July 5: Anthony Coleman and Brian Chase Duo at Arete Venue. Percussionist Brian Chase holds down the backbeat for art-punks Yeah Yeah Yeahs, arguably the busiest improviser in town, has just launched his own record label, Chaikin Records. Chase lays out beats both bananas and scientific and tonight he will joust and jab with avant-garde improvisational veteran, virtuosic pianist Anthony Coleman.
July 6: Mivos Quartet at San Damiano Mission. Composer Patrick Higgins deconstructs classical structures and forms and then uses the parts to rebuild them into modern originals that bear some resemblance to the past while being absolutely futuristic. Heеs releasing a new recording, DOSSIER, and the music will be in the expert hands of the Mivos players.
July 7: New Firmament Presents Sofie Herner + Nolan Throop, Andrew Smiley, Stevie May, Films of Miles Pflanz and DJ sets by Amy Mills + Guest at The Footlight. GRID drummer and New Firmament mastermind Nick Podgurski continues his left-field concert series with boy wonder guitarist Andrew Smiley. Formerly of punk-jazz unit Little Women and current cohort of Chris Pitsiokos and Will Mason, Smiley went solo last year with the skronked-out Dispersal, an otherworldly twenty seven-minute cosmic epic whose strings-bending brutality and cathartic chants nodded to Keiji Haino and Thurston Moore.
July 7: The Body, BIG/BRAVE at Saint Vitus. The unsettling and forward thinking output of Portlandеs The Body has defied all of metalеs conventions. Theyеve deconstructed doom metal with deafening and warped shards of electronic, noise, and industrial music and on their most recent album, I Have Fought Against It, But I Canеt Any Longer, throbbing and claustrophobic techno-damaged hellscapes meet six-foot under screams and operatic wails on yet another noise-metal magnum opus.
July 8: Tara Jane O’Neil and Marisa Anderson at Union Pool. Guitarist Marisa Andersonеs fancy fretwork is cut from the Americana cloth as her Thrill Jockey Records label-mates Glenn Jones and Sarah Louise. Andersonеs finger-picking prowess on the new Cloud Corner is a travelogue of sorts, running the gamut from American primitive to classical to Tuareg style.
July 9: Byron Westbrook, John Also Bennett at Wonders of Nature. The pulsating and serpentine vistas that sound artist and composer Byron Westbrook sculpts fry minds and confound senses. On his most recent stunning set, titled Confluence Patterns, Westbrookеs shapeshifting is in glitch-heightened and drone-heavy overload as he splatters gnarly psychedelia, contorted textures and patterns, and thwacking rhythms in its ecstatic sound-world.
July 11: Ron Anderson/Kevin Shea, Grex, Aaron Novik, Max Jaffe. Hailing from Oaklandеs vibrant avant underground is art-rock crew Grex. On their forthcoming record, Electric Ghost Parade, these Bay Area brainiacs trip out on a chilled-out yet complex attack of math-rock heroics, free-improvisational freak-outs, and psych-rock weirdness as they channel Henry Kaiser and Hendrix.
July 11: Middle Blue at Bar Chord. Guitarist Brad Farberman is a shredder heavy on the funk action. As leader of the epically jamming crew Middle Blue, Fabermanеs grooving Love Chords (released earlier this year) chugs and boogies like electric-Miles and Ornette Coleman & Prime Time and vibes out on the deep spirituality of Alice Coltrane on a Parliament-Funkadelic kick.
July 13: Kenny Millions/Rat Bastard/Damon Smith Trio, Samantha Riott/Luke Stewart Duo, David Grollman Solo at H0l0. A pair of legendary sonic brutarians, saxophonist Kenny Millions and guitarist Rat Bastard join forces with double bass behemoth Damon Smith in what will surely be a raunch-filled evening of nihilistic fire music.
July 15: Matt Parker at A.R.T./New York South Oxford Space. Saxophonist Parkerеs sophomore album, Present Time, showed a gentle and imaginative way with standard jazz language. It left a subtle but lasting effect. Heеll be appearing with pianist Max Farber, a long-time collaborator, playing music out of the Great American Songbook— Irving Berlin, Duke Ellington, Glen Miller, Harry Connick Jr., George Gershwin. Cool music for the summer nights.
July 15: En Orbita with Os Mutantes, Martin Rev, Lee Ranaldo Trio, A Place To Bury Strangers, Yonatan Gat, Land In The Sky, Breaking Forms at (le) poisson rouge. The Chile-based En Orbita festivalеs mission statement is described as вa dialogue between science and…how music connects across spaces, cultures, and potentially dimensions.г That dimension reaches far across a range of spectrums of sound as the third edition of the festival presents Tropicalia pioneers Os Mutantes alongside NYCеs own Martin Rev (of Suicide), Sonic Youth cofounder Lee Ranaldo, post-punk trio A Place To Bury Strangers, and surf-psych-free-improv guitarist, Yonatan Gat.
July 17–21: Matt Hollenberg Residency at The Stone at New School. Matt Hollenberg is an avant-metal guitar overlord whose dizzying, pinpoint-precise finger work melds a lethal hybrid of technical metal, free jazz, death metal, and downtown skronk. For his Stone residency, all that will be showcased as Hollenberg will melt faces with Cleric, Shardik, his Quartet with fellow guitarist Nick Millevoi, and iNFiNiEN.
July 19: Vernon Reid, Suphala, Tim Motzer, and Gintas Janusonis at Aret Venue and Gallery. Unpredicatability in music is outlined by a lack of definition. For example, how would you describe a quartet of guitarists Reid and Motzer, tablaist Suphala and drummer Janusonius? The only way to figure it out is to go see this absolutely unique collaboration in the intimate Aret space.
July 20–21: Sonic Arts Union at ISSUE Project Room. Seven pioneering experimental collective Sonic Arts Union are commemorated over a two-night run highlighted by the world premiere of Alvin Lucierеs Double Helix for four guitars, his second ever piece written exclusively for the instrument. The piece is set to be performed by composer and multi-instrumentalist Oren Ambarchi and Stephen O’Malley of doom-metal legends, Sunn O)))).
July 20: Forma (Record Release), Ka Baird, Jen Monroe at National Sawdust. Brooklyn-based electronics trio Forma celebrate the release of the hypnotic, catchy, and swirling Semblance, a futuristic groundswell of blip and bleeps and polyrhythmic chug that draws from Kraut-rock, minimalism and ambient music.
July 22: ONO, Taiwan Housing Project, BLOOR, Samantha Riott at The Glove. Chicago underground legends ONO been shelling out their self-proclaimed gospel-noise for over three decades now. Seminal records like Albino and Diegesis shattered the noise, funk, jazz, art-rock, and post-rock blueprint and are classification-defying must-haves for your record collection. Completing this monster bill are noise-punks Taiwan Housing Project, free jazz locals BLOOR, and no wave-inspired spoken word firebreather and Rodenticide leader Samantha Riott, who is prepping Bloodletting, her upcoming solo album via her own The Fifth House imprint.
July 23: Bushwick Improvised Music Series: Overishins (Mick Barr, Chuck Bettis, Mike Pride, Johnny DeBlase), Marc Edwards & Slipstream Time Travel, Gauci/Ewen/Lane and more. Drummer Marc Edwards has played with legends like Cecil Taylor and David S. Ware, and more recently, with Weasel Walter and Mick Barr. Tonight, Edwards leads his own ensemble, Slipstream Time Travel, as they ascend to the spiritual-jazz heights of Sun Ra, Sonny Sharrock, and Albert Ayler.
July 23: This Is Not This Heat at Pioneer Works. This Is Not This Heat is the cleverly-named offshoot project comprised of the surviving members of U.K. experimental legends This Heat, Charles Bullen and Charles Hayward. The duo recently rebooted This Heat and in its current incarnation, they are continuing their avant-everything deconstruction.
July 27: Go: Organic Orchestra and Brooklyn Raga Massive at Rubin Museum. Adam Rudolphеs orchestra of the future and Raga Massive—a modern music ensemble that channels their ideas through traditional Indian musicаwill combine techniques and spirits into something that may succeed where Ginsberg failed, levitating the Rubin Museum.
July 27: BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn Festival Presents Tinariwen. Purveyors of sprawling desert-rock jams, Tuareg guitar gods Tinariwen have become a sensation in these parts since emerging from their Mali homeland. Their trance-rock, made up of roiling guitarscapes and ritualistic chanting, is a mesmerizing beast, and outside at Prospect Park, it should be a magical experience that is a summertime must-see.
July 28: Jenny Q Chai at Spectrum. Pianist Chai has a new performance program she calls Sonorous Brushes, and after opening it in London she’s bringing it to the new Spectrum space across from the Brooklyn Navy Yard. Sonorous connects the old—Debussy, Ravel, and Messiaen—with new works from Jaroslaw Kapuscinski that combine music with visuals, via the Antescofo sofware that synchronizes visuals with audio in real-time.
July 28: String Orchestra of Brooklyn at St. Ann Holy Trinity Church. Whatеs not to like with an orchestra called SOB that plays this program: music from Julia Wolfe, John Adams (Shaker Loops), and Henryk Gorecki, with pianist Adam Tendler as a soloist. Under 18 get in free.
August 3: Alan Braufman featuring Cooper-Moore and James Brandon Lewis Present Valley of Search at National Sawdust. In 1975, saxophonist Alan Braufmanеs Valley of Search was released and over the years has become a cult touchstone of the downtown New York City loft jazz scene. Forty years later, itеs finally being reissued, and this evening Braufman, with pianist Cooper-Moore (who played on the album) and saxophonist James Brandon Lewis, will perform cuts from the just-reissued piece of free jazz history.
August 3: Chaser, bbigpigg, PAK and Michael Foster/Weasel Walter Duo at Muchmore’s. Chaser, PAK and bbigpigg lead a noise-punk and technical metal spectacular at Williamsburg dive, Muchmoreеs. Expect lots of notes, noise and mayhem.
August 14–18: Time Spans Festival at the DiMenna Center. The fourth installment of this festival from the Earle Brown Foundation Charitable Trust will open with the Bazzini Quartet on of the most important groups in contemporary music. And if thatеs not enough, the following nights will feature Alarm Will Sound, Talea Ensemble, Yarn/Wire, and JACK Quartet in collaboration with the SWR Experimentalstudio Freiburg. This is a new music fantasy come true.
August 16: Matt Marks Memorial with Alarm Will Sound and New Music Gathering at Roulette. In May, the local new-music community suffered an immeasurable loss when composer and musician Matt Marks tragically passed away. As a founding member of contemporary chamber orchestra Alarm Will Sound, Marks contribution to the scene and beyond was invaluable and this evening there will be memorial that will include AWS and others performing works by Marks.
August 17: LPR X: Pere Ubu at (le) poisson rouge. Art-punk institution Pere Ubu remain a hugely influential band with classic records like The Modern Dance and Dub Housing still resonating today. However, vocalist David Thomas and company refuse to do the nostalgia tours. Pere Ubu are still putting out new albums full of their trademark quirk and nervous energy (like last yearеs 20 Years in a Montana Missile Silo) and a tour circuit staple. Tonight, they help LPR ring in their ten-year anniversary.
August 26: Music Against Mass Incarceration III at Secret Project Robot. For the third year, New York Cityеs underground music community is uniting to rally against fascism. The third edition of Music Against Mass Incarceration brings together another stellar lineup featuring dance-punks Guerilla Toss, psych-jazzheads Sunwatchers, TV On The Radioеs Kyp Malone, and more. The cause is to raise money to help fight against mass incarceration in the United States, and the beneficiary is JustLeadershipUSA, who are “dedicated to cutting the US correctional population in half by 2030. JLUSA empowers people most affected by incarceration to drive policy reform.” Representatives from JLUSA will be on hand to talk about the work they do and why it’s so urgently needed.
Brad Cohan is a music journalist based in Brooklyn who has contributed to Bandcamp, The Village Voice, NY Observer, Time Out NY, VICE, Noisey, SPIN, CLRVYNT, Red Bull Music Academy, and other fine publications.