The Brooklyn Rail

JUL-AUG 2019

All Issues
JUL-AUG 2019 Issue

Highly Selective Listings

July 11: Lea Bertucci with James Ilgenfritz, C. Lavender, and LEYA at [Outpost Artists Resources[( Ever-daring composer, performer, and sound artist Lea Bertucci continues to traverse ecstatic and meditative sound-worlds on the follow-up to 2018’s Metal Aether, the site-specific Resonant Field (NNA Tapes). A master of soundscape design and resonance, Bertucci’s electroacoustic sprawl brings into epically hypnotic focus recordings of her alto saxophone played inside the cavernous confines of an abandoned grain silo in Buffalo, New York. This evening, Bertucci celebrates its release alongside James Ilgenfritz on 5-string double-bass. With C. Lavender, and LEYA

July 11: Desertion Trio and Andrew Smiley & Jason Nazary Duo at Ceremony224.The Philadelphia-based guitarist Nick Millevoi is a jack-of-all-trades whose stylistic breadth knows no bounds. Desertion Trio, Millevoi’s group with bassist Johnny DeBlase and drummer Kevin Shea, just released Twilight Time (Long Song), an incandescent trip through 1950s and ’60s pop, surf music, and exotica, complete with otherworldly contributions from Sun Ra Arkestra singer Tara Middleton and Meat Puppets keyboardist Ron Stabinsky. Setting the stage for Desertion Trio are the freethinking duo of guitarist Andrew Smiley (of punk-jazz quartet Bloor) and Anteloper drummer Jason Nazary.

July 12: Phonon (Elliott Sharp, Álvaro Domene, Colin Marston, and Weasel Walter), Chaser, and Ir (Mick Barr and Erik Malave) at Brooklyn Bazaar. This evening promises to be a masterclass in avant-guitar wizardry as shred lords of the six-string converge in Greenpoint. No one can predict what new quartet Phonon will create but it will be chaotic and earsplittingly loud. Chaser will throw down devastating no wave-inspired art-rock while Mick Barr and Pyrrhon bassist Erik Malave form a duo sure be heavy on murderously complex soundscapes grounded in the technical and death metal aesthetics.

July 13: Harvestworks and New York Electronic Arts Festival Hosts Dreamtime Ensemble with Susie Ibarra at Building 10a Nolan Park, Governors Island. Percussionist and composer Susie Ibarra is a tireless new-music creative who has blazed jazz, improvised music, and experimental trails with forward-thinking aplomb. For the immersive Fragility: A Game of Polyrhythms, Ibarra once again teams with Dreamtime Ensemble and the choreographer and dancer Souleymane Badolo for what is described as “a musical game piece that includes audience participation”. The work was initially commissioned by the Asia Society in partnership with Pioneer Works (free).

July 16: Brandon Seabrook Trio featuring Cooper-Moore and Gerald Cleaver, Kid Millions & Sara Bernstein Duo, Rob Schwimmer, and Deau Eyes at Threes Brewing. Superhuman-level fretboard-hopper Brandon Seabrook has surrounded himself with a host of likeminded visionaries in his multitude of ensembles, including Henry Fraser, Erica Dicker, Daniel Levin, Allison Miller, and Johnny DeBlase. In his newest trio venture, he’s joined by two trailblazers who rule the avant-garde jazz and improvised music spectrum: pianist Cooper-Moore and drummer Gerald Cleaver. Word has it that a record is imminent for this trio. Rounding out this adventurous bill are one of the most wildly out-there duos around in Oneida drummer Kid Millions and violist and vocalist Sarah Bernstein who will give a preview of their forthcoming second album, titled Broken Fall, to be released on August 30 via the excellent jazz-centric 577 Records imprint. Composer, pianist, keyboardist, and thereminist Rob Schwimmer and Deau Eyes round out this style-loaded bill.

July 16–20: The Stone Residencies: Aaron Novik at The Stone at The New School. A recent New York City transplant by way of San Fransisco, bass clarinetist Aaron Novik has played with the likes of Colin Stetson and Fred Frith. That aesthetic is manifested on his self-released effort The Fallow Curves Of The Planospheres, a compilation that collects five EPs that showcase his style-spanning vision, as does his residency at The Stone. Throughout Novik’s five-day run, he will welcome likeminded ‘out’-jazz heads like Eli Wallace, Ava Mendoza, Nick Millevoi, Jeremiah Cymerman, Ches Smith, Steve Swell, and more in various groups. Check The Stone website for calendar of shows.

July 18: Andrew Barker/Will Holshouser/James Ilgenfritz Trio, Jeff Crompton & Peter Sloan Duo, and Zodiac Saxophone Quartet at Scholes Street Studio. Music scribe and archivist Clifford Allen has dipped his feet into booking ace local shows, most notably his adventurous yet short-lived series The Way Ahead. Tonight, Allen presents what he’s calling “a night of improvised music with connections to the South” as both New York and Atlanta are represented by three acts: a trio comprised of Andrew Barker (drums), Will Holshouser (accordion), and James Ilgenfritz (bass), a duo of Jeff Crompton (reeds) and Peter Sloan (trombone), and Zodiac Saxophone Quartet (Charles Waters, Ras Moshe Burnett, Claire Daly, and Lee Odom) with Christopher Forbes on piano.

July 19–20: Michael Morley: Music for The Never Quartet, Natacha Diels: Sad Music for Lonely People, Ursula Scherrer & Michael Schumacher: Exotica at ISSUE Project Room. A New Zealand ‘out’-music pioneer, the radical path traveled by artist and composer Michael Morley includes membership in noise legends The Dead C and leader of lo-fi experimental project Gate. Morley has been especially prolific of late, having recently come out with the double album Heavens Idlenss Awaits (via the Thin Wrist label), a transcendent, stripped-down avant-folk behemoth that is both jaw-dropping and entrancing. For this two-night stint, Morley presents a new acoustic guitar-driven piece titled Music for The Never Quartet, “a performative installation for a quartet of bowed acoustic guitars placed on solid wooden furniture”.

July 21: Blank Forms, Satellite music series and e-flux Present Onyx Ashanti at Bar Laika. A fearless musician, performer, programmer, purveyor of the Beatjazz controller, a sound design contraption for the hands and mouth, and inventor of a bodily motion activator called Sonocyb, Onyx Ashanti occupies a space all his own. On Saturday, July 20, Ashanti will first appear at Tompkins Square Park, holding a guerrilla street performance at 4 P.M. followed by a workshop at Aeon Bookstore at 5 P.M. Ashanti concludes his New York City mini-residency by presenting a performative demonstration of his Sonocyb invention followed by a Q & A session.

July 21: Charles Waters, Tom Chiu, and Matt Lavelle at Arete Venue and Gallery. Three heavies of New York City’s avant-jazz and experimental music scenes, Charles Waters (alto saxophone), Matt Lavelle (trumpet), and Tom Chiu (violin), come together to pay homage to the late free jazz great, Ornette Coleman. For this world premiere, titled Trinity Vector (for Ornette), Waters composed a piece specifically for Lavelle and Chiu whose associations and personal relationships with Coleman and his work run deep. Presented as one full set with a one-to-two-hour-long runtime and employing Coleman’s principle instrumental vision of the alto saxophone/trumpet/violin lineup, the music was composed using the hybridized Harmolodic system birthed by the jazz icon himself.

July 22: Samantha Boshnack’s Seismic Belt CD Release Show at Nublu 151. Intrepid composer, bandleader, and trumpeter Samantha Boshnack has worked under the stewardship of such avant-garde jazz greats as the late Butch Morris and Oliver Lake so naturally she has a deep-seated knack for composing sprawling and richly-detailed works. That vision was crystallized in flying colors on the grand and rhythmically turbulent Live In Santa Monica (Orenda), an earthy set rooted in majestic scales both musically and conceptually. Tonight, Boshnack brings the album to New York City, leading a sextet that includes Brooklyn strings heavyweights, Jessica Pavone and Sarah Bernstein.

July 26: Steve Dalachinsky & Loren Connors Duo and Skydiver with Bradley Eros at Synesthesia. Visionary guitarist Loren Connors’ presence in the local experimental music landscape is both ubiquitous and always revelatory. Connors can be found teaming with likeminded searchers and creators of cosmic landscapes, like he did in a recent concert accompanied by Alan Licht, Joshua Abrams, Ken Vandermark, and Chad Taylor under the Hoffman Estates moniker. For this show, Connors is in duo mode as he joins forces with a fellow mainstay of the avant-garde scene, pioneering downtown poet, and Brooklyn Rail scribe, Steve Dalachinsky.

July 27: Graveyard Shift: Yonatan Gat at The Green-Wood Cemetery. New York City-via-Israel guitarist Yonatan Gat first stormed onto the scene in the bonkers metal-punk outfit Monotonix. Gat has since separated himself from the pack as a fiercely innovative player. On records like 2018’s Universalists (Joyful Noise), Gat is a protean guitar hero with a world music bent. Heady, sonic explorations into surf music, Brazilian psychedelia, Afrobeat, and contemporary classical intersect with Stooges-like free jazz-meets-punk mayhem when Gat and his band shun the stage and set up on the floor amid the audience. Tonight’s performance is indeed a unique event as it’s a one-time, site-specific performance at the landmark Green-Wood Cemetery with Gat joined by Swans bassist Christopher Pravdica and the Rhode Island-based Alonquin drum group, The Eastern Medicine Singers. Not to be missed.

July 27: Chris Forsyth, Garcia Peoples, Dire Wolves, and Weak Signal at Market Hotel. Cosmic Americana guitar jamming will be in full force tonight as leaders of the highest soloing and shredding order come together. A disciple of Television’s Richard Lloyd, Philadelphia stalwart Chris Forsyth has channeled that band’s shimmering guitar dueling majesty and grit on a number of releases, most recently on this year’s All Time Present (No Quarter). Meanwhile, the Beyond Beyond is Beyond record label has fast become the guitar force destination with Garcia Peoples’ Natural Facts and Grow Towards The Light by Dire Wolves, both rock-centric epics by indie jam-band upstarts who are carrying the Grateful Dead and Creedence Clearwater Revival torch.

July 28: Bob Bellerue with Jessica Pavone, Ed Bear, and more plus Loren Connors & Suzanne Langille Duo and Marcia Bassett & Samara Lubelski Duo at First Unitarian Congregational Society. Experimental music lifer Bob Bellerue has pioneered the noise music landscape as mastermind behind the annual Ende Tymes festival. For this performance, Bellerue is premiering a piece titled The Charmed Piano. He explains it as “a stab at an ensemble work, which is under development but currently planned for amplified piano + voice + viola + baritone sax + ?”. Bellerue will be joined by Jessica Pavone and Ed Bear, amongst other musicians, for the first in an occasional series of concerts to take place in the First Unitarian’s little chapel. With Loren Connors & Suzanne Langille and Marcia Bassett & Samara Lubelski duos.

July 31: Ears Open: Steph Richards with Joshua White, Stomu Takeishi, and Gerald Cleaver at Public Records. Steph Richards is a multi-instrumental wunderkind who has recorded with such titans as Anthony Braxton, Henry Threadgill, John Zorn, David Byrne, and Yoko Ono. The trumpeter already served up one of jazz’s best releases this year with Take The Neon Lights (Birdwatcher), an all-acoustic program that suggested the freewheeling nature and intricate landscapes of the aforementioned Braxton and Threadgill. As part of the forward-thinking Ears Open series, curated by Rob Reddy at new Gowanus venue Public Records, Richards is debuting a new, exciting supergroup comprised of pianist Joshua White, bassist Stomu Takeishi, and drummer Gerald Cleaver. Richards has fast become a force of constant musical reinventions and this new group should be another eye-opening cog in her singular canon.

July 31: The John Zorn Stone Commissioning Series Presents: Brian Chase featuring Zeena Parkins & Ursula Scherrer at National Sawdust. The prolific nature of Brian Chase is something to behold. As drummer of one of the most popular rock bands, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, he globe-trots the world playing to sold out crowds. On the other end of the spectrum, Chase is an omnipresent force in New YorK City’s avant underground, a minimalist experimenter as Drums & Drones under the influence of LaMonte Young, while running his own experimental and improvised music record label (Chaikin Records). Here, Chase partners with two of his oft collaborators: harpist Zeena Parkins and video artist Ursula Scherrer.

August 2: Slipstream Time Travel, Joe McLaughlin, Louden Townes, and Reg Bloor at The Green Door Bar. Drummer Marc Edwards has played with the late jazz greats David S. Ware and Cecil Taylor, bashed the kit for no wave crew Cellular Chaos, and regularly melts minds and ears with metal-informed, free-improvisations with guitarists Reg Bloor and Mick Barr. But in his long-running group Slipstream Time Travel, Edwards leans into his jazz roots with spaced-out, hypnotic, and dense meditations, invoking the music of John and Alice Coltrane. Bloor, Edward’s frequent musical cohort and member of the late Glenn Branca’s ensembles, opens with a set of her cutthroat guitar punishment. With Joe McLaughlin and Louden Townes.

August 2: Christopher Cerrone Record Release Event at Arete Venue and Gallery. Brooklyn-based composer Christopher Cerrone garnered universal critical acclaim for his opera Invisible Cities. Now Cerrone is taking his ambient/classical vision to new heights with The Pieces That Fall To Earth, due July 26 via New Amsterdam Records. Three years in the making and born from deep musical bonds Cerrone forged with artists from New York to Los Angeles, Cerrone rings in its release with musicians who appear on the album including, vocal wonder Theo Bleckmann, Timo Andres, Rachel Lee Priday, and Andy Meyerson.

August 7: Howlin Rain and Ryley Walker at Brooklyn Bowl. Guitarist and vocalist Ethan Miller is a psych-rock original. He was in Comets on Fire, currently leads Feral Ohms and is a member of Heron Oblivion. In rock powerhouse Howlin Rain, Miller touches on his soulful and twanging 1970s rock and blues-leaning sides, as heard on 2018’s arena-sized The Alligator Bride (via Miller’s own Silver Current label), and more recently, on a just-announced album series called Under the Wheels that captures Miller and company in raw-powered, live-in-concert form.

August 8: J.D. Pinkusat Knitting Factory. J.D. Pinkus is an American underground rock legend. Pinkus’ resume includes membership in two iconic independent rock groups: psychedelic punk icons The Butthole Surfers and avant-metal overlords the Melvins. The bassist, when not co-leading Texas boogie-metal outfit Honky, has ventured into solo terrain with country-fried, back porch and bare-bones Americana-flavored freaky folk that finds him crooning and plucking and picking away on a beat up banjo. For this rare, local appearance, Pinkus flies solo.

August 15: Jonathon Crompton Intuit Record Release Show at The Owl Music Parlor. Like bass clarinetist Aaron Novik, alto saxophonist Jonathon Crompton is an avant-garde jazz rising star. On Intuit (due August 9 via his own New Lab Records), Crompton has formed a star-studded band that features contributions from Ingrid Laubrock, Patrick Breiner, and Patrick Booth on tenor saxophone and augmented by a rhythm section made up of bassist Adam Hopkins and drummer Katie Gentile. Crompton’s Intuit is both nimble and rhythmically complex, showing a deft bandleader on the verge.

August 17: Bardo Pond and Sunburned Hand Of The Man at Mercury Lounge. It’ll be an evening of marathon stoner-rock and warped psychedelic jams as a pair of underground institutions form a double bill for the mind-expanding ages. For nearly three decades and over countless albums, Philadelphia’s Bardo Pond have been frying brains with their slow-burning beast of psych and stoner rock fused with Pharaoh Sanders-inspired spiritual-jazz skronk. Expect similar blissed-out vibes from the long-running, Massachusetts-based freak-show collective Sunburned Hand Of The Man.

August 20: Dead Rider at C’mon Everybody. Featuring members of such revered independent rock noise-makers as U.S. Maple and Cheer-Accident, Chicago’s Dead Rider have flown under the radar as they’ve churned out art-rock anthems at the weirdest levels full of off-kilter rhythms and catchy hooks. The last we heard from Dead Rider was the on their groovy and ghostly collaboration with English experimental and noise mad scientist, Mr. Paul Williams. Williams won’t be on this current tour jaunt but hopefully a preview of fresh Dead Rider material will be.

August 21–25: Charlie Parker Jazz Festival. The City Parks Foundation’s 27th annual Charlie Parker Jazz will have free shows all over Manhattan, from Marcus Garvy Park to the Harlem Rose Garden and the 6BC Botanical Garden in the East Village. More than music, this year’s line-up feature panels and workshops, and documentary films. But don’t miss Dee Dee Bridgewater, Renée McLean, an Art Blakey tribute, and more.

August 22: Relix and Joel Harrison Presents Alternative Guitar Summit 2019: The Music of Woodstock 50 Years After at Brooklyn Bowl. Joel Harrison’s Alternative Guitar Summit has established itself as a bastion of six-string wizardry, as evidenced by its annual festival where “daring, inventive players emphasize new and unusual approaches to the guitar” and at its camp where avant-jazz stars like Ben Monder and Julian Lage share their secrets. As part of the AGS festival earlier this year, Harrison assembled an all-star lineup to pay tribute to “The Music of Woodstock 50 Years After” headlined by Nels Cline playing the music of Santana. Now, Harrison is putting on another Woodstock tribute show. Alongside a returning Cline as Santana is Vernon Reid playing Janis Joplin and Sly Stone, Brandon Seabrook playing The Who and Ten Years After, and Harrison himself playing Richie Havens and The Grateful Dead. A must-see.

August 24–25: Afropunk Brookln at Commodore Barry Park. The broadest and most vital festival of the summer, two days in the sun that go beyond punk to bring out the fundamental range and importance of Africa-American music. Red Arkade and Death Grips, Samurai Shotgun, and Rebelmatic will play, so will Junglepussy, Burnt Sugar the Arkestra Chamber, FKA Twigs, Jill Scott, Leon Bridges, Kamasi Washington, and Gary Clark Jr. And that’s just a sample of the depth of talent.

September 1: One Eleven Heavy BBiB Album Launch Show at Union Pool. Along with Garcia Peoples, Dire Wolves, and Ryley Walker, One Eleven Heavy—a supergroup of sorts featuring James Toth of Wooden Wand, Hans Chew, Ryan Jewell, Dan Brown, and Nick Mitchell Maiato—is helping lead an “indie-jam-band” movement cut from the Cosmic Americana and American Primitive Guitar cloth. On the forthcoming Desire’s Path (Beyond Beyond is Beyond), One Eleven Heavy crank up the stoner boogie and top-down highway chuggers in nodding to the Grateful Dead, The Band, and Neil Young & Crazy Horse in all its rocking and psychedelic glory.

September 4: City Farm Presents Mdou Moctar and Boogarins at Industry City Courtyard 1–2 Food Hall Entrance. There’s good reason why Tuareg guitarist and tunesmith Mdou Moctar has been dubbed “The Jimi Hendrix of the desert”: He’s pushing the envelope in redefining 21st century guitar playing. On Ilana (The Creator), Moctar is a guitar godhead in his spiritual-leaning deconstruction of psychedelic and desert rock.


George Grella

George Grella is the Rail’s music editor.

Brad Cohan

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.


The Brooklyn Rail

JUL-AUG 2019

All Issues