New York Music Daily

Global Music With a New York Edge

Tag: rock music

Falu’s Karyshma Reach For the Divine With a High-Voltage, Dynamic Set at Drom

Before there was a Brooklyn Raga Massive, or a Navatman Music Collective, there was Falu’s Karyshma. And that band – fronted by the singer widely considered to be the best to emerge in the world of Indian music since the 1990s – rocks a lot harder than either of those two much larger ensembles. Friday night at Drom, a packed house got to witness a dynamic, vigorously eclectic show from the eight-piece group, a potent reminder of how deep the well of music from across the Hindustani subcontinent is as well as how many amazing places a talented band can take it.

They opened with just Gaurav Shah’s harmonium and the bandleader’s voice for a verse. It’s impossible to resist characterizing Falu’s meticulously articulated cascades and crystalline melismas as heavenly, considering that the band name means “divine intervention.” The instruments – violin, bass, drums and tabla – entered as the song pulsed lithely. They’d revisit that elegantly dancing carnatic rock later with the first song Falu ever sang in the United States after moving here.

As the show went on, the sounds branched out across India, the instrumentation shifting as Shah moved to bansuri flute and violinist Soumya Chatterjee strapped on his acoustic guitar. From the north, there were a couple of electrified ghazals with jangly Strat guitar leads and swooping violin lines mingling with Falu’s calmly soaring vocal flights. At times, the whole band would run the same riff, then they’d add tersely textured harmonies, the band’s most notable innovation. Tabla virtuoso Deep Singh switched to a boomy bass drum – a floor-mounted dhol, maybe? – for the night’s most intense, thumping anthems, one of them partly in English. Falu announced with pride that it had been featured in an exhibit at the Smithsonian.

Ironically, their biggest college radio hit sounded like an Allman Brothers ballad, although guest Cassandra O’Neal’s piano added a rapt gospel flavor. Falu and the rest of the group ended the show with the cheerful, relentless pulse of a qawwali-inflected singalong. Nation Beat, who were an omnipresent force on the outdoor festival circuit a couple of years back, were next on the bill. And they’re great live – but they’ve been covered here before, and sometimes the demands of a life make it impossible to stick around for four hours of music.

Drom, the midpoint on New York’s silk road of global music that starts at Barbes and ends up at Lincoln Center, has its usual eclectic slate of shows coming up. One particularly excellent one is by fearlessly political, relevant roots reggae/Afrobeat singer Ayo and her band, who’re playing the album release show for her new one on Dec 20 at 7:15 PM; $15 advance tix are highly recommended.

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A Fiery New Album From Guitarslinger Debra Devi

Debra Devi is the rare rock guitarist who’s as much about purpose as pyrotechnics. It’s amazing how she uses as many notes as she does, yet she doesn’t overplay. She can fire off a blistering, wildly psychedelic solo with the best of them, but she also uses every shade and color in her pedalboard. Late-period, sober Stevie Ray Vaughan is a point of comparison esthetically if not stylistically. Devi may be a disciple of the blues (she wrote a very popular book on the subject), but she doesn’t limit herself to the style. She’s got a show coming up this Dec 11 at 7at Berlin with her power trio; cover is $10.

Her new ep, Wild Little Girl is streaming at her webpage. The opening anthem, Butterfly, sways along on a steady 6/8 groove, awash in guitar multitracks and Rob Clores’ sweeping keys. Devi’s aching slide solo is tantalizing and over too soon.

She ranges from southern-fried slide to searing red-sunset David Gilmour lines over drummer John Hummel’s serpentine metrics and Clores’ swooshy organ in Shake It. Likewise, Tired of Waiting (an original, not the Kinks classic) shifts meters unpredictably while Devi builds from ethereality to crunch and then a deliciously expansive solo, again playing with a slide.

Another slow 6/8 ballad, 10 Miles to Clarksdale has unexpected country flavor. Stay begins on a moody note and rises through funk toward stadium-rock heft. The album’s strongest track is a live take of Tired of Waiting, which really shows what Devi can do with her searing vocal wail and her fast fingers.: it’s the best possible advertising for her live show.

Poignant, Fascinating Korean Sounds in Queens Last Night

It would make sense to assume that a band who’d play a song called The Scream of the Sunflower would be more than a little psychedelic. Much as there were plenty of surreal moments in improbably named Korean chamber-folk group Fairy Tale’s North American debut last night at Flushing Town Hall, the show was more about elegance and poignancy.

“Legend” is probably a better English translation of what the sextet call themselves. Lyrics are very important to this group, especially to expressive frontwoman Myeongseo Jang, so she and her bandmates took turns introducing the songs in coyly fractured English. Their signature sound is piano-based parlor pop laced with terse, expertly played Korean folk riffs and playful trick endings. “Less is more” seems to be their mantra.

Their new album Land of the Poet features new songs with lyrics by Korean poets from across the years, and they played several of those, the most plaintive of them written under the Japanese occupation. The band’s not-so-secret weapon is haegeum (spike fiddle) player Yunjin Ko, whose eerie, slippery low-midrange glissandos and austere, overtone-spiced washes grounded the music in an austere rusticity. That effect was enhanced by the low-register geomungo lute of Juhee Kim, who played mostly low-key rock-style basslines, but tantalized the crowd with a couple of breathtakingly surreal, tone-warping solos. If there’s anybody in the band we need to hear more of, it’s her.

Drummer Kyuyeon Kim was a similarly understated presence: much of the time, purposefully emphatic pianist Youngjin Oh carried the rhythm. Daegeum (wood flute) player Youseok Seo traded brief contrapuntal passages with the haegeum and geomungo when he wasn’t adding precise flickers and flutters behind Jang’s nuanced vocals.

The night’s most arresting song was Dear Boy, a brooding lament with a lyric from the Japanese occupation years, bringing to mind early Genesis with its intricate, tantalizingly brief interplay between geomumgo and piano on the intro and outro. Most of the songs built momentum over an allusive triplet groove fueled by Oh’s steely lefthand. One of the early numbers came across as a mashup of Korean folk and Springsteen stadium rock; a later tune bounced along on a catchy, circling new wave piano riff.

The rest of the set edged toward both darkness and drama but seldom went all the way there, tension and suspense lurking but never showing themselves. A moody strut driven by a downward piano progression had echoes of Tom Waits. It wasn’t until the encore, a blazing sunset tableau, that Jang finally cut loose with a full-throttle wail at the very end.

Fairy Tale’s first tour outside of Korea continues tonight, Dec 2 at 6  PM at the Korean Community Center, 100 Grove St. in Tenafly, NJ. Flushing Town Hall continues to program some of the most exciting global sounds coming through New York outside of the usual Barbes-Drom-Lincoln Center pipeline. One especially intriguing upcoming concert here is on January 26 at 8 PM with another genre-defying Korean band, Black String, who blend edgy guitar improvisation with classic geomungo and flute sounds. Tickets go onsale on December 11, and as with all Flushing Town Hall events, ages 13-19 with school ID get in free.

Live Music Calendar for New York City and Brooklyn for December 2017 and January 2018

Free and cheap concerts in just about every neighborhood. If you’re leaving your hood, make sure you check http://www.mta.info for service changes considering how the trains are at night and on the weekend.

Constant updates. 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. Weekly events first followed by the daily calendar.

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. A new project, deep listening workshops in the works, delicious gluten-free refreshments, beverages and lively conversation included! email for info/location.

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 south-of-the-border-style 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.

Also Monday and Tuesday nights Vince Giordano’s Nighthawks, a boisterous horn-driven 11-piece 1920s/early 30’s band play Iguana, 240 W. 54th St ( Broadway/8th Ave) , 3 sets from 8 to 11, surprisingly cheap $15 cover plus $15 minimum considering what you’re getting. Even before the Flying Neutrinos or the Moonlighters, multi-instrumentalist Giordano was pioneering the oldtimey sound in New York; his long-running residency at the old Cajun on lower 8th Ave. is legendary. He also gets a ton of film work (Giordano wrote the satirical number that Willie Nelson famously sang in Wag the Dog).

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

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

Also Mondays in November, Rev. Vince Anderson and his band play Union Pool in Williamsburg, two sets starting at 10:30 PM. The Rev. is one of the great keyboardists around, equally thrilling on organ or electric piano, an expert at Billy Preston style funk, honkytonk, gospel and blues. He writes very funny, very politically astute, sexy original songs and is one of the most charismatic, intense live performers of our time. It’s a crazy dance party. Paula Henderson from Burnt Sugar is the lead soloist on baritone sax, with frequent special guests. In addition, three Fridays in December: 12/1, 5 and 29, 7ish he’s at Troost

Tuesdays in December, 8:30 PM the George Gee Swing Orchestra play surprising new arrangements of old big band standards at Swing 46, 349 W 46th St,  $15

Tuesdays in December, clever, fiery, eclectic ten-piece Balkan/hip-hop/funk brass maniacs Slavic Soul Party  at 9 PM at Barbes. Get there as soon as you can as they’re very popular. $10 cover.

Wednesdays at 6 PM, irrepressible pianist/singer Champian Fulton – as entertaining a postbop improviser as torch singer – plays at Talde, 8 Erie St. (Bay/1st) in Jersey City, a block and a half from the Grove St. Path station

Wednesdays at 8 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 Art Cafe, 884 Pacific St.(at Washington Ave) in Brooklyn, $15; closest train is the 2 to Bergen St. Tons of special guests followed by a wild raga jam!

Wednesdays in December, 8 PM 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

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

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 around 9:30 PM Bulgarian Romany sax legend Yuri Yunakov with his wild but haunting band at Mehanata

Three Saturdays in December: 12/2, 9 and 16 at 4 PM at Bargemusic there are impromptu free classical concerts, usually solo piano or small chamber ensembles: if you get lucky, you’ll catch pyrotechnic violinist/music director Mark Peskanov and/or the many members of his circle. Early arrival advised.

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

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

Sundays in December, at sometime past noon at Hank’s, Nashville gothic crooner Sean Kershaw‘s legendary honkytonk brunch is back; special guests from his wide circle of NYC Americana acts keep the afternoon going until about 7. It’s just like 1999 again!

Three Sundays in December: 12/3, 10 and 17, 2 PM fiery agitator Rev. Billy & the Church of  Stop Shopping Choir – sort of the Dead Kennedys or Public Enemy of original, politically spot-on original gospel music at Joe’s Pub, $15

Sundays in December, 5 PM witty Microscopic Septet pianist Joel Forrester at Barbes

12/1, 5:30 PM pensively psychedelic, massively tuneful Moroccan/Venezuelan-influenced songwriter Miriam Elhajl at the American Folk Art Museum 

12/1, 7 PM eclectic, tuneful, witty former Burning Spear saxophonist Jenny Hill and her quartet Liquid Horn at the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music, $15

12/1, 7/10 PM saxophonist Michael Eaton, bassist Adam Minkoff, saxophonist David Liebman, guitarist Marc Ribot, pianist Jamie Saft, and drummers Anthony Cole and Ben Perowsky play late Coltrane works at National Sawdust, $25

12/1, 7 PM violist Aundrey Mitchell and pianist Tim McCullough play 19th to early/mid-20th century works tba at Bloomingdale School of Music, 323 W 108th St (off of Broadway), free

12/1, 7:30/9:30 PM eclectic, lyrical jazz bassist/composer Pedro Giraudo leads a tango octet with the powerful, intense Sofia Tosello on vocals at the Jazz Gallery, $25. 12/2 he’s there with his big band, same deal

12/1, 7:30 PM kinetic, pensive Punjabi/duskcore songwriter/singer Kiran Ahluwalia at Bric Arts, free w/rsvp 

12/1, 7:30 PM Juilliard’s excellent new-music ensemble, Axiom play works by Luciano Berio at Alice Tully Hall, free tix available at the box ofc

12/1, 7:30 PM 10-piece Austrian new music ensemble Studio Dan play works rarely heard in the US including a Christian Schiller premiere at the Austrian Cultural Center, 11 E 52nd St., free, res req 

12/1, 8 PM don’t let the name fool you – Fairy Tale are more Brothers Grimm than Cinderella – in Korean. Amazing Korean psychedelic folk sounds from this mostly-female group at Flushing Town Hall, $16/$10 stud

12/1, 8 PM dark Americana sister singers Jolie Holland & Samantha Parton (2/3 of the Be Good Tanyas) reunite at the Mercury, $18

12/1, 8 PM energetic, sometimes hilarious acoustic Veracruz-style folk-punk band Radio Jarocho at Guadalupe Inn

12/1, 8 PM Marilyn Nonken, piano; Rolf Schulte, violin; Coleman Itzkoff, cello play music of Schoenberg and Webern at NYU’s Black Box Theatre, 82 Washington Square East, free

12/1, 8 PM violinist Chin Kim leads an ensemble performing works by Debussy, Bach, Bartok and Saint-Saens at the New School auditorium at 66 W 12th St, free

12/1-2, 8:30 PM perennially edgy avant garde violin icon Laurie Anderson at the New School’s Glass Box Performance Space, 55 W 13th St, $20 at the door

12/1-2, 8:30 PM avant jazz icon John Zorn plays his annual benefit concert at the Stone with special guests TBA. On 12/2 he’s with Israeli reggae/Afrobeat band Zion80

12/1-10, 8:30/10 PM perennially relevant A-list bassist Christian McBride finishes his long stand at the Vanguard, through 12/3 with Tip City with Emmet Cohen (piano) Dan Wilson (guitar)and then with his reliably awesome Inside Sraight: Steve Wilson (sax) Warren Wolf (vibes) Peter Martin (piano) Carl Allen (drums), $30

12/1, 9 PM searing, theatrical Romany/Balkan punk rockers Bad Buka at Radegast Hall

12/1, 10 PM the world’s creepiest and most subtly amusing crime jazz/film noir band, Big Lazy at Barbes

12/1, 10  PM catchy, fiery, female-fronted janglerockers/powerpop band Above the Moon – like a more forceful take on Versus – followed by the hard-hitting, populist 21 Kings – who mash up powerpop and 80s style indie – at Maxwell’s, $10 

12/1, 10 PM Revolutionary Council play Afrobeat at Shrine

12/1,  midnight Elias Meister’s Spacepilot – Mogwai meets Dopapod meets Sonic Youth in Owsley’s drug lab – at the old Nublu 

12/1, 10 PM LES punk/surf guitar legend Simon Chardiet’s Rooftoppers – who give him a chance to show off his prowess with jazz, proto-rock and western swing –  at Sunny’s

12/1, 10 PM iconic second-wave roots reggae road warriors John Brown’s Body at Bowery Ballroom, $20 adv tix rec

12/1, 11 PM the eclectic, Balkan/latin/funk brass Underground Horns  followed by fiery, noirish Canadian Balkan/Romany band Lemon Bucket Orkestra at Drom, $15 adv tix rec

12/2, 1 PM an 8-hour almost-all Leonard Bernstein marathon with a barrage of singers backed by pianists Michael Barrett and Leann Osterkamp, plus world premieres by composers Daniel Sabzgabhaei and Denise Mei Yan Hofmann at the CUNY Grad Center, 35 5th Ave. north of 34th, free

12/2, noon smartly eclectic singer and vivid original jazz songwriter Allegra Levy  leads her group at the Jazz Standard, $10

12/2, 4 PM brilliant rising star pianist Carmen Staaf – who’s as potent and tuneful with latin and klezmer as straight-up postbop jazz – leads her trio at Smalls. On 12/12 at 8/9:30 PM she’s at Cornelia St. Cafe for $10 + $10 min playing the album release show for her new one Day Dream with Nicole Zuraitis, voice;  Dave Ballou, trumpet, flugelhorn;  Kris Allen, alto sax;  Jon Michel, bass;  George Schuller, drums

12/2, 4 PM cinematic, psychedelic quirk-pop keyboardist Michael Hearst presents “Curious, Unusual and Extraordinary” songs from his many bands followed eventually at 10 by epic ranchera/bolero brass crew Banda de los Muertos at Barbes

12/2, 5/8 PM gamelanesque downtown percussion icon Susie Ibarra leads a multi-percussion ensemble with strings and electronics blending multi-channel installation and live music, choreographed and improvised movement with custom built motion capture software at Pioneer Works, $20

12/2, 7 PM dark, intense, psychedelic guitarist/songwriter Anna Coogan at the small room at the Rockwood

 12/2, 7 PM a string quartet comprising Erik Carlson, Leah Asher, Wendy Richman and TJ Borden play Jurg Frey’s delicate, atmospheric String Quartets nos. 2 and 3 at Scholes St. Studios

12/2, 7 PM the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra play Handel’s Water Music plus works by Stravinsky, Shostakovich and Shuying Li at Stern Auditorium at Carnegie Hall, $25 seats avail

12/2, 7 PM a killer south Asian-tinged band plays musical explorations of often tortuous immigrant paths: Ali Sethi on vocals, Sunny Jain on drumset/dhol, Grey Mcmurray on guitar, Shoko Nagai on keyboards at Joe’s Pub, $15

12/2, 7:30 PM the Greenwich Village Orchestra play Rachmaninoff – Vocalise; Daugherty-  Raise the Roof; Shostakovich – Symphony No. 10 at Good Shepherd-Faith Presbyterian Church, 152 W 66th St., $20 sug don, reception to follow

12/2, 8 PM Gamelan Kusuma Laras with Javanese gamelan luminaries Darsono Hadiraharjo, “the best young Javanese gamelan player of his generation;” master musician Midiyanto; and rising star singer Heni Savitri; at Roulette, $25

12/2, 8 PM percussion and piano quartet Yarn/Wire play works by Michelle Lou and Klaus Lang at First Unitarian Church, 119-121 Pierrepont St, downtown Brooklyn, $15

12/2, 8 PM Hollywood’s Dan Finnerty leads his savagely hilarious top 40 parody group the Dan Band doing a “holiday show” at the Bell House, $25

12/2, 8 PM jazz violinist Leonor Falcón leads her quartet – with bass clarinet in place of bass – playing he album release show for her new one at the Cell Theatre, $15. Followed at 9:30 (separate $15 adm) by lyrical saxophonist Caroline Davis leading her quintet with Julian Shore on piano.

12/2, 8 PM Brooklyn’s most epic band, doom/slowcore crew Clouds Taste Satanic followed by doom/stoner trio Eternal Black, a jarring segue with ambient soundscaper Bowhead and then Providence hardcore band Suicide Pact at Gold Sounds, $10

12/2, 8:30 PM saxophonist Lena Bloch leads her quartet with Russ Lossing (piano); Cameron Brown (bass); Billy Mintz (drums) at I-Beam, $15

12/2, 9 PM fiery, guitar-fueled female-fronted Americana punks Spanking Charlene at Sidewalk

12/2, 9 PM Television’s Richard Lloyd and his band open for Steve Wynn’s iconic, amazingly vital 80s darkly psychedelic, noisyjamband the Dream Syndicate at Bowery Ballroom, $25 gen adm

12/2, 9:15 PM cumbia jazz accordionist/crooner Gregorio Uribe and band at Drom, $15 adv tix rec. Followed at midnight ($10 separate adv adm) by high-voltage psychedelic cumbia band MAKU Soundsystem – whose new album takes a detour toward Caribbean and African sounds. Uribe is also at Ginny’s Supper Club on 12/14 at 7:30/9:30 PM for the same deal

12/2, 10 PM wild, noisy, genuinely Hendrixian virtuoso lead guitarist Viva DeConcini and her band at the Way Station

12/2, Unsteady Freddie‘s monthly surf rock extravaganza at Otto’s begins at 10 with the Luau Cinders – soon to be renamed the Kaweem Abdoo Jabbaws? – at 11 the creepy, Lynchian Tsunami Experiment and at midnight the world’s only electric kazoo surf punk  band, El Muchacho

12/3, 11 AM (in the morning) pianist Conrad Tao plays works by Bach, Beethoven, Rachmaninoff and Eckart at the Walter Reade Theatre, 165 W 65th St, $22, reception to follow

12/3, performances at 11 AM plus 1, 3 and 5 PM, the allday chamber music marathon at the New School in rooms throughout the campus with very diverse programming, free

12/3, 2 PM the Omer String Quartet play works by Beethoven, Bartok and Jalbert at at the New School auditorium at 66 W 12th St, $18

12/3 3 PM hot Israeli band 12th Night Klezmer with guest singer Daniella Rabbani at Kingsborough  Performing Arts Center, 2001 Oriental Boulevard (at Oxford), Manhattan Beach, Brooklyn, $32 seats avail., B/Q to Brighton Beach

12/3, 7 PM spine-tingling, darkly mystical art-rock/avant-garde/chamber pop songwriter Carol Lipnik – pretty much everybody’s choice for best singer in all of NYC – with a similarly brilliant, lyrical special guest, Rachelle Garniez, at Pangea

12/3, 7 PM sharply lyrical southwestern gothic/Americana songwriter Tom Shaner at LIC Bar

12/3, 7:30 PM haunting, cinematic, Middle Eastern-inspired bass clarinetist Todd Marcus leads his Jazz Orchestra followed at 10:30 by baritone saxophonist Frank Basile leading his quintet at Smalls

12/3, 7 PM the Dirty Waltz Band- a seven-piece group playing more than a dozen instruments in 3/4 time from Balkan, Irish, jazz, blues and American folk traditions – followed at 9:30ish by Romany jazz/psychedelic rock guitar mastermind Stephane Wrembel at Barbes

12/3, 8 PM in reverse order: psychedelic Afrobeat band the People’s Champs; female-fronted trip-hop/postrock band Green and Glass; brilliant bassist Ezra Gale’s funky, psychedelic project the Eargoggle; psychedelic pastoral jazz guitarist Dustin CarlsonRyan Dugre‘s African-inspired, hypnotic guitar sounds; and cinematic guitar-and-EFX dude Xander Naylor at Secret Project Robot, 1186 Broadway, (Lafayette/Van Buren), Bushwick, J/M to Kosciusko St, $10 

12/3, 8 PM rising star classical talent play etudes and elegies including works by Chopin, Liszt, Debussy, Scriabin, Sor, Stravinsky, Villa-Lobos, Ligeti & Kapustin at the New School’s Arnhold Hall, 4th floor, 55 W 13th St, free

12/3, 8 PM the Columbia University Orchestra play works by Richard Strauss, Barber and Brahms’ Symphony No. 3 at Lerner Hall, 2920 Broadway (114/115), free. The program repeats on 12/12 at 8 at Symphony Space

12/3, 8 PM the assaultive drums/trumpet Mike Pride/Peter Evans Duo and low-register reed connoisseur Josh Sinton’s Predicate Trio at the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music, $15

12/3 the Attacca Quartet at the Brooklyn Public Library is sold out

12/3, 9:30 PM theatrical, punk-inspired songwriter Sabrina Chap at Pete’s. 12/14 at 10 she’s at the Way Station

12/3, 10:30 PM explosive electric blues guitarist/songwriter Jackie Venson – arguably the best thing happening in Texas blues right now – at  the third stage at the Rockwood, $10

12/4, 7 PM multi-instrumentalist Dennis Lichtman’s popular western swing band Brain Cloud at Barbes followed at 9:30 PM  byDilemastronauta Y Los Sabrosos Cosmicos with members of M.A.K.U and Combo Chimbit playing space cumbia at Barbes

12/4, 7 PM the New School John Coltrane Ensemble followed by at 9 by the New School Herbie Hancock ensemble at the New School’s Arnhold Hall, 4th floor, 55 W13th St, free

12/4, 8 PM fearlessly haunting, dynamic, charismatic Romany/Balkan chanteuse Eva Salina with pyrotechnic accordionist Peter Stan followed at by by and exciting Turkish band Seyvah with Jenny Luna, voice; Kane Mathis, oud; Marandi Hostetter, violin; Greg Squared, clarinet; Shane Shanahan and Philip Mayer, percussion at Sisters Brooklyn, 900 Fulton St., Ft. Greene, A/C to Clinton-Washington

12/4, 9:30 PM violinist Ben Sutin’s high-voltage, eclectic klezmer jamband Klazz-Ma-Tazz at Club Bonafide, $10

12/5, 7 PM brilliant, Lynchian, darkly lyrical latin and Satie-inspired guitarist Jack Martin’s Bob Dylan Deathwatch at Bowery Electric, $10

12/5, 7 PM violonist and singer Eleonore Biezunski’s new klezmer band Lyubtshe followed at 9ish by clever, fiery, eclectic ten-piece Balkan/hip-hop/funk brass maniacs Slavic Soul Party at Barbes

12/5, 7:30 PM charismatic, adventurous postbop/avant garde trombonist/crooner Frank Lacy leads his group at Smalls

12/5, 8 PM the all-female Resistance Revival Chorus sing anti-trumpie broadsides with special guests at City Winery, $15

12/5, 8 PM live dub band High Disciple followed by creepy, cinematic twin-guitar pastoral jazz trio the Royal Arctic Institute and then doomy, hypnotic postrockers the Messthetics at St. Vitus, $15 

12/5, 8 PM Velocity Duo singer/pianist Lauren Lee leads a rare large ensemble –  voice, piano, compostion;  Shelly Washington, baritone sax, flute;  Brad Mulholland, alto sax, clarinet;  Lauren Seay, bass, voice;  Kevin Neyer, drums at Cornelia St. Cafe, $10 + $10 min. Followed at 9:30 (separate admission) by Matkot singing their torchy, harmonically rich Mediterranean vocal jazz 

12/5, 8 PM violist Catherine Lamb with Brian Eubanks on synth “filtering a live sound input of the outer atmosphere to the listening space,” at the Kitchen, $20

12/5-10, 8:30 PM perennially lyrical multi-reed maven Ned Rothenberg plays with a series of lineups at the Stone. Choice pick: opening night with the Mivos String Quartet, and then 12/8, duo duels with John Zorn

12/5, 9 PM pastoral gothic art-rock accordionist Sam Reider plays his birthday show at Sunny’s. He’s also there an hour later on 12/12

12/5, 9 PM the New School’s Progressive Rock Ensemble play tunes by music from King Crimson, Yes, Genesis, Pink Floyd, Peter Gabriel, etc the New School’s Arnhold Hall, 4th floor, 55 W13th St, free…hmmm…maybe some ELO and Procol Harum if we’re lucky? The Alan Parsons Project?

12/5, 10 Greta Van Fleet at Bowery Ballroom, $18 adv tix avail. On one hand, this seems to be a corporate stunt: a bunch of Michigan kids in their teens who discovered their dad’s stoner boogie albums from the 70s. But at least they’re playing real instruments instead of making EDM with their phones. Be aware that their 12/6 show is sold out

12/6, 6 PM Margarita Rovenskaya, piano;  Elly Toyoda, violin play music by Chopin, Mozart, Brahms and Gershwin at Cornelia St. Cafe, $10 + $10 min. Followed at 8 and 9:30 (separate adm) by the Out Louds: Tomas Fujiwara, drums;  Ben​ ​Goldberg, clarinet;  Mary​ ​Halvorson, guitar

12/6, 7 PM composer Tania Leon hosts an intriguing, extremely eclectic composer roundtable at the Americas Society, 680 Park Ave with the electroacoustically-inclined Zosha Di Castri, violinist Pauchi Sasaki, and jazz sax icon Miguel Zenón, free, rsvp req

12/6, 7 PM bassist Reggie Workman’s largescale improvisational Futuristic Concepts Ensemble at  the New School’s Arnhold Hall, 4th floor, 55 W13th St, free. Followed at 8 by a chamber ensemble premiering new works by electroacoustic composer Yifan Guo

12/6, 7:30 PM Columbia’s lush, magical Japanese Gagaku/Hogaku Ensemble at St. Paul’s Chapel, 116th/Amsterdam, free

12/6, 8 PM psychedelic klezmer/bluegrass mandolin and clarinet legend Andy Statman at Barbes, $10

12/6, 8 PM a benefit for Puerto Rican hurricane relief with fiery guitarists Ava Mendoza and Brandon Lopez and latino hardcore band S.P.I.Cat the Silent Barn, $5 or pay more if you can afford it. All proceeds to real grassroots organizations helping the island rather than to greedy disaster profiteer NGO’s

12/6, 9 PM day one of the Jalopy’s Roots & Ruckus fest of first-class acoustic Americana. At the main room at the Jalopy the show starts with soul-Americana singer Wyndham Baird, at 9 Belle Skinner, at 10 the amazing Miriam Elhajli – who switches effortlessly from Venezuelan-influenced folk to classic Appalachian sounds – at 10:30 Lord Youth and at 11 Taylor & Rashad. At the Jalopy Tavern the show starts with Jackson Lynch at 7 PM followed at 8 by Billy Woodward, at 9 Fatboy Wilson & Old Viejo Bones, at 10 King Isto’s awesome Hawaiian Tropical String Band and at 11 Hannah Thompson

12/6, 9ish Dervisi feat. guitar god Steve Antonakos play “exotic Greek gangsta blues” at Troost 

12/6, 9 PM edgy lefty guitarist Damian Quinones and his psychedelic latin soul band at Bar Chord; 12/16, 8 PM they’re at Shrine and on 12/20 at 9 at the Way Station

12/6, 10 PM conscious, oldschool-style roots reggae chanteuse Jah9 at SOB’s, $20

12/6, 10:30 PM tenor saxophonist Ken Fowser leads his band at Smalls. 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. 

12/7, 7 PM multi-instrumentalist Laura Ortman plays violin, Apache violin, piano, electric guitar, keyboards, and pedal steel guitar at National Sawdust, $20 adv tix rec

12/7, 7 PM charming but edgy Slovak jazz chanteuse Ester Wiesnerova at Shrine 

 12/7, 7:30 PM badass oldschool electric bluesmistress Celisse Henderson at the Lincoln Center Atrium, free, early arrival advised

12/7, 7:30/9:30 PM unsurpassed low-key pastoral jazz: the Bill Frisell/Thomas Morgan duo at the Jazz Standard, $30

12/7, 8 PM chamber jazz with trumpeter Matt Holman’s Outlands with Ben Monder, guitar;  Matt Clohesy, bass;  Mark Ferber, drums at Cornelia St. Cafe, $10 + $10 min.

12/7, 8 PM freaky Americana rock anthems with Hiss Golden Messenger at Bowery Ballroom, $20. He’s there a half hour later on 12/8

12/7, 8 PM the American Symphony Orchestra play Schnittke’s Symphony No. 5, Martinu’s Symphony No. 6 plus works by Grażyna Bacewicz at Alice Tully Hall, $22 tix avail.

12/7, 8:30 PM day two of the Jalopy’s Roots & Ruckus fest of first-class acoustic Americana. At the main room at the Jalopy the show starts with the haunting Balkan Jalopy Chorus, at 9 the brilliant Jan Bell – who switches between  19th century Britfolk and haunting Americana – at 9:30 soul/gospel belter Queen Esther, at 10fearlessly haunting, dynamic, charismatic Romany/Balkan chanteuse Eva Salina with pyrotechnic accordionist Peter Stan, at 10:30 Morgan O’Kane and at 11 Mara Kaye. At the Jalopy Tavern the show starts at 8  with the Dime Store Romeos and at 10 ska cover band Skalopy.

12/7, 8:30 PM the irrepressible Jon Irabagon on sax with Gary Versace on organ and Colin Stranahan on drums at the Bar Next Door, $12

12/7, 9 PM dangerous folk noir chanteuse Larkin Grimm  – who’s gone in a psychedelic Indian direction lately –  darkly anthemic rainy-day cello-rock band Secret Moths and enigmatic, kinetic punk-jazz/psych-funk/postrock horn band Kleptokrat at Trans-Pecos, $10  

 12/7-10, 8/9:30 PM the 17-piece Jimmy Heath Big Band – a mix of legends and rising star talent  at the Blue Note, $20 standing room avail.

12/7, 10 PM the great unsung hero of darkly purposeful, noir-tinged jazz guitar, Saul Rubin leads his Zebtet at the Fat Cat. They’re at Smalls on 12/27 at 10:30

12/8, 6 PM crystalline-voiced, noir-tinged third-stream jazz chanteuse Tessa Souter and her band at 55 Bar

12/8, 6:30 PM Floyds Row play their rousing mashup of ribald British folk and baroque music at the American Folk Art Museum 

12/8, 7 PM perennially interesting new music advocates Ensemble Mise-En play world premieres for chamber ensemble and haegeum (Korean wood flute) by Kari Besharse, Kyong Mee Choi, Timothy Ernest Johnson, Gideon Gee-Bum Kim and Moon Young Ha at the Cell Theatre, free, reception to follow

12/8, 7 PM the Rolston String Quartet play a program of Canadian composers TBA at the Americas Society, 680 Park Ave, free, rsvp req

12/8, 7 PM guitarists Mark Mollica and Nate Radley with John Ellis on saxophone, Ike Sturm on bass and Jared Schonig on drums at Bloomingdale School of Music, 323 W 108th St (off of Broadway), free

12/8, 7:30/9:30 PM singer Sofia Tosello performs the album release show for her dynamic new one, Lluvia Fue (Chamber Tango) with a killer quintet featuring Fernando Otero on piano at Minton’s, $15

12/8, 7:30 PM state-of-the-art postbop trio: Dave Pietro on saxophone with Jay Anderson on bass and Mark Ferber on drums at the Bar Next Door, $12

12/8-9, 7:30/9:30 PM perennially tuneful, lyrical piano improviser/composer Kris Davis leads her Borderlands Trio playing the album release show for her new one at the Jazz Gallery, $25

12/8, 7:45 PM brilliant, soaring south Indian chanteuse Falu‘s Karyshma and slinky maracatu/New Orleans/surf rock mashup band Nation Beat at Drom, $15 adv tix rec

12/8 8 PM a super rare East Village gig by piano jazz icon Vijay Iyer with his trio at Nublu 151, $20

12/8, 8 PM eclectic, electric C&W/blues band the Jug Addicts at Barbes

12/8, 8:30 PM day three of the Jalopy’s Roots & Ruckus fest of first-class acoustic Americana. At the main room at the Jalopy the show starts with oldtime blues guitarist Eli Smith, at 8:30 purist, straightforward, warmly tuneful front-porch folk songwriter Joanna Sternberg , at 9 Brother Roy, at 9:30 King Isto’s Tropical String Bnd at 10 fiery oldtimey 19th century style string band the Four O’Clock Flowers, at 10:30 Brain Cloud’s tapddancing western swing frontwoman Tamar Korn, at 11 brilliant oldtime blues guitar/banjo/piano genius Jerron Blind Boy Paxton and at 11:30 Nat Myers.

12/8-9, 8:30 the world’s most captivatingly assaultive extended technique trumpeter, Peter Evans  leads a couple of ensembles at the New School’s Glass Box Performance Space, 55 W 13th St, $20

12/8, 9 PM grim, apocalyptic postrock themes with Mogwai at Terminal 5, $30 gen adm

12/8, 9ish exotic vibraphone surf rock band the Vibro-jets – a Sea Devils spinoff – at Troost. 12/22, 9 PM they’re at Singlecut Beersmiths in Queens

12/8, 9 PM wickedly jangly surf/twang/country instrumentalists the Bakersfield Breakers at Singlecut Beersmiths in Queens

12/8, 10 PM intense frontwoman Hannah Fairchild’s searingly lyrical punk/art-rock/noir cabaret trio Hannah vs. the Many – NYC’s most dangerously underrated band – at the Way Station

12/8, 10 PM a rare free show by intense charismatic danceable metal cumbia/skaragga/latin rockers Escarioka at Bar Chord

12/8-9, 10:30 PM hard-charging alto saxophonist Mike DiRubbo leads his quartet with the great Brian Charette on organ at Smalls

12/9, 4 PM the Erik Satie Quartet – Ron Hay (trombone), Max Seigel (bass trombone), Ben Holmes (trumpet), and Andrew Hadro (bari sax) –reinvent classic and obscure Satie chamber pieces as well as rare compositions by his obscure contemporaries, followed at 8 by eclectic, lyrical jazz bassist/composer Pedro Giraudo  leading his at Barbes

12/9, 4 PM luminous, astonishingly eclectic, wickedly tuneful cello-rock badass Serena Jost at Pete’s

12/9, 4 PM the Desoff Choir sing Handel’s Messiah at Union Theological Seminary, 3041 Broadway @ 121st St, $15

12/9, 5 PM tenor sax explorations by Ras Moshe Burnett and open jam session along with speakers from Take the Stands and the Stop Mass Incarceration Network at Dacia Gallery, 53 Stanton St

12/9, free kettle corn at 7 PM, show shortly thereafter by the Argus Quartet with guest soprano Lucy Fitz Gibbon performing works by Kaija Saariaho, New York premieres by Loren Loiacono and Jordan Nelson with text by Gertrude Stein at the 53rd St. library, 18 W 53rd St. free, rsvp reqd 

12/9, 8 PM Lusterlit play their ominous, noirish literary chamber pop followed by crystalline-voiced noir Americana songwriter Jessie Kilguss with her excellent band at Hank’s

12/9, 8 PM the Barnard-Columbia Chorus and soloists perform Handel’s oratorio Judas Maccabeus at Church of the Ascension, 221 W 107th St (Broadway/Amsterdam), $5/$3 stud/srs

12/9, 8 PM wild stuff: the New York City debut of the aptly named Megalopolis Saxophone Orchestra, including the NYC premiere of works by Alex Burtzos, Stephen Dankner, and Jesse Limbacher at the DiMenna Center, $10 sug don 

12/9, 8 PM electronic music maven/archivist Antenes plays a “glimpse of ongoing new work culled from archival audio recordings from original commemorative, educational, and informational tape and vinyl releases from the Bell Labs library. The performance arranges samples contained within these documents alongside audio experiments influenced by the instructions and techniques suggested within them: pitch perception studies and various computer and electronic music techniques performed at Bell Labs in the early-to-mid 20th century” plus distant remnants of noise from the big bang, at Issue Project Room, $10 sug don

12/9, 8 PM pianist Dorian Wallace’s improvisational Free Sound Ahn-somble at the Cell Theatre, $15.

12/9, 8:30 PM day four of the Jalopy’s Roots & Ruckus fest of first-class acoustic Americana. At the main room at the Jalopy the show starts with brilliantly lyrical dark oldtimey songwriter/multi-instrumentalist Pete Lanctot and similarly amazing violinist Ginger Dolden of Pete and the Stray Dogs at 7, at 7:30 the haunting Ukrainian Village Voices, at 8 Aaron Frazer, at 8:30 nergetic acoustic Veracruz-style folk-punk band Radio Jarocho, at 9 eclectic, tuneful accordionist/songwriter Ali Dineen, at 9:30 wild, spiraling, rare rustic minor-key Polesian klezmer dances and grooves with Litvakus, at 10 folk noir songwriter Feral Foster, at 10:30 excellent acoustic jamband Spirit Family Reunion, and at 11 brilliant singer Jenny Luna‘s new Turkish band Seyyah, who absolutely slayed a week ago at their show in Fort Greene. At the Jalopy Tavern the show starts at 8 with the Brotherhood of the Jug Band Blues – who do an awesome, slyly funny evocation of the Memphis Jug Band – at 9 the Horse Eyed Men, at 10 Crisco Dreams and at 11 Dr. Hop

12/9, 8:30 PM incomparable country/jazz/janglerock icon Amy Allison at Dixon Place, free. Brilliant new material, all kinds of rarities and devastatingly funny between-song banter

12/9, 8:30 PM multi-sax improvisational jazz powerhouse Jessica Lurie at the Owl

12/9, 8:30 PM a killer improvising quartet: Brian Drye – trombone; Vinnie Sperrazza – drums; Hank Roberts – cello; Chet Doxas – saxophone at I-Beam, $15

12/9, 10 PM expansive brass-fueled Afrobeat jams with the Brighton Beat at American Beauty, $15

12/9, 10 PM Greg Lewis’ brilliant Organ Monk Trio  at the Fat Cat

 12/9, midnight sardonic, hard-hitting, noisy Japanese girlpunks the Hard Nips at the Cobra Club, $tba

12/10, 10/11 AM (in the morning) a free performance of Momenta Quartet violist Stephanie Griffin’s new Lost String Quartet, for children 4 and up at the Time In Children’s Arts Initiative, 227 W. 29th St, Studio 4R, free, res rec.  

12/10, 2 PM the Variation String Trio with Orion Weiss on piano play music of Brahms, Beethoven, Schubert and Nina Young at the Town Hall, $10

12/10, 2 PM the album release for the new one by rainy-day psychedelic duo Wet Tuna (PG Six and Matt Valentine) at Trans-Pecos, $10

12/10, 5 PM Microscopic Septet pianist and Fresh Air theme composer Joel Forrester followed at 7 by Belgian violinist Guillaume Pirard and pianist George Shevtsov playing belle-epoque salon music and then at 9:30ish by Romany jazz/psychedelic rock guitar mastermind Stephane Wrembel at Barbes

12/10, 6 PM noir guitar legend Jim Campilongo leads his trio at 55 Bar

12/10, 9:30 PM intense gutter blues band Jane Lee Hooker at Otto’s

12/10, 9 PM Arki play darkly classic Ethiopian funk grooves at Silvana. They’re also at Shrine on 12/17 at 9 PM followed by roots reggae band the Zebulonites

12/10, 7 PM string/winds/piano ensemble Lena Vidulich & Fire Ecology play works by Reiko Fueting and Whitney George at Spectrum

12/10, 8 PM the NYU Contemporay Music Ensemble plays Stravinsky’s L’Histoire du soldat and Wynton Marsalis’ A Fiddler’s Tale at the NYU Loewe Theatre, 35 W 4th St, free

12/10, 8 PM smart, darkly pensive third-stream jazz pianist Noa Fort  leads her quartet at Cornelia St. Cafe, $10 + $10 min

12/10, 9 PM the Columbia Arabic Music Ensemble at Symphony Space, free

12/10, 9 PM catchy oldschool roots reggae jams with a fearlessly populist Senegalese feel from Meta & the Cornerstones at B.B. King’s, $15 adv tix rec

12/10, 10 PM sardonically lyrical powerpop/new wave band the Fast Romantics at the Mercury, $10

12/11, drinks at 5:30 PM, show at 6, all-female punk classical French horn quartet Genghis Barbie play works from Bizet to Queen to Badfinger at the Miller Theatre, free

12/11, 6 PM hypnotic, brilliant Indian sarod/guitar improviser Camila Celin at the Fat Cat

12/11, 6 PM tuneful postbop pianist Jim Ridl leads his group from behind the Rhodes  followed at 10 by eclectic, paradigm-shifting B3 jazz organist Brian Charette leading his Kurrent trio with Vic Juris on guitar and Jordan Young on drums at 55 Bar

12/11, 7 PM pyrotechnic but purposeful psychedelic guitarist and power trio leader Debra Devi at Berlin, $10

12/11, 7:30 PM the Juilliard Percussion Ensemble play an all-Chinese program of bell and percussion works by Guo Wenjing, Zhou Long, Lei Liang, Hou Wen-Chung and Tan Dun at Alice Tully Hall, free

12/11, 7:30 PM fiery pan-latin guitarslinger Juancho Herrera and band at Club Bonafide, $10

12/11, 9  PM Tibor Szemző (films, music, narration, flutes) and László Gőz (bass trumpet, sea shells) evoke the clandestine Hungarian underground of the 60s and 70s with a performance at at 224 Centre St #3, free. 12/14, 7:30 PM they accompany a gritty site-specific post-industrial urban installation at  Radiator Gallery Project Space, 10-61 Jackson Ave, Long Island City, free, 7 to Vernon-Jackson

 12/11, 9:30 PM cumbia band Los Cumpleanos – with new wave synths & retro organ sounds with effect-laden trombone and trumpet as well as a three piece percussion section – at Barbes

12/11, 10 PM popular Israeli reggae/stoner rock crew Moshav Band at  Baby’s All Right, $15

12/12, 7 PM bassist Matt Pavolka’s clever wind ensemble the Horns Band followed at 9ish by clever, fiery, eclectic ten-piece Balkan/hip-hop/funk brass maniacs Slavic Soul Party at Barbes

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

12/12, 7:30 PM not a music event but one that will resonate with everyone who’s fed up with the endless blitzkrieg of gentrification – downtown performance art icon Penny Arcade’s Longing Last Longer at Pangea, $20

12/12, 8 PM the Columbia Klezmer Ensemble at 112 Dodge Hall, 2960 Broadway at 116th on the Columbia campus, free

12/12, 8:30 PM Rachael & Vilray feat. Lake Street Dive frontwoman Rachael Price sing torchy, purist Americana jazz duets at Bar Lunatico

12/12-26, 8:30/10 PM pianist Kenny Barron has a long stand at the Vanguard, through the 17th with his quintet – Mike Rodriguez (trumpet) Dayna Stephens (saxophone) ​Kiyoshi Kitagawa (bass) Johnathan Blake (drums) and then dropping out the horns the rest of the way. Presumably they’re not playing on xmas day

12/12-17, 8:30 PM jazz violinist Mark Feldman plays with a series of lineups at the Stone, $20. Choice pick: opening night with Ingrid Laubrock (sax) Sylvie Courvoisier (piano) Tom Rainey (drums)

12/12, 9:30 PM virtuoso toy pianist Margaret Leng Tan and the Hands in Motion percussion ensemble play meditative watertoned music by Milos Raickovich & Teodora Stepancic at Shapeshifter Lab, $tba

12/12, 9:30 PM the Bronx Conexion play their mighty salsa big band jazz at the Nuyorican Poets Cafe

12/13, 5 PM the New School’s swing jazz ensemble plays vintage material from the catalogs of Duke Ellington, Billy Strayhorn, Ben Webster, “Sweets” Edison, Lester Young, Coleman Hawkins, and Billie Holiday at  the New School’s Arnhold Hall jazz performance space, 55 W 13th St, free. At 7 Armen Donelian leads their Sonny Rollins repertory band

12/13, 7:30 PM the amazing, haunting, otherworldly NY Andalus Ensemble – who play ancient Middle Eastern and North African Jewish sounds from as far back as a thousand years ago – at La Nacional Benevolent Society, 239 W 14th St., $18

12/13, 7:30 PM a rare bass-fronted large jazz ensemble (just like Mingus), the Ross Kratter Jazz Orchestra at Club Bonafide, $15

12/13, 7:30/9:30 PM bassist Chris Tordini’s Choir Invisible with Charlotte Greve – alto saxophone; Vinnie Sperrazza – drums at the Jazz Gallery, $15

12/13, 7:30 PM eclectic mostly-female klezmer/cumbia/tango jamband Isle of Klezbos  at Piano on Park, 10 Park Ave #22D, $25

12/13, 8 PM NewMusicMannes play works by Gubaidulina, Anna Clyne, Sergej Newski, Alcides Lanza and others at the New School’s Glass Box Performance Space, 55 W 13th St, free

12/13, 8/9:30 PM pianist Jesus Hernandez’s lush, intense flamenco jazz group the Bojaira Project at Cornelia St. Cafe, $10 + $10 min. 12/20, 9:30 PM they’re at Drom, $15 adv tix rec

12/13, 8 PM Ken Filiano – bass, compositions / Ingrid Laubrock – saxophones / Anders Nilsson – guitar / Michael T.A. Thompson – drums followed sometime after 9 by bassist Michael Bisio with Avram Fefer on sax and Art Bailey on accordion at Happy Lucky No. 1 Gallery, $15

12/13, 8 PM John Hodel – the Bukowski of what’s left of the late 90s LES singer-songwriters – at Sidewalk. You know the song – Tuesday Morning in a Bar

12/13, 8:30 PM intense, charismatic singer Sami Stevens’ oldschool soul group at Bowery Electric, $10

12/13, 9:30 PM Mireya Ramos, frontwoman of the haunting, eclectic, harmonically rich all-female Mariachi Flor de Toloache sings Mercedes Sosa at Joe’s Pub, $20

12/13, 10 PM haunting, creepy noir art-rock pianist Lorrie Doriza at the Way Station. She was doing her evil cinematic stuff while still in her teens; good to see her out there on the club circuit now. 

12/13, 10:30 PM rising star singer/pianist pianist Kelly Green leads her sextet at Smalls

12/14, 7 PM deviously lyrical cult favorite Americana soul/punk songwriter Marcellus Hall at the small room at the Rockwood

12/14, 7 PM soaringly explosive jazz composer/torch singer Nicole Zuraitis at 55 Bar

12/14, 7:30 PM drummer Sunny Jain‘s explosively funky Indian ExtravaJAMza jamband at the Lincoln Center Atrium, free, early arrival advised

12/14, 7:30/9:30 PM sensational rising star trumpeter Adam O’Farrill leads his group at  the Jazz Gallery, $15

12/14, 7:30 PM the Orchestra Now play Holst’s Planets, Penderecki’s Double Concerto and works by John Adams at Alice Tully Hall $22 seats avail

12/14, 8 PM edgy postbop guitarists Mike Baggetta and Anders Nilsson team up with bassist Jerome Harris and drummer Satoshi Takeishi at Greenwich House Music School, $15/$12 stud

12/14, 8 PM crystalline-voiced, eclectic chamber jazz guitarist Camila Meza leads her group at the Jamaica Center, 161-04 Jamaica Avenue, Jamaica, Queens, E/J to Jamaica/Parsons, $10

12/14, 8 PM Darren Solomon and CJ Camerieri play “ambient music for trumpet and Wurlitzer,” at Happy Lucky No. 1 Gallery,

 12/14-15, 8 PM Sahra Motalebi’s new experimental opera Directory of Portrayals, based on an ongoing online exchange between the composer and her Iran-based sister, whom she has never met, at the Kitchen, $20

 12/14, 8:30 PM an allstar klezmer jazz band –  Lauren Brody, Jordan Hirsch, Zoe Christiansen, Joanna Sternberg, Aaron Alexander – kick out the jams at the Jalopy, $15

12/14, 8 PM plush, balmy, oldtimey uke swing band Daria Grace & the Pre-War Ponies at Barbes

12/14, 8 PM Hypercolor – bass monster James Ilgenfritz, percussionist Lukas Ligeti and guitarit Eyal Maoz followed at 9 by the Admiral Launch Duo (Jennifer Ellis, harp / Jonathan Hulting-Cohen, saxophone) at Spectrum

12/14, 8:30 PM rapturously innovative shamisen player/singer/improviser Emi Makabe leads a new quartet with Ches Smith (drums); Thomas Morgan (double bass); Vitor Gonçalves( piano/accordion) at I-Beam, $15

12/14, 9 PM epic Radiohead soundalikes Calaspera at Arlene’s, $8 

12/14, 10 PM fiery oldtimey string band the Four O’Clock Flowers at Sunny’s

12/14, 10 PM haunting, Lynchian, psychedelic organ-driven Puerto Rican bolero revivalists and Sylvia Rexach reinventors Miramar at Barbes. They’re also here on 12/30 at 10.

12/14, 10:30 PM saxophonist/composer Michael Blake leads a killer quartet with Frank Kimbrough on piano, Ben Allison on bass and Rudy Royston on drums at Smalls

 12/14, 10:30 PM one of NYC’s most original bands, Gold – just four womens’ vocal harmonies over concise, Slits-ish bass and drums – at Pete’s

12/14, midnight trumpeter Steven Bernstein’s legendary noir jazz outfit Sexmob  at Nublu 151, $15

12/15, 5:30 PM torchy, charming uke cabaret songwriter Trinidad Montalvo at the American Folk Art Museum

12/15, 7 PM an unlikely but hypnotic twinbill: sitar virtuoso Krishna Bhatt and guitarist Gyan Riley at the Rubin Museum of Art, $30

12/15, 7:30 PM pianist Minji Kim leads her colorful, cinematic quintet with Alex Sipiagin on trumpet at Club Bonafide, $15

12/15, 8 PM singer Shelley Thomas’ haunting Middle Eastern band Nashaz followed at 10 by accordionist/sitarist Kamala Sankaram’s hot surfy Bollywood/cumbia/psychedelic rock project Bombay Rickey – a launching pad for her spellbinding four-octave voice – at Barbes

12/15, 8/9:30 PM ethereal, raptly haunting singer Sara Serpa’s lush, philosophically-inspired City Fragments Band at Cornelia St. Cafe, $10 + $10 min

12/15, 8:30 PM surf night at Freddy’s: the majestic, cinematic TarantinosNYC , Lateslip, the legendary Tiki Brothers, & Brooklyn cover crew Band of Others doing the ep release show for their new one

 12/15, 8:30 PM multi-reedman/brilliant composer Mike McGinnis’ lush, enveloping pastoral jazz Roadtrip band at I-Beam, $15

12/15, 9:30 PM Three Bad Jacks play dark garage, ghoulabilly and punkish Americana at Hill Country 

12/15, 10 PM accordionist/sitarist Kamala Sankaram’s hot surfy Bollywood/cumbia/psychedelic rock project Bombay Rickey – a launching pad for her spellbinding four-octave voice – at Barbes

12/15-16, 10:30 PM hard-hitting, tuneful postbop saxophonist/composer Ralph Bowen leads his quartet at Smalls

12/15, 11 PM Picture One and Safe Hex play bass-driven rainy-day 80s Xymox-style goth at Muchmore’s 

12/15, 11 PM Cartagena play funky psychedelic latin soul at Pete’s 

12/15, 11 PM the darkly eclectic, enigmatic Lorraine Leckie  – equally adept at Slavic and Americana noir and dark cabaret – at Sidewalk

12/16, 4 PM pyrotechnic klezmer clarinetist Michael Winograd and riveting Balkan trumpeter Ben Holmes air out new material followed at 8 by intense Balkan chanteuse Jenny Luna‘s haunting, traditional Turkish band Dolunay, and then at 10 by Rana Santacruz – the Mexican Shane MacGowan, but without the booze if you can imagine that.  at Barbes. Winograd is also at the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music the following afternoon, 12/17 at 3:30 with a larger band, $10 includes free latkes

12/16, 6 PM velvety noir jazz singer (and Tickled Pinks member) Stephanie Layton’s impressively eclectic torch/swing jazz band Eden Lane at the historic Onderdonk House, 1820 Flushing Avenue, Ridgewood, $3, take the L to Jefferson St. and a 10-minute walk up Flushing Ave.

12/16, 7 PM lyrical jazz piano icon Fred Hersch’s Pocket Orchestra with the otherworldly Aubrey Johnson on vocals and Ingrid Jensen on trumpet at National Sawdust, $30 adv tix rec

12/16, 7 PM , repeating on 12/17 at 2 PM the Brooklyn Brandenburgers play  music by Telemann,  Mozart, Gene Glickman, Astor Piazzolla, Arthur Foote, Beethoven and Bach at the Old Stone House in Park Slope, $10, kids under 16 free

12/16, 7:30 PM the edgy, tuneful klezmer-influenced Uri Gurvich on saxophone with Peter Slavov on bass and Francisco Mela on drums at the Bar Next Door, $12

12/16. 7:30 PM riveting, intuitive pianist Karine Poghosyan plays a benefit for the Music Conservatory of Puerto Rico with an all-Beethoven program: Piano Sonata in E Minor, Op. 90. and the regal Piano Concerto No. 4 in G Major with string quartet at Broadway Presbyterian Church, 601 W 114th St., $20, all proceeds to benefit the conservatory.

12/16, 7:30 PM the the Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio play music of Dvorak, Beeethoven and Brahms at Washington Irving HS Auditorium, 16th St./Irving Place, $14

12/16, 7:30 PM rapturously eclectic jazz chanteuse Marianne Solivan leads her elegant quartet at Smalls

12/16, 8 PM fun, fast-picking original bluegrass and newgrass with the River Bones Band followed eventually at 10 by Dubistry doing their live dub thing and then oldschool-style rocksteady/roots reggae singer Caz Gardiner and her excellent band at Silvana 

12/16,  8/9:30 PM terse, purposeful rising star postbop saxophonist Melissa Aldana  with Aaron Diehl on piano at Mezzrow, $20 at the bar

12/16, 9 PM fiery, psychedelically bluesy oldschool soul/southern rockers Lizzie & the Makers at Footlight Bar. 12/20 at 11 they’re at the small room at the Rockwood

12/16, 9 PM sardonic folk noir band Bad Galaxy followed by wryly surreal prozac rock duo the Dream Eaters  at Pete’s 

12/16, 9 PM very diverse works by rising star jazz composer Sarah Weaver: a solo bass piece written for and played by the great Mark Dresser followed by Weaver’s killer twelve-piece orchestra featuring Min Xiao-Fen on pipa and Ned Rothenberg on reeds, among others, at the DiMenna Center, $25/$15 stud/srs

12/16, 9:30 PM trash-garage guitar maven Palmyra Delran and her band at Bowery Electric, $15

12/16, 10 PM period-perfect 80s goth dance-rock band Kissing Is a Crime at Trans-Pecos, $10

12/16, 10 PM oldschool psychedelic soul/groove band Empire Beats at the Way Station

12/16, 11 PM charmingly torchy vocal trio the Ladybugs – who put a twistedly original spin on old Disney movie themes – at the third stage at the Rockwood,$15

12/16, midnight the Dye play a mashup of 60s Laurel Canyon psych and 80s goth at the small room at the Rockwood

12/17, 3 PM pianist Karl Larson’s Light Matter Trio play works by Kaja Saariaho, Adrian Knight, Garth Knox and Scott Wollschleger at Spectrum

12/17, 4 PM boisterously funny oldschool 60s C&W and brooding southwestern gothic with the Jack Grace Band at Luckydog, 303 Bedford Ave (S 1st/2nd), Williamsburg. They’re also at Barbes on 12/23 at 8.

12/17, 7 PM the ethereal, Balkan-influenced Accord Treble Choir followed at 9:30ish by Romany jazz/psychedelic rock guitar mastermind Stephane Wrembel at Barbes

12/17, 9:30 PM lyrical trumpet powerhouse Nadje Noordhuis leads her Quartet at 55 Bar

12/18, 9 PM deviously funny twin-trombone dub reggae crew Super Hi-Fi play their twised dub reggae covers of xmas carols  at the big room at the Rockwood, $10. Be aware that the Ventures show advertised beforehand is not the Ventures, the classic surf band, but somebody who’s obviously never heard of them.

12/18, 9:30ish Chicha Libre spinoff Locobeach play trippy electro-cumbia at Barbes

12/18, 10 PM high-voltage delta blues/Romany swing guitarist Felix Slim at LIC Bar

12/19, half past noon eclectically kinetic klezmer/cumbia/cinematic jamband Metropolitan Klezmer  at 1 Liberty Plaza in the Financial District, free

12/19, 7 PM smart purist oldtime blues/Americana resonator guitarist Zeke Healy & intense, eclectic violist Karen Waltuch make wild psychedelia out of classic Americana folk themes followed at 9ish by clever, fiery, eclectic ten-piece Balkan/hip-hop/funk brass maniacs Slavic Soul Party at Barbes

12/19, 7:30/9:30 PM darkly lyrical latin jazz pianist Emilio Solla Y La Inestable de Brooklyn at Minton’s, $10

12/19-23, 8:30 PM drummer Ches Smith leads a series of ensembles at the Stone, $20. Choice pick: opening night with Jennifer Choi (violin) Anna Webber (flute) Nate Wooley (trumpet) Oscar Noriega (clarinets) Michael Nicolas (cello)

12/19, 10:30 PM brilliant drummer/percussionist Willie Martinez & La Familia Sextet play classic salsa grooves at the Nuyorican Poets Cafe, $10

12/20, 7 PM darkly brilliant, psychedelic Klezmatics multi-reedman Matt Darriau’s Xalam Trio at City Vineyard. They’re also here on 12/27, sug don $10

12/20, 7:15 PM Afrobeat/roots reggae songstress Ayo plays the album release show for her new one at Drom, $15 adv tix rec

12/20, 8 PM purposeful, playful postbop guitarist Amanda Monaco leads an organ trio at Cornelia St. Cafe, $10 + $10 min – good situation for her. Followed at 9:30 (separate adm) by intense, lyrical tenor saxophonist Roxy Coss leading her quintet

12/21, 7 PM the Jack Quartet play play the world premiere of Georg Friedrich Haas’ String Quartet No. 9 in total darkness at National Sawdust, $30 adv tix rec. The last time they did this – with his previous quartet – the show was off the hook.

12/21, 8:30 PM drummer Aaron Alexander – the Art Blakey of Jewish jazz – leads an allstar combo at the Jalopy, $15

12/21, 10 PM Brooklyn’s funnest band, psychedelic organ-driven Middle Eastern-tinged surf rock trio Hearing Things at Barbes

12/22, 7 PM epic, cinematic Indian violin-fueled art-rock themes with Rini and her explosive band at the big room at the Rockwood, $10

12/22, 7:30/9:30 PM pyrotechnic, charismatic Argentine bandoneonist and composer JP Jofre leads his tango-jazz group at Minton’s, $15

12/22-23, 8/9:30 PM bassist Petros Klamanis leads his hauntingly lush, string-driven, Middle Eastern-tinged septet at Cornelia St. Cafe, $10 + $10 min

12/22, 8 PM rustic Brazilian jungle guitar-and-accordion sounds with Regional de NY followed at 10 by vibraphonist Felipe Fournier‘s Supermambo band playing a  Tito Puente tribute at Barbes 

12/22-23, 10 PM ageless second-wave ska/soul/blues band the Slackers play the Bell House, $20 adv tix or $32 2-day pass available.the original creepy circus punks, World Inferno open the night at 9 on 12/23 for no extra charge

12/22, 10 PM fiery, deviously fun oldtimey swing guitarist/crooner Seth Kessel & the Two Cent Band at Sunny’s

12/22, 10 PM Littlebuh play trippy cinematic vibraphone jazz at Pete’s 

12/23, 6 PM oldschool-style high plains C&W singer Hope Debates & North 40 at 55 Bar

12/23, 7:30 PM a wild klezmer dance party with  YNY All-Stars led by pyrotechnic clarinetist Michael Winograd and iconic trumpeter Frank London of the Klezmatics plus klezmer luminaries Deborah Strauss, Dan Blacksberg, David Licht, Cookie Segelstein, Josh Horowitz, Stuart Brotman & many more at the Sirovich Center, 331 E 12th St, $20

12/23, 8 PM boisterously funny oldschool 60s C&W and brooding southwestern gothic with the Jack Grace Band followed at 10 by psychedelic salsa bandleader Zemog El Galle Bueno at Barbes

12/23, 10 PM noir-inclined, bluesy guitarslinger Phil Gammage and band  at the small room at the Rockwood

12/23, 10:30 PM powerful singer Bela Zap Art’s transcendently good, ferociously stampeding heavy, latin-tinged psychedelic band Desert Flower at Pete’s. Peeps at this little joint won’t know what hit them.

12/24, 7:30 PM an A-list Yiddish folksinger lineup including Ethel Raim, Itzik Gottesman, Josh Waletzky and Esther Gottesman open for fiery Cali klezmer/Romany string band Veretski Pass at the Town and Village Synagogue, 334 East 14th St, $20

12/25, sets at 3/5 PM, eclectically kinetic klezmer/cumbia/cinematic jamband Metropolitan Klezmer at Cornelia St. Cafe, $20 + $10 min

12/25, 6 PM guy/girl duo Yael & Gabriel sing intimate versions of Edith Piaf classics at Lucille’s, $15 adv tix rec

12/25, 7:30 PM up-and-coming klezmer hotshots including Goyfriend – the duo of charismatic Belarussian-Jewish clarinetist Zisl Slepovitch and Latvian-Yiddish chanteuse Sasha Lurje, followed by dynamic, subtle all-female klezmer band Tsibele (Yiddish for onion) and trumpeter Jordan Hirsch and Overnight Kugel playing classic Hasidic wedding music from the 50’s through the 70’s at the Town and Village Synagogue, 334 East 14th St, $20

12/26, 7:30 PM fiery alto saxophonist Lucas Pino’s twin-guitar No No Nonet at Smalls

12/26, 7:30 PM  Indian classical singer Shabnam Abedi leads her jazz quintet at Club Bonafide, $10. Followed at 9:30 PM by irrepressible Aubrey Johnson protegee/singer Karen Tennison leading her Quartet, separate $10 adm 

12/26, 8 PM a massive Jewish jazz triplebill: multi-reedman Paul Shapiro’s Ribs & Brisket Revue, legendary pianist and Dave Tarras collaborator Pete Sokolow’s Yiddish-American Jass Band and the Shvesters of Swing: Joanne Borts, Tamar Korn, Cilla Owens & Eleonor Reissa at the  Clemente Soto Velez Center, 107 Suffolk Street (corner of Rivington), $20

12/26, 8/9:30 PM tuneful, expansive pianist Eri Yamamoto leads her trio at Cornelia St. Cafe, $10 + $10 min

12/26-31, 8:30 PM thereminist/singer Makigami Koichi leads a series of ensembles at the Stone, $20. Choice pick: 12/28 with Ikue Mori (laptop) Sylvie Courvoisier (piano)

 12/27, 6 PM santoorist Yanik Jayaram at the Rubin Museu of Art, free w/museum adm

12/27, 7 PM A-list indie classical pianist Vicky Chow plays an all-John Zorn program with an improvising rhythm section:  Tyshawn Sorey and Shanir Blumenkranz at National Sawdust, $25

12/27, 7:30 PMa mbitious, smart, noir-inclined tenor saxophonist Patrick Cornelius leads a quartet at Smalls

12/27-28, 7:30 PM and 12/29-30 at 8 the NY Phil play Moussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition at Avery Fisher Hall, $35

12/29, 6 PM New Aires Tango with singer Malena Dayen and pianist David Rosenmeyer at Cornelia St. Cafe, $10 + $10 min

12/29, 8 PM Tanayilt mash up Algerian psych-folk and its American counterpart at Shrine 

12/29, 8 PM Colombian singer Maria Raquel and band play boleros, cumbias, salsa, son cubano, and traditional rhythms  at Guadalupe Inn

12/29, 11 PM catchy, sardonic powerpop trio the New Arlenes (gotta love that name) at the Gutter, $5 

12/30, 7:30 PM former Dizzy Gillespie guitarist Ed Cherry with his trio at the Bar Next Door, $12

12/30, 8 PM brilliant pedal steel player Mike Neer’s Steelonious – who do Monk covers in the same vein as Buddy Emmons  followed at 10 by haunting, Lynchian, psychedelic organ-driven Puerto Rican bolero revivalists and Sylvia Rexach reinventors Miramar at Barbes

12/30, 8/9:30 PM unpredictable, entertaining drummer Tom Rainey’s improvisational trio with Kris Davis, piano;  Drew Gress, bass at Cornelia St. Cafe, $10 + $10 min

12/30, 11 PM Super Yamba play their bracingly psychedelic Afrobeat jams at C’Mon Everybody, $12

12/31, 10 PM awesomely slinky, psychedelic Israeli Ethiopiques groove instrumentalists Anbessa Orchestra  at Barbes, $20. As Olivier at the venue says, NO TV, NO WARM CHAMPAGNE TOAST

12/31, 11 PM organist William Trafka performs works by Bach, Guilmant and Mendelssohn at St. Bartholomew’s Church, free, champagne after midnight!

12/31, 11:30 PM Sweet Tits – the “punk lesbian Spinal Tap” – at Freddy’s

1/20, 8 PM the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra with Pinchas Zukerman, conductor and soloist play Weber’s Overture to Der Freischütz, Beethoven’s Violin Concerto and Dvořák’s Seventh Symphony at NJPAC in Newark, $24 tix avail

Trippy, Eclectic Sounds in Deep Bushwick This Sunday Night

This December 3 there’s an excellent multi-band lineup put together by boutique Brooklyn label Very Special Recordings at Secret Project Robot, 1186 Broadway between Lafayette and Van Buren in Bushwick. The show starts at 8; the lineup, in reverse order, is psychedelic Afrobeat headliners the People’s Champs; female-fronted trip-hop/postrock band Green and Glass; brilliant bassist Ezra Gale’s funky, dub-inspired psychedelic project the Eargoggle; psychedelic pastoral jazz guitarist Dustin Carlson; similarly eclectic guitarist Ryan Dugre; and cinematic guitar-and-EFX dude Xander Naylor, who can be a lot louder and more fearsome than his latest, more low-key album. Cover is ten bucks; take the J to Kosciusko St.

It’s an album release show for the label’s new Brooklyn Mixtape, streaming at Bandcamp. The playlist is a cheat sheet for their signature, eclectic mix of hypnotic, globally-influenced grooves as well as some more jazz, postrock and indie classical-oriented sounds, which are a new direction from the stoner organic dance music they’re probably best known for.

The A-side begins with Swipe Viral, by Sheen Marina, a skittish, math-y, no wave-ish number awash in all kinds of reverb: “I gotta go to the edge of a digital world where I can find my soul,” the singer says snottily. Green and Glass’ Night Runner brings to mind Madder Rose with its slow trip-hop sway, uneasy low tremolo-picked harp anchoring frontwoman Lucia Stavros’ clear, cheery vocals.

Ryan Dugre’s Mute Swan makes postrock out of what sounds like a balmy Nigerian balafon theme. He’s also represented by another track, the pretty, spare, baroque-tinged pastorale Elliott, on side B.

There are three Eargoggle tracks here. Picking My Bones opens with a tasty chromatic bass solo: deep beneath this sparse lament, there’s a bolero lurking. The second number is You’re Feeling Like, a blippy oldschool disco tune with dub tinges. A muted uke-pop song, Hero, closes the mix

Shakes, by Carlson, is a gorgeously lustrous brass piece with countryish vocals thrown on top. Trombonist Rick Parker and acoustic pipa player Li Diaguo team up for the album’s best and most menacing track, the eerily cinematic, slowly crescendoing Make Way For the Mane of Spit and Nails. Then Middle Eastern-influenced noir surf band Beninghove’s Hangmen put on their Zep costumes to wind up the A-side with the coyly boisterous Zohove, from their hilarious Beninghove’s Hangmen Play Led Zeppelin album.

The.People’s Champs open the B-side with a throwaway. Twin-trombone roots reggae band Super Hi-Fi – whose lineup also includes Parker and Gale – toss in an echoey Victor Rice dub. Xander Naylor kicks in Appearances, a shifting, loopy resonator guitar piece with innumerable trippy overdubs.And Council of Eyeforms’ slowly coalescing, oscillating tableau Planet Earth – with guitarist Jon Lipscomb of Super Hi-Fi – is the most hypnotically psychedelic cut.

All of these artists have albums or singles out with the label, who deserve a look if sounds that can be equally pensive and danceable are your thing.

Ward White’s As Consolation: Best Rock Record of 2017

Ward White’s album Bob topped the list of best releases of 2013 here. So it’s hardly a surprise that his latest album As Consolation is by far the best rock record released this year. Most artists who play loud, troubling, psychedelic music usually get quieter and more pensive as the years go by. but since the early zeros, White has gone in the opposite direction.

The new album – streaming at Bandcamp –  isn’t quite as surreal as Bob, but Bob is unlike any other record ever made, a disjointed whirlwind murder mystery psychedelic lit-rock suite. Its closest comparisons are not albums but Russell Banks novels and David Cronenberg films. As Consolation, on the other hand, does not seem to have a central storyline  – other than a relentlessly grim cynicism that crosses the line into sadism and the macabre. White’s worldview has never been more bleak – yet there’s never been this much unselfconscious joie de vivre in his music.

He’s a one-man guitar army here with his lavish but tersely arranged multitracks – for what it’s worth, he’s also an excellent bass player (that was his axe in the legendary Rawles Balls). This time around he’s fallen in love with a vintage analog delay pedal, for an eerie, watery effect akin to running his axe through a Leslie speaker. Now based in Los Angeles after a long stint in New York, he’s joined by Tyler Chester, who plays a museum’s worth of vintage keyboards (or clever digital facsimiles) – he turns out to be a sort of a left coast Joe McGinty, a longtime White collaborator who put out a fantastic album with him in 2009. Mark Stepro, who played on White’s withering 2008 album Pulling Out, returns to the drum chair.

Overarching narrative or not, there are characters who make multiple appearances in these allusively grisly, meticulously detailed narratives. One is the titular girl in Here’s What Happened to Heidi, the opening track. As with Bob, the events are anything but clear. Is this being told from the point of view of a corpse? A murder victim? “”Please tell me it’s not morning yet,” someone pleads again and again.

It’s rewarding to see White getting back in touch with the psychedelia and heavy rock he grew up with as a kid in Connecticut: there are more textures and more stylistic leaps than ever before in what has become a back catalog that ranks with guys like Richard Thompson and Elvis Costello.

The murderously catchy, organ-infused Crater is one of the most straightforwardly sinister cuts here – an incriminating envelope is involved. “Under the stone, don’t fight it, you’ll be at home,” White intones nonchalantly as the band gallops behind him.

A mashup of psychedelic soul and Abbey Road Beatles, Dude is White at his sardonic best:

Girls in California call me dude.
It’s non-negotiable
As smirks and disapproval misconstrued

“A few dreams, that much you’re owed,” White muses to the girl passed out on the sofa as Rhodes piano echoes uneasily in the miniature that serves as the album’s title track. Then he picks up the pace immediately with Spurs, its treacherous western vacation plotline shifting suddenly and strangely between a hard-hitting, syncopated pulse and lushly ethereal cinematics. “The paralyzing fear that we’re alone makes us cling to the humdrum,” White asserts: the rhyme that follows is too good to give away. It’s definitely a first in rock history.

Stepro flurries like Keith Moon throughout Hotel, a mashup of mod and new wave.

The fumes are playing havoc with your senses
You never listened before
Why would you listen now?

We never find out what Heidi, making a reappearance here, has to say to her assailant; White’s tongue-in-cheek, bluesy guitar solo adds a blackly amusing tinge.

White goes to the top of his formidable vocal range in Dog Tags, the narrator telling someone who was “naked on the fire escape: – his killer, maybe? – not to bother to look for the body, over an artfullly lingering remake of Satie’s Gymnopedie No. 1. Then the music picks up with a blast of Beatles and Bowie in Parking Lot: “Frozen onfire in the parking lot, better hold your breath til I count to ten again,” White instructs.

With its tense, broken guitar chords and smoky organ, Stay Low is the most distinctly Lynchian song here: it wouldn’t be out of place in the Charming Disaster catalog. The raging guitars of Coffee Maker echo the sonics on his 2014 release Ward White Is the Matador, a pair of accomplices growing more desperate by the hour. The way White caps off his guitar solo is as cruel as it is priceless.

The psychedelic Twin Peaks narrative Which Pain takes place in a torture chamber: “Too late to turn back now, not too big to fail,” a vindictive narrator tells his victim. More echoes of early-70s Bowie return in The Crows, another chilling tale from beyond the grave. “Sadness will make you insane, leave your cake out in the rain,” White reminds: that’s among the most telling of the many wry and far more subtle lyrical references here. The album closes with Weekend Porsche, a surreal soundscape that slowly coalesces into a reprise of that glam theme. It’s the first instrumental White’s ever recorded and the Eclipse to this Dark Side of the Moon.

A Long-Overdue Retrospective From the Greatest Songwriter You Might Not Know

Back in the radio-and-records era, it was common for a band to put out a greatest-hits album to fulfill their obligation to the label in order to get out of a record deal. Mark Breyer, longtime leader of cult favorite powerpop band Skooshny, put his together to get a record deal. Which makes sense in a way: Breyer is nothing if not counterintuitive. The album, Matchless Gifts – out from Kool Kat Musik and streaming at Bandcamp – is a lavish, smartly assembled double-cd compilation of the best tracks he’s released since 2006 under the name Son of Skooshny, often in collaboration with multi-instrumentalist Steve Refling. For those new to the Breyer songbook, this is as good a way as any to get to know one of the greatest songwriters alive, and it’s one of the best albums of 2017.

The layers of jangly guitars and dreamy sonics draw obvious comparisons to Australian psychedelic/spacerock legends the Church, reinforced by Breyer’s brilliant lyrics – his double entendres and wordplay rank with the Church’s Steve Kilbey, and Elvis Costello, and Rachelle Garniez. And the songs are catchy beyond belief, drawing on decades of clang and twang – Carl Newman is another reference point. Yet Breyer’s catalog doesn’t really evoke any band other than his old one. This guy is a real individualist, a first-ballot Hall of Famer who might take you by surprise.

And much as Breyer can’t resist a good pun – it’s impossible to count all of them here – these songs are sad. The devil is always in the details: Breyer has a rare eye for them. The one that might rip your face off more than any of the others, The Subtle Eye, is actually a brisk, balmy number and one of the gentlest songs here:

Teddy lifts me to a cloud
To protect me from an angry crowd
We sit and watch the spectacle below
Teddy died too young for her to go

See, Teddy is a dog. She appears in a dream, after appearances by now-deceased parents who, if these cameos are characteristic, were real cheerful earfuls (NOT). Humans will betray you, but many other species won’t. And they care enough about you to visit you after they’re gone, if only to let you know that they’re ok. In his last verse, Breyer promises to do the same: who knows what the subtle eye can see, right?

The boisterous opening anthem, Just a Test is irresistibly funny, but quaint diner food turns out to have a surprise in it, and eventually Breyer declares that “I want the other actors dead instead !” He’s referring to a tv show, but obviously there’s more to it.

“You left a note on my door, I found the footnote on the floor,” he announces as Spine, a big, enveloping seduction athem gets underway: foreshadowing is a huge part of Breyer’s M.O. A picturesque, bittersweetly romantic stroll through North Hollywood, No Ho may be conceptually funny – nobody walks in LA, right? – but you can see the ending coming a mile away, and it’s bleak.

Likewise, don’t let the blase calm 70s folk-pop sheen of Half of the World fool you. It deals with issues of perception and drunken yoga, with a coda that’s way too good to give away. Science Changes Everything, with its litany of math and physics metaphors, follows the same pattern, as does Dizzy – a dead ringer for the catchiest stuff on the Church’s Blurred Crusade album. “When more is less you use subtraction, reduce it to a fraction,” Breyer calmly intones.

His images invite plenth of debate. What does the object of affection In Mid-Century Modern do when she visits the justice of the peace? Regret, disillusion, and alienation bordering on despondency are everywhere. “I had that flat but it wasn’t home, you had a cat but you were alone,” Breyer relates in Sorry, another contrast between dreamy, Church-like sonics and richly imagistic, grim narrative.

Good Morning, Gail Warning may take place in an ashram kitchen, but Arthur Schlenger’s eerily reverberating guitars and keys are pure David Lynch soundtrack. “Troubles brew, bubbles rise,” Breyer relates in How Does It End, glistening nocturne swirling through an allusive tale of fractured family ties.

“Take apart your Japanese contraption – douse the charcoal, tear the plastic tent,” Breyer implores in Candy Air: meanwhile, the cat’s under the house and won’t come out. “May I remove your elevator shoes?” he asks in The Right Idea, backed by a plaintively lingering web of twelve-string guitars that leave no doubt how this story is going to end.

Some of these tracks rock pretty hard – Knee Deep, one of the few more optimistic anthems here; the surreal Kate’s Green Phone, which may or may not be about daydrinking and unrealistic expectations; the autobiographical Untold History, which traces an allusively harrowing Cold War childhood narrative; and Another Time, a Costello-esque account of dealing with somebody from outer space. And Bare Bones reaches toward classic punk blast and thud: it’s the closest thing to Breyer’s old band here.

In typical fashion, he saves some of the best songs for the bonus disc. Jeff Peters’ guitar nicks a familiar Angelo Badalementi film noir riff for the doomed trajectory of You Can’t Love Me:

Thank god you’re farsighted instead of near
It might be the only thing keeping you here

And Love’s Not Impossible, with Michael Meros’ hilarious early 80s pop quote, offers a tantalizing flicker of hope, even as the drizzle grows more impenetrable.

In the meantime, Breyer hasn’t slowed down. His latest single, The New South – presumably from yet another formidable album – has unexpected country flavor and a typically sardonic plotline. 

Wild Turkish Psychedelic Rock Rescued From Obscurity

One of the most amazing albums released this year is Uzelli Psychedelic Anadolu, a compilation streaming at Spotify that pays homage to the Turkish cassette label that released some of the wildest, most surreal sounds to emerge from that part of the world. Spanning from 1975 to 1984, this trippy ten-track playlist collects hard funk, symphonic rock, disco, electrified Turkish traditional ballads and anthems…and what sounds like a long radio commercial.

String synth, organ, wry wah synth and soaring, otherworldly, microtonal zurna oboe mingle in Zor Beyler’s suspenseful, lushly anthemic Gozumdeki Yaslar. The second track, by guitarslinger Erkin Koray, is a one-chord heavy funk jam, fuzztone acid lead guitar over loping bass and drums, with an emphatic spoken-word lyric: Turkish rap from forty years ago!

Powerful baritone crooner Kerem Guney’s Sicak Bir Sevda is a slashing, richly catchy Middle Eastern rock gem, sparkling electric baglama trading off with spare yet searing electric guitar. Asik Emrah’s Bu Ellerden Gocup is one of the trippiest cuts here, a mashup of psychedelic latin funk and spiky, oscillating Turkish classical sounds – is that an electric saz lute that’s taking that twistedly oscillating solo?

Longing and hazy angst pervade Yar Senin Icin, by chanteuse Elvan Sevil, a trickily syncopated, broodingly catchy anthem blending austere guitar with more of that delicious electric saz. Seker Oglan’s epic dancefloor jam Akbaba Ikilisi has a straightforwardly slinky, disco-tinged groove and similarly tasty, microtonal fretboard melismatics. Deniz Ustu Kopurur nicks a classic Stooges riff for Unal Buyukgonenc, a similarly vast, shapeshifting web of enigmatic reverb guitar and similarly reverb-drenched zurna: it’s the most psychedelic number here.

Nese Alkan gives her vocals a suspenseful, dramatic allure in Kacma Guzel, which comes across as sort of proto Balkan reggae. The compilation’s final track, by Ali Ayhan, mashes up wah funk and majestically sweeping, starkly string-driven Turkish balladry. All this begs the question of how many other treasures are lurking in the Uzelli vaults. In the meantime, New Yorkers can catch a tantalizing show coming up on Nov 24 at 8 PM at Drom with a current Turkish psychedelic band, the ominously majestic Philadelphia-based Barakka. Cover is $10.

Blackberry Smoke Burns Through Hell’s Kitchen

The song that drew the most powerful response at Blackberry Smoke’s show last night was Waiting for the Thunder, the snidely apocalyptic anthem that opens their latest album Like an Arrow. “Why do we stand by and do nothing while they piss it all away?” drawled frontman/lead guitarist Charlie Starr.

He was referring to those “with the power and the glory” who “get more than they deserve.” A little later, he and guitarist Paul Jackson took a sarcastic twin solo that referenced a cheesy Aerosmith hit from the 70s as bass player Richard Turner made a slinky upward climb, and lead drummer (that’s what the band calls him) Brit Turner swung a tight metalfunk groove.

It was a typical moment in a night full of many different flavors. From the looks of a near sold-out crowd – an unpretentious, multi-generational bunch – Blackberry Smoke’s rise in popularity here doesn’t seem to mirror the waves of rich white southern suburbanites who’ve flooded the outer boroughs in recent years. People just dig this band’s sense of humor, Starr’s knack for a sardonically aphoristic turn of phrase, and the fact that they can jam like crazy when they want to. Which is what keeps the music fresh, night after night. They started out here at Irving Plaza. Last time around, they played the Beacon; yesterday evening they were at Terminal 5.

Much as the group’s roots are in southern rock, more often than not they came across as a louder southern version of the Grateful Dead. Most of the jamming took place in long, slowly rising intros or smolderingly suspenseful interludes midway through a song. The most epic one of them began Third Stone From the Sun and ended up a couple of stories into Franklin’s Tower.

Throughout the night, Starr played a museum’s worth of vintage guitars, starting with a longscale Les Paul Jr. model, later switching to a Guild hollowbody and eventually an acoustic, showing off some flashy bluegrass flatpicking in an offhandedly savage take of the workingman’s escape anthem One Horse Town – these guys are populist to the core. He saved his most searing slide work for a Telecaster and his most deep-fried southern licks for a gorgeous gold Les Paul. Jackson also played one of those for most of the night, eventually moving to acoustic and then a vintage white SG.

They opened with the aphoristic, heavy riff-rocking Testify, then got the night’s requisite big party song, Good One and its endless list of intoxicating substances out of the way early, fueled by Brandon Still’s glittering honkytonk piano. It took awhile before his organ or echoey, starry Wurly were audible in the mix. From there the band built momentum through some gritty outlaw C&W, the blazing, Stonesy Let It Burn, and a couple of midtempo numbers that rehashed old bluegrass riffs the Dead made famous.

The most rustic song of the night was the swaying I Ain’t Got the Blues; the loudest might have been a snarling, defiant take of What’s Left of Me. The new album’s title track was surprisingly muted, less Molly Hatchet than 80s heartland stadium rock.

There were also a couple of covers, something a band this good doesn’t need. A haphazard stab at dirtbag Aerosmith stench in the Beatles’ Come Together, and an attempt to make something substantial out of Tom Petty, only lowered the bar – then again, this group come from a part of the world where cover bands are the rule rather than the exception. Blackberry Smoke’s nonstop tour continues with a sold-out show tonight at the Wicomico Civic Center in Salisbury, Maryland.

One of the Year’s Best Triplebills at Drom Last Friday Night

“We don’t play with horns that much,” Big Lazy frontman/guitarist Steve Ulrich told the crowd late during their show headlining one of the year’s best triplebills at Drom Friday night. “Horns are,” he paused – and then resumed with just a flash of a menacing grin – ”Evil.” Then guest trumpeter Brian Carpenter and trombonist Curtis Hasselbring added a surreal acidity to the slow, ominous sway of a brand-new, ominously resonant film noir theme, Bluish.

“I wrote those harmonies to be as dissonant as possible,” Ulrich confided after the show. Which is ironic considering how little dissonance there actually is in Big Lazy’s constantly shifting cinematic songs without words. The trio’s sound may be incredibly catchy, but Ulrich really maxes out the ten percent of the time when the macabre  bares its fangs.

Case in point: the wistfully loping big-sky tableau The Low Way, where a single, lingering, reverberating tritone chord from Ulrich’s Les Paul suddenly dug into the creepy reality lurking beneath blue skies and calm, easygoing facades.

Drummer Yuval Lion and bassist Andrew Hall held the sometimes slinky, sometimes stampeding themes to the rails as Ulrich shifted from the moody, skronk-tinged sway of Influenza to the brisk Night Must Fall, finally firing off an offhandedly savage flurry of tremolo-picking to bring the intensity to a peak in a split-second. From there the group took a turn into tricky tempos with the surrealistic bounce of Avenue X and then the crushingly sarcastic faux-stripper theme Don’t Cross Myrtle, the title track from the band’s latest album (ranked best of the year for 2016 here). Big Lazy’s next New York show is Dec 4 at 10 PM at Barbes.

As the leader of the Ghost Train Orchestra, Carpenter is known as a connoisseur of hot 20s swing and obscure, pioneering jazz composers from the decades after. This time he played mostly organ and guitar with his brilliant noir rock band the Confessions, second on the bill: it’s hard to remember two groups this good and this dark back to back at any New York venue in recent months. Guitarist Andrew Stern played murderously reverberating, sustained lines in a couple of long, suspenseful introductory buildups in tandem with violinist Jonathan LaMaster, bassist Anthony Leva and drummer Gavin McCarthy keeping a taut pulse through a mix of songs that sometimes evoked Tom Waits’ brooding Americana or the uneasy chamber pop of the Old Ceremony.

Frontwoman Jen Kenneally worked every offhand wiggle in her vibrato to add to the songs’ distantly lurid allure, often harmonizing with Carpenter’s brooding baritone. A relentless gloom pervaded the songs, rising to a peak in the tensely stampeding City on Fire and then hitting a high note at the end with Blinding Light, which ironically described darkness closing in as the band stomped into the chorus. Fans of Lynchian sounds shouldn’t miss this crew, who hark back to Carpenter’s early 90s circus rock days.

Opening act the Claudettes have gone in a completely different direction since ripping the roof off Barbes on a twinbill with Big Lazy a couple of years ago. These days, gonzo saloon jazz pianist Johnny Iguana has muted his attack somewhat: the band came across as a sort of Windy City counterpart to Lake Street Dive. Which isn’t a bad thing at all – Lake  Street Dive are a great blue-eyed soul band.

New frontwoman Berit Ulseth channeled brass, ice and brittle vulnerability through the sarcastic I Expect Big Things and then the cruel punchline that followed, Declined. In yet another of the evening’s many strokes of irony, the group’s biggest hit with the audience was a Debussy-esque, low-key tone-poem of sorts about discovering a wolf in sheep’s clothing. The bandleader brought to mind New York beatnik jazz cult hero Dred Scott in the sardonically frantic barrelhouse instrumental You Busy Beaver You and then the slyly bluesy cautionary tale Creeper Weed, about how to avoid getting blindsided by one hit too many. They wound up the set with the understatedly gloomy The Show Must Go On (Then the Show Must End), part Waits, part early Steely Dan. The Claudettes tour continues; the next stop is back in their Chicago hometown at 9 PM on Nov 17 at the Hideout; cover is $12.

And as always, Drom – downtown New York’s most consistently diverse music room – has some cool upcoming shows. One especially interesting one is on Nov 25 at 10:30 PM, and it’s a rare free event there, with Polish crew Nasza Sciana doing vintage Slavic turbo-folk hits.