Greetings! We’ve had a pretty good week on the music side of things, between us we’ve seen Vaadat Charigim at Palisades and my esteemed metal heads caught Iron Maiden last night. It’s 20 degrees celsius as I type this (let’s not talk of that silly farenheit…) and spring is in the air, by which I mean the smell of semen from the Callery Pear’s (insert “Spring is coming” joke here). I should probably mention there are some great shows this weekend…
5) David Bowie Tribute concerts at Carnegie Hall and Radio City
What can possibly be said that hasn’t already been said? I’m not sure we’ll feel a loss like David Bowie in music ever again, in the sense of someone who was still producing engaging material until the very end of a 50 year recording career. Sure, we’ll reminisce when other greats die, but it will be very much looking back. Looking back is all we can do now, and there are two tribute concerts this weekend, one at Carnegie Hall on Thursday and one at Radio City Music Hall on Friday. Both feature an understandably impressive cast.
4) Mal Blum, Leah Wellbaum, Vagabon, Real Life Buildings at Mercury Lounge
If I were to bother to check I’d wager there is a strong chance of a Don Giovanni artist appearing in this column almost every week, and here we have no exception; Mal Blum released You Look A Lot Like Me on the label back in October. Last week we featured Slothrust, but this time out there is a solo set by singer Leah Wellbaum, while Vagabon snuggle somewhere in between Mal Blum and Slothrust in sound. Friday 7:30pm
3) Jowe Head and the Celestial Choir, Counter Intuits at Cake Shop
Perhaps Jowe Head is still known best for his work in Swell Maps, but that is doing somewhat of a disservice to the solid 30+ year career he has had since they broke up in 1980. His shows can be a littler unpredictable (in a good way), so if you’re looking for some quirky British indie/folk/psyche, then Cake Shop is the place for you. Friday 8pm
2) WALL, Wimps, Parlor Walls, Nonsense at Silent Barn
I just saw WALL supporting Fear of Men last week and was impressed by their wire-y post-punk guitars. Wimps are on tour from Seattle and their endearing tunes should go down a treat (they also play at Berlin on Saturday), but the stars of the show just might be Parlor Walls. The trio describe themselves as trash jazz, which isn’t a bad description at all, though perhaps gives a false impression as the music really can be quite beautiful. Grunge-y duo Nonsense open. Friday 8pm
1) Robyn Hitchcock at The Grand Victory
Some people thoroughly earn the title of national treasure, and Robyn Hitchcock has certainly done that, from the Soft Boys to a solo career that shows no sign of diminishing, his live performances are always worth catching. I was fortunate enough to see him on last pass around New York at City Winery, and you can listen to a fine recording of that via NYC Taper. As good as his songs are, his between-song banter is also worth turning up for alone (and as a side point, seems to be a skill that is vanishing from live performers in general), he often has me in stitches. The Grand Victory seems like a tiny venue for him to play, and not surprisingly the two shows (Saturday and Sunday) are both sold out.