Thursday, November 14, 2013

Arcade Fire Announces "Reflektor" Tour (Two Brooklyn Dates); Metric Adds Small-Venue Show

Ever since Arcade Fire announced its new album "Reflektor," fans have been wondering when they would tour to support the new work. We got the answer today, when the band announced its "Reflektor" tour on Twitter.

Arcade Fire logo
Arcade Fire is hitting the road to support is new album, "Reflektor."

The band kicks things off with a show in Louisville, Kentucky on March 6th, and the tour comes to Brooklyn in the summer for two nights at the Barclays Center, August 22nd and 23rd. Tickets for all dates go on sale next Friday, Nov. 22nd.

Another Canadian band, Metric, is currently on tour, and is playing a rare small-venue gig next Tuesday (the 19th) at Bowery Ballroom. The gig is listed on their tour schedule, but clicking on the Buy Tickets link takes you to an information page, not a Ticketmaster link.

We'd guess the link to buy will go live tomorrow (the tickets are supposed to go on sale at noon Friday the 15th, according to Brooklyn Vegan). Also, the page for this show notes, "All tickets are for WILL CALL ONLY and will be available exclusively for pick up at the venue on the evening of the show with valid ID. Tickets are non-transferable."

UPDATE: I couldn't find the Metric ticket link searching on Ticketmaster, but Brooklyn Vegan found it: Metric Bowery Ballroom tickets.

Until tickets go on sale tomorrow, you can watch Metric perform on the Letterman show tonight.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Spooky Music for Halloween & the Day of the Dead

It's that time of year for scary, spooky music. And whether you want such tunes for a party, your workplace, or just to listen to at home, we're got some options below—and you can listen to some of them free online.

Scary classical music for Halloween- album cover
One of the inexpensive Halloween albums on sale at

Pandora has a few Halloween-themed stations this year. I've been listening to the Spooky Symphonies Playlist, which includes scary or creepy classical pieces like "Night on Bald Mountain" and Edvard Grieg's Peer Gynt suite. Pandora also has Halloween Party, which lets you rock out to familiar Halloween pop tunes like "Monster Mash."

If you've got young people around, the Family Halloween Playlist might be more appropriate, with its holiday-themed songs designed not to strike fear into the hearts of children.

Interested in buying and keeping some ghoulish music? has a number of albums for the occasion. For example, there are two "Halloween Haunted House" collections for just three dollars each. One features 250 songs and sound effects for spooking your friends and other guests, while the other offers a continuous music playlist.

And there are soundtracks to movies including "Rosemary's Baby" and "Halloween II." 

Similar to Pandora's "Spooky Symphonies" playlist is Amazon's "99 Must-Have Halloween Classics" for $5.49, and "Scary Classical Music for Halloween" for $5.99. They include familiar pieces such as the theme from "The Exorcist," "Ride of the Valkyries," "The Sorcerer's Apprentice," and several selections from "The Rite of Spring." (Note: both the Pandora and Amazon collections contain songs that aren't really spooky per se, but sound dramatic, or were used in a dramatic movement of a movie (such as tunes from the "Pirates of the Caribbean" or "Harry Potter" films.)

If you want to observe Day of the Dead, check out my post from a couple of years back, "Spooky Spanish Tunes for Day of the Dead," which features videos from NPR Music's Alt.Latino program, and a list of the songs used in a seasonal episode of the defunct music podcast Ritmo Latino.

Happy scary listening!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

2013 CMJ Music Marathon - Picks On What to See

Yes, we're a couple of days late here, but the almost-24-hours-a-day extravaganza known as the CMJ Music Marathon is once again upon us.

It's on, now! See CMJ recommendations & more below.

For all the music showcases, panels, and other events, see the official CMJ schedule. You can also find some recommendations here:
Among the acts playing tonight, Oct. 17th: Body Parts at Piano's Upstairs, Tift Merritt and Over the Rhine at the Highline Ballroom, The Head and the Heart at Music Hall of Williamsburg, Real Estate at Bowery Ballroom, and Diane Birch at Gramercy Theatre.

KEXP is once again doing live broadcasts from CMJ in the daytime (Friday is the last one), and the shows are free and open to all ages. And you can stream tracks from CMJ 2013 artists at CMJ Radio.  (Also, don't forget to check out the free download of the latest CMJ mixtape.)

The CMJ Music Marathon runs through Saturday, Oct. 19th (actually, into the wee hours of Sunday morning). Check the CMJ schedule and get out and enjoy the abundance of live music in town this week!

Friday, October 11, 2013

2013 CBGB Fest Is On Now: Picks on What to See

The second-annual CBGB Festival is underway at venues near and far from the original Lower East Side club, and music lovers will be able to continue their festival bingeing when the CMJ Music Marathon starts on Oct. 15th. Here are some places to find listings of the many events, with picks by music critics and other sources.

CBGB festival poster
The CBGB Festival is back, with shows throughout the city.

See the official 2013 CBGB Festival schedule to get the lay of the land for the showcases, panels, films, and more still to come. The Village Voice offers its picks for bands and speakers to see, and for music-only events, check out the Oh My Rockness guide to the CBGB Festival.

As with last year's CBGB Fest, there will be a free concert in Times Square with multiple stages, and it's taking place tomorrow from 10 a.m. till 7 p.m. The festival says there will be five stages and more than two dozen bands and performers. The South Stage will feature Lisa Loeb, The Wallflowers, a DJ set by James Murphy (of LCD Soundsystem), and My Morning Jacket.

The North Stage will have "up and coming artists," the site says, as well as supergroupthe Divine Fits and Brooklyn indie favs Grizzly Bear. There will also be music on acoustic stages.

Last year's free Times Square show was fun (though eerily sparsely attended until the late afternoon), and featured performances by The Hold Steady and Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, among others. 

Out in the clubs, tomorrow features highlights including Bell X1 at Bowery Ballroom and Meat Puppets at Brooklyn Bowl. On Sunday, the festival's final day, the schedule looks to be all films, except for one notable live music event: legendary rock and jazz drummer Ginger Baker at Iridium.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Hoboken Update: Feelies & Speed the Plough Play Hoboken Sunday; Maxwell's Reopens (Sans Music)

Maxwell's closed.
Maxwell's, the day after it closed this summer.

We've been on an unintended hiatus for some time, but are picking up pretty much where we left off last time: with news of Hoboken club Maxwell's and the bands it gave rise to.

• As we're noted many times before, Maxwell's closed at the end of July. What we didn't know is that it would reopen a few weeks ago, but as a bar and restaurant only. It's got a new menu, but it seems that at least some of the long-time owners are still involved. Maxwell's is listed with real estate brokers, but we've heard that the owners have re-opened it to make some money until a new party can be found to lease the place.

• While Maxwell's no longer hosts live music, two of the bands who got their start there will be playing in Hoboken on Sunday. That's the day of the Fall version of the Hoboken Arts & Music Festival, and Haledon, NJ's The Feelies are headlining with a set at 4:30 p.m. Preceding them (and taking the stage at 3:15) are Speed the Plough, which features some members of The Feelies.

Other performers at the Festival include The Nerds, 17-year-old Jack Skuller, and regular Gene D. Plumber. Another notable artist appearing the the young singer-songwriter Brody, and if the name sounds familiar to area folks it's because he's the son of Don Brody, the much-loved Hoboken musician who died unexpectedly in 1997 (has it really been that long?).

The Festival runs from 11 a.m to 6 p.m. on Washington St. in Hoboken, and features many arts and craft stands as well as food vendors.

Don was half of the duo The Marys, and was in the band Cryin' Out Loud, but was known to many area musicians for his support and generosity in getting their music heard. (You can read a heartfelt essay about Don Brody here.) The essay says that Don Brody has a son, Perry, who was five when his
father died, so we're assuming that this now early-20s musician is him. For those who knew or remembered Don Brody, it'll be good to see his legacy carried on by a member of his family.

• And one final Maxwell's/Hoboken music note: when The Bongs played the final show at Maxwell's, they broke out some old tunes that were finally going to be issued soon on an album recorded in the 1980s but never released. That album, "Phantom Train,"will finally be released this coming week.

Listen to "My Wildest Dreams" from "Phantom Train" here:

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Great Free Shows Saturday: Trixie Whitley, Nick Lowe, They Might Be Giants, & More

This could be considered the Super Saturday of the free summer concert season (or one of them, anyway)--and it starts early. At 1 p.m. this afternoon, Lincoln Center Out of Doors continues with its
30th Annual Roots of American Music festival. On the bill are Hurray for the Riff Raff (fresh off their well-received performance at the Newport Folk Festival), the Martha Redbone Roots Project, and Trixie Whitley (member of Black Dub, and daughter of Chris Whitley).

"Look Out Mama" by Hurray for the Riff Raff.

At 6 p.m. LCOOD continues with another great Roots of American Music show, this one featuring Nick Lowe, Jason Isbell (formerly of the Drive-By Truckers), and the Rockin' Rockabilly Revue (featuring Sleepy LaBeef and others).

For those seeking some quirky, catchy rock, the Brooklyn duo They Might Be Giants plays a hometown gig at Celebrate Brooklyn starting at 7:30 p.m. Opening the show is Moon Hooch, a brass and drums band which has gone from playing in the subways to being hand-picked by TMBG to open this show. (And they recently got a nice profile in the Wall Street Journal, which I'll link to if I find it.)

If hip-hop is your style, you'll want to check out today's Central Park SummerStage show featuring DJ Kool Herc, called the "Founder of Hip-Hop Culture." Starting at 3 p.m., the show will include plenty of special guests, including Rakim, Big Daddy Kane, Marley Marl, and many more.

There's no rain in the forecast, so get out and enjoy some great free music outdoors today and tonight.
Lincoln Center Out of Doors
1:30 p.m. - 30th Annual Roots of American Music
* Hurray for the Riff Raff
* Martha Redbone Roots Project
* Trixie Whitley
LCOOD description: "Swamp pop, Native American mountain sounds, and a blend of vintage country and new soul."
Location: Hearst Plaza

6:00 p.m. - 30th Annual Roots of American Music
* Nick Lowe
* Jason Isbell
* Rockin' Rockabilly Revue with James Burton, Charlie Gracie, Sleepy LaBeef, Johnny Powers, and Gene Summers
LCOOD description: "A celebration of Americana with country crooners, rockabilly, Southern soul, and early rock 'n' roll."
Location: Damrosch Park Bandshell

3:00 p.m.
40th Anniversary of Hip-Hop Culture with DJ Kool Herc and special guests: Coke La Rock, Roxanne Shante, Rakim, Big Daddy Kane, DJ Premier, GrandWizzard Theodore, DJ Red Alert, Marley Marl, DJ Jerry Dee, Skoob from DASEFX, Soul Sonic Force & many more
Location: Rumsey Playfield, Central Park 

- - - - - - - - - - - -

Note: LCOOD's Roots of American Music fest comes to a close tomorrow with a "roots symposium" (film screening and live interviews with artists) at 12:30 p.m. (at the David Rubenstein Atrium), and then a show at 5 p.m.:
* Bobby Rush
* Allen Toussaint
* Como Mamas
* Eddie and Brian Holland
LCOOD description: "A soulful season closer filled with funky blues, intimate sets by New Orleans' and Motown's finest songwriters, and traditional gospel."