Zebulon

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’s 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 8:30 PM dark original eclectic bluegrass band Frankenpine at Spike Hill

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, quirky Walking Hellos at Pete’s.

1/7, 8 PM rustic sea chantey and Americana sounds with the Mercantillers at Brooklyn Rod & Gun Club.

1/7, 9 PM soulful country chanteuse Karen Hudson and band at An Beal Bocht, 445 West 238th St in the Bronx, free. They’re also at Desmond’s on 1/26 at 9.

1/7 multi-instrumentalist and oldtime music maven Sxip Shirey leads an ensemble including a string quintet feat. Valerie Kuehne, Todd Reynolds, Rima Fand, Sarah Alden and Lev ‘Ljoba’ Zhurbin at Joe’s Pub, time/$TBA

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

1/7, 10 PM dark literate intense indie rock siren Randi Russo – whose cd Fragile Animal was rated #1 album of the year 2011 here – in a rare solo show at Cafe Orwell in Bushwick

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 pianist Roger 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.

1/8, 8 PM fearless punk/classical cello virtuoso Valerie Kuehne at Cake Shop, $8

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, 9:30 PM the charismatic, intense, surrealistically noir retro rock/abilly Reid Paley Trio upstairs at 2A

1/8, 10 PM eclectic new-music violinist Carla 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, 6:30 PM the opening reception for musical adventurer Martin Koenig’s photo exhibit Voices & Images From Bulgaria with rare 1969 b/w shots of musicians behind the Iron Curtain, at 40 Lincoln Center Plaza (use entrance on the Plaza), free, musical artists TBA. The exhibit runs 1/12-2/28.

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 NoiseBox (percussion duo Sean Statser and Frank Tyl), guitarists Thomas Flippin and Rupert Boyd, violinists Elizabeth Derham and Alex Shiozaki, and actor Brian Blake perform compositions for duo performers by Michael Ippolito, Ray Lustig, Conrad Winslow, Tristan Perich, Michael Fiday, Luciano Berio, Antonio Vivaldi, Orlando di Lassus, and Josquin des Prez at the Gershwin Hotel, $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 afterward 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 9:30 PM Travis Sullivan’s clever big band the Bjorkestra at Joe’s Pub, $15 adv tix rec

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 Usteand 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. The highlight of Saturday night’s show is likely to be Ensemble Hilka (of CTMD’s Chornobyl Songs Project) at 11:30.

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, 9:30 PM artsy, lyrically-driven socially aware Middle Eastern-tinged rock duo the Mast at Joe’s Pub, $TBA

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, 7:15/9:30 PM Mika Yoshida & Richard Stoltzman’s Bach & Monk featuring Mika Yoshida, marimba; Richard Stoltzman, clarinet; Eddie Gomez, bass; Peter John Stoltzman, piano; Marcus Gilmore, drums at Drom, $20 adv tix highly rec. What a lineup!

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 oldtime country band the Weal & the Woe play the cd release show for their new one at the Parkside followed at 10 by the incomparable, sultry harmony-driven Roulette Sisters

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, 9:30ish Outpost:NOISE presents a soundtrack to the DSM-IV at Shea Stadium in Bushwick: cellist extraordinaire Valerie Kuehne and David Grollmann interpret OCD, also featuring performances by Diamond Terrifier, Controlled Bleeding, and Dan Friel. This brooding video may be representative.

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, 3 PM the American String Quartet play the Beethoven String Quartet Op. 59 No. 1 plus the Bruch String Octet and Shostakovich’s Two Pieces for String Octet with special guests Xiao Wang and Elly Suh, violin; Edwin Kaplan, viola; Andrew James, cello, and Matthew Park, cello at Manhattan School of Music

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

1/15, 8:15 PM female-fronted dark original rockabilly/surf band Catspaw at Otto’s

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, 9:30 PM, $15 adv tix very highly rec., this will sell out.

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.

1/16, 8:30 PM at Small Beast at the Delancey, an eclectic indie classical night put together by cellist Valerie Kuehne: beatboxing cellist Cellojoe  to open the night, the bluesy Leland Wulf at 9:30, a break and then chamber-Waits outfit Household Tales at 10:30 and quartet Big Plastic Finger playing ” space-jazz with healthy doses of the Canterbury improv scene.”

1/17, 7:30 PM at Weill Hall at Carnegie Hall a ten-piece orchestra feat. tanbur virtuoso Alisher Alimatov plays classic, haunting, otherworldly Central Asian cross-cultural shashmaqam repertoire in memory of composer Turgun Alimatov, $30 adv tix. rec., this will probably sell out.

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.

1/18 inimitable, intense noir jazz/soundtrack/surf powerhouse Beninghove’s Hangmen – arguably the best band in NYC right now – at Otto’s

1/18 10:30 PM psychedelic Afrobeat jams with Emefe at Bowery Electric

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

1/19, 7 PM the undisputed king of the underground NYC rock anthem, Willie Nile at Joe’s Pub, $25. He just keeps getting more charismatic, more intense and has a killer band behind him.

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 PM organist David Shuler plays the Bach Toccata in D plus works by Bohm, Buxtehude, Storace, Marchand and Corrette at St. Luke in the Fields, 487 Hudson (just south of Christopher), $20/$15 stud/srs

1/19, 8 PM the Bushwick Book Club (this version including Maria Sonevytsky and Susan Hwang from the Debutante Hour, Haale from the Mast, the Up Against the Wall String Band and many others) debut new songs inspired by Vonnegut’s Sirens of Titan at Goodbye Blue Monday, free. Susan says: “If you notice someone on the train reading Vonnegut, there’s a 35% chance they are a musician in preparation for the January 19th show…you can go up to them and ask. If they aren’t, you can let them know about this amazing night of Vonnegut-inspired songs (and snacks!). If you pull out a copy of your own Vonnegut on the train any time in the coming weeks, there is a 45% likelihood you will be handed a flyer for the January 19th Bushwick Book Club. Let the random Vonnegut interactions begin.”

1/19, 8 PM pianist Alexander Wu plays Albeniz, J.S. Bach, Leonard Bernstein, Dave Brubeck, Frederic Chopin, Chick Corea, Claude Debussy, Duke Ellington, Bill Evans, George Gershwin, W.A. Mozart, and Sergei Prokofiev at the Gershwin Hotel, $10

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 catchy, lyrically edgy female-fronted powerpop/new wave band Changing Modes at Local 269

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

1/19, 11 PM eclectic, dubwise, Brazilian-flavored roots reggae band Kiwi at Otto’s

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, 10ish Hannah vs. the Many play the cd release show for their new one at Cake Shop – sharply literate, angry, individualistic, tuneful female-fronted powerpop. Followed by entertaining, self-explanatory Toys & Tiny Instruments

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, 8ish a night of singing cellists at Vaudeville Park in Bushwick feat. intense and fearless Valerie Kuehne, cleverly comedic Midge Crickett, noir cabaret-inclined Meaghan Burke, Lou Reed/Iggy Pop sidewoman Leah Coloff, and the astounding, assaultive Audrey Chen (you haven’t really lived until you’ve seen her play), $5-15 sliding scale

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 Haimovitz 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.

1/23 the lushly and imaginatively arranged JC Sanford Orchestra play melodic modern big band jazz at Tea Lounge in Park Slope, 9 PM

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, 7:30 PM Yosuke Kawasaki, violin, Wolfram Koessel, cello, Vadim Serebryani, piano play Haydn, Brahms, Schoenberg and Schulhof at the Bulgarian Consulate, 121 E 62nd St

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 dark, catchy, intense original female-fronted acoustic Americana band the Sometime Boys downstairs at the National Underground, $10

1/26 a solid Americana triplebill at Desmond’s at 9 with country chanteuse Karen Hudson, hilarious honkytonk band Trailer Radio and the Steamboat Disasters.

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

1/27, 7 PM eclectic, hypnotic, deviously clever worldbeat rockers Tribecastan play the cd release show for their new one New Deli at Joe’s Pub, $20.

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

1/27, 8 PM the West Side Chamber Orchestra conducted by Kevin Mallon play Beethoven’s Symphony No. 2 plus works by Mozart and Cimarosa at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, 346 W. 20th St, $20/$15 stud/srs

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 enchanting, haunting Syrian-American chanteuse Gaida and band at Joe’s Pub

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

1/28 7:30 PM Walter Ego plays Otto’s. LJ Murphy’s former bass player is a multi-instrumentalist who writes wry, wickedly funny, literate rock gems equally informed by Costello, the Kinks and the Beatles. And he’s a hilarious performer.

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 the Roulette Sisters, Spuyten Duyvil at 10 and ferocious paisley underground/honkytonk band the Newton Gang at 11 at the Jalopy, $10.

1/28, 9 PM Electric Balkan Garage – Eva Salina Primack and violinist Jesse Kotansky from Which Way East plus members of Project/Object playing psychedelic rock versions of Balkan folk tunes! – at Tea Lounge in Park Slope

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 PM third wave garage rock hellraiser Mark Sultan followed by Detroit lo-fi garage icons the Gories at the Bell House, $20 adv tix rec.

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 soprano Jessica Gould, harpsichordist Bradley Brookshire and lutenist Daniel Swenberg plus the Rose of the Compass Ensemble (Nina Stern, recorders, Ara Dinkjian, oud & Glen Velez, percussion) celebrate the melting pot that was medieval Venice with works by Strozzi, Rigatti, and Monteverdi along with music of the Turkish, Armenian, and Dalmatian communities there, at the chapel at St. Batholomew’s Church, Park Ave/51st St., $25/$15 stud/srs

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, 5 PM the Grneta Ensemble (pyrotechnic clarinetists Ismail Lumanovski and Vasko Dukovski plus brilliant pianist Alexandra Joan) play Romantic, Balkan and original works at the Lounge at Hudson View Gardens, 128 Pinehurst Ave at W 183rd St., $12, reception to follow.

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 Benedetti & 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 amazing, 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, 7:15 PM fiery electric latin jazz guitar virtuoso Juancho Herrera at Drom playing the album release show for his new one, $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.

2/1, 9 PM fronted by their drummer, power trio New Madrid play dark, potently anthemic latin rock at Bowery Electric, $5.

2/1, 10 PM trombonist Dave Smith’s sly lowdown smooth bedroom funk band Smoota at the Cameo Gallery, $8, “adults only”

2/2, 7 PM toy pianist Phyllis Chen plus cellist Evelyn Farny premiering a new Angelica Negron piece at Kent Fine Art Gallery, 210 11th Ave, 2nd Floor (at 25th St.), free

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 the year’s best doublebill so far: charismatic, intense, inscrutably hilarious purist retro songwriter/accordionist/improviser Rachelle Garniez followed at 10 by the phenomenal Warsaw Village Band and their sizzling original Polish gypsy music at Barbes

2/2, 8 PM Valerie Kuehne presents the first-ever NYC Cello Madness Congress featuring improvisations and collaborations and spontaneous cello combustion/magic by beatboxing cellist CelloJoe, Kuehne herself, Cosmo D doing electro cello loops, Michael Lunapeina playing cello metal, Elizabeth Glushko doing electroacoustic stuff, throat-singing cellist Nick Jozwiak, Jacob Cohen’s hip-hop inspired sounds, and dark cello songwriter Meaghan Burke plus an appearance by Qetzalcoatl at “The 19ths,” 59 Jefferson St. # 301, Bushwick; J/M to Myrtle Ave. or L to Morgan Ave. $5-20 sliding scale

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.

2/2, 9 PM the Old Rugged Sauce put an irreverent punk style spin on jazz standards, but with a smooth virtuosity, at Brooklyn Rod & Gun Club. They’re also here on 2/16.

2/2, 9:30 PM the NY Gypsy All-Stars – scorching polyrhythmic jams with one of the world’s most exhilarating but emotionally vivid clarinetists, Ismail Lumanovski – at Drom, $10.

2/3, 5:30 PM the Roulette Sisters’ badass oldtime blues frontwoman Mamie Minch at the American Folk Art Museum, free.

2/3, 7 PM at the Greene Space it’s the Battle of the Boroughs Brooklyn band playoffs. Most battle-of-the-bands competitions are stupid and extortionistic: not this one. Last year’s winner was an Indian avant garde rock band who were actually quite good. This year’s contestants include this blog’s favorite contender, latin soul revivalists Spanglish Flyplus the also very good DBCR playing anti-gentrification noise-punk, Stephanie Rooker & the Search Engine playing socially aware funk, Kagero playing gypsy punk, ukulele ska band the Brown Rice Family and many more. $15 includes a drink or $30 includes admission plus open beer and wine bar. Winner of this one faces off against representatives from each of the other boroughs later in the year.

2/3, 7:30 PM sitar virtuoso Ikhlaq Hussein at the Gershwin Hotel, $25/$20 stud.

2/3, 7:30/9:30 PM jazz accordionist Victor Prieto leads a trio at the Bar Next Door

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. highly rec., this will probably sell out.

2/3, 8 PM exhilarating Iranian setar virtuoso Hossein Alizadeh improvises with percussionist Pejman Hadadi at the Wallace Auditorium at the Asia Society, $30/$26 stud/srs., adv tix highly rec.

2/3, 8 PM one of the year’s best triplebills: noir accordion chanteuse/garage rocker Marni Rice & Le Garage Cabaret followed by Edward Rogers & the Biba Crowd – who just put out one of the best rock albums of recent years, the fiery retro glam/art-rock cd Porcelain – and drummer Dennis Diken & Bell Sound doing their powerpop thing at Bowery Electric, insanely cheap at $8.

2/3-4, 8/10 PM 60s style jazz supergroup the Cookers – whose tuneful exuberant postbop absolutely slayed at the Charlie Parker Festival a couple of years ago – at Iridium, $30

2/3, 8 PM the Prism Quartet plays classical Chinese music on period instruments at Weill Hall at Carnegie Hall, $20 tix. avail.

2/3, 8 PM bassist Pedro Giraudo leads his sextet at Barbes followed at 10 by the rambunctious oldime Baby Soda Jazz Band.

2/3, 9 PM jazz night at Freddy’s: dueling bassists Pascal Niggenkemper and Sean Ali followed by composer Jonathan Wood Vincent, bassist Shayna Dulberger leading her quartet and then cleverly polystylistic cellist Valerie Kuehne with percussionist Michael Dailey

2/3, 9ish, highlights of a night of weird random segues: ska band the Rudie Crew followed eventually by powerful funk siren Stephanie White & the Philth Harmonic at the Bitter End

2/3, 10 PM dark female-fronted acoustic Americana with the Sometime Boys at Branded Saloon in Ft. Greene.

2/3, 10 PM the Delorean Sisters play funny satirical oldtimey covers of cheesy 80s pop hits at Bar 4 in Park Slope.

2/3, 10 PM American String Conspiracy – who have an excellent, eclectic new acoustic and electric country/blues album out – at Caffe Vivaldi.

2/3, 10:30 PM soaring, sometimes haunting oldtimey Americana harmony band the Calamity Janes at the Jalopy, $10.

2/3, 10:30 PM trombonist Dave Gibson – whose handle on oldschool soul music is just as purist as his take on jazz – leads a soul organ combo at the Fat Cat.

2/3, midnight, anthemic dark 80s style rockers Overlord at Cake Shop

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 it’s punk night at Matchless with Banditz ,No More Victims at 8:40, Destitute CEO at 9:20, WWIX at 10:00, Skum City at 10:40, and the amusing Bloody Muffs at around 11:30

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

2/4, 8 PM saxophonist Miguel Zenon plays the premiere of his suite Puerto Rico Nació en Mi: Tales from the Diaspora at the Kasser Theatre at Montclair State University in New Jersey. Tix are $15; $10 roundtrip transportation from NYC is available via charter bus which leaves at 6 PM from 41st St. betw. 8th/9th Aves., res. highly suggested to 973-655-5112 or It’s a short bus ride (usually less than an hour).

2/4, 8:30 PM casually compelling country chaunteuse/songwriter Megan Palmer & the Top Flights at 68 Jay St. Bar.

2/4, 9 PM Unsteady Freddie’s monthly surf rock night at Otto’s is an especially good one this month starting at 9 with the Chillers, reliably ferocious Strange but Surf at 10, the equally intense Commercial Interruption at 11 and then the WrayCyclers at midnight or so.

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

2/4, 9 PM Tom Warnick & the World’s Fair at the Parkside. Charismatic keyboardist/rocker who switches between casually chilling, Doorsy noir and warmly anthemic oldschool soul – and his band, with Ross Bonnadona and John Sharples on guitars, is on fire these days.

2/4, 9 PM eclectic Lebanese ensemble Sookoon plays classics by iconic masters Wadi Al-Safi and Nasri Shams-el-Din as well as newer hits by Melhem Barakat and Azar Habib at Alwan for the Arts, $20, early arrival advised (take the stairs not the elevator!).

2/4, 9/10:30 PM pianist John Escreet leads a quartet with David Binney – alto sax; Eivind Opsvik – bass; Nasheet Waits – drums at the Jazz Gallery, $20

2/4, 9:30ish Bad Buka and their gypsy punk meltdown at Mehanata.

2/4, 9:30 PM M Shanghai String Band – NYC’s prototypical original oldtime country band – plays the Jalopy, $10

2/4, 10 PM LES punk/surf/soul guitar legend Simon & the Bar Sinisters at Lakeside.

2/4 Jeremy Udden – saxophone/ewi prophet synth; Leo Genovese – Rhodes piano; Eivind Opsvik – bass; RJ Miller – drums at 10:30 PM at Tea Lounge in Park Slope.

2/4, 11ish timeless, satirical faux-French garage rockers les Sans Culottes headline Freddy’s first year anniversary party at the bar’s new location, with twisted new art by Donald O’Finn.

2/5, 6 PM legendary prototypical indie classical composer Frederic Rzewski plays his own work plus works by Christian Wolff, Yuji Takahashi, Steve Lacy and John Cage at Cornelia St. Cafe, res. req. to 212-989-9319, this will sell out.

2/5, 6 PMish Eugene Marlow’s Heritage Ensemble play their uniquely grooving blend of latin jazz and klezmer at Engelman Hall at Baruch College, 55 Lexington Ave (enter on 25th St. betw Lex/3rd Ave), $10.

2/5, 7 PM Villa Delirium play “acoustic gothic music” with many stringed instruments, feat. John Kruth from Tribecastan and downtown multi-reeds genius Doug Wieselman, followed by Coney Island noirmistress Carol Lipnik & Spookarama at Joe’s Pub, $15

2/5, 7 PM quirky, clever Microscopic Septet pianist Joel Forrester improvises a score to Buster Keaton’s 1928 classic silent film The Camerman plus two vintage Mickey Mouse cartoons at the Gershwin Hotel.

2/5, 8 PM a good triplebill with latin rockers Consumata, Kagero playing their high-voltage gypsy punk and then skaragga posse Skarroneros at Fontana’s, $10.

2/5, 8/10 PM guitarist Peter Mazza leads a reliably superb, unpredictable trio with Jacam Manricks on alto sax and Rogerio Boccato on percussion at the Bar Next Door.

2/5, 8:30 PM dark original Americana chanteuse Jessie Kilguss & Radio Gold at Glasslands, $10.

2/5, 10ish ferocious, politically charged latin rockers Outernational at the Acheron in Bushwick.

2/6, 9 PM the Nathan Parker Smith Large Ensemble on the weekly big band night at Tea Lounge in Park Slope

2/6, 9 PM oldschool swing jazz crew Swingadelic plays a free show at Maxwell’s.

2/6, 10:30 PM the Big Sleep’s drony instrumental dreampop/noiserock cyclotron at the Knitting Factory, $12.

2/6, 11 PM guitarist Eyal Maoz’ surfy Israeli instrumental metal band Edom at Spike Hill.

2/7, 11:30 AM – 1:30 PM for all you hungry/homeless upper westsiders, get a free small Angel Food Cake at the Tasty Delight ice cream place at 1841 Broadway at 60th St. This promotion has something to do with pop singer Jaci Velasquez. Her publicist isn’t saying exactly what: “It will be quite obvious when you arrive! Just show up and have a good time!”

2/7 doors and free beer at 5:30 PM (no joke), music at 6 with the JACK Quartet and cellist Lauren Radnofsky playing 20th century works by Scelsi, Sciarinno and Xenakis at the Miller Theatre, 116th/Broadway, free.

2/7-8 first-class melodic piano jazz with the Yes Trio with Ali Jackson on drums, Omer Avital on bass and Aaron Goldberg on piano at the Jazz Standard, 7:30/9:30 PM, $20.

2/7, 7:30 PM Loren Schoenberg and the National Jazz Museum All Stars at the Lincoln Center Atrium, free

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

2/7-11, 8:30/11 PM alto sax powerhouse Dave Liebman leads a quintet with John Abercrombie, Marc Copland, Billy Hart & Drew Gress at Birdland, $30 seats avail.

2/7, 9 PM powerpop guitar genuis Pete Galub followed by eclectically compelling multi-instrumentalist songwriter Alice Bierhorst at Freddy’s.

2/7, 9ish intense, moody, incisive jazz pianist Russ Lossing with Loren Stillman at Korzo.

2/7, 10:30 PM dark, cleverly funny, literate Americana rockers Maynard & the Musties at Rodeo Bar; 2/24 they’re at Lakeside at 11

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.

2/8, 8 PM tuneful, jangly soul/Americana rock crooner Sam Sherwin at the Bitter End.

2/8, 10 PM dark melodic goth-tinged rockes the Grey Race at the Delancey, $7.

2/9, 7 PM surreal, eclectic guitar virtuosos Anna Garano and Marc Ribot play solo and duet pieces at Barbes, $10 cover. Coy, charming oldschool French chanson revivalists Les Chauds Lapins follow at 10 PM.

2/9, 7:30 PM cool, tuneful, low-key Americana rocker Mark McKay and band at Lakeside.

2/9, 8 PM historically aware, dramatic oldtimey songwriter Poor Baby Bree at Bowery Poetry Club

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.

2/9, 9 PM Hazmat Modine guitar sharpshooter Michael Gomez’ Wormwood groove jazz instrumental project at Brooklyn Rod & Gun Club; they’re also here on the 23rd.

2/9, 10 PM intense, slinky, lushly orchestrated classic Egyptian film music revivalists Zikrayat at the Jalopy, $10

2/9, 10ish David First’s legendary, recently reunited proto Sonic Youth noiserock band the Notekillers at Shea Stadium in Bushwick

2/9, 10 PM bass powerhouse Omer Avital and his Band of the East with Itamar Borochov – trumpet , Matan Chapnizka – tenor sax , Shai Maestro – piano , Nadav Remez – guitar , Yoni Halevy – drums at Smalls.

2/9, midnight-ish Afuche plays Afrobeat at Death by Audio, $7.

2/10, 7:30 PM pianists Inna Faliks and Dimitri Dover play solo works by Haydn (Sonata in C minor) Prokofiev (Romeo and Juliet), Chopin (Scherzo # 2), Debussy (selected Preludes), and Liszt (transcriptions, etudes and the four-hand Symphonic Poem “Orpheus”), plus poet Tom Thompson at the Gershwin Hotel, $20

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 Zombies-ish psychedelic pop-rocker Damien Quinones at Freddy’s.

2/10, 9 PM sizzling, soulful Americana/blues guitarist Dale Burleyson’s barrelhouse band the 4th St. Nite Owls play the Jalopy, $10

2/10 ferociously lyrical, dramatic noir cabaret/art-rockers Hannah vs. the Many at Local 269

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.

2/10, 9:30 PM edgy, badass retro Americana siren Julia Haltigan at the Mercury, $10 adv tix rec.

2/10, 10 PM slinky, moody, ethereally harmony-driven oldschool pan-Latin rockers Las Rubias Del Norte at Barbes

2/10, 10 PM pensive postpunk band Exit Clov at the big room at the Rockwood

2/10, 10 PM the KabaSoul Band play African reggae at Shrine.

2/10, 11 PM powerfully tuneful, eclectic original soul/country/rock belter Bethany St. Smith & the Gun Show at Lakeside.

2/10 midnight catchy, anthemic indie pop rockers Palomar plays Cake Shop.

2/11 a brilliant doublebill: 8 PM dark rustic gypsy-tinged steampunk art-rockers Kotorino at Barbes followed at 10 by the incomparable, increasingly dubwise, deviously funny psychedelic Peruvian surf rockers Chicha Libre. Kotorino are also at Pete’s on 2/17 at 11.

2/11, 8 PM intense, fearless reedwoman Anat Cohen leads a quartet with Jason Lindner on piano, Omer Avital on bass and Daniel Freedman on drums at the Miller Theatre, 116th/Bwy, $25/$15 stud/$7 Columbia students with ID.

2/11, 8:30 PM clawhammer banjo player/songwriter Hilary Hawke & the Flipsides followed by dark fiery eclectic electric blues guitar powerhouse Will Scott and his band at 68 Jay St. Bar.

2/11 casually catchy tuneful retro 60s soul/pop songwriter Janet LaBelle at Bowery Electric 8:30ish $10

2/11, 9 PM two of the greatest oudists in the world: Joseph Tawadros and Mavrothi Kontanis plus James Tawadros on percussion at Alwan for the Arts, $20.

2/11, 9 PM NYC legends, socially aware, ferociously literate, funny Irish punk/anthemic rockers Black 47 at Connolly’s

2/11, 9 PM hip-hop brass band grooves with PitchBlak Brass Band, sunny socially conscious ska from the Brown Rice Family and then the amazingly eclectic, smart Underground Horns, whose repertoire spans from New Orleans to the Balkans and many points in between, at the 92YTribeca, $10 adv tix highly rec.

2/11, 9 PM janglerockers the Nu-Sonics followed eventually 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.

2/11, 9 PM the Flanks at Red Hook Bait & Tackle playing “dirty country folk”

2/11, 9:30ish slinky hypnotic intense dancefloor string band Copal plays Mehanata. Violinist/frontwoman Hannah Thiem’s dark, often Middle Eastern tinged vamps and long, exhilarating jams add up to some of the most exhilirating moments you might see onstage this year.

2/11, 9:30 PM alto saxophonist Pete Robbins leads a quartet with Vijay Iyer, piano; Eivand Opsvik, bass; Tyshawn Sorey, drums playing the record release show for his new one at Cornelia St. Cafe, $15 plus $10 min, get there early.

2/11, 10 PM dark eclectic rocker Alfonso Velez at the small room at the Rockwood

2/11, 10 PM 6th Degree plays reggae and Afrobeat at Shrine

2/12, 3 PM the reliably exciting  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., reception to follow.

2/12, 3 PM recorder virtuoso Daphna Mor’s East of the River Middle Eastern music duo at 6th St. Synagogue, $15 includes a drink

2/12, 3 PM Alexander Fiterstein, clarinet; Nichollas Canellakis, cello; Gilles Vonsattel, piano play trios by Beethoven, Brahms and Schoenfeld at Bargemusic, $35/$15 stud.

2/12, 6 PM drummer Carlo Costa and guitarist Ryan Ferreira play Downtown Music Gallery.

2/12, 7 PM aptly nicknamed atmospheric Bowie guitarist Gerry Leonard aka Spooky Ghost at the big room at the Rockwood

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

2/12, 7 PM the Linden String Quartet at Barbes, program TBA

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

2/12, 10:30 PM hilarious retro ragtime songwriter/banjoist/master of smutty double entendre Al Duvall at Pete’s

2/13, 7:30 PM go-to indie classical pianist Bruce Levingston plays the world premiere of composer-vocalist Lisa Bielawa’s Rondolette, a piano quintet, with string quartet Brooklyn Rider; the composer also performs with Brooklyn Rider in her own work for string quartet and soprano, Graffiti dell’amante plus works by Henry Purcell. At le Poisson Rouge, $25.

2/13, 9 PM new big band jazz with the Earl McDonald New Directions Ensemble at Tea Lounge in Park Slope.

2/13, 10 PM pianist Orrin Evans’ titanic, powerhouse jazz orchestra the Captain Black Big Band at Smalls, get there early, this will sell out quickly.

2/13, 10 PM guitarist Nick Didkovsky’s wickedly twisted Dr. Nerve avant/punk rock band with pyrotechnic pianist Kathleen Supove at le Poisson Rouge, $10 adv tix rec.

2/13, midnight the twisted funny retro 60s country stylings of the Jack Grace Band at the Ear Inn. They’re also at 68 Jay St. Bar on 2/18 at about 9.

Valentine’s Day is one of the worst nights to be out in a bar, but there are a handful of great shows that should keep the twistoids away.

2/14, 7:30 PM a dark 80s style pop doublebill with Canadian darkwave siren NLX followed at 9 by songwriter/keyboardist Kristin Hoffmann at Caffe Vivaldi.

2/14, 8:30 haunting, intense, Linda Thompson-esque oldtime country siren Jan Bell’s “I Heart the Jalopy” birthday show with dark western Americana songwriter Karen Dahlstrom, the Whisky Rebellion’s Alex Battles at 9 and then Jan’s own band the Maybelles at 10 at the Jalopy, $10. She’s also at her home base, 68 Jay St. Bar at 8:30 on 2/15, happy birthday Jan!!

2/14, 10:30 PM casually chilling, intense Americana singer/bandleader Hope DeBates & North Forty – who’s in the same class as Neko Case, vocally and songwise – at Rodeo Bar

2/15, 7:30 PM Georgy Valtchev, violin, Amir Eldan, cello and Lora Tchekoratova, piano play trios by Beethoven, Ravel and Mendelssohn at the Bulgarian Consulate, 121 E 62nd St.

2/15, 8 PM Adam Ant at the Nokia Theatre, $30 – not a joke. OK, it was a joke – the show has been cancelled.

2/15, 8 PM reedwoman Margot Leverett’s klezmer band at 6th St. Synagogue, $15 includes a drink.

2/15, 8 PM avant trombone legend Roswell Rudd with and his quartet featuring Ken Filiano – bass, Lafayette Harris – piano; Sunny Kim, vocals at Roulette, $15/$10 stud.

2/15, 9 PM edgy, literate Canadian songwriter Chris Velan at the small room at the Rockwood.

2/15, 10 PM Alsarah – frontwoman of the psychedelic, slinky East African/Middle Eastern Sounds of Taraab – at the Delancey, $7

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, 8 PM devious, purist jazz guitar virtuoso Matt Munisteri at Barbes followed at 10 by pan-latin music expert/chanteuse Marta Topferova and band.

2/16, 8 PM the Avalon String Quartet play Beethoven String Quartet Op. 18 No. 4 in C minor; String Quartet in E flat Major Op. 127 and Meltzer: String Quartet(*World Premiere) at Bargemusic, $35/$15 stud. They’re also here on 2/19 at 3 PM playing more Beethoven and Ravel.

2/16, 9/10:30 PM eclectic, vividly lyrical jazz pianist Kris Davis leads a quartet with Matt Maneri- viola; Ingrid Laubrock – saxophone; Trevor Dunn – bass at the Jazz Gallery, $15 first set, $10 for the second

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

2/16, 9 PM guitarist Eyal Maoz’ surfy stoner instrumental band Edom at Tea Lounge in Park Slope

2/16 exhilarating retro 60s latin soul revivalists Spanglish Fly plays the release party for their brand-new 7″ vinyl single at Zebulon on a night organized by Electric Cowbell Records, guessing around 9 or 10 PM.

2/16, 10 PM catchy, anthemic, edgy indie pop/rockers Palomar at Littlefield, $10.

2/16, 10:15 PM Spacehog – remember those retro 70s glam guys from the 90s? – at the big room at the Rockwood, $10 plus one drink minimum. They’re also here on 2/23 at 10:30 PM.

2/16, midnight, a powerpop trio with Lani Ford, Patti Rothberg and Billy Magee at Otto’s.

2/17, 6 PM tuneful, lyrical saxophonist Melissa Aldana leads her quartet at the Fat Cat

2/17-20 the Mingus Big Band plus cameos by standouts in the 2012 Mingus High School Competition at the Jazz Standard, 7:30/9:30 PM, $25. The Mingus Orchestra plays here with special cameos as well on the 20th. Get to see the stars of tomorrow with the stars of today playing the best music of 50 years ago!

2/17, 7:30 PM high-energy electric bluegrass/country/punk crew Demolition String Band at Hill Country

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 the Talea Ensemble with soprano Donatienne Michel-Dansac play Bernhard Lang: DW 16: Songbook 1 (2004); Clemens Gadenstätter: Streichtrio II (U.S. Premiere) (1992); Bernhard Gander: ö (U.S. Premiere) (2004 at the Bohemian National Hall at the Czech Center, 321 E 73rd St., free, early arrival advised

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

2/17, 8:30 PM deviously clever Americana jamband Tall Tall Trees at the Mercury, $10 gen adm.

2/17, 9 PM a first-class artsy rock doublebill: inscrutable cellist/multi-instrumentalist/siren Serena Jost and her band followed at 10:30 by the historically aware, surreal Americana chamber pop of Pinataland at Barbes.

2/17, 10 PM intense, dramatic, cleverly lyrical songwriter Elaine Romanelli at Caffe Vivaldi

2/17, 10ish sometimes fiery, sometimes haunting country/paisley underground band the Newton Gang and cowpunks I’ll Be John Brown at Southpaw on one of those Brooklyn Country multi-band extravaganza nights, $10.

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.

2/21, 7:30/9:30 PM Iraqi quartertone trumpeter Amir ElSaffar’s astonishingly original and intense Two Rivers Ensemble: Ole Mathisen – tenor and soprano saxophone; Tareq Abboushi – buzuq; Zafer Tawil – oud, percussion; Carlo DeRosa – bass; Tyshawn Sorey – drums at the Jazz Standard, $20.

2/22 colorful, tuneful, enjoyable energetic vibraphonist Warren Wolf leads a quartet with Kris Funn – bass; Allyn Johnson – piano; Billy Williams – drums at the Jazz Standard, 7:30/9:30 PM, $20.

2/23 up-and-coming Venezuelan jazz pianist Luis Perdomo leads a trio with Hans Glawischnig on bass and Johnathan Blake on drums at the Jazz Standard, 7:30/9:30 PM, $20

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, 7:30 PM Johanna Rose, founding member of the superstar vocal quartet Anonymous 4, joins soprano Karol Steadman for an “innovative program of vocal chamber music for two sopranos, two recorders, Baroque harp, and viola da gamba. Baroque composer Heinrich Schütz’s chamber masterpiece for voices and instruments, the Kleine geistliche Konzerte (“Little Spiritual Concertos”), are woven with British composer Ivan Moody’s own settings of the same texts into a colorful tapestry of sound.” At Music Mondays at Advent Church, 93rd/Bwy

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

2/28-29 brilliant, eclectic, unpredictable jazz pianist Matthew Shipp leads his trio with Michael Bisio on bass and Whit Dickey on drums at the Jazz Standard, 7:30/9:30 PM, $20.

3/2 charismatic ukulele siren/oldtimey songwriter Kelli Rae Powell records a live album at the Jalopy, you should be there, this is gonna be wild.

3/2 Jennifer O’Connor and her band plus Two Dollar Guitar’s Tim Foljahn at Cake Shop, 10ish; 3/4 she’s at Union Pool with Kleenex Girl Wonder and Amy Bezunartea

3/3 a Tom Price memorial concert at Local 269, all proceeds to his widow Sarah and their kids. The Ff bandleader was one of the NYC rock scene’s alltime good guys – and a great performer as well – and is sadly missed.

3/3, 8 PM Afghani rubab virtuoso Homayun Sakhi plays ragas with sarodist Ken Zuckerman and percussionist Salar Nader at the Wallace Auditorium at the Asia Society, $30/$26 stud/srs.

3/3, 8 PM Afghani rubab player Homayun Sakhi plays ragas with sarodist Ken Zuckerman and percussionist Salar Nader at the Wallace Auditorium at the Asia Society, $30/$26 stud/srs.

3/6, 7:30 PM International Contemporary Ensemble (aka ICE) plays new work by music by Austrian composer Klaus Lang at the Austrian Cultural Center, 11 E 52nd St., free, early arrival advised

3/16, 8 PM Javanese shadow puppet theatre by puppeteer Ki Purbo Asmoro backed by a full gamelan orchestra at the Wallace Auditorium at the Asia Society, $30/$26 stud/srs.

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

3/28, 7:30 PM the Les Amies Trio: Nancy Allen, harp, Cynthia Phelps, viola and Carol Wincenc, flute play works by Ibert, Bach, Ravel, Faure and Debussy at the Bulgarian Consulate, 121 E 62nd St.

3/28, 7:30 PM the Aron Quartett plays music of Kurt Schwertsik (world premiere), Erich Zeisel, and Erich Wolfgang Korngold at the Austrian Cultural Center, 11 E 52nd St., free, early arrival advised

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.

4/18-19, 7:30 PM the Klangforum Wien plays music of Agata Zubel (world premiere), Roman Haubenstock-Ramati, Georg Friedrich Haas, Beat Furrer, György Kurtág and Salvatore Sciarrino at the Austrian Cultural Center, 11 E 52nd St., free, early arrival advised

4/28, 7:30 PM Miroslav Hristov, violin and Vladimir Valjarevic, piano play Balkan music by Zadeja, Vrebalov, Vladigerov, Skalkottas and Enescu at the Bulgarian Consulate, 121 E 62nd St.

4/28, 8 PM Pakistani percussionist Arif Lohar leads a traditional ensemble at the Wallace Auditorium at the Asia Society, $30/$26 stud/srs.

5/18-19, 7:30 PM the Argento Chamber Ensemble plays music of Bernhard Lang (world premiere) plus Concept Silke Grabinger “including the building in the presentation of the music,” i.e. the whole building (not just the concert hall) takes part in the performance, at the Austrian Cultural Center, 11 E 52nd St., free, early arrival advised

5/19 the always entertaining avant-garde Music with a View festival at the Flea Theatre, 41 White St.

The 100 Best Songs of 2011

All links here are to free downloads, streaming audio or video unless otherwise indicated. While this is an attempt to put these songs into some kind of order with the very best stuff at the top of the page, it doesn’t really make sense to even try to arrange them numerically. Consider: if  a song is good enough to be one of this year’s best one hundred, it has to be pretty special. You may find some dissonance with this year’s Best Albums list: the reason why a lot of songs from those releases aren’t on this one is because they were on this list in previous years.

#1: Erica Smith – Lucky in Love. This is a Paula Carino song from her Open on Sunday album, which topped the albums section of this list last year. And because nobody had the presence of mind to record the torchy, shattering version of this wryly haunting 6/8 lament that Smith sang at one of Carolyn AlRoy’s songwriter salons at the Parkside Lounge back in January, the link at the top of the page is to the Carino original. Which is only slightly less haunting. The link will be updated if and when audio or video becomes available; the same goes for the other songs here which haven’t made it to the web yet.

Laurie Anderson – Delirium. She debuted this achingly bitter, sweepingly atmospheric, elegaic suite at Lincoln Center last August: it may not have a title yet, and this segment may contain several individual songs.

Laurie Anderson – If You See Something, Say Something. A hilarious and spot-on dismissal of post 9/11 paranoia; it’s unreleased and may be part of a larger piece.

Laurie Anderson– The Real New York/Hard Times. As Anderson cynically explored the deterioration of a once-great city on an eerily calm, unexpectedly cool August night, a siren made its way north behind Lincoln Center. She played along with it: one of this year’s great live moments. As with the other Anderson tracks here, this is unreleased and possibly part of a larger piece.

Miramar– Di Corazon. The iconic Sylvia Rexach bolero, from the retro Puerto Rican band’s excellent Para Siempre album

Pinataland– Oppie Struck a Match. Historically rich southwestern gothic anthem from the Brooklyn chamber-rockers –  “Oppie” here is the evil nuclear scientist. From their excellent Hymns for the Dreadful Night album.

Trio Joubran – Masana. Towering, epic, elegaic suite for three ouds and percussion – it ends their new Asfar album on a wrenching, powerful note.

Marc Ribot– Scene of the Crime. Classic Andre Previn as done by one of the masters of noir guitar, live at the New School in April. Free download

Marc Ribot –Touch of Evil Theme. Classic Henry Mancini as done by one of the masters of noir guitar, live at the New School in April. Free download.

Mary Lee Kortes– Well By the Water. The darkest side of deadpan, secretive midwestern stoicism, powerfully depicted by the Americana chanteuse. From her latest album Songs of Beulah Rowley Vol. 1

Spottiswoode– Wild Goosechase Expedition. Beatlesque psychedelic travelogue as metaphor for the Iraq War and centerpiece of the art-rock songwriter’s album of the same name.

Laurie Anderson– Dark Downtown/Remembrance. As with the other Laurie Anderson tracks here, this may be a mix of individual songs: a contemplation on how much New York has changed for the worse, and how people tend to be dismissive of those who’ve died, in order to “travel lite,” emotionally speaking. Powerful stuff.

American Composers Orchestra– Andrew Norman: Unstuck. The highlight of this fall’s SONIC Festival of contemporary composers, this is a mammoth, intense noir suite. You’ll have to do some fast-forwarding to find it – the link is to the Q2 broadcast of the works from the festival voted most popular.

Either/Orchestra – Mambo #2. The second of four Ethiopian folk songs arranged for big band and rescued from obscurity – and played exhilaratingly, live this past November – at the New School. Look for a release, and a real title for this, sometime in 2012.

Beninghove’s Hangmen – H-Bomb. This macabre surf rock instrumental is the best song on the noir jazz group’s debut album from earlier this year.

Either/Orchestra – Mambo #1. This is a haunting traditional Ethiopian folk song arranged for big band and rescued from the vaults – and given a North American premiere this past Fall at the New School. Look for a proper release sometime in 2012.

Christopher O’Riley and Matt Haimovitz– Nightmare Scene from Vertigo. Harrowing Bernard Herrmann noir Hitchcock film sounds, a track from the pianist and cellist’s Shuffle Play Repeat album.

Trio Joubran– Asfar. Title track to the three oud-playing Palestinian brothers’ haunting, stately new album

Billy Bang/Bill Cole– Improvisation #1. Digeridoo drone and dark improvisation, this one with the late great jazz violinist playing against the multi-reedman’s low rumbling backdrop. From the Billy Bang Bill Cole live album recorded in 2009 and just released this year.

The Oxygen Ponies – Good Thing. It crescendos out of spare, plaintive folk-pop with a cynical fury: “This is a call to everyone/Wake your daughters, rouse your sons/Take your aim and shoot to kill/So your friends don’t hurt you/Cause others will. ” From the Exit Wounds album.

Ward White – Pretty/Ugly Town. The brilliantly sardonic, literate NYC powerpop songwriter at his most caustic and cynical, giving both barrels to a starstruck wannabe who’s new in New York. From his characteristically excellent Done with the Talking Cure album.

Dixie Bee-Liners– Restless. Hypnotic intense blues-based bluegrass reinvented as noir Steve Wynn style anthem. The Virginia bluegrass band absolutely killed with this last winter at the Jalopy.

Trio Tritticali– Ditty. The title is sarcastic – this is a powerful Midle Eastern flavored mini-suite from the eclectic Brooklyn string trio’s debut album Issue #1.

Ansambl Mastika– Memede Zlatna Ptica. The best song on the Brooklyn Balkan band’s exhilarating latest album Songs and Dances for Life Nonstop reaches a literally unreal crescendo.

Michel Camilo– Then & Now. A classic macabre Erik Satie theme done as piano jazz with Dominican sabor, from the pianist’s excellent Mano a Mano album.

Steve Wynn– Cloud Splitter. Vintage hypnotic bracing intense guitar artistry – it’s hard to tell which guitarist is Wynn and which is Jason Victor. From Wynn’s Northern Exposure album.

Trio Tritticali– Azizah. The string trio go deep into the Middle East for this slinky instrumental. From their new Issue #1 album.

Either/Orchestra– 1-5-0-9. Look for this sometime in 2012, probably under a new title: it’s yet another Ethiopian-flavored anthem from the unsurpassed Boston Ethiopian jazz group.

Trio Tritticali– Who Knows Yet. The most haunting, pensive instrumental on the Brooklyn string trio’s excellent debut album Issue #1.

Christopher O’Riley and Matt Haimovitz – Vertigo Suite Prelude. Creepy Hitchcock film suspense from the pianist and NPR host with the cello virtuoso. From their new album Shuffle Play Repeat

Rahim Alhaj – Qaasim. Plaintive, intense instrumental with the Iraqi oudist carefully building a tune over a hypnotic djeridoo drone. Not on the web anywhere, it seems. From the Iraqi oudist/composer’s latest album Little Earth.

Walter Ego – Satellite.  Wickedly catchy Ray Davies-style Britpop with one of the New York rocker’s most clever, casually dismissive lyrics.

Jennifer O’Connor – 7/12/09. Cruel summertime clinical depression perfectly captured in three vivid indie janglerock minutes. From O’Connor’s album I Want What You Want.

Pierre de Gaillande’s Bad Reputation– Ladies of Leisure. Pierre de Gaillande, frontman of lush art-rockers the Snow, has been busy translating many of legendary French songwriter Georges Brassens’ funniest, most vulgar songs; this is the classic Complainte des Filles de Joie, a metaphorically loaded defense of prostitutes.

The Devil Makes Three– All Hail. A caustically funny bluegrass song about the logical effects of the whole world being wasted on antidepressants – and a whole lot more. From their album Do Wrong, Right.

The Oxygen Ponies– Jellybean. Frontman Paul Megna being his usual insightful self, “Everyone around me is just sharing the same brain…I guess they find it’s easier to be part of the whole/Searching for a reason why they buy the shit they’re sold.” From this year’s Exit Wounds album

Swift Years– Old Man Santo. The witty Canadian worldbeat group put this one out a few years back, but who’s counting – it’s a twistedly funny nursery rhyme about GMO frankenfood.

Ward White –Radio Silence. A cruel and pretty hilarious dysfunctional road trip scenario set to catchy janglerock by the brilliantly sardonic rock songwriter. From his latest album Done with the Talking Cure.

Marc Ribot – Kill for Pussy. Classic John Barry as done by one of the masters of noir guitar, live at the New School in April. Free download

Sanda Weigl– Ani Mei Si Tinertea. At the 92YTribeca this past January, pianist Shoko Nagai gave this gypsy haunter an absolutely macabre edge. From Weigl’s Gypsy in a Tree album.

Miramar– En Mis Suenos. This is the classic Sylvia Rexach bolero done with creepy psychedelic funeral organ by the Bio Ritmo spinoff. They absolutely slayed with this at Barbes in May.

Beninghove’s Hangmen– Reject’s Lament. A sad, creepy waltz from the noir jazz guys’ debut album

Beninghove’s Hangmen– Hangmen’s Waltz. Twangy 1950s David Lynch-style noir doesn’t get any better than this – also from the band’s debut album.

Ansambl Mastika– Zurlaski Cocek. A funky, exhilarating showcase for the Balkan band’s excellent soloists – from their latest album Songs and Dances for Life Nonstop.

Pickpocket Ensemble – For Those Who’ve Left. This was a good year for sad waltzes and this is one of the best of them, the Bay Area gypsy jazz band doing brooding Belgian barroom piano music. From their album Memory.

Rahim Alhaj – Going Home. More haunting oud over a low, sinister drone: gorgeously intense Middle Eastern sounds, also from his latest album Little Earth

A Hawk & a Hacksaw– No Rest for the Wicked. A blistering mini-suite of gypsy music from the Neutral Milk Hotel spinoff; from their latest album Cervantine.

Sanda Weigl – Toderel. Shoko Nagai’s creepy/icy piano lights up this dramatic gypsy ballad. From the album Gypsy in a Tree.

A Hawk & a Hacksaw– At the Vultural Negru. The Bay Area gypsy band encored with this intense, ecstatic gypsy music vamp at their killer concerrt at the Bell House this past summer; also from their latest album Cervantine.

Rahim Alhaj – Dance of the Palms. The great Iraqi expat oud player methodically building a haunting composition over ominous percussion. From his latest album Little Earth – happily this one has made it to youtube.

Mary Lee Kortes– Someplace We Can’t See. Sweeping, majestic, angst-driven anthemic literate rock by one of the great artisans in the field. Also from Songs of Beulah Rowley Vol. 1

Pierre de Gaillande’s Bad Reputation– I Made Myself Small. An original English translation of the Georges Brassens classic Je Me Suis Fait Tout Petit, which could be a love song – or it could be about being totally pussywhipped.

Karen Dahlstrom– Galena. A haunting Gold Rush tale from the Americana multi-instrumentalist’s great new Idaho-themed album Gem State

The Dirty Urchins – Don’t Let the Bastards Grind You Down. This oldtimey shuffle is one of those songs that needed to be written, and it’s a good thing these folks were the band to do it.

Stephane Wrembel – Toute la Vie. The gypsy jazz guitarist wrote this one after watching footage of the 3/11 catastrophe – it’s haunting bordering on morbid, and hasn’t made it to the web yet.

Drina Seay– I Don’t Even Know What I’m Doing. The New York Americana chanteuse at the top of her intense, torchy game: this one is a staple of her live show but hasn’t made it to the web yet. She slayed with this one several times this year, particularly in October at Lakeside

The Brixton Riot – Hipster Turns 30. This GBV-style powerpop number might sound sympathetic at first but it’s really not. From the band’s forthcoming new album.

Rachelle Garniez – Jean-Claude Van Damme. Ostensibly the campy character actor has sunk to hawking antidepressants on tv – this one features a hilarious faux-operatic outro among other things. From Garniez’ forthcoming 2012 album Sad Dead Happy Alive.

Ward White – 1964. Retro fashion gets very subtly savaged by the great literate songshark. From White’s latest album Done with the Talking Cure.

Edward Rogers– Fashion Magazine. The most corrosive track from Rogers’ stunningly diverse new Porcelain album looks at trendy posers in gentrified NYC, set to hypnotically ominous Syd Barrett rock.

The Reid Paley Trio – Take What You Want. Late one night on the Lower East Side, after scaring the crowd at the club half to death, the charismatic retro rocker blasted through an unselfconsciously exhilarating version of this oldschool soul/blues lament: charisma defines this guy.

Oxygen Ponies– I Don’t Want Yr Love. How to tell a starfucker to kiss off, in three perfect minutes: the outgoing mantra of “nobody loves you anymore” is just plain brutal. From the Exit Wounds album.

Black Joe Lewis & the Honeybears– You Been Lying. Snide, dismissive, anti-authoritarian punk funk: the band absolutely slayed with this in the middle of the summer at their show with Those Darlins here.

American Composers Orchestra– Ryan Gallagher: Grindhouse. Long, cinematic, frequently noir suite, another highlight of this year’s SONIC Festival of indie classical music. This one hasn’t made it to the web yet.

American Modern Ensemble – Robert Paterson: Sextet. A noir afternoon in the life of a man on the run – it doesn’t end on a happy note. From the new music ensemble’s collection of works by the eclectic percussionist/composer

Either/Orchestra– No Price for a Ride. Inspired by haggling over cab fares in Addis Ababa, this is another unreleased gem by the Boston-based Ethiopian jazz crew.

Beninghove’s Hangmen– Jack Miller. This is the spooky opening mini-suite from the noir jazz band’s excellent debut album

Either/Orchestra – Bati Lydian. A lush, sweeping new spin on ancient riffs: the Boston Ethiopian jazz group’s show at the New School in November featured a whole slew of excellent new pieces including this one from bandleader Russ Gershon’s forthcoming suite The Collected Unconscious.

Ansambl Mastika– More Tri Godini. A classic Macedonian tune done with slow, tricky expertise by the ferocious Brooklyn Balkan/gypsy rock band

Christian McBride Big Band– Science Fiction. This is an intense, cinematic instrumental brilliantly rearranged for big band by the iconic jazz bassist – and it’s nowhere to be found online. What a shame!

Tiken Jah Fakoly– Quitte le Pouvoir. The title means “leave office” in French – it’s the Ivoirien freedom fighter and roots reggae star’s signature song, most recently re-released on the excellent Listen to the Banned anthology.

Baseball Project– Twilight of My Career. Sympathy for the devil, in this case Roger Clemens. Steve Wynn has a career as a sportswriter waiting for him if he ever gets sick of writing great songs like this Byrdsy janglerock gem.

Spottiswoode – All My Brothers. Death on the battlefield via grim, hypnotic psychedelic rock; also from the Wild Goosechase Expedition album.

A Hawk & a Hacksaw– Cervantine. A slow, eerie, chromatic gypsy waltz with a nice jagged tremolo-picked guitar solo. Title track from their latest album.

Rahim Alhaj– The Searching. With Alhaj’s oud in tandem with an accordion, this dirge is one of the slinkiest and most haunting pieces on his latest album Little Earth. It’s also impossible to find online, strangely enough.

Randi Russo– Alienation. Scorching noiserock with Russo and guest Don Piper blasting back and forth throughout this characteristically resolute outsider’s anthem. From her Fragile Animal album, ranked best of 2011 here.

Taj Weekes & Adowa– Drill. Remember “Drill, baby drill?” The roots reggae star savagely makes fun of the idiocy of the idea in the wake of what happened in the Gulf.

Brian Landrus’ Kaleidoscope – 71 & On the Road. A haunting mid-60s style psychedelic soul vamp inspired by a veteran jazz drummer who’s stuck playing live dates in his 70s just to get by. From the baritone sax player/composer’s Capsule album.

Beware the Dangers of a Ghost Scorpion– Denton County Casket Company. Noir surf rock doesn’t get any better than this unhinged instumental by the Boston band. From their Legend of Goatman’s Bridge ep.

Dastardly – Middleground. The Chicago indie/Americana band’s hilarious and spot-on look at trendy shallowness on the small-club circuit. From their album May You Never

A Hawk & a Hacksaw – Uskudar. A tricky Turkish vocal tune from the intense gypsy band’s latest album Cervantine.

Mark Sinnis– Peep Hole in the Wall. A towering, ominous individualist’s anthem originally done by Sinnis’ band Ninth House in 2000 and resurrected here even more darkly and intensely.

Steve Wynn– St. Millwood. This is a classic example of Wynn’s pensive, jangly, evocative side. From the Northern Aggression album.

Stephanie Rooker & the Search Engine – When We Gon Care. Over seven and a half minutes of hypnotic vamping, the soul siren insightfully and wrathfully goes off on drug companies who invent diseases to market new products, and similar stunts that the 1% try to pull off to keep the other 99% of us disempowered. From her album The Only Way Out Is In

Shanghai Love Motel– The Universal Skeptical Anthem. A typical savage, corrosive anthem from the hyper-literate New York rockers. “Hang me with your velvet rope, but don’t wrap it around my brain.”

Spottiswoode – Wake Me Up When It’s Over. Irresistibly and blackly amusing look at the psychology of denial even in the most dire circumstances – yet another great song from the Wild Goosechase Expedition album.

Mark Sinnis– Fifty Odd Hours. A bitter, vengeful update on the Merle Travis classic Sixteen Tons. From Sinnis’ latest album The Undertaker in My Rearview Mirror.

Andy Akiho– To Run or Walk Through West Harlem. A noir cinematic suite complete with sirens and a brief escape from a chase scene; from the pioneering steel pan virtuoso/composer’s latest album No One to Know One.

American Modern Ensemble – Robert Paterson: Star Crossing. Otherworldly, noir, cinematic flute-and-percussion instrumental; title track from the indie classical ensemble’s amazing album of Paterson compositions.

Evanescent– Blackwater. Retro chanteuse Bliss Blood revisits the best song from her late great Nightcall band in a torchy duo with guitarist Al Street.

Laurie Anderson – Directions from Westchester. Anderson premiered this at Lincoln Center Out of Doors this past August, a LOL-funny satire of the kind of people who go to concerts there. Unreleased and possibly part of a larger suite.

Walter Ego– The Adventures of Ethical Man. Ethical Man is a cartoon character; he battles even more cynical underwear heroes in this extremely funny powerpop tune by the NYC literate rock songwriter.

Frankenpine– Blackwell Island. From the dark NYC bluegrass band’s excellent new album The Crooked Mountain – this one commemorates Nellie Bly’s undercover expedition to the nuthouse in New York Harbor in the 1890s.

Beware the Dangers of a Ghost Scorpion– Heads Will Roll. Another macabre blast of surf rock from the band’s Legend of Goatman’s Bridge ep.

Dina Rudeen– Hitting the Town. The NYC retro soul chanteuse at the top of her game: a metaphorically loaded tale of almost falling off the edge. From her excellent new album The Common Splendor.

Sanda Weigl– Un Tigan Avea O Casa. The gypsy singer/bandleader blasted through this wryly ironic song at the 92YTribeca last January. From her latest album Gyspy in a Tree.

Rahim Alhaj – Waterfall. This nine-minute oud-and-flute piece reminds of the great New York-based composer Bassam Saba. Also from Aljaj’s latest album Little Earth. The link here is to the track at Slacker radio.

Walter Ego– Made of Holes. This is another of the songs here that’s so new that it hasn’t been youtubed yet, a characteristically metaphorically-charged janglerock tune.

Vespertina – Girl in the Basement. Gothic art-rock from this collaboration between haunting chanteuse Lorrie Doriza and Stoupe from conscious hip-hop group Jedi Mind Tricks.

The Marcus Shelby Orchestra – Birmingham. A scorching, ornate big band jazz tribute to the freedom fighters of the American civil rights movement.

More Free Stuff for Xmas

Do you know the Radio Free Song Club? Their specialty seems to be jangly 90s-style indie pop with frequent incursions into country music. Their home page has lots of free downloads – just right-click on the song title. There are some real gems here.

If you’re having a hard time waiting for a new Laura Cantrell album, you’re in luck: she’s got four great, relatively new songs here. The most enchanting voice in country music whisks gracefully through a wistful country waltz, Letters She Sent – just loaded with those images that Cantrell uses so well – which if you scroll down the page a little, is followed by Do You Know What I Mean. That one sets the same kind of vivid, plaintive scene, and it’s a very intimate, stripped-down performance.

There are also a couple of more upbeat tracks here, both of them co-writes with Amy Allison. Can’t Wait is a period-perfect early teens tune: she gets up early, he works late, and everybody’s exhausted. But love ultimately conquers fatigue. And Kitty Wells’ Dresses, a homage to the 50s country icon whose voice Cantrell’s most closely resembles, is an anthem for any woman with Grand Old Opry dreams and dollar-store realities.

There’s also a typical funny/pissed duet by Wreckless Eric and Amy Rigby. And the best song on the whole page might be the one by Mary Lee Kortes, which is literally about loaded imagery.

If you go for the more innocuous side of 90s Hoboken pop – which is where most of these people seem to come from – you’ll probably like a lot of the other stuff too.

Another Anti-Xmas Song – Sort Of

In a season of wretched excess, here’s a cool anthem- if you speak French. The band is called Nous Non Plus, which means “us neither.” The song is J’en Ai Marre and that means “I’m sick of it.” It’s boppy female-fronted retro new wave with lyrical bite: Plastic Bertrand all over again. Download it free here.

More Xmas Larch

More free stuff from the Larch vaults. The Xmas song that opens the Brooklyn band’s latest free download-only ep, The Xmas Larch, is sort of an inside deal – you pretty much have to be in the band to get it. But the rest of the obscurities here are killer. There’s the snide, shapeshifting Hardcore Cellphones, which sounds a lot like Love Camp 7 (whose soon-to-be-released latest collection is reputedly phenomenal), a portrait of a “disenchanted dialed drunk.” There’s also the gorgeously jangly psychedelic pop masterpiece The Persuaders – an anti-Xmas song if there ever was one – and the surprisingly loud, Celtic-tinged Penny-O, a punk pop rarity from the Brooklyn band’s early days. Download it free here.