We had our first snowfall of the season here in NYC this past weekend. But even though the weather’s starting to chill out, the live shows are still keeping up the heat. Check out my preview of the week’s shows with some videos of my top picks… Continue Reading…
We were BBQ’ing with my bro-in-law a while back, and as we got started, he asked me what to search for on Pandora for good outdoor party tunes. I immediately spit out the word “funk.” The subsequent Pandora station that we got using that search team definitely queue’d up a few decent grooves, but nothing really caught my ear until this track from one of the funkiest (the?) backing bands ever:
James Brown – “Blind Man Can See It”
While the intro had a nice vamp, what really caught my ear was the groove that kicked in after a minute or two…a nice little jangly guitar riff combined with some soul-stirring keys. The sound literally brought my ears back to the early 90s to what was probably one of my 1st CDs…Das EFX’s Dead Serious. After a couple of measures, I was waiting for that unforgettable opening line to drop in….”bum skiggiddy bum skiggiddy bump!”
Check out the sample in use:
Das EFX – “They Want EFX”
Ha, awesome. I liggidy love the lawless early 90s of hip-hop samples.
Last week there were a ton of shows going on due to CMJ, but I think I’m actually more impressed with this week’s selection. Here’s the quick rundown.
Amon Tobin’s doing his ISAM live show at the Brooklyn Masonic Temple for three nights (Tues-Thurs). On Tuesday, the Field will bring their hypnotic loop-based electro at LPR and Chris Taylor (of Grizzly Bear) shows off his side project (CANT) at the Bowery. Wednesday, there’s Dawes w/ Blitzen Trapper at Webster Hall, G. Love & Special Sauce at Irving Plaza, and the North Mississippi All Stars are at Brooklyn Bowl. Thursday, there’s some great indie/eclectic rock with Fanfarlo hitting Mercury Lounge and Cymbals Eat Guitars hit the Bowery. You can also get your World Music on with Zongo Junction at the Knitting Factory or check out the mellow, electronic stylings of Justin’s new fav Brandt Brauer Frick at Glasslands. Friday, the North Mississippi Allstars are back at Brooklyn Bowl, and the Pixies are set to rock the Asbury Park Convention Hall w/ Surfer Blood as the opener. Saturday continues with the awesome options. My suggestion, either dig the patented funky jazz stylings of MMW at Terminal 5 (w/ help from Antibalas), or go get a healthy does of jammy bluegrass at the Best Buy Theatre with Yonder Mountain String Band and The Infamous Stringdusters. Oh, and Fanfarlo swings back into town on Sunday night for a second show at Glasslands.
Man, and those are just the high points. Head on over to LMB for my full list of NYC show recs: LMB NYC: This Week’s Concert Calendar – Oct 24-30
Very cool and innovative.
Their new album is really solid too. It’s a mix of beautiful acoustic gems (like the one I flagged here recently) along with a couple bluesy romps and some African-influenced world grooves reminiscent of Tinariwen.
This week in NYC shows is a crazy one, with the CMJ Music Marathon officially taking over a good chunk of NYC’s clubs and venues. CMJ is a bit like NYC’s version of SXSW with industry panels, showcase events, day parties, and all manner of nighttime parties and multi-band extravaganzas. Also like SXSW, the concert options are nearly endless and definitely a bit overwhelming. If you’re doing CMJ proper (like, with a badge), then your best route is to hit up the official calendar over at CMJ’s Official Shed site to get all the showcase slots, parties, and panels in one spot for your scheduling needs. Also, Consequence of Sound has a solid round-up of picks and suggestions, and NPR put together a CMJ 2011 Mix to whet your appetite for some of the many artists/bands rolling through town. Keep in mind that, once you’ve made your picks, it’s worth checking show details to make sure you can get in without an official CMJ badge.
Although I can’t possibly touch on every amazing lineup, showcase or day party, I can point to a few bands that I know will put on interesting & entertaining shows. Here’s a quick rundown of some of my top suggestions, in alpha order:
American Babies @ Rockwood Music Hall (and a few of other showcase slots):
Tommy Hamilton’s Americana side project which I covered in depth after their Spring show at Mercury Lounge.
Arctic Monkeys w/ Smith Westerns @ Music Hall of Williamsburg:
It’s like a weird pairing of former indie rock darlings (one from 2005 and the other from five years later). But even if a lot of the hype has subsided for these two, this one still looks like a pretty killer match-up.
The Barr Brothers (various shows):
Nice, rootsy folk and blues tunes from the guitar & drums brothers known for their previous projects, the Slip and Surprise Me Mr. Davis.
Charlie Hunter (@ the Sycamore):
I think it’s safe to assume this has nothing to do with CMJ, but I don’t care. Charlie’s doing another residency at the Sycamore down in the Ditmas Park section of Brooklyn, and it’s bound to be cool, weird and a little groovy.
Delicate Steve (various shows):
Off-kilter, guitar-driven instrumentals that are hard to pin down sonically and very interesting to bored ears. Lots of options for catching these guys.
Small Black (various shows):
A softer, slower, sweeter-sounding electronic rock which others have called chillwave (a term which makes me want to hurl).
STS9 @ Best Buy Theater:
Another show that likely has nothing to do with CMJ, but should be pretty rad for the groove-oriented folks among us.
Stanley Jordan’s Guitar Fest, Wed-Sun nights @ Iridium:
Expect lots of special guests and some serious guitar chops.
Yellow Ostrich (bunch of different shows):
Vocal-oriented indie rock tunes with cool loops and interesting rhythms. Def. dug their set at SXSW.
Overall, it’s quite a crazy week of non-stop options for NYC concerts across all kinds of genres, scenes and styles. But I think my favorite way of looking at it is just checking out our picks for Sunday night. Any week that ends with Dick Dale, Gwar, and Stanley Jordan, is a pretty silly week of live music now, isn’t it?
You can check out my full weekly post and list of shows over at Live Music Blog: LMB NYC: This Week’s Concert Calendar – Oct 17-23
No, Elvis isn’t playing the Apollo, but I can’t resist a good opportunity to post that photo. It’s so iconic. However, Elvis Costello is playing in NYC this week. He’s one of a few interesting artists playing shows in the NYC metro area….which is what I post over on Live Music Blog every week. Check it out:
Read on for the highlights as I see ’em… Continue Reading…