Brooklyn Rail Highly Selective Music Events
By the Editors
- September 4: Dan Friel at the Silent Barn. Dan Friel’s brand of rough-edged high volume lo-fi electro-pop leaves the impression of a poorly equipped subway busker nobly trying to drown out the clamor of an oncoming train through sheer melodic force. With a new record, Life, due out next month on Thrill Jockey, Friel brings his spastic self to Silent Barn.
- September 8 - 13: Marco Cappelli residency at The Stone: Italian guitarist is a tremendously versatile musician: he can swing, play free, leads a superb acoustic trio, produced the animated DVD In the Shadow of No Towers—after Art Spiegleman—and makes some of the tastiest surf rock around with his Surf Academy band. Celebrating his fiftieth birthday, he’ll be playing his acoustic music, collaborating with the great Ensemble Dissonanzen from Naples in live sound tracks to Man Ray films, playing with Elliott Sharp and Graham Haynes, screening In the Shadow, and much more.
- September 9: Mary Halvorson and Ches Smith at Roulette. Parallel to this month’s release of her latest solo record Meltframe on Firehouse 12 records, guitarist Mary Halvorson plays a solo set; parallel, in turn, to Halvorson’s set, drummer Ches Smith plays a solo set of his own.
- September 10: The Book of Beriah at Roulette. Masada, Book 3. John Zorn’s Masada project has been one of the most fruitful and integral to his career, a combination or playing, band-leading, and composing. Working at his typically furious pace, he has an entirely new set of of pieces, bringing the total to 613. This concert is a world premiere of his newest tunes, and they are invariably tuneful and propulsive, played by Cyro Baptista and Banquet of Spirits, Cleric, Frank London’ Nigunim/Uri Caine/Loren Sklamberg, and John Madof and Zion 80. Looks like Zorn himself will be sitting in and lighting some fires.
- September 11: Moving Sounds Festival at the Austrian Cultural Forum. The Moving Sounds Festival starts on September 11, then continues on various dates through September 20. Events are free, held at different venues in the city, and mix music, film, dramatic performances, and sound. The opening night concert is new music for string quartet, there will also be a concert of music by Scelsi, Haas, and Murail, and a screening of The Cabinet of Dr Caligari, with live accompaniment. And at the Forum, don’t forget to check out Bernd Klug’s sound installation.
- September 11: Arvo Pärt at Eighty at the Metropolitan Museum. The Met celebrates the Estonian composer’s eightieth birthday with an impressive program including the sparse 1976 composition Für Alina and a performance of Christopher Wheeldon’s dance piece Liturgy set to Pärt’s Fratres. Joel Sachs directs the New Juilliard Ensemble. The performance takes place in the Temple of Dendur, which is fitting because, as Alex Ross writes, "In the music of Pärt, the icon is all."
- September 14: Bill Orcutt & Circuit Des Yeux/Loren Connors at First Unitarian Congregational Society. Guitarist Bill Orcutt and Haley Fohr, who performs as Circuit des Yeux, play together for the first time. Between Orcutt’s jagged free blues improvisation and Fohr’s otherworldly Chicago baritone, it’s the kind of music Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi might have made if The Blues Brothers had been directed by Jim Jarmusch. Guitarist Loren Conners opens with a solo set.
- September 15: Godflesh, Regis and Prurient at Warsaw. By all means, go for Godflesh—their 2014 release A World Lit Only by Fire is both heavier than heavy and sharper than a box-cutter—but also go for Prurient, whose recent release Frozen Niagra Falls, is crunchy, at times delicate, and drives through disturbing ideas until they are surprisingly comforting and beautiful.
- September 15 - 18: Lusophone Festival. A beautiful sounding word, rarely heard, meaning Portugese-speaking. Lusophone music is, of course, Brazilian music, fado, and West African music, among others. This World Music Institute festival, held at (le) poisson rouge and Drom, presents surprises, like the Brazilian psychedelic band Os Mutantes (if it’s Portugese, it must be Lusophone!) and the great and rarely heard/seen fado singer Lula Pena, along with Angolan salsa, and more.
- September 17 - 19: COLLAPSE at BAM. This year’s Next Wave Festival starts with the kind of promising, category-mixing stage productions that are the annual promise. COLLAPSE, brought to BAM by Beth Morrison Productions, calls itself “a glam-rock requiem for the natural world,” fronted by opera singer Timur Bekbosunov, with music by the band Timur and the Dime Museum, the show tackles grim themes of ecological collapse in glamorous and dazzling style. The Rocky Horror Picture Show for the coming apocalypse?
- September 17 - 20: Nufonia Must Fall at BAM. The promotional materials for this music theater production cannot possibly due the event justice: the brainchild of Kid Koala, the turntable virtuoso, who created the story and made the music, Nufonia is the story of a "music-obsessed, headphones-sporting robot" who falls in love. The story is realized through puppets and robots, as directed by K.K. Barrett, a production designer with credits that include Her, Where the Wild Things Are and Being John Malkovich. The music will be live, courtesy of Koala and the Afiara Quartet, the experience will be one-of-a-kind.
- September 18: Eliminated Artist LP release. This latest recording in ISSUE Project Room’s Distributed Objects series is a collaboration between the ensemble Yarn/Wire and electronic artist Pete Swanson. A mix of tape loops, modular synthesizers, and Yarn/Wire’s four percussionists (two at that most ubiquitous percussion instrument, the piano), the two side-long tracks were recorded live during the ensemble’s 2011 residence.
- September 21: PRACTICE at Trans-Pecos. PRACTICE is a regular series with a shifting format and a rotating cast organized by Diamond Terrifier. Change is the only constant, got it? Free with a one drink minimum—and in case you haven’t heard, Trans-Pecos has its liquor license now—this installment features Jeff Tobias, Leah Bertucci, Jeffery Brown, and Jen Baker.
- September 22: Stars of the Lid at St. Agnes Church. Stars of the Lid returns for another live electro-acoustic event under the auspices of the Wordless Music series. For this event, the enveloping, rich, delicately structured sound of SoTL will be paired with a string quartet, and accompanied by projected images. Expected resonant vibrations beyond your shoegazeist dreams.
- September 22: Black Spirituals at the Sump. The Oakland-based duo has a sense for both rhythm and texture that amounts to a special scraping kind of electro-acoustic boogie, with a welcome subtle funkiness in the drumming that you don’t often hear in music of this sort. Zachary James Watkins and Marshall Trammell make their New York debut in a Ridgewood venue that is itself rather new. Presented by ISSUE Project Room.
- September 24 - 27: thingNY at Knockdown Center. This collective group is at the forefont of new opera, most notably bringing Robert Ashley’s works—like Crash—to broader audiences. At the Knockdown Center, they will be doing their own thing, This Takes Place Close By, an experimental opera that is fundamentally about how Hurricane Sandy separated and isolated people all over New York. The 50,000 square foot Knockdown Center will capture both acoustic magic and empty space.
- September 24 - 29: Festival of New Trumpet Music. New, trumpet music—and as directed by Dave Douglas, that means some jazz and a lot more not-jazz. Musicians will include Jeremy Pelt, yMusic, and Brandon Lewis. The trumpeters will be bringing their own music, but you’ll also hear pieces from Nico Muhly, Marcos Balter, Gabriel Kahane, and Mick Rossi, and the Asphalt Orchestra will play music from their tremendous interpretations of the Pixies’ Surfer Rosa. See the festival site for venue information.
- September 25: Orlando Julius & the Afro Soundz at (le) poisson rouge. Over the past year or so, the World Music Institute has moved past their objective, academic ethnomusicology into producing events that are even more culturally and musically valuable because they give New Yorkers a taste of how people around the world actually enjoy music. And you will enjoy Orlando Julius, straight from Nigeria with his distinctive brand of psychedelic afro-beat. Brooklyn band Underground System, subjects of a previous Rail article, will warm up the crowd with their own take on West African pop.
- September 29: Glockabelle at (le) poisson rouge. Annabelle Cazes’s frenetic Francophone glockenspiel- and Casio-fueled pop music calls to mind the hyper-treble drum-blasting intricacies of LA’s Abe Vigoda. The artist trades on novelty but has the melody to back it up. Kid Millions opens.