Music To My Years

| 11 Nov 2014 | 02:09


      IT'S THE MUSIC ISSUE! And thus the higher-ups here at the New York Press have asked me to use the influence of this column, my great instrument of immense power that I so judiciously wield, to look across the vast plains of the NYC showscape and give an overview of not-to-be-missed bands booked for the coming months. I advise entering every suggested performer and show date—in bold!—into your iPhone or, alternately, writing it on the back of your Con Ed shut-off notice. Basically, be sure to keep this information through whatever manner helps you best plan your entire life around concert-going (or am I the only one who does that?) On Oct. 21 at the Music Hall Of Williamsburg, crooning Swede and recent Williamsburg émigré (one of my informants saw him at party recently) Jens Lekman is booked to headline an already overstuffed bill with a “Singing DJ” set, which will probably be akin to the performance he gave at a Brooklyn house party after his sold-out Webster Hall show earlier this year. At a far-outon-the-Q locale he eschewed his guitar, instead laying tender vocals atop laptop tracks before segueing into an indie-dance play list, and I expect this to be much the same. If you didn’t catch Portland’s ecstatic and experimental AU when it entranced the audience at Spiegelworld opening for The Dodos in September, you’ll have a shot on Oct. 23 when that band shimmers through another set of gorgeous mind-melters. Given that the band has no future NYC dates booked this year, the best way to safely navigate the week’s CMJ minefield may be this Pianos date. Speaking of Pianos, I saw Shilpa Ray and Her Happy Hookers play a haunting 30 minutes there at the upstairs lounge in September, and the band will be back at the LES staple, this time in main room, on Nov. 1 and 8. Shilpa, formerly lead yelper of now-defunct Beat The Devil, was the heart of the operation (no offense to ex-BTD bassist and Press contributor Mishka Shubaly) and has a new set of tunes to pump out of her harmonium.

    Spooky as that may sound, I’m betting my monster money on Todd P’s Halloween show at Danbro Studios Warehouse. Specifically, I suggest putting on a costume and dropping in early for high school wiz kids Fiasco. If you feel as old as I do when surrounded by teenagers at all-ages shows, you’ll be grateful you can flail to joyfully unhinged basement bangers like “Oh,You Horny Monster!” incognito.

    You shouldn’t feel any awkwardness being over 21 if you make it to South San Gabriel at The Bell House on Nov. 18. Being of age is a pretty serious advantage given the chandeliered Gowanus space’s quality list of 16ounce beers on tap. Have a microbrew and catch the slow, contemplative Austinites, the evil-twin band of the night’s headliner, Centro-matic, in its first shows in New York (also at Mercury Lounge on Nov. 17). Traveling and acoustic-guitar-wielding singer-songwriter Jaymay also has a grown-up sound.The shockingly-not-famous-yet chanteuse will spill her heart’s secrets as part of Stories In High Fidelity, an IRL blog event—that’s an actual thing now?—taking place on Oct. 20 at Highline Ballroom in which rock nerds will spin yarns, and, if you’re lucky, Jaymay will bust out the track “Sea Green, Sea Blue.” If, after Jaymay, you want more chickfronted bliss, consider the more rockin’ Baltimore duo Wye Oak, which has an uncanny knack for placing a pretty melody over cuts that are alternately soothing or driving.The band’s got a bunch of CMJ dates, but you could also hold out for its opening slot on Dec. 4 at Bowery Ballroom and stick around for a kerosene-fueled set from O’Death.

    Of course, that would mean you’d miss the first day of the Blip Festival, happening Dec. 4 to 7 at The Bell House. I can’t tell you which acts you’d be missing at the annual 8-Bit music festival, as the particular Gameboy players— which will include local finger twitchers Nullsleep, Bitshifter and Starscream—haven’t been slotted into specific dates yet. The date I’m most surprised to be including here is The Rumble Strips at Bowery Ballroom on Nov. 1. I knew nothing about the British quintet two weeks ago, but a very recent set I happened to catch at Sound Fix in Williamsburg had me tapping my feet to some delightful throwbacks.

    And lastly, the date I’m least surprised to offer up is The So So Glos at Silent Barn on Nov. 29.The Brooklyn punk rockers, who will be vanishing for more than a month in late October on a massive U.S. jaunt, have already booked their homecoming show at my favorite Ridgewood DIY venue. I will talk up Brooklyn’s most energetic four-piece to pretty much anyone who will listen; and New York City, I can assure you, will be sincerely missing them by the time they make it home at November’s end.