Brooklyn Rail Highly Selective Music Events
By the Editors
- November 7: Radio Wonderland Seize the Means release party at Trans-Pecos. For years, Joshua Fried, a/k/a Radio Wonderland, has been sampling the FM airwaves and turning what he finds into spontaneous pop and dance music, controlled with a steering wheel, several old shoes, and other things that you might expect to find buried in the back of a closet. He now has his welcome first album out (Nov. 18 on clang recordings), and for this release show, he’ll be joined by Terry Dame, David First, Todd Reynolds, and clang’s own Hans Tammen; expect hours of good natured anarchy.
- November 7, 14, 21, 28: “The Spy Who Loved Mondays” at Threes Brewing. Presented by Northern Spy Records, every Monday night in November you can catch a movie with live music score (while also drinking and dining). The intoxication begins with the pairings of films and musicians: The Decline of Western Civilization and String Noise; Cocksucker Blues with Chris Forsyth; the classic animated movie Fantastic Planet accompanied by Brooklyn Raga Massive; and short films and Life in Cold Blood with music from Ashcan Orchestra and Living Things.
- November 9: Dan Blake Trio at Small’s. Saxophonist Blake has one of the best jazz albums of the year, his punchy, biting The Digging, and he’ll be playing two sets at Small’s. Worth hearing all on his own, his trio for this date (bassist Dmitry Ishenko and drummer Pheeroan Aklaff) will be augmented by saxophonist David Liebman, elevating this into rare and exciting territory.
- November 10: Weyes Blood at Park Church Co-Op. Natalie Mering’s music features melodies of tremendous elemental purity. That her songs are subdued, slow- to mid-tempo affairs gives them a gradually accumulating force, like a long-dawning realization viewed at a year’s distance, its impact still resonating. Mering’s latest record under the Weyes Blood moniker is Front Row Seat to Earth, out last month on Mexican Summer.
- November 11: Makrokosmos Orchestra at ShapeShifter Lab. Jazz mixed seamlessly with sound art, rock, and musics from around the world, the Makrokosmos Orchestra will premiere Tim O’Dell’s Isosceles and Richard Nelson’s Deep River suite, featuring the great singer Christin Correa.
- November 11: Elder Ones at Park Church Co-op. Amirtha Kidambi’s Elder Ones celebrate the release of their debut record, Holy Science, out on Northern Spy Records this month. The record features four extended pieces, Kidambi playing harmonium and singing; backing her are saxophonist Matt Nelson, bassist Brandon Lopez, and drummer Max Jaffe. The record draws on a wide swath of influences, from Carnatic music to John Coltrane. The harmonium provides a hypnotic drone; the improvised vocals bring dynamic force.
- November 11 - 13: Transference at the Knockdown Center. A three night mix of electronic music and the visual arts, folded inside the larger scale Brooklyn Electronic Music Festival (Nov. 4 - 13). These days the term “electronic music” usually means electronic dance music, but these three days, curated by Sam Hillmer, stretch back to the origins of the genre and point towards its future, with sets from Ben Vida and Tristan Perich. Plus there’ll be plenty to dance to.
- November 13: MEV: 50th Anniversary at National Sawdust. A reminder that there’s really nothing new under the sun—not that there’s anything wrong with that. Before laptops, before MIDI, even before analog synthesizers came with keyboards, Musica Electronica Viva as making live, improvised electronic music. One of the greatest experimental music ensembles of all time, MEV’s influence can be seen through the names that have cycled through the group: Cornelius Cardew, Steve Lacy, George Lewis, Maryanne Amacher, Garrett List. For this anniversary concert, the performers will be the founders, all greats: Richard Teitelbaum, Fred Rzewski, and Alvin Curran.
- November 16: Jeremy Denk at Alice Tully Hall. There are plenty of excellent pianists on the classical music scene, but few are as culturally learned, irreverent, and creatively restless as Denk (just glance at his Think Denk blog sometime). As part of this season’s White Light Festival at Lincoln Center, Denk will be giving a solo concert in which he will attempt to compress the history of Western classical music, from Machaut to Glass, 700 years in all, in a compact eighty minutes. Hold onto your seat.
- November 17: Jonathan Richman at Monty Hall. Mr. Modern Lovers plays at WFMU’s Monty Hall, with Tommy Larkins pitching in on the drums. While the show is already sold out, there are bound to be some youths mooning away outside the door. Will you, friend, be among them?
- November 18 - 19: Lary 7’s Owl Movie at ISSUE Project Room. Artist Lary 7 presents Owl Movie, a project that recalls Tristan Perich’s series of Machine Drawings and William Basinski’s The Disintegration Loops, exploiting the imperfections of film as a medium to create an unreproducible performance over two nights. A musical performance by Ensemble of Seven opens the first night; a cinema performance by Rose Kallal opens the second.
- November 22: King Khan and BBQ Show at the Bowery Ballroom. When David Berman began a poem with the lines, “This is meant to be in praise of the interval called hangover, / a sadness not co-terminous with hopelessness,” he was most likely not thinking of King Khan and BBQ Show. Still, the duo exists on the same cosmic plane, playing rough-edged rock songs whose grittiness gives way ultimately to a kind of peace-bringing revelatory joy.
- November 22 - 27: Jason Moran & The Bandwagon at the Village Vanguard. The most important contemporary jazz musician’s finest group in the setting where they are at their best, live. It’s impossible to overstate how exciting and fulfilling Moran and The Bandwagon are live; as the whole history of jazz flows from the pianist’s hands, bassist Tarus Mateen and drummer Nasheet Waits maintain a torrent of rhythmically tight and conceptually free flowing funky accompaniment.
- November 25 - 26: Akim Funk Buddha Hip Hop Holiday Orchestra at BAMcafé. If you wake up the day after Thanksgiving with the standard Puritan guilt at your gluttonous excess, you’ll find no better way to expiate than to check out the Akim Funk Buddha, whose influences range from Mongolian throat singing to Balinese monkey chanting and whose two-night stand at BAMcafé is bound to wake you right out of your tryptophanic stupor.