New York Music Daily

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Tag: rock music

A Promising, Characteristically Eclectic Start to This Year’s Bryant Park Accordion Festival

This year’s Bryant Park Accordion Festival runs through Sept 14 and promises to be as rapturously fun as last year’s was. On Wednesday evenings starting at 5:30 PM, a rotating cast of accordionists play half-hour sets of an amazingly eclectic range of music. This year there are five sets happening simultaneously, which created some dissonance on opening night when one group was going full steam while their neighbor played a quiet ballad. But the music was sublime.

For a connoisseur of accordion music – and who wouldn’t want to be one, right? – it’s always a triage. Forro or klezmer? Irish folk-punk or cumbia? The advantage of staggered sets is that you get multiple chances to see your favorite player or style of music. This week it was easy to choose a set by the brilliant and erudite Christina Crowder to begin the evening. Most of her numbers were minor-key Jewish wedding tunes, including a bouncy one about giving away the family’s youngest daughter, along with a mysterious, enveloping theme typically played early in the day for relatives of the betrothed. She romped through a jaunty bulgar and another, more somber tune, both of which contained the Twilight Zone riff. Late in the set, she treated the crowd to a Moldavian tune whose title translates roughly as “Freestyle Over This Groove.” Crowder didn’t rap; instead, she built an ambience that was as kinetic as it was hypnotic.

After that, it was time to head to the southeastern corner of the park for an even livelier set of oldschool cumbia and vallenato – “Colombian country music,” as accordionist Foncho Castellar termed it. Backed by a couple of percussionists, he played button accordion. The trio romped through some very brisk cumbias before the even more rustic stuff about peasants in the big city, or way out on the frontera, dancing, partying and chasing women.

After that, Susan Hwang – half of haunting literary art-rock duo Lusterlit – broke out her accordion for a deviously fun set. Backed by a djembe player, she opened with a coyly exasperated, new wave-flavored original, from her days with charming late zeros/early teens trio the Debutante Hour, concerning New York parking. Her funniest cover was a remake of the Willie Dixon/Muddy Waters blues classic, which she titled Hoochie Koochie Woman. Another fun one was an original from her lit-rock collective the Bushwick Book Club, a thoughtful, quirky bounce told from the point of view of physicist Richard Feynman.

Like Hwang, Dolunay frontwoman Jenny Luna is best known as a singer and percussionist. It wouldn’t be an overstatement to call her one of New York’s – and arguably the world’s – most riveting, shattering vocalists. She’s also a first-rate Balkan and Middle Eastern drummer. As it turns out, she’s a competent accordionist as well. Much as she got plenty of brooding, sometimes haunting atmospherics and chromatics wafting from her reeds, it was her voice that held the crowd spellbound,. She began with a moody tone  poem of sorts, then a couple of Rumeli (Balkan Turkish) laments that gave her a chance to air out both her soaring highs and haunting low register. She wound up the set with a jaunty if hardly blithe singalong, in Turkish – the chorus translated roughly as variations on “be my habibi.”

Next week’s installment of the festival, at 5:30 PM on Aug 22, features a similarly diverse lineup including but not limited to gothic Americana songwriter Sam Reider; the torchy, swinging Erica Mancini; edgy, avant garde-influenced chamber pop singer Mary Spencer Knapp; Argentine tango duo Tinta Roja and Mexican norteño crew Toro de la Sierra.


Torrential Rainy-Day Sounds From All-Acoustic Art-Rock Band the Arcane Insignia

If you’re going to write lushly orchestrated art-rock, you might as well go all the way and open your debut album with a seventeen-minute epic. That’s what the Arcane Insignia did. The first track on their first release A Flawed Design – up at Bandcamp as a name-your-price download – begins with a gently fingerpicked waltz that gives way to pulsing, trickily rhythmic bursts – from violin, cello and acoustic guitar rather than synth and Les Pauls played through Marshall stacks. From there the band make their way gracefully through ambience punctuated by alternately delicate and emphatic guitar as the strings – Noah Heau on cello and Tina Chang-Chien on viola – swirl, and hover, and burst. Rainy-day music has never sounded so stormy. Imagine ELO’s first album beefed up by an entire symphony orchestra, playing classic Peter Gabriel-era Genesis. There’s no other band on the planet who sound like this.

Now where are they playing this titanic, dynamically shifting stuff tonight? Madison Square Garden? Bowery Ballroom? That hideous basketball arena in Cobble Hill? Nope. They’re playing the Delancey – which actually has an excellent PA system. Cover is $10.

“Searching the playground for what we could obtain,” frontman Alejandro Saldarriaga Calle sings cryptically as the opening track rises and then recedes – the way his long scream gets picked up by the strings, and then how he picks it up again is one of the year’s most adrenalizing recorded moments. The gusts and eventual swoops from the strings keep it from being anticlimactic.

Architects of a Flawed Design begins with carefully tiptoeing staccato strings and guitar harmonics, “The windows are closed…how is anyone supposed to enter? Calle ponders as the music grows more kinetic, a titanic choir of wordless vocals – Martha Stella Calle, Allie Jessing and Jamel Lee, multitracked many times over – rising over chopping guitar chords and uneasily lingering strings.

Chapter 9 – Trail of Extinguished Suns (that’s the third track) is more darkly phantasmagorical, Calle’s voice rising higher, the song punctuated by momentary pauses amid the breakers crashing beneath the relentless overcast skies above. As in the other tracks, his dissociative lyrics echo the title’s grim implications. while the alternating long and leaping tones of his voice serves as one of the band’s instruments as much as they carry the lyrics. 

Ominous folk noir guitar riffs and swlring strings give way to a mighty pulse as Cardinal and Subliminal gets underway, then the music hits an uneasy dance fueled by the cello. They bring it full circle with a wistful variation at the end.

Obelisk, a diptych, begins with Fallen Shell, stark cello underpinning sparsely pensive guitar, rising to an emphatic waltz anchored by nimbly tumbling percussion and then back down, with a relentless angst and a final machinegunning drive that could be Iron Maiden…acoustic.

The dramatic vocals, suspenseful pauses, fierce strumming and gritty strings of part two, Liquid Skies, bring to mind 70s British cult favorites the Doctors of Madness at their most symphonic.

Gemini Cycle begins out of a wry segue. Bracingly soaring cello joins a balletesque guitar/cello duet (tons of overdubs here), then the band build the album’s most baroque, lush crescendos, balanced by moody, calm, overcast interludes and another gargantuan choral segment. There’s also a rather anguished, waltzing bonus track, Maleguena Salerosa, spiced with tango allusions and delicious chromatics. Although this storm is so pervasive and unrelenting that after awhile all the songs start to blend into each other, it’s a hell of a song! Count this as the best debut rock record of 2018 so far.

A Lusciously Guitar-Fueled Retrospective and a Manhattan Show From Rugged Individualist Eric “Roscoe” Ambel

Eric Ambel is iconic in Americana rock circles. He has a high-end guitar line named after him. Since his days fronting the pioneering (and recently resusciated) Del-Lords and later playing lead in Steve Earle’s band, he’s slowly but methodically built a formidable catalog of original material. He’s less influential than simply respected because nobody sounds like him. He’s easy to imitate but impossible to copy.

That’s because he can be so unpredictable. On one hand, he’s a virtuoso four-on-the-floor rock and classic C&W guy. On the other, he has a feral, noisy edge, a surreal sense of humor, and also a raw anger that gives his music a ferocity that good-time bar bands so rarely evoke. He’s playing Hill Country this Friday night on a killer twinbill with fellow Americana individualist and guitarist Kasey Anderson. The show starts at 10; it’s not clear who’s playing first, but they’re both worth seeing (and worth braving the crowd of yahoo tourists at the Flower District bbq spot).

Ambel’s latest album – streaming at Bandcamp – is titled The Roscoe Sampler. It’s less a career retrospective than a collection of deep tracks from throughout his solo career. On one hand, most of the obvious picks are here. The choogling The Girl That I Ain’t Got, and Lou Whitney’s grim Jim Crow-era scenario 30 Days in the Workhouse. There’s the classic, tight-as-a-drum, Stonesy cover of Swamp Dogg’s oddball Total Destruction to Your Mind and the acidic, bitter, Rubber Soul Beatlesque Song for the Walls. The Del-Lords’ catchy, cynical Judas Kiss, and the witheringly sarcastic You Must Have Me Confused.

On the more or less straight-up tip, there’s Lonely Town, which could be the Stones circa Tattoo You with a twangier singer out front and a tantalizingly savage guitar solo. Loose Talk, a duet with Syd Straw, is a rollicking, saloon piano-fueled Tex-Mex romp. If Walls Could Talk, a big crowd-pleaser from Ambel’s days running iconic East Village venue Lakeside Lounge, features the Bottle Rockets (a band Ambel produced back in the day)

But it’s the lesser known cuts that make this record a great introduction to Ambel’s purist sonics, production savvy and guitarslinging prowess. Built around a riff Angus Young would be happy with, Way Outside paints a shadowy, desperate tableau, echoed later in I’m Not Alone. Does It Look That Bad is a wry, summery, Memphis soul-infused ballad, awash in shimmery tremolo guitar and organ.

“The minute you stopped dreaming is the minute you got old,” Ambel sneers in Long Gone Dream, the closest thing here to early zeros, peak-era Earle. Red Apple Juice is a rare, spare, delta blues-flavored solo acoustic gem.  I Waited For You comes across as amped-up Everlys, and sounds like the oldest number here.

The brisk, gloomy narrative A Charmer’s Tale could pass for late 90s Steve Wynn – it’s that good, complete with evil, sidewinding guitar solos. The collection’s final track – a collaboration with folk-rockers Martin’s Folly – is an aptly watery, wistful take of Willie Nelson’s Always on My Mind. Although Ambel can go way, way out on a limb onstage, here he keeps the solos short, maybe eight bars at the most. The rhythm sections here include a diverse cast of familiar and unfamiliar names but are all first-rate: from his days rounding up the Lower East Side’s best street musicians for his iconic Roscoe’s Gang album, he’s never had to look far for talent.

Is is fair to count a semi-greatest hits collection as one of the year’s best? Is it fair to the newbies to put them up against a veteran as formidable as Ambel? Why not? We need the guy to keep schooling those kids.

Individualistic New Metal in Bushwick This Weekend

Metal trio Earnest Gallows may call their debut release a “three song demo,” but it has an understated, chrome-plated polish. What most distinguishes them from the legions of headless axemen on an endless gallop toward Mordor is frontman/guitarist Richie Pace’s vocals. “We brought this upon itself…conveniently bought, at the cost of critical thought,” he belts in the second track, Man Made Hell, a purposeful, tightly crystallized anthem that clocks in at less than four minutes. But that delivery is unexpectedly down to earth – no cartoon characters or phony opera here. The ep is up at Bandcamp as a free download, and they’re playing the Cobra Club in Bushwick on Aug 5 at around 9. The venue doesn’t list whether there’s a cover charge or not, but if there is it’s usually pretty cheap here, no more than ten bucks.

The ep’s first track, The Nearby is a contrast of crunch punctuated by the occasional guitar flare; Pace puts the bite on for extra cynicism in places. The final track, Secular Peace, is the band’s most ambitious number and a mishmash of rhythms, bassist Philip Tavadze climbing and then finally joining the sprint down the battlefield in tandem with drummer John Naeder. You can hear echoes of Iron Maiden but also artsier 70s rock and even 80s goth in the group’s music: if catchy, heavy sounds are your thing, keep an eye out for them.

Live Music Calendar for New York City and Brooklyn for August and September 2018

Daily updates – if you go out a lot, it couldn’t hurt to bookmark this page.

If you’re leaving your hood, 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. Weekly events first followed by the daily calendar.

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 ;)

Beginning on 8/15, 5:30 PM and continuing on 8/22, 8/29, 9/5, 9/12 and a grand finale on 9/14 a half an hour earlier, this year’s Bryant Park Accordion Festival is as amazing as it was last year. Scroll down for individual show lineups

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

Puppeteer Basil Twist’s disorienting, phantasmagorical Symphonie Fantastique, with pianist Christopher O’Riley playing a score by Berlioz, “takes place in the most unlikely of places – a 1,000-gallon water tank, in which five unseen puppeteers swirl countless pieces of fabrics, feathers, fishing lures, flashlights, glitter, dyes, plastic, vinyl and bubbles in all shapes and sizes, creating a dream-like world of imagination and surreal storytelling,” at Here, 145 6th Ave. south of Spring, $35, through July 15, Tuesday–Saturday at 8:30 PM; Saturday and Sunday at 4. Click the link above for dates which continue through 9/2. 

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

Mondays at the Jazz Standard it’s all Mingus, whether with the Mingus Orchestra, Big Band or Mingus Dynasty: as jazz goes, it’s arguably the most exhilarating show of the week, every week. The first-rate players always rise to the level of the material. Sets 7:30/9:30 PM, $25 and worth it.

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

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

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

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

Wednesdays in August, 8 PM the Binky Griptite Orchestra (formerly Sharon Jones’ brilliant oldschool soul backing band) at Threes Brewing Outpost, 113 Franklin St (Greenpoint/Kent Aves) in Greenpoint, free

Thursdays at 8 in August 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

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

Saturdays in August, 6 PM witty Microscopic Septet pianist Joel Forrester at Barbes. He’s not doing it for the money (he wrote the theme to NPR’s Fresh Air). He’s doing this for fun and you can be part of it. He’s also leading a quartet at Bar Lunatico on 8/26 at 8:30

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

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

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

8/1, noon hauntingly kinetic Peruvian psychedelic folk band Inti & the Moon at the triangle at 66th St. and Broadway

8/1, 5:30 PM trippy tropicalia jamband Locos Por Juana at Bryant Park

8/1, 6 PM an Afro-Cuban dance party with Los Habaneros at Madison Square Park

8/1, 6:30 PM this era’s foremost swing jazz guitarist, Matt Munisteri on the plaza at the Brooklyn Public Library

8/1, 7 PM fiery electric bluegrass and C&W with Demolition String Band  at Church Square Park, Park Ave & 4th St., Hoboken

8/1, 7:30/9:30 PM feral, brilliantly improvisational pianist Mara Rosenbloom‘s FLYWAYS with bassist Adam Lane and singer/percussionist Anais Maviel play work inspired by Adrienne Rich’s vision of love without exploitation at the Jazz Gallery

8/1-2, 7:30/9:30 PM lyrical Cuban pianist Harold Lopez-Nussa leads a trio at the Jazz Standard, $25

8/1, 8 PM a darkly psychedelic twinbill: the witchy Yula & the Extended Family  and the Malian-inspired Sway Machinery at Nublu 151

8/1, 8 PM catchy, restless female-fronted Americana/newgrass anthem band Kaylor Otwell & the Tin Cans at the Bitter End. They’re also at Sidewalk on 8/26 at 8 for free

8/1-5, 8:30/10:30 PM intense pianist Gerald Clayton  leads a quintet with Logan Richardson on sax at the Vanguard, $30

8/1, 9 PM sharply lyrical janglerock/Americana/soul songwriter Matt Keating and guitarist Steve Mayone’s catchy new powerpop project the Bastards of Fine Arts at 11th St. Bar

8/2, 5 PM Bahian percussion powerhouse Dende and band followed by iconic second-wave Afrobeat band Antibalas at Chambers Plaza in Newark

8/2, 7 PM the NYChillharmonic – arguably NYC’s most individualistic large ensemble, with art-rock grandeur, jazz instrumentation and a powerful frontwoman on the mic – at National Sawdust, $20 adv tix rec. They SLAYED at Littlefield back in May.

8/2, 7 PM the amazingly eclectic, groovalicious Delvon Lamarr Organ Trio– like Booker T & the MG’s on steroids – at Wagner Park on the water northwest of Battery Park

8/2, 7:30 PM intense, lyrical, politically fearless tenor saxophonist Roxy Coss leads her s leads her quintet followed at 10:30 PM by bassist Matt Pavolka’s wry, incisively rhythmic, drummerless Horns Band at Smalls

8/2, 7:30/9:30 PM strange and potentially smoldering improvisations and maybe some hip-hop with Kassa Overall – drums; Vijay Iyer – piano ;Ravi Coltrane – saxophone; Evan Flory-Barnes – bass at the Jazz Gallery, $25

8/2, 7:30 PM three bass-led improvisational situations: Brandon Lopez solo, the Jozwiak/Swanson/Zenkoff Trio and the Jack Wright / Evan Lipson / Weasel Walter Trio at Arete Gallery, $10

8/2, 8 PM Balkan chanteuse Jenny Luna‘s haunting, traditional Turkish band Dolunay followed by Quatre Vingt Neuf (French for 89, a revolutionary date in case you weren’t aware) playing New Orleans brass music at Barbes

8/2, 9 PM noirish crooner/guitarslinger Phil Gammage and his four-piece band at 11th St Bar

8/2, 9 PM popular 90s-style alt-country with Rusty Truck at Hill Country

8/2, 9:30 PM sardonic C&W parody band the Great American Country Drifters at Pine Box Rock Shop

8/2, 10 PM charismatic, adventurous postbop/avant garde trombonist/crooner Frank Lacy leads his sextet at the Fat Cat

8/3, 5:30 PM dark, carnivalesque oldtimey songwriter Feral Foster and eclectic, tuneful accordionist/songwriter Ali Dineen at the American Folk Art Museum

8/3, 7 PM metal crew Fear Is Dead followed by fearlessly political antiviolence metalpunks Rebelmatic at the Delancey, $10

8/3, 7:30/9:30 PM a first-class big band plays new large-ensemble work by jazz composers Matt Holman, Brian Krock and Anna Webber at the Jazz Gallery, $25

8/3, 8 PM Dromeno play fiery Greek and Balkan dance music at the Jalopy, $10

8/3, 8 PM all-female vocal chamber group Quince Ensemble sing works by Kate Soper, Amy Beth Kirsten, Kaija Saariaho, Giacinto Scelsi, Gilda Lyons, Pascal Dusapin, and more followed by catchy, slinky, psychedelic tropicalia and cumbia band Yotoco at Barbes

8/3, 8 PM darkly lyrical psychedelic pop songwriter Jennifer Hall at the Parkside

8/3-4, 8/10 PM Mike LeDonne takes a relatively rare turn on piano with Peter Washington on bass at Mezzrow, $20 at the bar

8/3, 8:30 PM Antibalas spinoff Armo play Afrobeat at Bar Lunatico. They’re also here on 8/23,

8/3, 8:30 PM the Asian Cultural Symphony of the U.S.A play classical Chinese repertoire at Bryant Park

8/3, 9 PM boisterously funny oldschool 60s C&W and brooding southwestern gothic with the Jack Grace Band at Bar Chord

8/3, 10:30 PM catchy Booker T-esque soul jazz with the David Gibson/Jared Gold Hammond B3 organ band at the Fat Cat

8/4, 3ish 60s-style bossa-influenced psych-pop band the Jay Vons outdoors at Union Pool, free

8/4, 3 PM Brazilian neosoul singer Xenia Franca, the Hamilton de Holandamandolin Trio and trippy dub band Baiana System at Central Park Summerstage

8/4, 6 PM witty Microscopic Septet pianist Joel Forrester followed 8 by pianist Lucian Ban and violist Mat Maneri playing their creepy Transylvanian jazz and then at 10 by epic ranchera/bolero brass crew Banda de los Muertos at Barbes

8/4, 7ish Bobby Radcliff – the rare blues guitarist who plays a ton of notes but doesn’t waste them, sort of a funkier Stevie Ray Vaughan – with his trio at Terra Blues

8/4, 7:30 PM messy lo-fi psychedelic band Garcia Peoples followed eventually at around 9:30 by darkly intense art-rock duo Christy & Emily at Wonders of Nature

8/4, 8 PM three loud metal-influenced bands open for female-fronted new wavers: instrumental sludgecore band Apollo’s Ghost, serpentine, cinematic art-rock instrumentalists You Bred Raptors, metalpunks the US Americans and the New Tarot at Bowery Ballroom, $12 adv tix avail at the Mercury 

8/4, 8 PM Lone Piñon and Tepeyolotli play New Mexican border folk sounds at the Jalopy, $10

8/4, 8 PM klezmer-jazz piano icon Anthony Coleman with Nick Dunston on bass at Scholes St. Studios

8/4, 8:30 PM popular Jamaican dancehall crooner Tarrus Riley at Prospect Park Bandshell

8/4, 9 PM Unsteady Freddie‘s monthly surf rock extravaganza at Otto’s begins at 9 PM with surfed-up tv themes from Commercial Interruption, at 10 gloomy surfed-up Russian prison songs with the Vivisectors, at 11 majestic, darkly cinematic surf band the TarantinosNYC and at midnight the possibly very well-named, metalish Tiki Torture 

8/4, 9 PM the deliciously jangly, melancholy Pale Lights – like the Church at their poppiest – and eternally popular, similarly catchy psych-pop road warriors the Essex Green at the Knitting Factory, $15 adv tix rec 

8/4, 10 PM rockabilly songstress Suzette Sundae & the Love Lifes with her killer retro band at Skinny Dennis. She’s also there on 8/28.

8/5, 1 PM chanteuse/uke player Dahlia Dumont’s Blue Dahlia playing edgy, smartly lyrically-fueled, jazz-infused tunes in English and French with classic chanson and Caribbean influences at Jefferson Market Garden out back of the playground behind the BMCC campus on Chambers St. 8/10 at 4 (four) PM they’re at Ruppert Park, Second Ave. bet. E. 90 St. and E. 91 St.

8/5, 1 PM klezmer clarinet/mandolin wizard Andy Statman, Irish group Cherish the Ladies, Grupo Rebolu, and Sidiki Conde and Tokounou on the plaza at Lincoln Center. The program repeats at 5 out back in Damrosch Park.

8/5, 1 PM wild live techno band Bombrasstico at the Riis Park Beach Bazaar in the Rockaways

8/5, 2 PM Pistolette play Afrobeat at Coney Island Baby, free

8/5, 6 PM a brassy New Orleans bill: New Breed Brass BandPreservation Hall Jazz Band, a lame jamband, and then Trombone Shorty & Orleans Ave at Central Park Summerstage

8/5, 7 PM Puerto Rican percussion ensemble Yuba Ire and two popular Miami bands—Philbert Armenteros y Los Herederos and PALO! accompany a dance performance at Damrosch Park out back of Lincoln Center

8/5, 7 PM state-of-the-art postbop guitarist Will Bernard and band reinvent Strayhorn tunes followed at 9:30ish by Romany jazz/psychedelic rock guitar mastermind Stephane Wrembel at Barbes. Bernard is also at the small room at the Rockwood on 8/13 at 11 PM

8/5, 8 PM majestic noir cabaret/tango/Mediterranean band Paris Combo at City Winery, $25 standing room avail

8/5, 9 PM bass goddess Felice Rosser’s ageless reggae-rock-groove band Faith followed by the uneasily cinematic art-rock Pi PowerTrio  – film composer and former Raybeat Pat Irwin (guitar, electronics), Sasha Dobson (drums, vocals) and Daria Grace (bass, vocals) at the Treehouse at 2A

8/5, 9ish sludgy but tuneful metal band Earnest Gallows at the Cobra Club, $tba 

8/6, 7 PM multi-instrumentalist Dennis Lichtman’s popular western swing band Brain Cloud at Barbes followed at 9:30 PM by Dilemastronauta Y Los Sabrosos Cosmicos with members of M.A.K.U and Combo Chimbita playing space cumbia 

8/6, 7 PM lively, relatively rocking indie classical string band Founders at Joe’s Pub, $15

8/6, 8 PM luminous, astonishingly eclectic, wickedly tuneful cello-rock badass Serena Jost followed by similarly fearless, historically-inspired badlands gothic songstress and powerful singer Karen Dahlstrom – possibly the only writer to record an oldtime Idaho-themed album – at Pete’s

8/6, 9 PM gritty, guitar-fueled postrockers Star Rover followed by trippy downtempo/chillout trio Dustlights playing the album release show for their new one at Wonders of Nature

8/7, 7 PM potential trainwreck, potential transcendence: BEACHFACE. Highly spontaneous collective compositions from an adventurous ensemble of Brooklyn improvisers.  John Carlson (trumpet) and Shawn McGloin (bass) from Free Range Rat, Tim Vaughn (trombone) from Gato Loco and Chris Stromquist (drums) from Slavic Soul Party! followed by clever, fiery, eclectic ten-piece Balkan/hip-hop/funk brass maniacs Slavic Soul Party 

8/7, 7 PM sitarist Shafaat Khan with a dance ensemble  at Gantry Plaza State Park in Long Island City

8/7, 7 PM the great unsung hero of darkly purposeful, noir-tinged jazz guitar, Saul Rubin leading his Zebtet at the Fat Cat. They’re also here on 8/14

8/7, 7:0 PM irrepressible, transgressively funny saxophonist Jon Irabagon leads a quintet at Smalls

8/7, 7:30/9:30 PM popular purist postbop saxophonist Eric Alexander leads a rare chordless trio with Johnathan Blake on drums recording a live album at the Jazz Gallery $15

8/7, 8 PM  Moppa Elliott‘s Unspeakable Garbage – a potentially LMFAO Mostly Other People Do the Killing facsimile with Bryan Murray – sax, Nick Millevoi – guitar, Ron Stabinsky – piano, Moppa Elliott – bass, Dan Monaghan – drums at Shapeshifter Lab, $10

8/7, 8 PM edgy, historically-inspired newgrass band Cricket Tell the Weather at the small room at the Rockwood

8/7, 8:30 PM kinetic, eclectic, funky parlor jazz violinist Mazz Swift at Bar Lunatico

8/7-13, 8:30;10:30 PM purist postbop guitarist Kurt Rosenwinkel leads a trio at the Vanguard. Then he’s here with a quartet through the 19th.

8/7. 9:30 PM high-voltage delta blues/Romany swing guitarist Felix Slim at Bar Chord

8/8, noon charmingly torchy vocal trio the Ladybugs – who put a twistedly original spin on old Disney movie themes – at the triangle at 66th St. and Broadway

8/8, 5:30 PM Afropop dancefloor guy Sinkane at Bryant Park

8/8, 6:30 PM slinky maracatu/New Orleans/surf rock mashups from Nation Beat on the plaza at the Brooklyn Public Library

8/8, 6:30 PM in reverse order: the Sun Ra Arkestra play a live score to Space Is the Place, José James sings Bill Withers and Samora Pinderhughes: The Transformations Suite at Damrosch Park out back of Lincoln Center. Jury’s out on the openers.

8/8, 7:30/9 PM eclectic, paradigm-shifting B3 jazz organist Brian Charette leads a trio at Minton’s, $10

8/8, 8 PM irrepressible klezmer violinist Eleonore Biezunski leads her Titi Parisienne ensemble playing French songs of displacement with her trio featuring ex-Chicha Libre keyboardist Josh Camp on accordion at Barbes

8/8, 8 PM improvisationally-inclined Madrid-based pan-latin jazz chanteuse Aurora Arteaga and band at Club Bonafide, $15

8/8, 9 PM hot 20s swing with trumpeter Jason Prover and his Sneak Thievery Orchestra at Radegast Hall

8/8. 10 PM Savak – who rehash Wire as well as anybody else ever has – at Coney Island Baby, $10 

8/9, 5 PM Maceo Parker of the JBs at Chambers Plaza in Newark

8/9, 6:30 PM powerhouse tropicalia chanteuse Xenia Rubinos in the sculpture garden at MOMA, free w/museum adm

8/9, 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 –  plays “a very special [spectacularly surreal, snarky] show of reinterpretations of songs by the Talking Heads, Bob Dylan, Nick Drake, Michael Hurley, Hoagy Carmichael, John Lennon, Brian Wilson, Johnny Mercer, Joni Mitchell, Laura Nyro, Neil Young, Harry Nilsson, Leonard Cohen, Tom Petty, Screaming Jay Hawkins” – what, no Eagles? at Pangea

8/9, 7 PM tenor saxophonist Ken Fowser leads his band at the Fat Cat. 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.

8/9, 7 PM 9ish noirish blue-eyed soul singer Fiona Silver and popular blues guitarslinger Gary Clark Jr. at Prospect Park Bandshell

8/9, 7:30 PM International Contemporary Ensemble and Greg Stuart play whispery music on instruments like of glass bowls at the Lincoln Center Atrium, free, early arrival advised

8/9, 8 PM a short set by the haphazardly funny Eastern Blokhedz  – who do psychedelic covers of 60s Russian psychedelic pop songs and specialize in the catalog of legendary Polish singer Edita Piaha – followed by a screening of Maxim Pozdorovkin’s hilarious/terrifying documentary Our New President, “a vodka-soaked, fever-dream documentary of Donald Drumpf’s rise to power as told by Russian propaganda” on the roof of the American Can Factory, 232 3rd St north of 3rd  Ave., Gowanus, F/R to 9th St., $16, free booze to follow

8/9, 8 PM plush, balmy, oldtimey uke swing band Daria Grace & the Pre-War Ponies  followed by theatrical avant-garde drummer Sean Noonan leading his band playing the album release show for his new one Aqua Diva at Barbes (note $10 cover for the headliners)

8/10, 5:30 PM weird segues, enticing triplebill: plaintive Yorkshire/Appalachian singer Jan Bell, avant garde jazz chanteuse May Cheung and brilliantly lyrical dark oldtimey songwriter/multi-instrumentalist Pete Lanctot & the Stray Dogs at the American Folk Art Museum  

8/10, 7:30 PM fiery, politically fearless, atmospheric Tunisian art-rocker Emel Mathlouthi  and macabre slowcore band Godspeed You Black Emperor at Prospect Park Bandshell

8/10, 7:30 PM the Bobby Sanabria Multiverse Big Band reinvent Leonard Bernstein’s Wes Side Story soundtrack at Damrosch Park out back of Lincoln Center

8/10, 8 PM eclectic, lyrical, pensive jazz bassist/composer Pedro Giraudo leads his Tango Quartet at Barbes

8/10, 8 PM feral, hypnotic Afro-Colombian trance-dance band Tribu Baharu at Bryant Park

8/10, 8ish eclectic, tuneful accordionist/songwriter Ali Dineen  and fiery oldtime string band guitarist Jackson Lynch at the Owl

8/10-12, 8 PM this summer’s Latino punk festival at Brooklyn Bazaar, short sets by too many bands to name, heavy on the hardcore, the festival link is here, $tba

8/10, 9 PM Austin bluegrass guitarist/singer Talia Bryce followed at 10 by fellow Texan oldtimey band the Troll Smashers and 11 by fiery, psychedelically bluesy oldschool soul/southern rockers Lizzie & the Makers at Pete’s. Lizzie’s also at the small room at the Rockwood at 11 on 8/24.

8/10, 9:30 PM darkly sizzling original surf rock band the Black Flamingos play surf at the Gutter, $5

8/10, 10 PM Lakeside Lounge honcho and careening Americana guitar icon Eric Ambel, and fiery, lyrical Steve Earle-ish songwriter Kasey Anderson at Hill Country

8/10, 10 PM pyrotechnic jazz improv trumpeter Peter Evans with homemade instrument builder/percussionist Levy Lorenzo followed by the prosaically branded but mesmerizing Duet for Theremin and Lap Steel at Wonders of Nature 

8/10-11, 10:30 PM hard-charging alto saxophonist Mike DiRubbo leads his quartet at Smalls

8/10, 10:30 PM Max’s era-style punks the NY Junk play the album release show for their new one at Coney Island Baby, $10

8/11, 3 PM the North, South, East, and West choruses – which could include you – sing the world premiere of John Luther Adams: In the Name of the Earth at Harlem Meer in Central Park

8/11, 3 PM ish swirling, feral female-fronted psychedelic cumbia/tropicalia allstars Combo Chimbita  outdoors at Union Pool, free

8/11, 4ish the lavish Mariachi Real de Mexico de Ramon Ponce  on the Coney Island Boardwalk in front of the Wonder Wheel

8/11, 5 PM an extremely rare solo show by the crystalline-voiced, savagely lyrical Mary Lee Kortes at Pete’s

8/11, 6 PM Microscopic Septet pianist Joel Forrester f – who’s doing a barrellhous take on hypnotic Philip Glass-ine composition lately – followed at 8 by chanteuse/uke player Dahlia Dumont’s kinetic French-Caribbean band  Blue Dahlia and at 10 by Cumbiagra – who’ve been going in a much more psychedelic direction lately-  at Barbes

8/11, 7 PM sizzling, haunting, psychedelic Turkish string band Neotolia at Joe’s Pub, $15

8/11, 7:30/9:30 PM drummer Tomas Fujiwara’s thundering, tidally shifting two-guitar/two-drum Triple Double at the Jazz Gallery, $25

8/11, 7 PM dark Americana lit-rock cult hero Joe Henry and soul/gospel icon Mavis Staples – good twinbill, hilariously bad segue – at Damrosch Park out back of Lincoln Center

8/11, 7 PM  Markus Reuter (Berlin), Mark Wingfield (London), Tim Motzer (Philadelphia), and Doug Hirlinger (NYC/Philadelphia) in a guitar trio plus drums. The late set starting at 9 is a talent-packed quadruple bill with Ikue Mori solo, Peter Evans’ new ensemble “Being & Becoming”, vocalists/noise artists Andrea Pensado, Charmaine Lee, and percussionist Chris Strunk at Arete Gallery, free

8/11, 8 PM masterful improvisational camaraderie with Shipp/Lowe/Cleaver/Ray – Matthew Shipp, Allen Lowe, Gerald Cleaver, Kevin Ray – at the  Poisson Rouge, $20 adv tix rec

8/11, 8 PM kinetic jazz vibraphonista Yuhan Su leads her quintet at the Cell Theatre, $15/$10 stud/srs

8/11, 8:30 PM jangly, clanging late 80s nostalgia with the Breeders at Prospect Park Bandshell

8/11, 9 PM hilarious, smartly political faux-French retro 60s psych-pop band les Sans Culottes at Bar Chord

8/11, 10 PM the Muslim & a Mexican play classic psychedelic Farsi funk from the 60s and 70s at the old Nublu, $10

8/12, 1 PM Super Yamba play their bracingly psychedelic Afrobeat jams at the Riis Park Beach Bazaar in the Rockaways

8/12, 1 PM low-key deep-Brooklyn sounds with Naomi Shelton & the Gospel Queens playing a gospel brunch show at Bar Lunatico. They’re also here on 8/26

8/12, 3 PM acerbic indie classical duo String Noise at the Noguchi Museum, 9-01 33rd Rd,, Long Island City,  N to Broadway and about a 15-block walk, free w/museum adm

8/12, 4 PM amazingly psychedelic, cross-pollinated Indian sounds with the Women’s Raga Massive at the Queens Botanical Garden, 43-50 Main St, Flushing, free w/garden adm

8/12, 6 PM noir-inspired low-register reedman Ben Goldberg  and cornetist Kirk Knuffke duel it out at Downtown Music Gallery

8/12, 7 PM twangy Crazy Horse-ish Americana jamband Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real followed by newschool Americana soul chanteuse Margo Price at Damrosch Park out back of Lincoln Center

8/12, 7:30 PM a haunting Tunisian/Palestinian twinbill: singer Sonia M’barek & oudist/violinist Simon Shaheen with his funky Qantara group at Merkin Concert Hall, $30

8/12, 7:30 PM a short set by irrepressibly devious, lyrically hilarious multi-instrumentalist songwriter Walter Ego – who spans from darkly elegant art-rock to classic Britrock sounds – at Sidewalk

8/12, 11 PM creepy, psychedelic circus rock/Russian folk band Mad Meg followed at midnight by Helsinki girlpunk band the Shrieks at Littlefield, $10 

8/13, 7 PM night one of this year’s sublime Drive East Festival of Indian music opens with acclaimed Hindustani spiritual singer Rattan Mohan Sharma at LaMama, 66 E 4th St, $28 tix avail

8/13, 8 PM a rare NYC appearance by classy, cinematic NZ jazz pianist Alan Broadbent at Mezzrow, $15 at the bar

8/13, 8 PM the all-female Resistance Revival Chorus sing epic, inspiring populist gospel tunes and anti-trumpie broadsides, plus appearances by Valerie June, Jojo Abot, Ayo, Deva Mahal, Renee Elise Goldsberry, Mariachi Flor de Toloache, Annabella Sciorra, Abby Dobson, Shakina Nayfack, Indya Moore and others at the Delacorte Theatre in Central Park, free, early arrival advised (doors at 7:30

8/13, 8:30 PM fearlessly haunting, dynamic, charismatic Romany/Balkan chanteuse Eva Salina with pyrotechnic accordionist Peter Stan at Bar Lunatico

8/13-16, 8/10:30 PM a rare summit meeting between trumpeter Roy Hargrove and soulful reedman Paquito D’Rivera at the Blue Note, $30 standing room avail. Hargrove is back leading his quintet here 8/28-31.

8/13, 8:30 PM the Vitamin String Quartet play faux-classical covers of all your favorite cheeseball radio hits at City Winery, $20 gen adm

8/13, 9:30ish the NYC Gaita Club – a Bulla en el Barrio spinoff – play rustically pounding Afro-Colombian trance-dance music at Barbes

8/14, 7 PM powerhouse postbop trumpeter Wayne Tucker leads his group followed byclever, fiery, eclectic ten-piece Balkan/hip-hop/funk brass maniacs Slavic Soul Party at Barbes

8/14-15, 7:30/9:30 PM golden-age large-ensemble postbop sounds with the Lee Konitz Nonet at the Jazz Standard, $30

8/14. 8 PM bassist Adam Minkoff leads a nine-piece rock band with horns playing his original arrangements of Stravinsky works at the Poisson Rouge, $20 adv tix rec

8/14, 8:30 PM this year’s sublime Drive East Festival of Indian music continues with Vishal Vaid singing rapturous ghazals at LaMama, 66 E 4th St, $28 tix avail

8/14-15, 8:30 PM lyrical, Balkan-inspired pianist Uri Caine leads a trio at Mezzrow, $20 at the bar

8/14, 9ish tuneful, smartly lyrical songwriter and slashing guitarist Jennifer O’Connor and her band at Wonders of Nature

8/14, 9  PM Crampsy ghoul-surf/noir garage band Twin Guns at Coney Island Baby, $12

8/14. 10 PM bass sax monster Stefan Zeniuk does double duty with two of his dark latin bands: punk mambo crew the NY Fowl Harmonic  followed by the titanic, richly noir Gato Loco at Hank’s, $7

8/15, 5:30 PM night one of this year’s amazing Bryant Park Accordion Festival, short sets by musicians scattered across the park lawn to prevent any sonic interference. Lineup includes Phil Passantino (Cajun + Zydeco), Maestro Tito Castro (Bandoneón: Argentine Tango), Foncho Castellar (Colombian Cumbia + Vallenato), Gregory Grene (Irish Rock), Eduardo de Carvalho (Brazilian Forró), Christina Crowder (Klezmer & Moldavian Folk), Jenny Luna (amazing Balkan + Turkish), Susan Hwang (wryly literary Blues + Soul), Jody Kruskal (Concertina: Old Americana), Dmitry Sokolovsky (Retro, Samba, Musette + Jazz), Nathan Koci (American and English Folk Tunes), and Barry Adler (German + Austrian)

8/15, 6 PM high-voltage psychedelic cumbia/Afrobeat jamband MAKU Soundsystem at Madison Square Park

8/15, 6 PM sitar player Abhik Mukherjee at the Rubin Museum of Art, free w/museum adm

8/15, 7:15 PM this year’s sublime Drive East Festival of Indian music continues with rising star santoor player Vinay Desai at LaMama, 66 E 4th St, $21 tix avail

8/15, 9 PM haunting all-acoustic symphonic art-rock band the Arcane Insignia at the Delancey, $10

8/16, 7:15 PM this year’s sublime Drive East Festival of Indian music continues with the epic, mesmerizing Navatman Music Collective – the only carnatic choir in this hemisphere – at LaMama, 66 E 4th St, $22 tix avail

8/16, 7:30 PM the Jimi Hendrix of the cuatro, Jorge Glem at the Lincoln Center Atrium, free, early arrival advised

8/16, 8ish an amazing original roots music triplebill: badass original country blues and oldtimey guitarist/songwriter Mamie Minch, oldtimey Americana duo the Hawkins Brothers and wildly hilarious acoustic Veracruz-style folk-punk band Radio Jarocho at a house concert at 169 Spencer St. at Willoughby, Bed-Stuy, G to Myrtle-Willoughby, sug don

8/16, 7:30/9:30 PM reedman Brian Krock’s titanic 20-piece jazz orchestra Big Heart Machine – conducted by Miho Hazama and featuring the spectacular Arcoiris Sandoval on piano – at the Jazz Gallery, $15

8/16-19, 7:30/9:30 PM high-voltage vibraphonist Warren Wolf and his Quartet at the Jazz Standard, $30

8/16, 8 PM eclectic, vivid Colombian pianist Ricardo Gallo with Ben Goldberg: clarinet; Sam Kulik: trombone; Satoshi Takeishi: drums followed at 10 by Pangari & the Socialites careening through classic ska and rocksteady – most of it from the 60s Skatalites catalog – at Barbes

8/16, 8:30 PM riveting, incisive oudist Brandon Terzic with 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 – at the Jalopy, $15. Terzic is also at Barbes on 8/29 at 8.

8/16, 9 PM indie powepop icons Guided By Voices at Industry City Courtyard, 274 36th St, Sunset Park, D/R to 36th St., $25 tix avail at the Bell House box ofc

8/17, 5:30 PM ubiquitous, moodily lyrical, politically savvy Irish folk-rocker Niall Connolly at the American Folk Art Museum 

8/17, 6 PM ferocious, female-fronted Afrobeat band Underground System at Bryant Park

8/17, 10 PM ferociously lyrical, Macbeth-inspired art-rock/psychedelic songwriter Rose Thomas Bannister and her killer new band at the Jalopy, $10

8/17, 8 PM a collaboration between wildly eclectic bluegrass/Taiwanese folk guitaris/songwriter Chalaw Basiwali and Malagasy griot Kilema at Flushing Town Hall, $16/$10 srs, under 18 free w.ID

8/17, 8 PM rustic Brazilian jungle guitar-and-accordion sounds with Regional de NY at Barbes

8/17, 9:30 PM a killer surf rock twinbill: the Nebulas and the evilly psychedelic Satan’s Pilgrims at the Gutter, $5

8/17, 7:30 PM baritone saxophonist Lauren Sevian leads her killer LSQ quartet with Helen Sung on piano at Smalls

8/11, 8 PM jazz violinist Frederika Krier & her quartet Molecular Vibrations at the Cell Theatre, $15/$10 stud/srs

8/17, 8 PM exotic vibraphone-driven surf rock instrumentalists the Vibro-jets at Troost

 8/17, 8:30 PM future hall of famers the Out Louds: Tomas Fujiwara – drums; Ben Goldberg – clarinet; Mary Halvorson – guitar at I-Beam, $15

8/17, 8:30 PM organist and  Monk reinventor Greg Lewis and dazzlingly eclectic purist jazz singer Brianna Thomas at Bar Lunatico – OMFG

8/17, 10:40 PM (not 10:30) anthemic lit-rocker Dalton Deschain followed y the darkly eclectic, enigmatic Lorraine Leckie  – equally adept at Slavic and Americana noir – at Sidewalk

8/17, midnight, this era’s most intensely powerful tenor sax guy, JD Allen runs the jam session at Smalls. Hell, he could sleep here afterward

8/18, 1 PM hilarious, smartly political faux-French retro 60s psych-pop band les Sans Culottes at the Riis Park Beach Bazaar in the Rockaways

8/18, 1/3 PM the Collaborative Arts Ensemble play southern US-inspired works by Samuel Barber, Charles Ives, Johnny Cash,Hoagy Carmichael, Henry Mancin at Colonels Row on Governors Island, free

8/18, 6 PM trippy downtempo/postrock band Droneship followed at 7 by rockabilly band the Lexingtons at the Delancey 

8/18, 7:30 PM fearlessly relevant, genuinely riveting, populist tenor sax visionary/improviser Matana Roberts  solo on tenor sax at the Jazz Gallery. At 9:30 she plays a duo set with drummer Gerald Cleaver, $25

8/18, 7:30/9:30 PM powerful jazz belter – and Gil Scott-Heron reinventor –  Charenee Wade leads her group at Minton’s, $10

8/18, 8:30 PM this year’s sublime Drive East Festival of Indian music continues with Nirmala Rajasekar and Group playing magical Saraswati veena music at LaMama, 66 E 4th St, $23 tix avail

8/18, 8:30 PM Unheard Of Ensemble play works by Christopher Stark, Margaret Shedel, Reiko Füting, Erin Rogers and Tonia Ko at Spectrum

8/18, 9 PM chugging girlpunks Grim Streaker, feminist hardcore band Fea and ageless Cali surf punk legends Agent Orange at the Knitting Factory, $17 adv tix rec 

8/18, 9ish crunchy Italian stoner doom metal band Megatherium at the Cobra Club, $tba 

8/18, 10 PM expansive brass-fueled Afrobeat jams with the Brighton Beatat Shrine

8/18. 10 PM fiery electric bluegrass and C&W with Demolition String Band  at Skinny Dennis

8/18. 10 PM oldschool psychedelic soul/groove band Empire Beats at the Way Station

8/18, 9:30 PM wryly retro, period-perfect classic 60s style female-fronted honkytonk band the Bourbon Express at Freddy’s

8/19, 1 PM bouncy, slyly amusing psychedelic cumbia band Consumata at the Riis Park Beach Bazaar in the Rockaways

8/19, 5 PM the final concert of this year’s sublime Drive East Festival of Indian music features the Flute Raman Trio playing mystical, centuries-old repertoire at LaMama, 66 E 4th St, $21 tix avail

8/19, 7 PM Fuck You Tammy play amazingly spot-on recreations of themes from Twin Peaks and David Lynch films at the Mercury, $10

8/19, 7:30 PM Haley Fohr aka Circuit des Yeux plays a live ensemble soundtrack to the 1923 silent film adaptation of Oscar Wilde’s play Salomé. at National Sawdust, $17 adv tix rec

8/19, 8 PM torchy, riveting, erudite countrypolitan songwriter Drina Seay plays her bday show at the Treehouse at 2A

8/19, 8 PM hauntingly cinematic, windswept lapsteel soundscapes with Rainer Maria guitarslinger Kaia Fischer and freak-folk eeriness with Uke of Spaces at a house concert at 169 Spencer St. at Willoughby, Bed-Stuy, G to Myrtle-Willoughby, sug don

8/20, 7:30 PM a rare U.S. appearance by legendary Russian folk singer, composer and multi-instrumentalist Sergei Starostin with his Virtual Village Ensemble playing medieval sounds at the Fridman Gallery, $20

8/20-22, 8/10:30 PM trumpeter Christian Scott and band at the Blue Note, $20 standing room avail

8/20, 9 PM lustrously dark jazz pianist Guy Mintus leads his trio at the big room at the Rockwood, $10

8/20, 9 PM legendary dual-reedman George Braith – who can play two saxes at once better than most guys can play one – leads his quartet at the Fat Cat

8/21-22, 7:30/9:30 PM rising star jazz harpist Brandee Younger leads her Quintet: electric on the 21st and acoustic on the 22nd at the Jazz Standard

8/21, 8 PM roaring 20s hot jazz with Sweet Megg & the Wayfarers at Radegast Hall

8/21-25, 8:30 PM guitar icon Bill Frisell leads a series of duos with various drummers at the Stone at the New School, $20. Choice pick: how to decide? 8/22 with Kenny Wollesen or 8/24 with Johnathan Blake? 8/29 at 7 PM Frisesll plays a rare duo show with Ikue Mori on percussion at National Sawdust, $25 adv tix rec. He’s also at Russ & Daughters – smallest venue he’s ever played – on 8/30 for FREE. Get there early

8/21, 10:30 PM brilliant drummer/percussionist Willie Martinez & La Familia Sextet play classic salsa grooves at the Nuyorican Poets Cafe, $10

8/21, 10:30 PM fiery alto saxophonist Lucas Pino’s twin-guitar No No Nonet at Smalls

8/22, 1 PM a NYC bluegrass band twinbill with Bluegrass Collusion and Sheriff & the Deputy at the triangle at 66th and Broadway

8/22, 5:30 PM night two of this year’s amazing Bryant Park Accordion Festival, short sets by musicians scattered across the park lawn to prevent any sonic interference. Lineup includes John Sherman (Cajun, Appalachian + Blues), Tinta Roja (Argentine Bandoneón + Guitar), El Toro de la Sierra (Mexican Norteño), Dan Gurney (Traditional Irish), Felipe Hostins (Northeast Brazilian), Mary Spencer Knapp (French, Pop + Soul), Nathan Rivera (Gypsy Blues), The Bumper Crop Boys (Blues and Country), Yuri Lemeshev (World, Classical + Jazz), Sam Reider (American Roots), Erica Mancini (Jazz, Blues + Country), and Mario Tacca (French Musette + Waltz).

8/22, 9 PM intense, charismatic oldschool soul belter Sami Stevens at the small room at the Rockwood

8/23, 5 PM oldschool Dirty Jerz hip-hop with pioneering female rapper Rah Digga at Chambers Plaza in Newark

8/23, 5:30  PM string ensemble Leadlights play works by Kyle Werner, Beethoven, Brahms, and Mendelssohn at Belvedere Plaza north of Battery Park, follow the sound

8/23, 6 PM oldschool salsa dura with Los Habaneros under the Manhattan Bridge archway, go south from the  York St. subway and follow the sound

8/23, 6:30 PM Tom Csatari & Uncivilized Orchestra at Pioneer Works, free. Brooklyn’s most interesting jazz guitarist survives a brush with death and reemerges with his careening nine-ish piece band – an event not to miss

8/23, 7:30/9 PM lyrical latin jazz alto saxophonist Roman Filiu  leads a quartet with David Virelles on piano at Minton’s, $10

8/23, 8 PM singer Dida Pelled salutes obscure cult favorite women songwriters including Connie Converse, Elizabeth Cotten, Molly Drake, Vashti Bunyan and Norma Tanega followed at 10 by allstar violinist and drummer Jenny Scheinman & Allison Miller’s Parlour Game trio with formidable pianist Carmen Staaf at Barbes

8/23, 8:30 PM bassist Ben Allison teams up with noir-inspired pianist Frank Kimbrough & guitarist Steve Cardenas at Mezzrow, $20 at the bar

8/23, 10 PM twangy oldschool C&W band Girls Guns & Glory – who actually don’t embarrass themselves with their Hank Williams covers – at Hill Country

8/23, 10 PMtrumpeter Steven Bernstein’s legendary noir jazz outfit Sexmob at the old Nublu, $10 adv tix avail at the Poisson Rouge box ofc

8/24, 5:30 PM blues guitarist Will Scott – who can play just about any style from all over the country – and vivacious, badass all-female oldtimey string band the Dead Sea Sisters at the American Folk Art Museum 

8/24, 8 PM brilliantly lyrical trumpeter Ben Holmes’ Naked Lore with Kyle Sanna and Shane Shahanan at Barbes followed at 10 by the world’s creepiest crime jazz/film noir band, Big Lazy 

8/24-25, 10:30 PM innovative, erudite jazz organist Jared Gold leads his quartet at Smalls

8/25, 3 PM the ageless godfather of boogaloo, Joe Bataan outdoors at Union Pool, free

8/25, 5ish purist swing singer Catherine Russell and Jamaican jazz piano icon Monty Alexander’s reggae-jazz Harlem-Kingston Express at Marcus Garvey Park

8/25, 6 PM cleverly lyrical, murderously witty murder ballad/chamber pop allstars Charming Disaster at Castle Clinton in Battery Park

8/25, 7 PM the intricately polyrhythmic eight-piece Chhandayan Tabla Ensemble followed by Sougata Roy Chowdhury on sarod with Monir Hossain on tabla at Chhandayan Center For Indian Music, $20

8/25, 7 PM pianist David Greilsammer “takes a musical journey to the heart of a strange and dazzling labyrinth in a solo recital that spans musical eras,” with a centerpiece of Leoš Janáček’s darkly cinematic suite “On An Overgrown Path” at National Sawdust, $25 adv tix rec

8/25, 10 PM sludgy, ornate Detroit metal band Acid Witch at St. Vitus, $12 

8/25. 10 PM Danaya Band play Malian and Afrobeat sounds at Silvana

8/26, 1 PM jangly New York original surf rock cult heroes the Supertones at the Riis Park Beach Bazaar in the Rockaways at the triangle at 66th St. and Broadway

8/26, 3 PM the trio of Adam O’Farrill, Immanuel Wilkins and Joel Ross, Amina Claudine Myers, then a lame corporate jazz act, then Gary Bartz leading a quartet at Tompkins Square Park

8/26, 4 PM Music Against Mass Incarceration at Secret Project Robot with lo-fi janglerock/C&W songwriter Colin Langenus, Americana songstress Erin Durant, first-class lo-fi stoner jamband Rhyton, that guy from the former Pleasure Unit, hazily jangly, psychedelic slowcore/free jazz/avant instrumentalists Sunwatchers  and no-wave funksters Guerilla Toss, all proceeds to benefit Just Leadership USA and the fight to shut down Rikers Island $15

8/26, 7 PM  Perspectives Ensemble play works by Manuel de Falla at the Angel Orensanz Center, 172 Norfolk St south of Houston, free 

8/26, 7 PM Alfred Kpebsaane – Ghanaian Gyil xylophone, and Brittany Anjou – piano & keyboards playing Ghanaian Bewaa and Binne funeral music followed at 9:30 by Romany jazz/psychedelic rock guitar mastermind Stephane Wrembel at Barbes

8/26, 8ish perennially vital latin jazz piano sage Eddie Palmieri  at Central Park Summerstage

8/26, 10 PM stampeding, merciless Savannah metal band Black Tusk at St. Vitus, $18 

8/26, 10 PM swirly, dancey/dreamy, vaguely 80s inflected stadium rock band Mars Motel at the Delancey, $12 

8/27, 8ish irrepressible, historically informed, crystalline-voiced folk noir/art-rock songwriter Elisa Flynn at Troost

8/27, 8/10 PM  ageless, perennially hard-hitting jazz piano sage and ex-Coltrane bandmate McCoy Tyner at the Blue Note, $30 standing room avail.

8/27, 9 PM darkly torchy southwestern gothic/Europolitan songwriter/guitarist Miwa Gemini followed by high-voltage delta blues/Romany swing guitarist Felix Slim at LIC Bar

8/27, 9:30ish singer Carolina Oliveros’ mighty 13-piece Afro-Colombian trance/dance choir Bulla en el Barrio at Barbes

8/28, 8 PM badass oldschool electric bluesmistress Celisse Henderson  and a bunch of actors read from and play music inspired by the Howard Zinn classic People’s History of the United States at Central Park Summerstage. They did something like this at Lincoln Center last year and it was surprisingly subversive.

8/28, 9 PM slashing guitarist Steve Antonakos plays slide guitar blues with his band at Bar Chord

8/29, 5:30 PM night three of this year’s amazing Bryant Park Accordion Festival, short sets by musicians scattered across the park lawn to prevent any sonic interference. Lineup includes Kenny Margolis (Zydeco + Blues), David Hodges (Bandoneón: Argentine Tango), Harold Rodriguez (Colombian Vallenato), Annmarie Acosta (Williams Traditional Irish), Rob Curto (Brazilian Bluegrass), Ed Goldberg & the Odessa Klezmer Band (Eastern European Klezmer), Melissa Elledge (Rock + Pop), George Saenz (Music from Texas-Mexico Border), Smörgåsbandet (Scandinavian), Earl Accordionist (Polka, French + Tango), Mindra Sahadeo (Harmonium: South Asian), and Rachelle Garniez (arguably this era’s greatest and most colorful, magnetic songwriter)

8/29, 7:30/9:30 PM this era’s most cutting-edge, politically relevant large jazz ensemble, Darcy James Argue’s Secret Society at the Jazz Standard, $30

8/29, 8:30 PM epically prolific, fearless, monumentally tuneful pianist Satoko Fujii leads her trio at i-Beam, $15, get there early

8/29, 10:30 PM slinky maracatu/New Orleans/surf rock mashups from Nation Beat at the big room at the Rockwood

8/30, 5:30 PM the Harlem Quartet play works by Schubert, Debussy and others at Belvedere Plaza north of Battery Park, follow the sound

8/30-9/2, 7:30/9:30 PM purist pianist Cyrus Chestnut and Trio featuring Buster Williams and Lenny White at the Jazz Standard

8/30, 8:30 PM haunting, intense ,soulful folk noir songwriter Holly Miranda – who’s as good on Telecaster as she is on piano at City Winery, $15

 8/30, 10 PM accordionist/sitarist Kamala Sankaram’s hot surfy Bollywood/cumbia/psychedelic rock project Bombay Rickey at Barbes

8/31, 6 PM 80s style goth/dreampop band Shadow Age at Elsewhere, $12 

8/31, 7:30 PM the glimmering, noir-inspired Tom Beckham on vibes with Peter Slavov on bass and George Schuller on drums at the Bar Next Door, $12

8/31, 8 PM klezmer-jazz icon Anthony Coleman on piano and organ with Doug Wieselman – clarinets and Brad Jones – bass; Chris Cochrane – guitar and Brian Chase – drums followed by a rare club show by busker legends the Xylopholks at Barbes. Let’s see how far they get in those sweaty animal onesies and masks!

8/31, 8 PM Yoon-Ji Lee’s “Sunday Supper”“Sunday Supper” (Korean title: “저녁식사”), “an experimental chamber opera loosely inspired by the 2007 novel “The Vegetarian” by Han Kang” with electroacoustic Korean music and instrumental backing, plus a dance work in progress by Adrianne Aguilar at National Sawdust, $15 adv tix red

9/1, 3 PM the Sun Ra Arkestra outdoors at Union Pool, free

9/5, 5:30 PM  night four of this year’s amazing Bryant Park Accordion Festival, short sets by musicians scattered across the park lawn to prevent any sonic interference. Lineup includes Laren Droll (Cajun + Zydeco), Laura Vilche (Bandoneón: Argentine Tango), Nain de los M-1 Sangre de Reyes (Norteño Music from Mexico), Patty Furlong (Traditional Irish Music), Cordeone (Portuguese Fado), Ilya Shneyveys (Traditional + Original Klezmer), Eva Salina and Peter Stan (Vintage Balkan Roma Ballads), Mira Stroika (Pop Cabaret), Albert Behar (French Musette + Gypsy Jazz), Alan Morrow (Waltzes, Tango + Blues), Papa Bavarian (German Oktoberfest), and Burlap Don Simons (American Swing).

9/6, 6 PM singer Jessy Carolina’s torchy cabaret band Shanghai Mermaid under the Manhattan Bridge archway, go south from the  York St. subway and follow the sound

9/7, 6 PM elegant, lyrical, wildly eclectic oldtimey jazz/New England Americana songwriter Caroline Cotter at the American Folk Art Museum 

9/12, 5:30 PM night five of this year’s amazing Bryant Park Accordion Festival, short sets by musicians scattered across the park lawn to prevent any sonic interference. Lineup includes Julie Winterbottom (Cajun Music from Louisiana), Javier Sánchez (Bandoneón: Argentine Tango), Sadys Rodrigo Espitia (Colombian Cumbia + Vallenato), Ellen Lindstrom “The Swedish Meatball” (Scandinavian Music), Vitor Gonçalves (Brazilian Choro + Forró), Shoko Nagai (Japanese + Jewish), Maestro (Electronic Balkan Music), Papa Joe De Clemente (Italian + American Standards), Will Holshouser (Jazz + Folk), Ismail Butera (Ancient Mediterranean), Ryan O’Donnell + Friends (Ukrainian), and Guillermo Vaisman (Coastal Argentine Chamamé).

9/14, 5 PM the grand finale of this year’s amazing Bryant Park Accordion Festival with full sets by Shashmaqam (hauntin Bukharan Jewish music and and Central Asian dance), João Cirilo Pilom Batuko Band (Batuko and Funaná from Cape Verde), a lame Patti Smith wannabe on harmonium, Canzoniere Grecanico Salentino (sizzling Pugliese folk dances), and Rimel (Norteño music from Mexico).

9/20 Red Baraat guitarist Jonathan Goldberger, Hearing Things organist JP Schlegelmilch and Alasnoaxis drummer Jim Black bought a vintage Yamaha organ and play the release show for their killer, psychedelic new trio album Visitors at Nublu 151

9/21, 8 PM sizzling oudist Mohamed Abozekry and Karade play haunting, serpentine Egyptian music from across the centuries at Roulette, $25/$20 stud/srs

9/27, 7 PM the all-female Resistance Revival Chorus sing epic, inspiring populist gospel tunes and anti-trumpie broadsides followed by afropop singer Angelique Kidjo at Central Park Summerstage

9/29 lush, dynamically eclectic Korean folk/art-rock band Coreyah mash up lustrous, often plaintive themes with hard-charging hip-hop and dance tunes at the Chile Pepper Festival at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, time/price tba

10/13, 2:30ish sardonically catchy powerpop/janglerockers the Hell Yeah Babies, long-running, wickedly jangly, tuneful Americana rockers the Sloe Guns in Tompkins Square Park and Giftshop – the missing link between Blondie and the Distillers – at Tompkins Square Park

British Folk-Rock Supergroup The Rails’ Brilliant New Album Chronicles Real Estate Bubble-Era Hell

The Rails are as much of a supergroup as you could possibly want, on every front. With withering contempt for speculators and the plague of gentrification that continues to decimate urban areas throughout the western world and beyond, this band jangle and clang with the kind of purist tunefulness you would expect considering their pedigree. The sonics are luscious beyond belief: guitarist James Walbourne’s attack ranges from gentle acoustic filigrees to electric slings and arrows punctuated by equal parts scream and slither.

The core of the group also includes Walbourne’s singer wife Kami Thompson (daughter of Linda and Richard Thompson) with Son Volt’s Jim Boquist on bass and the North Mississippi Allstars’ Cody Dickinson on drums. Their album Other People – as in “There are other people in this world, not just you” – is streaming at Spotify. They’re playing the Mercury on July 25 at 7 PM. Cover is $20; if smart, fearlessly relevant songwriting is your thing, don’t miss them.

The album opens with the bitter, brooding ballad The Cally, a slowly unwinding, imagistic tale of a seedy bar under siege amid wretched real estate bubble excess. Walbourne muses about how refreshing it is to see a prostitute still out there, typical of the crushing irony in many of these songs.

Thompson sings the tensely pulsing breakup anthem Late Surrender, bubbling over with Walbourne’s spiky, lingering Strat work, up to a tantalizingly brief solo out. With her resolute, low-key vocals, the album’s title track is as apt a smack upside the head of yuppie narcissists as anyone’s written this year:

Take the candy
Steal the money
Pull the blind down
Kick the dog

Walbourne seethes and grits his teeth through the slowly waltzing Drowned In Blue, Thompson just slightly more restrained over the lushly textured, watery guitars and stinging steel. The guitar multitracks are just as rich but more spare and acoustic in Hanging On, which works just as well as a requiem for a relationship as for a burnt-out freedom fighter.

For a minute it seems like Walbourne’s narrator in Dark Times got a raw deal with the richkid cokehead girlfriend, but there’s more to the story – and a delicious Farfisa organ break that gives way to a typically searing guitar solo. Shame, a drunkard’s lament, has a more upbeat Britfolk feel.

Thompson’s voice rises plaintively in Leaving the Land, a wounded, defeatedly waltzing ballad with a cynically roaring Celtic dance midway through. It sets up the album’s big bombshell, Brick and Mortar, which might be the best song of 2018. Over a savage minor-key strut, Walbourne paints a grim picture of one historic district after another being destroyed as working people get displaced:

I can’t hear the beat on Denmark Street
Silenced by the sound of mute concrete
And it’s never coming back
Just another luxury flat
It’s farewell to all of London’s brick and mortar

“Why does evil taste so sweet? Leads you down a dead-end street,” Thompson muses to complete the trilogy in yet another pensive waltz, Mansion of Happiness, set to Walbourne’s black widow web of guitars and mandolin. The group stay in 3/4 time throughout Australia, a mutedly cynical would-be escape tale, then add a fourth beat to the measure in the stark, doomed, Everly Brothers-tinged I Wish, I Wish.

Willow Tree is an unexpectedly successful detour toward oldschool American C&W. The album winds up with the aching Low Expectations: “There must be something more than this,” Walbourne broods. He’s done plenty of memorable lead guitar work with the Pretenders and Ray Davies but this is his masterpiece so far. And it’s also a high-water mark for Thompson as standard bearer of a mighty songwriting legacy.

More Searing Psychedelic Garage Rock From One of NYC’s Best Bands

Is this the great long lost Radio Birdman album? The Electric Mess don’t sound exactly like menacing Australian garage-psych legends, but the resemblance is luscious. If relentless punk cynicism, scorching fretwork, jugular-slashing pickslides, overdriven vintage tube amp sonics and wickedly purist, oldschool rock tunesmithing are your thing, you need to know this band. Their new album The Beast Is You is streaming at Bandcamp. They’re playing Coney Island Baby (the old Brownies/Hifi Bar space) on July 25 at 9 PM; cover is $12.

Their previous album House on Fire was a little heavier on the psychedelia; this one is leaner and more stripped down. The production is delicious: you can practically smell the scorch of vinyl insulation from the back of the amps, and the rhythm section are back in the pocket where they need to be, guitars and vocals out front with funereal organ tremoloing overhead.

The album’s opening cut, Disconnected kicks off with Alan J. Camlet’s machinegunning surf drum intro, hits a vampy 60s garage rock drive followed by a searing Dan Crow wah-wah guitar solo and a trippy early Pink Floyd interlude before the band blast out at the end. That’s about as ornate as the band’s songs get this time out.

‘I’m gonna crash about fifteen cars,” frontwoman Esther Crow announces as We’re Gonna Crash gets underway, Oweinama Biu’s jet-engine organ over the slashing guitars, looming bass and  four-on-the-floor GTO drums. Dan Crow pulls out his wah pedal on the launching pad again.

The snidely propulsive I’m Gone blends eerie Ray Manzarek organ, space acid Chris Masuak guitar and a kiss-off message directed at some kind of religious nut or new age freak. With twin guitars flinging bits and pieces of chords into the bonfire and Derek Davidson’s bass slithering upwards, the wry outer-space anthem You’re My Overdrive wouldn’t be out of place on Radio Birdman’s iconic Radios Appear album.

The guitars take that incendiary, chromatically bristling attack even higher in Snow Queen – Dan Crow’s cruelly spiraling, Deniz Tek-ish lead break is one of the album’s high points. The band keep the assault going in the gleefully apocalyptic No One Gets Out Alive; Dan’s tantalizingly brief solo sets up an unexpectedly funny vocal outro.

Seems like they turn up the reverb a little higher the title track, arguably the album’s most searingly tight number, Davidson’s bass building toxic waste bubbles underneath the guitars’ roar and slash. Then they get the wahs going again in You Can’t Hide, the most Stoogoid number here. “Let me your sloppy seconds, baby,” Esher leers over the organ’s evil oscillations. “Let me clean up every mess you make, I’ll keep away the promises you break.”

Things start to get a lot more eclectic starting with the Plastic Jack, which edges toward janglerock a la Plan 9. Fueled by retro organ, the regret-heavy It Happens All the Time is a rare midtempo garage rock number, while Mystery Girl is surprisingly Beatlesque.

Starry, Doorsy organ swirls through the pulsing vamps of Read You Your Rights; the band close out the album with Yes Future, a glamrock tune. House on Fire ranked high on the best albums of 2015 page here; check back at the end of the year for the 2017 list!

A Colorful, Grittily Lyrical New Album and a Rare New York Show by Americana Rocker Kevin Gordon

Kevin Gordon writes funny, acerbic, growlingly guitar-fueled Americana rock songs that bring to mind both Steve Earle and Tom Waits. Like those two, Gordon’s starkly detailed narratives typically fixate on a colorful cast of down-and-out characters, but his music tends to rock harder. His latest album Tilt and Shine is due to his his Bandcamp page on July 27. He’s making a rare New York appearance on July 23 at 7 PM at the third stage at the Rockwood; cover is $15.

The opening cut, Fire At the End of the End of the World is a hoot, Gordon welding a gritty boogie blues riff to a swaying rock tune. This chronicle of how alarmist antidrug sermonizing can backfire will resonate with any past or present teenage burnout. The Memphis soul-infused Saint on a Chain is a similarly fearless hellraiser anthem. “Make it here, your chance is slim/People get out, you never see ‘em again.” Gordon explains in his weatherbeaten Louisiana drawl. “She kicked me out and changed the locks, on my motel door.” But by the end of the song, this guys’ still driving way over the speed limit with one hand on the wheel.

The careening shuffle One Road Out (Angola Rodeo Blues) is a dead ringer for Mississippi hill country blues legend RL Burnside. Gordon’s Louisiana prison guard narrator offers his view of the guys inside that notorious lockdown:

Everyone’s a preacher
Inside a prison cell
If they ever leave here living
They leave Jesus in the jail

The regret-laced anthem Gatling Gun references a Pink Floyd classic over a bed of rustling acoustic and electric guitars:

I could take a razor to my blank stare
Bleed out every memory of her in there

The rig-rock anthem Right on Time has a choogling, Tex-Mex tinged post-Chuck Berry groove, bringing to mind the Del-Lords and Bottle Rockets. Gordon brings the lights down for the surrealistically enveloping swamp noir nocturne DeVall’s Bluff:

Frogs in the night
Ain’t no riverboat light
Still water don’t talk much
Newspaper headline
From weeks gone by:
The death of the Star City judge

Once again, Gordon’s guitar adds dark Pink Floyd grandeur.

Gordon follows Drunkest Man in Town, an unexpectedly grim, Stonesy cautionary tale with the spare, acoustic, Willie Nelson-ish ballad Rest Your Head: “I can see that bird but I’m a fool if I think it’s singing just for me,” Gordon muses. He closes the album with a catchy, shuffling anthem, Get It Together, the album’s most ecologically and socially relevant (and cynical) track. Fans of the shrinking world of artists who set smart lyrics to catchy tunes can’t go wrong with this one. 

Two Great Psychedelic Bands, One Free Brooklyn Concert Series

Two Saturdays ago, Sadies guitarist Dallas Good thrashed and flailed and spun the headstock of his vintage hollowbody Gretsch, building a howling vortex of sound while his brother Travis stood more or less motionless as he kept a river of jangle and clang running from his Telecaster. In the middle of the stage, bassist Sean Dean held down a steady pulse while drummer Mike Belitsky kept a nimble shuffle beat.

This past Saturday, Songhoy Blues guitarist Aliou Touré did pretty much the same thing, building a screaming Chicago blues-infused solo, his fellow axeman Garba Touré running a loping Malian duskcore pattern off to the side, bassist Oumar Touré playing a serpentine, circular riff over drummer Nathanael Dembélé’s counterintuiitive flourishes.

On one hand, the Canadian and Malian bands couldn’t have less in common. On the other, both are as psychedelic as you could possibly want. And that seems to be the theme at this year’s free outdoor concert series at Union Pool. They’ve been doing free shows in the back courtyard there for the past couple of years, but this year’s series is better than ever.

There are a lot of acts more popular than you’d expect to see in at this comfortable, comparatively small space. This year, that started with the Sadies. The last time they played New York, it was at Webster Hall (if there ever was a New York venue that deserved to be turned into a luxury condo or a Whole Foods, it was that despicable stain on the East Village). The last time this blog was in the house at a Sadies show, it was May of 2014 at Bowery Ballroom and they were playing with the late Gord Downie.

This show didn’t feature any of their brilliantly ominous songs with the late Tragically Hip crooner, but they touched on every style they’ve ever played. Dallas Good broke out his violin for a lickety-split punkgrass romp about midway through the set, and also for the encores. He also delivered some seamlessly expert acoustic flatpicking on a couple of country numbers.

Travis Good seemed to be in charge of the more epic, tectonic solos, particularly during a mini-suite of surf songs, propelled expertly by Belitsky. They went back into the waves a little later with another instrumental that came across as a more bittersweet, southwestern gothic take on the Ventures’ Apache. But it was the brooding, uneasily clanging midtempo anthems that were the high point of the show. Afterward, Dallas Good took care to thank the crowd for coming out – for a free show, no less.

Songhoy Blues are probably the loudest and most eclectic of the Malian duskcore bands to make it to the US so far. They only played a couple of the loping Saharan grooves popularized by first-wave bands like Tinariwen and Etran Finatawa. They opened with a briskly stomping, only slightly Malian-flavored garage rock tune with a searing guitar solo from Garba Touré. Throughout the set, he and the frontman took turns with their solos – a lightning-fast, Blue Oyster Cult-ish run in one of the long, hypnotic numbers midway through was the high point.

After that, they slowed down for a moody minor-key blues ballad that wouldn’t have been out of place in the Otis Rush songbook save for the lyrics. “I know that 99% of you don’t understand a word I’m saying,” Aliou Touré told the crowd: the subtext was that the band’s lyrics are potently political. Then he settled for reminding everybody that music is a universal language. After a couple of numbers that shifted between looming desert rock and frenetically bopping, metrically challenging soukous-flavored rhythms, they closed with a mighty, rising and falling anthem and encored with their lone song in English, Together, a prayer for peace from a part of the world that really needs it.

And a shout-out to the sound guy: this may be an outdoor series, but the sonics in the backyard – a completely uninsulated space with highs potentially bouncing all over the place – were pristine. Few venues sounds as good indoors as at Union Pool outdoors the past couple of Saturdays. That’s a real achievement. The Union Pool free concert series continues this Saturday, July 14 at around 3 with jangly British “power trio” Girl Ray.

Grex Bring Their Irrepressibly Amusing Ersatz Psychedelia to Brooklyn and Queens This Month

Grex are a more epic, cohesive counterpart to Parlor Walls. The California band’s previous album was a screaming, guitar-fueled cover of John Coltrane’s A Love Supreme. It’s true to the spirit of the original in that it’s highly improvised. Yet Karl Evangelista’s guitar, Rei Scampavia’s keys and guest Dan Clucas’ cornet channel much more angst in the face of trying to connect with some type of higher power, compared to Coltrane’s fervent reverence. In a very hubristic, punk-inspired way, it’s a twisted masterpiece. They’re on tour this month, and they’re bringing their gritty assault to a couple of New York shows. On July 11 at 7 PM, they’ll be at Holo in Ridgewood for $10; then the following night, July 12 they’ll be at Pine Box Rock Shop in Bushwick at 10:30 PM for the tip jar.

Their new album Electric Ghost Parade – streaming at Bandcamp – is completely different. It’s a sardonically noisy psychedelic rock record with a little free jazz thrown in to keep you guessing. And it’s an awful lot of fun. It opens with Quicksilver, a cantering early 80s-style no wave vamp through the prism of Sonic Youth. By the time it’s over, the band have touched on punk soul, stoner metal and 60s psychedelia. Interestingly, the vocal harmonies bring to mind Dennis Davison of brilliant retro 60s psychedelicists the Jigsaw Seen.

Scampavia sings the grisly lyrics of the faux glamrock anthem TM26 completely deadpan, up to an irresistibly funny ending. Her vocals in Martha, sung to the last of the passenger pigeons, “caged in a past you can never appease,” are a lot warmer. Behind her, the band do a funhouse mirror take on Chicano Batman-style psychedelic soul, with a tasty, surprisingly straightforward chorus-box guitar solo from Evangelista.

Mal & Luma – about a couple of pet rats – begins as a disorienting mood piece, juxtaposing Robert Lopez’s spare, echoey cymbal work with squiggly electronics, some jagged guitar flickers and low-register ominousness, then morphing into a big, sarcastically garish guitar raveup. Then Evangelista has fun with phony Hendrix and phony soul in the carefree, haphazardly kaleidoscoping Feelin’ Squiddy.

Husk sounds like Mary Halvorson covering something from Sergeant Pepper. Road Trip, a duet, veers suddenly between stoner boogie, breezy folk-rock and wry noiserock freakout – it seems to be a chronicle of a doomed relationship. Scampavia plays bad cop to Evangelista’s good one in the even more cinematic Saints, which is like Charming Disaster on acid.

The album’s most straightforwardly tuneful number is Quincy, a wistful, pastoral lament – at least until Evangelista hits his distortion pedal, Scampavia hits her electric piano patch and they make lo-fi Pink Floyd out of it. Similarly, ersatz 70s stadium bombast sits uneasily alongside 90s riot girl chirp in Transpiration, before everything falls apart. The swaying, stomping Bad Cop is an unexpectedly direct sendup of religious nutjubs: “Better to die a martyr than raise a song or daughter.”

The album’s most epic, apocalyptic number is Mango Mango – with its echoey stoner sonics, off-kilter squall and allusions to artsy metal, it’s a good synopsis for the album. The album concludes with the squirrelly miniature Old Dogs, who “die slow,” according to Scampavia. This precariously funny blend of parody, assault and oldschool rock erudition will no doubt be on a lot of best-of-2018 lists – watch this space at the end of the year.