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Tag: country music

Singles, Useful Information and Cynical Jokes For 6/16

So much good short stuff has come over the transom in the last few days that it would be a crime not to share it. Today’s list is about half an hour worth of good jokes, some dead-serious stuff, and some great tunes. If you know this blog, you know the drill: click on artist or author names for their webpages, click on titles for audio, video or a quick read. Make sure you use Brave or another browser with an ad blocker so you don’t have to mute the intro to the youtube clips!

By now you’ve probably heard the news about a certain faulty doctor and how everything he said would work, didn’t work – in a very personal sense. The irreplaceable Jordan Schachtel has a suggestion for the protocol that Dr. Faulty should follow, now that he has a cold and failed the PCR test. About sixty seconds of laughs.

Another insightful Substack writer, attorney Michael Senger – author of Snake Oil: How Xi Jinping Shut Down the World – has an irresistible parody of a New York Times article about the Shanghai lockdown: another one-minute read.

Today’s first song goes back a few months, but it’s no less timely. Here’s the Stone Roses’ Ian Brown doing Little Seed Big Tree, a solo electric anti-lockdown spacerock classic. The ending after the Bill Gates sample – “People think they have a choice, you don’t have a choice” – is priceless.

Travel further back in time, to the heyday of bands like Genesis in the mid-70s, with the tricky time signatures and baroque whirl of Pennies by the Pound playing Burning Wish: “Fools that we were, we ate up all the soothing lies.”

The latest angst-fueled art-rock single from A.A. Williams is Evaporate: it’s Erika Simonian with crunchy guitars

Moving from gloomy Europe to slightly less gloomy Nashville, here’s Rachel Sumner & Traveling Light playing Strangers Again, with an intricate lattice of acoustic fingerpicking and high lonesome steel guitar. “People change and sometimes not for the better.”

With gospel piano and wide-angle tremolo guitar, Abby Hamilton‘s Trailer Park Queen is an evocatively funny story: she’s hitting on the box wine and he’s on his second round of you-know-what.

This last piece is a little longer than what you usually see on a page worth of singles here, but hang with it. While the narrative itself is very troubling – Dr. Pam Popper offering a very concise overview of how deeply the grooming-industrial complex has infiltrated the American public education system – a miracle happens at the 10:30 mark. You can start the video at about two minutes in, but stick around for some badly needed comic relief. You don’t actually have to be watching to get it.. 

Singles for Early June: The Theme Is Laughter, More Or Less

Been a long time since there’s been a collection of singles on this page. In celebration of how we managed to make it through May without losing our collective sovereignty to the WHO, and that all the concentration camp proposals died in session in the New York State legislature, here’s a bunch of songs, a couple of snarky videos and a meme to keep our spirits up. Click on artist names for their webpages (a couple of these are anonymous), click on titles for audio or visuals.

This one just came over the transom today thanks to the irreplaceable Mark Crispin Miller’s News From Underground. Bill Gates Sings! At :41 “I identify as a medical doctor!”

Muzzleboy reads a book on German history in the 1930s! Sometimes a meme is really worth a thousand words.  Screenshot this and make it your screensaver maybe?

El Gato Malo reminds us, in a minute 41 seconds, how in the fall of 2020 all the Democratic candidates were railing against the “Trumpvax.”

Sage Hana offers a creepy, dystopic mini-movie about what bioweapons may be waiting for us this fall courtesy of the sinister Ralph Baric of the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill.

Genius animator Ken Avidor has launched his Unjabbed short video series about freedom fighters in a postapocalyptic future, which have been banned from Vimeo. Thanks to Steve Kirsch for grabbing these and saving them for all of us

Here’s a real subtle one. In the stately chamber pop cadences of Matter of Time, Lydia Luce wants to know, “Who’s gonna grow food for the masses?”

Here’s another subtle, drifting pastoral pop number: Meadow, by Emily Tahlin. “The meadow stretches out for miles, I have come to hide.”

Let’s wind up today’s playlist on an upbeat note with Rebecca Day & the Crazy Daysies doing their Americana tune Old Jeans Blue. “A shot of Jim and a sixpack in and I can’t pretend.” Scroll down to the middle of the page for the video. Thanks to Tom Woods of the absolutely essential Tom Woods Show (a guy with great taste in music too) for the heads-up on this one

Live Music Calendar for New York City and Brooklyn For June and July 2022

All these concerts are free of restrictions. Lots of listings being added, almost daily, like the good old days before March 2020! New calendar for July and August coming 7/1, too.

Weekly events first followed by the daily calendar.

Mondays at the Django 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.

Thursdays in June at 10:30 PM tenor saxophonist Ken Fowser leads his band at the Django with special guest powerhouse trumpeter Jeremy Pelt. Jukebox jazz in a JD Allen vein but not as dark and more straight-ahead/groove-oriented: as postbop party music goes, nobody’s writing better than this guy right now, $25

Sundays at around 1 PM trumpeter Jon Kellso and (frequently) guitarist Matt Munisteri lead the Ear-Regulars in NYC’s only remaining hot jazz jam session at the Ear Inn

6/12, 6/19 and 6/26 various subsets of the  NY Scandia Symphony play a program of Nordic composers TBA on the lawn downhill from the southern exit at Ft. Tryon Park. Music tba, but prior to the 2020 lockdown they always put on good, imaginative programs featuring a lot of undeservedly obscure composers.

7/13, 7/20 and 7/27, 7 PM the Attacca Quartet play music by 21sst century composers at Madison Square Park

6/1-3, half past noon energetic, inventive, gospel-inspired jazz pianist Pete Malinverni at the electric piano at Bryant Park

6/1, 1 PM purist oldschool jazz guitarist Bill Wurtzel resumes his long-running stand at the American Folk Art Museum. He’s back on 6/22.

6/1, 7:30 PM latin jazz piano legend Eddie Palmieri and his salsa orchestra on the plaza at Lincoln Center

6/2, 7 PM imaginative jazz trumpeter Jonathan Saraga and band at Culture Lab in Long Island City

6/2, 7:30 PM Danny Jonokuchi & The Revisionists play 1930s style swing jazz on the plaza at Lincoln Center

6/2, 8 PM, repeating 6/3-5 8 PM hard-hitting alto saxophonist Kenny Garrett and band at the Blue Note $20 standing room avail

6/2, 8:30 PM brilliantly twangy surf/instrumental C&W band the Bakersfield Breakers at 11th St Bar

6/2, 10:30 PM charismatic, adventurous postbop/avant garde trombonist/crooner Frank Lacy leads a quartet at Smalls, $25 cash at the door.

6/3, 7 PM entertaining cumbia jazz accordionist/crooner Gregorio Uribe and his large ensemble at Drom $20 adv tix avail

6/3, 7 PM soul-infused brass band the Extra Syrup Horns at Pier 45 in Hudson River Park – take W 10th St to the river/

6/3. 7:30 PM the Dave Stryker Organ Quartet play their low-down grooves at the Django. Followed by luminous latin-inspired jazz chanteuse Marianne Solivan leading her quartet at 10:30

6/3, 7:30/9:30 PM adventurous trumpeter John Bailey leads his quartet at Smalls, $25 cash at the door

6/3, 9 PM surfed-up tv themes from Commercial Interruption, at Otto’s

6/3, 10 PM Metalachi – the world’s only metal mariachi band – at the Sovereign, $16

6/4, 8 PM  ageless, jangly, purist NY surf rock originals the Supertones, at 9:30 surf punks Duke Galaxy & the Pipeliners and at 11 the swirly, hard-hitting, reverb-iced Strange but Surf at Otto’s

6/4, 9 PM slinky Greek/Middle Eastern-influenced surf rock band the Byzan-tones followed by Pickups (Tim Reedy and Joe Desserreau of the late great American Ambulance) at Espresso 77, 35-57 77th Street (just off of 37th Ave), Jackson Heights

6/4, 10:30 PM feral tenor saxophonist Eric Wyatt and band and then the midnight jam session at Smalls, $25 cash at the door. He’s back on  6/18

6/5, half past noon/2:30 PM thorny, kinetic Spanish jazz pianist Abe Rabade at the Blue Note, $15

6/5, 2 PM the NY Scandia Brass Quintet play modern works by Sjoberg, Forstrom, Borg, Panula, Melartin and others on the lawn down the hill from the southern entrance to Ft Tryon Park

6/5. 6 PM a wildly eclectic sorta-jazz-adjacent extravaganza in reverse order at Drom: trumpeter Frank London’s Bagels & Bongos latin klezmer project; the 80s goth-tinged Arthur Kill + Xi Feng; Momento Rumbero; members of Groove Collective and bass goddess/soul singer Felice Rosser’s ageless reggae-rock-groove band Faith at Drom, $10

6/5, 7 PM eclectic, slashing latin jazz guitarist Juancho Herrera at the downstairs room at the Rockwood, $10

6/7, 7:30 PM a promising improvisational bill: guitarist Max Kutner with saxophonist Michael Eaton and drummer Kevin Shea at Downtown Music Gallery

6/7, 8 PM  funk-jazz crew the Silver Arrow Band at Drom, free. They’re also here on 6/21 at 7

6/8. 7 PM MasterVoices and the Orchestra of St. Luke’s with Shereen Pimentel, soprano and Tariq Al-Sabir, tenor perform works by Mendelssohn, Josquin, Barber and others at Waterline Square Park on Riverside Dr (60/61)

6/8, 7:30 PM thoughtful Americana rock songwriter Heather Maloney at City Winery, $20

6/8, 7:30 PM drummer Jordan Young leads his trio with Brian Charette on organ at Mezzrow, $25

6/8, 10:30 PM  expansive, expressive jazz pianist Miki Yamanaka leads her trio at Smalls, $25 cash at the door. She’s back here on 6/20

6/9, 6 PM the American Symphony Orchestra string quartet play Italian composers :Isabella Leonarda, a 17th century Ursuline Nun; Niccolò Castiglioni and Gaetano Donizetti at the pier 3 terrace in Brookyn Bridge Park

6/9, 8:30 PM intense janglerock/Americana/soul songwriter Matt Keating and guitarist Steve Mayone’s catchy project the Bastards of Fine Arts at 11th St. Bar

6/9, 9 PM hazily jangly, psychedelic slowcore/free jazz/avant instrumentalists Sunwatchers  at Union Pool, $16

6/9, 10:30 PM trombonist Steve Davis leads a quartet with Abena Koomson on vocals at the Django, $25

6/11, 1 PM sharply lyrical southwestern gothic/Americana songwriter Tom Shaner at LIC Bar

6/11, 1-3 PM Burning Man with ambient improvisations at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, $18/under 12 free. “Larger-than-life bird stilt walkers by Mortal Beasts & Deities and lifelike bird puppets from Processional Arts Workshop dance to processional music from Metropolis Ensemble. Musical textures created by Paula Matthusen, Matthew Evan Taylor, and John Wesley Dankwa and performed by 12 improvisers weave and play in dialogue with the dancing puppets. Performers begin at Lily Pool Terrace, the Osborne Garden, and the Water Garden, then parade to the Plant Family Collection for a giant dance party.”

6/11, 4 PM adventurous wind ensemble Quintet of the Americas play lush versions of latin jazz, klezmer and swing tunes at Culture Lab in Long Island City

6/11, 4 PM Kriye Bode play Haitian shamanic music followed by the Marcus Steel and Friends Steel Pan Ensemble at Amesrfort Park, E 38th St off Ave. U, Marine Park

6/11, 5 PM cutting-edge big band salsa jazz with drummer Bobby Sanabria’s Big Band at Soundview Park in the Bronx, 6 to Elder Ave

6/11, 8ish legendary octogenarian jazz pianist Herbie Hancock at Central Park Summerstage

6/11, 7:30 PM the Pan Evolution Steel Orchestra followed by ancient first-wave roots reggae hitmakers Third World (who are still surprisingly good) at Prospect Park Bandshell

6/11, 9 PM garage rock guitar maven Palmyra Delran & the Doppel Gang and classic 70s style powerpop/janglerock band the Cynz at Gold Sounds, $12, The Cynz are at Otto’s on 6/17 at 6.

6/11, 10:30 PM tenor saxophonist Stacy Dillard at Smalls $25 cash at the door. He’s back on 6/25

6/11, 10:30 PM  lyrical pianist David Kikoski leads a trioi at Mezzrow, $25 cash at the door. He’s back on 6/25

6/12, noon Trio Arrebol play forro and vocal jazz at Libre Gardens 2, 408 Rogers Ave at Sterling St, in Prospect Lefferts Gardens, 2 to Sterling St

6/12, 3 PM ish jagged-edged postpunks Savak and the buzzy 3rd-gen post-Velvets/no wave-ish Messthetics in the courtyard at Union Pool, free

6/12, 3:30 PM live hip-hop with JahPan at the Citadel, 1207 Nostrand Ave at Hawrhotne in Prospect Lefferts Gardens, 2 to Winthrop St.

6/12, 5 PM trombonist John Yao & Triceratops play the album release show for their colorful new one outdoors at Culture Lab in Long Island City

6/12, 7:30/9 PM colorful, lyrical pianist Danny Fox leads his trio at Mezzrow, $25 cash at the door

6/13. 7:30/9:30 PM adventurous trombonist Ed Neumeister leads a quartet with Gary Versace on piano at Smalls, $25 cash at the door

6/14, 6:30 PM a cool improvisational jazz twinbill: Canilla Nebbia on sax with guitarist Jessica Ackerley, flutist Camilo Angeles and drummer Lesley Mok followed by the mysteriously theatrical Juju Lia at Downtown Music Gallery

6/14, 7 PM loopy art-rock instrumentalists Thee Reps followed by the goofy, synthy Turbo World, whose lyrics are taken from interviews with mobsters of the 70s, at Mama Tried, 787 3rd Ave, at 27th St, Sunset Park,

6/14, 7:30 PM night one of this year’s Momenta Festival with the reliably adventurous Momenta Quartet playing the world premiere of David Glaser’s String Quartet No. 5 (2022), in memory of Mario Davidovsky, alongside Davidovsky’s intricate Synchronisms No. 9 (1988) for violin and recorded electronics. Also on the bill: the late great Ursula Mamlok’s elegant “Two Bagatelles” (1961), rediscovered toward the end of the composer’s life in a hidden sketchbook; Mexican microtonal trailblazer Julián Carrillo’s final String Quartet No. 13 (yessssss!); and Beethoven’s groundbreaking “Serioso” quartet no. 11 at Broadway Presbyterian Church (601 W 114th St, free cancelled – somebody in the group has a cold

6/14, 7:30 PM edgy orchestra the Knights  play a historically brilliant program: new orchestral arrangements of Beethoven’s Sonata No. 9, “Kreutzer Sonata” and Janáček’s String Quartet No. 1, “Kreutzer Sonata”, at the Naumburg Bandshell in Central Park

6/14. 7:30 PM kinetic Cuban jazz pianist Elio Villafranca at the Django, $25

6/14, 7:30/9 PM drummer Dan Weiss leads a trio with Immanuel Wilkins on tenor sax and Thomas Morgan on bass at Smalls, $25 cash at the door

6/14. 8 PM the NY Philharmonic plays Wagner’s Prelude to Act I of Die Meistersinger, Bruch’s Violin Concerto No. 1 with Bomsori Kim as soloist, Dvořák’s Symphony No. 7, and works by young composers in Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx. The program repeats on the Great Lawn in Central Park on 6/15, in Cunningham Park, Queens on 6/16 and Prospect Park on 6/17

6/14, 8 PM the Festival Orchestra play works by Gliere, Haydn and Strauss at Washington Square Park

6/15, noon eclectic jazz/tropical/psychedelic violinist Skye Steele at the pedestrian plaza at Willoughby and Pearl in downtown Brooklyn

6/15, half past noon fearlessly relevant latin rock songwriter and protest song connoisseur Ani Cordero at Zuccoti Park, 165 Broadway at Liberty

6/15, 7 PM trumpeter Frank London’s Klezmer Brass Allstars + powerhouse violinist Jake Shulmen-Ment’s Fidl Kapelye with special guest singers Zhenya Lopatnik, Sarah Gordon, Margot Leverett + Lorin Sklamberg at Drom, $20 adv tix avail

6/15, 7:30 PM night two of this year’s Momenta Festival with the reliably adventurous Momenta Quartet plus David Byrd-Marrow, horn and Nana Shi, piano playing Hirofumi Mogi’s In Memory of Perky Pat, the Brahms Horn Trio, and Grażyna Bacewicz’s awesomely edgy Piano Quintet No. 2 at Broadway Presbyterian Church (601 W 114th St, free cancelled – somebody in the group has a cold

6/15, 7:30/9:30 PM ambitious, smart, noir-inclined tenor saxophonist Patrick Cornelius   leads his octet at Smalls, $25 cash at the door

6/15, 7:30/9 PM Gary Versace (on piano) leads a trio with Jay Anderson on bass and Rudy Royston on drums at Mezzrow, $25 cash at the door

6/16, 5 PM rustic traditional Haitian songs with Obed Jean-Louis at Albee Square, corner of Fulton and Bond in downtown Brooklyn

6/16, 7:30 PM night three of this year’s Momenta Festival with the reliably adventurous Momenta Quartet playing vocal-inspired works by Valentin Silvestrov, Elizabeth Brown and Shawn Jaeger at Broadway Presbyterian Church (601 W 114th St, free cancelled – somebody in the group has a cold

6/16, 7:30 PM Tipico Urbano play merengue on the plaza at Lincoln Center

6/16, 10:30 PM tuneful oldschool soul/jazz trombonist Dave Gibson at Smalls, $25 cash at the door. He’s back on 6/30

6/17, 3 PM purist postbop jazz guitarist Ed Cherry and his trio at the Williamsbridge Oval off Gun Hill Road in the Bronx, D to Norwood-205

6/17, 7 PM psychedelic funk/Afrobeat jammers the People’s Champs at Pier 45 in Hudson River Park – take W 10th St to the river

6/17, 7:30 PM closing night of this year’s Momenta Festival with the reliably adventurous Momenta Quartet plus bassist/composer Hilliard Greene playing a Juneteenth celebration with music by the bassist in the band plus Alvin Singleton and Yusef Lateef at Broadway Presbyterian Church (601 W 114th St. free

6/17, 7:30/9:30 PM pianist Mike LeDonne leads a quartet with Eric Alexander on tenor sax at Smalls, $25 cash at the door

6/17-18, 7:30/9 PM lyrical pianist Geoffrey Keezer with Ron Carter on bass (6/17) and Antonio Sanchez on drums (6/18) at Mezzrow, $25 cash at the door

6/17, 8 PM retro swing band Rachael and Vilray (fronted by Lake Street Dive’s Rachael Price) on the plaza at Lincoln Center

6/18, half past noon/2:30 PM jazz nonet Small Kingdom with powerhouse singer Melanie Scholtz at the Blue Note, $15′

6/18, 4 PM the world’s creepiest, slinkiest, most psychedelic crime jazz/film noir band, Big Lazy on the front porch at 492 Marlborough Rd (Ditmas/Dorchester), Ditmas Park, Q to Newkirk Ave.

6/18, 7:30 PM evocative alto saxophonist Dmitri Baevsky leads his quartet at the Django, $25. Followed at 10:30 by New Orleans reedman Craig Handy & Second Line Smith. Baevsky is at Smalls on  6/24-25 at 7:30/9:30 PM for the same cover.

6/19, 7:30/9 PM legendary David Bowie pianist Mike Garson plays his own jazz with Don Falzone on bass and Billy Mintz on drums at Mezzrow, $25 at the door. The rhythm section return here the following night 6/20, same time with pianist  Alan Broadbent

6/20, 7 PM a French rap triplebill at Central Park Summerstage: Hyphen Hyphen, Bon Entendeur and MC Solaar

6/21, 2 PM paradigm-shifting Romany jazz/psychedelic rock guitar mastermind Stephane Wrembel followed by klezmer violinist Eleonore Biezunski outside Castle Clinton in Battery Park

6/21, 2:30 PM fearlessly smart, eclectic, avant garde-inclined Toot Sweet accordionist Mary Spencer Knapp plays solo on accordion followed at 4:30 by wildly diverse busker legend Melissa Elledge doing the same on the water out behind Battery Park

6/21, 7 PM purposeful, incisive Red Molly dobro player/songstress Abbie Gardner  at the downstairs room at the Rockwood, $15

6/21, 7:30 PM not a music event but important: community and medical freedom fighters including investigative journalist James Roguski, pediatric specialist Dr. Max Bulmash, Rabbi Jonathan Rietti, Dr. Pierre Kory, Dr. Ryan Cole strategize how to defend our children from the lethal Covid shots. Free, at Anshe Sfard Hall, 1370 45 St off the corner of 14th Ave, Boro Park, D to 50th St., also livestreaming,

6/21, 7:30 PM  otherworldly French-Algerian singer Ourida with her combo at Atlantic Brooklyn, 333 Atlantic Ave (Smith/Hoyt), $15, F to Bergen St.

6/21, 8 PM hilarious, smartly political faux-French retro 60s psych-pop band les Sans Culottes at Freddy’s outdoors

6/21-26, 8:30/10:30 PM the purist tuneful Dave Holland/Kenny Barron/Johnathan Blake  trio at the Blue Note, $30 standing room avail

6/22, noon  entertaining cumbia jazz accordionist/crooner Gregorio Uribe at the pedestrian plaza at Willoughby and Pearl in downtown Brooklyn

6/22, half past noon lyrical Red Baraat trumpeter Sonny Singh plays bhangra and carnatic themes at Zuccoti Park, 165 Broadway at Liberty

6/22, 6 PM mighty, sweeping ensemble Mariachi Real de Mexico at Highland Park in East New York, J to Crescent St

6/22, 7 PM a rare intimate show with the catchy, purist, Beatlesque Bubble at the small room at the Rockwood

6/22, 7:30 PM irrepressible pianist/singer Champian Fulton – as entertaining a postbop improviser as torch singer – at the Django, $25

6/22, 7:30/9:30 PM innovative, individualistic jazz organist Jared Gold leads his trio at Smalls, $25 cash at the door

6/22, 8:30 PM  guitarslinger Phil Gammage plays his dark Americana and blues  at 11th St Bar

6/22, 10ish colorful, Bowie-esque female-fronted glamrockers the Manimals at Our Wicked Lady, $14

6/23, 7:30/9 PM sweeping, swinging vibraphonist Behn Gillece leads a trio with Bob DeVos on guitar and Steve Laspina on bass at Mezzrow, $25 cash at the door

6/23, 8ish guitarist Alyse Lamb’s fiery, subtly witty, tightly psychedelic jazz-inspired postpunk band Parlor Walls at Our Wicked Lady,$14

6/24, 7 PM the all-female Resistance Revival Chorus sing epic, inspiring original populist gospel tunes and political broadsides at Pier 45 in Hudson River Park – take W 10th St to the river

6/24, 7 PM quirky chamber pop chanteuse Daneshevskaya at Bryant Park

6/24, 7:30 PM oldschool Colombian gangsta sounds with La Cumbiamba eNeYé followed by Colombian vallenato crooner Fonseca at Prospect Park Bandshell

6/24, 8 PM slinky, impressionistic postbop jazz with saxophonist Alison Shearer and her quartet at the downstairs room at the Rockwood, $15

6/24, 10 PM the Carvels NYC – a female-fronted mashup of the Ramones and the Dickies – at Freddy’s

6/25, 4 PM NYC psychedelic supergroup the Eljin Marbles with Dann Baker from Erica Smith’s band and Love Camp 7 at the community garden at 68 Java St. in Greenpoint, G to Greenpoint Ave

6/25, 4 PM firebrand Guinean feminist rocker Natu Camara followed by Guinean acrobatic troupe Cirque Kalabanté at Prospect Park Bandshell

6/25, 4 PM trombonist Craig Harris leads a large improvisational ensemble playing his immersive, incredibly aptly titled new piece Breathe at Rockefeller Park

6/25, 7:30 PM Rajrupa Chowdhury plays the sarod at Chhandayan Center For Indian Music, $25

6/25. 9 PM a veteran surf band triplebill:  the Supertones, cover crew Band of Others and Link Wray cover band the WrayCyclers at Freddy’s

6/25, 10 PM the slinky, fiery Macedonian-flavorted Sedi Donka Balkan Band at St. Mazie’s

6/25, 10 PM noir-inspired alto saxophonist/composer Nick Hempton leads leads a quartet at the Django, $25

6/26, noon shapeshifting klezmer trumpeter Frank London‘s Klezmer Brass All Stars, the Klezmographers featuring violinist Eleonore Biezunski and tsimbl player Pete Rushefsky, and flutist Chen Tao and his Melody of the Dragon Chinese traditional ensemble outside the Eldridge Street Synagogue just north of Canal

6/26, 2 PM latin soul singer Gina D’Soto and her excellent band on the plaza outside the Prospect Park Q station

6/26, 7 PM not a music event but a good cause if you can afford it: a comedy benefit for RFK Jr.’s Children’s Health Defense with Alex Stein, Ross Bennett, Alex Lasarev, Robbie Rose, Andy Rose, Janet McLean at the Stand, 116 E 16th St., $50, res rec.

6/26, 7 PM undulating, brass-fueled Brazilian street band Monobloco at Flushing Meadows/Crotona Park, 7 train to Shea Stadium

6/27. 8 PM intense, wickedly tuneful jazz oudist/guitarist Gordon Grdina‘s Nomad trio at Drom, $15 adv tix avail

6/28, 6:30 PM T.J. Borden on cello, Brandon Lopez on bass, James McKain on sax and Joey Sullivan on drums improvise at Downtown Music Gallery

6/28. 7 PM oud virtuoso Ara Dinkjian with pyrotechnic clarinetist Ismail Lumanovski’s ferociously kinetic NY Gypsy All-Stars play the great oudist’s originals at Drom, $20 adv tix avail

6/28, 7 PM  noir guitar legend Jim Campilongo leads his trio at the big room at the Rockwood, $15

6/28, 7:30 PM the Handel and Haydn Society, led by violinist Aisslinn Nosky play works by Corelli, Vivaldi, Geminiani, Handel and Charles Avison at the Naumburg Bandshell in Central Park

6/28, 8 PM rising star saxophonist Tivon Pennicott with a string section at Washington Square Park

6/29, noon brilliant chamber pop/Americana violinist Sarah Alden with percussionist Samuel Torres at the pedestrian plaza at Willoughby and Pearl in downtown Brooklyn

6/29, half past noon tapdancer Michela Marino Lerman and bassist Russell Hall at Zuccoti Park

6/29, 7 PM broodingly eclectic songwriter Natalie Mack – who veers from pensively catchy dronepop to dreampop to more theatrical sounds – followed at 9 PM by charmingly inscrutable Parisienne jazz chanteuse Chloe & the French Heart Jazz Band at the downstairs room at the Rockwood, $15

6/29, 9 PM a long night of Spanish-language styles in reverse order: Flamenco Trio Bryan Cid y Guillen, boisterously amusing acoustic Veracruz-style folk-punk band Radio Jarocho; Cumbia LaMar and Colombian trance-dance folk band Joan Camilo Durango at Drom, $20 adv tix avail

6/30, 6 PM  eclectic pan-latin and Middle Eastern-inflected acoustic songwriter Miriam Elhajli under the Dumbo archway, F to York St

6/30, 7 PM Jennah Vox – who does a decent Amy Winehouse impression – at Culture Lab in Long Island City

6/30, 8 PM Afro-Cuban percussion legend Pedrito Martinez leads his rumbling, jazz-tinged salsa project at Drom $25 adv tix rec

6/30, 8:30 PM deviously theatrical oldschool C&W/rockabilly parodists Susquehanna Industrial Tool & Die Co.at Otto’s

6/30, 9 PM blazing all-female street band the Brass Queens at the Gutter in Williamsburg, $10

6/30, 9 PM  first-rate purist honkytonk crooner/bandleader Cliff Westfall and his killer band at Skinny Dennis

7/1, 7 PM sizzling, politically fearless latin jazz pianist/composer Arturo O’Farrill’s Afro-Latin Jazz Orchestra at Bryant Park

7/1, 7:30 PM purist postbop jazz guitarist Ed Cherry leads a two-guitar quartet with fellow axeman Mike Moreno at the Django, $25

7/1-2, 7:30/9 PM saxophonist John Ellis – as adept at postbop jazz as he is with haunting, theatrical noir art-song – leads a quartet at Smalls, $25. 7/2  feral tenor saxophonist Eric Wyatt and band follow at 10:30 and returns on 7/9, same time

7/2, 4 PM oldschool-style high plains C&W singer Hope Debates & North 40 at Skinny Dennis

7/2, 7:30 PM  tuneful oldschool soul/jazz trombonist Dave Gibson at the Django, $25

7/2, 8 PM the monthly surf rock show has resumed with the eclectic Weisstronauts, surfed-out tv themes from Commercial Interruption sand the majestic, darkly cinematic TarantinosNYC. at Otto’s

7/3, half past noon/2:30 PM drummer Christian Finger leads his moody European jazz trio with the haunting Vadim Neselovskyi on piano at the Blue Note, $15

7/3, 3 PM ish the ageless godfather of boogaloo, Joe Bataan in the courtyard at Union Pool, free

7/3, 5:30 PM art-rock chanteuse Andromeda Anarchia followed by Queens of the Stone Age soundalikes the Velvicks – at Culture Lab in Long Island City

7/3, 7:30/9 PM baritone saxophonist Frank Basile leads a two-baritone quintet with Gary Smulyan at Smalls, $25

7/3, 9 PM first-class bluegrass bandleader/bassist Allison Kelly at Skinny Dennis

7/4, 9 PM one of the alltime most thrilling guitarists in Americana, Rosie Flores at Skinny Dennis. Note that there is a $5 cover

7/4, 10:30 PM  expansive, expressive jazz pianist Miki Yamanaka at Smalls, $25. She’s back on 7/11

7/5, 6:30 PM Cuban saxophonist Hery Paz improvises with trumpeter Nate Wooley and drummer Tom Rainey followed at 7:30 by bassist Henry Fraser and violinist Cleek Schrey at Downtown Music Gallery

7/5, 10:30 PM  fiery electric Cuban hill country music with Los Hacheros at the Django, $25

7/7, 6 PM Brain Cloud western swing mastermind and multi-instrumentalist Dennis Lichtman and band under the Dumbo archway, F to York St

7/7, 7 PM pensive, eclectic, tuneful jazz/art-rock songwriter Becca Stevens with intense, rapturous Balkan/Middle Eastern ensemble the Secret Trio at the big room at the Rockwood, $20. It’s a good night there. She’s followed at 8:30 by steamboat soul crooner/pianist Nat Osborn. Downstairs irrepressibly sardonic janglerock/folk-punk songwriter, New Yorker illustrator and White Hassle alum Marcellus Hall plays at 7 for $10

7/7, 7:30/9 PM trombonist Alan Ferber leads his immersively innovative, sometimes symphonic nonet at Smalls, $25

7/8, 7 PM  brilliant, fearlessly political B3 organist Greg Lewis in the park on the Hudson at 125th St.

7/8, 7:30 PM the NYChillharmonic – who play lushly intricate art-rock with big band jazz orchestration – at Culture Lab in Long Island City

7/8, 7:30 PM catchy oldschool roots reggae with a fearlessly populist Senegalese feel from Meta & the Cornerstones at the Poisson Rouge, $20 adv tix rec

7/8, 10:30 PM an absurdly cheap triplebill of latin artists from Canada and Chile: Mexican folk guitarist Quique Escamilla, psychedelic latin rockers Battle of Santiago – the missing link between Willie Colon and Pink Floyd – and cumbia songwriter Ramon Chiccarron at Drom, $10

7/10, 5 PM Red Baraat trumpeter Sonny Singh plays funky bhangra psychedelia at Culture Lab in Long Island City

7/10, 7 PM jaunty female-fronted original retro rocksteady band the Big Takeover at Pier 1 at 70th St. and the Hudson

7/8, 7 PM every kind of swing jazz you could imagine with the Baylor Project at Bryant Park

7/10, 7 PM oldschool salsa triplebill: Lower East Salsa, Domingo Quinones and Puerto Rican Power at the Coney Island Amphitheatre. free

7/11-14, half past noon eclectic, often haunting Armenian jazz pianist Armen Donelian at Bryant Park

7/12, 6:30 PM tuneful, state-of-the-art postbop jazz guitarist Will Bernard in a rare solo show at Downtown Music Gallery

7/12. 7 PM blazing all-female street band the Brass Queens at Gantry State Park in Long Island City. They’re at Radegast Hall on 7/30 at 1 PM

7/12, 7:30 PM  A Far Cry  play an innovative program of string arrangements of Bartok miniatures plus works by Franghiz Ali-Zadeh, Dvorak, Beethoven and Karl Doty at the Naumburg Bandshell in Central Park

7/12, 7:30 PM  kinetic Cuban jazz pianist Elio Villafranca at the Django, $25

7/12, 7:30/9 PM charismatic, adventurous postbop/avant garde trombonist/crooner Frank Lacy leads a quartet at Smalls, $25 cash at the door.

7/12-17, 8/10:30 PM constantly shapeshifting hip-hop icon Talib Kweli & the Whiskey Boys at the Blue Note, $30 standing room avail

7/12. 9 PM noir Americana siren Eilen Jewell sings Loretta Lynn at Skinny Dennis, there is a cover charge $tba

7/13, noon  trumpeter Wayne Tucker – who veers between sunny postbop jazz, Afrobeat and goofy vocal shtick – at the pedestrian plaza at Willoughby and Pearl in downtown Brooklyn

7/13, 7:30 PM purist postbop tenor saxophonist Stacy Dillard with his band at the Django, $25, He’s also at Smalls on 7/16 and 7/23 at 10:30

7/14, noon thunderous all-female Colombian coastal trance-dance ensemble La Manga at the pedestrian plaza at Willoughby and Pearl in downtown Brooklyn

7/14, 7:30 PM imaginative indie classical choir Roomful of Teeth followed by a live interview with avant garde legends the Kronos Quartet at Prospect Park Bandshell

7/15, 7 PM the oldtimey band that started the whole revival back in the 90s, the Squirrel Nut Zippers at Bryant Park

7/15 7 PM psychedelic Afrobeat jammers the Brighton Beat at Culture Lab in Long Island City

7/15, 7 PM powerful, lyrical classical piainist Mimoza Keka plays works by contemporary Macedonian composers Tomislav Zografski and Dimitrije Buzarovski .at Gallery MC

7/15, 7:30 PM lyrical pianist Rich Germanson leads a quartet at the Django, $25. Followd at 10:30 by New Orleans reedman Craig Handy & Second Line Smith

7/16, 5 PM slinky new wave bassist/bandleader Yula Beeri at Culture Lab in Long Island City

7/16, 7:30 PM innovative, captivating carnatic singer Emmanuelle Martin with violinist Siddharth Ashokkumar and mridangam player Bala Skandan at the Chhandayan Center For Indian Music, $25

7/16, 8:30 PM slinky soul-influenced psychedelic band Chicano Batman at Prospect Park Bandshell

7/17, 7 PM smoldering female-fronted Colombian psychedelic band Yotoco at Culture Lab in Long Island City

7/17, 7 PM  Danny Jonokuchi & The Revisionists play 1930s style swing jazz at Pier 1 at 70th St. and the Hudson

7/18-22, half past noon lyrical jazz pianist Deanna Witkowski plays solo at Bryant Park

7/19, 7 PM  mighty, sweeping ensemble Mariachi Real de Mexico at Gantry State Park in Long Island City

7/19, 7:30 PM lyrical, thoughtful tenor saxophonist Eric Alexander leads a quintet at Smalls, $25 cash at the door.

7/19, 8:30 PM wickedly jangly surf/twang/country instrumentalists the Bakersfield Breakers at 11th St Bar

7/20, noon saxophonist John Ellis – as adept at postbop jazz as he is with haunting, theatrical noir art-song – at the pedestrian plaza at Willoughby and Pearl in downtown Brooklyn

7/20, 7:30 PM the best singing pianist (and the best piano-playing singer) in jazz, Champian Fulton at the Django, $25

7/20, 8 PM wild Danish klezmer band Mames Babagenush at Drom $20 adv tix rec

7/20, 9ish organ groovemeister Cory Henry at Central Park Summerstage

7/21, half past noon sizzling, politically fearless latin jazz pianist/composer Arturo O’Farrill’ leads a sextet at St. Marks Park, 2nd Ave/10th St

7/21, 7 PM bass trombonist Jennifer Wharton’s Bonegasm at Culture Lab in Long Island City

7/21, 7:30 PM erudite tenor saxophonist Wayne Escoffery leads his quartet at the Django, $25

7/21, 7 PM charming oldtimey swing band Fleur Seule at Astoria Park, Shore Boulevard between the Hell Gate Bridge and the pool

7/22, 7:30 PM colorful,  eclectic, paradigm-shifting B3 jazz organist Brian Charette plays the album release show for his new one at the Django, $25

7/22-23, 7:30/9 PM innovative alto saxophonist Caroline Davis leads a quartet with Matt Mitchell on piano at Smalls, $25

7/22, 110 PM the slinky, fiery Macedonian-flavorted Sedi Donka Balkan Band at St. Mazie’s

7/22, 11:30 PM  pyrotechnic clarinetist Ismail Lumanovski’s ferociously kinetic NY Gypsy All-Stars with haunting Middle Eastern trumpeter Ibraham Maalouf at Drom, $30 adv tix rec

7/23, 11 AM the all-female Egalitarian Brass play new classical works to wake the neighborhood up at Washington Square Park

7/23, 4ish bad segue, good twinbill: smart female-fronted gutter blues jamband Jane Lee Hooker followed at 5 by lyrical, thoughtful jazz pianist Eugenia Choe at Culture Lab in Long Island City

7/23, 7 PM cutting-edge big band salsa jazz with drummer Bobby Sanabria’s Big Band at Bryant Park

7/23, 7:30 PM santoor virtuoso Vinay Desai with tabla player Mir Naquibul Islam at the Chhandayan Center For Indian Music, $25

7/24, 3 PM ish 80s reggae star Sister Nancy in the courtyard at Union Pool, free

7/24, 7 PM saxophonist Joseph Herbst’s Ghost in the Mirror large ensemble jazz project with adventurous string ensemble Quartet Davis at Culture Lab in Long Island City

7/24, 7 PM brasy second-wave Ethio-jazz band Molly Tigre at 70th St. and the Hudson

7/24, 7 PM slinky piano-fueled soul band the Claudettes at the big room at the Rockwood $15

7/25-29, half past noon sly, cinematic, tuneful Microscopic Septet pianist Joel Forrester at Bryant Park

7/25, 7:30 PM purist, purposeful jazz guitarist Russell Malone with pianist Rick Germanson and bassist Luke Sellick at Mezzrow, $25

7/25, 8 PM busy surf rock cover group Band of Others at Cowgirl Seahorse

7/26. 7 PM Zikrayat play slinky, cinematic classics from the golden age of Arabic song at Gantry State Park in Long Island City

7/26, 7:30 PM edgy orchestra the Knights & Lara St. John, violin soloist play Mendelssohn’s Scottish Symphony plus works by Avner Dorman at the Naumburg Bandshell in Central Park

7/26, 7 PM soul/gospel belter (and Lenny Molotov collaborator) Queen Esther, Americana banjo songwriter Hilary Hawke  and bassist Mali Obomsawin and her band at the basement room at the Rockwood, $15,

7/26, 8 PM gritty downtown rocker Diane Gentile, dark blues/folk noir/oldschool soul songwriter Kelley Swindall and well-liked, fearlessly political LES soul-rock songwriter/chanteuse Dina Regine at 11th St Bar

7/27, noon irrepressible, ebullient Brain Cloud jazz chanteuse Tamar Korn at the pedestrian plaza at Willoughby and Pearl in downtown Brooklyn

7/27, 7 PM Los Cumpleanos – with Nestor Gomez – vox/percussion; Lautaro Burgos – drums; Eric Lane – keyboards; Alex Asher – trombone and others playing trippy, dubwise tropical psychedelia aat Pier 45 in Hudson River Park – take W 10th St to the river

7/27, 8 PM a Lee Konitz tribute with saxophonist Ohad Talmor, pianist Dan Tepfer, bassist Jeremy Stratton and drummer George Schuller at Seeds

7/28, half past noon the self=explanatory Gipsy Jazz Caravan at St. Marks Park, 2nd Ave/10th St

7/28, 6 PM Cuban tres player Junniel Jiminez and band under the Dumbo archway, F to York St.

7/28, 7 PM the Horne Electric Band play brassy funk at Culture Lab in Long Island City

7/29, 7 PM one of the most haunting songwriters in folk noir, Emily Jane White opens for minimalist/darkwave chanteuse Eivor at the Poisson Rouge, $30 adv tix rec

7/29, 7 PM cosmopolitan retro Euro-swing band the Hot Sardines with Nellie McKay on vocals at Bryant Park

7/29, 7 PM the Hudson Horns play brass music from the Balkans to New Orleans at Culture Lab in Long Island City

7/30, 4:30 PM Heart of Afghanistan, with Afghani TV star Ahmad Fanoos on vocals and harmonium, his sons Elham Fanoos on piano and Mehran Fanoos on violin, and Hamid Habibzada on tablā, followed eventually at around 9 by feral female-fronted psychedelic cumbia/tropicalia/dub allstars Combo Chimbita on the plaza at Lincoln Center

7/30, 7 PM Afro-Peruvian funk singer/bandleader Araceli Poma at Culture Lab in Long Island City

7/30.,7:30 PM electrifying vibraphonist Simon Moullier and band at the Django, $25 at the Django, $25

7/30, 5 PM pensive Turkish chanteuse Aynur, ferociously powerful, politically fearless southern gothic guitar/banjo player Amythyst Kiah  and  thunderous Ukrainian folk-punk stompers Dakhabrakha at Damrosch Park

7/30, 10:30 PM mighty Brazilian drumline street band BatalaNYC at Drom, $20 adv tix rec

8/2, noon feral tenor saxophonist Eric Wyatt and band at Columbus Park, Cadman Plaza East and Johnson St. in downtown Brooklyn

8/2, 7 PM clever, fiery, eclectic ten-piece Balkan/hip-hop/funk brass maniacs Slavic Soul Party  at Gantry State Park in Long Island City

8/2, 7:30 PM  lush, majestic string ensemble the East Coast Chamber Orchestra play works by Adolphus Hailstork, Maureen Nelson and Schubert’s String Quartet No. 14 in D minor, D 810, ‘Death and the Maiden’ at the Naumburg Bandshell in Central Park

8/4, 7 PM darkly psychedelic Afrobeat groove group Budos Band at Corporal Thompson Park in Staten Island

8/5, 3 PM a bunch of Red Baraat-adjacent artists and then the hypnotically explosive live bhangra dance band itself at Central Park Summerstage

8/6, 6 PM psychedelic tropicalia band the Meridian Brothers and psychedelic cumbia/reggaeton bandleader Ana Tijoux at Corporal Thompson Park in Staten Island

8/7, 3 PM a Dominican triplebill with merengue tipica band Grupo d’Ahora, El Gran Alcover and merengue star El Rey Supremo Luis Vargas at Central Park Summerstage

8/11, 6 PM psychedelic funk/Afrobeat jammers the People’s Champs  under the Dumbo archway, F to York St.

8/11, 7 PM Video Music Box legend Ralph McDaniels hosts a mostly nostalgic hip-hop multiple-bill with Sweet Tee, Girl Codee, Black Sheep, Smif n Wessun, Special Ed at at the Coney Island Amphitheatre. free, get here early or else

8/12, 7 PM ferocious, female-fronted Afrobeat band Underground System at Pier 45 in Hudson River Park – take W 10th St to the river

8/13, 7 PM Video Music Box’s Ralph McDaniels hosts a 90s dancehall reggae bill with Wayne Wonder and others at Central Park Summerstage

8/16, noon  iconic latin percussionist Willie Martinez leads his classic salsa/mambo group at Columbus Park, Cadman Plaza East and Johnson St. in downtown Brooklyn

8/16 7 PM playful avant garde cancion singer Sofia Rei at Gantry State Park in Long Island City

8/19, 7 PM atmospheric jazz guitarist Rafiq Bhatia at Bryant Park

8/20, 7 ish the all-female Resistance Revival Chorus sing epic, inspiring original populist gospel tunes and political broadsides, and Burnt Sugar celebrating 20+ years of lush Braxton-ish largescale improvisation, hard funk, James Brown and Bowie covers at Marcus Garvey Park

8/26, 7 PM a “habibi festival” that transcends the style: North African dancer Esraa Warda & the Châab Lab, kanun virtuoso Firas Zreik, and haunting French-Tunisian saxophonist Yacine Boulares’ Ajoyo project at Bryant Park

8/26, 7 PM jaunty female-fronted original retro rocksteady band the Big Takeover at Pier 45 in Hudson River Park – take W 10th St to the river

8/27, 4 PM ish socially conscious jazz chanteuse Nikara’s Black Wall Street project, bassist Buster Willliams and his band and trumpeter Terence Blanchard with the Turtle Island Quartet at Marcus Garvey Park

8/28, 2 PM the Sun Ra Arkestra  make their yearly appearance at the free outdoor concert series at Union Pool

8/28, 3 PM purist jazz guitarist Pasquale Grasso, swing trumpeter/singer Bria Skonberg, intense tenor saxophonist Melissa Aldana and Archie Shepp and Jason Moran with Cecile Mclorin Salvant at Tompkins Square Park

9/8, 7 PM two very different, very distinctive jazz pianists: Aaron Diehl and Orrin Evans at Bryant Park

9/11, 6 PM Gaijin A Go Go – the satirical J-pop equivalent of Les Sans Culottes under the Dumbo archway

9/15-18, 7:30 PM this year’s Momenta Festival with the reliably adventurous Momenta Quartet resumes, rescheduled from July with a program tba at Broadway Presbyterian Church (601 W 114th St. free

9/16, 7 PM the annual accordion festival returns: Heart of Afghanistan, with Afghani TV star Ahmad Fanoos on vocals and harmonium, his sons Elham Fanoos on piano and Mehran Fanoos on violin, and Hamid Habibzada on tablā. and others at Bryant Park

9/17, 7 PM the American Symphony Orchestra play a program tba at Bryant Park

A Lustrous Solo Album From Dobro Stylist Abbie Gardner

Abbie Gardner is one of the most distinctive dobro players in  Americana. She has a seemingly effortless grace and otherworldly precision on an instrument that often bedevils other acoustic guitarslingers. Despite her vaunted technique, she plays with a remarkable economy of notes. She may be best known as a member of well-loved harmony trio Red Molly. but she had fearsome chops before she joined that band. Her new solo album DobroSinger is streaming at Bandcamp

As with her other solo records, almost all the tunes are originals. The opening number, Down the Mountain is a steady coal-mining blues. Gardner’s liquid chords contrast with her stiletto-articulate fingerpicking and slithery slide lines. She sings in an expressive down-home delivery equally informed by oldschool gospel, blues and front-porch folk music.

The second track, Only All the Time is more enigmatic, a stripped-down throwback to the alt-country sounds of the 90s. Gardner slows down for See You Again, part sophisticated blues ballad, part country waltz, with a spare, suspenseful solo on the way out. Born in the City has more of Gardner’s signature, silken legato: the gist of the song is that urban people stick together just as tightly as country folks do.

Wouldn’t it be kind of cool if the next song, Three Quarter Time was in, say, 7/8? It actually isn’t: it’s in 6/8! The intimate arrangement is an artful approach to what’s essentially a vintage Memphis-style soul ballad. Gardner digs in hard for a wicked but nuanced vibrato for a starkly original, grim take of Cypress Tree Blues. Then she flips the script with the wryly aphoristic Too Many Kisses, which wouldn’t be out of place in the Amy Allison songbook.

The brisk, bouncily swinging Honky Tonk Song is the one number here where an overdubbed rhythm track would have come in handy: the absence of a band isn’t an issue anywhere else. Gardner interrupts the playful mood for the stark, understatedly harrowing memoir When We Were Kids: in a quiet way, it’s the most stunning song on the album.

Gardner closes the record with a couple of covers. The first one is a spacious, pouncing version of Those Memories of You, a minor hit for Pam Tillis in the mid-80s. And Gardner reinvents the proto-Lynchian Jo Stafford hit You Belong to Me with a distant, uneasily dreamy feel. If you play guitar, there’s plenty of inspiration here for you to take your chops to the next level. If you don’t, it’s a characteristically sharp, smart Americana record.

An Urban Country Legend Makes an Unlikely Stop on the Lower East Side

Alex Battles may have earned a place in New York music history as a bandleader and scenemaker in what was once a thriving Americana music scene, but he wouldn’t have reached that point without some good songs. With his wry, aphoristic lyrics and unpretentious baritone, the frontman of the Whisky Rebellion was a fixture for years at places like the old Hank’s and Sunny’s, just to name two of the more popular joints he could be be found at. It may seem a little odd that he’s playing the small room at the Rockwood tomorrow night, May 14 at 9, but these are weird times. As a bonus, all-female, soaring front-porch Americana harmony band the Calamity Janes play beforehand at 8. It’s a pass-the-tip-jar situation, and there are no restrictions on entry.

Battles’ catalog is well capsulized by his single A Perfect Game For Lenny Barker, an older song which is up at Bandcamp. It has a lot less to do with the big, burly Cleveland Indians pitcher’s wicked curveball on the historic night of May 15, 1981 against the Toronto Blue Jays than simply the civic pride he brought to a decaying rust belt city whose population was leaving in droves. These days, the same could be said for this city, although there hasn’t been any rust belt here to speak of since the 1960s.

Battles’ 2011 album Goodbye Almira has also been fairly recently digitized and is up at Bandcamp. You can hear his voice suddenly toughen up as he takes control on the mic on the one full-band song on the record, Tom Sawyer’s Island, over the fiddle and the honkytonk piano. Otherwise, it’s something of a change of pace for Battles, a mix of solo acoustic songs and a handful of fetching duets with Aiofe O’Donovan, long before she got off the bluegrass circuit and started playing shows with symphony orchestras.

Battles gets a lot of credit for helping to jumpstart the urban country sound here, and there’s a lot of the pull of the devil city on innocent, goodnatured out-of-towners here. Marilyn Monroe hits the road to get away from two of the main sophisticates who chased her. A nameless Nebraska girl finds out the hard way that being queen of the prairie doesn’t mean anything to the wolves of Wall Street. The two singers shoot for a low-key Gram-and-Emmylou vibe when Battles isn’t painting wistful and sometimes sharply evocative scenes of late-night battles of the sexes, a sad post-carnival tableau and a couple of tales where the big takeaway is what’s left unsaid.

This blog hasn’t been in the house at a Battles show in ages: the last one wasn’t actually his show, it was a birthday party at 68 Jay Street Bar in Dumbo where all his friends from the Roots and Ruckus scene gathered together to sing his songs. Memory is foggy on that one, but it was definitely a party. As for the Calamity Janes, it’s also been awhile; back in 2016, they battled an inept sound mix at a Williamsburg gig and emerged with a decisive victory. That won’t be a problem at the Rockwood.

Epic Americana Anthems and Sobering Narratives From Amanda Anne Platt & the Honeycutters

At a time when most artists are struggling to get any music out at all, Amanda Anne Platt & the Honeycutters are on a rare creative tear. They’re one of the very few bands in history to release two consecutive double albums (the Grateful Dead did it twice). Their bristling, epic Live at the Grey Eagle, recorded in their hometown of Asheville, North Carolina is one of the most compelling Americana releases of recent years. They pick right up where they left off with their vast new release The Devil and The Deep Blue Sea, streaming at Soundcloud.

It’s a concept record: the first disc is generally upbeat, the second quiet and immersive. “Sometimes you’re drowning in the deep blue sea and you need the devil to pull you out,” is Platt’s explanation. There’s a lot of poignancy in her painterly narratives, none more than in the album’s opening track, New York. For anyone who’s been driven out of the city in the last two years, or is staring down that prospect, it will rip your face off. There’s a point right after the first chorus where pianist Kevin Williams takes a tentative little downward riff and leaves it dangling, unresolved, an elephant lost to memories.

Burn – as in “burn it down” – is a low-key Dusty Springfield-esque Memphis soul tune anchoring one of Platt’s signature, aphoristic portraits of rural anomie and discontent. She details the quick disollution of a couple who were way too quick to tie the knot in The Devil, a honkytonk shuffle that Matt Smith colors with his spare, sailing pedal steel.

Likewise, Dallas affords Williams a chance to color the downcast ambience with his vintage Nashville piano lines. There’s subtle mystery in Saint Sebastian, a surreal summer vacation tableau set to a tiptoeing mashup of vintage soul and Tex-Mex.

Bassist Rick Cooper and drummer Evan Martin kick in harder in the catchy backbeat anthem Great Confession, Smith’s tantalizingly brief Telecaster leads ringing out over Williams’ organ. Platt’s cynical sense of humor reaches redline in Girls Like You, a propulsive reminder that determined, individualistic women haven’t always been regarded as role models.

Platt reflects on the legacy effects of girls who can’t resist the wrong guys in Eurydice, a low-key oldschool country ballad. “I didn’t drink a bloody mary on the plane because I wanted you to see me how I was raised,” Platt’s emotionally conflicted narrator recalls in Perfect Word, a gorgeously bittersweet, brisk requiem. She winds up the first disc with Desert Flowers, a swaying cross-country tale that looks back to late 90s alt-country songwriters like Kim Richey.

Disc two begins with Open Up Your Door, an angst-fueled vintage Emmylou Harris-style ballad, just Platt’s vocals over Smith’s steel and Williams’ sparse electric piano. The band return cautiously for the similarly regret-laden Another Winter Gone, then slow down even further for Rabbit, a hypnotically swaying, gloomily imagistic portrait of rural decay.

Smith’s dobro lingers over Platt’s gentle fingerpicking and Williams’ judicious piano in Reverie, one of the more wryly funny narratives here. “They burned the city you loved…they talk about mercy, but you ain’t seen her face,” Platt sings in This Night, a defiant call to rebuild that may reference the BLM riots of 2020.

Platt keeps the drifting, starry milieu going in Even Good Men Get the Blues, lit up by a gorgeous Williams organ solo. She offers hope amidst disappointment in Always Knew, a front porch-flavored love song, then brings back the organ and angst in Lessons in Gravity, a makeup ballad.

The band sway their way through Only Just to Smile with a mid-70s Fleetwood Mac vibe and close this long, evocative album on a guardedly optimistic note with There May Come a Day. Their next affordable gig is May 25 at 7 PM at Potters Craft Cider, 1350 Arrowhead Valley Rd. in Charlottesville, Virginia. Advance tix are $20.

 

Live Music Calendar for New York City and Brooklyn For May and June 2022

More concert listings this month than last: hardly critical mass, but live music in this city is becoming a thing again. Hopefully this is a trend: if all goes well, there will be many additions to this calendar throughout the month.

Weekly events first followed by the daily calendar.

Mondays at the Django 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.

5/6, 5/13 and 5/20 at 7:30 PM, and  5/12 at 10:30 PM tenor saxophonist Ken Fowser leads his band at the Django. Jukebox jazz in a JD Allen vein but not as dark and more straight-ahead/groove-oriented: as postbop party music goes, nobody’s writing better than this guy right now, $25

5/1, 8ish offhandedly chilling angst-rock/psychedelic songwriter Grace Bergere followed by Heavy Feather and the Magic Word – who do a good, shambly baby Supergrass imitation – at Our Wicked Lady, “$13.60” meaning $14 at the door

5/2-6, half past noon veteran, melodic 1950s era jazz pianist Bertha Hope plays the house electric model at Bryant Park

5/2, 7:30/9 PM reliably adrenalizing saxophonist Seamus Blake leads a quartet followed at 10:30 by  expansive postbop pianist Miki Yamanaka and her group at Smalls, $25 cash at the door. Blake is back here the next night, 5/3; Yamanaka is back on the 23rd.

5/2, 8 PM an intriguing avant jazz sax-and-guitar duo: Charlotte Greve and Simon Jermyn Duo at Seeds

5/3, 6 PM Avenida B play oldschool Lower East Side-style salsa at Bryant Park

5/3, 6:30 PM guitarist Federico Balducci leads an improvisational trio with bassist Brian Kastan and drummer Mike Pride followed at 7:30 by Alix Tuccp solo on bass trombone at Downtown Music Gallery, free

5/3, 7 PM eclectically rustic newgrass shredders We Banjo 3 at City Winery, $26 adm avail.

5/4. 5:30 PM Venezuelan piano jazz with the Gabriel Chakarji Group at Multi-Use Room A in Pelham Fritz Recreation Center at Marcus Garvey Park, free

5/4, 6 PM the Antoinette Montague Experience play oldtimey swing jazz at Bryant Park

5/4. 7 PM intriguingly brooding Turkish jazz pianist Bilge Gunaydin at the big room at the Rockwood, $15

5/4. 7:30 PM chanteuse Anais Reno fronts the lyrically energetic Pete Malinverni Trio at the Django, $25

5/4, 8 PM Jambalaya brass band NOTUS march into Drom, $10 adv tix rec

5/5, 6 PM Mariachi Real de Mexico who are as playfully rustic as they are regal at Bryant Park\

5/5, 7:30/9 PM intimate trumpet and piano sounds from Dominick Farinacci and Dan Tepfer at Smalls, $25 cash at the door

5/5. 11 PM ferociously dynamic, tuneful,female-fronted power trio Castle Black at Otto’s

5/6, 7 PM fearlessly powerful, outside-the-box South African jazz siren Melanie Scholtz at the downstairs room at the Rockwood,$15

5/7, 7 PM Liftoff Brass Band play New Orleans-style tunes outdoors at Culture Lab in Long Island City

5/7. 7:30 PM Abhik Mukherjee on sitar and Dibyarka Chatterjee on tabla at the Chhandayan Center For Indian Music, $25

5/7, 8 PM a cool surf twinbill at Otto’s with the Chillers and Blue Wave Theory

5/7. 10:30/midnight  feral tenor saxophonist Eric Wyatt and band and then the jam session at Smalls, $25 cash at the door. He’s back on 5/21

5/7, 11 PM trippy, fun psychedelic disco unit Cosmonaut Radio at the big room at the Rockwood, $10

5/8, 1 PM clever saxophonist Paul Shapiro’s Ribs & Brisket Review plays the “music of Mrs. Maisel” at City Winery $25

5/8, 1:30 PM intense retro 60s influenced Nubian funk band Alsarah & the Nubatones and high voltage Mexican folk-punk band the Villalobos Brothers at the bandshell in Forest Park, Woodhaven Boulevard and Forest Park Drive in Queens, J to 111th St

5/8, 5 PM charming/slashing noir cabaret/circus rock duo Frenchy & the Punk outdoors at Culture Lab in Long Island City

5/9-13, half past noon noir-inspired pianist Todd Robbins plays speakeasy jazz and blues at Bryant Park

5/10, 6:30 PM an improvisational triplebill:  Symbiotique with guitarist Michael Eaton, Seth Andrew Davis, Cheryl Pyle and Kule Quass followed at 7:30 by violinist/singer Kate Birch with guitarist Tal Yahalom and then at 8:30 PM guitarist Chris Pitsiokos and Kevin Murray at Downtown Music Gallery, free

5/11, 7:30 PM lyrical, sweeping pianist/accordionist Ben Rosenblum leads his septet at Smalls, $25 cash at the door

5/11, 8 PM  funk-jazz crew the Silver Arrow Band at Drom, free. They’re also here on 5/24

5/12, 6 PM music of the Americas: Colombia, Peru, and Venezuela with classical guitar duo Nilko Andreas and LaMar NYC at Bryant Park

5/12, 6:45 PM not a music event but fascinating for the scientifically-minded – a titanically smart lineup with the world’s most widely published cardiologist, Dr. Peter McCullough, holocaust survivor and brilliant historian Vera Sharav and Rabbi Jonathan Rietti lead a panel discussion on where we go from here, at 1437 President St (Kingston/Albany), Midwood, Brooklyn, 2 to Nostand Ave, also livestreamed. Put together by the reliably acerbic and insightful Brucha Weisberger and her team

5/12, 7 PM Afro-Cuban percussion legend Pedrito Martinez leads his rumbling, jazz-tinged salsa project at Drom, $20 adv tix rec

5/12, 10:30/midnight  tuneful oldschool soul/jazz trombonist Dave Gibson leads his quintet at Smalls, $25 cash at the door/ He’s back on the 26th

5/12, 11 PM  high-voltage, violin-driven art-rock/metal band Stratospheerius at Shrine

5/13, noon oldschool Cuban streetcorner salsa with Joaquin Pozo y la Clave Suena at Poe Park, 2640 Grand Concourse in the Bronx, B/D to Grand Concourse

5/13, 7 PM the Bootheel Boss Gobblers play western swing and Americana outdoors at Culture Lab in Long Island City

5/13, 7 PM the 18th annual Hank-o-Rama with an allstar band playing Hank Williams classics. Including but not limited to the Lonesome Prairie Dogs, Lenny Kaye on pedal steel, host Alex Battles, with guest stars Tammy Faye Starlite, Cliff Westfall, Sean Kershaw, Jordan McLean, Lil’ Mo Monica Passin and others at the Cutting Room, $20 adv tix rec

5/14. 11 AM (in the morning) oldschool purist 50s jazz guitar sounds with the John Cooksey Quartet at the Smith houses rec center, 80 Catherine St in Chinatown, walk south from Canal St.

5/14, 1 PM West African jazz beats with Jomion & the Uklos Band at Highland Park in Brooklyn, F to Jamaica

5/14 staggered brass band sets around Brooklyn Bridge Park starting at 2 PM with the L Train Brass Band  at Pier 6; at 2:30 – Sugartone Brass Band at the Visitors Center; 3:10 – Ad Hoc Brass Band playing second line stuff at Pier 4 Beach; 3:15-4:25 – Ad Hoc Brass Band at Pier 4 Beach; 4:25-4:30 – Ad Hoc Brass Band second line to Pier 3 Lawnl 4:30-5:10 – Stoop Kidz Brass Band at Pier 3 Lawn; 5:10-5:50 – Extra Syrup Horns at Pier 3 Plaza

5/14, 7:30/9:30 PM drummer Sylvia Cuenca leads a beast of a band with Brian Lynch on trumpet, Craig Handy on sax and Dave Kikoski on piano at Smalls,$25

5/14, 8 PM soaring oldtime front-porch harmony band the Calamity Janes followed by urban country legend Alex Battles at the small room at the Rockwood. In the big room moody retro new waver Alfonso Velez plays at 7 for $14; in the downstairs room at 9 amazing Middle Eastern-tinged psychedelic instrumentalists Sandcatchers play for $10

5/14, 10:30 PM tenor saxophonist Stacy Dillard at Smalls, $25 cash at the door. He’s back here on 5/28

5/15, noon-4 PM the Biophony Festival with various configurations of Metropolis Ensemble-adjacent chamber music groups playing new environmentally-themed works by a vast cast of composers including Charlotte Greve, Claire Dickson and Maria Grand at various locations throughout the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, $18/$12 stud/srs, kids under 12 free.

5/15, noon the annual Greek Jewish Festival opens with the bouncy Elias Ladino Ensemble, followed by the Greek American Folklore Society, the Noga Group featuring oud sorcerer Avram Pengas, captivating bellydancer Layla Isis, psychedelic oud-rocker Scott Wilson & Efendi and the stark, haunting Pontic Firebird (best bandname ever, right?) outdoors at Kehila Kedosha Janina Synagogue and Museum, 280 Broome St (Allen/Eldridge), Chinatown, B/D to Grand St

5/15, 7 PM Portuguese fado-jazz singer Sofia Ribeiro plays the album release show for her new one at Drom, $20 adv tix rec

5/15, 7 PM often haunting, tuneful, improvisational art-rock pianist Gabriel Zucker at the Red Hook Record Store on Van Brunt before you hit Pioneer; F train to Carroll, exit front of the downtown train, take First Place to when it becomes Summit, go over the footbridge, hang a u-turn at the base of the bridge, continue on Summit to the playground triangle and hang a left. It’s about 15 minutes from the train.

5/16, 5:30 PM the American Symphony Orchestra string quartet performs works by French composers including Debussy and Ravel at Bryant Park

5/16, 7:30 PM perennially vital vocal jazz legend Sheila Jordan with cinematic pianist Alan Broadbent at Mezzrow, $25 cash at the door

5/17, 5:30 PM the ASO Percussion Ensemble“combines Afro-Cuban Batá drumming and poetry with the sounds of contemporary chamber percussion, featuring Imani Winds’ oboist Toyin Spellman-Diaz in compositions by percussionist and composer Javier Diaz” at Bryant Park

5/17, 7:30 PM Romany guitarist Pedro Cortes’ Flamenco Ensemble at the Django, $25

5/17, 9:30 PM fearlessly comedic all-female brass crew the eGALitarian Brass at Drom, $10 adv tix rex

5/18, 10:30 PM haunting Elliott Smith-esque rockers No-No Boy play their song cycle about Japanese Americans in US prison camps during WWII at the downstairs room at the Rockwood, ‘$12

5/19, 6 PM  eclectic pan-latin and Middle Eastern-inflected acoustic songwriter Miriam Elhajli at Pier 3 Greenway Terrace toward the south tip of Brooklyn Bridge Park

5/19, 10:30 PN charismatic, adventurous postbop/avant garde trombonist/crooner Frank Lacy leads a quartet at Smalls, $25 cash at the door.

5/20-21, 7 PM an outrageously cool/weird noisefest at 508 Smith St, in Red Hook just across the canal, $30. Acts include “flaming harp, a fire-shooting brass band. baritone sax and motorcycle double-quartet, a balloon choir and a 500,000 watt tesla coil”

5/20, 7:30 PM the Spanish Harlem Orchestra play the album release show for their blazing new salsa jazz record at Drom, $30 adv tix rtec

5/20, 9 PM Giftshop – the missing link between Blondie and the Distillers – at Shillelagh Tavern, 47-22 30th Ave, Astoria, N/R to 46th St

5/20, 10:30 PM  badass bassist and jazz composer Endea Owens and the Cookout at the Django. $25

5/21, 3 PM an afternoon-long free music festival with short sets by Jeff Rodriguez. goofy ukulele songstress Seann Cantatore, hip-hop artists Jam Young, King ECH, and Too Dapper, scruffily psychedelic female-fronted indie band Loosie, Sara No H and Rao at the laundromat at 50-14 Roosevelt Ave in Woodside, 7 to 52nd St. It’s a clothing drive, bring stuff you don’t need, donations gratefully accepted. Free soap, free cookies while they last

5/21, 6:30 PM moody Greek-flavored jazz duo Christos Rafalides – vibraphone and Giovanni Mirabassi – piano followed by ubiquitously tuneful Spanish bassist Manel Fortia and his band and then poignant, captivating Greek singer Eleni Arapoglou and her Mediterranean band at Drom, $20 adv tix rec

5/21, 7 PM the colorful Yu Nishiyama Big Band at Culture Lab in Long Island City

5/21, 8 PM sitar and tabla – Radhakrishna T – a student of Ravi Shankar -. and Jorge Ramiro at the Chhandayan Center For Indian Music $25

5/21, 9 ish drony thrash band the Expollutants followed by intriguing retro 80s rockers Substitute – like GBH with a chorus pedal – and then the fiercely pro-immigrant, all-female Frida Kills at Our Wicked Lady, $14

5/22. noon new-music marching band Asphalt Orchestra play world premieres by Leila Adu-Gilmore, Jeffrey Brooks, and Kendall K. Williams, with special guest steel pan street band Pan in Motion. They will also perform a new arrangement by Tomeka Reid and Ken Thomson’s arrangement of Once in a Lifetime by the Talking Heads at Bryant Park

5/22, 5 PM elegantly lyrical Slavic jazz guitarist Martina Fiserova at the small room at the Rockwood,

5/22. 7:30 PM Canary Islands flamenco-jazz violinist Tania Mesa and band followed by Tunisian bassist Marwan Allam leading a quartet with Yacine Boulares on sax, wow, at Drom, $20 adv tix rec

5/22, 7:30/9 PM clever, purist B3 jazz organist Akiko Tsuruga leads a trio at Smalls, $25 cash at the door

5/23-24, 5:30 PM the American Symphony Orchestra: Jazz Ensemble – not an oxymoron – with Alexa Tarantino on sax play Nat Kiug Cole and Ellington tunes at Bryant Parka

5/25, 7 PM bizarre segue, good twinbill: psychedelic electric jazz keyboardist Sean Wayland followed by Americana banjo songwriter  Hilary Hawke  at the small room at the Rockwood

5/25. 7:30 PM the best singing pianist (and the best piano-playing singer) in jazz, the irrepressible Champian Fulton  followed at 10:30 (separate $25 adm) by purist jazz chanteuse Samara Joy and her octet at the Django

5/26, 7:30 PM New Bojaira play flamenco jazz  at Drom, $20 adv tix rec Followed at 9:30 (separate $15 adv adm) by pyrotechnic clarinetist Ismail Lumanovski’s ferociously kinetic NY Gypsy All-Stars

5/26, 7:30/9 PM darkly eclectic pianist and Cecile McLorin Salvant collaborator Sullivan Fortner leads a trio at Mezzrow, $25 cash at the door d

5/26, 8 PM agelessly slashing, tuneful janglerock/powerpop icon Willie Nile at City Winery $20

5/27, 6:30 PM American Wild Ensemble, a septet of winds, strings, and percussion, will perform music inspired by Olmsted-designed parks including Brooklyn’s Prospect Park and Manhattan’s Fort Tryon Park. The program includes newly commissioned works by composers Oliver Caplan, Nell Shaw Cohen, Michael-Thomas Foumai, Libby Meyer, Ayumi Okada, Justin Ralls, Christina Rusnak, and Ryan Suleiman on the lawn at Ft Tryon Park. The program repeats on 5/28 at noon at the Prospect Park boathouse, Their Boston show last month playing this material was off the hook.

5/27-28, 7:30/9 PM legendary lyrical jazz pianist Bill Mays leads a trio at Mezzrow, $25 at the door

5/28, 6:30 PM a rare chance to see popular Nordic drummer/bandleader Kresten Osgood with trumpeter Herb Robertson and tuba player Marcus Rojas at Downtown Music Gallery

5/28, 8 PM 10-piece chamber orchestra CACEnsemble and the Wendy Osserman Dance Company perform violinist/singer Concetta Abbate’s hauntingly improvisational new suite Laminaria: “fairytale meets noir meets classical music, the story of an underwater shadow ghost emerging from a kelp forest. Laminaria (the Latin word for kelp) is used medicinally to induce labor in women and serves as a metaphor for rebirth, transformation and loss,” at the Park Church Coop, 129 Russell St., Greenpoint, $20, G to Nassau Ave

5/29. 7:30/9 PM charmingly retro Americana jazz chanteuse Sasha Dobson leads a quartet with Peter Bernstein on guitar at Smalls, $25 cash at the door

5/31, 6:30 PM a cool improvisational trio: guitarist Jessica Ackerley, saxophonist Erin Rogers and drummer Henry Mermer followed by trumpeter Darren Johnston and drummer Ches Smith at Downtown Music Gallery

5/31, 8 PM first-wave dreampop legend and Throwing Muses frontwoman Kristin Hersh at City Winery, $20

5/31, 10:30 PM  rustic Cuban country music band Los Hacheros play electric island grooves at the Django

6/8. 7 PM MasterVoices and the Orchestra of St. Luke’s with Shereen Pimentel, soprano and Tariq Al-Sabir, tenor perform works by Mendelssohn, Josquin, Barber and others at Waterline Square Park on Riverside Dr (60/61)

6/11, 7:30 PM the Pan Evolution Steel Orchestra followed by veteran dancehall reggae singer Maxi Priest at Prospect Park Bandshell

6/14, 7:30 PM edgy orchestra the Knights  play a historically brilliant program: new orchestral arrangements of Beethoven’s Sonata No. 9, “Kreutzer Sonata” and Janáček’s String Quartet No. 1, “Kreutzer Sonata”, at the Naumburg Bandshell in Central Park

6/14. 8 PM the NY Philharmonic plays Wagner’s Prelude to Act I of Die Meistersinger, Bruch’s Violin Concerto No. 1 with Bomsori Kim as soloist, Dvořák’s Symphony No. 7, and works by young composers in Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx. The program repeats on the Great Lawn in Central Park on 6/15, in Cunningham Park, Queens on 6/16 and Prospect Park on 6/17

6/24, 7:30 PM oldschool Colombian gangsta sounds with La Cumbiamba eNeYé followed by Colombian vallenato crooner Fonseca at Prospect Park Bandshell

6/25, 4 PM firebrand Guinean feminist rocker Natu Camara followed by Guinean acrobatic troupe Cirque Kalabanté at Prospect Park Bandshell

6/28. 7:30 PM the Handel and Haydn Society, led by violinist Aisslinn Nosky play works by Corelli, Vivaldi, Geminiani, Handel and Charles Avison at the Naumburg Bandshell in Central Park

7/12, 7:30 PM  A Far Cry  play an innovative program of string arrangements of Bartok miniatures plus works by Franghiz Ali-Zadeh, Dvorak, Beethoven and Karl Doty at the Naumburg Bandshell in Central Park

7/14, 7:30 PM imaginative indie classical choir Roomful of Teeth followed by a live interview with avant garde legends the Kronos Quartet at Prospect Park Bandshell

7/16, 8:30 PM slinky soul-influenced psychedelic band Chicano Batman at Prospect Park Bandshell

7/26, 7:30 PM edgy orchestra the Knights & Lara St. John, violin soloist play Mendelssohn’s Scottish Symphony plus works by Avner Dorman at the Naumburg Bandshell in Central Park

8/2, 7:30 PM  lush, majestic string ensemble the East Coast Chamber Orchestra play works by Adolphus Hailstork, Maureen Nelson and Schubert’s String Quartet No. 14 in D minor, D 810, ‘Death and the Maiden’ at the Naumburg Bandshell in Central Park

Slashing Hard Country and Memorable Flyover America Stories From Kaitlin Butts

The title of Kaitlin Butts‘ previous album is Same Hell, Different Devil. That pretty much sums up the Nashville-based songwriter’s worldview. She comes out of a red dirt Oklahoma background, and she’s been around. Her new vinyl record What Else Can She Do is streaming at Spotify. She’s a fiery, expressive singer, a vivid storyteller and has a hard country band behind her who can rock out just as hard if the song calls for it.

Butts doesn’t wait fifteen seconds before she revisits the Devil in the album’s first track, It Won’t Always Be This Way. “Waiting for the first turn in my gut,” is how she puts it in this big, angst-fueled ballad, soaring over Joshua Grange’s flaring guitar leads and Justin Schiper’s pedal steel. It’s a great song: Tift Merritt got her start singing stuff like this.

Bored If I Don’t – as in, damned if I do, etc. – is a twangy, guilt-racked cheating song, propelled by bassist Lex Price and drummer Fred Eltringham’s swinging beat. Butts traces an all-too-familiar blue-collar story of slow decline in the album’s wistfully waltzing title track: “Her smalltown pretty didn’t play in the city too well/And the life that she thought would be heaven now feels more like hell.”

Jackson, a vindictive, blue-flame 6/8 ballad with a tasty steel solo, is a sort of sequel to the Johnny Cash/June Carter classic. “Mama says it’s like losing a child without the flowers or the casserole,” Butts explains in She’s Using, a searing chronicle of the opiod pandemic. It’s the best song on the record.

A month ago, this blog described the next tune, Blood as “a very subtle protest song disguised as a fierce kiss-off ballad” – listen closely and you will be rewarded. Butts winds up the record with an impassioned Nashville gothic cover of In the Pines that’s closer to Neko Case than that overrated Seattle band from way back when. It’s early in the year, but this is one of the small handful of best records of 2022 so far.

Live Music Calendar for New York City and Brooklyn For April and May 2022

Slowly, venues are wising up to the fact that crowds aren’t going to put up with restrictions. Right now it’s mostly jazz clubs who are leading the way, but this calendar continues to grow, slowly: if you’re thinking of going out, you might even want to bookmark this page as there will be additions throughout the month and hopefully beyond.

Mondays at the Django 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.

Thursdays at 7 PM Afro-Cuban percussion legend Pedrito Martinez leads his rumbling, jazz-tinged salsa project at Drom, $20 adv tix rec

4/1 and 4/22 at 7 PM, 4/7 at 10, and 4/16 at 7 PM tenor saxophonist Ken Fowser leads his band at the Django. Jukebox jazz in a JD Allen vein but not as dark and more straight-ahead/groove-oriented: as postbop party music goes, nobody’s writing better than this guy right now, $25

4/1-2, 7:30/9 PM Orbits 4 with pianist Rachel Z, Steve Wilson on alto sax, Jonathan Toscano on bass and Ben Perowsky on drums, wow, at Smalls, $25 cash at the door

4/1, 8 PM ubiquitous, moodily lyrical, politically savvy Irish folk-rocker Niall Connolly at the small room at the Rockwood

4/1, 10 PM tenor saxophonist Wayne Escoffery leads a quintet celebrating the Mingus centennial at the Django, $25

4/2, 7 PM  ambient guitarist and Bowie collaborator Gerry Leonard a.k.a. Spooky Ghost at the basement room at the Rockwood, $15

4/2. 10:30 PM tenor saxophonist Stacy Dillard leads at quartet at Smalls, $25 cash at the door. He’s back here on 4/16

4/2, 7:30 PM Club d’Elf with John Medeski play ramshackle gnawa-funk at Drom, $20 adv tix rec

4/3, 7:15 PM a benefit for Ukrainian refugees on the roof at Our Wicked Lady with short sets by pensive jazz-folk singer Lou Apollon, performance artist Charlotte Righetti, and psychedelic Greek surf rockers the Byzantones, cover is in the neighborhood of $25

4/5, 6:30 PM Nick Panoutsos solo on bass followed by the improvisational sax-drums duo of Colin Fisher and Kyle Hutchins at Downtown Music Gallery, free

4/6, 7 PM the reliably innovative S.E.M Ensemble perform works for ensembles including string quartet, double bass, percussion, and marimba by Morton Feldman, Frederic Rzewski, Alvin Lucier,Petr Kotik, Ana Sokolovic, and Jordan Dykstra, and a premiere by Daniel O’Connor at Willow Place Auditorium, 26 Willow Place (Joralemon/State), downtown Brooklyn, any train to Borough Hall

4/6, 8 PM Melissa Gordon of Melissa & the Mannequins, one of the best purist janglerock songwriters in NYC, at the small room at the Rockwood

4/7. 9ish drony, jangly female-fronted post-Velvets duo Shadow Monster at Our Wicked Lady, $12

4/8, 7 PM haunting folk noir/Americana songwriter Emily Frembgen at the basement room at the Rockwood, $10

4/7, 7 PM vibraphone monster Simon Moullier at the Django, $25. This guy is all about adrenaline – those mallets fly fast and furious.

4/7, 7 PM  tenor saxophonist Tim Ries‘ nonet the Universal Spirits Ensemble = not to be confused with his other band the Rolling Stones – at Drom, $25

4/8, half past noon a celebration of Scottish bagpipe music with Gleadhraich frontman Craig Weir, the Highland Divas and Noisemaker at Bryant Park

4/8, 7 PM haunting folk noir/Americana songwriter Emily Frembgen at the downstairs room at the Rockwood, $10

4/9 starting at 10:30 in the morning Scottish pipe-and-drum bands including the Theater School of Scotland’s band at Bryant Park

4/9, 7 PM trumpeter Alex Norris leads a quintet celebrating the Mingus centennial at the Django, $25. Followed at 10 (separate $25 admission) by bassist Boris Kozlov’s “Electric Mingus Project” with Johnathan Blake on drums which could be truly electiic, or a disaster.

4/9, 10:30 PM feral tenor saxophonist Eric Wyatt and band at Smalls, $25 cash at the door.

4/10, half past noon Scottish bagpipe acts including Whiskey Kiss, New York Brogue and others at Bryant Park

4/10, 7 PM Chontadelia play a wildly energetic marimba-driven take on coastal Colombian folk tunes at Drom, $20

4/10, 7 PM darkly torchy southwestern gothic/Europolitan songwriter/guitarist Miwa Gemini a at the basement room at the Rockwood, $10

4/10, 7:30/9 PM soulful pan-Latin jazz chanteuse Claudia Acuña  leads a trio at Mezzrow, $25 cash at the door

4/11, 7 PM funk-jazz crew the Silver Arrow Band at Drom, free. They’re also here on 4/26 at 8

4/12, 6:30 PM dueling baritone saxes with Jamison Williams and Danny Kamins at Downtown Music Gallery, free

4/13, 8:30 PM a bluegrass summit with Michael Daves and Andy Statman at the big room at the Rockwood, $20

4/13, 9ish drifting, female-fronted dreampop band Punchlove at Our Wicked Lady, $12

4/14, 7 PM lyrical pianist David Kikoski leads a trio with Boris Kozlov on bass and Ari Hoenig on drums celebrating the Mingus centennial at the Django, $25. Followed at 10 (separate $25 adm) by trombonist Conrad Herwig‘s latin/Mingus septet, Herwig is back the next night, 4/15 at 7.

4/14, a good punk and punk-adjacent quadruplebill: 8 PM ish catchy female-fronted powerpop/punk band the Rizzos, the louder and more snide Duke of Vandals, the fiercely pro-immigrant Frida Kill and kinetic no-wavers Weeping Icon at Our Wicked Lady, $12

4/14, 10:30 PM  tuneful oldschool soul/jazz trombonist Dave Gibson leads his quintet at Smalls, $25

4/15, 10 PM cantante MV Caldera sings her high-voltage blend of calypso and tambor at Drom, $20 adv tix rec

4/16, 7 PM trumpeter Philip Harper leads a quintet celebrating the Mingus centennial at the Django, $25

4/17, 7 PM a low-register subset of intricately orchestrated psycho mambo crew Gato Locoat the big room at the Rockwood, $10

4/19, 6:30 PM: a killer free jazz twinbill with trumpeter Thomas Heberer, bassist Joe Fonda and drummer Joe Hertenstein followed at 7:30 by singers Joan Sue and Isabel Crespo with bassists Nick Dunston and Henry Fraser at Downtown Music Gallery, free

4/21, 7 PM Mike LeDonne takes a relatively rare turn on piano  at the Django followed at 10 (separate $25 adm) by purist postbop guitarist Mark Whitfield

4/21, 7 PM pianist Simon Mulligan and cellist Dan Barrett lead a chamber ensemble playing new works at by Catherine Neville, Paul Aljian, Simona Smirnova, David Mecionis, Madelyn Byrne, Eric Heilner, Patricia Leonard, Christopher Sahar, and Anton Rovner’s Mysterious Star, a song cycle on poems by Edgar Allan Poe at the Church of the Transfiguration, 1 E 29th St. $20

4/21, 9ish heavy psych/hard funk trio King Crash at Our Wicked Lady, $12

4/22, 9ish darkly drifting keyboardist/chanteuse Lizzie Loveless and catchy Americana/pop songstress Denitia at Our Wicked Lady, $12

4/22, midnight Elefantkiller – fearless, venomous, politically spot-on New York punks who deserve to be mentioned in the same sentence as the Dead Kennedys – at Otto’s

4/23, from noon to 5 PM reggae soundsystens Soul Supreme, Nexxt Level, Super Force, Federation Sound, and Empress Breeze live and in-person at the VP Records store, 170-19 Jamaica Ave., Jamaica, Queens, A to 169th St. Video Music Box legend Ralph McDaniels will also be there doing his thing with special guests including Kool DJ Red Alert and other figures from hip-hop’s golden age.

4/23, 7 PM  iconic low register reedman Scott Robinsonn leads a quartet with Miki Yamanaka on piano celebrating the Mingus centennial at the Django, $25. melodic rising star bassist Endea Owens & the Cookout follow on the bill at 10 (separate $25 adm)

4/24, 7:30/9 PM  the best singing pianist (and the best piano-playing singer) in jazz, the irrepressible Champian Fulton at Mezzrow, $25

4/24, 9ish hard-hitting stoner boogie band Slomo Sapiens at Our Wicked Lady, $14

4/25, 7 PM noir guitar legend Jim Campilongo  at the big room at the Rockwood $15. Downstairs funky Milwaukee new wavers the Violet Hour play at the same time for $10, take your pick

4/26, 6:30 PM a free jazz twinbill: saxophonist Ayumi Ishito with Damien Olson and Nebula the Velvet Queen on theremin, followed by Aaron Edgcomb on percussion, Priya Carlberg on vocals and David Leon on sax at Downtown Music Gallery, free

4/26, 7 PM catchy female-fronted punk band the Neighborhood Brats at Our Wicked Lady, $15

4/26. 10 PM  rustic Cuban country music band Los Hacheros play ancient island grooves at the Django, $25

4/27, 7:30/9 PM imaginative, tuneful bassist Joris Teepe with Leo Genovest on piano and Matt Wilson on drums at Mezzrow, $25

4/28, 7 PM lyrical latin-inflected pianist Helen Sung leads a quartet celebrating the Mingus centennial at the Django, $25

4/28, 7 PM Cuban groovmeister Carlitos Padron & Rumberos Del Callejon play oldschool salsa dura at Drom, $20 adv tix rec

4/28, 7:30/9 PM colorful,  eclectic, paradigm-shifting B3 jazz organist Brian Charette leads a trio at Mezzrow, $25

4/28, 8 PM intense, charismatic oldschool soul belter Sami Stevens at the small room at the Rockwood

4/28, 9 PM ferocious, smartly lyrical soul-rockers No Ice at Our Wicked Lady, $14. Avoid the Nazi opening band The Road to Ruin at all costs: how did they get on the bill?

4/29, 8ish reliably slashing noiserockers Bugs in the Dark at Our Wicked Lady, $14

4/29, 10 PM at Otto’s, a tuneful, oldschool style punk bill: the OC Rippers, a promising new band who remind you of the Dead Boys, at 11 San Diego’s solid, tuneful Slaughter Boys and the more postpunk/hardcoreish No-Heads headlining.

4/29, 10 PM energetic purist tenor saxophonist Craig Handy & Second Line Smith at the Django, $25

4/30. starting at 2 PM in reverse order at Otto’s, an eclectic benefit for the citizens of Ukraine, all donations to benefit Razom for Ukraine, beginning with the acoustic acts and moving on to the bands: headliners Giftshop – the missing link between Blondie and the Distillers – preceded by long-running, wickedly jangly, tuneful Americana rockers the Sloe Guns, Stephanie Marie and Friends, Krispy DeRato, Gary Edward Kiyan, Raising Daughters, Xavier Moll, Lo, Sean Listro, Kassaye Selassie, Adam Najemian, Jason Inyoung Lee, Max Lombardo, Harrison Dolan, and others.

4/30, 3 PM the Bang on a Can avant garde organization returns to NYC with a multi-ensemble mini-marathon outdoors at 300 Ashland Place just downhill from BAM. Among them: epic ranchera/bolero brass crew Banda de los Muertos  at 3  and at 7 Kendall K. Williams‘ steel pan orchestra\

4/30, 7 PM are you hungry for orchestral music but locked out of Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall? Here’s a great evening of symphonic sounds with the Modus Opera Orchestra playing works by Rossini, Bach, Morricone, a world premiere by Guido López-Gavilán, plus Tschaikovsky’s Symphony No. 5 at St. Mary’s Church, 1008 49th Ave, Long Island City, just up the block from the Vernon-Jackson stop on the 7 train, $25

4/30. 7 PM mighty Brazilian drumline street band BatalaNYC celebrate 10 years of banging around thunderously at Drom, $12 adv tix rec

4/30, 9 PM ferocious two-guitar oldschool powerpop band Ratstar at the Delancey, $10

4/30. 10:30 PM downtown jazz guitar icon Elliott Sharp leads a trio at the downstairs room at the Rockwood, $20

5/3, 6:30 PM guitarist Federico Balducci leads an improvisational trio with bassist Brian Kastan and drummer Mike Pride followed at 7:30 by Alix Tucci solo on bass trombone at Downtown Music Gallery, free

5/4, 8 PM Jambalaya brass band NOTUS march into Drom, $10 adv tix rec

5/10, 6:30 PM Symbiotique with guitarist Michael Eaton, Seth Andrew Davis, Cheryl Pyle and Kule Quass followed at 7:30 by violinist/singer Kate Birch with guitarist Tal Yahalom and then at 8:30 PM guitarist Chris Pitsiokos and Kevin Murray at Downtown Music Gallery, free

5/15, noon the annual Greek Jewish Festival opens with the bouncy Elias Ladino Ensemble, followed by the Greek American Folklore Society, the Noga Group featuring oud sorcerer Avram Pengas, captivating bellydancer Layla Isis, psychedelic oud-rocker Scott Wilson & Efendi and the stark, haunting Pontic Firebird (best bandname ever, right?) outdoors at Kehila Kedosha Janina Synagogue and Museum, 280 Broome St (Allen/Eldridge), Chinatown, B/D to Grand St\

5/20, 9 PM Giftshop – the missing link between Blondie and the Distillers – at Shillelagh Tavern, 47-22 30th Ave, Astoria, N/R to 46th St

It might seem premature to include concerts as far away as this summer, but these are outdoors. so even if the dying Kathy Hochul regime tries to bring the lockdown back from the dead, these will probably go on as planned:

6/14, 7:30 PM edgy orchestra the Knights  play a historically brilliant program: new orchestral arrangements of Beethoven’s Sonata No. 9, “Kreutzer Sonata” and Janáček’s String Quartet No. 1, “Kreutzer Sonata”, at the Naumburg Bandshell in Central Park

6/28. 7:30 PM the Handel and Haydn Society, led by violinist Aisslinn Nosky play works by Corelli, Vivaldi, Geminiani, Handel and Charles Avison at the Naumburg Bandshell in Central Park

7/12, 7:30 PM  A Far Cry  play an innovative program of string arrangements of Bartok miniatures plus works by Franghiz Ali-Zadeh, Dvorak, Beethoven and Karl Doty at the Naumburg Bandshell in Central Park

7/26, 7:30 PM edgy orchestra the Knights & Lara St. John, violin soloist play Mendelssohn’s Scottish Symphony plus works by Avner Dorman at the Naumburg Bandshell in Central Park

8/2, 7:30 PM  lush, majestic string ensemble the East Coast Chamber Orchestra play works by Adolphus Hailstork, Maureen Nelson and Schubert’s String Quartet No. 14 in D minor, D 810, ‘Death and the Maiden’ at the Naumburg Bandshell in Central Park

Defiance and Dread: Songs and Useful Information For the End of March

Today’s playlist runs from the ridiculously catchy to the tantalizingly allusive. Tunes first, then the news: click on artist names for their webpages, click on titles for audio or video.

First up is a Media Bear parody protest song (one of a growing bunch, most of them pretty hilarious, at the master page here). Today’s pick is their update on the 1976 C.W. McCall country-rap classic, Convoy. This new one has Pureblood and Rubber Glove going back and forth over the CB radio behind a pastiche of heartwarming footage from the Canadian trucker convoy to Ottawa. Meanwhile, the US Freedom Convoy is back on the road again, headed for Grand Park in Los Angeles just in time for the massive freedom rally there on April 10 at noon.

Catchiest song on this list is Tracy Shedd’s retro 90s sunshine pop song Going Somewhere. Nothing heavy, but it’s hard to get the jangle and swirl out of your head.

Dallas Ugly‘s Part of a Time is a catchy midtempo country tune, frontwoman Libby Weitnauer reflecting on what might have been but never was.

Hang in there with the DelinesSurfers in Twilight. It’s s a nocturne but not a surf song, and it takes awhile to get going. But this narrative of casual police brutality really packs a punch.

Staying in serious mode, here’s another good Sage Hana video, this time using Chris Isaak‘s Somebody’s Crying as a requiem for all the athletes murdered and maimed by the Covid shot. The cruel tagline is “I know when somebody’s lying.”

Delicate guitar figures flicker amid the enveloping gloom in Darkher’s latest dirge Where the Devil Waits. It really speaks to the relentless dread so many of us have experienced over the past two years.

Because music doesn’t exist in a vacuum, here are a couple of brief must-reads from the world around us. First, the irreplaceable Emerald Robinson articulates just how the Ukraine war is being weaponized by the Biden regime to collapse just about every supply chain in existence, including the food supply, as a pretext for instituting programmable digital money. This is not meant to scare anyone, just to underscore that we need to keep our eye on the ball, especially here in New York where raw materials for just about everything are imported.

And here’s Dr. Meryl Nass’s latest masterpiece, a concise timeline of how hydroxychloroquine was demonized in the mad dash to create a legal framework for the rollout of the Covid shots. Nass covers all the key dates, all the coverups and the essential study data; This is the Rosetta Stone of what become known as Solidaritygate and its aftermath. If you need a single comprehensive source that covers all the bases, this is it.