Brooklyn Rail Highly Selective Music Events
Staff Consensus Picks
- November 12: Tim Hecker, Circuit des Yeux & Loren Conors at The Wick.
Hecker’s dense soundscapes have softened over the years into perhaps something more accessible without ever abandoning the huge, swelling sounds that make him such a revered force in the ambient/noise community. Circuit des Yeux and Loren Connors round out a superlative bill.
- November 16: Matt Nelson at Snugs Concert Series. Nelson, who performs with the sax quartet Battle Trance and has recorded with tUnEyArDs, celebrates last month’s release of his solo album Lower Bottoms, a winningly strange effort that finds Nelson making use of an array of saxophone techniques, as well as effects pedals and feedback manipulation.
- December 3: Kim Gordon with Loren Connors and Gary War at ISSUE Project Room. The legacy of this artist and pop-feminist icon is undeniably cemented in the culture of experimental, art, and no wave rock. She will be performing along with the great composer, improviser, and guitarist Loren Connors, and avant-garde musician Gary War.
- November 6 - 8: Exposed: Songs for Unseen Warhol Films at BAM. Fifteen never-before seen films from the Andy Warhol Museum, featuring Marcel Duchamp, Edie Sedgwick, Donovan and Warhol, with live accompaniment from Bradford Cox, Eleanor Friedberger, Martin Rev, Tom Verlaine and Dean Wareham. An explosive orgy of reverential and self-referential pop-culture.
- November 8: The Secret Opera, Gian Carlo Menotti’s The Medium. This tiny, enterprising opera company deserves support to begin with, and in a city running over with opera, they are the only ones bringing us the great and oddly neglected works of Gian Carlo Menotti. We’ll be interviewing them on our November podcast, stay tuned.
- November 13: Anne Guthrie: A Madrigal Out of Seaon, The Old Stone House, Washington Park, Park Slope. This is the latest installment in the Musical Ecologies series, a monthly symposium on music and sound. For this one, French horn player Anne Guthrie has an installation with live music, pre-recorded sounds, and low-frequency oscillators tailored to the sonic environment of this historic stone building. Expect enlightenment and magic.
- November 14: Brian Carpenter’s Ghost Train Orchestra at Jalopy. If you can, cross out everything else on your calendar and run to see this fantastic band at their only fall show. Excavating and revitalizing the real roots of American popular music, they are hear to give you the swingiest swing, the sweetest melody, and the heppest of all hep.
- November 18 - 23: Gutbucket residency at The Stone. As heard straight from Ken Thomson on our October podcast, thrash-jazz outfit Gutbucket will be burning and skronking their way through a week’s worth of music. There are guests galore, including JACK Quartet, Bearthoven and Bop Kabbalah, a movie night on Nov. 21 and several live tapings. Two sets a night, and it’s guaranteed to thrill.
- November 19: Film-Makers’ Cooperative Benefit Concert at Santos Party House. This is the ninth annual benefit, bringing together independent (not “indie”) music and film, people doing real creative work at the margins of society and economics. There will be live music from Philip Glass and JG Thirlwell accompanying films by Ken Jacobs and Harry Smith, plus works from Bill Morrison, Jonas Mekas, Victoria Kiddle, Larry Seven, Zero Times Everything, and others. A unique experience.
- November 19: the cellar & point at Glasslands. Another finished piece in the fantastic edifice of progressive rock that has been rising this century, this new band is releasing their debut, Ambit, an exhilarating, fascinating and beautiful record.
- November 20: Meredith Monk: A Birthday Celebration at Le Poisson Rouge. Monk is this season’s composer-in-residence at Carnegie Hall, and her music will be featured there for several months, staring with an American Composers Orchestra concert on Nov. 21. First, though, is this intimate recital of her beguiling piano music, a celebration of both Monk’s birthday and the release of the excellent Piano Songs CD on ECM records. Ursula Oppens and Bruce Brubaker, who made the record, will play.
- November 29: John Zorn’s Cobra at Roulette. Despite the copy stating that this is “one of the most performed compositions in new music,” this is actually a rare opportunity to witness a performance of Zorn’s essential composition. The ensemble will include George Lewis, Mark Feldman, Marc Ribot, Sylvie Courvoisier, Ikue Mori, Trevor Dunn, and Kenny Wolleson. The definition of must-see.
- November 2: Sunwatchers, Amirtha Kidambi and Brandon Lopez Duo at Trans-Pecos. The final show of a three-night residency curated by Matana Roberts features Brooklyn’s Thai-inflected drone-jazz ensemble Sunwatchers, whose music feels like waking up in a subway tunnel, peering up to the surface through the grate and glimpsing a solar eclipse. The night opens with a collaborative set between vocalist Amirtha Kidambi and bassist Brandon Lopez.
- November 7: Marcus Schmickler and Yarn/Wire at ISSUE Project Room. The piano and percussion quartet Yarn/Wire continues to build on its reputation for working with innovative new composers, premiering a new work by German experimentalist Marcus Schmickler; Schmickler will also be performing a separate new work for eight-channel electronics.
- November 11: Zula at Silent Barn. Driving Steven Drozd-style drums form the substantial framework onto which this Brooklyn four-piece hangs a diverse array of styles, from post-punk to psychedelia, with an attentive ear for melody.
- November 15: Dustin Wong and Takako Minekawa at Cake Shop. The collaboration between Wong and Minekawa has produced two LPs to date, 2013’s Toropical Circle and this year’s Savage Imagination. Minekawa adds a spastic element to Wong’s ethereal, layered sound, a carnival mirror reflection of the guitarist’s days with the wild, raucous Ponytail.
- November 21: Madalyn Merkey and Battle Trance at ISSUE Project Room. Saxophone quartet Battle Trance perform the album Palace of Wind in its entirety to begin the evening, followed by the debut of a work by composer Madalyn Merkey specifically geared to the acoustic environment of ISSUE’s 22 Boerum St. space, with accompaniment by violinist Dylan Neely.
- November 23: Rhyton at Trans-Pecos. Brooklyn band Rhyton add elements of Greek and Middle Eastern music to their psychedelic improvisations. Traditional instruments like the bouzouki smooth away the jagged krautrock edges; the sound is less ruined factory than ruined temple. The evening marks the release of the group’s latest record, Kykeon.
- November 29: R. Stevie Moore and Big Muff Radio at Glasslands. Elder statesmen of the outer fringes R. Stevie Moore shares a bill with the bizarre and up-and-coming Big Muff Radio, a salvaged circuit board sending out pop hooks with all the strip mall guitar store brawn the name implies.
- November 13: Mario Castro Quintet and Strings at the Jazz Gallery. Saxophonist Mario Castro took on the immense challenge to integrate a string section into his quintet in its debut 2012 record Estrella Del Mar, from Interrobang Records. His group consists of trumpeter Josh Shpak, pianist Kyu Min Shim, bassist Tamir Shmerling, and drummer Jonathan Pinson. They don’t disappoint, and nor does Castro with his relentless passion and leadership on the tenor.
- November 15: Monogold at Glasslands. These born-and-bred New Yorkers have delighted a sizable crowd of psychedelic-indie-pop lovers in recent years. They have just announced that new music will be released within a span of six months. Perhaps we can catch a preview of their new works. Hopefully they are still bringing their sleepy, yet energetic sounds.
- November 22: Cory Arcangel and Chris D’Eon at the Metropolitan Museum. Cory Arcangel has been a rising star in the post-conceptual, visual art-world, known mostly for his multi-media, digital interventions with pop-culture software and computing. Chris D’Eon is a Canadian pianist, who truly cannot be pigeonholed into any one genre—save minimalism. They will collaborate through a performance by D’Eon of Arcangel’s Dances for the Electric Piano at the Met. He will also perform some of his own dance suites, originally written for the harpsichord, on the Korg M1 synthesizer.
- November 2: Tom Carter/Pat Murano Duo at Monty Hall. Carter, best known as the guitarist from the seminal psych-folk band Charlambides, and Murano, best known as a member of No Neck Blues Band, have formed quite a partnership. Four Infernal Rivers¸ their excellent new record, displays a superior sense of improvisation and a telepathic level of understanding from the two.
- November 4: Bob Dylan The Basement Tapes Complete – Bootleg Series Vol. 11. Bob Dylan’s ambitious Bootleg project finally issues the entire recording sessions of the Basement Tapes. Issued in a 6-CD set or as a triple LP, many of these songs have never been officially released in any capacity. Even the alternate takes and incomplete song sketches comprise valuable missing pieces to Dylan’s songbook.
- November 11–16: Jeremiah Cymerman at The Stone. Cymerman is joined by a smattering of stellar improvisers in his 6-day residency at The Stone. Primarily a clarinet player, Cymerman released one of the albums of the year in Pale Horse, so you certainly wouldn’t want to miss the performances on the 15th when he teams up with the musicians who collaborated on that record.
- November 15: Elisa Ambrogio at Union Pool. For many years, Magik Markers have been one of the best noise acts around. Ambrogio’s gentler, more pop oriented contributions to the band on records such as Boss always seemed to stand out. Now, on the back of her superb new solo album The Immortalist, Ambrogio gets the spotlight she dearly deserves.