Sunday, March 28, 2010

NY Preview: The Evening Plans of Lord Zim

I go out to see shows. Sometimes I see a lot of shows. As a reformed music critic, I used to write about the best of them in this very blog, but when it started to seem ostentatious I stopped.  Recently, my very smart friend MF had a better idea. She suggested I post a list of future events I'm considering, to share the benefits of my research.  Why didn't I think of that?

The weeks ahead being rich with options, this seems like an ideal time to start, if only to help me keep all the events straight.  Sadly, MF is herself out of town.

And now, on with the show listing.

Imminent Shows of Interest

Piles of pixels have been spilled over this 21-year-old Brit, so rather than rehash, I'll just direct you to the link above, where you can read about the band and watch a clip. You can also listen to the trio's debut, "Jewellery," on Rhapsody. LPR is removing the tables for this show, so expect a crowd.  And the PR puffery on Brooklyn's Tanlines, who open, cites the flamed-out geniuses of the KLF as an influence, so if I do go, I'll get there early.  Ish.

Who?!  Well, four years ago, a percussionist I know strongly urged me to go see this supergroup of NYC session players in their once-yearly show. I went, all the way to the far East 50s, and it was amazing. Even worth visiting that neighborhood. You may recognize bassist Will Lee from his day job in the Letterman band, but they're all excellent players.

Here's what the website says: "Founded in 2000, Toph-E & The Pussycats is a group of well respected and professional musicians who share a great love for rhythm and blues-and play it in an experimental jazz context. Based in New York City, they share an impressive list of credits and career connections."

Etc. Anyway, they play better than they choose band names.  And this week's show is happening downtown. 

I confess I’d never heard of this guy till I saw the event listed, but he looks like a good bet. Not sure I'm going, but if even one reader offers to join me, I'll commit.  And since it's near my place, I might be persuaded to make cocktails beforehand. 

The Miller Theater's website says: "The music of Helmut Lachenmann (b. 1935) has been described as 'ambitious,' 'powerful,' and 'life-changing' (The Guardian). A distinctive voice, he coaxes new sounds out of familiar instruments with extended techniques, creating music that is fresh and engaging. An all-star new-music cast, including Lachenmann himself, performs a spectrum of his work spanning four decades."

This is the season's last concert of the Miller's "Composer Portraits" series, which has also shone its light on, among others, Iannis Xenakis and Lou Reed's infamous "Metal Machine Music" album.  (Yes, I did listen to all four sides of LR's MMM as a ridiculous teenager. Did you? Were you also consumed by feelings of despair and alienation afterward?  Or is that what made you listen in the first place?)

Sunday, April 4, 7pm:

Remember Foetus? Or Scraping Foetus off the Wheel?  Or Clint Ruin? Same guy. His extensive career as a head-fucking musical provocateur aside, I really enjoyed a piece Thirlwell composed for music-playing robots a few years ago at the 3LD space downtown. This work looks like part of his midlife trend toward classical/experimental, and there's a vibraphonist (always a draw). Barring disaster, I plan to attend.

Some 411 from his site: "JG Thirlwell’s Manorexia will be performing live at Le Poisson Rouge, celebrating the release of The Mesopelagic Waters on Tzadik. The show will be on April 4 2010 at 7pm and tickets are $15.00. This is the only Manorexia show scheduled for the US in 2010."

Monday, April 5, 8pm
I don't love all drum solos, but the cerebral yet explosive and occasionally toe-tapping music of percussion ensembles gets me right here. And here.  To the matter at hand: The program is entitled "Made in New York: Celebrating the City's Musical Diversity" and it features the world premiere of David Chesky's "Street Beats" (2009) and works by Steve Reich, Alexandre Lunsqui, Steve Mackey, Lukas Ligeti, and Elliott Carter.

This is the only free event in the list, but you have to pick up tickets at the Juilliard box office Mon-Fri 11-6.  They've been available since Monday (3/22), so I hope they still have some left. 

Friday, April 9, time TBD
My old friend Clermont Ferrand fronts this fake French rock band, and while I have not been a faithful follower of late, I'll make a special effort next week. This blog covered the band's legal travails in some detail a few years ago; that's all been resolved and they've moved on, as their recent coverage on Public Radio International and trip to France attest.  LSC shows are always fun and funny. If you haven't been, go. If you have, go again.

And that concludes this preview of upcoming concerts I might attend.  Hope you've found it useful. Note: Other people far more committed than I compile lists like this more comprehensively than I ever will. This is just an experiment for now. The form will evolve (I will NOT write this much in the future), and the feature may even disappear.  But it fits into Lord Zim's scratchpad function, as advertised at top right. Feedback welcome.  

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