New York Music Daily

Love's the Only Engine of Survival

Month: April, 2012

Haunting Lyrical Intensity from Jodi Shaw

Songwriter Jodi Shaw’s chamber-pop song cycle, In Waterland, is being re-released mid-month. By “song cycle,” that is to say theme and variations; forty years ago, people used to call these things concept albums. The obvious comparison is Aimee Mann, both in terms of brooding, wounded persona and purist, artsy pop sensibility. Shaw plays the album release show on May 15 at 7 PM at the Nuyorican Poets Cafe: if smart, biting, literate lyrics, catchy tunes and unselfconsciously attractive vocals are your thing, you should go see her.

The arrangements manage to be stately and often majestic yet very simple, just Shaw’s piano and nuanced vocals along with terse string arrangements, shimmering guitar atmospherics and occasional low-key rhythm. Swimming is the central motif here, and it’s traumatic. It’s not known whether Shaw – pictured in a bathing cap, in water up to her neck on the album cover – is the strong but fading, emotionally depleted swimmer in the album’s harrowing title track, or whether she has other feelings for the water. That’s a major part of the album’s appeal.

The opening cut, simply titled Swim, sets the tone, the blithe bounce of the melody ultimately unable to conceal the hopelessness of the lyric, sharks circling as a “sound and steady ship” departs, promising to return someday to rescue the woman in the water. Cruelly surreal and evocative, The Witch (not the Sonics song, or the one by Donovan for that matter) pictures a former beauty all alone and facing a hostile, clueless crowd of conformists who’d gladly burn her as their forefathers would have done three hundred years ago. Jack and Jill takes a hypnotic post-Velvets melody and spices it up with piano and some watery tremolo guitar: Shaw’s perplexed narrator can’t figure out why the guy let go of the girl’s hand after the two had successfully made it down the hill.

The torchy Mystery of Love comes as a surprise, with its jaunty gypsy/cabaret vibe and a lyric that starts out seductive and turns unexpectedly menacing. The downward trajectory picks up steam with the swinging, bucolic To the Country (We Go), a late 60s-style psychedelic pop number that again shifts from blithe to bleak: “A soft rain falls on my blouse, and now there is no doubt I see Gallows Hill in that house,” Shaw announces quietly as ebow guitar oscillates hypnotically behind her. This Balloon (Ode to Zvezdochka) intermingles images of planes and trains with an exasperated anger over lush minor-key orchestration: it’s both the most classically-oriented and Aimee Mann-esque cut here. Then all the foreshadowing explodes with the kiss-off anthem Fortunate Prince, a violent tale cached in an elegant arrangement. After the bloodshed runs its course, the narrator muses on what she might say if and when she reaches the afterlife: “There was something exciting about him when he was alive.” And then despair settles in with the understated but towering intensity of the title track.

Hell’s Bells – not the song you’re thinking of – shifts from a precise tiptoeing hip-hop beat to a lush sway, a bitter chronicle of failure with neatly intricate layers of twin vocals a la David J’s Stop This City as it winds out. But as the album comes full circle, she’s ready for the breakup guy, and the deadpan sarcasm is deadly. The album’s concluding cut is a somewhat more brisk solo piano version of the title track, which is just as good as the studio take. It’s a quiet, relentlessly intense masterpiece. The audience for this is potentially vast: any morose indie film whose music director might be contemplating something by Aimee Mann, or for that matter Feist or Neko Case, also ought to have Jodi Shaw as part of the soundtrack.


May and June 2012 NYC Live Music Calendar

The new calendar for June and July is right 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 start later than advertised. 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 May shows coming up.  He’s at  Terra Blues on 5/1, 5/9, 5/23 and 5/30 at 7 and Lucille’s on 5/4 and 5/18 at 8 PM.

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: as jazz goes, it’s arguably the most exhilarating show of the week, every week. The first-rate players always rise to the level of the material. Sets 7:30/9:30 PM, $25 and worth it.

Mondays 6/11, 6/18 and 6/25, 8 PM-ish Valerie Kuehne plays Goodbye Blue Monday. Irrepressible, sometimes assaultive, surreal avant-garde cellist/composer/singer and a charismatic performer with a punk edge.

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 9:30 PM trombonist/composer JC Sanford books big band jazz, an exciting, global mix of some of the edgiest large-ensemble sounds around. If you’re anybody in the world of big band jazz and you make it to New York, you end up playing here: what CBGB was to punk, this unlikely spot promises to be to the jazz world. No cover.

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

Mondays in May, 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 May Rev. Vince Anderson and his band play Union Pool in Williamsburg, two sets starting around 11:15 PM. The Rev. is one of the great keyboardists around, equally thrilling on organ or electric piano, an expert at Billy Preston style funk, honkytonk, gospel and blues. He writes very funny, very politically astute, sexy original songs and is one of the most charismatic, intense live performers of our time. It’s a crazy dance party til past three in the morning. Paula Henderson from Burnt Sugar is the lead soloist on baritone sax, with Dave Smith from Smoota and the Fela pit band on trombone, with frequent special guests.

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

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

Tuesdays in May clever, fiery, eclectic Balkan/hip-hop/funk brass maniacs Slavic Soul Party play Barbes at 9. Get there 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 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 at 1 PM in May on 5/3, 5/10 and 5/24, and also Fri, 5/18 highly regarded new music student ensemble Ensemble ACJW plays works by contemporary composers at Trinity Church, free, could be a fascinating series to catch if you work or go to school in the neighborhood.

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

Saturdays at 3 PM at Bargemusic there are impromptu free classical concerts, usually solo piano or small chamber ensembles: if you get lucky, you’ll catch pyrotechnic violinist/music director Mark Peskanov and/or the many members of his circle. Early arrival advised.

Saturdays 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.

Three Sundays in June: 6/3, 6/17 and 6/24  jazz guitarist Peter Mazza – a subtle and soulful player whom Gene Bertoncini has endorsed – leads a series of intriguing trios at the Bar Next Door, 7:30 PM

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

Sundays in May 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.

4/29, 2 PM powerhouse 3o-piece all-male choir A Conspiracy of Beards sing Leonard Cohen classics at Highline Ballroom, $15 adv tix rec

4/29, 3 PM the Raphael Trio plus Pamela Frank, violin and Ayane Kozasa, viola play an all-Dvorak program: Piano Trio No. 1 in B-flat Major, op. 21; Miniatures for 2 violins and viola, Op. 75a; Piano Quintet in A Major, op. 8 at Bargemusic, $35/$30srs/$15stud.

4/29, 4 PM the Amerigo Trio – New York Phil concertmaster Glenn Dicterow, his wife violist Karen Dreyfus, and cellist Inbal Segev – play Bach’s Goldberg Variations (arr. for string trio), Gideon Klein’s String Trio, Ravel’s Kaddish for solo cello, the Handel-Halvorsen Passacaglia, and Beethoven’s String Trio in C minor at the Rubin Museum of Art, 150 W 17th St., $25

4/29, 4 PM pianist Luba Poliak plays Prokofiev’s Sonata No.8 in B flat major, Op.84 and Schumann’s Sonata No.2 in G minor, Op.22 at the Brooklyn Public Library at Grand Army Plaza, free.

4/29, 4:45 PM concert organist Julian Revie plays a recital at St. Patrick’s Cathedral

4/29, 7 PM perhaps the world’s greatest current composer for the oud, Marcel Khalife and the Al Mayadine Ensemble play a musical interpretation of the late great Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish’s elegaic final work, In the Presence of Absence at Town Hall, $30 tix avail., get them now!

4/29, 7:30 PM talented young new-music Ensemble ACJW at le Poisson Rouge, program TBA, $15 adv tix rec.

4/29 Band of Outsiders at Lakeside, 9 PM with special guests including Certain General’s Phil Gammage. Unstoppable, eternally fresh psychedelic punk rockers from the CBGB era, better than the Jesus & Mary Chain and Brian Jonestown Massacre, both of whom they influenced.

4/29, 10:30ish the reliably charming, oltimey swinging Daria Grace & the Pre-War Ponies at Rodeo Bar.

4/30, 7 PM the 3 Bass Band featuring four-string guys Mike Richmond, Ron McClure and Ross Kratter plus Joe Alterman on piano and Mike Picataggio on drums at Something Jazz Club, $15 cover + $10 min.

4/30, 9 PM say goodbye to Lakeside Lounge with a farewell show by honcho Eric Ambel and probably a whole slew of fellow A-list rockers who made the place the East Village’s best bar for so many years.

4/30, 9 PM the eclectic, sweepingly majestic JC Sanford Orchestra at Tea Lounge in Park Slope.

5/1 the Curtis Institute of Music’s Ensemble39 plays their signature piece, Prokofiev’s Quintet, Op. 39 plus new work by Gabriella Smith (protegee of Jennifer Higdon) at the Miller Theatre, 6 PM, free, early arrival advised since there’s free beer. This is not a joke.

5/1, 7 PM torchy purist jazz-pop pianist/songwriter Abby Payne at the small room at the Rockwood

5/1, 7 PM purist tuneful jazz pianist Jim Ridl plays the Rhodes at 55 Bar with Mike Rodiguez; trumpet John Benitez; bass; Donald Edwards; drums to celebrate the release of his new album Jim Ridl’s Blue Corn Enchilada Dreams.

5/1, 7:30 PM ludicrous segues, great lineup: Colombian chanteuse Lucia Pulido, Greek oud virtuoso Mavrothi Kontanis, Queens klezmer virtuoso Andy Statman and Brooklyn brass band monsters Slavic Soul Party at Barbes

5/1, 7:30 PM the Cathedral Choirs, under the direction of Kent Tritle plus Nina Stern, recorders and chalumeau; Ara Dinkjian, oud; Glen Velez, percussion; Tamer Panarbasi, kanun; and Arthur Fiacco, cello play traditional and sacred music from eastern Europe at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, $20 seating avail.

5/1, 7:30 PM Members of the Artemis Quartet with Jacques Ammon on piano play Beethoven, Brahms and Piazzolla at le Poisson Rouge, $15 adv tix rec.

5/1-2, 7:30/9:30 PM legendary Afrobeat trumpeter Hugh Masekela with pianist Larry Willis at the Jazz Standard, $30

5/1, 8 PM the American String Quartet play a program TBA at Merkin Concert Hall, $TBA

5/1, 9 PM Khaled – the NJ Middle Eastern/worldbeat multi-instrumentalist, not the Rai star – at Shrine.

5/1 Chicago honkytonk band Sarah & the Tall Boys at Rodeo Bar 9ish.

5/1, 9:45 PM noirish, charismatic gypsy rock maven Yula Beeri at the big room at the Rockwood

5/1, 10 PM jazz chanteuse Brianna Thomas and band – who wowed the crowd at the New School 25th anniversary bash – at Cornelia St. Cafe, $15 incl. a drink.

5/1, 10:30 PM psychedelic, intricate jazz vibraphonist Tyler Blanton with bassist Matt Clohesy, saxophonist John Ellis, and drummer Nate Wood at Korzo.

5/2, 3:30 PM (half past three) Victoria Sirota plays the 1830 Appleton organ on the balcony adjacent to the musical instruments section at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, free w/museum adm

5/2 Isaac Darche on guitar with Sean Wayland on ogan and Mark Ferber on drums, 6:30 PM at the Bar Next Door, free.

5/2, 8 PM at Arlene’s Single Red Cent– who mix sharp, socially aware punk with a more atonal Gang of Four/Neighborhoods vibe – followed eventually at 11 PM by the Sunday Belts playing torchy female-fronted funk

5/2, 8 PM International Contemporary Ensemble plays ethereal, sometimes icy Kaija Saariaho soundscapes at Roulette, $20.

5/2, 9 PM klezmer reed virtuoso Matt Darriau followed by the wild extemporaneous Balkan sounds of Raya Brass Band at Barbes.

5/2, 9 PM soaring, quirkly entertaining, theatrical chanteuse Grace McLean and Them Apples at the small room at the Rockwood

5/2, 9:30 PM Luminescent Orchestrii’s Sxip Shirey’s “hour of charm” includes cameos by violinist Todd Reynolds as well as Jonny Rodgers on voice, glass harmonica, and loops and the amazing trio Hydra (Rima Fand, Sarah Small and Yula Beeri doing wild Albanian, Balkan, and original arrangements) at Joe’s Pub, $15.

5/2, 11 PM powerhouse Balkan/noiserock trumpeter Ben Syversen’s Cracked Vessel at Williamsburg Music Center, 367 Bedford Ave, South Williamsburg, J/M to Marcy Ave. They’re also at the Stone on 5/6 at 10 PM.

5/3, 6:30 PM cerebral but incisive and often powerful original jazz: Nils Weinhold on guitar with Linda Oh on Bass and Bastian Weinhold on drums at the Bar Next Door, free. Amazing bass trio Castle Magic with Santi DeBriano, Harvie S and Essiet Essiet follows with sets at 8:30/10:30 for a $12 cover.

5/3 and also 5/18, 7 PM eclectic oldtime blues powerhouse Blind Boy Paxton at Terra Blues

5/3, 7:30 PM 2012′s best bill? Maybe. A short set from oldtime blues siren/guitarist Mamie Minch followed by charismatic retro multistylist/accordionist/songwriting genius Rachelle Garniez, torchy jazz chanteuse Catherine Russell, harmonica powerhouse Wade Schuman of jamband Hazmat Modine, Microscopic Septet pianist Joel Forrester and beatmeister Scott Kettner of Nation Beat at Barbes.

5/3, 7:30 PM Peter Bernstein solo on guitar at Smalls followed by an intriguing lineup led by bassist Ben Allison with Brandon Seabrook and Steve Cardenas on guitars plus Mark Guiliana on drums

5/3, 7:45 PM fearless Malian soul/desert blues siren/bandleader Khaira Arby at le Poisson Rouge, $15.

5/3 8 PM Gearshifter a.k.a. Mississippi delta bluesman Louis Youngblood continues the tradition of Tommy Johnson and Robert Johnson with his own gritty acoustic stuff at Arlene’s, followed eventually at 11 by the early 70s style stoner metal of Will McCranie and band and then at midnight by Willamette who veer between catchy dark Morphine grooves and Queens of the Stone Age riffage

5/3, 8 PM funk night at Spike Hill with Funkface, Manner, the Huffers and MK Groove Orchestra, free

5/3, 9 PM Eva Salina (intense Balkan chanteuse Eva Salina Primack’s band with Frank London and Patrick Farrell) at the Jalopy along with the duo of klezmerite Michael Alpert and genius bandurist Julian Kytasty, $15

5/3, 9 PM edgy, sometimes haunting original Americana chanteuse Jan Bell and eclectic Americana guitar genius Will Scott in a rare doublebill together at Red Hook Bait & Tackle.

5/3, 9 PM eclectic reggae/latin/Middle Eastern-influenced Israeli songwriter/chanteuse Tali Ratzon at Tea Lounge in Park Slope

5/3, 10 PM eclectic psychedelic worldbeat jamband Gowanus Collective at Shrine.

5/3, 10:30 PM tuneful third-stream jazz with Jacob Garchik on trombone, Jacob Sacks on piano, Dave Ambrosio on bass and Vinnie Sperrazza- drums/tunes at I-Beam, $10 sugg don.

5/3, 11 PM psychedelic hammered dulcimer instrumentals with House of Waters at the small room at the Rockwood

5/4, 5:30 PM oldtimey sounds with Brotherhood of the Jug Band Blues at the American Folk Art Museum, free

5/4, 7 PM at the Greene Space it’s the Battle of the Boroughs Staten Island 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 the Headlocks ; Fairday Skyline; the Mick Watley Band; Silas Knight & the Brooklyn Horns; Vantage Point; the Bad Mouth Betties, and Kazatzky, $15 cover includes a glass of wine; $30 gets you in for all you can drink wine and beer.

5/4, 7:30 PM “carnatic jazz band” Charanams – winner of the 2011 WNYC Battle of the Bands – at Drom,$10 adv tix highly rec.

5/4, 7:30 PM the Serafin String Quartet and violist Steven Tenenbom play works by Ravel, Higdon and Brahms at WMP Concert Hall, $20/$10 stud.

5/4 American Pinup play catchy female-fronted powerpop with a dash of ska at Otto’s, 8 PM; they’re at Arlene’s on 5/8 at 10

5/4, 8 PM Junior Marvin – who wrote Police and Thieves, later covered by the Clash, and for years did a capable job fronting the post-Marley Wailers, at B.B. King’s, $18 adv tix rec.

5/4, 9 PM the Parker String Quartet (program TBA), haunting harmony-driven retro Mexican/psychedelic rockers Las Rubias Del Norte and the world’s greatest Peruvian psychedelic surf band, Chicha Libre at Barbes

5/4, 9 PM sharply literate, often hilarious Americana charmer Robin Aigner with her band at Freddy’s.

5/4, 9/10:30 PM meticulous but passionate quartertone trumpeter Amir ElSaffar leads an as-yet unnamed project at the Jazz Gallery, $20.

5/4, 10 PM dark intense torchy lyrical rock with Hannah Vs. the Many – whose new album is ferociously good – at Cake Shop, $8.

5/4, 10 PM the always entertaining metrobilly sounds of M Shanghai String Band at the Jalopy, $10.

5/4, 10ish dark catchy rock en Espanol power trio New Madrid celebrate Cinco de Mayo a little early at Bowery Electric.

5/4, 11 PM Brooklyn’s best powerpop band John Severin & the Quiet Ones (not so quiet actually) at Trash Bar

5/4, half past midnight (actually wee hours of 5/5) irresistibly tuneful, catchy hip-hop horn grooves with the Hypnotic Brass Ensemble at the Blue Note, $12

5/4, 1 AM (actually wee hours of 5/5) oldschool soul/funk band Empire Beats fronted by sultry chanteuse Camille Atkinson at the small room at the Rockwood.

5/5, 11 AM Symphony Space’s latest Wall to Wall all-day free concert is a homage to Gertrude Stein. Highlights: Debussy’s Sonata for Flute, Violin and Harp at 11; chamber music by Poulenc and Milhaud; all kinds of cabaret played by the erudite but fiery accordionist/chanteuse Marni Rice and band; vintage Stein collaborations with Virgil Thompson and others; and high-voltage 20s hot jazz by Michael Arenella’s Dreamland Orchestra to wind up the night at around 8. Too many acts to list; the full calendar is here.

5/5, 4 and 8 PM the Shanghai Quartet plays the complete Bartok String Quartets in two separate concerts at the Kasser Theatre at Montclair St. University in Montclair, NJ, charter bus available behind Port Authority leaving at 2 PM, $15 per concert.

5/5, 6 PM pianist/chanteuse Mary Lorson & the Soubrettes play edgy, witty oldtime-flavored songs from their excellent new album Burn Baby Burn at the small room at the Rockwood.

5/5, 7:30 PM fiery noir gothic Americana/Canadiana rocker Lorraine Leckie & Her Demons followed at 9 by Unsteady Freddie’s monthly surf rock shindig at Otto’s: a characteristically good one starting with Bongo Surf followed by the purist, twangy Boss Guitars at 10, the considerably louder North Shore Troubadours at 11 and sometime after midnight the unpredictably eclectic TarantinosNYC.

5/5, 7:30 PM Nami Kineie (shamisen), Yumi Kurosawa (koto), James Nyoraku Schlefer (shakuhachi), and the Voxare String Quartet perform music by Daron Hagen, a New York premiere by Paul Moravec, and world premieres by Somei Satoh and James Nyoraku Schlefer at the World Financial Ctr., free

5/5 art-rocker Pierre de Gaillande and band playing his spot-on English-language versions of Georges Brassens classics at Barbes, 8 PM.

5/5, 9 PM innovative santur player (and builder) Alan Kushan leads his Middle Eastern group at Alwan for the Arts, $20.

5/5, 9 PM the Emily Danger Band play torchy, sometimes lurid noir cabaret and chamber pop followed eventually at 11:30 by the retro garage/glamrock sounds of Hot Jam Factory at Arlene’s

5/5, 9 PM Bad Buka play their “gypsy punk meltdown” at Mehanata, $10

5/5, 9/10:30 PM, jazz bassist Michael Bates plus Greg Tardy-saxophone/clarinet, Russ Johnson-trumpet, Russ Lossing-piano/Fender Rhodes, Michael Sarin-drums play Shostakovich at Cornelia St. Cafe, $20 incl. a drink.

5/5, 9 PM LES surf/rockabilly/soul guitar legend Simon & the Bar Sinisters at Brooklyn Rod & Gun Club.

5/5, 9 PM lush, sweeping, exhilarating symphonic rock band the Universal Thump play the video release show for their new one at Joe’s Pub, $15.

5/5, 9 PM LES surf/soul/rockabilly guitar legend Simon & the Bar Sinisters at Brooklyn Rod & Gun Club.

5/5, 10:30 PM Mariachi Flor de Toloache – NYC’s only all-female mariachi group – trade sets with NYC’s original Balkan brass monstes Zlatne Uste Brass Band to celebrate Cinco de Mayo at Drom, $15 adv tix highly rec.

5/5, 11 PM perennially amusing faux-French garage rockers les Sans Culottes at Local 269

5/5, half past midnight (actually wee hours of 5/6) pyrotechnic Malian desert blues guitarist Vieux Farka Toure at the Blue Note, $20

5/6, half past noon, amazing retro Memphis soul band the One and Nines – fronted by the charismatic, torchy Vera Sousa – followed by the ever-more-purist honkytonk sounds of Demolition String Band at the Hoboken Arts & Music Festival, Newark St at Washington St., around the corner from the CVS three blocks from the Path train station

5/6, 3 PM the world-class Park Avenue Chamber Symphony plays a sweeping, majestic program of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 4 and Mahler’s Symphony No. 1 at All Saints Church, 230 E 60th St (between 2nd and 3rd Aves), $20/$10 stud/srs.

5/6, 3 PM the 45-piece Chinese Music Ensemble of NY feat. virtuoso guzheng player Jun Ling Wang playing ancient and modern compositions at Merkin Concert Hall, $25

5/6, 4 PM the Claremont Trio – Emily Bruskin, violin, Julia Bruskin, violoncello and Andrea Lam, piano, perform works by Beethoven, Shostakovich and Mendelssohn at the Brooklyn Public Library at Grand Army Plaza, free.

5/6, 6 PM organist Ehud Asherie leads a trio with Peter Bernstein on guitar at the Fat Cat; he leads a piano quartet here on 5/13 at 9.

5/6, 7 PM James Ilgenfritz on bass and Finnish jazz legend Mikko Innanen on alto sax at Downtown Music Gallery.

5/6, 7 PM the mighty NY Korean Jazz Orchestra at Something Jazz Club, $10 plus $10 min.

5/6, 8 PM the charming, all-female Main Squeeze Orchestra play works by by Mussorgsky, Prokofiev, Stravinsky and Tchaikovsky arranged especially for thirteen accordions by Bu P. Scherf at Bowery Poetry Club, $10

5/6, 8 PM Israeli jazz with the Omri Mor Trio at the rotunda at the Guggenheim, $30/$10 stud.

5/7 Mexican jazz chanteuse Magos Herrera leads a sextet at Dizzy’s Club, 7:30/9:30 PM, $25

5/7, 7:30 PM the purpose of this calendar is not to encourage people to stay in, but if you are in tonight, WQXR, 105.9 FM is broadcasting the Houston Symphony’s performance of Shostakovich’s 11th Symphony from Carnegie Hall. They’ll also be broadcasting  (and webcasting) other concerts every night through May 11.

5/7, 8 PM noirish British retro pop chanteuse Gemma Ray at Bowery Ballroom, $15.

5/7, 9 PM Swingadelic does their monthly free show at Maxwell’s

5/7, 10ish a classic night to celebrate the continued existence of the mostly-weekly Small Beast rock night upstairs at the Delancey with noir rock legend David J (from Bauhaus), noir cabaret stars Little Annie and Paul Wallfisch and then Wallfisch solo to wrap up the night, hopefully playing material from his band Botanica’s amazing, haunting new art-rock album What Do You Believe

5/8 organist Thomas Dahl of Hamburg, Germany plays a free recital at Central Synagogue at 54th. and Lex, half past noon

5/8-9, 7:30/9:30 PM at the Jazz Standard: expansive, relevant jazz pianist Amina Figarova and her Sextet (her 9/11 suite is one of the most potently evocative works of that era), $20.

5/8-13 and 5/15-20, 7:30/9:30 PM pianist Bill Charlap leads a trio with Peter Washington and Kenny Washington, $30 seats avail.

5/8, 8:30 PM trumpeter Leif Arntzen with Michael Blake, tenor sax; Landon Knoblock , keyboards; Ryan Blotnick, guitar; Michael Bates, bass; Jeff Davis, drums at Cornelia St. Cafe, $20 incl. a drink.

5/8 torchy chanteuse Sophie Auster at the big room at the Rockwood

5/8, 9:30 PM eclectic third-stream/Middle Eastern-inflected Israeli jazz pianist Alon Yavnai’s big band plays with special guest saxophonist Dave Liebman at Joe’s Pub, $15 – now that’s a good deal!

5/8, 9 PM hilariously filthy, satirical, hard-rocking Custard Wally play the release show for their latest dvd at Trash.

5/9, 6:30 PM the eclectic hard-hitting Geoff Vidal on saxophone with the equally eclectic, consistently counterintuitive Linda Oh on bass and Colin Stranahan on drums at the Bar Next Door, free

5/9, 6:30 PM the Brooklyn Phil Chamber Players perform works by H.T. Burleigh, Scott Joplin, Dvorak, Daniel Bernard Roumain and Derek Bermel at the Brooklyn Public Library’s Dreck Center at Grand Army Plaza, free.

5/9, 7:15 PM haunting, intense, diverse third-stream piano with the Matt Herskowitz Trio at Drom, $20 adv tix rec.

5/9, 7:30 PM darkly eclectic, wickedly lyrical, charismatic accordionist/chanteuse Rachelle Garniez and band at Dixon Place Theatre, 161a Chrystie St (btw Rivington & Delancey), use promotional code RGFifteen for $15 discount tix!

5/9, 10:30ish ageless, hilarious faux-French garage rockers les Sans Culottes at Union Hall, $8.

5/10, 6:30 PM smart, multistylistic jazz-pop/bossa nova chanteuse Sinem Saniye at Drom, $10.

5/10, 7:30 PM eclectic virtuoso pianist/impresario Alexandra Joan leads a “homage to Mohammed Fairouz” – it’s about time the young, powerfully eclectic indie classical composer got props like this – with clarinet wizard Vasko Dukovski and others at WMP Concert Hall, $20/$10 stud.

5/10, 7:30 PM violin powerhouse Sarah Alden leads an eclectic bill featuring oldtime string band the Calamity Janes, banjo player Hilary Hawke, resonator guitar siren Mamie Minch, violin virtuoso Rima Fand plus Katie Down and Tess Slominski at the Jalopy, $7. Followed at 10 PM by the mammoth ten-piece Balkan sounds of Veveritse Brass Band ($10 cover).

5/10 harmony-driven oldtime hillbilly music with the Weal & Woe at Barbes, 8 PM

5/10, 8 PM Frank Huang, violin; Edward Arron, cello; Gilles Vonsattel, piano play Beethoven Piano Trio No. 1 in E-flat Major, Op. 1 No. 1; Shostakovich Piano Trio No. 2 in E minor, Op. 67; Dvorak Piano Trio in F minor, Op. 65 at Bargemusic, $35/$30 srs/$15 stud.

5/10, 8 PM violin/cello/flute/percussion indie classical Cadillac Moon Ensemble play world premieres by Allen Schulz, Gilbert Galindo, Wang Jie, and David Fetherolf and recent works by Manly Romero and Stefan Weisman at the Secret Theatre, a.k.a. Studio 104, 44-02 23rd St, Long Island City, $14

5/10, 8 PM Ensemble Sospeso feat. Tony Arnold, soprano and Movses Pogossian, violin play Kurtág’s Kafka Fragments at Bohemian Hall, 321 E 73rd St., $20/$10 stud/srs.

5/10, 9 PM dark fourth-wave (fifth-wave? who knows) garage rock showman/bandleader Mark Sultan at the Knitting Factory, $10.

5/10 mandolinist Avi Avital’s Band feat. eclectic Balkan chanteuse Eva Salina Primack at Joe’s Pub.

5/10, 11ish hypnotic, percussive, intense indie legends the Wharton Tiers Ensemble at Shea Stadium in Bushwick.

5/11, 8 PM Dollshot – who put their uniquely creepy, noir improvisational spin on classical art-song – and eclectic cellist Daniel Levin, playing a duo show this time around, at Douglass St. Music Collective, 295 Douglass St, Gowanus, Brooklyn,

5/11, 8 PM pensive chamber pop band the Inner Banks at Littlefield, $12.

5/11 “night of the living DIY” starting at 8 at I-Beam with Denver General feat. Kirk Knuffke – cornet; Jonathan Goldberger – guitar; Jeff Davis – drums followed at 9 by the Goldberg Variations Trio (Miranda Sielaff – viola; Kristi Helberg – violin; Andrea Lee – cello) and at 10 by the wry, witty Four Bags: Brian Drye – trombone; Jacob Garchik – accordion; Mike McGinnis – clarinets; Sean Moran – guitars and at 11 the Drum Major Instinct Tribute to Martin Luther King with John Hollenbeck – drums; Brian Drye, Curtis Hasselbring and Jacob Garchik – trombones, all this for $10

5/11-12, 8 PM reliably eclectic virtuoso new music ensemble ACME plays works by William Brittelle (a playful, rhythmic homage to enigmatic mollusk the chambered nautilus) and Mick Barr at the Kitchen, $12.

5/11, 10 PM intense, charismatic, amusingly ferociously anti-gentrification literate working-class punk/soul rockers the Brooklyn What at the Grand Victory, 245 Grand St., Williamsburg, $9

5/11, 10 PM slinky, latin-infused gypsy/jam/ska band Karikatura at Two Boots Brooklyn.

5/11, 10 PM hard-hitting, masterfully tuneful alto saxophonist Nick Hempton leads a quartet with Jeremy Manasia – piano , Marco Panascia – bass , Dan Aran – drums at Smalls

5/11 wryly entertaining western swing baritone crooner Sean Kershaw and the New Jack Ramblers at Rodeo Bar 10ish.

5/11, 10 PM Finotee plays roots reggae at Shrine.

5/11, 10 PM artsy female-fronted dark metal/mathrock band Float the Witch at Arlene’s

5/11, 10:30ish dark psychedelic southwestern gothic-tinged garage rockers Spindrift at Glasslands, $12.

5/11, 11:30 scorching Radio Birdman-esque garage-punk rockers the Mess Around at the Parkside

5/11, 11:30 Turkish folk-pop star Ege at Drom,$25 adv tix rec

5/11 wickedly catchy, powerhouse two-sax-and-drums dance band Moon Hooch at the Knitting Factory, midnight, $8.

5/12, 7 PM string music with Brooklyn Rider plus friends to celebrate the renovations in the American wing of the Metropolitan Museum of Art with Jennifer Frautschi and Laura Frautschi, violins; Colin Jacobsen, violin and viola; Nicholas Cords, viola; Edward Arron and Eric Jacobsen, cello; Kurt Muroki, bass; and Bernard Rose, piano playing Amy Beach’s Dreaming for Cello and Piano (1892/1937); Henry Cowell’s Seven Paragraphs for String Trio (1925); John Adams’s Shaker Loops for String Septet (1978); and Dvorák’s String Quintet in E-flat Major, Op. 97, “American,” at the museum’s Rogers Auditorium, $35.

5/12 and also 5/19, 7:15 PM intense harmonica-driven psychedelic gypsy/klezmer/reggae/blues jam band Hazmat Modine at Terra Blues.

5/12 8 PM charming innuendo-driven French chanson revivalists les Chauds Lapins followed at 10 by the reliably boisterous psych-folk Jug Addicts at Barbes

5/12, 8 PM the Stubborn Records 20th anniversary show with a whole slew of good ska bands: the Heavy Beat, Rudie Crew, King Django Septet, Radiation Kings, Hub City Stompers and Skinnerbox at the Knitting Factory, $17.

5/12, 8 PM, repeating on 5/13 at 3 PM, Mark Peskanov, violin; Laura Goldberg, violin; Ah Ling Neu, viola; Guy Fishman, cellist play Haydn String Quartet in C Major, Op. 54, No. 2; Borodin String Quartet No 2 in D Major; Beethoven String Quartet in C minor, Op. 18 No. 4 at Bargemusic, $35/$30 srs/$15 stud.

5/12, 8 PM So Percussion plays works by Davis, Lang, Lansky, Previte and themselves to kick off the Look and Listen Festival at Pratt Manhattan Gallery, 144 W 14th St, 2nd Fl, $15 or $35 with a three-day festival pass

5/12, 8:30 PM oldtime string band arrangements, new songs with the Dirt Daubers at the Mercury, $12.

5/12, 9 PM an all-world ensemble; George Ziadeh – vocals and oud; Zikrayat’s Sami Abu Shumays – violin; Apolstolos Sideris – bass; Rami El Aasser – percussion; Johnny Farraj – vocals play Egyptian and Andalusian classics plus selections from the Umm Kulthumm repertoire at Alwan for the Arts, $20.

5/12, 9 PM double trombone dub machine Super Hi-Fi open for reggae stars John Brown’s Body at Maxwell’s, $15

5/12, 9 PM hypnotic danceable Ethiopian-inspired sounds with Budos Band at the Bell House, $15.

5/12, 9 PM percussionist Alessandra Belloni’s hypnotic, bewitching gypsy band at Mehanata, $10.

5/12, 9ish high-energy acoustic Mexican folk-punk band Radio Jarocho play the album release show for their new one at Casa Mescal, 86 Orchard St., free

5/12, 9:30 PM eclectic worldbeat/gypsy/flamenco/Balkan band Dodo Orchestra at Drom, $15.

5/12, 10 PM Steely Dan-ish psychedelic funk band Otis – whose latest album Music Elevator absolutely kicks ass – at the big room at the Rockwood

5/12, 10 PM jazz piano powerhouse Marc Cary’s Cosmic Indigenous feat. Awa Sangho, Daniel Moreno, Sameer Gupta and Igmar Thomas at the Apollo Cafe (next to the Apollo Theatre), $20.

5/12, 10ish catchy keyboard-driven indie pop with the Secret History at the Cameo Gallery, $10.

5/12, 11 PM eclectic Hoboken instrumental rockers the Subway Surfers at the Parkside

5/13, 4 PM flutists Eric Lamb, Kelli Kathman & Alex Sopp, singer Theo Bleckmann (original composition for quintet), innovative harp ensemble the Bridget Kibbey Trio (works by Currier, Hadfield, Kibbey), the Pop Group’s Mark Stewart, Dan Trueman & Brittany Haas and the Mivos Quartet playing new works at Pratt Manhattan Gallery, 144 W 14th St, 2nd Fl, $15 or $35 with a three-day festival pass.

5/13, 6 PM an eclectic improv doublebill with Sarah Buechi on vocals and Christoph Knoche on bass clarinet and harmonica, followed by Daniel Levin doing solo and duo cello (!?) at Downtown Music Gallery

5/13, 7 PM organist Gregory Eaton – a charismatic performer who communicates his vast knowledge with wit and flair – leads an ensemble performing works for organ and brass by Bonelli, Dupre, Gigout, Hurd, Phillips and Strauss at St. Ann’s Church in Brooklyn Heights, $25, proceeds to benefit the ongoing restoration of the mighty 1925 organ there.

5/13, 7 PM pianist Ariadna Castellanos leads her flamenco jazz combo at Something Jazz Club, $10 + $10 min.

5/13, 8:30 eclectic, intense, guitar/violin/vocal Balkan trio Which Way East at Cornelia Street Cafe, $20 incl. a drink. They’re also at Rock Shop on 5/16 at 8 (see below).

5/14-27, 7 PM the Music with a View festival, put together with love by avant piano titan Kathleen Supove, just gets bigger and bigger. Tons of great doublebills, too many to list so far: the complete schedule is here.

5/14, 7:30 PM early music ensemble Juilliard415 with violinist Nanae Iwata play works by Bach and others at le Poisson Rouge, free, early arrival advised and be prepared to stand.

5/14, 8 PM the concluding night of the Look & Listen Festival has Brooklyn Rider playing Kurtag, ACME playing Timothy Andres, Michael Brown, the Janus trio playing Clyne and Burhans, and Derek Bermel doing his Thracian Sketches for solo clarinet at Pratt Manhattan Gallery, 144 W 14th St, 2nd Fl, $15 or $35 with a three-day festival pass.

5/14, 10 PM chamber pop and indie classical with Sasha Siem and the Mivos Quartet at le Poisson Rouge, $10 adv tix rec.

5/14, 10 PM psychedelic reggae/dub tinged oldschool acoustic Cuban style band Gato Loco at Zirzamin, 90 W Houston, $10

5/14, midnight, martini cowboy sounds with the Jack Grace Band at the Ear Inn

5/15, 7 PM smart, lyrically sharp songwriter Jodi Shaw plays songs from her recently released Waterland album – part Aimee Mann, part oldtimey swing – at the Nuyorican Poets Cafe.

5/15, 7:15 PM David Lisker – violin; Bela Horvath – violin/viola; Alla Milchstein – piano play original compositions plus works by Vivaldi, Handel, Brahms and Shostakovich at Drom, $25.

5/15-27 Bill Frisell with Eyvind Kang on violin and Rudy Royston on drums at the Vanguard, 9/11 PM, $30 – this unit could be the ultimate lineup for the iconic guitarist.

5/15, 10ish dark female-fronted soul band Shenandoah & the Night at the Cameo Gallery, $5.

5/16 samba-rock duo Brothers of Brazil, acoustic punk band Old Man Markley and reggae/ska band the Aggrolites play the Rocks Off Concert Cruise aboard the Jewel, boarding at 7, departing at 8 from the heliport at 23rd St. and the FDR, $25 tix available at the Highline box office

5/16, 7 PM purist jazz guitarist Mark Whitfield goes slumming at the Fat Cat

5/16, 7:30/9:30 PM at the Jazz Standard: stormy, intense, darkly distinctive Argentinian pianist Fernando Otero leads a sextet with JP Jofre – bandoneon; Nick Danielson – violin; Adam Fischer – cello; Pablo Aslan – bass; David Silliman – drums, $20.

5/16, 7:30 PM intense Azeri kamancheh (spiked fiddle) virtuoso Imamyar Hasanov at Symphony Space, $30.

5/16, 8 PM one of the year’s best bills so far: intense Balkan trio Which Way East, scorching Balkan jam band Raya Brass Band and then Choban Elektrik playing the cd release show for their wild, trippy new one, a psychedelic take on classic Balkan tunes at Rock Shop.

5/16, 8 PM a killer, mostly female-fronted Americana triplebill at Union Hall: the jangly, sometimes lushly rocking Alana Amram & the Rough Gems, JP Harris & the Tough Choices and Michaela Anne and her rustic, haunting acoustic band, $7

5/16 acoustic country and bluegrass with PartyFolk at Rodeo Bar, 9ish.

5/16, midnight, dark harmonica-driven electric blues with Stringbean & the Stalkers at the Ear Inn

5/17 the self-explanatory, psychedelic NY Funk Exchange plays the Rocks Off Concert Cruise, boarding at 7, leaving at 8 from the heliport at 23rd St. and the FDR, $20 adv tix the Highline box office. They’re also at the big room at the Rockwood on May 19 at midnight for $5, then at Groove at 9 on 5/22 and 5/30

5/17-20 Ryan Truesdell leads his ambitious and amazing Gil Evans Project, a big band tribute to Evans featuring three nights of rare and previously unreleased compositions spanning Evans’ entire career, soon to be released on Truesdell’s upcoming Centennial album with a group including Lewis Nash, Donny McCaslin, Steve Wilson, Frank Kimbrough, Greg Gisbert, and Marshall Gilkes at the Jazz Standard, 7:30/9:30 PM, $25 ($30 on the weekend).

5/17, 7:30 PM SoCorpo (Sasha Bogdanowitsch & Sabrina Lastman) play characteristically gripping, innovative new works for two voices, bowed psaltery and autoharp at the Tank, 151 W 46th St, 8th Floor, $10

5/17, 7:30 PM up-and-coming pianist HJ Kim plays Beethoven at le Poisson Rouge, $15 adv tix rec.

5/17, 8 PM deviously innuendo-driven, charmingly retro French chanson revivalists les Chauds Lapins plus acrobats plus live painting plus an illusionist plus OPEN BAR to celebrate the Edouard Vuillard exhibit (up through August 23) at the Jewish Museum, 92nd St./5th Ave., $12 adv tix highly highly rec.

5/17, 8 PM Keith Murray at the Knitting Factory, $17. Protege of Redman, persecuted in Connecticut, one of the alltime underrated masters of east coast hardcore hip-hop lyrics.

5/17, 8 PM long-running carnivalesque gypsy punks World Inferno open for legendary 70s punk-pop band the Adicts (sort of the British version of the Dickies) at the Nokia Theatre, $20 adv tix rec.

5/17, 8 PM Alexey Miltikh, cello and Saida Tagizade, piano play modern works from the Caucasus including A. Huseynzadeh – Sonatina; F. Amirov – Poema-monolog; A. Rzaev Cantilena; A. Melikov – Nocturne (“The Legend of Love” ballet”); M. Mirzoev – Trio at Bargemusic, $35/$30 srs/$15 stud.

5/17, 9:30 PM cutting-edge original gypsy jazz guitarist Stephane Wrembel and band play the cd release show for their new one at Joe’s Pub, $22.

5/17, 10ish ferocious, brilliant guitarist Deniz Tek, founding member of  garage-punk legends Radio Birdman at Bowery Electric, $10 – this might be his first-ever Manhattan gig as a solo artist.

5/17, 10 PM if you love Oasis, wait til you hear Second Dan at the big room at the Rockwood.

5/17, 11 PM edgy chamber-pop/jangle/indie band Bern & the Brights at the small room at the Rockwood

5/18 opening night of the Gypsy Tabor Festival starting at 4 PM with Romanian band Raklorom, 8-piece Balkan instrumentalists Brazda at 5, percussionist/bandleader Alessandra Belloni at 6, trumpet legend Frank London at 7, and charismatic gypsy punk/metal cumbia band Escarioka headlining at 9 at the grounds of the Onderdonk House, 1820 Flushing Ave, Ridgewood, Queens, $20 per day or $35 two-day pass available at Mehanata, camping also available

5/18, 7 PM sitar virtuso Shujaat Husain Khan at Symphony Space, $30.

5/18, 7 PM cellist Kalin Ivanov and pianist Hristo Birbochukov play music of Bach, Beethoven, Schumann and G. Zlatev-Tcherkin at the Bulgarian Consulate, 121 E 62nd St, free

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.

5/18, 8 PM a festival of new art-song with singers Mary Hubbell, David Salsbery Fry, and Seth Gilman with pianists Mirna Lekic and David Friend performing new song cycles by André Brégégère, Daniel Colson, Ramin Heydarbeygi, and Osnat Netzer at WMP Concert Hall, $10 sugg don.

5/18, 8 PM intense, atmospheric avant garde violinist Ana Milosavljevic plays her original score for the stargazer project Luci in the Sky plus electrocacoustic works by Randall Woolf, John King and Joseph Phillips at the Cell Theatre, 338 W 23rd St (8th & 9th Aves), $20/$10 srs.

5/18 the first night of this year’s Brooklyn Folk Festival at 345 Jay St. (at Willoughby) starts at 8:30 PM with 40-minute sets by Elizabeth Butters, followed by bluegrass guy Michael Daves, Dennis Lichtman’s Brain Cloud playing western swing, jug band legend Peter Stampfel & the Ether Frolic Mob, the oldtimey Whiskey Spitters and the Four O’Clock Flowers sometime after midnight. $20 tix, or your best deal, the $45 three-day pass, are available at the Jalopy, via their website or just give these friendly folks a call at 718-395-3214.

5/18, 9 PM smart, edgy, torchy oldtimey songwriter Julia Haltigan at the big room at the Rockwood.

5/18, 9:30 PM intense literate art-rocker/psychedelic bandleader Spottiswoode followed at 10:30 by lushly anthemic Americana-flavored “historical orchestrette” Pinataland at Barbes

5/18, 10 PM playful, smart, sometimes quirky lyrical songwriters: Kristin Mueller followed at 11 by Marcellus Hall & the Hostages at Pete’s

5/18, 10 PM the literally electric violin duo of Caleb Burhans and Todd Reynolds at the Stone, $10

5/18, 10 PM Thunda Vida play roots reggae at Shrine.

5/18-19, 10 PM the Flail: Dan Blankinship – trumpet , Stephan Moutot – tenor , Brian Marsella – piano , Reid Taylor – bass , Matt Zebroski – drums play melodic, intense original jazz at Smalls.

5/18, 11 PM ferocious dark garage/punk/noiserockers Des Roar at the Gutter bowling alley in Williamsburg, $5

5/18, midnight, psychedelic 60s-influenced indie pop with Damian Quinones and band at Freddy’s.

5/19, 2 PM day two of the Brooklyn Folk Festival kicks off with 40-minute sets until the wee hours beginning with the East River String Band, oldtime hellraisers  Jessy Carolina and the Hot Mess, Ernie Vega on mandolin, M. Shanghai String Band, garifuna band Bodoma, the Calamity Janes, country blues guitarist Willy Gantrim, Valerie Turner’s ragtime project Piedmont Bluz, the charismatic Feral Foster, Jalopy all-stars the Little Brothers, intense Balkan ensemble Cherven TraktorBlind Boy Paxton, the Whistling Wolves and Veveritse Brass Band at around half past midnight. $20 tix, or your best deal, the $45 three-day pass, are available from the Jalopy.

5/19 day two of the Gypsy Tabor Festival has Bulgarian alto sax star Yuri Yunakov and band at 3:30, then a break with music resuming at 6 with bouzouki virtuoso Avram Pengas and Bad Buka headlining at 8 at Onderdonk House, 1820 Flushing Ave, Ridgewood, Queens, $20 per day or $35 two-day pass available at Mehanata, , camping also available

5/19, 6 PM kora virtuoso Yacouba Diabate at Shrine; at 10 the Said Damir Band play hypnotically funky Moroccan gnawa music.

5/19, 7:30 PM snarlingly lyrical NYC noir rock legend LJ Murphy – whose band is sounding better than ever lately – at Otto’s. 

5/19, 7:30 PM snarky Dictators powerpop/garage spinoff the Master Plan open for Radio Birdman’s Deniz Tek at Maxwell’s, $10 adv tix. available at the club and in Manhattan at Other Music.

5/19, 8 PM harpsichordist Elaine Comparone, the Queen’s Chamber Band and guest tenor Shawn Mlynek perform new commissions including Christopher Lyndon-Gee’s Etudes canoniques for 2 Violins, Cello & Harpsichord; George Quincy’s Our World for Voice and Instruments, and David Shohl’s Shades for Flute, Oboe & Harpsichord. plus Bach fugues at First Moravian Church, 154 Lexington Ave (at 30th Street), $25/$10 stud/srs/musicians.

5/19, 8:30 PMish rustic, powerful oldschool gypsy band Harmonia at the Ukrainian National Home on 2nd Ave., $10.

5/19, 8:30 PM ferociously lyrical, smart, jangle/dreampop rockers the Brixton Riot at Fat Baby is CANCELLED due to doublebooking by the club. Their new album Palace Amusements is one of 2012’s ten best, no doubt.

5/19, 9 PM surfy Brooklyn chicha rockers Chicha Libre play the album release show for their wildly psychedelic new one Canibalismo, which along with Raya Brass Band’s new album is 2012′s funnest record, $10.

5/19, 9 PM well-loved goth rockers Night Gallery play the album release show for their new one at R Bar.

5/19, 9 PM clever, endlessly entertaining purist powerpop siren Patti Rothberg at Zirzamin, 90 W Houston

5/19, 9 PM psychedelic worldbeat grooves with Plastic Beast at Freddy’s.

5/19, 9/10:30 PM guitarist Mary Halvorson leads a quintet with Jonathan Finlayson, trumpet; Jon Irabagon, alto sax; Stephan Crump, bass; Ches Smith, drums playing the cd release show for their new one at Cornelia St. Cafe, $20 incl a drink.

5/19, 9:30 trippy female-fronted downtempo pop band Sister Crayon followed by prog rockers Zechs Marquise at Glasslands, $14, you might want to get here a little early.

5/19, 10 PM Pere Ubu bass god Tony Maimone’s latest project, brooding moody postrockers No Grave Like the Sea at Grand Victory, 245 Grand St, Williamsburg $7

5/19, 10 PM psychedelic ten-piece Indian funk monstrosity Brooklyn Qawwali Party at Barbes

5/19, 10:30 PM indie/noiserock legend Steve Wynn and band at Littlefield, $TBA

5/20, 2 (two) PM NYC’s own hypnotic, lush Javanese gamelan orchestra, Gamelan Dharma Swara puts on a wayang kulit (shadow puppet) performance at le Poisson Rouge, $20.

5/20 the final day of the Brooklyn Folk Festival kicks off with 40-minute sets at 2:30 with banjoist Alan Friend and Friends, SQUAREDANCE at 4, guitarist Pat Conte at 5 followed by Wretched Refuse String Band, banjoist Lydia Sylvia, Brett Ratliff & the Giant Rooster Sideshow, Pat Conte & Joe Bellulovich, folk legends Alice Gerrard & Beverly Smith, Brotherhood of the Jug Band Blues, haunting Russian klezmer band Litvakus at 10 and Stephanie Nilles at 11.

5/20, 3 PM the Greenwich Village Orchestra plays Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 9 (guest conductor: Yaniv Segal of the equally eclectic, thrilling Chelsea Symphony) followed by the GVO’s own Barbara Yahr conducting Tschaikovsky’s Symphony No. 5 at Washington Irving HS Auditorium, $15 sugg don., reception to follow.

5/20, 3 PM Contrasts Ensemble – Nurit Pacht, violin; Ayako Oshima, clarinet; Evelyne Luest, piano and guest violist, David Wallace – play works by Stravinsky, Bruch and Brahms at the Lounge at Hudson View Gardens, 128 Pinehurst Ave. at 183rd St., A to 181st St, $12, reception to follow

5/20, 4 PM soprano Julianne Baird plus Allen Whear, cello; John Bailey, harpsichord; Ed Mauger, narrator evoke the “musical world of Ben Franklin” at the Fraunces Tavern Museum, 54 Pearl St., 1/9 to Bowling Green, $25/$15 stud/srs.

5/20, 7 PM the Dixons – the best honkytonk band north of Nashville – play a rare free show at Grand Victory, 245 Grand St, Williamsburg

5/20, 7:15 PM ageless classic-era jazz drummer Chico Hamilton and combo at Drom, $12 adv tix rec

5/20, 7:30 PM guitarist Kirk Salopek’s David Lynch/Angelo Badalamenti project Silencio plays music from most of Lynch’s classic noir films at le Poisson Rouge, $15 adv tix an absolute must.

5/20 bluegrass harmonies with the NYCity Slickers at Rodeo Bar, 9ish.

5/20, 10 PM violinist Zach Brock’s eclectic, surprisingly funky Magic Number trio with Matt Wigton (bass) Fred Kennedy (drums) at the Stone, $10

5/21, 7ish Neil Young/Big Star janglerock and Americana with the Nu-Sonics at Goodbye Blue Monday.

5/21, 7:30/9:30 PM drummer Ralph Peterson leads a phenomenal sextet with Sean Jones, Steve Wilson, Eddie Bayard, Zaccai Curtis on piano and Luques Curtis on bass at Dizzy’s Club, $30.

5/21, 7:30 PM sly noir piano jazz genius Dred Scott leads his trio with Ben Rubin on bass and Jochen Rueckert on drums at Smalls.

5/21, 7:30 PM pianist Jeremy Denk plays Book 1 of Gyorgy Ligeti’s Piano Études and Beethoven’s Sonata No. 32 in C Minor, Op. 111 at le Poisson Rouge, $TBA

5/21, 9 PM a reunion of the Gil Evans Orchestra led by his son, trumpeter Miles Evans in honor of the great composer/arranger’s centenary at Highline Ballroom, $20 adv tix a must

5/21, 9 PM the Noriko Ueda Jazz Orchestra at Tea Lounge in Park Slope

5/22, 7/9:30 PM jangly powerpop/counry-rock guitar genius Chuck Prophet plays Joe’s Pub, $20.

5/22 7:30ish stark, plaintive, soaring Bulgarian folk with chanteuse Vlada Tomova’s Balkan Tales at Barbes followed by Slavic Soul Party at 9

5/22-27 lyrical jazz pianist Fred Hersch has a stand at the Jazz Standard, 7:30/9:30 PM. The 5/22 show is a duo with Miguel Zenon; 5/23, with Ambrose Akinmusire; 5/24, with Julian Lage; 5/25-26 with Dave Holland and Billy Hart; and 5/27 with Renee Marie.

5/22, 8 PM playfully virtuosic piano duo Anderson and Roe (whose cover of Michael Jackson’s Billy Jean is funny but not as good as as the Threeds Oboe Trio’s version) at Galapagos playing the cd release show for their new one, $20 adv tix rec.

5/22, 10:30 PM tuneful oldtime-flavored big band jazz with Darcy James Argue’s Secret Society at le Poisson Rouge, $17 adv tix rec.

5/23, the G-Sharp Duo with violinist Emilie-Anne Gendron and pianist Yelena Grinberg play an all-French program of Faure, Ravel, Messiaen and Saint-Saens at 7 PM at WMP Concert Hall, $20/$10 stud.

5/23, 8 PM Dmitri Slepovitch’s Hasidic Nigunim Project at 6th St. Synagogue, $15 incl. a drink.

5/23, 9 PM jazz organ innovator Sean Wayland at Freddy’s with his band

5/24, 7 PM Willie Nile – charismatic master of the politically relevant underground NYC rock anthem – at Joe’s Pub, $25.

5/24, 7:30 PM agelessly edgy, funky filmmaker/bandleader Melvin Van Peebles w/Laxative plus Burnt Sugar doing their Steely Dan cover project at le Poisson Rouge,$15 adv tix rec

5/24, 7:30 PM the Lunatics at Large indie classical ensemble play works by Harbison, Saariaho, Schuller and Fairouz at WMP Concert Hall, $20/$10 stud.

5/24 the effervescent, theatrical, badass oldtimey Ukuladies at Freddy’s, 8 PM.

5/24, 8 PM a cutting-edge doublebill with Lisa Bielawa on vocals leading an ensemble and then Ashley Bathgate on cello doing the same at 10 at the Stone, $10

5/24, 8 PM clever, innovative indie classical ensemble Deviant Septet plays a series of new works titled Histories by the Sleeping Giant composers’ collective at Issue Project Room, $15.

5/24, 8:30 PM pianist Mitch Schechter’s New American Quartet feat. Greg Wall on the saxophone, Takashi Otsuka on the acoustic bass, and Jonathon Peretz on the drums playing original compositions at 6th St. Synagogue, $10

5/24 intense, smart,original Americana/country songwriter Jan Bell and the Maybelles at Rodeo Bar, 9ish.

5/24, 10 PM Jean Grae at Drom, $15 adv tix a must, this will sell out. The greatest female hip-hop artist of all time? Maybe.

5/24, 10 PM latin-inspired bassist and brilliant, socially aware jazz composer Gregg August leads a quartet with John Ellis – tenor, Eric Doob – drums , Alex Brown – piano at Smalls

5/24, 10 PM cello metal icons Stratospheerius‘ cd release show at Shrine

5/24, 11ish fearlessly political latin rockers/metal cumbia band Outernational wind up their US tour with a small-club show at Dominion, $10, early arrival a must.

5/25, 7:30 PM pianist/composer Eugene Marlow’s eclectic latin/klezmer Heritage Ensemble at the Nuyorican Poets Cafe.

5/25, 7:30 PM trippy, hypnotic indie classical/downtempo percussion ensemble Loop 2.4.3 play the album release show for their cool new one with special guest vocalists, at Joe’s Pub, $15

5/25, 9 PM eclectic, brilliant, haunting oud composer/improviser Mavrothi Kontanis and the Maeandros Ensemble at Alwan for the Arts, $20

5/25, 9 PM a rare solo show by the Moonlighters’ charming but edgy frontwoman Bliss Blood at Red Hook Bait & Tackle.

5/25, 10 PM oldtime string band the Weal and Woe – whose new album is amazing – at the Jalopy, $10.

5/25, 10 PM the reliably interesting, psychedelically-inclined Dither indie classical guitar quartet at the Stone, program TBA, $10.

5/25, 10 PM psychedelic funk and soul with the People’s Champs at Barbes.

5/25, 11ish creepy trippy ornate psychedelic rockers Aunt Ange at the Bitter End.

5/26, 5 PM contemplative, darkly bluesy, guitarishly eclectic rockers Wallace on Fire at LIC Bar

5/26, 6:30 PM torchy, wickedly smart oldtimey/Americana chanteuse Robin Aigner & Parlour Game at Barbes

5/26, 8 PM irrepressible Chinese-American hip-hop with the Notorious MSG at Brooklyn Bowl, $5.

5/26, 9 PM a funky brass triplebill with PitchBlak Brass Band, Afrobeat crew Zongo Junction and the Underground Horns at the 92YTribeca, $10.

5/26, 11 PM sprawlingly creepy oldtimey guys O’Death at Maxwell’s, $10 adv tix. available at the club and in Manhattan at Other Music.

5/27, 7 PM a killer all-night acoustic Americana extravaganza at the Rockwood’s big room: original bluegrass with the Boxcar Lilies, three-part harmony specialists the Stray Birds, 8-piece jug band Spuyten Duyvil, the “Kings County Steamboat Soul” of Roosevelt Dime and dark, surprisingly eclectic Nashville gothic/bluegrass crew Frankenpine headlining at 11.

5/27, 8:30 PM three smart mainstays of theNYC Americana scene: Drina Seay, Homeboy Steve Antonakos and Monica “L’il Mo” Passin in the round upstairs at 2A

5/28, 7 PM Ross Daly (Cretan lyra, tarhu rabab), Omer Erdogdular (ney flute), Ahmet Erdogdular (voice, percussion) play classic Cretan, Turkish and Greek compositions at Symphony Space, pricy ($35) but worth it.

5/28, 7:30 PM the Escher Quartet: Adam Barnett-Hart, violin; Wu Jie, violin; Pierre Lapointe, viola; Dane Johansen, cello play Mendelssohn: Quartet in F Minor, Op. 80; Brett Dean: Eclipse; Zemlinsky: Quartet No. 1, Op. 4 at Advent/ Broadway Church 2504 Broadway at 93rd St., free.

5/29, 7 PM Mariachi Flor de Toloache frontwoman/violinist Mireya Ramos at Barbes followed at 9 by Slavic Soul Party.

5/29-30 pianist Dave Kikoski (of the Mingus Orchestra) leads a tuneful trio with Ed Howard on bass and Al Foster on drums at the Jazz Standard, 7:30/9:30 PM, $20

5/29, 7:30 PM pianist Timothy Andres plays works by Brahms, Schumann, Ingram Marshall, Ted Hearne, and his own compositions at le Poisson Rouge, $15 adv tix rec.

5/29, 8 PM intense violin/bass/drums improv/atmospheric/assaultive trio Iron Dog at Freddy’s; they’re at Local 269 at 10 on 6/10

5/29, 8 PM the NY New Music Ensemble plays works by Franco Donnatoni, Annelies van Parys, Phillippe Hurel and Gerard Grisey at Merkin Concert Hall, $20/$10 stud.

5/29 purist, guitarishly brilliant, jangly country/psychedelic rock band Chris Erikson and the Wayward Puritans at Rodeo Bar, 9ish

5/29, 10 PM Bang on a Can’s Vicky Chow solo on piano at the Stone, $10.

5/30, 7:30 PM stunningly eclectic classical/Middle Eastern/gypsy/worldbeat string band Trio Tritticali play the album release show for their phenomenal new one at the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music, 58 7th Ave. (corner of Lincoln Pl.), Park Slope, $10/$5 stud.

5/30, 8 PM the Tarras Band – sort of the klezmer equivalent of the Mingus bands – playing the great Dave Tarras’ originals and arrangements at 6th St. Synagogue, $15 incl. a drink.

5/30, 8 PM unpredictably bracing, intense avant garde vocalist/composer Amy X Neuburg at the Stone, $10

5/30 soaring but subtle Americana chanteuse/songwriter Hope Debates & North Forty at Rodeo Bar, 9ish.

5/30, 10:30 PM smart, politically aware newschool bluegrass harmony crew 2/3 Goat at Cafe Steinhof in Park Slope.

5/31, 7 PM the mysterious Tiki Brothers, who play kick-ass psychedelic instrumental versions of 60s rock hits and reinvent surf rock classics, at Rocky Sullivan’s in Red Hook

5/31, 8 PM eclectic Afrobeat band Timbila– who kicked ass at last year’s Howl Festival –  followed by the Hot Sardines playing 20s hot jazz at Barbes.

5/31, 8 PM acclaimed avant garde cellist Cornelius Dufallo plays world premieres by Kinan Azmeh, Paul Brantley and Tim Hodgkinson as well as originals and works by JacobTV, Svjetlana Bukvich-Nichols and Patrick Derivaz at Bargemusic, $35/$30srs/$15 stud.

5/31, 8 PM an intriguing jazz doublebill with the Seung-Hee Han Band feat Frank LoCrasto and Adam Kolker followed at 9:30 by guitarist Mike Baggetta with Jason Rigby on sax, Zack Lober on bass and the inimitable George Schuller on drums at ShapeShifter Lab, 18 Whitwell Placebtw 1st St. and Carroll St., Park Slope

5/31-6/3 legendary European bop trumpeter Tomasz Stanko leads a quartet with Dave Virelles – piano; Thomas Morgan – bass; Gerald Cleaver – drums at the Jazz Standard, 7:30/9:30 PM, $25 ($30 Fri-Sat).

5/31, 8 PM Tammy Faye Starlite’s spot-on, cruelly funny Blondie cover band the Pretty Babies at Maxwell’s, $8

5/31, 8 PM the New Amsterdam Symphony Orchestra plays an eclectic program of Mozart’s Symphony No. 36, Borodin’s In the Steppes of Central Asia and Khachaturian’s Masquerade Suite at Symphony Space, $20.

5/31, 8:30 PM the klezmer-fueled Ayn Sof Arkestra & Bigger Band – NYC’s most exciting original big band jazz ensemble – at 6th St. Synagogue, $10

5/31, 9ish Ashen Keilyn’s long-running, well-loved, jangly, moody indie band Scout at Bowey Electric, $8

5/31 frequently haunting oldtime country and bluegrass with Michaela Anne and the Honeycutters at Rodeo Bar, 9ish.

5/31, 9:30 PM dark acoustic Americana/blues/torch song group the Sometime Boys’ cd release show at the Parkside.

5/31, 10 PM the Gregg August Group does what’s essentially a live rehearsal at the Fat Cat. A powerful, politically aware composer and a smartly melodic player, one of the most interesting four-string guys in jazz

5/31, 10 PM Joe Pug – who’s quickly building a vast catalog of smartly lyrical, fearlessly political Americana/blues songs – at Bowery Ballroom, $13 adv tix rec. Make sure to avoid the putrid couplecore act who play at 9.

6/1-2 American Composers Orchestra’s annual new music readings at the DiMenna Center, 450 W. 37th St, free & open to the public, reservations rec. for the 6/1 working rehearsal and run-throughs on 6/2 feat. new works by Ryan Chase, Peter Fahey, Michael-Thomas Foumai, Paul Kerekes, Pin Hsin Lin, and Benjamin Taylor.

6/1, 5:30 PM oldtime fiddler Jackson Lynch at the American Folk Art Museum, free.

6/1, 6 PM bad segue, good show: eclectic tango/classical clarinet virtuoso Thomas Piercy followed at 8:30 by Canadian darkwave chanteuse NLX at Caffe Vivaldi

6/1, 7:30 PM Ukrainian virtuoso Julian Kytasty leads the New York Bandura Ensemble at the Ukrainian Museum, 222 E 6th St. (2nd Ave/Bowery), $15.

6/1, 7:30/9:30 PM Jon Irabagon on saxes with Sean Wayland on Organ and EJ Strickland on Drums at the Bar Next Door

6/1, 8 PM wildly guitar-driven psychedelic female-fronted power trio Devi outdoors at the Grove St. Path train station in Jersey City, free.

6/1, 8 PM an eclectic, amusingoldtime/Americana quadruplebill at the Bell House with Woodpecker, the Gentleman Callers, all-female Dolly Parton cover band Doll Parts and the satirical Menage a Twang, $10

6/1, 9 PM plaintive, powerful, innovative Bosnian accordionist Merima Kljuco joins forces with equally haunting, intense Balkan chanteuse Eva Salina Primack for an evening of Kljuco’s Sevdah Songs cycle, a radical reinvention of centuries-old works at Alwan for the Arts, $20, early arrival highly advised.

6/1, 9/10:30 PM intriguing globally-flavored improvisations with Petros Klampanis, bass and compositions; Jean-Michel Pilc, piano; Ari Hoenig, drums; Christos Rafalides, vibraphone at Cornelia St Cafe, $10 + $10 min.

6/1, 10:30 PM eclectic, soulful B3 organist Jared Gold and trombonist Dave Gibson lead a Quintet at the Fat Cat

6/2 organist Christopher Houlihan plays symphonic works by legendary, cutting-edge French composer Louis Vierneto commemorate the 75th anniversary of his death at the Church of the Ascension, 5th Ave. at 10th St. At 3 PM he plays Symphonies 1, 3 and 5; and at 7:30 PM, Symphonies 2, 4 and 6.

6/2, 6ish PM-ish Walter Lure’s ageless punk-powerpop band the Waldos at Tompkins Square Park.

6/2, 8 PM the Sima Trio: Sami Merdinian, violin;vAni Kalayjian, cello;vSofya Melikyan, piano with special guests Christine Moore, soprano and Vasko Dukovski, duduk and clarinet play Armenian composers at at Alwan for the Arts, $20.

6/2 at 8 PM, repeating on 6/3 at 3 PM violinist Mark Peskanov and pianist Nina Kogan play Brahms – Sonatensatz in C minor, WoO 2; Beethoven – Violin Sonata No. 9 in A Major, Op. 47, “Kreutzer”; Schubert – Sonata for Violin and Piano in A Major, D. 574, “Duo” and Sarasate – Carmen Fantasy at Bargemusic, $35/$30 srs./$15stud

6/2, 8 PM eclectic country, blues and Americana with American String Conspiracy at Freddy’s.

6/2, 8:30 PM art-rocker Pierre de Gaillande and band playing his spot-on English-language versions of Georges Brassens classics at the Jalopy followed by M Shanghai String Band at 10, $10.

6/2, 9 PM Jack Grace’s surreal, funky, late 90s/early zeros jamband Steak is back together and they’re playing at Brooklyn Rod & Gun Club. Come see how hard the Martini Cowboy used to rock: they’re great fun live.

6/2, 9 PM Bad Buka’s “gypsy punk meltdown” at Mehanata, $10.

6/2, 9:45 PM smart, multistylistic jazz-pop/bossa nova chanteuse Sinem Saniye at Caffe Vivaldi

6/2, 10 PM a rare small club show by noir ska ensemble Tri-State Conspiracy at Hank’s

6/3, 3 PM-ish CBGB punk legends the Sic Fucs at Tompkins Square Park

6/3, 3 PM. up-and-coming avant-garde ensemble Face the Music plays Osvaldo Golijov’s Last Round for string ensemble; Steve Martland’s Horses of Instruction, for mixed classical/rock ensemble; Anna Clyne’s short quartet Primula Vulgaris; and Robert Honstein’s Night Mixes, at PS 321, 180 7th Avenue, Park Slope, Brooklyn, $15, all proceeds to benefit the school music program.

6/3, 7 PM Slavic Soul Party drummer Chris Stromquist’s Raskolnikov brass band with Brandon Seabrook on banjo at Barbes

6/3, 7:30 PM the Andre Matos Quartet with Jacob Sacks, Dave Ambrosio and Billy Mintz followed by the Frank Carlberg Trio feat. Matt Pavolka and Richie Barshay) at 8:30 and then composer/chanteuse Sara Serpa headlining with her combo: guitarist Andre Matos, pianist Kris Davis, bassist Aryeh Kobrinsky and drummer Dan Dan Weiss at ShapeShifter Lab, 18 Whitwell Pl, Park Slope, Brooklyn.

6/3, 8ish baritone western swing crooner Sean Kershaw at Grand Victory in Williamsburg

6/3, 8:30 PM innovative, hauntingly intense 4-woman Bulgarian a-appella quartet Black Sea Hotel at the big room at the Rockwood, $10.

6/3, 9ish Trailer Radio play amusing retro 60s original honkytonk songs at at Rodeo Bar.

6/4, 9ish moody 80s-ish female-fronted neosoul/downtempo band Teletextile at the Cameo Gallery, $10.

6/4, 9 PM an avant evening with cellist Valerie Kuehne plus Lucas Brode, the Jazzfakers and Jason Ajemian at Small Beast upstairs at the Delancey

6/4, midnight-ish noir guitarist par excellence Ben Von Wildenhaus with his Twin Peaks style band at Manhattan Inn in Greenpoint.

6/5, 8 PM a whopper of a veteran LES rock quadruplebill: Lakeside all-stars Los Dudes, legendary and perennially fresh psychedelic punk/dreampop pioneers Band of Outsiders, their friends Certain General and John Cale collaborator/chanteuse Deerfrance with her band at Local 269, free

6/5, 8 PM a killer eclectic songwriter bill with multi-instrumentalist Alice Bierhorst and soaring Britfolk/jazz/janglerock chanteuse Amanda Thorpe at Freddy’s.

6/5, 8 PM legendary reggae crooner Jimmy Cliff at Prospect Park Bandshell. This you won’t get into unless you get there obscenely early, so best to view from outside the arena. And please don’t fall for the beggars asking for the absurd $3 donation – all this is paid for by corporate and taxpayer money many times over.

6/5-9, 8:30/11 PM this era’s premier hot/cool jazzkitten/composer Karin Allyson at Birdland, $30 tix avail.

6/5, 8:30/10:30 PM soulful B3 grooves: Ed Cherry on guitar with Pat Bianchi on organ and McClenty Hunter on drums at the Bar Next Door, $12.

6/5-9, 11 PM (quarter to one in the morning on 6/8 and 6/9, or 6/9 and 6/10 if you want to be precise about it) dynamie, imaginative, melodic postbop combo the Flail at Dizzy’s Club, $10 seats avail.

6/6 the Dandy Warhols at the Bell House are sold out

6/6, 6:30 PM the reliably eclectic, edgy Geoff Vidal on saxophone with Sean Conly on bass and Jochen Rueckert on drums at the Bar Next Door, free

6/6, 8 PM noir guitarist Ben von Wildenhaus does a live collaboration with video artists House Plants at Cantina Royale, 58 N. 3rd St at Wythe Ave, Williamsburg, $7.

6/6, 10 PM roaring, tuneful Link Wray-inspired hotrod and surf instrumentals with the Howlin Thurstons at Fontana’s, $7

6/7, noon, Larry Graham & Graham Central Station at Metrotech Park in downtown Brooklyn, free. Reputedly the pantheonic bassist from Sly Stone’s band is every inch as dangerous as he was 40+ years ago.

6/7, half past noon pianist Arturo O’Farrill leads a slightly smaller than usual latin jazz combo at St. Mark’s Park, 2nd Ave/10th St.

6/7 comedic chanteuse Jessica Delfino presents the NY Funny Songs Fest, something that deserves to exist. Day 1 is at 6 PM at Lolita Bar, 266 Broome St, cover is $8. It continues on 6/10 with two shows at 2 and 4:30 PM at Culturefix for $10

6/7, 7ish a “survivors of Max’s Kansas City” night with what’s left of the Shirts followed eventually by the Sic Fucs at Bowery Electric, $15 adv tix rec.

6/7, 7 PM leaders of the 90s hip-hop school Sean Price of the Boot Camp Clik, Buckshot and Smif n Wessun at Betsy Head Park, 865 Boyland St, Brownsville, Brooklyn, C to Rockaway Ave.

6/7, 7:30 PM American Modern Ensemble plays Robert Paterson’s furtive, noir, cinematic suite Sextet along with travel-inspired pieces by John Adams, Steve Reich, Erik Friedlander and Billy Strayhorn at Merkin Concert Hall, $10

6/7, 7:30 PM percussionist/composer Eli Keszler with Anthony Coleman, organ and celeste; Ashley Paul, saxes and clarinet; Alex Waterman, cello; Spencer Yeh, violin; Catherine Lamb, viola; Geoff Mullen, guitar; and Reuben Son, bassoon play the album release show for Keszler’s ambitious new site-specific piece L-Carrier at Eyebeam Art & Technology Center, 540 W. 21st St. in NYC, between 10th and 11th Aves. and streaming live at The installation will remain on display through 6/23. Careful! A spycam is involved in the live performance!

6/7, 8 PM charismatic, intense, inscrutably hilarious purist retro songwriter/accordionist/improviser Rachelle Garniez at Barbes followed at 10 by klezmer/bluegrass alchemist Andy Statman ($10).

6/7, 8 PM high-energy cowpunks I’ll Be John Brown at Spike Hill.

6/7, 8:30/10:30 an all-star multigenerational jazz guitar summit with Tosh Sheridan, Gene Bertoncini and John Stowell at the Bar Next Door, $12.

6/7, 10 PM Amsterdam gypsy jazz band the Secret Swing Society at the Jalopy, $10.

6/8, 6ish dark, intensely lyrical pianist/songwriter Jodi Shaw at the American Folk Art Museum, free.

6/8, 7 PM saxophoist Nick Hempton leads his quartet through an edgy, wickedly tuneful mix of postbop originals at the Fat Cat

6/8, 8 PM one of the year’s best doublebills: noir Americana songwriter Eilen Jewell followed by third-wave surf legends Los Straitjackets at City Winery, $18 standing room avail.

6/8, 8 PM country blues guitar star Thomasina Winslow at the Good Coffeehouse at the Brooklyn Society for Ethical Culture, 53 Prospect Park West, $15 ($6 for kids)

6/8, 8 PM oldtime fiddle duo Brittany Haas (of Crooked Still(, and Lauren Rioux (from Republic of Strings) followed at 9:30 PM by grasscore trio the Tillers at the Jalopy, $10

6/8-9, 8 PM eclectic, hypnotic Iranian-American multi-instrumentalist songwriter Fared Shinafury (of Austin freak-folk ensemble Tehranosaurus) at Zirzamin, $35

6/8, 8 PM Yasiin Bey (FKA Mos Def), Leslie Uggams and members of the Brooklyn Philharmonic play works by Bey, Cole Porter, Rogers & Hart, Fats Waller, Harold Arlen, plus Beethoven and the Beethoven Remix Project at Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Plaza, 1368 Fulton St., Brooklyn, free.

6/8, 9 PM a roots reggae doublebill with the psychedelic dub/latin sounds of El Pueblo followed at 10 by Random Test at Shrine

6/8, 9ish the twisted funny retro 60s country stylings of the Jack Grace Band at Rodeo Bar.

6/8-9, 10 PM Irish drinking music par excellence with Shilelagh Law at Connolly’s

6/8, 10 PM accordionist Rob Curto’s forro group at Barbes

6/8, half past midnight (actually wee hours of 6/9) psychedelic funk orchestra Turkuaz at Sullivan Hall, $10.

6/9, 3 PM the wildly eclectic, jam-oriented Metropolitan Klezmer at the NYPL 67th St branch, 328 E 67th St (1st/2nd Aves); 6/14 they’re at St. Mark’s Park, 2nd Ave/10th St. at half past noon

6/9, 7:30 PM eclectic East African siren/bandleader Alsarah & the Nubatones followed by Malian/Cuban collaboration Afrocubism at Prospect Park Bandshell.

6/9, 8 PM a benefit for paralyzed producer Scotty Hard at the Brooklyn Bowl with stoner funkster Little Shalimar plus Afrobeat bands Emefe, Antibalas and more, $15 adv tix rec

6/9, 8:30 PM satirical metalish Yiddish Princess and Sephardic rockers Deleon at Union Hall, $8.

6/9 oldschool soul from the late 60s with JC Brooks & the Uptown Sound at Maxwell’s

6/9, 9 PM vaudevillian gypsy rockers Caravan of Thieves at the 92YTribeca, $12 adv tix rec.

6/9, 9/10:30 PM saxophonists Sam Newsome and Dave Liebman join forces with a quartet at Cornelia St. Cafe, $15 + $10 min

6/9, 9:20 PM psychedelic Middle Eastern/Balkan/Asian jamband Tribecastan at Drom, $20.

6/10, 2 (two) PM cellist Matt Haimovitz and his 8-cello ensemble Uccello play music by Ellington, Mingus, Miles Davis, Gershwin and others at Bargemusic, $35/$30 srs./$15stud

6/10, 8ish Talib Kweli at Von King Park, Bed-Stuy, G to Myrtle-Willoughby.

6/10, 8:30 PM drummer Dan Weiss leads an intriguing melodic jazz trio with Jacob Sacks, piano and Thomas Morgan, bass at Cornelia St. Cafe, $10 + $10 min

6/10, 9 PM eclectic country blues powerhouse Blind Boy Paxton at the Jalopy, $10.

6/10, 9ish the NYCity Slickers play their soaring, harmony-driven bluegrass at Rodeo Bar.

6/11, 10 PM NYC’s creepiest, most intense noir cinematic band Beninghove’s Hangmen at Spike Hill.

6/11, 11ish irresistibly assaultive noiserockers the Sediment Club at Death by Audio, $7.

6/11, midnight the twisted funny retro 60s country stylings of the Jack Grace Band at at the Ear Inn

6/12, 5:30 PM bassist Gregg August may be best known for his work in JD Allen’s pbands, but he’s also a brilliant, socially aware composer – he leads his quintet on the plaza out back of the World Financial Center

6/12, 6-9 PM it’s the Museum Mile Festival – free admission at a whole slew of museums starting at 103rd St.

6/12, 7 PM alt-country pioneer (and brilliant, eclectic guitarist) Robbie Fulks at Barbes followed at 9 by Slavic Soul Party ($10).

6/12, 7:30 PM hypnotic, intense minimalist avant piano/strings/percussion ensemble Build at Drom, $10

6/12 Margaret Leng Tan plays Satie and Satie-inspired composers on toy piano at Roulette.

6/12, 8ish reggae crooner Bushman at Von King Park, Bed-Stuy, G train to Myrtle-Willoughby.

6/12, 9ish clever, endlessly entertaining purist powerpop siren Patti Rothberg at Rodeo Bar

6/13, 6:30 PM Lichtman’s Brain Cloud play western swing outdoors on the plaza at the Brooklyn Public Library at Grand Army Plaza, free.

6/13, 9 PM the reliably boisterous, smartly entertaining oldtimey Two Man Gentlemen Band celebrate their new album of drinking songs at Joe’s Pub, $12 adv tix very highly rec.

6/13, 9ish tongue-in-cheek, period-perfect early 50s style country from Susquehanna Industrial Tool & Die Co. at Rodeo Bar

6/14, noon, pianist Arturo O’Farrill and the Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra at Metrotech Park in downtown Brooklyn, free.

6/14, half past noon, sizzling, eclectic, jam-oriented worldbeat/klezmer band Metropolitan Klezmer at St. Mark’s Park, 2nd Ave/10th St.

6/14, 7ish purist jazz guitarist Nick Moran leads a trio at the Garage Restaurant

6/14, 8 PM EPMD – Erick & Parrish still making a least a few dollars – at Von King Park, Bed-Stuy, G to Myrtle-Willoughby

6/14-15, 8 PMish long-running, influential 90s “postrock” band Mogwai at Webster Hall, $35 tix avail. at the Irving Plaza box office.

6/14, 9 PM haunting, female-fronted Turkish Balkan band Dolunay followed by ten-piece Balkan powerhouse Veveritse Brass Band at the Jalopy, $10.

6/14, 9 PM ageless Chicago blues guitar icon Matt Guitar Murphy at Lucille’s, 9 PM, $20 adv tix rec.

6/14 cumbia stars Chico Trujillo at SOB’s, 9 PM, $20.

6/14, 9 PM Laura Marling at Prospect Park Bandshell. Recommended with several caveats: the place will be crawling with yuppies and trendoids, and as pleasant and purist as the Britfolk chanteuse is, she’s not worth sitting through two hot, terminally boring hours of Willy Mason and Michael Kiwanuka. Although some of the yuppies’ puppies might start whining, in which case they might leave and there might be room for you. But maybe not.

6/14, 10 PM inscrutable cellist/multi-instrumentalist/siren Serena Jost and her band at Barbes

6/14 wild gypsy band Mucca Pazza at Public Assembly

6/14, 10:30 PM psychedelic, horn-driven reggae crew Ilamawana at Sullivan Hall, $10.

6/15, 8 PM oldschool honkytonk and fiery psychedelic paisley underground rock with the Newton Gang, followed by Thee Shambels and then this generation’s finest country voice, Laura Cantrell at the Jalopy, $10 incl. free beer 8-9 PM.

6/15, 8 PM Hannah vs. the Many play sharply literate, angry, individualistic, tuneful female-fronted powerpop and noir cabaret at Arlene’s

6/15, 8 PM haunting, rustic and eclectic gypsy/klezmer/flamenco sounds with the Ljuba Davis Ladino Ensemble feat. oud genius Avram Pengas at Drom, $10 adv tix rec.

6/15, 8 PM the effervescent, theatrical, badass oldtimey Ukuladies at Barbes followed at 10 by Nation Beat bandleader Scott Kettner’s Orgy in Rhythm maracatu project

6/15, 9 PM haunting, atmospheric gothic Americana chanteuse Marissa Nadler at Union Hall, $12. She’s at Joe’s Pub on the 16th.

6/15, 9 PM reliably charming, politically edgy Hawaiian swing/torch jazz band the Moonlighters at Brooklyn Rod & Gun Club.

6/15, 9/10:30 PM redoubtably tuneful pianist/composer Kris Davis leads a trio with Michael Formanek, bass and Nasheet Waits, drums at Cornelia St. Cafe, $10 + $10 min.

6/15, 9:30 PM popular Americana rockers the Felice Bros. at the Brooklyn Bowl, $20

6/15, 10 PM Royal Khaoz play roots reggae at Shrine.

6/16, 3 (three) PM a daylong Americana show at the Jalopy with blues guitar powerhouse Will Scott, Low & the Lonesome, the Dirt Floor Revue, Nikki Sue & the Bad News, the haunting oldtimey Michaela Anne and band at 7, dark acoustic Nashville gothic crew Frankenpine at 8, the Newton Gang doing the cd release show for their long-awaited new one at 9, the High Irons at 10 and the Grand Prospect at 11. Whew.

6/16, 3 PM string quintet Cyrene – which is quartet Brooklyn Rider plus an extra cello – play a musical interpretation of 12th century Persian poet Nezami’s Layla and Majnun, a sort of percursor to Romeo and Juliet with music by music by Colin Jacobsen, Giovanni Sollima, Henry Purcell, and Vartabed Komitas plus traditional Armenian and Persian melodies at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, $15 (your ticket also includes admission to the museum if you feel like a treat for the eyes before or after).

6/16, 6:30 PM eclectic, raw, ecstatic worldbeat triplebill with the Brazilian/C&W Nation Beat, cumbia stars Chico Trujillo and perennially popular Balkan Beat Box at Prospect Park Bandshell, get there on time.

6/16, 7:15 PM SisterMonk’s intense worldbeat jam funk/punk at Caffe Vivaldi.

6/16, 8ish noir cabaret/new wave rock chanteuse Lucy Foley and band plus worldbeat jamband Plastic Beast at Freddy’s

6/16, 8 PM the Cannabis Cup Reggae Band and politically-fueled French-African reggae legend Tiken Jah Fakoly at the Apollo Theatre, $25 tix still available at the box office, get ’em now.

6/16, 9ish period-perfect female-fronted dark new wave band the Foxx at Death by Audio, $7

6/16, 9:30 PM haunting Turkish worldbeat jazz with the Senem Diyici Mavi Yol 4tet at Drom, $10 adv tix highly rec

6/17 this year’s Bang on a Can Marathon starts at noon at the World Financial Center.

6/17, 7 PM Balkan/klezmer mandolinist Avi Avital at Barbes followed at 9 by gypsy guitar paradigm-shifter Stephane Wrembel.

6/17, 9ish hilarious, eclectically satirical cowpunk rockers Uncle Leon & the Alibis at Rodeo Bar.

6/18, 9 PM wickedly tuneful hip-hop/funk group Hypnotic Brass Ensemble plays a rare gig with their dad, 60s Chicago free jazz legend Kelan Phil Cohran at Highline Ballroom, $15 adv tix rec

6/19, 5:30 PM pyrotechnic virtuoso Colombian harpist Edmar Castaneda on the plaza at the World Financial Center. He’s also at One New York Plaza at 6/21 at 5 (five).

6/19, 7:30 PM the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra plays Grieg’s Holberg Suite plus Romanian folk dances arranged by Bartok along with works by Rossini and Mozart at the Naumburg Bandshell in Central Park, early arrival advised if you want a seat.

6/19, 8:30 PM edgy chamber-pop/jangle/indie band Bern & the Brights at Bowery Electric, $8

6/20, 6:30 PM the Cassatt String Quartet play a program of nocturnes including Night by Ernst Bloch; Cypresses (excerpts) by Antonin Dvorak; Quiet Time (excerpts) by Sebastian Currier; Nocturne from Qt. 2 by Alexander Borodin; Restless Nation (excerpts) by Andy Teirstein; Lullaby by George Gershwin at the Hayden Planetarium, $15

6/20, 6:30 PM bassist Katie Thiroux and her Quartet play swing jazz outdoors on the plaza at the Brooklyn Public Library at Grand Army Plaza, free.

6/20, 7 PM the Philip Glass Ensemble at Rockefeller Park at Chambers St. and the river.

6/20 popular Americana songwriter James Maddock at Madison Square Park, 7 PM.

6/20, 8:30 PM irrepressible, cerebral, tuneful third-stream improvisation with Jean-Michel Pilc, piano; Francois Moutin, bass; Ari Hoenig, drums at Cornelia St. Cafe, $TBA

6/20, 9ish torchy Americana chanteuse Megan Reilly at Rodeo Bar.

6/20, 9:30 PM Americana singer/bandleader Alana Amram & the Rough Gems followed by Nashville gothic siren Emily Jane White at Glasslands, $10, be aware that it will be hot and unairconditioned here.

6/20, 10ish smart, tuneful female-fronted powerpop band Delusions of Grand Street play the ep release show for their new one at Bowery Electric, $8.

6/21 is the ostensibly all-day busk-a-thon Make Music NY. Lately the trend has been that bands reserve space for the day and play at night. The whole schedule is here: check out who’s in your neighborhood or playing on your walk to the train.

6/21, 4 PM furry-suited ragtime band the Xylopholks, Indian classical Carnatic Ensemble and the Prokofiev Sonata for 20 Violins performed live outside Cornelia St. Cafe

6/21, 7 PM latin jazz hall of famer Eddie Palmieri and band at Rockefeller Park.

6/21, 8 PM Indian mandolinist Snehasish Mozumder and his worldbeat group at Barbes followed at 10 by 10-piece psycho mambo band Gato Loco.

6/21, 8:30 PM Afrobeat funksters Zongo Junction followed eventually by retro soul crooner Eli Paperboy Reed at the Bell House, $12 adv tix rec.

6/21, 9 PM the Pearly Snaps a.k.a. fiddler Steph “Pearly” Jenkins and banjoist Rosie “Snap” Newton at the Jalopy, $10

6/21, 10ish noir/noiserock legend Steve Wynn and then the ageless garage-rocking Fleshtones at Bowery Electric, $12 adv tix rec.

6/21, 10:45 PM haunting, intense Lebanese-French trumpeter/composer Ibrahim Maalouf with his ensemble at Drom, free w/rsvp to (212) 777-1157

6/22 the Mynabirds with their politically fueled female-fronted American/folk rock at the Mercury.

6/22, 8 PM art-rocker Pierre de Gaillande and band playing his spot-on English-language versions of Georges Brassens classics at Barbes followed at 10 by ten-piece bhangra funk orchestra Brooklyn Qawwali Party.

6/22, 9 PM eclectic Colombian surf/soundtrack/funk band Il Albanico at BAM Cafe

6/22, 9 PM grasscore/jamband the Infamous Stringdusters at the Brooklyn Bowl, $12.

6/22, 9 PM high-energy oldtimey Americana band Holy Ghost Tent Revival at Union Hall, $10.

6/22, 9 PM high-energy Mexican folk-punk band Radio Jarocho at the Jalopy, $10.

6/23, 8 PM Llama plays psychedelic original oldschool salsa at Barbes.

6/23, 8 PM, repeating on 6/24 at 3 PM Mark Peskanov, violin; Edward Arron, cello and Jeewon Park, piano play Saint Saens – Piano Trio No. 2, in E minor, Op.92; Beethoven – Piano Trio Op. 70 No. 1 in D Major “Ghost”and Ravel – Piano Trio at Bargemusic, $35/$30 srs./$15stud.

6/23, 9ish brilliant Americana/rockabilly guitarist Rosie Flores at Rodeo Bar.

6/23, 9 PM the Jalopy’s all-star jugband/country blues/hillbilly crew the Whiskey Spitters at the Jalopy, $10.

6/23, 9:30 PM long-running goth/pop chanteuse Kristin Hoffmann at Caffe Vivaldi

6/24, 5ish PM the Alabama Shakes at Central Park Summerstage. Isn’t it nice that a band that plays real soul music has blown up bigtime? Of course it is. Is it worth getting here at 3 on the button when the gates open and then suffering through the tedium of Robert Ellis and Diamond Rugs just to see them? No.

6/24, 7:30 PM Indonesian choral music with the 24-piece Manado State University Choir directed by André de Quadros at St. Paul’s Chapel downtown (Broadway and Fulton).

6/25, 8:30 PM pianist Azusa Ueno plays Franck, Liszt and Debussy at Cornelia St. Cafe, $10 cover plus $10 min.

6/26, 5:30 PM the cutting-edge Portland Cello Project in the parking lot behind City Winery, free

6/26, 7 PM deviously smart, intensely tuneful contemporary klezmer rockers Daniel Kahn & the Painted Bird, the satirical Yiddish Princess and ageless klezmerite titans the Klezmatics at Central Park Summerstage (the calendar simply says Central Park, but the map points to the stage. If that’s wrong, listen for flat fifths!).

6/26, 7 PM stark, plaintive, soaring Bulgarian folk with chanteuse Vlada Tomova’s Balkan Tales at Barbes followed at 9 by Slavic Soul Party ($10 cover).

6/26, 7:15 PM eclectic worldbeat/jazz violinist Luca Ciarla leads a quartet at Drom, $10 adv tix highly rec.

6/27 jazz chanteuse Gretchen Parlato at Madison Square Park, 6:30 PM.

6/27, 7 PM the amazing all-female jam-oriented klezmer/jazz ensemble Isle of Klezbos in the community garden on E 12th St btw Avenues A & B; in case of rain, the show moves to the JCC, 334 Amsterdam Ave @ 76th St.

6/27, 7 PM ageless first-wave reggae band Third World at Rockefeller Park.

6/27, 8 PM eclectic country/rock siren/bandleader Alana Amram & the Rough Gems at Spike Hill.

6/27, 8:30 PM one of this era’s most interesting baritone sax players/composers, Brian Landrus with Nir Felder, guitar; Frank Carlberg, piano; Lonnie Plaxico, bass; Rudy Royston, drums at Cornelia St. Cafe, $10 + $10 min.

6/27, 9 PM dark jangly Americana rockers the Sadies at Brooklyn Bowl, $10.

6/27, 9 PM jazz organ improviser Sean Wayland and combo at Freddy’s;he’s also here on 7/25 at 9.

6/27, 10ish quirky, edgy smart all-female rockers the Walking Hellos at Death by Audio

6/28, half past noon trombonist Art Baron leads a combo St. Mark’s Park, 2nd Ave/10th St. – last time he played here he had Bucky Pizzarelli and the show was off the hook.

6/28, 7:30 PM the US debut of the ABC&D of Boogie Woogie, a piano-based dance band led by the Stones’ Charlie Watts out back of Lincoln Center, $17 adv tix rec at the box office.

6/28, 7:30 PM funk bass goddess Shelley Nicole’s Blakbushe at Drom, $12 adv tix rec.

6/28, 10 PM Veveritse Brass Band – as intense as Slavic Soul Party but without the hip-hop influence, and more improvisational – at Barbes.

6/29, 7 PM it’s the Battle of the Boroughs finals at the Greene Space. This competition isn’t just some dumb exploitative ripoff – they actually get some good bands here. Last year’s winner was Charanams, a smart, original Indian worldbeat group. $15 cover includes a beer or glass of wine; $30 gets you open wine and beer bar plus the show; acts TBA pending the winner of the Manhattan segment.

6/29, 7:30 PM flamenco rock with the Mar Sala Band plus Spanish/Brazilian chanteuse Rebeca Vallejo at Drom, $10 adv tix rec.

6/29, 8 PM a rare NYC appearance by Colombian gaita revivalists Los Gaiteros de San Jacinto at Barbes followed at 10 by the funky, psychedelic People’s Champs.

6/29, 8 PM the eclectic, potently socially aware Afrobeat/reggae Refugee All-Stars of Sierra Leone at Highline Ballroom, $25 adv tix highly rec.

6/29, 9 PM fiery Balkan bass/accordion duo Cinder Conk at the Jalopy, $10.

6/29, 9 PM wickedly lyrical Americana songwriter Marcellus Hall (ex-Railroad Jerk and White Hassle) at Brooklyn Rod & Gun Club

6/29, 9ish twangy bluegrass/C&W rockers Demolition String Band – who’ve never sounded better – at Rodeo Bar

6/29, 11:30 PM dark, moody gypsy/steampunk/Americana art-rockers Kotorino at Joe’s Pub.

6/30 quirky music night with Ethan Lipton & His Orchestra at 8 followed at 10 by the self-explanatory Toys & Tiny Instruments at Barbes.

6/30, 9 PM deviously innuendo-driven, charmingly retro French chanson revivalists les Chauds Lapins at the Jalopy, $10.

6/30, 9ish longtime NYC Americana standout Mick Hargreaves & the King Guys play rockabilly at Rodeo Bar

7/1 the perennially relevant, satirical Reverend Billy & the Church of Stop Shopping Gospel Choir – whose mighty sound will move you to action against eco-destroyers and corporate criminals – at Highline Ballroom.

7/1, 8:30 PM pianist Dave Restivo leads a trio with Lauren Fall, bass and Owen Howard, drums at Cornelia St. Cafe $10 + $10min, followed at 10 by “Canadian Club” i.e. Tony Malaby, tenor sax; Kris Davis, piano; Nick Fraser, drums.

7/1, 9 PM soul rockers Mighty Fine plus the oldtimey Rev. Peyton’s Big Damn Band or whatever they call themselves at the Brooklyn Bowl, $10.

7/3, 5:30 PM mighty, funky, horn-driven 25-piece New Orleans band Brother Joscephus & the Love Revival Revolution Orchestra in the parking lot behind City Winery, free

7/3, 7:30 PM Pakistani crooner/guitarist Arieb Azar at the Schimmel Auditorium at Pace University on Spruce St; free tix available 2 per person starting at 5 PM day of show.

7/4 harmony-driven oldtimey honkytonk hellraisers the Sweetback Sisters followed by the oldtimey high-energy sounds of Spuyten Duyvil at Madison Square Park, 4 PM.

7/5, 7:30 PM dark female-fronted new wave/punk band Ingrid & the Defectors followed eventually by punk-era powerpop legend Bebe Buell and her band at Highline Ballroom, $15

7/7, 3 PM, in order to get into Central Park Summerstage to see Guided by Voices when they hit the stage around 5, you’ll have to stand through a whole set by at least one of the world’s suckiest bands. You might want to show up at 5 instead and take this one in from outside the arena.

7/7, 7:30 PM intense, virtuoso oudist and violinist Simon Shaheen and group kick off what will probably be a transcendent doublebill with politically fearless Algerian siren Souad Massi at Prospect Park Bandshell.

7/7, 8 PM oldschool conscious hip hop lyricist Chubb Rock at Crotona Park in Queens.

7/7, 8 PM legendary synth band Tangerine Dream – who claim to have invented techno – at the Nokia Theatre, $35 tix avail.

7/7, 11 PM high-energy virtuoso barrelhouse blues with the 4th St. Nite Owls at Freddy’s.

7/8, 6 PM smart, tuneful, counterintuitive Persian jazz/dub instrumentals with Sohrab’s SoSaLa featuring Brian Prunka on oud and Damon Banks on bass at Downtown Music Gallery

7/10, 7 PM perennially popular salsa chanteuse La India at Rockefeller Park.

7/10, 7:30 PM well-loved indie classical orchestra the Knights play Schumann’s Cello Concerto in A minor, Op 129, Debussy’s Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun, Thomas Ades’ Three Studies from Couperin and Colin Jacobsen’s arrangement of the classic Persian theme Ascending Bird at the Naumburg Bandshell in Central Park, early arrival advised if you want a seat

7/11, half past noon purist Britfolk songwriter Ian Link at 1 Liberty Plaza downtown

7/11, 6 PM electric blues stars from the 60s: John Mayall followed eventually at around 8 by Buddy Guy on the water out back of the World Financial Center, free.

7/11, 6:30 PM the Wiyos – whose psychedelic Wizard of Oz-inspired new album is killer – outdoors on the plaza at the Brooklyn Public Library at Grand Army Plaza. Raindate: 7/12.

7/11 edgy eclectic nouveau-cabaret chanteuse Nellie McKay at Madison Square Park, 7 PM.

7/11, 7:15 PM Persian-American chanteuse Mamak Khadem sings her new arrangements of Sohrab Sepehri poetry at Drom with her worldbeat ensemble, $20

7/11, 7:30 PM Missy Mazzoli and her moody, swirling, lushly artsy rock band Victoire at the Schimmel Auditorium at Pace University on Spruce St; free tix available 2 per person starting at 5 PM day of show.

7/12, noon, newschool blues powerhouse Shemekia Copeland at Metrotech Park in downtown Brooklyn, free. She’s either opening for or playing with what’s left of NRBQ – stay tuned.

7/12, 7 PM oldschool/newschool soul spectacular: Charles Bradley & the Extraordinaires and then Neko Case on the water out back of the World Financial Center, free.

7/12, 7 PM George Clinton & P-Funk at Rockefeller Park.

7/13, 9 PM original Ethiopian-flavored funk with Debo Band at the Bell House, $15

7/14 Argentinian ska-punk rockers Los Auténticos Decadentes at 5ish at Central Park Summerstage.

7/14, 7 PM Her & Kings County at Highline Ballroom, $12 adv tix rec. First discovered this twangy, excellently tuneful country-rock band at a show at Hank’s one cold night back in the zeros. Frontwoman Monique Staffile was genuine and down-to-earth, and still is, and the band has gone on to be a big touring act.

7/14, 8/11 PM Debbie Davies – one of the world’s most exhilarating blues guitarists – at Lucille’s, $10 adv tix rec.

7/14, 8 PM edgy politically-fueled hip-hop with Jedi Mind Tricks and La Coka Nostra at the Gramercy Theatre, $26.50 adv tix avail. at the Irving Plaza box ofc

7/15, 7:30 PM well-respected avant garde ensemble Alarm Will Sound play a program of new music TBA at the Schimmel Auditorium at Pace University on Spruce St; free tix available 2 per person starting at 5 PM day of show.

7/17-21, 8:30/11 PM tunefully cutting-edge pianist Jason Moran +3 at Birdland, $30 tix avail.

7/18, 6:30 PM the Gregorio Uribe Big Band outdoors on the plaza at the Brooklyn Public Library at Grand Army Plaza.

7/18 powerhouse, socially aware jazz drummer/bandleader Jeff “Tain” Watts and his Quartet at Madison Square Park, 7 PM.

7/18, 8 PM Big Daddy Kane raps to the neighborhood on his old turf in Queensbridge Park.

7/19, 7:30 PM the world’s #1 hip-hop influenced ten-piece Balkan brass band, Slavic Soul Party plus open wine/beer bar plus free kosher ice cream at the Jewish Museum, $15/$12 stud/srs.

7/20, 7 PM torchy oldtime swing with Lavay Smith & Her Red Hot Skillet Lickers plus suave blues guitarist Duke Robillard and band at B.B. King’s, $25 adv tix rec

7/21, 7:30 PM Arturo O’Farrill & the Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra and trumpeter Arturo Sandoval at Prospect Park Bandshell

7/21, 8 PM king of the surf guitar, Dick Dale, still setting picks on fire, at the Brooklyn Bowl, $15.

7/21, 11ish ageless, charmingly jangly lo-fi Japanese rocker women Shonen Knife at the Bell House, $12

7/22, 2 (two) PM Brooklyn Rider’sJohnny Gandelsman, violin; Christina Courtin, viola and Alex Greenbaum, cello play Haydn – String Trio in G Major, Op. 53, No.1; Beethoven – String Trio in G Major, Op 9, No 1; Schubert – String Trio in B-flat Major, D. 581 and Dohnanyi- Serenade in C Major, Op 10 at Bargemusic, $35/$30 srs./$15stud

7/22, 7 PM dark, moody nuevo-soul band Shenandoah & the Night at Pier One on the upper west.

7/22, 8 PM haunting, intense pan-Middle Eastern trio Niyaz at Drom, $20 adv tix rec.

7/23 smart, multilingual Malian hip-hop/reggae/acoustic band SMOD at SOB’s, 9 PM, $18 adv tix rec.

7/24, 5:30 PM charming, sly, innuendo-driven French chanson revivalists les Chauds Lapins on the plaza out back of the World Financial Center.

7/25, 6:30 PM jazz guitar genius Matt Munisteri leads his band outdoors on the plaza at the Brooklyn Public Library at Grand Army Plaza.

7/25 jazz violinist Regina Carter’s Reverse Thread at Madison Square Park, 7 PM.

7/26, 8 PM intense Turkish/klezmer/gypsy rockers Raquy & the Cavemen’s farewell NYC show at Drom, free w/rsvp to (212) 777-1157.

7/27, 8 PM eclectic, shapeshifting saxophonist Ilhan Ersahin’s Wonderland feat. Turkish star Husnu Senlendirici at Drom, $15 adv tix highly rec.

7/27, 9 PM dark garage rock with King Khan & the Shrines at Bowery Ballroom, $15

7/28, 6:30 PM Istanbulive a.k.a. “Turkish Woodstock IV” feat. an amazingly eclectic all-Turkish bill with the Secret Trio (an exciting new gypsy/jazz summit withAra Dinkjian, Ismail Lumanovski and Tamer Pinarbasi), trippy saxophonist Ilhan Ersahin’s Wonderland feat. Turkish sax legend Husnu Senlendirici, and then the long-overdue US debut of a folk and protest music legend, chanteuse Selda Bagcan at Damrosch Park, early arrival a must, these events are perennially popular.

7/29 6 PM Israeli jazz/metal guitarist Yoshie Fruchter at Downtown Music Gallery – bring earplugs

7/29, 7 PM Joe Hurley’s annual, high-spirited night of Irish rock, first Hurley playing with the Gents to open and then Joe Hurley’s All-Star Irish Rock Revue co-hosted by sharp, literate crooner Ed Rogers, plus downtown NY legend Willie Nile, members of the Mekons, Cracker, Alice Cooper Group, Bob Dylan’s band, Blue Oyster Cult and others, early arrival advised.

7/29, 8 PM one of the most interesting, smartly politically aware roots reggae bands around, Taj Weekes & Adowa at Springfield Park in Queens.

7/31, 5:30 PM Cape Verdean chanteuse Maria de Barros on the plaza out back of the World Financial Center.

7/31, 5:30 PM NYC country/hillbilly/gospel stars Ollabelle in the parking lot behind City Winery, free

7/31, 8 PM underrated 90s hip-hop lyrical genius Keith Murray at Tappen Park in Staten Island

8/1, 8 PM fearless, powerhouse Malian soul/desert blues chanteuse Khaira Arby followed by Israeli Middle Eastern dance-funk orchestra Yemen Blues at Damrosch Park,early arrival advised.

8/2, noon, Afrobeat hip-hop bandleader Blitz the Ambassador at Metrotech Park in downtown Brooklyn, free.

8/4 well-loved Malian bandleaders/crooner-and-chanteuse duo Amadou & Mariam at Central Park Summerstage, 5ish, early arrival advised.

8/4, 6:30 PM oldtime and bluegrass night with Spirit Family Reunion, Cahalen Morrison & Eli West and Del McCoury and band at Prospect Park Bandshell

8/6, 8 PM salsa jazz with the Pedrito Martinez Group followed by desert blues guitarist Sidi Toure at Marcus Garvey Park uptown.

8/7, 7:30 PM violinist Lara St. John and friends celebrate the 25th anniversary of Astor Piazzolla’s 1987 Central Park concert at the Naumburg Bandshell, early arrival advised if you want a seat

8/8, 7 PM retro soul sensation Bettye LaVette at Madison Square Park.

Bard Summerscape Festival starts August 10. Yeah, it’s out of town, but this year’s program is pretty amazing, an examination of the world of Camille Saint-Saens and his turbulent artistic world.  Transportation from NYC for ticketholders is available via a $30 shuttle from Lincoln Center or a free shuttle from the Poughkeepsie Metro North commuter train station.

8/11, 3 PM banjoist/folksinger Abigail Washburn at Central Park Summerstage. Buckwheat Zydeco headlines afterward.

8/11, 8:30 PM Lyle Lovett at Prospect Park Bandshell- you might have to listen from outside the arena for this one unless there’s a lot of rain beforehand.

8/12, 5:30 PM Afrobeat band Toubab Crewe in the parking lot behind City Winery, free

8/15-16,7:30ish a mini bachata nueva festival at Highbridge Park uptown. On the 15th it’s Henry Santos from Aventura; the 16th has K Rose and 24 Horas

8/19, 3 PM get to Central Park Summerstage when the gates open if you want to see roots reggae harmony legends the Mighty Diamonds and Israeli Vibration. What’s left of Inner Circle play afterward (one can only imagine what the late Jacob Miller would have thought of the Fox network using a song by his old band as the theme for the most racist show on tv).

8/24, 7 PM the theme of this year’s Charlie Parker Festival at Marcus Garvey Park is Bird with Strings, a supposedly all-star lineup recreating pieces of that classic record. Then on the 25th, same place, same time it’s Jamire Williams’ Erimaj project, Derrick Hodge, singer Rene Marie and the presumably immortal Roy Haynes.

8/26, 6ish this year’s bill at the Charlie Parker Festival at Tompkins Square Park is uncharacteristically weak – although it’s nice to see chanteuse/organist Ernestine Anderson get the headline spot she’s deserved for a long time.

9/7 (yeah, it’s a long way off) is Brazilian World Music Day, check their blog for NYC happenings.

Yet Another Haunting, Intense Album from Botanica

Arguably the world’s most vital and relevant art-rock band, Botanica has a new album out titled What Do You Believe In. Inspired by Mikhail Bulgakov’s diabolical parable The Master and the Margarita, it’s out from Rent-a-Dog in Europe, also available on limited edition vinyl in addition to the usual digital formats and streaming in its entirety at Botanica’s site. Where does this fall in the Botanica pantheon? On one hand, it has the band’s signature blend of John Andrews’ searing, reverb-toned guitar and frontman Paul Wallfisch’s alternately fiery and funereal organ and ominously echoing Wurlitzer piano; on the other, it’s their most brooding effort to date. Existential angst, doubt and dread linger throughout most of the songs, an ambience cruelly fueled by death of Wallfisch’s mother during the recording process. Now based in Germany – which makes sense since so much of Botanica’s fan base is European – this version of the group also features Jason Binnick’s terse, melodic bass and the Dresden Dolls’ Brian Viglione flexing his muscles on drums. Wallfisch’s lyrics quote liberally from Alexander Pushkin and Vladimir Mayakovsky; once again, Andrews contributes three of the album’s strongest tracks including the opening cut, Judgment, an elegantly bitter classical guitar waltz that ponders the repercussions of a “deal for my ambition” where he’d “surrender all the love I’d ever known…for a moment restless on this eternal flight.” It’s a good choice of opener: the rest is even darker.

A roaring gypsy rock march, Ball in Hell is all High Romantic angst, Andrews’ slide guitar keening over roaring sheets of noise that eventually explode and overwhelm everything in their path. Dog, with its tricky syncopation and watery Beatlesque guitar, has Wallfisch’s characteristically uneasy snarl, “I wanna walk with you Jesus but you don’t exist:” yet he also intimates that ultimately we’re probably better off a little crazy, alone and somewhat horrified, than comfortably and complacently delusional. A mighty, Procol Harum-esque anthem, Manuscripts Don’t Burn has Andrews melting picks and furiously tremolo-picking his strings to a savage whirlwind as Wallfisch cynically intones about how “Manuscripts don’t burn, said the master to the poet who took all night remembering, only to unlearn that wisdom once received and never questioned is a sin.” Everybody Lies, a pop anthem in heavy disguise, explores the perils of believing in absolutes: “From the gates of hell to the Great Gate of Kiev, if we can nail it to the wall it don’t scare us at all…But oh god, oh god, stick a man on the cross and everybody lies.”

The saddest song here is the wistfully beautiful Park Bench, a plaintively nostalgic view of late-life solitude that finally hits a roaring crescendo and then descends into hypnotic, Beatlesque psychedelia. It contrasts with the caustically furtive gypsy-pop of Money (an original, not the Pink Floyd faux-jazz hit), Wallfisch’s piano eventually tumbling unsteadily into the picture alongside Andrews’ jagged metal riffage. Kingdom of Doubt, by Andrews, builds quickly to an epic intensity with more furious chord-chopping, keyboard atmospherics and Binnick’s menacing, stalking bassline and then hits a catchy yet creepy chorus that wouldn’t be out of place in the Steve Wynn songbook. And then they bring it down to a dirge before bringing it up again: horrorstricken existentialist rock doesn’t get any more intense than this.

Frictionless Skates, another Andrews song, blends flamenco guitar and tongue-in-cheek lo-fi organ over a cheeky cabaret swing and a typically sarcastic lyric. Then they reach titanic, terrified heights again with Angel, Wallfisch beginning it with whispery, apprehensive atmospherics before Andrews finally takes it up with an endless, volcanically hammering interlude that might or might not be an illustration of Satan’s estrangement from his creator/twin – like most of the rest of the songs here, it raises more questions than it answers, and it ends resolved. The album closes with the melancholy, Russian-tinged Winter’s Evening and then the uneasy, Wurlitzer-fueled lullaby ambience of Past One O’Clock, a reflection on how to proceed once “the incident’s closed,” whatever that might have been. Allusive, defiantly unwilling to settle for easy answers or any kind of cliched resolution, it packs a quiet wallop. Count this among 2012’s best rock albums alongside Chicha Libre’s Canibalismo and Black Fortress of Opium’s Stratospherical. Wallfisch plays the dark rock night he created back in 2008, Small Beast at the Delancey, on May 7 at 10 PM accompanying both his longtime noir cabaret collaborator Little Annie, Bauhaus’ David J and then ending the night with a more-or-less solo set: it promises to be one of the high points of live music in New York this year.

Catching up with Slopes of Distant Hills

How irresponsible is it to sit on an album for over a year before you do something with it? Admit it: there are albums on your hard drive, or your phone, or maybe even under your bed if you have one, that you haven’t heard yet. The same applies in the world of music blogs, probably multiplied by some ridiculously high number. From the point of view of Andrew Maurer a.k.a. Slopes of Distant Hills, that idea is probably something less than attractive…but better late than never, he’s got an album out on insurgent Chicago label Luxotone that you should hear. If you like the idea of Bon Iver – angst-driven rusticity – but can’t stand the reality, this album is for you. Maurer’s voice has a fragile, breathy, anxious tone that contrasts with the steady dexterity of his fingers on the acoustic guitar. Some of the songs here evoke Nick Drake, others are more bluesy or bluegrass-oriented. As with everything Luxotone has put out, the production is rich and artful: producer/multi-instrumentalist George Reisch adds his usual terse, often poignant layers of guitar, keyboards, bass and drums.

The opening track is Sage Leaf, a minor-key blend of Britfolk and indie rock that builds to a lush crescendo of acoustic guitars: “Left the sea crumbling/Left the wind rustling.” It sets the scene for much of what’s to come. A folk-rock number, Sinking in My Heart builds to a hypnotic interlude and then picks up with yet another one of those intricately gorgeous passages with stately, incisive layers of guitars from Reisch: a little surf and some blues this time around.

Long and Dustry Trail sets pensive Drake-style pastoral imagery to an aptly nocturnal C&W tune: “I work in the town serving coffee to strangers; if they say something bright they could become my friends,” Maurer observes somewhat caustically. He blends the folk with oldschool soul on When Birds Fly, digs into Piedmont blues with Reason, then mines a Dylanesque Buckets of Rain vibe with Your Little Smile. Buddha Eye blends reggae with a trippy freak-folk feel and echoey Give Peace a Chance-style vocals and a completely unexpected hip-hop interlude; then he leaps into A Thousand Kisses, a catchy T-Rex style glam/folk anthem. The absolute stunner here is Anyone, a brooding, alienated, Arthur Lee-esque psychedelic folk number that winds up with a lusciously arranged guitar-and-keys outro. The album closes with Saved by Flight, an apprehensive, incisively fingerpicked acoustic blues tune. RIYL: Nick Drake, Love, the Zombies, Steve Kilbey’s solo stuff. And if some of the Deerhunter/Sufjahn Stevens/Bon Iver crowd catch on to this, so much the better.

A Rare Soul Gem by Mickey Murray Finally Gets an Official Release

Boutique label Secret Stash Records began as a self-release project for a couple of Afro-Peruvian folk projects. Since then they scored a mighty coup with the first American version of one of the iconic albums of chicha (the inimitably Peruvian blend of surf music, psychedelic rock and a million south-of-the-border sounds), Los Destellos’ 1971 classic Constelacion. One of their latest rediscoveries is also a doozy, and like Constelacion, it may be the first time it’s seen an official release in the US, a crime since it was recorded for the label that James Brown made famous. Soul singer Mickey Murray’s People Are Together goes back to 1970. Sadly, its Sam Cooke-inspired title track and its message to the entire world to “stop this discrimination thing” and stir up “a big old melting pot” reputedly met with fervent resistance from urban radio at a time when defiant messages of black power and solidarity were all the rage (and at point in history, there was every reason why they should have been). It appears that the label withdrew the record at that point, effectively putting Murray’s career trajectory on ice.

Murray’s vocal style is often raspy and fervent in a Wilson Pickett vein, but he can also be elegant like Otis Redding. The band, and the arrangements are primo. It may not be true that they don’t make records like this anymore (Sharon Jones, the One and Nines and Spanglish Fly all mine a similar deep molasses analog sound), but there aren’t a lot of them. The bass here sounds like it’s been amped up a little in the remastering, which is fine, because the groove is laid-back yet penetrating: a hollowbody Vox played through an old tube amp maybe?

And the tracks are strong, and sound older than their turn-of-the-70s vintage. Try a Little Harder features ornate hammer-on soul guitar, a slowly burning brass arrangement and incisively minimalistic piano. Deadric Malone’s Ace of Spades has a vintage Curtis Mayfield vibe – it would have made a great blaxploitation movie theme. I Found Out, with its funky Rhodes piano and staccato guitar, works a mid-60s JBs vibe, while the band gives Money – the future Flying Lizards hit – a psychedelic Memphis funk treatment.

They go back to the Godfather of Soul for Fat Gal’s insistent, bass-driven pulse, “all meat and no potatoes,” as Murray puts it. There’s a brand-new dance, The Buzzard, complete with moves, growls and a shout-out to Murray’s hometown of Augusta, Georgia; there’s also a bizarrely spot-on critique of suburban sprawl, Explosive Population, clocking in at a brief minute and 46 seconds. Murray’s version of The Fever goes for a hastily shuffling feel with organ and latin-influenced percussion in lieu of Peggy Lee boudoir ambience. The album winds up with a blues-tinged talking-soul vamp and a surprisingly hard-rocking closing track with fuzztone bass and wah guitar. In addition to the usual digital formats, the album is available on limited-edition high-quality vinyl: fans of oldschool soul are in for a treat. RIYL: James Brown, Lee Fields, Charles Bradley, Willie Hightower, Howard Tate and other underrated 60s/70s soul crooners who’ve recently gotten a well-deserved second look.

Leigh Marble’s Greatest Gloomy Moment

Don’t let the presence of somebody from the Decemberists scare you away from Portland, Oregon songwriter Leigh Marble’s new album Where the Knives Meet Between the Rows: there’s nothing remotely indie about it. The playing – especially the terse, elegantly biting piano – is strong and so are Marble’s tense, brooding vocals. And there’s even a savagely amusing, glammy song here titled Holden (after the Salinger character) that mocks the deliberate ineptitude that defines indie rock and the trendoids who make it: “Oh you sweet dumb creatures, missing half your features, disfigured by design, singing with half a heart…” It’s got a singalong outro to rival the cruellest thing Elvis Costello ever did to an audience.

But that’s a rare light moment here. Marble wrote the songs on the album during a harrowing period after his girlfriend had been diagnosed with breast cancer. But rather than bailing, Marble did the noble thing and married her; after treatment, she regained her health, and he got a good record out of it. Unsurprisingly, it’s pretty gloomy – is there a silver lining to mirror what ultimately turned out to be a win-win situation for Marble? Not really. This is his third album, his first since 2007 and by far his darkest.

The first two tracks are free downloads. The opening cut, Walk has an ominously strolling, noir vibe anchored in the low registers of the organ, piano and synth. “Gonna walk until my heart stops pumping,” Marble insists. Is the surprisingly peaceful interlude midway through a sign of better days to come? Nope. The second free download, Jackrabbit sounds like Big Star taking a mighty stab at 70s stadium rock: it’s a cynical, suspensefully imagistic look at the psychology of corruption, whether political or otherwise.

“I know you wanna leave me, well I wanna leave me too,” Marble intones on the terminally depressed, country-tinged lullaby, Goodnight. The understatedly desperate Evil features boomy Mo Tucker drums, cello and accordion: the way Marble uses macabre imagery to set up a scenario that will resonate with anyone who doesn’t have health insurance is artful to the extreme. He follows that with the equally bleak Nail, a dirgey piece of gothic Americana:

So keep your eyes on that nail in the coffin
On the thread as it winds off the bobbin
And there at the end of your rope
You’ll test the aerodynamics of hope

Pony, a snidely vicious drunken pickup scenario, is the closest thing to Lou Reed here – and contains the funniest reference to Pringles in rock history. Inebriate Waltz, a homage to 19th century Portland poet Sam Simpson – who died after a fall on the sidewalk outside his favorite hotel bar – returns to a bitter, doomed, bluesy noir ambience. The snarling, slow, bluesy Greener Pastures evokes Steve Wynn in a particularly gruesome mood; the slow, final cut, Cars (an original, not the Gary Numan new wave hit) quotes Pink Floyd as it imagines a painfully banal apocalypse. Dark songwriting doesn’t get any better than this. RIYL: Tom Waits, Leonard Cohen, Tim Foljahn, Mark Sinnis, LJ Murphy…and Lou Reed of course.

Dark, Direct, Smart Retro Rock from Whitehorse

Whitehorse is Luke Doucet and Melissa McClelland. Together they make eclectic, dark garage rock which might seem like a contradiction in terms until you consider what an excellent, diverse guitarist Doucet is. Which makes it no surprise that there are numerous other genres on their album. It opens with a meandering spoken-word number set to a Marc Ribot-style noir guitar interlude that goes spiraling with a flamenco feel. Those are just two styles in Doucet’s arsenal, and they don’t return until a reprise at the end. In between there’s a lot of bluesiness, a ton of reverb and lots of vocal harmonies. Both Doucet and McClelland are strong singers, harmonizing much like the Snow’s Pierre de Gaillande and Hilary Downes.

With its simple stomping beat and lo-fi vibe, Killing Time Is Murder could be the White Stripes with brains. Emerald Isle could do without the stream-of-consciousness lyrical torrents, but the noir rockabilly tune is cool, not just because it has a glockenspiel. Passenger 24 goes back to punk-blues stomp that distantly evokes the Cramps, McClelland’s passenger high on coke alongside a “hopped-up driver chasing the moon.”

If commercial played good songs, Broken would be a monster hit (is there a college radio station where you are? Are they playing this track to death? They should be). It’s a wickedly catchy country tune disguised as backbeat rock, with a vicious duet that does justice to a Blood on the Tracks reference. “You’ve got to have a heart to have a broken one,” Doucet snarls, “I need a girl like you like a hole in the head.” The album winds up with a torchy, oldtime-flavored swing duet, McClelland’s lurid vocals backed by noir atmospherics from the organ and steel guitar. The only miss here is a pointless cover of Springsteen’s easy-listening hit I’m On Fire, which isn’t as annoying as the original but it’s pretty close. With originals as good as the rest of the tracks here, who needs covers?

Gorgeous Jangle and Clang from Chris Erikson

Chris Erikson is oldschool. He’s a newspaperman, covering many beats at the New York Post. He’s also a brilliant guitarist (which is kind of oldschool these days as well) who’s been in demand in the New York scene for a long time, backing such A-list talents as Matt Keating and Florence Dore. Yet he’s not your typically guitarslinger: there are maybe six parts on his new album Lost Track of the Time that you could conceivably call solos. Two of them open and close the album on a boisterous Bakersfield country note, the first a jaunty Buck Owens-like run using the low registers almost like a baritone guitar, the second a high-strung boogie passage in a very cleverly composed mystery story titled The Worst Thing That Ever Happened. Otherwise, Erikson plays chords, elegant riffs and pieces of both, sometimes picking them with his fingers like Keith Richards, sometimes evoking twangmeisters from Duane Eddy to Steve Earle (who’s obviously a big influence here), or even 80s paisley underground legends True West. He’s that interesting, and that tasteful: he always leaves you wanting more.

But there are plenty of good players out there. What elevates this album above your typical Twangville tuneage is the songwriting. Erikson writes allusively, his sharp, frequently bitter, pensive lyrics leaving just enough detail for the listener to fill in the blanks. His changes are catchy and anthemic, driven by a purist melodic sensibility and a love of subtle shifts in tone, touch and attack. Along with the dynamics – something you don’t often see in music like this – there’s also a lot of implied melody. Erikson also happens to be an excellent singer. On the angriest or craziest stuff here, his voice takes on a Paul Westerberg-style rasp; otherwise, his drawl shifts between pensive and sardonic, depending on the lyrics. Again, Steve Earle comes to mind. As you would expect, Erikson’s band the Wayward Puritans is first-rate, with Jason Mercer on bass, Will Rigby on drums plus frequent contributions from Keating on keyboards along with Jay Sherman-Godfrey on guitars, with Bob Hoffnar and Jonathan Gregg on pedal steel, Kill Henry Sugar’s Erik Della Pena on lapsteel, Hem’s Mark Brotter and Gary Maurer (who produced) on drums and acoustic guitar, respectively.

The best song on the album, and the one instant classic here is Ear to the Ground. It starts with a richly clanging, intricate series of chords that are going to have everyone reaching for their six-string: it’s that gorgeous.Those changes come around again a couple of times but Erikson makes you wait for them. It’s a bitter kiss-off song, but a very subtle one: until the end, the story is what doesn’t happen. Erikson does the same on another first-rate backbeat rock track a little later on, The Subject Came Up, an elephant-in-the-room scenario where “by the next morning a chalk outline was all that remained” of what ultimately turned out to be a dealbreaker. The most sarcastic song here, a big 6/8 country anthem titled Guilty, has its obviously wrongfully accused narrator asking for the court to “just read me my rights and I’ll sign on the line” over a rich backdrop of mandolin and dobro.

The funniest songs on the album are both country tunes: the first a honkytonk number about a freeloading girlfriend, lit up by some juicy piano from Keating. The other is When I Write My Memoir, another kiss-off song, but with an unexpected punchline, not the first thing you’d think of from a writer dreaming of seeing his autobio top the charts at amazon. Was That Me sets a tongue-in-cheek, disingenuous lyric to blistering highway rock. There’s also the long, aphoristically unwinding rock anthem On My Way and a couple of pensive, brooding acoustic numbers, In the Station and When It Comes Down, the latter with soaring steel from Hoffnar and a welcome return to the recording studio by Dore, who supplies equally soaring harmony vocals. Count this among the best albums to make it over the transom here this year.

Chris Erikson and the Wayward Puritans, like a lot of New York’s best bands, made Lakeside Lounge their home. Now that Lakeside’s days are numbered (April 30 is the last big blowout there), let’s hope they find another sometime soon.

Dusky Grooves from the Toure-Raichel Collective

Desert blues albums are best enjoyed as a whole. Sure, you can break the individual tracks up and scatter them amongst different playlists, but a good desert blues album sets a mood. The Toure-Raichel Collective’s new album The Tel Aviv Session is a different kind of desert blues album, a collaboration between pyrotechnic Malian guitarist Vieux Farka Toure and Israeli keyboardist/bandleader Idan Raichel. Raichel is an insatiably omnivorous player who seemingly never met a style he didn’t want to master; Toure admits to thinking at first that Raichel was a “crazy hippie,” but on this generally low-key, daylong collaboration in an Israeli recording studio, the two make a good team. Although he plays acoustic guitar here, Toure still has the restless, uneasy edge that makes him such a compelling electric player. Raichel shows off a potent understanding of chromatically-fueled, Arabic-tinged motifs, often playing with a rippling staccato feel that, especially when he mutes the strings inside the piano, evokes the sound of a balafon or a qanun. In one passage, he brushes the strings for shimmery, harplike glissandos. Behind them, bassist Yossi Fine – who has toured with Toure, mentored Raichel in his early years and may ultimately have been responsible for jumpstarting this session – plays endlessly hypnotic loops in tandem with percussionist Souleymane Kane. French jazz harmonica player Frederic Yonnet guests on a rustic 1920s flavored blues jam that evokes Hazmat Modine in a particularly boisterous mood; Yankale Segal, from Raichel’s touring band, adds a third layer of richly glistening textures on Iranian tar lute on another. And the final cut, where the band finally cuts loose with an all-too-brief, soaring crescendo, features haunting, intense kamancheh (Iranian spiked fiddle) by Mark Eliyahu.

The rest of the album alternates between slinky two-chord desert blues vamps, and Middle Eastern piano music, sometimes in the same jam. Toure reveals a fondness for open chords and a biting facility for raga-like passages; Raichel often mimics Toure’s quicksilver hammer-on attack. Most of the songs here are long, slowly and casually coalescing out of themes typically introduced by the guitar. When Raichel supplies the central riff, Toure responds with fluttering, muted chromatics of his own, or simply steers the jam south toward Mali. The album liner notes mention “frequent breaks for coffee;” one suspects that there were other aromas wafting through the studio that day. The most hypnotic track, a lush, warmly major-key cut that brings to mind the Stones’ Moonlight Mile is followed by a brief, rather impatient, upbeat cut driven by Toure. Then they follow that with the single most hypnotic cut, featuring Raichel on Fender Rhodes, adding a vibraphone-like rhythmic bounce against Kane’s boomy calabash. It’s out now on Cumbancha; fans of desert blues, Middle Eastern music and intelligent jam bands ought to check it out. And it goes without saying: this collaboration between a Muslim African and an Israeli Jew underscores the argument that if we took the rabbis and mullahs (and American agitators) out of the picture and left everything to the musicians, there would be no war in the Middle East.

Strange and Compelling Russian Rock Sounds from Auktyon

Here’s an album you won’t find much about in English: long-running Leningrad art-rockers Auktyon have a new one, their first studio effort in a dozen years, titled Yula (“top,” in English, i.e. the thing that spins). This is music for people who think that not only is Gogol Bordello NOT weird but not weird enough, who need something considerably more esoteric in order to reach exotica nirvana – or exotica overkill. The surreal irony (real irony, not sarcasm, which so many people have come to confuse with irony) of the Russian lyrics will be lost on most English-speaking listeners, but the music is smart, consistently surprising and utterly defies categorization. This band seems to be influenced as much by Russian folk and European jazz as rock, which may be a function of the instrumentation: sax, clarinet, trumpet, trombone and violin along with guitars, keys, bass and drums. Guitar polymath Marc Ribot elevates several of these tracks with his inimitable blend of noir menace and surrealistic noisy attack.

The opening track sets the tone, a brooding, minor-key acoustic guitar melody with smoky sax accents that builds to a big, anthemic electric crescendo reminiscent of famous pre-Glasnost Russian rockers Aquarium, or the band that influenced them the most, Jethro Tull. The second cut, Homba nicks the bassline from the old surf rock classic Diamond Head and adds Hava Nagila guitar allusions overhead; a bass clarinet loop anchors sketchy atmospherics overhead. Oh yeah, this stuff is very psychedelic.

Three short, roughly three-minute songs follow. Meteli (Snowstorms) is pulsing backbeat pop with swirly organ and whispery vocals. Shiski slowly comes together out of a rather random, free jazz-influenced intro with flute, pizzicato violin and acoustic guitars and quickly turns into a catchy pop song in disguise. Polden (Noon) is the brightest of the three, a minor-key gypsy rock song with some tasty clarinet and violin that the band runs through a phaser effect.

The weirdest track here is Priroda (Nature), a bizarre blend of Russian folk and Afrobeat, followed by the equally weird, new wave style Kozhanyi (Leather), which sounds like Wire trying their hand at late 70s fusion. You might think that’s yucky – it’s actually pretty amusing. The most potently memorable song here is Mimo (By), a darkly anthemic art-rock anthem in 7/8 time that goes out with a long psychedelic interlude, mingling layer upon layer of echoey guitar textures with off-kilter keys. There’s also a blippy Macedonian-flavored gypsy fusion groove with all kinds of deftly overlapping riffage from the entire horn section; Karandashi i Palochki (Crayons and Sticks), which blends Afrobeat with noisy stadium rock moves and then a warmly hypnotic, atmospheric interlude, and finally,  the wryly scurrying, apprehensively crescendoing title track. This is probably the darkest thing Auktyon has put out to date. Known for their unpredictable, high-energy, theatrical live shows, they’re playing the album release at le Poisson Rouge on June 20 and then on June 24 they’ll be at Joe’s Pub.