July 11 - 22: Lincoln Center Festival. The festival has its usual fare of music, dance, and theater, with two exceptional events: “Ornate Coleman: Tomorrow is the Question” features a look at Ornette’s least known and understood work via a revival of his Prime Time band, and especially through a concert of his excellent composed chamber music, performed by Ensemble Signal. Then from July 20 - 22, electronic music pioneer Morton Subotnick and vocalist Joan La Barbera will present classics, old and new: Silver Apples of the Moon and Crowds and Power.
July 13: John Giorno Band at Red Bull Studios. Though a bit of indirect self-promotion (the Rail is publishing the catalog of this exhibit as a special issue), this “record release celebration” from the indispensable poet-artist-musician-activist-etc. is a rare opportunity to catch a reprise of one of his legendary performances. Post-beat post-punk poetry and classic NYC punk rock, the LP, Im Rock Hard is a collection of tracks from the ’80s, nine previously unreleased. Limited edition and hand-signed, the album is not cheap, but at least hit the show for the memories.
July 14: Mad Max with live score by Morricone Youth at
July 14: David Rosenboom/Viv Corringham at ISSUE Project Room. A new piece from each artist; Rosenboom is a cutting edge electronic composer and musician, Corringham a sound artist whose fundamental tool is her voice. Their new works will interact with the exceptional acoustics of ISSUE’s Boreum Place hall, while also responding to an invention from Paul Geluso, the 3D Sound Object. Go see it for yourself.
July 16: House and Land at Union Pool. Catch Appalachian duo House and Land playing a daytime set at Union Pool before the left-swiping late-night hoards descend upon the place and dispel with their hormonal frenzy the dark, insistent music of guitarist Sarah Louise and fiddler Sally Ann Morgan.
July 18: Orpheus Chamber Orchestra at the Naumburg Bandshell. The best things in summer are free; the free music. In the relative coolness of Central Park, you will enjoy the clarifying power of the condcutorless Orpheus Orchestra playing Bach’s Brandenburg Concertos 2, 3, 5, and 6, and a new companion, Music by Christopher Theofanidis.
July 22: Gimme Tinnitus Mixtape Release at the Gutter. Five heavy bands—Puff Pieces, Sleepies, Parlor Walls, Dead Tenants, and Fraidycat—converge on the Gutter to mark the release of curator/promoter/blogger/organizer/whatever Gimme Tinnitus’s new mixtape, out on Mirror Universe Tapes. Five bucks gets you in; shoe rental is extra.
July 29: Priests at Brooklyn Bazaar. Is it a punk song if it has a bridge? The Ramones knew the value of a pop song but they never needed anything more than verse/chorus. Well, we live in fallen times; decadence reigns. DC punks Priests have plenty of punk attitude, but they also go in for structure, production, politics, good lyrics—all of it brings to mind the Pynchon dictum: “Be cool, but care.”
July 29: Preoccupations at Rough Trade. Matt Flegel and Mike Wallace used to play in a band called Women, which played brilliant, off-kilter sprong rock. When Women disbanded, Flegel and Wallace formed a band with Scott Munro and Daniel Christansen called Viet Cong. After releasing one self-titled record, the band realized how bad a name Viet Cong was, renamed themselves Preoccupations, and released another self-titled record. Caught up now? Good. Now catch the band at Rough Trade. Wallace’s drumming alone is worth the ticket.
July 29: Joanna Wallfisch at National Sawdust. Joanna Wallfisch is one of the few singers who can confidently navigate the ethereal regions where jazz, pop, and art song mingle. She has a new release, Blood and Bone, upcoming, but this gig is dedicated to her multi-media performance, The Great Song Cycle Song Cycle. what she calls a “solo concert tour via bicycle,” music gestated from a solo biking trip from Portland to Los Angeles.
August 1 - 6: Zeena Parkins residency at the Stone. Parkins is an original—a composer and improvising/avant-garde harpist—and one of the original figures in the late 20th century NY “Downtown” scene. Her residency features the breadth of her ideas and musicality—every set is worth seeing, but particular highlights are her new MXM Trio on August 1, her bringing out the electric harp August 4, and her group Green Dome: harp with drums and prepared piano (August 6).
August 19: Dustin Wong and Takako Minekawa at Baby’s All Right. Wong is a virtuosic guitarist known for his work with Baltimore band Ponytail; Minekawa’s career stretches back to the 1990s. Touring in support of their third album as collaborators, Are Euphoria, the duo plays exuberant, layered music.
August 26: Tyvek at Union Pool. Detroit punks Tyvek play a day show at Union Pool. Don’t let summer pass by without experiencing heatstroke on a concrete patio, beer can sweating in your hand, barre chords merging with the fluttering air. The band might have a song about an air conditioner, but it’s really all about the heat.