Staff consensus picks:
April 4 – 5: Synth Nights at The Kitchen. The latest entry in this on-going series exploring the past and future of electronic music is curated by Nico Muhly. Muhly says his picks, Jethro Cooke, Jordan Munson and Joe Snape, “are three musicians combining electronic and acoustic sounds in thrilling ways.”
April 16 – 21: MATA Festival 2014 at The Kitchen. In its sixteenth year, and the biggest yet, this exciting festival of all new contemporary classical music features pieces from 34 composers and the talents of ICE, the Mivos Quartet, Ekmeles, Mantra Percussion and many more.
April 18 – 21: Brooklyn Folk Festival at The Bell House. The highlight might be Feral Foster, in the words of Stephanie Joy Del Rosso: “heartbreaking and electric all at once, and hands down one of the best live performers I’ve ever encountered, and this festival could be Brooklyn’s best kept folk secret.”
April 2 – 6: Unsound Festival NY 2014 at Issue Project Room. Oren Ambarchi, Demdike Stare, Phill Niblock, and more appear in this annual festival of new and alternative music juxtaposed in unique combinations.
April 9: Mitsuko Uchida plays Schubert and Beethoven at Carnegie Hall. The most poetic interpreter of Schubert plays the great G Major Sonata and Beethoven’s Diabelli Variations.
April 12: PRISM Quartet with Rudresh Mahanthappa and Steve Lehman at Symphony Space. Opening event of an exciting new series from this great saxophone quartet. They straddle new music and jazz and will be playing with two burning alto saxophonists.
April 15 – 16: The Riverside Band at Jazz Standard. Dave Douglas’ tight new band is dedicated to the music of Jimmy Giuffre. Grooving, witty, and intellectually rich.
April 21: Chicago Underground Duo at Baby’s All Right. After seventeen years, this band continues to define the cutting edge of creative jazz with their new release, Locus.
April 22: Benjamin Bagby and the Harry Partch Institute Ensemble play Beowulf and The Wayward at Zankel Hall. Story’s, myths and extraordinary music. The Wayward is great eccentric Partch’s best dramatic work, and Bagby breathes dynamic life into one of literature’s foundations.
April 26: Flux Quartet plays Morton Feldman’s String Quartet No. 2 at the Park Avenue Armory. Six hours of quiet, endurance and transcendence.
April 27: Ron Kuivila - Touch Tones, TVs & Time: An Elegy for Debased Media at Roulette. Voice, electronics, “and various media past their prime.” High concept, mysterious dramatics, and beautiful sounds.
April 15: Kenneth Goldsmith at The Stone. Reading Goldsmith, conceptual poet, anti-authorial author, and station director of WFMU. An evening of the thrillingly quotidian. Check out this interview with Goldsmith conducted by fellow WFMU Producer/DJ (and former music editor of the Rail) Dave Mandl, which will give you an idea of what you’re in for and spare the need to make any reductive statements about Duchamp’s readymades or Warhol’s Brillo boxes vis-à-vis literary endeavor.
April 15 – 16: William Tyler at Music Hall of Williamsburg/Union Pool. Profiled by Christopher Nelson in this month’s issue, Tyler plays two nights in Brooklyn. Seems he’ll have a full band in tow—which, if this track from a forthcoming 12” is any indicator, will give him enough volume to fill the cavernous Music Hall of Williamsburg, but can stay cool enough to soothe the hoards at Union Pool.
April 18: Jason Lescalleet at Anthology Film Archives. Anthology Film Archives teams with ISSUE Project Room to present work by sound artist Lescalleet, who called upon 13 different artists to create videos for 13 tracks on Disc One of his 2012 album SONGS ABOUT NOTHING. AFA screens the result, along with selected works by C. Spencer Yeh, Adel Souto, and Ellen Frances.
April 18: The Coathangers at Mercury Lounge. This Atlanta band has been on my radar ever since I heard, and was frightened by, the spooky, spare synth on “Nestle in My Boobies.” The song appeared on a 7" that also served as a ticket to a weird show in a strip mall in Roswell, up the interstate north of Atlanta. I was a freshman in college, home for the summer, I filled a water bottle with ginger ale and whisky, got too drunk in the parking lot before the bands started and had to leave early. I did get to see the Coathangers, though. They played first. And they killed.
April 24: Jacob Kirkegaard presents Else Marie Pade, Yarn/Wire at ISSUE Project Room. This performance, part of Ultima Oslo Contemporary Music Festival, features a look back at the work of Danish electronic music pioneer Else Marie Pade as presented by countryman Jacob Kirkegaard; the evening opens with recent work by composers Øyvind Torvund, Simon Steen-Andersen, and Anna Thorvaldsdottir, performed by piano and percussion quartet Yarn/Wire.
April 11: Mariachi Flor De Toloache at Barbés. This unique all-female band presents traditional Mariachi music, instruments, and garb with incredible finesse.
April 13: The Feedel Band with The Mandingo Ambassadors at Pioneer Works. Olivier Conan, founder of Barbés, will be curating an “East and West Africa summit” featuring Ethiopian Jazz group, The Fedeel Band, and electric Guinean group, The Mandingo Ambassadors.
April 16: Holly Golightly and the Brokeoffs at The Knitting Factory. This British singer-songwriter will certainly please a large cult following of her vintage rhythm and blues remakes and garage rock riffs.
April 20: Bhrigu Sahni at Rockwood Music Hall. The Indian guitarist and composer will perform new, original, atmospheric songs, inspired by Sufi singers, Michael Hedges, and his home of Pune, India.
April 28: Kim Logan with Chloe Sunshine, Hillary Barleaux, Luke Wesley, Streight Angular at Pianos. Nashville-based artist, Kim Logan, carefully crafts her songs as homages to Florida landscapes, delta blues, psychedelia, and garage rock. Her operatic vocals are haunting, and her music is danceable.
Stephanie Joy Del Rosso:
April 11: Trevor Dunn’s PROOFReaders Trio at The Stone. Instead of playing Mr. Bungle or Electric Masada on loop, don’t miss impossibly virtuosic bassist Trevor Dunn’s new foray into overlooked Ornette Coleman free jazz—all while celebrating Burroughs’s centennial.
April 21: Dustin Wong and Avey Tare’s Slasher Flicks at The Bowery Ballroom. Slasher Flicks seems like a dream team of a trio (Avey Tare of Animal Collective, Angel Deradoorian of Dirty Projectors, Jeremy Hyman of Ponytail/Dan Deacon) but the real highlight might be the opener, Dustin Wong, a guitar prodigy with Ponytail roots who often shreds alongside Delicate Steve.
April 22: Trio Feral at Nublu. You can't go wrong with robots, skronk, and a drummer who's collaborated with Lauryn Hill.
April 25: Baths at The Bowery Ballroom. The bar was high with Cerulean, but Bath’s dreamy and often gorgeous Obsidian is anything but a sophomore slump—which he’ll make clear when he headlines.
Through April 3: Mistaken for Strangers, at IFC. The National documentary that’s not really about The National.
April 15: Slint, Spiderland Deluxe Reissue Box. A proper reissue of the 1991 underground classic, with documentary about the making of album, Breadcrumb Trail, directed by Lance Bangs (View the trailer here). The ultimate exercise in post-rock power and restraint.
April 19: Record Store Day! Like Christmas morning for vinyl lovers. Some notable releases:
◦ Oneohtrix Point Never, Commissions I
◦ Just Friends, “Don’t Tell Me” 10"
◦ Jaco Pastorius, Modern American Music…Period! (The Criteria Tapes)
◦ Parquet Courts, Sunbathing Animal
◦ Saturday Looks Good to Me, Saturday Looks Good to Me rerelease
◦ Spacemen 3, Translucent Flashbacks rerelease
Mid - late April (no official release date announced yet): Orchid Tapes: Boring Ecstasy 12” Compilation. A beautifully-packaged compilation album from the lo-fi-loving label.
April 28: Valerio Tricoli, Miseri Lares. The experimental Italian musician’s new album, out on PAN.
MARSHALL YARBROUGH is the Brooklyn Rail’s assistant music editor.Stephanie Del Rosso
STEPHANIE JOY DEL ROSSO is the Dance Editor of the Brooklyn Rail.George Grella
GEORGE GRELLA is the Rail’s music editor.Andrea Gordillo
ANDREA GORDILLO is a writer based in New York City.Taylor Dafoe
TAYLOR DAFOE is a writer and photographer based in Brooklyn. His writing has appeared in Afterimage, artnet News, BOMB, Elephant, Interview, Modern Painters, and Photograph Magazine, among others.