November 2 - Interpretations Series at Roulette: A double bill; pianists Joseph Kubera and Marilyn Nonken will play Michael Byron’s The Ultra Violet of Many Parallel Paths, followed by a welcome visit from Finnish new music cellist Juho Laitinen. Byron’s music turns simple ideas into complex and uncannily lovely harmonies, while Laitinen’s playing ranges from the most delicate multiphonics to the most vigorous muscularity, all deeply musical.
November 2 - Cut Worms at Baby’s All Right: Max Clarke, performing as Cut Worms, celebrates the release of his debut EP Alien Sunset, out last month on Jagjaguwar. Clarke’s songs have a quiet grace and subtly fluid structure, his plaintive voice nestled in a bed of acoustic guitars like a low-key psychedelic Townes van Zandt.
November 6 - 18, Thomas Paine in Violence at HERE: Into a world that is starved for new thinking in opera comes the return of Paul Pinto. The composer/performer is an important part of thingNY and Varispeed. one of the new generation keeping Robert Ashley’s legacy alive, and a uniquely creative dramatic thinker. This run of his new “opera sermon” on social inequality is supported by the supreme talents of Joan La Barbara, Eddie Rodriguez, Christian Luu, Andrew Mayer, Philip White, Rick Burkhardt, and the man himself, Pinto. If you’ve seen Hamilton, you ain’t seen nothing.
November 8 - Habib Koité at (le) poisson rouge. Presented by the World Music Institute, Koité brings the unmistakable sound of Mali—and earthy lilt that resonates in the heart and hips—along with his own lyrical song-writing. This is music with, on the surface, the modest desire to please that doesn’t quite camouflage it’s deep roots in African blues.
November 8–9 - Works by Alvin Lucier + at ISSUE Project Room: Two nights of some of the most important experimental music from the 20th century, which also includes some of the most beautiful music from the last 100 years. This is the New York staging of the Zurich Zürcher Hochschule der Kunste’s celebration of Lucier from a year ago. The Ever Present Orchestra, a Lucier repertory ensemble, Joan La Barbara, Oren Ambarchi and Gary Schmalzl will play the music, and Lucier himself will perform the essential and astonishing Bird and Person Dyning and I Am Sitting in a Room. Dig into the couch cushions for the coin to pick up a newly published book/4 LP set that will be release as part of the events.
November 12 - Tunic, Alien Trilogy, Sodium Beast, and Woodhull at Silent Barn: Just another Sunday punk show at Silent Barn presented by Gimme Tinnitus. Tunic heads the bill, propulsive bass running under screeching guitars, a pentatonic electric Rite of Spring, music for bombed-out airports.
November 13 - Omni at Baby’s All Right: In September, Atlanta’s Omni followed up its 2016 Deluxe with Multi-task, both on Trouble in Mind. Frankie Broyles’s guitar still ping-pongs around Philip Frobos’s deadpan vocals as the songs veer at sharp angles towards surprising snatches of climax, beautiful without making a big deal about it.
November 15 - Circuit des Yeux at Rough Trade: Between her mysterious country act Jackie Lynn and her flagship Circuit des Yeux—along with frequent appearances as a collaborator—Haley Fohr is keeping busy. Her latest, Reaching for Indigo, came out last month on Drag City. It sees Fohr backing off a little from the electronic experimentation of 2015’s In Plain Speech, paring down, keeping things simple-ish. Still present of course is Fohr’s unmistakable voice, that powerful instrument that makes her a one-woman Lo and Behold.
November 17 - Emptyset at Pioneer Works: The electronic duo comes to Brooklyn to play a show originally scheduled for October. James Ginzburg and Paul Purgas is known for adopting rigid guidelines to shape their work, as Ginzburg discusses on the October Rail Tracks podcast. Their latest release, Skin, out this year on Thrill Jockey, is the group’s first to use exclusively acoustic instrumentation.
November 18 - Open Source Music Festival at Abrons Arts Center: One day of music to get lost in, organized by pianist Joel Fan. From set to set (including one from Fan), you’ll hear a kaleidoscope of music making from percussion trio TIGUE, monster electric guitarist Ben Monder, JACK Quartet, new music/prog-rock group The Cellar & Point, and more all-stars of new classical/electronic/improvising/unclassifiable music.
November 27–28 & December 5 - Synth Nights at The Kitchen: What better way to get in the holiday spirit with this excellent series of music made via inorganic means? These upcoming concerts start with two nights from Laurel Halo, bring music from her new album Dust, then Catherine Lamb plays Prisma Interius: III, part of a series that explores the sampling/spectral Secondary Rainbow Synthesizer. Some great creativity to enjoy before we’re all forced by law to say “Merry Christmas!”
December 1 - A. Savage at Monty Hall: Best known for his shared frontman duties in Parquet Courts (though he’s also quietly exhibiting as a visual artist), A. Savage released his debut solo record last month on his own Dull Tools label. Parquet Courts have always been adepts at trying on different styles, and on Thawing Dawn, Savage leans south and west. Solo, he’s quieter than in the band, but the same compositional intelligence comes through.
December 2 - R WE WHO R WE at Union Pool: This group is the duo of Philip White and Ted Hearne; the former is an avant-garde electronic music, who builds his own instruments and is known for his masterful manipulation of feedback and noise, the latter is vocalist and composer who makes some of the most driven and politically forceful music around. Their second album “I Love You”, is due on November 21—expect what they insightfully describe as a marriage of “beauty and brutality”, and all of it as lyrical as a pop song.