December 3: Pathenia Viol Consort presents Nothing Proved - New Works for Viols, Voice and Electronics at Picture Ray Studio. New music for old instruments is a thing of which there is not enough. Not just new works, this concert promises something different than playing post-jazz diatonic improvisations on old instruments; the new new, in other words, not just the repainted old.
December 6: Darius Jones at Roulette. While making less of a splash than his jazz instrumentalist/contemporary composer peers, Jones has been making exciting and beautiful new works for ensembles. One part of this concert will be a work-in-progress look at Samesoul Maker, a follow on from his impressive The Oversoul Manual. There will also be a new, evening-lenght work, LawNOrder, a piece that excavates American history and social justice via game techniques. Soul, righteousness, and then some.
December 7: Anewal at Rockwood Music Hall. The next installment of the World Music Institute’s Desert Blues series features the U.S. debut of Anewal, a new trio led by Alhousseini Anivolla, of Etran Finatawa fame. Single “Tamajareditin” maintains a steady groove, accumulating insistent force. Note the venue change: previously scheduled for (le) poisson rouge, the show has been moved to Rockwood Music Hall.
December 9 and 10: Ted Leo and the Pharmacists at Music Hall of Williamsburg. Ted Leo—the uptempo Billy Bragg, the melodic Ian McKaye, the straightforward Stephen Malkmus, the DIY Damon Albarn—plays a two-night stand at Music Hall of Williamsburg.
December 15: Byzantine Pop-ups at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. So you’ve finished volume six of Gibbon’s Decline and Fall and you’re just a-hankerin’ for more of that sweet sweet Byzantium. Well friend, you’re in luck. Head to the Medieval Sculpture Hall at the Met (the museum, not the opera) to catch a taste of the Eastern Empire on the Upper East Side. Three performances at 4pm, 6pm, and 8pm will include antiphonal works in multiple languages, featuring the Axion Estin Foundation Chanters.
December 16: Tyondai Braxton and Like a Villain at ISSUE Project Room. Tyondai Braxton, who rose to fame as front man for the band Battles—whose 2007 LP Mirrored was a significant contributing factor to the intensity of drug-fueled parties on college campuses throughout the late ‘00s—and who has since gone on to compose for or collaborate with the likes of Kronos Quartet and Philip Glass, plays a solo set at ISSUE.
December 21: Phill Niblock: 6 Hours of Music and Film at Roulette. This, as it has been for the previous six years, is how you should be spending the darkest day of the year.
January 13: Drugdealer featuring Weyes Blood. A new project by Los Angeles artist Michael Collins whose debut LP The End of Comedy was released last year, Drugdealer cites as influences the likes of Jean Baudrillard and Sergio Leone and boasts as collaborators the likes of Ariel Pink and Weyes Blood, the latter of whom will join Collins for this show in Brooklyn. The concept might be a bit arch but the tunes are alright, folks.
January 2: Ghost Train Orchestra at Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola. Moving up to the big time is one of our favorite group’s, Brian Carpenter’s lovingly irreverent tribute to the traditional jazz big band. They’ll be celebrating the release of the new album, Book of Rhapsodies Vol. II, and go see them before Wynton Marsalis kicks them out.
January 7 - 20: Prototype Festival. Annually one of the most important musical events, the 2018 program will feature the world premiere of the chamber reduction of Michael Gordon’s Acquanetta, based on 1940s horror movies, and the local premiere of Gregory Spears’s Fellow Traveller, set in the McCarthy era.
January 10 - 17: Winter Jazzfest NYC. The best of its kind in New York, probably on the planet, this iteration will feature a tribute to Geri Allen, José James channeling Bill Withers, Ravi Coltrane channeling his mom, Alice, and an evening of afro-futurism via Nicole Mitchell’s Mandorla Awakening. And there’s also the massive, essential marathon, January 12 - 13.
January 19 and 20: Evil Nigger — Jeremy Toussaint-Baptiste and LaMont Hamilton at the Kitchen. Jeremy Toussaint-Baptiste completes his ISSUE Project Room residency by performing, in sequence, all five of his previously staged iterations of Julius Eastman’s 1979 composition Evil Nigger. Together with Lamont Hamilton, Toussaint-Baptiste will conclude his “investigation of Julius Eastman as an archetypal trickster, specifically within the canon of Black American cultural practice.”
ContributorBy The Editors