New York Music Daily

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Tag: rock music

A Deviously Dark New Masterpiece and a Joe’s Pub Show From Creepy Duo Charming Disaster

Charming Disaster aren’t just the creepiest guy/girl harmony duo in folk noir. They’re also a songwriting superduo. Since the late zeros, guitarist Jeff Morris has led mighty noir mambo/circus rock band Kotorino. When singer/ukulele player Ellia Bisker – leader of majestic existentialist soul band Sweet Soubrette – joined his group, that springboarded a series of collaborations that led to the duo’s debut collection of original murder ballads. Since then, they’ve become a touring powerhouse and have expanded their sound to include dark and death-obsessed narratives set to increasingly and expertly diverse musical backdrops. Their latest album Spells and Rituals is streaming at Bandcamp. They’re playing Joe’s Pub on August 22 at 9 PM; cover is $15.

They open the record with Blacksnake, a slinky clave tune about a pair of lovers who’ve gotten in too deep for their own good. All this bliss just might kill them: “Is it just hallucination or the ergot on the rye?” they ask as what may be an apocalypse looms on the horizon. There’s also a funny fourth wall-breaking reference to percussion equipment; see the band live and you’ll get it.

Although the duo do an impressive job playing multiple instruments onstage to bulk up their sound, there’s a full band on the album. Wishing Well, a Merseybeat-tinged janglerock tune has Don Godwin doing double duty on bass and drums along with the hanclaps to propel its allusively suicidal narrative. Baba Yaga, a shout out to the popular witch from Russian mythology, has a scampering horror surf-tinged groove; there’s no Moussourgsky quote, although that’s the kind of thing they’d slip in when playing it live.

Devil May Care, with its wry Biblical allusions and Tex-Mex tinges, is a hoot. “You’ve got a right to get in trouble,’ is the refrain. Llithe strings add to the distant menace , alongside Jessie Kilguss’ droning harmonium. Bisker’s sultry tones enhance the sinister ambience over Morris’ gorgeously bittersweet guitar jangle in Blue Bottle Blues, a swinging number about poisoning.

Heart of Brass is a throwback to Kotorino’s adventures in sardonic steampunk storytelling, Morris and Bisker in counterpoint over tinkling glass bells and a hypnotic sway. From there they blend Beatles and classic 60s country balladry in the slightly more lighthearted, metaphorically loaded cross-country narrative Keep Moving.

Menacing circus-rock piano (that’s either Morris or Bisker; both play keys on the album) and strings (Heather Cole on violin and Patricia Santos on cello) build operatic drama in Belladonna. “The ambulance sang my name more times than once,” Morris and Bisker harmonize in Fire Eater, a broodingly orchestrated, Balkan brass-tinged parable about the perils of thrill-seeking. They stomp their way through the catchy Laurel Canyon psychedelia of the monstrously funny Be My Bride of Frankenstein and close the album with the cynical, scampering garage rock spoof Soft Apocalypse. Dark music has seldom been this much fun – and these two put on a hell of a show.

Brooklyn’s Two Most Irrepressibly Entertaining Rock Bands Branch Out This Month

The most entertaining rock twinbill of the year so far happened on one of the summer’s most blustery, wet nights last month at cozy Prospect Lefferts Gardens boite the Nest. It began with a wail and ended with the headliner’s frontwoman skidding on her knees to the edge of the stage, drenched in blood.

As impossibly high as noir punk trio Hannah vs. the Many raised the bar, the Manimals were just as charismatic. Where Hannah Fairchild ripped through torrents of lyrics, literary references, savage puns and righteous feminist rage with her siren vocals and Telecaster roar, singer Haley Bowery and her theatrical powerpop band the Manimals were every bit as dramatic and ridiculously fun to watch. Hannah vs. the Many are back at the Nest, (504 Flatbush Ave.) on August 18 at 6 PM on a bill with lots of bands. The noiserock act on afterward, George Puke (jazz fans will get the joke) are also a lot of fun. Take the Q to Prospect Park; the venue doesn’t have a website, but cover probably isn’t more than ten bucks, if that. The Manimals are at Union Pool on August 24 at 9 as part of a pro-choice benefit show; cover is $12.

It’s never safe to say that a musician is the world’s best at any one particular thing, but there’s no better songwriter than Fairchild right now. For about the past four years, she’s stripped her material down to fit her nimble, scrambling, burning power trio with bassist Carl Limbacher and drummer Max Maples. In about an hour onstage, they ripped through one menacing number after another, a mix of songs from the group’s latest album Cinemascope as well as a couple of new tunes, calling bullshit on clueless exes on Instagram, madonna/whore dynamics in theatre, and narcissism run amok. The best of the brand-new tunes followed a long trail of phantasmagorical, Syd Barrett-esque chromatic chord changes, a familiar trope for this band.

The most savagely punk tune of the night was The Auteur, a kiss-off anthem to end all kiss-off anthems: in this group’s world, the battle of the sexes is always a death match. They closed with Kopfkino, which on one of many levels is a terse, allusive Holocaust narrative set to amped-up 60s Flamin’ Groovies janglerock: “What’s the last stop for a face on a train?” Fairchild asked pointedly.

The Manimals followed with a slightly less savagely surreal set of Bowie-esque powerpop: imagine what the Thin White Duke would have done, backed by Cheap Trick, around the time of the Alladin Sane album. Where Fairchild, tall and blonde in her slinky black strapless dress, played femme fatale, the lithe, strikingly blue-eyed Haley Bowery pulled off some neat split-second costume changes for a more chameleonic look.

The band’s set was less overtly venomous but still had an edge. Sadly, this was drummer Matt O’Koren’s last show with this crew: like so many other good New York musicians, he’s been brain-drained out of town. The twin guitars of Michael Jayne and Christopher Sayre kept the glamrock flair front and center while bassist Jack Breslin kicked in some emphatic climbs along with slithery low-end riffage.

The irresistible “whoah-oh” chorus of the big powerpop anthem Bury Me Here masked the song’s ambiguity over how much fun it really is to be young and out on the prowl in what’s left of this city. Likewise, the band scorched through a punked out take of A Key, a cynically detailed, defiant burner from the band’s latest album Multiverse. Another almost obscenely catchy tune from the record, Savage Planet was more Runaways than Go-Go’s.

The funniest moment of the night was when the band finally figured out what they were going to do with Under Pressure – the Bowie/Queen collaboration – playing it suspiciously deadpan. There was also a satanic ritual of sorts as an intro to Triple Hex, a big, creepy Lynchian country-pop ballad which set up the end of the night. The blood all over Haley turned out to be fake, but for a minute it wasn’t completely obvious whether all the drinks had finally caught up with her and she really was offering herself up as a human sacrifice. Or a female Iggy Pop – the show was that much fun.

Summer Cannibals Bring Their Catchy, Hard-Hitting, Fearlessly Political Sound to Bushwick

Summer Cannibals could be described as Sleater-Kinney in reverse. Where the iconic “riot gir[insert the letter R over and over again, as desired]l” band pulled their jagged, unhinged sound onto the rails enough to coalesce into some catchy tunes, Summer Cannibals take simple lead guitar hooks, buzzy chords and dangle them over the edge of the cliff. And they’re a lot more political. Plus, frontwoman/guitarist Jessica Boudreaux is a stronger singer than anyone in Sleater-Kinney ever was. The new Summer Cannibals album Can’t Tell Me No is streaming at Bandcamp (and available on both vinyl and cassette, yay). They’re playing Elsewhere on August 17 at 9 PM; cover is $12. Because of the L-pocalypse, you’ll do best to make a leisurely 20-minute walk to the J at Koszciusco St. after the show rather than taking your chances on hourlong-plus waits on the L train. If you’re heading back to south Brooklyn, be aware that if you have an unlimited-ride subway card, you can get off at Hewes St. and then catch the G at Broadway, which is only about three blocks away.

The opening cut, False Anthem, sets the stage. Guitarist Cassi Blum’s burning chords anchor Boudreaux’s simple, slashing hooks; “It’s so easy to hate them, the goddamn government,” she insists, bassist Ethan Butman and drummer Devon Shirley holding down a tight punk pulse.

The album’s title cut has a rumbling groove and gritty chorus that bring to mind pioneering funk-punks the Bush Tetras: “I am not your, I am not your bitch,” is the big refrain.

“What if I can’t behave, what if I can’t change?” is Boudreaux’s sarcastic chorus in Behave, a midtempo number in the same vien as the Throwing Muses at their most focused. Like I Used To is a kiss-off anthem with an early 80s edge, its simple, crescendoing hooks cutting through a wall of distortion. The similarly dismissive Innocent Man has slipsliding New Order bass and dreampop twinkle, followed by the album’s longest track, One of Many, an individualist’s anthem.

Butman’s catchy bassline propels the alienated, gloomily kinetic Staring at the Sun. “I could sing about murder and joke about too,” Boudreaux reminds in Start Breaking, a snide portrait of the kind of Bushwick trust fund kid who pays lip service to all the limousine liberal memes but probably votes Republican.

The band blend dreampop with a big stadium-rock chorus and more than a little 80s New Order in Hesitation, then sway their way through the album’s most potently anthemic, snarling anthem, Spin, with brooding chord changes straight ouf of the Castle Black playbook. The record’s final cut is Into Gold, an unexpectedly successful detour into vampy, reverbtoned Twin Peaks balladry. Strong tunesmithing, edgy guitars, political relevance: what else more could a rock band in 2019 possibly deliver?

A Catchy New Album and a Gowanus Release Show From Anthemic, Psychedelic Rockers Quicksilver Daydream

Quicksilver Daydream distinguish themselves among psychedelic bands as one of the few in the world who feature a mellotron as a primary instrument. Alex Bayer is the lucky guy who gets to turn loose that mighty beast’s orchestral sonics, joining with synth player Jonathan Schenke to create a drifting majesty above the jangle and clang of the guitars. Unlike most of their trippy brothers and sisters, Quicksilver Daydream keep their songs short and concise. Their new album Fly Oblivion is streaming at Bandcamp. They’re playing the album release show tomorrow night, August 10 at 9 PM at Littefield; cover is $10.

Drummer Alf Lenni Bak Erlandsen propels the album’s catchy, jangly opening track Into the Night with a loose-limbed shuffle: “My days have turned to ashes,” frontman/guitarist Adam Lytle muses. He teams up with lead player Glenn Forsythe for a grittier but similarly anthemic sound in Immortal Blue beneath the sweep overhead.

Bassist Brett Banks’ elegant broken chords pulse through the mix of folk-rock jangle and art-rock lushness in Hang On. The album’s longest and trippiest song, Warmth of Other Suns is a riff-driven number with a surreal atmospheric interlude. Then the band bring it down in Forever, gentle acoustic fingerpicking mingling with spare electric guitar textures and the sweep of the mellotron.

After a hypnotic intro, the band pick up the pace with an emphatic drive in Turn It Around, the closest thing here to the eerie jangle of current day Laurel Canyon revivalists like the Allah-Las. “Memories eclipse on eternity’s plane,” Lytle sings casually in the galloping, spaghetti western-tinged Infinite Range.

They blend those Morricone tinges with Schenke’s starry, swirling keys in the propulsive but elegaic Silent Gaze. The pensive Realm of Light and the bouncy closing cut, Voyager both look back to vintage 70s psychedelic Britfolk bands like the Strawbs. With all the subtle textural variations, catchy hooks and big singalong choruses, it sounds like the band had a great time recording this album, and that vibe is contagious.

Luscious Jangle and Clang and Catchy Americana Tunesmithing From the HawtHorns

Even if you’re a music snob, you have to admit that the level of craft on the HawtHorns’ new album Morning Sun – streaming at Spotify – is impressive. On one hand, their irresistibly catchy brand of Americana rock is as predictable as the disintegration of the polar icecaps. On the other, their lyrics are a cut above average, the musicianship is smart and purposeful, and the production is purist and surprisingly imaginative. They’re the kind of band that seem to be engineered to get crowdsourced onto personal Spotify playlists. Now, Spotify’s own playlisters won’t go near the HawtHorns’ album – because they’re not allowed to. Only corporate product, or older music still in the hands of the skeleton crew at what’s left of the corporate music labels, is permitted on official Spotify playlists. That’s the deal with the devil that Spotify made to get into the American market. But you can put the HawtHorns on your own playlists, and check them out live at the small room at the Rockwood on August 9 at 7 PM.

The album’s first track, Shaking, opens with a big splash of guitar. Frontwoman KP Hawthorn sings this bittersweet pick-up-the-pieces-and-go-on tune. The jangle and strum of her husband Johnny’s acoustic and electric guitars builds to one of their typically anthemic choruses:

We were shaking
When we should have been swaying
We were screaming
When we should have been singing

“The trail is overgrown, and the path was not her own,” KP sings of the “queen of the desperados” lurching down Rebel Road. Is there gonna be an organ on the second chorus? Bring it on! That’s the way this formula works.

The album’s charmingly waltzing title track has a tense blend of acoustic and Telecaster, and a lusciously icy guitar solo played through what sounds like a vintage analog chorus pedal. They put a charge into a bluegrass melody with Give Me a Sign, then the band put a little more grit on the bass and a loose-limbed swing into the syncopation of the vengeful breakup ballad Broken Wings.

The 405 is not the obscure Steve Wynn classic, but a folk-rock counterpart to the ersatz Californiana of John Mayall’s Blues From Laurel Canyon – look it up if you must. Johnny breaks out his vintage 80s chorus box for All I Know – and are those woozy textures filtering from a 35-year-old Juno synth, or just a clever digital imitation?

The nocturnal resonance of the slide guitar in tandem with echoey Rhodes piano in Come Back From the Stars is a tasty touch: this catchy cut wouldn’t be out of place on a Jessie Kilguss album. On one hand, Nobody Gives a Damn About Songs Anymore is all too true: tunesmithing is a dying art, and there’s less money in it than ever. On the other, the idea of striking gold with a catchy song was always a pipe dream: even Elvis Costello had to take a cheesy tv talk-show gig to pay the bills.

The group close the record with the slow, hazy sway of Steady Fire and then the cheery front-porch folk duet Lucky Charm. If this is what the future of cross-country roadtrip soundtracks is going to be like, things could be a lot worse.

Pioneering Cello Rocker Serena Jost Brings Her Rapturous, Intimate Sonics to a Similarly Intimate Brooklyn Space

“My cello wants to go up in the ceiling,” Serena Jost observed at one of this year’s most rapturously intimate New York shows: in the middle of the day, in the cozy, vintage tin-plated Chinatown studio at Montez Press Radio a couple of days before Memorial Day weekend. As she did with her meticulously playful solo album Up to the Sky, Jost will typically size up the sonics of a room and then make them part of the performance. Just as she took advantage of the rich natural reverb at St. Peter’s Church in Chelsea when she recorded the album – live – she felt the highs bouncing off the studio’s metal, and the walls, and ran with it…calmly, and gently, with respect to any ghosts she might be coaxing out of the woodwork with her harmonics and overtones. She’s playing a slightly less intimate space, Freddy’s, at 7 PM on August 10 on a killer triplebill with haunting, fearsomely powerful soul belter and noir Americana songstress Karen Dahlstrom and the anthemic, politically fearless, vintage Springsteenian Tru Mongrel Hearts’ frontman Pete Cenedella

As a founding member of Rasputina, Jost is a pioneer of cello rock, but her own writing and improvisation defy categorization. If there was any common thread between the songs in this particular set – drawn mostly from her solo record – it was minimalism. No wasted notes, no gestures that weren’t meaningful, spiced with subtle echoes and sepulchral wisps of sound.

She opened with It’s a Delight, her soul-infused vocals soaring over its distantly Indian-tinged variations on a hypnotic octave riff. She got the harmonics keening with an especially emphatic take of the catchy Window; she’d revisit that trope with even more sonic surrealism later, with the contrasting rhythmic plucks and hazy atmospherics of Hallway.

Her lone cover was a more polished but understately chilling take on the brilliant/obscure Happiness, by Molly Drake (Nick’s mom): “Happiness is gone without a warning, jack-o-lantern in the night.”

Going back to the originals, Jost dug in hard with the staccato chords of Silver Star, an allusively seductive but ultimately just as wary and unresolved tableau. She also made up what was essentially a catchy, optimistic, singalong stadium-rock anthem, on the spot, and eventually closed with The Cut, a swaying, Britfolk-tinged tune that strongly evoked Linda Thompson, both vocally and thematically

The performance and interview afterward have been archived: click the archive link at Montez Press Radio and scroll down for a very acerbic, insightful look at where Jost is at these days: more attuned to psychedelia and spontaneity than ever, both as a solo artists and a bandleader.

Live Music Calendar for New York City and Brooklyn for August and September 2019

Daily updates – if you go out a lot, you might want to bookmark this page and check back regularly. Believe it or not, some of this year’s free summer concert series schedules are still being tweaked – you’ll see the good stuff on this page.

If you’re leaving your hood, don’t get stuck waiting for a train that never comes, make sure you check for service changes considering how unreliable the subway is at night and on the weekend.

If you don’t recognize a venue where a particular act is playing, check the comprehensive, recently updated list of over 200 New York City music venues at New York Music Daily’s sister blog Lucid Culture.

This is not a list of every show in town – it’s a carefully handpicked selection. If this calendar seems short on praise for bands and artists, it’s because every act here is recommended if you like their particular kind of music. Many different styles to choose from.

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

If you see a typo or an extra comma or something like that, remember that while you were out seeing that great free concert that you found out about here, somebody was up late after a long day of work editing and adding listings to this calendar ;)

Weekly events first followed by the daily calendar:

August 5 through 11 the annual Drive East Festival of Indian music and classical arts at the Mezzanine Theatre, 502 W 53rd St, features both iconic artists seldom heard outside India as well as cutting-edge new talent. Individual concert listings are in the calendar below; tickets are relatively cheap (no more than $30, often less), and the level of talent is breathtaking. Very highly recommended.

On select Wednesdays and Sundays, an intimate, growing piano music salon on the Upper West Side featuring iconoclastically insightful, lyrical pianist Nancy Garniez – a cult favorite with an extraordinarily fluid, singing, legato style – exploring the delicious minutiae of works from across the centuries, beverages and lively conversation included! sug donemail for details/address

Mondays at 7 PM multi-instrumentalist Dennis Lichtman’s popular western swing band Brain Cloud at Barbes followed at 9:30 PM by a variety of tropical bands playing cumbias, boogaloo, salsa, maybe all of the above.

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 at the Vanguard the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra – composer Jim McNeely’s reliably good big band vehicle – plays 9/11 PM, $35 per set plus drink minimum.

Mondays at 10 PM noir guitar legend Jim Campilongo leads his trio at the big room at the Rockwood, $10

Mondays starting at around 10:45 PM Rev. Vince Anderson and his band play two sets at Union Pool. 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 woke, sexy original songs and is one of the most charismatic, intense live performers of our time. It’s a crazy dance party. Paula Henderson from Burnt Sugar is the usual lead soloist on baritone sax, with frequent special guests. Sizzling guitarist Binky Griptite – Sharon Jones’ lead player – is also often there.

Tuesdays at 7:30 PM the chamelonic, playful, sometimes irresistibly cartoonish Daniel Bennett Group play jazz outside the box at the bar at the Residence Inn, 1033 6th Ave at 39th St, free

Tuesdays at 9 PMclever, fiery, eclectic ten-piece Balkan/hip-hop/funk brass maniacs Slavic Soul Party at Barbes (check the club calendar), $10 cover.

Wednesdays at 9ish the Binky Griptite Orchestra (formerly Sharon Jones’ brilliant oldschool soul backing band) at Threes Brewing Outpost, 113 Franklin St (Greenpoint/Kent Aves) in Greenpoint, free

Most Thursdays at 8:30, the Brooklyn Raga Massive – a rotating cast of A-list Indian, jazz and rock musicians who love to jam out classic Indian themes from over the centuries to the present day – play the Jalopy, $15 adv tix at the bar at the main space. Tons of special guests followed by a wild raga jam!

Fridays and Saturdays at 5 PM adventurous indie classical string quartet Ethel plus frequent special guests playing a mix of classical and more contemporary material at the balcony bar at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, free w/museum adm

Fridays at 7:30 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.

Free classical concerts on Saturdays at 4 PM at Bargemusic;  usually solo piano or small chamber ensembles. If you get lucky, you’ll catch pyrotechnic violinist/music director Mark Peskanov and/or the many members of his circle. Early arrival advised.

Saturdays in August at 6 PM mesmerizing oudist  Brian Prunka plays with a series of Middle Eastern groups at Barbes

Sundays at 9:30 PM paradigm-shifting Romany jazz/psychedelic rock guitar mastermind Stephane Wrembel leads his band at Barbes – check the club calendar just to make sure.

8/1, noon eclectic Texas acoustic blues guitarist Ruthie Foster at Metrotech Park in downtown Brooklyn

8/1, 5 PM ferociously powerful, politically fearless southern gothic guitar/banjo player Amythyst Kiah at Wagner Park on the river north and west of Battery Park

8/1, 6:30 PM oldschool salsa jazz with Yunior Terry & Son De Altura under the Manhattan Bridge archway in Dumbo

8/1, 6:30 PM tuneful purist postbop player Jocelyn Gould on guitar with Louie Leager on bass and Sarah Gooch on drums at the Bar Next Door

8/1, 7:30 PM summery Brazilian samba chanteuse Tulipa Ruiz at the Lincoln Center Atrium, free, early arrival advised

8/1, 7:30 PM purist oldschool tenor sax player Craig Handy leads an organ quartet with Kyle Kohler on the B3 at Smalls – interesting change of pace

8/1, 8 PM dark, savagely brilliant guitarist Ava Mendoza in a rare solo show at the Old American Can Factory, 232 3rd St., Gowanus, $15 cash only at the door, space limited, RSVP to reserve your ticket,  She says the punk band on after her are fun too

8/1, 8 PM New York’s most charismatic, darkly compelling lyrical songwriter/storyteller/keyboard genius Rachelle Garniez at Barbes

8/1, 8 PM ferocious psychedelic guitarist Debra Devi at FM Jersey City, $10

8/1, 8 PM oldschool style jazz chanteuse Yuka Mito leads her quartet at Club Bonafide, $20

8/1, 8 PM klezmer-jazz piano ico Anthony Coleman leads a trio Happy Lucky No. 1 Gallery, $20. He’s there the following night solo, same deal

8/1-4, 8/10:30 PM shadowy, cinematic bassist Avishai Cohen leads a trio with Shai Maestro on piano and Mark Guiliana on drums at the Blue Note, $20 standing room avail

8/1, 9 PM catchy, edgy, darkly kinetic female-fronted Romany-tinged rock band the Trouble with Kittens  followed by explosive, creepy, colorful psychedelic rembetiko metal band Greek Judas  at Niagara, Ave. A and 7th st.

8/1, 9 PM bassist Jeong Lim Yang’s quartet with Oscar Noriega on reeds at Bar Lunatico. Counterintuitive, thoughtful, unpredictably interesting.

8/1-4, 11:30 PM charming/badass eclectic jazz vocal trio the Ladybugs at Dizzy’s Club, $5. Their Disney covers from across the decades have surprising bite.

8/1 menacingly orchestral metal band Doomstress at Lucky 13 Saloon

8/2. 6 PM classical ensemble the Harlem Quartet play a program TBA at Bryant Park

8/2, 6 PM propulsive coastal Afro-Honduran sounds with the Garifuna Collective plus a dance troupe at Crotona Park

8/2, 7 PM a rare program of Japanese music for koto and reeds with clarinet wizard Thomas Piercy and ensemble at Spectrum, $15

8/2-3, 7:30 PM the Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra with soloist Pierre-Laurent Aimard play Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 4 and Schubert’s Symphony No. 9 at Avery Fisher Hall, $35

8/2-3,7:30 PM low-key oldschool postbop rapture: saxophonist Wayne Escoffery, ageless pianist George Cables & bassist Ugonna Okegwo at Mezzrow, $25

8/2, 8 PM a live performance of new Christopher Cerrone song cycles by soprano Lindsay Kesselman, vocalist Theo Bleckmann, and a chamber choir, accompanied by Wild Up under Christopher Rountree at Arete Gallery, $20 includes copy of the new cd

8/2. 9 PM quirky, whirling, string-driven chamber pop/art-rock band Gadadu at Pete’s

8/2, 9 PM Brandi & the Alexanders play oldschool-style soul ballads at the Way Station

8/2, 9:30 PM, repeating 8/4 at 7 the Ryoma Quartet put a high voltage spin on traditional Japanese sounds wih tsugaru-shamisen, shinobue flute, tsuzumi drum, and a violin at Joe’s Pub, $20

8/2, 9:45 PM perennially entertaining first wave-style punks the Car Bomb Parade play the album release show for their new one, followed by female-fronted screamers Sister Munch and the evern louder, food-fixated But, Pyrite at the Gutter, $10

8/2, 10 PM ex-Chicha Libre keyboard sorcerer Josh Camp’s wryly psychedelic cumbia/tropicalia/dub band Locobeach at Barbes

8/2, 10:30 PM  tuneful oldschool soul/jazz trombonist Dave Gibson leads his quintet at the Fat Cat

8/2-3, 10:30 PM sizzling postbop saxophonist Mike DiRubbo leads a killer quartet with Brian Charette on piano at Smalls. Expect more thrills than subtlety.

8/3, 2 PM ish brass band madness, outdoors: the L Train Brass Band (which apparently IS running this weekend, unlike its namesake), Brass Queens, Brooklyn’s original punk Balkan horn group Hungry March Band, and eclectic quartet Trumpet Marmalade at Good Life Garden, 50 Goodwin Pl, (off Grove; J to Gates Ave) in Bushwick, sug don. “The garden festivities will conclude with a NOLA-flavored second line processional to Queens Brewery for the official afterparty.”

8/3, 6 PM one of New York’s most eclectic, interesting oudists, Brian Prunka followed at 8 by torchy, slyly lyrical, historically-fixated retro Americana songwriter Robin Aigner & Parlour Game and at 10 by epic ranchera/bolero brass crew Banda de los Muertos at Barbes

8/3, 6 PM legendary hip-hop dj Funk Flex celebrates his bday and EPMD celebrate the 30th anniversary of their 1989 classic Unfinished Business at Crotona Park

8/3, 6 PM 70s soul nostalgia with what’s left of the Stylistics, the Manhattans, and Harold Melvin’s Blue Notes (minus the late great Philly soul bandleader) at the Amphitheatre at Coney Island, free, be aware that this is a corporate venue and security is extremely hostile

8/3, 7 PM rising star sitarist Abhik Mukherjee with Dibyarka Chatterjee on tabla at the Chhandayan Center for Indian Music  $16

8/3. 7 PM the Post-Haste Reed Duo play the album release show for their playful, charming new one at Spectrum,

8/3, 7ish politically fearess Taiwanese guy/girl piano pop duo Tizzy Bac at Central Park Summerstage

8/3, 8ish  legendary, intense former Come bandleader and haunting indie-psych guitarist Thalia Zedek’s E followed by ageless mostly-female CB’s era funk-punk/postrockers the Bush Tetras playing the album release show for their new one at the Mercury, $15

8/3, 8:30 PM Rachel Koblyakov “sets out to explore the various polyphonic and lyrical possibilities of the solo violin. The works chosen are with disregard to the composers’ era or the general categorization of their music, yet each piece favors either a polyphonic or lyrical form.” with works by J.S. Bach, Alfred Schnittke, Marc-André Dalbavie, Orlando Bass, Michael Finnissy, Dai Fujikura, and Matthias Spectrum, $15

8/3, 9 PM surf rock night at Otto’s: swirly, hard-hitting, reverb-iced Strange but Surf, darkly cinematic instrumentalists the TarantinosNYC.  and Link Wray cover band the Wraycyclers

8/3, 9 PM International Contemporary Ensemble play Dai Fujikura’s: Shamisen Concerto plus works by Nathan Davis, Ann Cleare, György Kurtág, Kate Soper and Anahita Abbasi: at Merkin Concert Hall, $30

8/3, 10 PM atmospheric, cinematic drummer/composer Tim Kuhl and his group at Pete’s

8/3, 11 PM slinky downtempo/cumbia/psychedelic salsa dura band La Mecanica Popular at the old Nublu

8/4, 1 PM organ genius Greg Lewis and similar jazz guitarist Marvin Sewell play brunch at Bar Lunatico. Theyr’e back on 8/18

8/4, 4ish hypnotically pointillistic microtonal African guitar/drums jams with 75 Dollar Bill at Union Pool, free

8/4, 7 PM fiery, psychedelically bluesy oldschool soul/roadhouse jamband Lizzie & the Makers at  at LIC Bar

8/4, 7 PM Sean Ali plays solo bass at Downtown Music Gallery. He’s a tuneful guy, this could be of interest beyond the fellowship of the four strings.

8/4, 7:30 PM rappers of south Asian heritage: G. Sidhu, Rianjali, Taizu, Rolex, Robin Dey, SA Grooves, Project Convergence, IMGE Dance at Damrosch Park

8/4, 10 PM searing, intense, brilliantly tuneful Turkish-American rockers Barakka at the old Nublu, $10

8/5, 8 PM irrepressibly sardonic, fun faux-psychedelia and punk jazz with Grex at the old Nublu

8/5, 8:40 PM sitarist Hidayat Khan – heir to the legacy of the great Vilayat Khan – with Enayat Hossain on tabla at the Mezzanine Theatre, 502 W 53rd St, $30

8/5, 9 PM darkly psychedelic/new wave circus punks Yula & the Extended Family – which could be just frontwoman/bassist Yula Beeri and her loop pedals – at LIC Bar

8/5, 9 PM New Bojaira play flamenco jazz at the Fat Cat

8/5, 9:30 PM the Slippery Fish “pay tribute to master Tõno Quirazco who in the 1960’s combined the new sound of jamaican ska music with country twang, to invent a twist on the Caribbean sound. Witman-Cohen – bass ; Myk Freedman – pedal steel; Phillip Mayer – drums; Stefan Zeniuk – sax; Maria Eisien – saxvocals; Jackie Coleman – trumpet and Chris Parker -guitar,” at Barbes

8/6, 6 PM dancers Rasika Kumar, Sahasra Sambamoorthi and Nadhi Thekkek perform their new piece Unfiltered, inspired by the Bharatanatyam tradition, which “explore the everyday moments that eventually lead to the boiling points that cascade into change” with a live score by pyrotechnic vocalist Roopa Mahadevan at the Mezzanine Theatre, 502 W 53rd St, $30

8/6, 7 PM haunting, cinematic lapsteel genius Myk Freedman with JP Shlegelmilch-piano; Jason Nazary-drums; Ari Folman-Cohen-bass and surprise guests. followed by clever, fiery, eclectic ten-piece Balkan/hip-hop/funk brass maniacs Slavic Soul Party at Barbes, $10

8/6. 7 PM whirlwind klezmer violin icon Alicia Svigals plays her soundtrack to the cult classic 1920s silent film The Ancient Law, with pianist Donald Sosin at the Manhattan JCC, $15

8/6, 7 PM the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra play works by Rodrigo, Piazzolla, Gabriela Lena Franh and others at Temple Emanu-El, Fifth Avenue at 65th St, free, rsvp req

8/6, 7:30 PM Deepak Ram on bansuri flute with Enayat Hossain (tabla) and guest Kanoa Mendenhall (double bass) at the Mezzanine Theatre, 502 W 53rd St, $20

8/6, 7 PM New Bojaira play flamenco jazz at Gantry Plaza State Park in Long Island City

8/6-7, 7:30 PM the Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra with soloist Joshua Bell play Mozart’s Symphony No. 38, Dvorak’s Violin Concerto and Kodaly’s Dances of Galanta at Avery Fisher Hall, $35

8/6, 7 PM  the great unsung NYC hero of darkly purposeful, noir-tinged jazz guitar, Saul Rubin followed at 9 by brilliant drummer/percussionist Willie Martinez & La Familia Sextet playing classic salsa grooves at the Fat Cat

8’6, 7:30 PM intense, lyrical, politically fearless tenor saxophonist Roxy Coss in a rare duo show with pianist Mike King at Mezzrow, $20 Ries

8/6-7, 7:30/9:30 PM tenor saxophonist Tim Ries leads his band (the second night with Bernard Fowler, playing songs from Ries’ other band, the Rolling Stones) at the Jazz Standard, $30

8/6-11, 8/10;30 PM boisterous soul-jazz trumpeter Nicholas Payton leads his group at the Blue Note, $20 standing room avail

8/6-18, 8:30/10 PM guitar icon Bill Frisell eads his trio with Thomas Morgan on bass and Rudy Royston on drums at the Vanguard, $35. Saxophonist Greg Tardy joins the festivities starting on 8/13. Then Frisell is there through the 25th as part of drummer Andrew Cyrille’s quartet

8/6-7, 8:30 PM powerful jazz belter – and Gil Scott-Heron reinventor –  Charenee Wade sings the Betty Carter songbook with her band at Dizzy’s Club, $35

8/6-10, 8:30 PM playful improviser and ambitous composer/tenor saxophonist Ingrid Laubrock,  leads a series of ensembles at the Stone at the New School, $20. Choice pick: 8/7 with the “Grammy Season Sextet” – Brandon Seabrook (guitar) Michael Formanek (bass) Tom Rainey (drums) Mazz Swift (violin) Tomeka Reid (cello)

8/6, 8:40 PM dancer/vocalist Vidhya Subramanian performs a Bharatanatyam concert at the Mezzanine Theatre, 502 W 53rd St, $30

8/7, noon metal band the Beautiful Distrortion – loudest act ever to play outdoors at the triangle at 72nd St. and Broadway at Lincoln Square Park on the upper west

8/7, 5:30 PM the Bryant Park Accordion Festival with the deviously lyrical Susan Hwang, playful Nordic group Smorgasbandet, the latin and Mddle Eastern-tinged Ismael Butera, hypnotic harmonium player Mindra Sahadeo and others around the park

8/7, 6 PM Rohan Krishnamurthy and Nitin Mitta’s North and South Indian Percussion Duo with harmonium player Rohan Prabhudesai at the Mezzanine Theatre, 502 W 53rd St, $20

8/7, 6 PM terse, crystalline-voiced guitarist/jazz chantense Camila Meza leads her chamber jazz septet Nectar Orchestra at Madison Square Park

8/7, 7 PM psychedelic klezmer/bluegrass mandolin and clarinet legend Andy Statman at Barbes, $10

8/7-10, 7/10 PM diverse bassist Nicki Parrott leads her group at Birdland, $20. Strong singer too.

8/7, 7:30 PM amazing, atmospheric Hindustani singer/multi-instrumentalist  Arooj Aftab opens for a flameco dance performance at Darnrosch Park

8/7, 8 PM Du.O – Aimée Niemann and Charlotte Munn-Wood playing “old, new, and improvised music on our violins (and sometimes non-violins)”- at Happy Lucky No. 1 Gallery,

8/7, 8:30 PM Dervisi feat. guitar god Steve Antonakos play “exotic Greek gangsta blues” and Middle Eastern flavored hash smoking anthems at Troost

8/7, 8:40 PM Bala Skandan and friends play a Carnatic-nspired percussion program at the Mezzanine Theatre, 502 W 53rd St, $25

8/7, 9 PM psychedelic supergroup the Elgin Marbles feat. members of Love Camp 7, Dervisi and Peter Stampfel’s jug band at Troost

8/7, 10:30 PM intense, charismatic oldschool soul belter Sami Stevens at Bowery Electric, $10 adv tix rec

8/8, noon surprisingly vital first-wave Jamaican roots reggae band Third World at Metrotech Park in downtown Brooklyn

8/8, 6 PM wildly popular Indian singer Binay Pathak performs a program of ghazals and Hindustani songs with Rabi Sanjar Bhattacharjee at the Mezzanine Theatre, 502 W 53rd St, $20

8/8, 7 PM soaringly explosive jazz composer/torch singer Nicole Zuraitis at 55 Bar

8/8, 7:20 PM Prasant Radhakrishnan plays a rare US program of Carnatic saxophone with Rohan Krishnamurthy on mridangam at the Mezzanine Theatre, 502 W 53rd St, $20

8/8, 8 PM plush, balmy, oldtimey uke swing band Daria Grace & the Pre-War Ponies at Barbes

8/8, 8 PM starkly atmospheric jazz violinist/singer Zosha Warpeha followed by cellist Hank Roberts ‘ edgy sextet at the Owl

8/8, 9 PM the aptly named ghoulabilly/noir Americana  Legendary Shack Shakers at the Knitting Factory, $15

8/8. 7 PM incisive lead guitarist Cecilia Eljuri plays from her new reggae record at Joe’s Pub, $tba

8/8, 730 PM charismatic, theatrical, anthemic rock-soul songwriter DB Rielly at Astoria Park Shore Boulevard between the Hell Gate Bridge and the pool

8/8. 7:30 PM newgrass and classcial with violinist Tessa Lark and bassist Michael Thurber at the Lincoln Center Atrium, free, early arrival advised

8/8, 8 PM folk noir/parlor pop song stylist Marah Vanbeekom at Bar Chord.

8//9, 6 PM| spellbinding violinists Trina Basu & Arun Ramamurthy‘s Carnatic-inspired Nakshatra Quartet Indian chamber ensemble at the Mezzanine Theatre, 502 W 53rd St, $25

8/9, 6 PM oldtimey danceable bluegrass sounds with Megan Downes & the City Stompers at 76th Avenue and Springfield Boulevard (in Alley Pond Park), Queens

8/9,,7 PM rousing, anthemic janglerock/Americana band the Hawthorns at the small room at the Rockwood

8/9, 7PM ish celtic fiddle star Eileen Ivers and band at Bryant Park

8/9-10, 7:30 PM the Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra with soloist Steven Osborne play Haydn’s Overture in D, the Shostakovich Piano Concerto No. 2, Schittke’s Mozarr a la Haydn and Mozart’s Symphony No. 35 at Avery Fisher Hall, $35

8/9, 8:40 PM Hindustani Kirana Gharana singer and sarodist Sanhita Nandi with Nitin Mitta (tabla) and Ravi Mishra (harmonium) at the Mezzanine Theatre, 502 W 53rd St, $25

8/9-10, 7:30/9:30 PM lyrical latin jazz pianist Manuel Valera‘s New Cuban Express Big Band at the Jazz Gallery, $25

8/9, 7:30 PM a Marvin Gaye tribute with guitarist Felicia Collins, sax powerhouse Alexa Tarantino, Toshi Reagon, Siedah Garrett, Kecia Lewis, and others at Prospect Park Bandshell

8/9, 8 PM New Bojaira play the album release show for their new flamenco jazz record at Drom, $15 adv tix rec

8/9, 8 PM poignant, eclectic, lyrical jazz bassist/composer Pedro Giraudo’s tango quartet at Barbes

8/9, 9 PM eclectic Korean pianist/performance artist Hyo Jee Kang plays Fly in Water: A Multimedia Concert at the Center for Remembering and Sharing, $25 adv tix recs

8/9, 8 PM punk/rockabilly band the Screaming Rebel Angels followed by ex-Stray Cats bassist Slim Jim Phantom and his trio at Brooklyn Bazaar, $16

8/9, 9ish Dilemastronauta Y Los Sabrosos Cosmicos with members of M.A.K.U and Combo Chimbita play space cumbia and other trippy tropicalia at C’Mon Everybody, $10

8/10, 1/3 PM improvisational jazz big band Go: Organic Orchestra & the Brooklyn Raga Massive – a rotating cast of A-list Indian, jazz and rock musicians who love to jam out classic Indian themes from over the centuries to the present day – play material from their upcoming triple vinyl album in the park on Governors Island. Included on the bill is their new composition In D, a sequel to the Terry Riley classic.

8/10, 4 PM Japanese koto/shamisen virtuoso Yoko Reikano Kimura in a rare US performance at the Center for Remembering and Sharing, $30

8/10, 6 PM reggae acts from across the years, in reverse order at Central Park Summerstage: dancehall king Elephant Man, ex-Black Uhuru singer Junior Reid, Estelle and newschool conscious roots band Raging Fyah at Central Park

8/10, 7 PM lustrous singer and badass cello-rock bandleader Serena Jost in a rare solo show, on a killer triplebill with haunting, fearsomely powerful soul belter and noir Americana songstress Karen Dahlstrom – and Pete Cenedella, frontman of mighty, anthemic, vintage Springsteenian rockers the Tru Mongrel Hearts at Freddy’s

8/10, 7 PM bright, shiny crystalline voiced oldschool-style soul singer Tameca Jones and her excellent band at the big room at the Rockwood, $12

8/10,,7 PM Ensemble Nikel play works by Klaus Lang and other contemporary composers at Wagner Park north of Battery Park. 8/14 at 8 they’re at the DiMenna Center playing works by Simon Løffler, Steven Takasugi, Clara Iannotta, Mirela Ivičević and Julien Malaussena for $20/$10 stud/srs

8/10, 7:20 PM Sruti Sarathy plays classical Indian violin at the Mezzanine Theatre, 502 W 53rd St, $20. She has serious chops, expect lots of thrills.

8/10, 7:30 PM tuneful, hard-hitting alto saxophonist Alex Lore with Martin Nevin on bass and Jochen Rueckert on drums at the Bar Nex tDoor, $12

8/10, 7:30 PM psychedelic cumbia night with the slinky female-fronted Delsonido and Bomba Estéreo at Prospect Park Bandshell

8/10, 6 PM mesmerizing oudist Brian Prunka followed at 10 by hard-hitting, brass-fueled newschool latin soul/boogaloo dance band Spanglish Fly at Barbes

8/19, 9ish the math-iest doom metal band ever, Skryptor, monster guitarist Ava Mendoza’s epic noisemetal power trio Unnatural Ways and shapeshiftingly surrealistic Chicago art-rockers Cheer Accident at Ceremony, 224 Manhattan Ave. (off Maujer), Williamsburg, $t ba

8/10, 9ish acerbic drummer/composer Kate Gentile with saxophonist and clarinetist Jeremy Viner, pianist Matt Mitchell, and bassist Kim Cass at the Owl

8/10, 9 PM high-voltage Americana jamband Spirit Family Reunion at Union Pool, $15

8/10, 9 PM uneasy, catchy psychedelic band Quicksilver Daydream play the album releae show fortheir new one at Littlefield, $10

8/10, 10 PM alternately boisterous and plaintive oldschool honkytonk band the Shootouts at Skinny Dennis

8/10, 10 PM smartly tuneful oldschool soul/psych-pop songwriter Mimi Oz at the Way Station

8/11, 11:30 AM| kathak dancer Seibi Lee performs with a live classical Indian score at the Mezzanine Theatre, 502 W 53rd St, $20

8/11, 1 PM not a music event per se but very cool: Jiva Dance Company perform their apocalyptic Bharatanatyam suite The Four Horsemen: “The stories – a woman shackled to the life of a courtesan (conquest), a woman reminiscing the night she spent with her lover who is at war (war), a mother searching for nourishment for her child in the midst a sandstorm (famine), and finally a woman at the end of her life recalling memories that span youthful joy to hardship and loss (death) – are touchingly timely,” at the Mezzanine Theatre, 502 W 53rd St, $25

8/11, 2:30 PM the rapturous, mighty Navatman Music Collective – this continent’s only Indian carnatic choir, and one of only three in the world – sing their new suite Bridges of Joy at the Mezzanine Theatre, 502 W 53rd St, $25

8/11, 3 PM ish funk-punk-postpunkers the B Boys play the album release show for their new one at Union Pool, free 

8/11, 4 PM the Sometime Boys’ riveting, powerful, theatrical frontwoman Sarah Mucho sings dark cabaret and rock tunes at Freddy’s

8/11, 5 PM cinematic guitarist Pat Irwin and boisterous swing/ska trombonist J. Walter Hawkes followed by Richard Mazda – the legendary 80s new wave producer and guitarist – at LIC Bar

8/11, 5 PM Romany jazz accordionist Julien Labro leads his group at Jefferson Market Garden in the west village

8/11, 5 PM an ACLU benefit for immigrant rights with solo performances by thoughtful pianists Aaron Parks and Shai Maestro plus drummer Antonio Sanchez and postbop saxophonist Dayna Stephens leading their own bands at Shapeshifter Lab, $25

8/11, 6 PM ish anthemic melodic metal band Liliac at Blackthorn 51, $15

8/11, 7 PM brilliant steel guitarist Mike Neer’s Steelonious – who do Monk covers in the same vein as Buddy Emmons –   followed at 9:30  by Romany jazz/psychedelic rock guitar mastermind Stephane Wrembel at Barbes

8/11, 7 PM noir guitar legend Jim Campilongo leads his trio at 55 Bar

8/11, 7:30 PM noir Americana siren and Hadestown creator Anais Mitchell opens for a ex-crackhead hanger-on from the 60s who was once in a pioneering janglerock band, at Damrosch Park, get there early because all the old hippies will take the seats

8/11, 7:30 PM chill, purposeful oldschool jazz trio: Evan Arntzen (tenor sax), Jon-Erik Kellso (trumpet), Mathis Picard (piano) at Mezzrow, $20

8/11, 8ish perennially vital latin jazz piano sage Eddie Palmieri at East River Park. If you want to see him indoors he’s at at the Blue Note  8/20-25 at 8/10:30 PM, $30 standing room avail

8/11, 8 PM elegant bop-era guitar legend Gene Bertoncini at the Bar Next Door

8/11, 830 PM pioneering Afro-punk bass player Felice  Rosser of Faith followed by eclectic guitarist Monica Passin of rockabilly/soul band Lil Mo & the Monicats with amazing vocalist/Americana song stylist Drina Seay at the Treehouse at 2A

8/12 7/10 PM articulate, lyrical third-stream jazz pianist Laila Biali at Birdland, $20 seats avail

8/12, 7:30 PM fiery alto saxophonist Lucas Pino’s eclectic, dynamic No No Nonet at Smalls

8/12, 7 PM eclectic, hard-hitting, lyrical composer/tenor saxophonist Stan Killian at 55 Bar

8/12,  10ish the NYC Gaita Club – a Bulla en el Barrio spinoff – play rustically pounding Afro-Colombian trance-dance music at Barbes

8/13, 7 PM rustic Colombian sounds with the Cumbia River Band at Gantry Plaza State Park in Long Island City

8/13, 7 PM music and conversation with Asian American female parlor pop stylists Jay Miners, Yify Zhang, the more “R&B” influenced ÊMIA, and pensive acoustic songwriter Sarah Kang at the Museum of Chinese in America, 215 Centre St., $20 includes a drink

8/13, 7:30/9:30 PM the haunting, smokily atmospheric Michael Leonhart Orchestra at the Jazz Standard, $30

8/13-17, 8:30 PM noir-inspired low-register reedman Ben Goldberg leads a series of ensembles at the Stone at the New School, $20. Choice pick: the 8/15 octet gig with Ches Smith (xylophone) Kenny Wollesen, Will Shore (vibraphone) Allison Miller (drums, percussion) Kirk Knuffke (cornet) Ryan Ferreira (electric guitar) Andrew Conklin (electric guitar)

8/14, noon: :hard-hitting bassist Dawn Drake & Zapote‘play latin-tinged funk followed by mystery band Hasta La Zeta at Lincoln Square Park on the upper west

8/14, 5:30 PM the Bryant Park Accordion Festival with New York’s most charismatic, darkly compelling lyrical songwriter/storyteller/keyboard genius Rachelle Garniez. forro shredder Felipe Hostins, torchy cumbia/swing singer Erica Mancini and others around the park

8/14, 6 PM intense retro 60s influenced Nubian funk band Alsarah & the Nubatonesat Madison Square Park. 8/15, 6:30 PM they’re under the Manhattan Bridge archway in Dumbo

8/14, 7:30 PM cleverly lyrical, darkly klezmer-tinged pianist Uri Caine with Mark Heliias on bass at Mezzrow, $20

8/14, 730/9:30 PM  the mighty, colorful, occasionally Middle Eastern-tinged Eyal Vilner Big Band at Minton’s, $20 + 2 drink min. they’re also here on 8/21

8/14, 8 PM intense, purposeful, scorching guitarist Ava Mendoza solo, and improvisational  viola sorceress Jessica Pavone‘s string ensemble at Happy Lucky No. 1 Gallery,

8/14, 8 PM fuzztone-fueled retro 60s psychedelic rockers the Mystery Lights at Berlin, $15

8/14, 9 PM Elliott Smith-esque chamber-pop band the Morning Sea  at the big room at the Rockwood

8/14, 9 PM wildfire Hazmat Modine lead guitarist Michaela Gomez leads her band at Bar Lunatico

8/15, 5 PM newschool gospel with Texas singers the Walls Group & Washington DC all-female classical trio the String Queens on the plaza outdoors at NJPAC in Newark

8/15, 5:30 PM chamber ensemble Leadlights play selections by Debussy, Ravel, Schubert, and Jessie Belvedere Plaza in Battery Park City

8/15, 7:30 PM newschool Mississippi hill country blues with Cedric Burnside at the Lincoln Center Atrium, free, early arrival advised

8/15, 8 PM ghostly ambient artist Olivia Block and politically woke multimedia artist Raven Chacon at the DiMenna Center, $20

8/15 8 PM ambitious, perennially tuneful saxophonist Mike McGinnis leads his quartet with Jacob Sacks on piano followed by alto player Jonathan Crompton doing the album release show for his new one with Ingrid Laubrock and Patrick Breiner on tenor sax, plus bassist Adam Hopkins and drummer Kate Gentile at the Owl

8/15. 8:30 PM veteran downtown avant-garde vocals/sax duo A Dream in Red – Nora McCarthy and Jorge Sylvester – at Arete Gallery, $15

8/15, 9 PM dynamic, lyrically smart newgrass band Cricket Tell the Weather at the small room at the Rockwood

8/16, 5 PM the grand finale of this year’s Bryant Park Accordion Festival with Toot Sweet‘s twisted theatrical glam rock, Argentine tango band the Aces of Rhythm, underground Russian rocker Fedor Chistyakov, Tex-Mex conjunto Los Texmaniacs and wild Venezuelan shredder El Rey Vallenato Beto Jamaica

8/16. 5;30 PM sharply lyrical folk noir songwriter Lizzie No at the American Folk Art Museum

8/16, 7:30 PM ambitious postbop with a sense of humor: Kyle Nasser on saxophones with Rick Rosato on bass and Vinnie Sperazza on drums at the Bar Next Door, $12

8/16, 7:30/9:30 PM cornetist Taylor Ho Bynum‘s nine-tet with Mary Halvorson on guitar, Tomeka Reid on cello, Ingrid Laugrock on tenor sax and others at the Jazz Gallery, $25

8/16, 8 PM hypnotic electric santoorist/singer Azam Ali plays the album release show for her hypnotic, ambient new one at Drom, $20 adv tix rec

8/16, 8 PM dusky, rustic Brazilian rainforest guitar-and-accordion sounds with Regional de NY at Barbes

8/16, 8 PM adventurous cellist Okkyung Lee with Ches Smith, drums; Ganavya Doraiswamy and Sara Serpa, voices; Maeve Gilchrist, harp at the DiMenna Center, $20

8/16, 9 PM psychedelic band Annabelle Chairlegs – like a slightly faster Black Angels with a chirpy girl singer out front – followed by ferocious punk blues guitarslinger Black Joe Lewis at the Bell House, $22

8/16, 9 PM Antibalas spinoff Armo play Afrobeat at Bar Lunatico. they’re also here on 8/30

8/16, 1AM ish (wee hours of 8/17) this era’s most intensely powerful tenor saxophonist/composer, JD Allen at Smalls. In his element, to be sure.

8/17, 3 PM potentially scary piano/bass/guitar improv: Ron Stabinsky/Shayna Dunkelman/Ava Mendoza at Arete Gallery, $15

8/17, 3:30 PM dancer Azumi Oe with drumer Carlo Costa & bassist Sean Ali, eclectic, globally-inspired violinist Dina Maccabee, and dancer Oxana Chi with performance artist Layla Zami & pianist Mara Rosenbloom at Luisa Muhr’s monthly Women Between Arts show – NYC’s only multidisciplinary series focusing exclusively on woman performers at the Glass Box Theatre at the New School, 55 W 13th St, $20, “no one turned away for lack of funds”

8/17, 6 PM one of New York’s most eclectic, interesting oudists, Brian Prunka followed at 8 by  eclectic, electric C&W/blues band the Jug Addicts and at 10 by ferocious, creepily enveloping, kinetic psychedelic tropicalia band Yotoco at Barbes

8/17, 7 PM ish honkytonk guitarslinger Danny Weiss and charming singer Mary Olive Smith’s oldschool C&W band Stillhouse Serenade at the Gowanus Dredgers Society Boathouse, free

8/17, 7:30 PM sizzling, melodic, dynamically epic latin jazz pianist Luis Perdomo with Rufus Reid on bass, wow at Mezzrow, $25

8/17, 7:30/9:30 PM tunes to match eclectic ambition: trombonist Kalia Vandever leads a quintet playing the album release show for her new one at the Jazz Gallery, $20

8/17, 8 PM fearlessly relevant, genuinely riveting, populist tenor sax visionary/improviser Matana Roberts with International Contemporary Ensemble at the DiMenna Center, $20. Then 8/20-24, 8:30 PM she leads a series of duos at the Stone at the New School, $20. Choice pick: closing night with Vijay Iyer WOW

8/17, 8ish conscious hip-hop legend Talib Kweli at Marcus Garvey Park

8/17, 9 PM Summer Cannibals – like a good, concise, more political take on late-period Sleater-Kinney – at Elsewhere, $12

8/17, midnigh unpredictably fun, funny, occasionally Lubowski-esque psychedelic art-rock band the Academy Blues Project at the small room at the Rockwood

8/18, 3 PM ish majestic, darkly cinematic surf instrumentalists the TarantinosNYC at Bay 9 East at Riis Park in the Rockaways

8/18, 5 PM the NY Jazzharmonic play a program of music associated with the early women in jazz at Jefferson Market Garden in the west village

8/18, 5:30 PM 20s/30s swing purists the David Berger Jazz Orchestra at Birdland

8/18, 6 PM ferocious singer Hannah Fairchild’s explosive, lyrically brilliant noir punk power trio Hannah vs. the Many at the Nest, 504 Flatbush Ave, B/Q to Prospect Park, $tba. Noiserock trio George Puke, who play after, are fun too.

8/18, 6 PM oldschool salsa with Jose “El Canario” Alberto and La Sonora Ponceña at the Coney Island Amphitheatre, free, it’s a pretty small place run by corporate idiots and you’ll need to get there early to get in

8/18, 6 PM what’s left of multiple incarnations of Bob Marley’s band the Wailers featuring Julian Junior Marvin at Marcus Garvey Park

8/18, 7 PM bassist Max Johnson’s Heroes Trio with Jason Rigby on saxophone, Jeff Davis on drums playing  “compositions by the great bassists and heroes, past and present, such as Jimmy Garrison, Henry Grimes, Charlie Haden, Mark Dresser, Slam Stewart and many more” followed at 9:30 by Romany jazz/psychedelic rock guitar mastermind Stephane Wrembel at Barbes

8/18, 7 PM eclectic, sardonically lyrical parlor pop band Orly Bendavid and the Mona Dahls at the big room at the Rockwood, $10

8/18, 8 PM indie classical with the Bent Duo -David Friend, piano; Bill Solomon, percussion –  followed by popular quirky indie rock band Deerhoof playing 80s covers wtf at the DiMenna Center, $20

8/19-23, half past noon haunting, eclectic Armenian jazz composer Armen Donelian rocks the electric piano at Bryant Park

8/19, 8 PM eclectic, potentially combustible guitarist Ryan Ferreira in a rare solo show followed by  noir-inspired low-register reedman Ben Goldberg n a rare duo show with tenor saxophonist Ingrid Laugrock at Arete Gallery, $15

8/19, 9:30ish ex-Chicha Libre keyboard sorcerer Josh Camp’s wryly psychedelic cumbia/tropicalia/dub band Locobeach at Barbes

8/20 7 PM cinematic, lyrical, fiercely relevant genre-smashing saxophonist/singer Stephanie Chou leads her quartet at the Museum of Chinese in America, 215 Centre St., $20 includes a drink

8/20, 8 PM indie classical chamber goup Talea Ensemble play works by Volokovic, Biro and Leroux at the DiMenna Center, $20

8/21, 1 PM the upbeat, oldtimey Ebony Hillbillies – NYC’s only oldschool African-American string band – at Lincoln Square Park on the upper west

8/21-22, 7:30/9:30 PM terse piano/guitar interplay: Kris Davis and Julian Lage at the Jazz Gallery, $25

8/21, 8 PM indie classical chamber group Talea Ensemble and perennially interesting piano/percussion ensemble Yarn/Wire play works by Vivier, Boulane, Oesterle, Linda Caitlin Smith and others at the DiMenna Center, $20

8/21, 9 PM poignant, eclectic, lyrical jazz bassist/composer Pedro Giraudo’s Tango Quartet at Bar Lunatico

8/21. 9 PM violinist Marissa Licata – who does colorful, energetic versions of covers from Despacito to Jethro Tull – at the Delancey, $10

8/22, 6:30 PM Lisa Hoppe on bass with Rachel Therrien on trumpet and Dayeon Aaron Edgcomb on drums at the Bar Next Door, free

8/22, 6:30 PM Bollywood-influenced oldschool soul harmony band Say She She under the Manhattan Bridge archway in Dumbo

8/22, 7 PM Alice Coltraine-inspired multi-keyboardist Rema Hasumi at Arete Gallery, $15

8/22, 7:30 PM whirlwind tropical accordion star El Rey Vallenato Beto Jamaica and band at the Lincoln Center Atrium, free, early arrival advised

8/22, 8:30 PM Wickedly catchy Americana/paisley underground rockers Girls on Grass followed by a kinda whiny Americana act, then deviously fun no wave/post-Velvets rockers Shadow Year and then the similar but more punkish Dares at Union Pool, $12

8/22, 9 PM creepy, wickedly lyrical, harmony-driven noir chamber pop/murder ballad duo Charming Disaster at Joe’s Pub, $15

8/22, 9 PM flashy, catchy, eclectic Americana fingerstyle guitarist Dougmore at Sunny’s

8/22, 10 PM drummer Arthur Vint & Associates reinvent classic Morricone spaghetti western soundtracks at Barbes

8/22. 11 PM wickedly torchy noir songwriter Julia Haltigan  at the Sultan Room, $12

8/23. 5:30 PM Americana rock songstresss Stephanie Manns at the American Folk Art Museum

8/23, 6 PM reverbtoned 70s style psychedelic soul band the Muckers at Bryant Park

8/23, 7 PM in reverse order at Marcus Garvey Park: eclectic, purist jazz singer Brianna Thomas, South African croone Vuyo Sotashe, the JBs’ Fred Wesley, erudite jazz drummer Winard Harper & Jeli Posse at Marcus Garvey Park

8/23, 7:30 PM flashy highway rock guitar dude Ryan Scott, haunting art-rock cinematic instrumentalists Morricone Youth and eclectic, cinematic keyboardist Frank LoCrasto at the Sultan Room, $10

8/23, 8 PM fiery, psychedelically bluesy oldschool soul/roadhouse jamband Lizzie & the Makers at  Gold Sounds, $8

8/23. 9 PM wild psycho mambo/psychedelic cumbia band La Misa Negra at SOB’s, $15

8/23, 9 PM  first-rate purist honkytonk crooner/bandleader Cliff Westfall and his kick-ass group at Skinny Dennis

8/23, 9 PM wild live techno with sax-and-drums monsters Moon Hooch at Rough Trade, $22 gen adm. The next night, 8/24 they’re at the Music Hall of Williamsburg at 11, for two bucks less. Go figure.

8/23, 10 PM the world’s creepiest, slinkiest, most blackly funny crime jazz/film noir band, Big Lazy at Barbes

8/24, 3 PM in reverse order; alto powerhouse Ravi Coltrane, chanteuse Quiana Lynell, the all-star all-femael trio Reclamation with Camille Thurman, Nikara Warren and Brandee Younger at Marcus Garvey Park

8/24, 6 PM one of New York’s most eclectic, interesting oudists, Brian Prunka  followed at 8 by pianist Lucian Ban and violist Mat Maneri playing their creepy Transylvanian jazz and at 10 by and at 10 by epic, psychedelic, noir-drenched psycho mambo band Gato Loco at Barbes

8/24, 7 PM slinky, darkly psychedelic instrumentalists the Ghost Funk Orchestra followed at 9 by uneasily eclectic tropically-influenced singer Renata Zeigeur and band at Bryant Park. Avoid the singsongey, cliched 8 PM singer-songwriter act in between them

 8/24, 7:30 PM rapturous Indian carnatic music with singer Samarth Nagarkar, tabla player Meghashyam Keshav and Rohan Prabhudesai on harmoniun at the Chhandayan Center for Indian Music $16

 8/24, 8ish legendary 90s Brooklyn psychedelic funk unit Groove Collective reunite at the Mercury, $10 adv tix rec

8/24. 9 PM one of NY’s most versatile, ferocious guitarists, ex-Sharon Jones lead player Binky Griptite and band at Bar Lunatico

8/24, 10 PM wild, colorful, Bowie-esque female-fronted glamrockers the Manimals play a pro-choice benefit at Union Pool, $12

8/24, 1 AM (actually wee hours of 8/25 feral tenor saxophonist Eric Wyatt leads the jam at Smalls. Could be off the hook

8/25, 3 PM the Emerson Quartet’s Eugene Drucker, violin; Roberta Cooper, cello; Beth Levin, piano play works by Clara & Robert Schuman and Brahms at Concerts on the Slope, St. John’s Episcopal Church, 139 St. John’s Place downhill from 7th Ave, sugg don

8/25, 3 PM in reverse order at Tompkins Square Park: drum eminence grise Carl Allen’s Art Blakey Tribute, tenor man George Coleman’s Trio,  lyrical pianist Fred Hersch and eclectic altoist Lakecia Benjamin at Tompkins Square Park

8/25, 5 PM Remy Taghavi, bassoon and Yelena Grinberg, piano play works for this unusual pairing by Vivaldi, Tellemann, Mozart, Saint-Saens, Ravel, Dutilleux and Boutry at Grinberg’s upper westside piano salon, reception to follow, $35, close to the 1/2/3 train at 96th St., deets here 

8/25, 7 PM chamber jazz ensemble the Westerlies with crooner Theo Bleckmann and the majestic, titanically kinetic NYChillharmonic – a mighty art-rock band with jazz instrumentation – at Joe’s Pub, $tba

8/25, 8ish popular 90s salsa chanteuse La India at Central Park Summerstage

8/26, 7 PM trumpeter Dominick Faranacci leads a nonet bolstered by the Urban Playground Chamber Orchestra saluting great events and places in Harlem jazz at the HSA Theater, 649 St. Nicholas Ave north of 141st St., A/C/B to 145th St., free

8/26, 7 PM Taka Kigawa plays late Beethoven piano sonatas at the Poisson Rouge, $20 adv tix rec

8/26, 8 PM boisterously funny oldschool 60s C&W and brooding southwestern gothic with Jack Grace solo at Bar Chord

8/26, 9 PM subtle, dynamic jazz singer Yoon Sun Choi with the perennially lyrical Jacob Sacks on piano at Bar Lunatico

8/27, 7 PM clever, fiery, eclectic ten-piece Balkan/hip-hop/funk brass maniacs Slavic Soul Party  and brilliant Danish klezmer jazz ensemble Mames Babagenush at the Mercury, $20 adv tix rec

8/27-28, 7:30/9:30 PM monster drummer Johnathan Blake leads a killer quartet wih Immanuel Wilkins -alto saxophone; Joel Ross -vibraphone; Dezron Douglas -bass at the Jazz Gallery, $25

8/27-28, 730/9:30 PM epically brilliant, Shostakovich-inspired jazz pianist/composer Fabian Almazan leads his trio at the Jazz Standard, $30

8/27, 8:30 PM accordion genius Shoko Nagai and percussionist Satoshi Takeishi’s Abysm at Arete Gallery, $15

8/27-9/1, 8;30/10 PM ferocious postbop tenor sax with Chris Potter’s Underground quartet at the Vanguard, $35

8/27, 9 PM singer Kami Thompson and guitar monster James Walbourne’s fiery, fearless Britfolk/psych-folk band the Rails at Joe’s Pub, $tba

8/28, 7 PM the Brooklyn Raga Massive – a rotating cast of A-list Indian, jazz and rock musicians who love to jam out classic Indian themes  with klezmer clarinet and mandolin wizard Andy Statman at the Rubin Museum of Art, $30 gen adm

8/28 8 PM self-explanatory, popular 90s jamband the NY Ska Jazz Ensemble at Iridium, $25

8/29, 5 PM 90s Dirty Jerz hip-hop supertrio Lords of the Underground outdoors at NJPAC in Newark

8/29, 7 PM slinky noir/retro rock bassist/songwriter Amy LaVere plays the album release show for her excellent new one at the third stage at the Rockwood, $10

8/29-31, 7:30/9:30 PM erudite pianist Orrin Evans leads his trio augmented by guest Kevin Eubanks on guitar at the Jazz Standard, $30. Forget the sub gig for Iverson; Evans is a throwback to smoking, hard-hitting 50s postbop glory.

8/29, 730 PM the Haitian funk band that started it all, Boukman Eksperyans at the Lincoln Center Atrium, free, early arrival advised

8/29, 8 PM 7 PM the Underground Spiritual Ground, a new supergroup and Anbessa Orchestra spinoff exploring the connection between African-American spirituals, Ethiopian and Caribbean music followed at 10 by Quatre Vingt Neuf, who do playfully improvisational versions of hot jazz classics and Little Rascals theme music with a rock rhythm section at Barbes

8/29, 10 PM creepily relevant, provocative performance artist Jelly Boy the Clown, torchy noirish sardonically funny cabaret dude Phat Man Dee and similarly funny, smart, politically woke feminist folk-punk duo Dolltits (Therina Bella and Magie Serpica) at ConeyIslandUSA, 1208 Surf Ave (corner W.12th St), Cnney Island, $20

8/30, 9 PM the eclectic, electrifying accordion-driven Los Mochuelos play classic gangsta Colombian vallenato and cumbia at Bar Chord

8/30-31 10:30 PM state-of-the-art postbop alto saxophonist Jaleel Shaw leads his quartet at Smalls. You want adrenaline?

8/30, 11 PM enigmatic, compelling third-stream jazz pianist/singer Alina Engibaryan at Littlefield, $10

8/31, 3 PM ish ageless, jangly, purist NY surf rock originals the Supertones at Bay 9 East at Riis Park in the Rockaways

8/31, 9 PM haunting traditional Persian sounds with Koubeh at the old Nublu, $15

9/1,  3 PM ish the largescale improvisational ensemble who started it all, the Sun Ra Arkestra outdoors at Union Pool, free

9/3, 8 PM tuneful latin-inspired pianist/organist Bennett Paster at Halyards

9/7, 1/3 PM intense, microtonal string ensemble the Sirius Quartet play works by Jeremy Harman, Fung Chern Hwei, Gregor Huebner, plys original arrangements of Radiohead & the Beatles in the park on Governors Island

9/8, 7 PM catchy, anthemic newgrass/blue-eyed soul band the Levins at the basement room at the Rockwood, $12

9/13 at 8 PM, repeating 9/14 at 7:30 pianist Melody Fader and violinist Doori Na play Wolfgang Rihm’s ethereal score to Miro Magloire‘s new dance piece at City Center Studio 5, 130 W 56 St, $33/$20 stud/srs

9/!4. 4 PM sharply amusing, wickedly lyrical, politically woke lit-rock singer/pianist Dawn Oberg at the small room at the Rockwood

9/15, 7 PM pensively intense microtonal violinist/singer Sarah Bernstein‘s excellent Veer Quartet with Sana Nagano – violin; Leonor Falcón – viola; Nick Jozwiak – cello  at Spectrum $15

9/21, 5 PM ish intense, brilliantly relevant oldtime gospel/Africa Africana music maven Vienna Carroll and the irrepresibly theatrical, politically spot-on Ukuladies at the Gowanus Dredgers Society Boathouse, free

9/23 ageless Peruvian psychedelic cumbia jamband legends Los Wembler’s de Iquitos at the Poisson Rouge

11/8, 8 PM the world’s darkest, slinkiest, most blackly funny crime jazz/film noir band, Big Lazy play the album release show for their danceably creepy new one Dear Trouble at the Old American Can Factory, 232 3rd St. in Gowanus with special guests Steven Bernstein on trumpet, Slavic Soul Party’s Peter Hess on saxes and Miramar’s Farfisa sorceress Marlysse Rose Simmons, $20

Spot-On Oldschool C&W, Flashy Guitar Picking and a Williamsburg Gig From the Shootouts

Akron, Ohio band The Shootouts hit a bullseye with their spot-on, retro mix of honkytonk, hard country, Bakersfield twang and a little rockabilly. These guys really kill it with their flashy guitar chops and clever, aphoristic lyrics that sound straight out of Nashville or Bakersfield circa 1963. Their album Quick Draw – streaming at Soundcloud – is like being time-warped back to a bar playing the cool country radio station in either of those cities at that time. They’re at Skinny Dennis on August 10 at 10 PM.

The first track is Cleaning House, an aphoristic, period-perfect early 60s style rockabilly tune with choogling guitar and keening pedal steel from lead player Brian Poston over the loping groove of bassist Ryan McDermott and drummer Dylan Gomez. Frontman Ryan Humbert begins I’d Rather Be Lonely as a vivid, forlorn Don Gibson-style ballad, then drifts toward Flatlanders hillbilly hippie territory. Then the band pick it up with the ripsnorting, rapidfire If I Could, which sounds like Buck Owens’ Buckaroos covering an early 50s Ernest Tubb hit.

California to Ohio has weirdly anachronistic, 1950s lyrical references set to easygoing teens Americana rock. The album’s instrumental title track has a tasty, rambunctiously twangy conversation between guitar and steel: among current bands, the Bakersfield Breakers come to mind.

They bring it down with the delicate, Buddy Holly-flavored acoustic tune Must Be Love, then take the angst and emotionsl desolation to redline with the hushed, lushly orchestrated If We Quit Now: these guys can be as haunting as they are funny.

Who Needs Rock n Roll speaks for a generation who’ve turned to Americana in the decades since the grunts of grunge and the autistic atonalities of indie rock took over the mainstream. The band stick with a western swing vibe with the grimly amusing Alimony, then shift to vintage honkytonk for the sad barstool ballad Lonely Never Lets Me Down.

Reckless Abandon, a brisk, twangy Bakersfield shuffle, is next. After that, Radio Jesus is a more subtle take on what what the Stones did with Faraway Eyes. The album’s closing cut is a downcast ballad, Losing Faith in Being Faithful. If a lot of these songs had been recorded as 45 RPM singles fifty-odd years ago, it’s a fair bet they would have sold a whole slew of them. You’re going to see this album on a whole lot of “best of” lists at the end of the year.

Breathtaking Grandeur and a Feast of Guitars on Noctorum’s Latest Brilliant Album

Marty Willson-Piper is best known as this era’s greatest twelve-string guitarist, but he’s also a brilliant songwriter, an aspect that was often weirdly overlooked during his long tenure alongside another great tunesmith, Steve Kilbey, in iconic Australian psychedelic band the Church. Willson-Piper has also put out several great albums under his own name and with Noctorum, his project with Dare Mason. Noctorum‘s richly orchestral, mesmerizingly jangly latest album, Afterlife, is streaming at Bandcamp.

It opens with The Moon Drips, a slinky, seductive, bolero-tinged ballad: imagine Nick Cave at his lushest, with a brass section. The carnivalesque, hurdy-gurdy style bridge is delicious.

High Tide, Low Tide is a mighty, jangly, propulsive rocker that would have been a standout track on a late 80s Church album. Mason sings this cautionary tale to a high-flying party animal who’s heading for a fall.

Willson-Piper returns to lead vocals for the album’s first single, Piccadilly Circus, a bleakly gorgeous, syncopatedly swaying portrait of quiet working class desperation in real estate bubble-era London. A lusciously icy blend of six and six-string guitars anchor Show, a grimly metaphorical breakup narrative set to vamping, Television-like janglerock. Willson-Piper’s incisive, climbing bass punctuates the lush, dreamy, pulsing sonics and baroque elegance of A Resurrected Man.

The album’s loudest track is A Girl with No Love: choogling, raging 70s riff-rock verse, lushly jangly chorus. “I don’t know if I’ll ever dream again, all I know is I can,” Willson-Piper croons in Trick, a surreal blend of Iggy Pop and the Cocteau Twins. Head On (not the Stooges classic but a duet between Willson-Piper and his violinist wife Olivia) rises out of incisively rhythmic riffage to a sultry, sinister peak and eventually an outro straight out of Jethro Tull: “See you at nine-ish where we first met, me and my Sunbeam, you and your Corvette.”

The album’s title track is its most amorphous number, Willson-Piper’s narrator waiting in the netherworld for loved ones amid the guitar swirl. The final cut is the unexpectedl whimsical, bouncy In a Field Full of Sheep. Good to see these guys, with careers that go back to the early 80s, still going strong.

Another Vivid, Lyrical, Understatedly Haunting Album From Sharon Goldman

Sharon Goldman is one of the most gently powerful songwriters to emerge from the incredibly fertile East Village rock scene of the late 90s and early zeros. The real estate speculators’ blitzkrieg crushed it, but Goldman managed to keep her career going on the road. Since then, she’s put out a handful of brilliant albums of catchy, purposeful parlor pop and acoustic rock with sharp, plainspoken lyrics that often allude to much darker themes than her bright tunesmithing would lead you to think she’d tackle. Her latest album Every Trip Around the Sun – streaming at her music page – is in a way just as daring and iconoclastic as her previous record, Kol Isha, a sobering look at a very conflicted Jewish upbringing. This one focuses on issues of aging and death…from a distance, set to catchy chord changes and soaring choruses. Leonard Cohen may have gone to the tower of song, but Sharon Goldman is here for anybody who misses him.

Dolly Parton would no doubt be proud to have written the opening track, A Garden, a sprightly bluegrass-pop tune but also a memento mori: it’s a female counterpart to Mark Sinnis’ Undertaker in My Rearview Mirror. Goldman sang an absolutely shattering version of the understatedly towering title track at Rockwood Music Hall back in May; those bittersweet chord changes underscored both the triumph and bleakness of looking back rather than forward.

In betweem. the rest of the album is characteristically rich. The core of the band here is Allison Tartalia on keys, Craig Akin on bass, Mark Dann on electric guitar, and Eric Puente on drums, with contributions from several members of Goldman’s inner circle (if you remember the irrepressible and sublimely talented early zeros songwriters collective Chicks with Dip, you’ll recognize a lot of these folks).

The End of Sunset Over Athens puts a sobering, historically-informed spin on an otherwise sunny vacation narrative. Migration, the album’s most overtly political number, is an even more troubling look at the worldwide refugee crisis. Sara Milonovich’s violin and Noah Hoffeld’s cello provide a stark backdrop for the loaded metaphors of Lone Black Crow.

One of the album’s most offhandedly chilling numbers, Am I There Yet ponders the possibility that there may be no “there” to get to. Goldman plays both guitar and piano on the brooding Sunset at the Border, a haunting yet hopeful narrative that makes the connection between the South American refugee crisis, the ongoing genocide in Gaza and the Berlin Wall.

She weighs the angst of a gradeschooler with the angst of middle age in When I Was Ten, then paints an allusively gripping portrait of the morning of 9/11 in Tuesday Morning Sun. Penny With the Waves is wistful elegy for a lost friend, while The Ballerina may be the most ferociously feminist song Goldman has ever written, a savagely metaphorital slap upside the head of the patriarchy. Goldman also proves to be a brilliant rockabilly singer – who knew? – on The Collector, a tongue-in-cheek assessment of people accumulating…um…stuff. One suspects there will be even more unexpected revelations and fearlessly relevant work from this restless songwriter in the years to come.