New York Music Daily

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Tag: rock music

A Rare Free Show by Iconic Rock Storyteller Wreckless Eric at Union Pool

Whether on his own or playing with his wife Amy Rigby, Wreckless Eric is one of the great storytellers in rock. His album Construction Time & Demolition – streaming at Bandcamp – is arguably his darkest and most saturnine record in a career that started back in the proto-punk era. This one’s a mix of snarling, guitar-fueled post-Velvets rock and noisy, dissociative guitar soundscapes. He plays all the guitars and bass, backed by drums plus a horn section on a handful of cuts. He’s playing one of this summer’s series of free weekend shows at Union Pool on July 3 at around 4 PM.

The first track is Gateway to Europe, a catchy, matter-of-factly swaying, brassy yet sobering look at decaying rustbelt European desperation:

Move the people out to where the buses run
But no one knows where they go….
Old glories fade away, derelicted houses, the ghosts of yesterday
Ruined factories on the east side of town
They’re slated for revival, they’ll soon be coming down

“All there is, is time: hold that thought and it’s gone,” Eric muses in the broodingly cinematic miniature The World Revolved Around Me. He follows that with Flash, a chugging, surreal late-night neo-Velvets tableau, its isolated narrator “Sick on Christmas chocolates and cheery Christmas cheer.”

The next track is the obliquely political They Don’t Mean No Harm – “But that don’t make them harmless,” Eric explains. “There’s no democracy, just chrome-plated armor….the dark ages of man crawl onto land. His cynical but sage worldview permeates Wow and Flutter, contemplating rockstar envy over ominous mid-90s Blur chord changes: it’s the album’s most memorable track.

The echoey, clanging, trippy Forget Who You Are could be the Brian Jonestown Massacre: “Everything is gonna be groovy, like some happy clappy Iphone movie,” Eric intones, echoing George Orwell’s observarions on how people become so spellbound by technology that they don’t notice how it enslaves them:

No one can see your face anymore
Nobody one can hear you cry,
They control the circumstances
The how the what the when and the why

Moody Fender Rhodes piano mingles with Eric’s guitar multitracks for a Dark Side-era Floyd ambience in 40 Years, a not-so-fond look back at a dissolute early life and its lingering effects. It segues into The Two of Us, an angushed, swirling blend of new wave and the Velvets. The album comes full circle with the glamrock-tinged, apocalyptic Unnatural Acts: “We were descended from dinosaurs, we weren’t meant to survive.”

There are also a couple of brief, loping instrumental interludes titled Mexican Fenders, the second a lot louder. Guitarists agree that Fender guitars manufactored before the company was sold to CBS in the mid-60s are great instruments – and hardly any working musician actually owns one, since they sell for tens of thousands of dollars on the collector market. Whether Mexican-made Fenders from the CBS era are inferior to American-made models from that time is a question of debate. The consensus is that either way, both typically sound better than the Japanese-built ones. At the rate we’re going, someday Japanese Fenders may be prized for being superior to ones made from slave labor a lot closer to home.

Eleni Mandell’s Best Album Offers Grim Insight Into Survival in the Prison-Industrial Complex

Eleni Mandell got the inspiration for her new album, Wake Up Again, behind bars. No, she wasn’t doing time. She was teaching songwriting as part of the Jail Guitar Doors program founded by the MC5’s Wayne Kramer. The record – streaming at Spotify – is surprisingly her most indie rock-flavored release to date, at least until about the halfway point. But it’s also her most relevant, and most lyrically powerful. These clear-eyed, sobering songs elegantly and often allusively chronicle the cycles of despair, and addiction, and hopelessness of being caught in the prison-industrial compex. As Mandell makes crystal clear, orange is anything but the new black. She’s currently on tour, with a New York stop on June 27 at 9:30 PM at the big room at the Rockwood; cover is $15

Milo Jones’ reverbtoned guitar weaves enigmatically, going nowhere in particular, throughout the album’s opening track, Circumstance, Mandell matter-of-factly traces the outline of a woman caught in the wrong place at the wrong time, knowing that her babies will grow up without her.

“Got my foot out the window it’s a long way down, if you know the secret password there’s another way around,” Mandell explains in Be Together. “Am I waiting for a punishment for all the time I wasted?” she asks. In a career packed with some of the most captivating vocals ever recorded, this is one of Mandell’s most shattering.

Just Herself is just as harrowing, a resolutely waltzing account of someone who’s just as much of an outsider on the inside as she was before she got thrown in jail. Evelyn, a throwback to Mandell’s days as queen of late 90s/early zeros noir, underscores the fact that a large percentage of people in the prison-industrial complex – and the majority of the women there – aren’t criminals. They’re addicts, and people who sold them substances, some of which have been legalized in the years since many of these prisoners were locked up.

“Don’t ask when it was better – she would say that was never,” Mandell intones in Box in a Box, a catchy, gritty account of what could be solitary confinement, or addiction, or both. A brisk, subtly torchy backbeat number, Oh Mother could be a sideways tribute from a prisoner to a mom who managedto stay out of trouble – or the child of a prisoner admiring her mother’s resilience.

The gloom lifts in the quirky, upbeat, country-tinged What’s Your Handle (Radio Waves), following a thinly veiled escape theme that resurfaces a bit later in Air, a similarly bubbling, Americana-tinged number. Empty Locket, a duet with Jones, recounts a wistful, one-sided long-distance phone coversation.

Slowly swaying over Kevin Fitzgerald’s brushy drums and Ryan Feves’ bass, the country lament Ghost of a Girl is the closest thing here to Mandell’s signature noir Americana. The album close with another country waltz, the surreal, enigmatic title track. In a way, it’s no surprise that Mandell, an icon of noir since the late 90s, would end up behind bars – songwriting-wise, anyway. The most basic rule in noir is that ultimately there are none – and the consequences can be lethal.

The Black Capsule Bring Their Epic, Surreal, Cynical Psychedelia to Unexpected Places

Psychedelic band the Black Capsule like long songs. Unlike what their name might imply, speed is not their thing. There’s no other New York band who sound like anything like them, although there are a whole lot of old bands who do. This crew draw on oldschool soul, the more pensive side of Hendrix and stoner 70s art-rock. British psych legends the Frank Flight Band are a good comparison, although the Black Capsule are more cynical and quintessentially New York. Their album is up at Bandcamp as a free download.

Now, there are plenty of decent venues in this town where psychedelia can be found: where are these guys taking the stage on June 20 at around 9? At Baby’s All Right? No. Union Pool? No. Trans-Pecos, Gold Sounds, Coney Island Baby? No, no and no. They’re playing the Bitter End. Cover isn’t listed on the club webpage, but it’s usually ten bucks there. Make sure to find some standing room because the moment you sit down, the waitress will try to stick you for a drink minimum.

The album’s catchy opening track is pretty short by comparison to the rest of the material, clocking in at less than six minutes. It’s a swaying latin soul-tinged anthem, like Chicano Batman at their most sprawling, acoustic and electric guitar textures mingling with Rhodes piano and then swirly organ as it hits a peak. “She was high, she was high, she was high when she was coming down,” the frontman (uncredited on the group’s Bandcamp page) intones in his flinty voice.

Joanna is an increasingly creepy chronicle of failed relationships – think a more vengeful, eleven-minute take on what the Nails did with 88 Lines About 44 Women, with a bridge nicked from Pink Floyd:

After all the cigarettes”
I’m just left with cheap regrets
Take me to your dear dark cave
I promise that I won’t behave

After All is a slightly more focused remake of the Velvets’ Heroin: same two-chord vamp, similar junkie milieu. half-baked Allan Brothers guitar jam on the long way out. Random Thoughts (yes, that’s the title) is a twisted mashup of LA Woman-era Doors, Dark Side-era Floyd and acid funk: it’s the closest thing to Frank Flight here, growly bass poking up through the murk and the smoky organ.

Imagine Hendrix if he hadn’t been a shredder and had an organ in the band: that’s Red Morning, a sort of Fourth Stone From the Sun. The band stagger toward stoner boogie territory, and more Hendrix, with SWLABR. Then they offer a nod to the mean side of the Grateful Dead with The Netherlands. The album’s most epic, final track is Desperate Daze: It’s their Midnight Rambler.

On one hand, this album is like a stoner dad’s record collection: if you know what’s in it, you’ll recognize every stolen lick here. On the other, there’s no denying this band’s epic ability to keep you listening. if you’re, um, in the mood

Horror Surf Legends the Coffin Daggers Play the Best Rock Show of 2019 So Far

The Coffin Daggers played what could have been the best rock show of 2019 at Otto’s just over a month ago. They might not just be the best horror surf band in the world. Since Dick Dale left us earlier this year, it wouldn’t be overhype to call them the best surf band around, period. And that’s no disrespect to Los Straitjackets. It’s just that the Coffin Daggers are infinitely more intense – and infinitely darker.

They opened the show with a series of endings, letting the crowd know that this was going to be a descent into the maelstrom. It was like Beethoven in reverse, and ten times as gothic. From there, they went straight for grimly enveloping psychedelia with an extended version of Avenue X, an older tune. Guitarist Viktor Venom’s Fender amp pulsed with icy waves of deep-space noise when he wasn’t ripping through one volley of machete tremolo-picking after another, standing calm and relatively motionless at the edge of the stage.

Bassist Peter Klarnet was the opposite, lunging toward the crowd like a rabid animal on a chain as he slammed out booming chords, slithery upward climbs and snidely slurring riffs. There’s been some turnover in the band over the years; their current drummer has the agility of their original guy behind the kit, but with a more ferocious attack. Their organist conjured up vampire castles, haunted roller rinks and on a couple of screamingly sarcastic faux go-go tunes, played more or less straight up Booker T. Jones-style soul. He also added burning, distorted rhythm guitar on a few of the band’s more straightforwardly punk tunes.

But was the macabre material they do best, and there was a lot of it. The best material of the night was the newest stuff: a couple of searing, serpentine, eerily modal, Middle Eastern-flavored numbers along with a pair of chromatically thumping tunes like Dick Dale on steroids. A couple of other ones echoed Vegas noir, but from a gleefully sarcastic distance.

A lengthy, unexpectedly dubwise interlude had several cruel quotes including a half a verse of the Dead Kennedys’ Holiday in Cambodia. They closed with what sounded like a parody of retro 70s stoner boogie; the last of the encores had a savage, phony salsa fanfare from the organ at the end.

The Coffin Daggers usually much larger venues: the Mercury has been their Manhattan home base in recent months. They’re playing at around 9 on June 22, immediately following this years’s Mermaid Parade, on the roof of Kitchen 21 at 3052 W 21st St, right off the boardwalk. Cover is $25.

Celebrating One of Manhattan’s Most Fearless Impresarios at the Borough’s Best Listening Room

There aren’t many venues left anywhere in New York where you can walk in on just about any show night and randomly discover a great new band or solo artist. But you can still do that at the American Folk Art Museum. The museum earned this blog’s award for Best Manhattan Venue a couple of years ago, largely because of impresario Lara Ewen, who brings in a wildly diverse and frequently excellent mix of global folk styles along with Americana and singer-songwriters.

Ewen is turning fifty this June 14, and an all-star cast (she isn’t saying who, just yet) are on tap to come out to celebrate at her mostly-weekly Free Music Fridays series at the museum starting at 5:30 PM. Ewen’s booking (and her songwriting) reflect her background growing up in working-class, multicultural Queens. Three recent discoveries there – for this blog, at least – reflect Ewen’s ferocious dedication to bringing in music that represents the real New York.

In his debut at the museum this past spring, Greg Connors played electric guitar – not something you’d expect at a venue originally know for folk music, but Ewen likes to defy the odds. He ran his axe through a pedalboard with a lot of effects, flinging chords out into the space’s natural reverb and building to stomping, singalong choruses. His lyrics are edgy and cynical; his songs tell brooding stories set among the down-and-out without being cliched. His tantalizingly short set, clocking in at just over a half an hour, reminded of 90s underground songwriting stars Matt Keating or Jim Allen from time to time. If Connors had been around back then, he probably would have been playing CB’s Gallery and Sin-e and the rest of the East Village songwriter venues, all of them gone in a blitzkrieg of gentrification and real estate bubble madness. Connors hangs his hat in Peekskill now – he was awestruck at how attentively the audience at the museum responded, considering that he’s used to singing over crowds of drunks.

In her museum debut a week later, Ruby Landen explored several more traditional folk styles, from Appalachian-flavored balladry to French chanson. Her spare, elegant, eclectic guitar fingerpicking matched her low-key, purposefully plaintive vocals. She’s a relative newcomer to the New York Americana scene, so at the time of her show there was little on the web about her beyond a couple of youtube videos. But Ewen books a lot of good up-and-coming artists regardless of how little-known they are.

Another individualistic artist who’s just getting started and made her debut there last month is Yurby, who has even less of a presence online. There’s nobody in New York who sounds anything like her. Backed for most of her show by a bluesy, jazz-influenced electric guitar, she showed off a disarmingly clear, pure soul voice throughout a catchy mix of slowly unwinding ballads. Once in awhile there’d be a hint of a latin Caribbean influence, but otherwise, it wouldn’t be fair to pigeonhole her as neosoul. And her lyrics deal with empowerment and fighting injustice as much as the usual battle of the sexes. At the end of her set, she treated the crowd to one of those anthems, in Spanish.

Who knows – it wouldn’t be a stretch to see all three of these artists at Ewen’s birthday party. And maybe Ewen herself will treat the crowd to a few numbers – she won’t admit it, but she has one of the most magically mutable voices in town.

Live Music Calendar for New York City and Brooklyn for June and July 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 still haven’t been announced yet – as soon as they are, the good stuff will be 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 the trains are 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:

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.

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 and tv work (Boardwalk Empire; 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 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 9 PMclever, fiery, eclectic ten-piece Balkan/hip-hop/funk brass maniacs Slavic Soul Party at Barbes (check the club calendar). Get there as soon as you can as they’re very popular. $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.

Sundays in June, 5 PM tuneful postbop composer and Hearing Things drummer Vinnie Sperrazza leads a series of ensembles at Barbes

Sundays in June, 8 PM purist guitarist Peter Mazza – who gets the thumbs up from bop-era legend Gene Bertoncini – leads a series of groups at the Bar Next Door

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.

6/1, 1/3 PM up-and-coming chamber group Ensemble Connect play Ives’ Symphony No. 3 plus other works on Governors Island, free

6/1, 5 PM ecketic, fiery jazz improv guitarist Ryan Ferreira followed at 6 by atmospheric, cinematic drummer/composer Tim Kuhl and band, at 8 by purist front-porch folk banjo player/singer Stephanie Jenkins and eventually at 11 by creepy 80s goth/folk noir group Ghost Harbor at Pete’s

6/1, 6 PM a Azeri ensemble TBA play works by Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninoff, Scriabin, Lecuona, and Azerbaijani composers Qara Qarayev, Tofik Kuliyev, Aziza Mustafazadeh. at the Sheen Center, $25/$15 stud/rs

6/1, 7 PM a wildly diverse bunch including (probably not in consecutive order) Alsarah and the Nubatones, Nicole Atkins, Rafiq Bhatia, Kevin Breit, Banning Eyre, Fantastic Negrito, Binky Griptite, Alvin Youngblood Hart, Kaia Kater, Brandon Ross, Amythyst Kiah, Rachael & Vilray, Abdoulaye Alhassane Toure, Jontavious Willis, and Brandee Younger. play a Memphis Minnie tribute on the water behind the World Financial Center

6/1, 7:30ish oldschool 60s style soul crooner/guitarist Durand Jones & the Indications followed by Americana soulstress Emily King at Central Park Summerstage. To get in, you may have to stand through a set by a putrid opening act that starts about a half hour earlier

6/1, 7:30 PM erudite jazz drummer Winard Harper & Jelly Posse at Smalls

6/1, 8 PM  clever, fiery, eclectic ten-piece Balkan/hip-hop/funk brass maniac Slavic Soul Party celebrate 15 years at Barbes

6/1, 8 PM gothic rock legend JG Thirlwell followed by wryly psychedelic cinematic Italophile instrumentalists/parodists Tredici Bacci at Happy Lucky No. 1 Gallery, $20. 6/26 at 7 they’re at National Sawdust for five bucks more in advance plus you have to deal with L train bullshit

6/1-2, 8./10;30 PM reliably acerbic alto sax powerhouse Kenny Garrett leads his band at the Blue Note, $20 standing room avail

6/1 9 PM Unsteady Freddie‘s monthly surf rock extravaganza at Otto’s begins at 9 PM with Brooklyn cover crew Band of Others, the mysterious Derangers, ageless, jangly, purist NY originals the Supertones and surfed-out tv themes from Commercial Interruption sometime after midnight

6/1, 9 PM electric, electric C&W/blues band the Jug Addicts at Bar Chord

6/1, 10 PM sharply literary, ten-piece country/carnivalesque/acoustic rock powerhouse M Shanghai String Band at the Jalopy, $!0

6/2, 1130 AM ish this years’s Celebrate Israel Parade on 53rd St between 5th and 6th Aves, performers tba

6/2 2 PM the Scandia String Quartet with flutist Lisa Hansen play works by Friedrich Kuhlau, Lard-Erik Larsson, Jean Sibelius, Edward Grieg, and Frank Foerster on the Billings Lawn on the downhill slope on the Hudson side of Ft. Tryon Park,

6/2, 5 PM ferocious, twin guitar-fueled, Radio Birdman-esque psychedelic punks the Electric Mess at FM Jersey City , $tba

6/2. 6 PM boisterously funny oldschool 60s C&W and brooding southwestern gothic with the Jack Grace Band followed by energetic delta blues/Romany swing guitarist Felix Slim at LIC Bar

6/2, 6 PM dynamic Americana/highway rock guy/girl duo Ransom Pier followed by the female-fronted AC/DC, Hannah Wicklund & the Stepping Stones at the Mercury, $12 adv tixx rec

6/2, 6 PM potentially spine-tingling, quiet improvisations from bassist Giacomo Merega, low register reed maven Joshn Sinton and guitarist Todd Neufeld at Downtown Music Gallery

6/2, 7 PM violinist Miranda Cuckson and ensemble play her works plus pieces by Aaron Jay Kernis, Reena Esmail’s Teen Murti and a Peter Askim world premiere at National Sawdust, $25 adv tic rec

6/2, 7 PM improvisational choir Constellation Chor at Spectrum, $15

6/2, 7:30 PM disarmingly direct, lustrous jazz singer Marianne Solivan leads her quartet at Smalls. 6/10 at 8:30 she’s at the Bar Next Door with with Leonardo Pellegrino on guitar and Gregg August on bass, $12

6/2, 8 PM perennially tuneful, pensively lyrical Americana janglerocker Mike Ferrio of Tandy and Good Luck Mountain at 11th St. Bar

6/2, 8 PM , 8 PM edgy female-fronted funk band Eliza & the Organix – feat. swirly alto sax player Kristen Tivey –  at the Knitting factory, $12

6/2, 8:30 PM skittish, oldschool 70s style powerpop band the Penultimate followed at 10;30 by quirky, smartly lyrical avant cello-rock band the Icebergs at Pete’s

6/2, 10 PM ferociously dynamic, tuneful, female-fronted power trio Castle Black  at Footlight Bar, $10

6/3, 6 PM kinetic Cuban jazz pianist Elio Villafranca leads a trio and choir playing his new suite about Cuban freedom fighter Florentina Zulueta battling slave traders and conquistadors, at Barretto Point Park (a former slave burial ground) in the Bronx, free. In the case of rain, the concert will move indoors at 1440 Story Avenue – Bronx Charter School for the Arts

6/3, 9 PM sweeping, swinging vibraphonist Behn Gillece and group at the Fat Cat

6/4 drinks at 5:30, show at 6 the Bent Duo -David Friend, piano; Bill Solomon, percussion – play works by Hannah Lash, Sarah Hennies and Mayke Nas at the Miller Theatre, free

6/4, 7 PM Afro-Peruvian jazz/classical/psychedelic folk pianist/chanteuse Chi-Chi Glass and band followed by clever, fiery, eclectic ten-piece Balkan/hip-hop/funk brass maniacs Slavic Soul Party at Barbes. 6/26, 6:30 PM SSP are outdoors at 300 Ashland Place, corner of Lafayette Ave & Flatbush Ave, Ft. Greene

6/4-5, 7:30;9:30 PM brilliantly eclectic vibraphonist Joel Ross leads a quintet with Immanuel Wilkins – alto saxophone; Jeremy Corren – piano ; Kanoa Mendenhall – bass ; Jeremy Dutton – drums at the Jazz Standard, $30

6/4, 8 PM bassist Nick Dunston, who blends jazz, 20th and 21st-century western classical music, experimental music, and no wave, leads his ensemble through the premiere La Operación for soprano, two alto saxophones, two basses, and two percussionists. “Inspired by the 1982 documentary of the same name by Ana María García, La Operación is an abstract interpretation of a historical phenomenon involving colorism in Puerto Rico, eugenics, medical malpractice, second-wave feminism, and American colonialism” at Roulettte, $18 adv tix rec

6/4, 8 PM 70s disco nostalgia with Patti LaBelle at Prospect Park Bandshell – this will be a mobscene, try watching from behind the back fence if you’re going

6/4, 8 PM the Festival Chamber Orchestra play works by Mozart, Brahms and others at Washington Square Park

6/4-8, 8:30/10/30 PM lyrical pianist Renee Rosnes leads aquartet wih Steve Nelson on vibes at the Vanguard

6/4-8, 8:30 PM hauntingly Middle Eastern-influenced alto saxophonis Uri Gurvich leads a series of ensembles at the Stone at the New School, $20 Choice pick: 6/7 playing blues with Adam O’Farrill (trumpet) Edward Perez (bass) Clarence Penn (drums)

6/4, 10 PM the Belle Curves – who have an achingly gorgeous new janglerock single out – at Coney Island Baby, $10

6/5, 1 PM violinist Brian Hong plays a program tba at the Greene Space, free, rsvp req

6/5, 7 PM fiery, deviously fun oldtimey swing guitarist/crooner Seth Kessel & the Two Cent Band at Hank’s, free

6/5, 8 PM the DaCapo Chamber Players perform a program of music from a global cast of composers including Chou Wen-chung, Reinaldo Moya, Chinary Ung, Pablo Ortiz, Noel da Costa and Gabriela Lena Frank at Merkin Concert Hall ,$20

6/5, 8 PM klezmer clarinet/mandolin wizard Andy Statman at Barbes, $10

6/5, 9 PM oldschool-style high plains C&W singer Hope Debates & North 40 at Bar Chord

6/5, 9 PM pedal steel player Jonathan Gregg and his trio followed by guitar goddess Barbara Endes’ exhilarating psychedelic janglerock band Girls on Grass at Hank’s, $tba

6/5, 9 PM high-voltage Texas stoner boogie/heavy psych power trio Jason Kane & the Jive at Otto’s

6/5, 9:30 PM sepulchral, otherworldly Cairo singer/multi-instrumentalis Nadah El Shazly – who puts an eerie shoegaze spin on classical Arabic song – at Joe’s Pub, $15

6/5, 11 PM eclectic pan-latin and Middle Eastern-inflected acoustic songwriter Miriam Elhajli at the small room at the Rockwood

6/6, 6:30 PM postbop drum vet Winard Harper leads his typicaly excellent band at Marcus Garvey Park

6/6, 7 PM intense, Lynchian guitarist Jay Vilnai leads a trio playing the album release show for his lurid new murder ballads record at Arete Gallery, $15

6/6, 7:30 PM viola night with improvisational sorceress Jessica Pavone, cynical, corrosively insightful tunesmithing with Forgotten Bottom and indie classical adventurers Du.0 (violinists Aimee Niemann and Charlotte Munn-Wood,) at the American Can building, 232 3rd St., Gowanus, downstairs, $15, F to 4th Ave ,RSVP strongly suggested

6//6, 7:30 PM, repeating 6/7-8 at 8 the NY Philharmonic play David Lang’s new opera Prisoner of the State – inspired by Beethoven’s Fidelio, it chronicles the rise and fall of a tyrant and an escape attempt by a freedom fighter, what a coincidence in 2019! $34 tix avail

6/6-7, 7:30 PM tuneful, purist postbop guitarist Jonathan Kreisberg leads his quartet at Smalls

6/6, 8 PM an avant string twinbill: acerbic indie classical violin duo String Noise (Pauline Kim Harris and Conrad Harris) play new works by George Lewis, Sam Yulsman, Jessie Cox, Pauline Kim Harris. Then the String Trio of New York: James Emery, Tony Marino and Rob Thomas, with guest percussionist Thurman Barker perform works by Emery, Billy Bang, John Lindberg, Muhal Richard Abrams at Roulette, $20 gen adm

6/6, 8 PM jangly highway rock and gothic Americana with the Rural Alberta Advantage at the Mercury, $20 adv tix rec. Notice how so many old Bowery Ballroom acts are being squeezed into this much smaller space lately? Hmmm…

6/6, 8 PM New York’s most charismatic, darkly compelling lyrical songwriter/storyteller/keyboard genius Rachelle Garniez followed by theremin virtuoso Pamelia Stickney‘s awesome quartet with Sarah Bernstein: violin, Stuart Popejoy: piano/keys, & Danny Tunick: vibraphone. at Barbes, Stickney is back there on 6/12 at 8 and then on 6/21 she’s at Happy Lucky No. 1 Gallery with Ches Smith , $20. She’s back there the following night 6/22 with Chris Mannigan and Danny Tunick

6/6, 9 PM the irrepressible Ellia Bisker’s explosive Balkan/New Orleans flavored Funkrust Brass Band  followed by Dingonek Street Band playing second line, Afrobeat, Ethio-jazz, and the funky Black Tie Brass at Pine Box Rock Shop

6/6, 9 PM dark new psychedelic improvisational electroacoustic trio Sly Horizon with Rick Parker (trombone, electronics, synths), Álvaro Domene (7 string electric guitar and electronics), and Jeremy Carlstedt (drums/electronics). playing the album release show for their debut album at Arete Gallery, $15

6/7, 5 PM Sonoro Nuyorkina featuring Mayra Bello, Osmay Calvo, and Wilson Quevedo play salsa, merengue and bachata at Bryant Park

6/7, 5:30 PM rousing spiritual/soul singer Vienna Carroll at the American Folk Art Museum

6/7, 6 PM eclectic, tuneful folk noir accordionist/guitarist/songwriter Ali Dineen and similarly dark, carnivalesque oldtimey songwriter Feral Foster on the terrace in Pier 3 at Brooklyn Bridge Park, past the basketball courts

6/7, 6:30 PM brilliant drummer/percussionist Willie Martinez leads his salsa jazz Quartet at Sunset Park Recreation Center in Sunset Park, 43rd Street at 7th Ave

6/7, 7 PM oldtimey torch-swing cult favorite Jolie Holland acoustic and unamplified at the Rubin Museum of Art, $25 adv tix ec

6/7-8, 7 PM the annual steel guitar Unconvention at the Jalopy, $25. Friday nght’s lineup begins with pedal steel and cello duets from Bob Hoffnar and Christopher Hoffman – wow – followed at 8 by the: Dime Store Romeos featuring Raphael McGregor, at 9 Dave Easley, at 10 Atlanta sacred steel band Kashiah Hunter and the Sacred Sounds. Saturday nght’s lineup starts at 7 with latin steel sounds from John Eichleay, at 8 Hazmat Modine’s fierce Michaela Gomez, at 9 Anupam Shobhakar playing Indian sarod and at 10 PM Murnel Babineaux on Cajun steel guitar

6/7-8, 7:30 PM cutting-edge B3 organ grooves with the Jared Gold quartet with Jeremy Pelt on trumpet at Smalls

6/7, 8 PM new music ensemble Desdemona – Adrianne Munden-Dixon (violin), Carrie Frey (viola), Julia Henderson (cello), and Margarita Rovenskaya (piano – play works by Peter Kramer, Tom Morrison and Finola Merivale at Arete Gallery, $15

6/7, 8ish long-running, wickedly jangly, tuneful Americana rockers the Sloe Guns at Shrine. 6/11 at 9 PM they’re at Arlene’s, $10

6/7, 8 PM a rare duo performance by darkly tuneful pianist Kris Davis with saxophonist Ingrid Laubrock at Happy Lucky No. 1 Gallery, $20

6/7, 9ish terse, acerbic trumpet improviser Steph Richards leads her trio at the Owl

6/7, 10 PM savage, theatrical Romany punk band Bad Buka – like a louder, more Balkan Gogol Bordelllo – at Barbes

6/7, 10 PM the Barcelona Gipsy Balkan Orchestra at the Cutting Room,, $30 adv tix rec

6/7, 10:30 PM catchy Booker T-esque soul jazz with the David Gibson/Jared Gold Hammond B3 organ band at the Fat Cat

6/7, 11 PM Athan Hilaki and his band play classic Greek rebetiko rock and pop hits at Drom, $15 standing room avail

6/8, noon LES punk guitar legend Simon Chardiet’s harder-swinging band the Rooftoppers at Bay 9 East at Riis Park in the Rockaways

6/8, 1 PM chanteuse/uke player Dahlia Dumont’s Blue Dahlia play edgy, smartly lyrically-fueled, jazz-infused tunes in English and French with classic chanson and Caribbean influences at Ruppert Park, Second Ave. bet. E. 90 St. and E. 91 St.

6/8, 7 PM latin drum maven Bobby Sanabria, and band at Playground Fifty-Two, 681 Kelly St, in the Bronx, 2 6 to Jackson Ave

6/8, 7 PM ethereal yet powerful singer/composer Kristin Hoffmann celebrates World Oceans Day at the Center for Remembering and Sharing, $20

6/8, 7 PM catchy, bouncy Oregon garage/psych/soul band the Midnight Callers at the Bitter End

6/8 7:30 PM Burnt Sugar  The Arkestra Chamber revisit their longime collaborator, renaissance man/filmmaker Melvin Van Peebles’ compositions, performing a live score with actors and band members reading from the original script while a silent print of his classic film Sweet Sweetback’s Badasssss Song is projected onto the big screen on Fort Greene Park’s Myrtle Avenue hill.

6/8, 7:30 PM seven-piece chamber jazz ensemble Wide Open with Mark Feldman – violin Michel Gentile – flute Jacob Garchik – trombone Anna Webber – saxophones Daniel Kelly – piano Matt Pavolka – bass Rob Garcia – drums at Brookliyn Conservatory of Music, $tba

6/8, 8 PM trumpeter Ben Holmes’ broodingly Middle Eastern/klezmer-tinged Naked Lore trio followed at 10 by epic ranchera/bolero brass crew Banda de los Muertos at Barbes

6/8. 8 PM the String Orchestra of Brooklyn  perform newly commissioned works by Greg Spears and Phil Kline alongside Julius Eastman’s Gay Guerrilla at Roulette, $18 gen adm

6/8, 8 PM guitarslinger Mallory Feuer’s fiery band the Grasping Straws – sort of a mashup of Patti Smith and Hole’s first album – followed eventually at 10 by world-weary noir pop songwriter Mara Connor at the Mercury, $10 adv tix rec

6/8, 8:30 PM the world’s creepiest, slinkiest, most psychedelic crime jazz/film noir band, Big Lazy at Pasta e Vino, 136 Newark Avenue, Jersey City, 5 minutes from the Grove St. Path train, $10.. Crime jazz at a red sauce Italian restaurant in Jersey City,  Hmmm…

6/8, 8:30ish postbop/improv jazz drum maven Ches Smith leads a pretty scary quartet with Mary Halvorson and Liberty Ellman on guitars plus Nick Duonston on bass at I-Beam, $15

6/8, 9ish a rare reunion of retro, low-key, horn-driven third-wave ska band the Bluebeats at Hank’s, $10

6/9, noon punk/rockabilly band the Screaming Rebel Angels at Bay 9 East at Riis Park in the Rockaways

6/9, 1 PM brilliant, fearlessly political B3 organist Greg Lewis teams up with similarly diverse guitarist Marvin Sewell at Bar Lunatico for brunch. They’re back here on the 23rd

6/9, 2 PM the mighty Mariachi Real de Mexico de Ramon Ponce near the Wonder Wheel in Coney Island

6/9, 2 PM the Scandia Brass Quintet on the Billings Lawn on the downhill slope on the Hudson side of Ft. Tryon Park,

6/9, 3-11 PM an allday free Wall to Wall John Coltrane marathon at Symphony Space,, lineup tba includes Lakecia Benjamin, the Brooklyn Raga Massive and others

6/9, 3 PM roots and dancehall reeggae with British Dependency, Mr. Kool, and Paul Brown at St. Albans Park in Queens

6/9, 3 PM the  NJ Symphony Orchestra play Mendelssohn’s Midsummer Night’s Dream plus Rachmaninoff’s Symphony No. 2 at NJPAC in Newark, $20 tix avail, if you can’t get to Central Park for the Philharmonic playing that symphony, you should go to this

6/9, 6 PM a killer twinbill at LIC Bar with wildly theatrical, creepy circus rock band Orphan Jane  followed by sharply lyrical southwestern gothic/Americana songwriter Tom Shaner f

6/9, 3 PM Elspeth Davis, mezzo-soprano and Gloria Kim, piano perform an all George Crumb program at Concerts on the Slope, St. John’s Episcopal Church, 139 St. John’s Place downhill from 7th Ave, Park Slope, any train to Grand Army Plz, sugg don

6/9, 7 PM noir guitar legend Jim Campilongo leads his trio at 55 Bar. 6/30 at 9 they’re at Bar Lunatico.

6/9, 7 PM brilliantly eclectic Ameriana guitarist Jason Loughlin‘s String Gliders play western swing followed by followed at 9:30 or so by paradigm-shifting Romany swing/psychedelic rock guitarist Stephane Wrembel at Barbes

6/9,  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 –  at Pangea

6/9, 7 PM Bobtown – NYC’s most allusingly lurid folk noir harmony band – play the album release show for their slightly less creepy new one at the big room at the Rockwood

6/9, 8:30 PM quirky, whirling, string-driven chamber pop/art-rock band Gadadu at Pete’s

6/10 4 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 Queens Library at Forest Hills, 108-19 71st Ave.. 6/13 at 5 they’re at Queens Library at Kew Gardens, 72-33 Vleigh Pl in Flushing

6/10, 6 PM the Brooklyn Songwriters Exchange – a diverse bunch playing everything from folk noir to Costelloesque, literatry rock to Indian ragas and oldschool soul – at Pete’s

6/10, 8 PM brilliantly improvisational pianist Mara Rosenbloom leads her trio then joins with Bone Labyrint, i.e. the Mara Rosenbloom Trio meets Melanie Dyer’s We Free Strings at I-Beam, $15

6/10, 8 PM International Contemporary Ensemble  and the City of Tomorrow woodwind quintet play a three-part program featuring rare works by Ursula Mamlok, Natasha Anderson, and Felipe Lara at Roulette, $18 adv tix rec

6/10, 7 PM otherworldly Norwegian folk singer Marja Mortensson puts an ethereal art-rock spin on ancient reindeer herding songs at Joe’s Pub, $20

6/10, 7 PM  tuneful postbop pianist Jim Ridl leads his group from behind the Rhodes followed at 10 by eclectic, witty, paradigm-shifting B3 jazz organist Brian Charette at 55 Bar

6//10, 7 PM up-and-coming indie classical ensemble Face the Music with flutist Claire Chase play Anthony Braxton compositions at the Poisson Rouge, $15 adv tix rec

6/10, 10ish the NYC Gaita Club – a Bulla en el Barrio spinoff – play rustically pounding Afro-Colombian trance-dance music at Barbes

6/11, drinks at 5:30, show at 6 Ensemble Échappé play works by Selim Göncü, Katherine Balch, Nina C. Young and others at the Miller Theatre, free

6/11, 7 PM composer Matt Frey celebrates the release of his operatic concept album, One-Eleven Heavy about the suspicious 1998 plane crash of Swissair Flight 111 off Nova Scotia, at Arete Gallery, free

6/11, 7 PM eclectic, hard-hitting, lyrical composer/tenor saxophonist Stan Killian at 55 Bar

6/11, 7:30/9:30 PM the haunting, smokily cinematic Michael Leonhart Orchestra at the Jazz Standard, $30

6/11, 8 PM the Festival Chamber Orchestra play works by Brahms and Mohammed Fairouz at Washington Square Park

6/11, 8 PM the NY Philharmonic play Rachmaninoff’s Symphony No. 2 plus other stuff at Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx. The program repeats on 6/12 in Central Park, 6/13 in Cunningham Park, at 193rd Street, near 81st Avenue or Union Turnpike in Queens, 6/14 in Prospect Park. The orchestra’s brass and percussion also play a free concert on 6/16 at 4 at the St. George Theatre in Staten Island

6/11, 8:30 PM alto saxophonist Caroline Davis with Rick Rosato on bass and Kenneth Salters on drums at the Bar Next Door, $12

6/11-15, 8:30 PM vivid, intense, lyrical jazz pianist Myra Melford leads a series of ensembles at the Stone at the New School, $20 Choice pick: 6/13 with Mary Halvorson (guitar) Ingrid Laubrock (sax) Tomeka Reid (cello)

6/11, 9 PM torchy noir jazz legends  the Jazz Passengers go slumming at Bar Chord

6/11, 9 PM wickedly torchy noir songwriter Julia Haltigan at 11th St Bar

6/11, 9 PM edgy jazz oudist and bassist Omer Avital leads a quintet at Bar Lunatico

6/11, 9 PM boisterously funny oldschool 60s C&W and brooding southwestern gothic with the Jack Grace Band at Bar Chord. They’re back here on 6/29 at 9.

6/12, 7 PM a cantorial music showdown with Azi SchwartzYanky Lemmer and Netanel Hershtik backed by an all-star band led by trumpet legend Frank London at Central Park Summerstage

6/12, 7 PM soaring, epic all-female mariachi/tropicalia orchestra Mariachi Flor de Toloache at the Poisson Rouge, $20 adv tix rec

6/12, 7 PM Los Pleneros de 21 play classic Puerto Rican bomba and plena sounds at Albee Square (corner of Fulton and Bond), downtown Brooklyn

6/12, 7 PM Jog Blues mash up Indian and American jazz sounds – but nothing related to running or blues – at National Sawdust, $30 adv tix rec

6/12, 8:15 PM the Take Off Collective trio with Marko Djordjevic: drums; the magically microtonal Ole Mathisen: tenor saxophone; Matthew Garrison: bass at Shapeshifter Lab, $10

6/12, 8:30 PM brilliant noir swing/Romany jazz/latin soul composer and guitarist Jack Martin (ex-Knoxville Girls and Dimestore Dance Band) at Troost. He’s also here on 6/26

6/12, 8:30 PM  pensively intense microtonal violinist/singer Sarah Bernstein‘s excellent Veer Quartet with Sana Nagano – violin; Leonor Falcón – viola; Nick Jozwiak – cello at Arete Gallery, $15

6/13, half past noon polymath latin jazz pianist Arturo O’Farrill leads a small group at St. Marks Park, 2nd Ave/10th St

6/13, 6-9 PM the Museum Mile Festival with free admission at museums all along 5th Ave

6/13, 7 PM soaringly explosive jazz composer/torch singer Nicole Zuraitis at 55 Bar

6/13, 7:30 PM  fiery, psychedelically bluesy oldschool soul/roadhouse jamband Lizzie & the Makers and folk noir duo the Tall Pines playing the album release show for their new one at Coney Island Baby, $12

6/13, 7:30 PM bassist Anne Mette Iversen leads an excellent quintet with John Ellis on soprano sax at Smalls

6/13, 8 PM plush, balmy, oldtimey uke swing band Daria Grace & the Pre-War Ponies followed at 10 by Quatre Vingt Neuf, who do playfully improvisational versions of hot jazz classics with a rock rhythm section at Barbes

6/13, 8 PM Duo Violete – Émilie Fortin (trumpet) and Laura (violin and viola) – play transcontinental violin-trumpet works by John Mallia (Boston), Bekah Simms (Toronto), Ryan Maguire (Virginia), Lucy Hollier (NYC), Maxime Daigneault (Montreal), and Dan Antoniu at the Owl

6/13, 8ish wild, epic Afrobeat jamband the Brighton Beat at the Knitting Factory, $12

6/13, 9 PM hauntingly jangly retro 60s Laurel Canyon psychedelic band the Mystic Braves at Rough Trade, $15 gen adm

6/13, 10 PM a rare reunion gig by pioneering salsacore/Puerto Rican punk band Ricanstruction at Shrine

6/14, 5:30 PM a fearsome lineup of acoustic and Americana talent tba celebrate irrepressible impresario and songwriter Lara Ewen‘s bday at the American Folk Art Museum

6/14, 6 PM purist postbop jazz guitarist Ed Cherry and band at J Hood Wright Park W. 173 St. bet. Haven Ave. and Ft. Washington Ave. uptown

6/14, 7 PM exhilarating klezmer/latin/cumbia jamband Metropolitan Klezmer on the roof of the Manhattan JCC, $18, noshes and drinks available

6/14, 8 PM Afrobeat bassist Will Graefe and band followed by eclectic, cinematic keyboardist Frank LoCrasto playing the album release show for his coy new tropicalia/exotica record at Union Pool, $12

6/14-15, 8 PM fascinatingly lyrical, individualistic pianist Sylvie Courvoisier with Mary Halvorson on guitar at Happy Lucky No. 1 Gallery, $20

6/14, 8 PM Indian reggae-rock band Kabir Cafe at Flushing Town Hall, $16

6/14, 8 PM serpentine, cinematic art-rock instrumentalists You Bred Raptors followed by jaggedly guitar-driven, female-fronted anthem band Grayhunter at the Knitting Factory, $10

6/14, 8 PM Lost Dog New Music Ensemble play the the world premiere of new orchestrations of Leonard Bernstein’s haunting Dybbuk and his much more carefree early suite Fancy the DiMenna Center, $20

6/14, 8:30 PM surf rock night at Freddy’s: Brooklyn cover trio the Band of Others and  the majestic, darkly cinematic TarantinosNYC.

6/14, 9 PM dark intense lyrical southwestern gothic/paisley underground rockers Shanghai Love Motel at Connolly’s, 121 W 45th St., $10

6/14,, 9 PM Bollywood-influenced oldschool soul harmony band Say She She followed by psychedelic Afrobeat jamband Ikebe Shakedown at Rough Trade, $15 ad tix rc

6/14 10 PMLos Cumpleanos with Nestor Gomez – vox/percussion; Lautaro Burgos – drums; Eric Lane – keyboards; Alex Asher – trombone play Colombian cumbias, salsa and originals at Barbes

6/15, 2 PM hard-hitting bassist Dawn Drake & ZapOte at Parkside Ave & Ocean Ave outside the subway

6/15, 5 PM ferociously lyrical, Macbeth-inspired art-rock/psychedelic songwriter Rose Thomas Bannister,  at the Gowanus Dredgers Society Boathouse, 2nd St. and the canal (past Bond, two blocks left of Smith), free

6/15, 5 PM retro swing with the Harlem Renaissance Orchestra  at Marcus Garvey Park

6/15 boarding a 6 PM, sailing at 7 noisy, hazily jangly, psychedelic slowcore/free jazz/avant instrumentalists Sunwatchers and psychedelic latin soul tinged band Garcia Peoples aboard the Lucille, leaving from behind the heliport at 23rd St. and the East River, $20 adv tix available at the Rocks Off Concert Cruise box office there

6/15, 7 PM drummer Jack DeJohnette leads a Coltrane tribute trio with Ravi Coltrane on alto and Matt Garrison on bass at Central Park Summerstage

6/15, 7 PM Orquesta Afinke play oldschool salsa dura at Gorman Playground bordered by 30 Ave. and 25 Ave. and  84th  St. and 85th St. way out on the way to LaGuardia in Queens

6/15, 7 PM drummer/composer Matt Slocum plays the album release for his new trio album with Adam Birnbaum – piano; Larry Grenadier – bass at St. Peter’s Church, 54th/Lex, sug don $20

6/15, 730 PM thunderous Ukrainian folk-punk stompers Dakhabrakha at the Schimmel Auditorium at Pace University downtown, $30

6/15, 7:30 PM the  Queens Symphony Orchestra play Honegger’s “Pastorale d’été,” Stravinsky’s “Dumbarton Oaks Concerto,” Vivaldi’s Oboe Concerto in C Major, and Mozart’s Symphony No. 41 “Jupiter” at Flushing Town Hall, free, rsvp req

6/15, 8 PM poignant, eclectic, lyrical jazz bassist/composer Pedro Giraudo’s tango quartet followed at 10 by Cumbiagra – who’ve been going in a much more psychedelic, electric cumbia direction lately – at Barbes

6/15, 8 PM high-voltage psychedelic cumbia/Afrobeat jamband MAKU Soundsystem followed by Super Yamba playing their psychedelic Afrobeat jams at C’Mon Everybody, $10. Super Yamba are also at Barbes on 6/22 at 10.

6/15, 8 PM Yousef Shamoun & Tarab Ensemble play slinky, haunting Middle Eastern jams at the Poisson Rouge, $20 adv tix rc

6/15, 9ish playful improviser Ingrid Laubrock, tenor sax; Eva Novoa, piano ; Drew Gress, bass ; Tom Rainey, drums at I-Beam, $15

6/15, 10 PM Greg Lewis’ brilliant, fearlessly political Organ Monk Trio at the Fat Cat

6/15, 10:30 PM charismatic, adventurous postbop/avant garde trombonist/crooner Frank Lacy‘s Tromboniverse at Smalls. 6/25, 8 PM they’re in Washington Square Park

6/15, 11 PM circus rock legends World Inferno at the Market Hotel, $20

6/16, 2 PM the Scandia String Orchestra  perform Nordic works by Frank Foerster, Niels W. Gade, Johan Helmich Roman, and Svend S. Schultz on the Billings Lawn  on the downhill slope on the Hudson side of Ft. Tryon Park,

6/16, 3 PM ish the largescale improvisational ensemble who started it all, the Sun Ra Arkestra outdoors at Union Pool, free

6/16, 4 PM psychedelic Brazilian band Os Clavelitos at followed eventually at 7 by darkly psychedelic circus punks Yula & the Extended Family at LIC Bar

6/16, 5 PM Bang on a Can regular and bass clarinetist Ken Thomson leads his sextet followed by eclectic indie classical piano trio Bearthoven at Arete Gallery, $15. At 8 PM there’s a separate show featuring trio In Dreams exploring “the hope and discomfort of dreams, the moments when we let go and imagine a thing wouldn’t name when we’re awake” including Houtaf Khoury’s “Apres un reve” (2008), a modern nightmare reacting to the terror of relentless war in the Middle East: a dream of hope amidst the fatigue of fear. Hasan Ucarsu’s “…the city of anachronistic nostalgia, Istanbul…” (2003) celebrates his and Derin’s hometown of Istanbul, a city rich in contradictions and layers,” plus an adaptation of Claude Debussy’s “Bilitis”, and Michael Fiday’s “Nine Haiku” that sets works by 8th century poet Basho with flashes of powerful images, dreams that come into focus for only a moment before they vanish,” separate $15 adm

6/16, 5 PM cellist Angela Lee, with pianist Evelyne Luest play works by Beethoven, Prokofiev and Janáček at the Lounge at Hudson View Gardens, 128 Pinehurst Ave @ W 183rd St, A train or #1 train (to 181st St) or the M4 bus (to 183rd St), $15/$12 stud/sr

6/16 8 PM intense, lyrical janglerock/Americana/soul songwriter Matt Keating and guitarist Steve Mayone’s catchy project the Bastards of Fine Arts at 11th St. Bar

6/16  9:30 PM sharply lyrical alto saxophonist Dave Pietro leads a killer sextet including Gary Versace on organ at Shapeshifter Lab, $15

6/16, 10 PM the anthemic, grittily 80s-tinged Dark Moon Apache at Footlight Bar, $10

6/17, 7 PM singer Rocío de Frutos & harpist Manuel Vilas perform a rare program of Quecha mystical music at the Americas Society, $20

6/17, 7:30 PM fiery alto saxophonist Lucas Pino’s eclectic, dynamic No No Nonet at Smalls

6/17, 7:45 PM singer Simona Minns leads her quartet playing “tribal roots, pagan spells, Lithuanian zither sounds, and chants incorporated into urban musical styles” at Shapeshifter Lab, $15

6/17 , 9:30 PM ex-Chicha Libre keyboard sorcerer Josh Camp’s wryly psychedelic cumbia/tropicalia/dub band Locobeach at Barbes

6/18, 7 PM popular, eclectic, edgy orchestra the Knights play works by Mendelssohn, Britten and Lisa Bielawa at Temple Emmanu-El, 1 E 65th St, free, rsvp req

6/18, 730 PM a Django Reinhardt tribute with Uptown Guitars, Franglais, Daniel John Martin & Romane Quartet at Shapeshifter Lab, $10

6/18-19, 8 PM acoustic goth/folk noir dude Sea Wolf with a string quartet at National Sawdust, $25 dv tix rec

6/18, 8 PM the Festival Chamber Orchestra play works by Liszt, Barber and Beethoven at Washington Square Park

6/18, 8 PM composer Alex Weiser “presents an evening of songs culminating the complete first act of his opera-in-progress, State of the Jews, with librettist Ben Kaplan. State of the Jews follows Theodor Herzl in the last year of his life, as his efforts to establish a Jewish state become increasingly desperate. It includes scenes from the Sixth Zionist congress, in which Herzl proposes Uganda as a possible land for Jewish settlement, and Herzl’s planned visit with Pope Pius X, to seeksthe Pope’s support for a Jewish state,” at Roulette, $18 adv tix tec

6/18 8:15 PM tuneful latin-inspired pianist/organist Bennett Paster leads his quintet playing the album release for this typically eclectic new one at the basement room at the Rockwood, $15

6/18-23, 8:30/10:30 PM perennially popular postbop pianist Brad Mehldau leads his trio at the Vanguard. Be aware that the early shows are selling out

6/18-22, 8:30 PM klezmer-jazz piano ico Anthony Coleman leads a series of ensembles at the Stone at the New School, $20 Choice pick: opening night, leading a chamber jazz nonet with strings

6/19, 6:30 PM sizzling violin-driven tarantella/Romany string band Canzoniere Grecanico Salentino outdoors at 300 Ashland Place, corner of Lafayette Ave & Flatbush Ave, Ft. Greene. 6/23 they’re at Joe’s Pub at noon for a $20 cover

6/19, 7 PM the annual Juneteenth celebration at Stern Auditorium at Carnegie Hall with the Harlem Chamber Players, pianist Cyrus Chestnut and his trio and many others, free, tix avail at the box offiice or here

6/19, 7 PM bass sax monster Stefen Zeniuk’s punk mambo crew the NY Fowl Harmonic at Hank’s , free

6/19, 8 PM haunting noir singer Karla Rose & the Thorns play her menacingly playful, brilliantly lyrical songs at 11th St. Bar

6/19, 8 PM rapturousy subtle tropicalia drummer/bandleader (and former Chicha Libre timbalera) Karina Colis leads a piano quartet at Barbes

6/19, 10:30 PM scampering, irrepressibly fun girlpunk/psychedelic band Sharkmuffin at Coney Island Baby, $10

6/20, noon ageless soul-jazz pioneer and Blaxpolitation film soundtrack icon Roy Ayers at Metrotech Park in downtown Brooklyn

6/20. 6 PM whirlwind klezmer violin icon Alicia Svigals ‘ Klezmer Fiddle Express at Queens Library in Flushing at 41-17 Main St. with accordionist Will Holshouser and bassist Brian Glassman, 7 train to Flushing

6/20 7PM deviously theatrical oldschool C&W/rockabilly parodists Susquehanna Industrial Tool & Die Co. serenade the annual record sale at the Archive of Contemporary Music, 54 White Street (between Broadway and Church St.), free. 6/27 at 8 they’re at Ottos

6/20, 7:30 PM bluesy funk followed by gullah-influenced soul: organist: Cory Henry & the Funk Apostles and Tank & the Bangas at Prospect Park Bandshell

6/20, 7:30 PM catchy, eclectic ska-pop/latin/reggae sounds from the Brown Rice Family followed by soaringly haunting Yorkshire lass Jan Bell and her all-female Americana band the Maybelles under the Manhattan Bridge archway in Dumbo

6/20, 7:30 PM Icelandic bassist & composer Sigmar Matthíasson and his Arora trio at Scandinavia House, $15

6/20 8 PM Zoë Aqua (violin) teams up with her Tsibele co-conspirator Zoe Guigueno (bass) to play new original Yiddish songs at Barbes

6/20, 8 PM 90s hip-hop nostalgia with Pharaoh Monche at Von King Park, 670 Lafayette Ave in Bed-Stuy, G to Bedford-Nostrand

6/20 8 PM enigmatic psychedelic funk guitarist/singer Aubrey Haddard and her band at South House in Jersey City, free. Edgy and fearlessly jazzy like a young Alice Lee

6/20, 8 PM sound sculptor Cecilia Lopez‘s RED, which “investigates interactions with unstable acoustic feedback systems,” hmmm, at Roulette, $18 adv tix rec

6/20, 8 PM searing, intense, brilliantly tuneful Turkish-American rockers Barakka at the old Nublu, $10

6/20, 8:30 PM edgy Macedonian band Tavche Gravche at Bar Bayeaux, 1066 Nostrand Ave, 2 to Sterling St

6/20, 9 PM epic psychedelic soujl jamband the Black Capsule at the Bitter End

6/20, 9 PM scruffy punkish jamband Jeff the Brotherhood at Industry City Courtyard, 238 36th St, Sunset Park, $15 adv tix avail at the Bell House

6/21, noon Americna banjo maven and indie classical composer Jayme Stone‘s Folklife at Bryant Park

6/21, 5 PM guitarslinger Lenny Molotov’s slyly literary, period-perfect 1920s/30s styel swing band the Fascinators at Cato’s Army & Navy 654 Manhattan Ave (Nassau/Norman), Greenpoint, free, G to Nassau ave

6/21, 5 PM traditional Swedish music by Paul Dahlin and his fellow fiddlers from the American Swedish Institute at Wagner Park on the river north and west of Battery Park

6/21, 6 PM a rare uptown appearance by Brooklyn folk noir icon Liz Tormes at the American Folk Art Musem

6/21, 6 PM soaringly haunting Yorkshire lass Jan Bell and soul/gospel belter (and Lenny Molotov collaborator) Queen Esther on the terrace in Pier 3 at Brooklyn Bridge Park, past the basketball courts

6/21-22, 7 PM iconic low register reedman Scott Robinson switches to tenor for a show by his Tenormore Quartet at Birdland, $30

6/21, 7:30 PM psychedelic blues singer/bandleader Aida Victoria followed by desert rock/southwestern gothic legends Calexico fronted by that Iron & Wine dude at Prospect Park Bandshell

6/21, 8 PM careeningly explosive ten-piece Balkan brass crew Veveritse at Shrine

6/21, 8 PM pianist Huizi Zhang and composer-pianist Gu Wei play an evening of contemporary music for toy and “real” piano featuring pieces by Phyllis Chen, Jun An Chew, Daniel Despins, Chris Parrello, Yuting Tan, and Gu Wei at the DiMenna Center, $20

6/21, 10 PM psychedelic salsa bandleader Zemog El Gallo Bueno at Barbes

6/22, 10 AM the annual free Punk Island allday concert on Governors Island, dozens of bands from all styles of punk. Houston folk-punk faves Days N Daze on the bill with dozens of others. Keep in mind that security to get on the ferry is FEROCIOUS, no alcohol alllowed, you will be searched.

6/22, 2 PM  Shelley Thomas – best known as a spectacular, haunting singer specializing in music from across the Middle East and the Balkans, but also an accomplished oudist  – with fellow oudist/percussionist Zafer Tawil, play a house concert in Prospect Lefferts Gardens, free, RSVP req, email for deets and location

6/22, 2 PM Stefanie Minatee & Jubilation celebrate 20 years of singing ecstatic gospel tunes at NJPAC in Newark, $34 tix avail

6/22, 3 PM “dozens of musicians from Syria, Croatia, Egypt, Brazil, Cuba, and all over the world—many of whom are revitalizing their musical lives after resettling here in the U.S.— perform both traditional and contemporary music” at Brooklyn Conservatory of Music, free

6/22, 8/10 PM powerful jazz belter – and Gil Scott-Heron reinventor –  Charenee Wade leads her group at Ginny’s Supper Club, $20

6/22, 8 PM Afrobeat-influenced jazz sextet Aaron Burnett and the Big Machine at Toast, 1130 Nostrand Ave in Prospect Lefferts Gardens, 2 to President St

6/22, 8:30 PM hilarious, smartly political faux-French retro 60s psych-pop band les Sans Culottes and sardonically relevant guitar-fueled female-fronted Americana punks Spanking Charlene at Coney Island Baby, $10

6/22, 8:30 PM psychedelic Chicago postrock/downtempo legends Tortoise at Prospect Park Bandshell

6/22, 10 PM sardonically catchy powerpop/janglerockers the Hell Yeah Babies at the small room at the Rockwood

6/22, 11 PM fiery oldschool soul, rockabilly and retro rock wiht Carrie & the Cats at the Bitter End

6/23, 11 AM the annual Porchstomp festival of acoustic Americana and oldtimey music alll over Governors Island, free, dozens of great acts

6/23, noon sizzling violin-driven tarantella/Romany string band Canzoniere Grecanico Salentino at Joe’s Pub, $20. Multi-instrumentalist avant-garde singer Ka Baird  and dark cinematic klezmer art-rockers Barbez  play a twinbill there at 9:30 for $15 separatte adm

6/23, noon ex-Chicha Libre keyboard sorcerer Josh Camp’s wryly psychedelic cumbia/tropicalia/dub band Locobeach at Riis Park Beach Bazaar in the Rockaways

6/23, 4 PM ish electroacoustic film composer/performer Haley Fohr aka Circuit des Yeux at Union Pool, free

6/23 7 PM a rare NYC show by French jazz cellist Vincent Courtois with Daniel Erdmann – tenor saxophone and Robin Fincker – tenor saxophone. followed at 9:30 by paradigm-shifting Romany jazz/psychedelic rock guitar mastermind Stephane Wrembel

6/23, 8 PM the original cello rockers, Rasputina, as fearless and funny and relevant as ever, at Baby’s All Right, $20

6/23, 9ish the Abyssmals mash up horror surf and garage-psych sounds at the Gutter, $7

6/23, 10 PM edgy lefty latin soul guitarist Damian Quinones acoustic at Freddy’s, 6/25 at 9 he leads an electric power trio at Bar Chord

6.24 noon  jangly New York original surf rock cult heroes the Supertones  at Bay 9 East at Riis Park in the Rockaways

6/24-28, half past noon perennially tuneful, Monk-influenced, witty Microscopic Septet pianist Joel Forrester on the terrace at Bryant Park

6/24, 7 PM catchy, lyrically edgy, anthemic janglerock tunesmith Greta Keating at the small room at the Rockwood

6/24, 7:30 PM Danish guitarist Mikkel Ploug with bassist Jeppe Skovbakke and drummer Sean Carpio at Scandinavia House, $15

6/24. 10 PM catchy folk noir/Nashville gothic songwriter Emily Frembgen at the Knitting Factory, $10

6/25, 6:30 PM Dennis Lichtman and Tamar Korn from  popular western swing band Brain Cloud lead a pickup band on the steps of the Brooklyn Public Library

6/25, 7:30 PM pointillistic Nordic jazz with keyboardist Kari Ikonen with bassist Olli Rantala and drummer Markku Ounaskari at Scandinavia House, $15

6/25 7:30 PM Johannes Fleischmann plays the album release show for his new record with works by Korngold and Erich Zeisl at the Austrian Cultural Center, free, rsvp req

6/25, 7:30 PM Vince Giordano’s Nighthawks, the boisterous horn-driven 11-piece 1920s/early 30’s band that pretty much singlehandedly springboarded the oldtimey swing revival in NYC, at Damrosch Park out back of Lincoln Center, free to get into the park, $18 in advance for the dancefloor

6/25, 8ish psychedelic doom metal band Witchkiss at St. Vitus, $15

6/25, 9 PM brilliant oldshool soul and Chicago blues guitarist Binky Griptite’s bday bash with his Orchestra (formerly Sharon Jones’ brilliant oldschool soul backing band) at Bar Lunatico

6/25-29, 8:30 PM iconic trumpeter and fearlessly political composer Wadada Leo Smith leads a series of ensembles at the Stone at the New School, $20. Choice pick: 6/28 with Mariel Roberts, Okkyung Lee (cellos) Erika Dohi, Gabriel Zucker (pianos)

6/25, 9:30 PM Russian quirk-rock, ska punk and freak-folk with Vezhlivy Otkaz – Russian for “polite refusal” –  “one of the most original and erratic rock bands in Russia” at Drom, $15 adv tix rec

6/25, 10 PM serpentine, cinematic, epic art-rock band Book of Harmony at Shrine

6/26, 7:30 PM latin jazz drum maven Dafnis Prieto‘s Si o Si Quartet and Cuban piano legend Chucho Valdés at Prospect Park Bandshell

6/26-27, 7:30/9:30 PM edgy postbop guitar improviser Liberty Ellman leads a septet including both Jonathan Finlayson and Steve Lehman at the Jazz Gallery, $20

6/26, 730 PM sunshine psych-pop songwriter Sam Kogon at Sunnyvale, $10

6/26, 8 PM this era’s most fearlessly relevant, hard-hitting tenor saxophonist, JD Allen unveils his brand-new trio and plays the album release show for his latest one, Barracoon at Bar Bayeaux, 1066 Nostrand Ave in Prospect Lefferts Gardens, free, 2 to Sterling St. omfg

6/26, 8:30 PM wickedly torchy noir songwriter Julia Haltigan and her killer band at Berlin, $12

6/26, 9 PM cult favorite gonzo pianist Dred Scott leads his trio at at Bar Lunatico

6/27, half past noon playfully eclectic trombonist Art Baron and band at St. Marks Park, 2nd Ave/10th St

6/27, 5:30 PM Avenida B play oldschool salsa dura under the Manhattan Bridge archway

6/27, 7 PM golden-age hip-hop vets Smif & Wessun and Black Moon at Betsy Head Park in Brownsville, 3 to Saratoga Ave

6/27, 7 PM pianist Yumi Kim plays Monk at Shapeshifter Lab, $10

6/27, 7:30 PM Jamaican dancehall night with conscious singer Jah9 and her rootsy band followed by Protoje at Prospect Park Bandshell

6/27, 7:30 PM Swedish multi-reed player Thomas Backman leads a quartet playing Nordic jazz and “widescreen chamber pop” at Scandinavia House, $15

6/27, 9 PM the eclectic, electrifying accordion-driven Los Mochuelos play classic gangsta Colombian vallenato and cumbia at Bar Chord

6/27, 9;30 PM noir Americana/torchsong icon Eleni Mandell playing songs from her harrowing new album about life behind bars, at the big room at the Rockwood, $15

6/27, 10 PM intense, eclecic oudist Brian Prunka’s ambitious, slinky, improvisaional Middle Eastern jamband Nashaz at Barbes

6/28, 5:30 PM one of New York’ most acerbic, distinctive voices in front-porch folk, Jo Williamson,  star Pakistani crooner Ali Aslam, and richly lyrical noir soul band Sweet Soubrette at the American Folk Art Museum

6/28, 6 PM intense, multistylistic blues guitarist/singer Will Scott with violinist Charlie Burnham on the terrace in Pier 3 at Brooklyn Bridge Park, past the basketball courts

6/28, 6:30 PM Orquesta Afinke play oldschool salsa dura at Elton Street and Jamaica Avenue (in Highland Park), Cypress Hills, J to Norwood St.

6/28, 7 PM the all-female Resistance Revival Chorus sing epic, inspiring original populist gospel tunes and anti-trumpie broadsides at Pier 45 in Hudson River Park – take W 10th St to the river

6/28, 7 PM Indian classical mandolinist Snehasish Mozumder at the Rubin Museum of Art, $30

6/28-29, 7:30/9:30 PM terse, crystalline-voiced guitarist/jazz chantense Camila Meza leads a chamber jazz septet at the Jazz Gallery, $25

6/28, 7:30 PM Dos Santos Anti-Beat Orquesta play their fiery Afrobeat jams followed by singer/accordionis Celso Piña – the psychedelic Mexican “Rebelde del Acordion” – at Prospect Park Bandshell

6/28. 8 PM playfully lyrical, fearlessly political superduo Kill Henry Sugar – guitar/banjo mastermind Erik Della Penna and drummer Dean Sharenow – followed at 10 by the world’s creepiest, slinkiest, most psychedelic crime jazz/film noir band, Big Lazy at Barbes

6/28, 8 PM terse, enigmatic avant garde singer/percussionist Anais Maviel‘s new largescale improvisational piece Time Is Due – synthesizers and custom-made percussion instruments, played by an ensemble of vocalists/multi-instrumentalists at Roulette, $18 adv tix rec

6/28-29, 8/10 PM eclectic, purist jazz singer Brianna Thomas and band at Ginny’s Supper Club, $20

6/28-29, 8 PM incisive, latin-inspired sax improviser Maria Grand leads a trio with Hwansu Kang: bass; Savannah Harris: drums at Happy Lucky No. 1 Gallery, $20.

6/28, 9 PM  Antibalas spinoff Armo play Afrobeat at Bar Lunatico

6/28, 9ish eclectic guitarist Monica Passin’s rockabilly/soul band Lil Mo & the Monicats at Sunny’s

6/28, 10 PM Certain General guitarslinger Phil Gammage plays his dark Americana and blues followed by wryly retro, period-perfect classic 60s style female-fronted honkytonk band the Bourbon Express at Hank’s $10

6/29, sets at 5:30 and 7:30 PM exceptionally adventurous indie classical group Ensemble Mise-En wind up their four-day festival with a free concert at Scandinavia House featuring works by 30 composers from 20 countries, including 27 premieres

6/29, 7 PM violinist Elissa Cassini and powerhouse cellist Ashley Bathgate present an evening of music by living female composers plus Ravel’s Sonata for Violin and Cello at National Sawdust, $25 adv tix rec

6/29, 7ish psychedelic, minimalist Cameroonian crooner/guitarist Blick Bassy at Central Park Summerstage

6/29, 7:30 PM well-loved, riff-rocking Boston fourth-wave garage rockers Muck & the Mires at Coney Island Baby, $10

6/29, 7:30 PM rustic Cuban country music band Los Hacheros play ancient island grooves at Damrosch Park out back of Lincoln Center, free to get into the park, $18 in advance for the dancefloor

6/29, 8 PM, repeating on 6/30 at 2 PM the reliably entertaining, adventurous Chelsea Symphony wind up their socially aware season with Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto in D Minor with soloist Adam von Housen; and Corigliano — Symphony No. 1. 6/30 they switch out the Mendelssohn for Beethoven’s Violin Concerto in D Major, at the DiMenna Center, $20

6/29, 9 PM irrepressible, historically informed, crystalline-voiced folk noir/art-rock/loopmusic songwriter Elisa Flynn at 519 Evergreen Ave in Bushwick, J/M to Gates Ae

62/9, 9:ish a rare reunion of wild Brooklyn psychedelic cumbia legends Chicha Libre at Barbes. For anyone who missed their seven-year weekly residency here, this is a must-see.

6/29 10ish feral singer Carolina Oliveros’ mighty 13-piece Afro-Colombian trance/dance choir Bulla en el Barrio at Barbes

6/30, half past noon amazing, mostly-female, kinetic klezmer/cumbia/cinematic jamband Isle of Klezbos at St. Marks Park, 2nd Ave/10th St

6/30, 3 PM ish  irrepressible storyteller/psychedelic guitarist/new wave cult hero Wreckless Eric at Union Pool, free

6/30, 3 PM the Queens Symphony Orchestra play a program TBA at  the bandshell in Forest Park on Woodhaven Boulevard, J to Woodhaven Blvd and a long walk

6/30, 5:30 PM bass trombonist Jennifer Wharton‘s Bonegasm trombone ensemble – hey that’s her name for the group – at Birdland, $30-

6/30, 7 PM Battle Trance’s Travis LaPlante opens solo for the album release show by Big Dog Little Dog – Jessie Montgomery, violin; Eleonore Oppenheim, bass at Arete Gallery, $10

7/2, 6:30 PM the Swingtime Big Band on the steps of the Brooklyn Public Library

7/2, 7 PM lyrical, incisive alto saxophonist Dave Pietro  leads his group at the Provincetown Playhouse on Washington Square South, free, early arrival advised

7/2, 730 PM bassist Ernesto Holman and his Trio play Chilean jazz at the Lincoln Center Atrium, free, early arrival advised

7/3, 7;30 PM the Sisterhood of Swing Seven with Catherine Russell  on vocals plus Camille Thurman,saxophone; Emily Asher, trombone;Endea Owens,bass; Shirazette Tinnin, drums; Champian Fulton,piano; and Molly Ryan guitar celebrate the legacy of legendary all-female 30s swing band the Sisterhood of Swing at Damrosch Park out back of Lincoln Center, free to get into the park, $18 in advance for the dancefloor

7/4, 7:30 PM El Rey del Bajo, Bobby Valentín leads his Orchestra playing 70s Fania classics at Damrosch Park out back of Lincoln Center, free to get into the park, $18 in advance for the dancefloor

7/5, 7 PM the Casym Steel Orchestra and soca hall of famer Mighty Sparrow – see if he cancels again this time – at Springfield Park in Queens

7/5, 7:30 PM trumpeter Joe Battaglia &The New York Big Band play 30s/40s swing at Damrosch Park out back of Lincoln Center, free to get into the park, $18 in advance for the dancefloor

7/5, 8:30ish conscious hip-hop artist Leikeli47 followed by Chicago hardcore mc Mick Jenkins – who had the sense to nick a Gil Scott-Heron song for the title of his latest album – at Prospect Park Bandshell

7/6, 7 PM epic, woke, Middle Eastern rap night with Narcy, wild Palestinian hip-hop/dancehall reggae/habibi pop band 47soul and Oddissee at Prospect Park Bandshell

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

7/7, 3 PM Christina Conroy plays the Irish harp at Jefferson Market Garden in the west village. She’s also here at 10 AM (in the morning) on 7/21

7/7, 7 PM Aztec Sun play hard funk at Pier One on the upper west side

7/9, 6:30 PM Fleure Seule play continental swing on the steps of the Brooklyn Public Library

7/9, 7:30 PM a rare NYC appearance by Brazilian rainforest song chanteuse Elba Ramalho,“The Queen of Forró,” at Damrosch Park out back of Lincoln Center, free to get into the park, $18 in advance for the dancefloor

7/10, 6 PM charmingy edgy all-female latin tropicalia dance band Ladama at Madison Square Park

7/10, 7 PM the Venice Baroque Orchestra make a rare outdoor NYC appearance playing works by Handel, Vivaldi and others at Temple Emmanu-El, 1 E 65th St, free, rsvp req

7/10, 7:30 PM the mighty, Middle Eastern-tinged Eyal Vilner Big Band with special guest Brianna Thomas burning down the house on vocals at Damrosch Park out back of Lincoln Center, free to get into the park, $18 in advance for the dancefloor

7/11, 6:30 PM irrepressible 60s-style blue-eyed soul singer Eli “Paperboy” Reed under the Manhattan Bridge archway in Dumbo

7/11, 6:30 PM saxophonist TK Blue leads a killer quintet with Sharp Radway on piano playing a Randy Weston tribute at Socrates Sculpture Park

7/11, 7:30 PM brilliant blues guitarist, above-average bassist, strongly tuneful blues songwriter and badass singer Celisse Henderson at the Lincoln Center Atrium, free, early arrival advised

7/11, 7:30 PM Shirley Alston Reeves – lead singer of the Shirelles, you know, the Phil Spector-produced 60s girlgroup – at the bandshell in Forest Park, Woodhaven Blvd, Queens, closest train is the 121st St. stop

7/11 7:30 PM Argentine pianist Analía Goldberg’s tango Sextet at Damrosch Park out back of Lincoln Center, free to get into the park, $18 in advance for the dancefloor

7/11, 8 PM female-fronted Colombian rock en Espanol vets Aterciopelados at Queensbridge Park,

7/11, 9:30 PM mathrock band Faster Than Light, singer Hannah Fairchild’s explosive, lyrically brilliant noir punk power trio Hannah vs. the Many and and colorful, Bowie-esque female-fronted glamrockers the Manimals at the Nest, 504 Flatbush Ave, B/D/Q to Prospet Park, $8

7/12, 7:30 PM Maria Muldaur  – yeah, her, Midnight at the Oasis – sings a Blue Lu Barker tribute and more at Damrosch Park out back of Lincoln Center, free to get into the park, $18 in advance for the dancefloor

7/12, 8 PM veteran Argentine folksinger Leon Gieco at Queensbridge Park

7/13, 3 PM Video Music Box founder and hip-hop legend Ralph McDaniels emcees an afternoon at Socrates Scuulpture Park

7/13, 7:30 PM retro swing with the Harlem Renaissance Orchestra playing their 15th annual tribute to Illinois Jacquet at Damrosch Park out back of Lincoln Center, free to get into the park, $18 in advance for the dancefloor

7/14, 3 PM spiky, serpentine, hypnotic microtonal African-influenced guitar-and-drums duo 75 Dollar Bill  at the Noguchi Museum, 9-01 33rd Road, Long Island City, free w/museum adm, N/W to Broadway and about a 10 minute walk

7/14, 7 PM dynamic accordionist Rob Curto’s Forro for All play dusky Brazilian rainforest folk at Pier One on the upper west side

7/16, 6:30 PM hard-hitting, brass-fueled female-fronted newschool latin soul/boogaloo dance band Spanglish Fly on the steps of the Brooklyn Public Library

7/17, 8 PM tuneful, terse tenor saxophonist Ayumi Ishito and her excellent group at Erv’s on Beekman,2122 Beekman Ph, Prospect Lefferts Gardens, B/D to Prospect Pk

7/18, noon the thunderous hip-hop influenced Brooklyn United Drumline and seriously woke psychedelic soul with Fantastic Negrito at Metrotech Park in downtown Brooklyn

7/18, half past noon the self-explanatory, reliably adrenalizing, surprisingly dynamic Gypsy Jazz Caravan at St. Marks Park, 2nd Ave/10th

7/18, 6:30 PM Colombian trance-dance band Kombilesa Mi under the Manhattan Bridge archway in Dumbo

7/18, 7 PM A Far Cry play works by Muffat, Caroline Shaw, Beecher and Tschaikovsky at Temple Emanu-El, Fifth Avenue at 65th Stl free, rsvp req

7/18, 7:30 PM Americana rockers Darlingside and acoustic Americana supergroup I’m with Her – Sara Watkins, Sarah Jarosz and Aoife O’Donovan – at Prospect Park Bandshell

7/19, 7 PM the Salsa Warriors at the Unisphere in Flushing Meadows Corona Park,

7/20, 5 PM psychedelic cumbia/reggaeton bandleader Ana Tijoux at Corporal Thompson Park in Staten Island

7/20, 9 PM Alloy Orchestra play a live score to the 1925 German silent film Varieté at Prospect Park Bandshell

7/21, 7 PM high-voltage psychedelic cumbia/Afrobeat jamband MAKU Soundsystem at Pier One on the upper west side

723, 6:30 PM dusky Brazilian rainforest folk with Rafael Piccolotto de Lima’s Forró Sem Palavras on the steps of the Brooklyn Public Library

7/23, 7 PM the Slavo Rican Asssembly mash up salsa and Balkan sounds at Gantry Plaza State Park in Long Island City

7/25, 5 PM Junior Marvin’s version of what’s left of Bob Marley’s group the Wailers on the plaza outdoors at NJPAC in Newark

7/25, noon ecsatic Mardi Gras funk band Cha Wa at Metrotech Park in downtown Brooklyn. The following night 7/26 they’re at Bryant Park at 7

7/25, half past noon accordion genius Shoko Nagai’s haunting, increasingly loud and psychedelic Tokala Silk Road/klezmer mashup project at St. Marks Park, 2nd Ave/10th St

7/25, 5 PM powerhouse oldschool-style soul husband-wife team the War & Treaty at Wagner Park on the river north and west of Battery Park

7/25, 6 PM opening night of this year’s Bryant Park Accordion Festival, acts TBA – the last two years have been sublime

7/25, 7 PM eclectic, politically fearless tropical rock band La Santa Cecilia at Damrosch Park

7/25, 7:30 PM International Contemporary Ensemble play works by Fure & Thorvaldsdottir at the Lincoln Center Atrium, free, early arrival advised

7/26, 7 PM magically spiky tropical psychedelic band Inti & the Moon on the water at 125th Street and Marginal Street at the West Harlem Piers

7/26, 7 PM individualistic Belgian cello rocker/improviser Helen Gillet followed by Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy at Damrosch Park

7/26, 7 PM salsa romantica with Los Hermanos Moreno and crooner Lalo Rodriguez at Soundview Park in the Bronx

7/27,7 PM in reverse order at Damrosch Park: ubiquitous pan-latin psychedelic guitar god Adrian Quesada leads a Texas soul band with vocalists Jonny Benavidez, Eric Burton, Kam Franklin, Johnny Hernandez, Ruben Ramos, and Paul Schaldal James Brown contemporaries Lee Fields & the Expressions and darkly psychedelic soul band the Black Pumas

7/28, 3 PM ish  pyrotechnic clarinetist and Dave Tarras protege Michael Winograd & the Honorable Mentshn, and psychedelic Incan folk band Inkarayku on the plaza at Lincoln Center

7/28, 7 PM in reverse order at Damrosch Park: salsa dura bands Las Caras Lindas de Mi Gente Negra featuring Moncho Rivera, Cita Rodriguez (daughter of the great El Conde) & Su Banda, and allstar percussionist Carlitos Padron & Su Banda

7/28, 7 PM retro continental swing sounds with singer Tatiana Eva-Marie & the Avalon Jazz Band at Pier One on the upper west side

7/30. 7 PM the Orchestra of St. Luke’s play works by anna Clyne, Florence Pryce, Samuel Barber and otehs at Temple Emanu-El, Fifth Avenue at 65th St, free rsvp req

7/31, 7 PM salsa romantica with Edgar Joel and Ray de la Paz at Crotona Park

7/31, 7:30 PM jazz drummer Terri Lyne Carrington leads a bewilderingly eclectic all-star all-female band including Rhiannon Giddens, Xiomara Laugart, Ledisi, Amina Claudine Myers, Cleo Reed, Valerie Simpson, Charenée Wade, and Lizz Wright of at Damrosch Park

7/31, 8 PM a theatrical Afrobeat tribute with FELA! The Concert at the Coney Island Amphitheatre, free, it’s a pretty small place run by corporate idiots and you’lll need to get there early to get in

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

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

8/2, 7ish hypnotically percussive Afro-Honduran sounds with the Garifuna Jazz Ensemble at Crotona Park

8/3, 6 PM legendry 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, 7ish PM politically fearess Taiwanese guy/girl piano pop duo Tizzy Bac at Central Park Summerstage

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

8.13, 7 PM rustic Colombian sounds with the Cumbia River Band at Gantry Plaza State Park in Long Island City

8/7, 6 PM Camila Meza & Nectar Orchestra at Madison Square Park

8/14 6 PM Alsarah at Madison Square Park

8/15 5 PM newschool gospwl 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

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

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

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

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 youlll 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

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

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

8/23, 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

8/24, 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

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

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

Greek Judas Headline One of the Year’s Best Twinbills in the East Village

When Greek Judas took the stage at Niagara at a little after eleven a couple of Thursdays ago, everybody in the crowd suddenly had their phones out. Maybe that was because three of the five guys in the band were wearing animal masks. But it’s more likely that nobody in the audience had ever seen a Greek metal band.

And in that space, they were louder than ever. Singer Quince Marcum projects as well as any other frontman in town, but this time he was low in the mix. When the band got their start, guitarist/lapsteel player Wade Ripka and guitarist Adam Good would typically take long, careening, Middle Eastern-tinged solos. And that worked; both guys love their creepy chromatics, and they can get totally symphonic without being boring. Times have changed: instead of jabbing at each other to pull a song back on track, there’s a lot more interplay and at least semi-controlled chaos now. Ironically, the tighter they get, the more psychedelic the music is.

Bassist Nick Cudahy downtunes his axe now, for some serious tarpit sonics. Meanwhile, drummer Chris Stromquist makes the songs’ tricky rhythms look easy: the way he plays, no matter how bizarre the underlying beat is, you can stand and sway from side to side and not feel any more stoned than you might already be.

Obviously, you don’t have to be high to appreciate the band. One of the reasons why they’ve tightened up the show is that they have a lot more songs and they don’t have to stretch them out so much. They’re all covers, from the 1920s to the 1960s, most of them from the criminal and revolutionary underworld who fought against dictatorial terror and then a British invasion after World War II. Many of those tunes were written by ethnic Greeks who’d escaped persecution in Cyprus and Turkey, only to find themselves second-class citizens in their ancestral land.

The best song of the night was I’m a Junkie, which might have just been a shout-out to good hash, or something stronger – Marcum sings everything in the original Greek. The most lyrically innocuous love song of the night was also one of the most macabre. Police brutality, heavy partying, black humor behind bars, trans-Mediterranean drug smuggling and crack addiction were some of the other topics Marcum addressed – he almost always gives the audience a little translation for just about everything. They’re back at Niagara (Ave. A and 7th St., the former King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut across from the southwest corner of Tompking Square Park) this Thursday at 10. As a bonus, the excellent Trouble with Kittens – who play similarly edgy if somewhat quieter and faster, new wave-influenced songs – open the night at 9. Noir cinematic trio Sexmob‘s brilliant drummer, Kenny Wollesen is sitting in with them this for this show. It’s a pass-the-tip-jar situation.

A Rare City Park Show and a Mighty, Harrowing New Suite From Stephanie Chou

For the last couple of years, Barnard College has staged an amazingly eclectic, entertaining annual concert under the trees in the crabapple grove in Riverside Park just north of 91st Street. This years’s festival is this Satruday night, May 18, starting at 5 PM with one of New York’s most socially relevant and ambitious jazz talents, alto saxophonist/singer Stephanie Chou. This time out she’ll be leading a trio with pianist Jason Yeager and drummer Ronen Itzik Other acts on the bill include the Bacchantae, Barnard College’s all-female a cappella group, ferociously dynamic, tuneful, female-fronted power trio Castle Black, and the Educadorian-flavored Luz Pinos Band

Chou’s latest larger-scale project is titled Comfort Girl. It’s a harrowing, phanstasmagorical song cycle based on the terrors faced by the over two hundred thousand women who were forced into sexual slavery during the Japanese occupation of China during World War II. Some of those women were raped thousands of times. To add insult to injury, when those who survived were able to return home after the Japanese retreat, many of them were shunned. Chou debuted it at Joe’s Pub at the end of March. What was most striking about the show was not only Chou’s ability to shift between musical styles, but her prowess as a lyricist.

A flurry from Kenny Wollesen’s drums signaled the intro to the jaunty march Manchurian Girl, a late 30s Chinese pop hit. The lyrics are innocuous: a young woman waiting for her boo to return home so she can tie the knot. Chou sang it with more than a hint of foreshadowing, the music rising to a shivery tightness, Andy Lin’s vibrato-tinged violin over his sister Kelly Lin’s emphatic piano.

Narrator Peregrine Heard continued the story; girl meets boy and everything seems rosy in the countryside, echoed by a sax-violin duet that began coyly and then took on a swirling, triumphantly pulsing tone which turned wary and enigmatic as the two diverged harmonically.

The violinist switched to the even more shivery, plaintive-toned erhu fiddle for a Chinese parlor-pop ballad of sorts, Forever I Will Sing Your Song, crooner Orville Mendoza’s anticipatory drama contasting with Chou’s more demure delivery. The music grew suddenly chaotic as Japanese soldiers crushed the wedding ceremony, knocking out the groom and tearing his bride away.

Surrealistic piano glimmer over Wollesen’s noir percussion ambience supplied the backdrop for Chou’s wounded vocals in Shattered. Mendoze sang the pretty straight-up, determined piano rock ballad after that, the groom determined to get his beloved back. Meanwhile, she’s being paraded through one of the Japanese rape camps – the euphemistically named “Jade Star Hotel” – along with a group of captives. The piece’s simple military chorus was as chilling as any moment through the show, as was the haunting, phamtasmagorical waltz after that; “No name,, no hope: No life”

The young woman was thrown into a a cell, got a new Japanese name, and with a portentous crescendo and diabolical flickers from the violin, the music became a horror film score, It would have been historically accurate for the music to remain a morass of atonalities and cruel slashes punctuated by brief, mournful stillness, but Chou went deeper, with an aptly aching, Chinese-language ballad, her narravor terrified that her husband-to-be will reject her after all she’s had to suffer.

A coldly circling interlude captured the soldiers in line waiting for their turn with the “military provisions,” as the women were called. “We can do whatever we want to do,” Mendoza’s narrator sniffeed. A haunting, Pink Floyd-tinged interlude depicted her fiance giving up his search, miles away; Chou’s heroine remained defiant through a vindictive, venomous English-language anthem.

A spare, bucolic folk song – the kind the women would sing to remind each other of home – was next on the bil, followed by an anxious but undeterred ballad sung by Mendoza. Kelly Lin’s plaintive Debussy-esque crescendos lit up the number after that.

Flourishes from violin and sax underscored the young woman’s determination to beat the odds and survive, via a variation on the earlier, soul-tnnged revenge anthem. Unlike most of her fellow captives, this woman was able to escape, the piano driving a deliciously redemptive theme. And although her future husband realizes at the end that as she makes is back to her old village, “There’s still someone in there,”most of these women were not so lucky. Good news: Chou plans to release the suite as a studio recording.

The Most Unlikely Killer Album of 2019 and a Lower East Gig by Binky Philips and the Planets

A lot of people forget how incredibly creative and talented the first wave of punk bands were. Punk wasn’t just three chords and amps turned up to eleven: it was about thinking outside the box, and lyrics that were smart and funny and had real-world resonance, and taking chances no corporate band would be allowed to. Punk was as much of a raised middle finger to corporate fascism as it was to the political kind. These days, with Amazon and Facebook doing the kind of job the gestapo and the KGB only wished they could have, there’s more need than ever for the kind of reality check that punk delivered.

And as serious as oldschool punk was, it was just as fun. That’s where New York vets Binky Philips and the Planets come in. It’s actually more astonishing that it took tem 47 years to make their first official studio album, Established 1972 NYC, than it is to hear how much better their chops are than they were when they started. On one hand, age eventually takes its toll on musicians; on the other, the more you play, the better you get, and these guys have had more time than most to sharpen their chops. They made their debut opening for the New York Dolls. They claim to be one of the first ten bands to play CBGB – before the Ramones – and they’re probably right. They definitely have claim to the bandname: the British new wave group responsible for the minor hit Iron for the Irons didn’t hit til seven years later. Philips and the original Planets debut album is just out (and not streaming anywhere – back in 1972, the internet was a dial-up connection for the Pentagon). They’re playing their usual haunt these days, Arlene’s, on May 13 at 8 PM; there’s no cover. You can bet this blog will be in the house.

As you would imagine from a band that actually predated the punk era, the influences on the album range from 70s Britsh pub rock to 60s garage rock and psychedelia, but also new wave. The esthetic is pure Old New York: brash, sarcastic, absolutely fearless. The opening track, Splitsville or Bust has a chugging pub rock pulse,: “You’re the one that wishes me dead…your’re all invited to eat my dust,” frontman Nolan Roberts roars. Drinking Gasoline is simpler, sort of the missing link between American pub rock legends the Reducers and early AC/DC.

With Philips’ layers of guitars and classic 60s riffage, the sardonic party anthem Just Fine Just Fine wouldn’t be out of place on a Flamin’ Groovies album from the mid-70s. “99 bottles of beer on the wall, yes they all are empty,” Roberts asserts.

Kinda Liked It at the Time, a grim cautionary tale, is even funnier, Mike Greenwberg’s growling bass in tandem with Bobby Siems’ steady, insistent drumming. Geenberg’s catchy bass hooks fuel Leave Me Hanging, an amusing new wave strut with a nod in the direction of the early Police.

Siems switches between a suspenseful clave and a four-on-the-floor stomp in Plumbing the Depths, a wee-hours scenario that any party animal can relate to. The album’s best track is Blink, a desperate narrative that could be a Vietnam War tale, or apocalypse by gentrification.”This will not stand from where I’m sitting, damn right I’m going to put up a fight,” Roberts bellows, Greenberg’s bass rising achingly as the chorus kicks in. Then the band hit a mashup of Certain General postpunk and Ducks Deluxe pub rock for the stomping mob hit story Goodbye to All That.

The only really straight-up punk tune here is Sour Grapes, with a chorus about running from the Border Patrol that resonates twice as much now as when the band most likely wrote it. The final cut, Wear Out the Grooves, is ripoff of the early Yardbirds, right down to the simple, honking blues harp and boisterous oldschool R&B vamping. Still, it’s amazing how much energy the band have after all these years. Unlikely as it seems, these guys have put out one of the dozen best rock records of 2019 so far.

A Lusciously Jangly, Ferociously Relevant Masterpiece From Girls on Grass

Girls on Grass’ latest album Dirty Power – streaming at Bandcamp – has everything you could possibly want from a great rock record: slashing lyrics, soaring vocals, gorgeous harmonies, layers and layers of luscious guitar jangle and clang and roar, and tunesmithing that draws on styles from the 60s through the 80s. It’s fearlessly political, and it might be the best record released so far this year. Frontwoman Barbara Endes is on the shortlist of the best guitarists in all of rock – and she’s a great bassist too. Imagine the Dream Syndicate fronted by a woman, and produced by Eric Ambel (who was actually behind the board when this was made, and it’s one of the best projects he’s ever worked on). Girls on Grass are headlining one of the year’s best triplebills on May 12 at Coney Island Baby at around 9. Catchy, fun guy/girl indie soul band Sunshine Nights open the night at 7, followed by wickedly jangly surf/twang/country instrumentalists the Bakersfield Breakers at around 8. Cover is a ridiculously cheap $8.

The new album opens with Down at the Bottom, the harmonies of Endes and drummer Nancy Polstein rising over a soul-clap beat, spiced with icy twelve-string guitar jangle that’s part 60s Merseybeat, part 80s paisley underground psychedelia. Second guitarist David Weiss adds country-tinged twang as bassist Dave Mandl holds down an insistent groove, Endes reminding that all the best things are in the shadows and in the deepest waters. In status-grubbing real estate bubble-era New York, that subtext screams.

Street Fight is a cynical, sarcastic stomp, Weiss channeling Mick Taylor in simmering post-Chuck Berry mode, up to a slashing chromatic run. Friday Night is an indelibly simmering tableau, capturing the energy and anticipation of meeting a crush at what promises to be a hot show, chilling back by the soundboard, passing around a joint. The ending is an unexpectedly different kind of crush.

Got to Laugh to Keep From Crying, a bittersweet account of betrayal and stalker behavior, is one of the album’s most gorgeous songs, Endes’ clang against Weiss’ country twang. Two Places at Once shifts between amped-up. briskly shuffling Morricone spaghetti western and an eerily surfy Radio Birdman highway theme. Then the band burn through the garage rock riffage of the escape anthem Into the Sun, with a searing, chromatically-fueled guitar solo midway through: it sounds like that’s  Endes, but it might be Weiss too.

“Capitalism ruins everything worth doing,” Endes intones to a guy who’s only in it “For the cash, and the underage ass” in the album’s most overtly political track, Because Capitalism: the rhythm section hits a fast Motown beat as the guitars stab and burn. Endes got the inspiration for the wounded, crescendoing anthem John Doe  from the time the X bassist wrote a carpe diem message in her journal, with a “We gotta stick together” mantra that works on more than one level.

The loping desert rock instrumental Asesino sends a shout-out to an iconic Ventures hit, with hints of vintage Public Image Ltd. at the very end. “I come from superior genes,” the narcissist-in-charge brags over a swaying Flamin’ Groovies drive in Commander in Thief: the faux bombast of the guitars matches Endes’ sardonic lyric. The band wind up the album with Thoughts Are Free, with a slow, richly lingering Dream Syndicate-style intro, then picking up with a brisk country shuffle beat. “Got my money, never mind what’s happening behind the scenes,” Endes sings sarcastically. Look for this on the best albums of 2019 page at the end of the year.