Brooklyn Rail Highly Selective Music Events
By the Editors
- June 1: Los Angeles Percussion Quartet at National Sawdust. One of a current proliferation of excellent percussion ensembles, and the long tail-end of what Varese began, the quartet is releasing a new recording, Beyond, this month on Sono Luminus. Catch them playing music from some of the most intriguing new composers around; Christopher Cerrone (premiering a virtual reality video), Daniel Bjarnason, and the great Anna Thorvaldsdottir, who is forming an entirely new concept of music and performance as we watch and listen.
- June 5: The Secret Quartet plays John King at Joe’s Pub. This string quartet, made up of some of New York City’s finest musicians, will be playing music from King’s spring release on New World Records, Free Palestine. Stepping past the title, the music is not explicitly political—it’s King’s expression of an idealized personal voice, heard through the strings, that is of a fraught place and history, and that demands to be heard with clarity and dignity. This is captivating, moving music.
- June 6, 13, 27: Savion Glover Acoustic Series at Jazz Gallery. Savion Glover’s tap dance performances with jazz ensembles are infrequent treats. Not only is this a way to get back to some real old-fashioned roots of the music, but it shows tap as an inherently musical form. Guests are TBA for the first two dates, while Glover dances solo at the last, itself a special experience.
- June 7: Peter Brötzmann and Heather Leigh at ISSUE Project Room. Peter Brötzmann is a veteran free jazz saxophonist whose performances are earthy blasts of wild energy. Heather Leigh explores the range of the pedal steel guitar, that old hybrid subversive element hiding on your country records. Brötzmann and Leigh’s work as a duo began with the 2015 Tectonics Festival in Glasgow. A rare opportunity to tunnel deep into the core of things, furiously.
- June 8: Gimme Tinnitus / Already Dead Tapes! Northside Fest Showcase at the Gutter. Please steer clear of the tech-entrepreneurial cant pedaled under the Northside Festival’s “Innovation” rubric. Go see a punk show instead. It’s the honest choice. Never mind what’s been selling; it’s what you’re buying.
- June 11: Red Hook Jazz Festival, Day 1. Yeah, we go to the Winter Jazz Fest and the Vision Festival, but this is the one we love the most. Outdoors in the Urban Meadow, for only $10 (kids are free), day one offers William Parker/Cooper-Moore, the Thana Alexa Project, and groups lead by Richi Debonis, Jane Ira Bloom, and Eric Person. Speaks for itself.
- June 13: David Gilmore at the Jazz Standard. A musician’s musician, guitarist Gilmore uses his slicing tone and rhythmic chops to release what seems an endlessly refreshing flow of musical ideas—hear it on his new Criss Cross release, Transitions. At this gig, he’ll be supported by the elusive, fiery tenor saxophonist Mark Shim, worth the cover charge alone.
- June 14: Kill Alters, Nastie Band, Ornament at Secret Project Room. Kill Alters plays glitchy electronic pop music, jagged, saccharine, and gritty all at once, like drinking vodka and diet coke from a coffee cup you’ve recently used as an ash tray.
- June 19: Brian Charette at Rockwood Music Hall. Kick-ass organist Charette is taking matters/meters into his own hands and self-producing and releasing his new album. Charette has got the whole world of jazz, soul, and funk under his hands and feet, so this new project looks explosive: with guitarist Ben Monder and drummer Jordan Young, he leads the debut of Kürrrent, which he tells us is “kind of a prog/metal/jazz trio” and a big departure from his previous path. Expect excitement.
- June 19 - 22: Infrequent Seams Festival. The Infrequent Seams label is the work of bassist and composer James Ilgenfritz. The label is off to a flying start, with near a dozen excellent release, including Ilgenfritz’s Origami Cosmos, Rub Out The Word from Steve Buscemi and Elliott Sharp, a collection of pieces from composer Devin Maxwell, and an excellent electronic disc from Philip White (infrequentseams.bandcamp.com). The festival looks to be a fascinating alternate version the upcoming Ostrava Days 2017, with the SEM Ensemble and the Anagram Ensemble joining forces to present new music from J.P.A. Falzone, John King, and Ben Richter, and classics from Petr Kotik, Arthur Kampela, and Robert Ashley.
- June 23: Endless Field at Subculture. From the same label, Biophilia Records, that issued Bryan & the Aardvarks’ Sounds From the Deep Field comes the duo Endless Field. Guitarist Jesse Lewis and bassist Ike Sturm have put together an eponymous debut release, celebrated at this gig, that puts together the unlikely combination of jazz, folk, ambient, and space music, something like Jon Hassell with some sense of song form. The results are full of subtle beauty and unsuspected depths.
- June 26: Cinema Cinema at St. Vitus. Cinema Cinema is an avant-punk duo that channels Fugazi’s frenetic restless style, its maximalist approach opening up every now and then to reveal the jagged melodic sense of Death From Above 1979 (another duo) or Fucked Up. The group’s latest, Man Bites Dog, came out in April on Labelship/Dullest Records. Take the edge off with one of those cleverly named beer-and-shot specials they’ve got at St. Vitus and let the sound wash over you.
- June 28: Gold Bolus at Secret Project Robot. Brooklyn label Gold Bolus presents a showcase at the newly reified Secret Project Robot. Topping the bill are Reps, purveyors of rock instrument music—that is, composed, intelligent instrumental music made with rock instruments. It’s not post rock; rock isn’t finished with us yet. Percussionist Sam Sowyrda of Cloud Becomes Your Hand and Ashcan Orchestra, whose record luminous horizons came out on the label earlier this year, rounds out the bill, together with Panoply Performance Lab and Excarnation.
- June 29: Make the Road Fundraiser at Silent Barn. Make the Road New York is an organization advocating for Latino and working class communities in New York City. The Silent Barn fundraiser event features all high school bands, such as the subtly bruising indie trio Pretty Sick and the disconcertingly sophisticated shoegaze act FOAM.