NEW YORK CITY — Acting as sister events to the UK-based ATP Festivals, which usually take place in holiday resorts, "I'll Be Your Mirror" is a series of artist-curated music, film and art events taking place in cities worldwide. This weekend it heads to New York City's Pier 36 for three days, celebrating the best of experimental and underground rock sounds.
The programming also includes comedy and cinema screenings. Saturday night will be headlined by '90s alt-heroes The Afghan Whigs, who have recently reunited after a 13-year hiatus. The rest of the Saturday program is also being curated by their frontman, Greg Dulli, with festival organizers ATP curating the Friday and Sunday shows. The lineup also features The Roots, Canadian post-rock pioneers Godspeed You! Black Emperor, José González, The Antlers, DJ Questlove, Dirty Three and Mark Lanegan Band. Pier 36 is a new indoor venue sitting on the edge of the East River between the Manhattan and Williamsburg Bridges.
Wednesday, September 19
Justin Vernon's Bon Iver is an unlikely pop success story. A restrained performer, Vernon's intimate folk-tinged songs broke through initially on the indie scene with his ghostly 2007 debut album "For Emma, Forever Ago," which he recorded alone in a cabin in Wisconsin. His 2011 followup "Bon Iver, Bon Iver" was a global smash, debuting at No. 2 on the U.S. Billboard 200 chart. According to Paste Magazine, the album "retains the beautiful melancholy of 'For Emma,' but in nearly every way, it’s just more. More layered, more diverse, more interesting." At Radio City Music Hall, September 19-22.
Also tonight: Southern California-based punks The Offspring rock out at Terminal 5, featuring tracks from their ninth studio album "Days Go By".
Thursday, September 20
Eccentric English singer-songwriter Patrick Wolf kicks off two nights at the cozy Joe's Pub with Woodpigeon (Sept 20) and Mice Parade Acoustic Trio (Sept 21). Celebrating 10 years of music making with a world tour of intimate venues, Wolf will take the stage playing piano, Celtic harp, dulcimer and more, while accompanied by one other multi-instrumentalist.
Also tonight: The Soft Moon was founded as a solo project by San Francisco-based songwriter Luis Vasquez in 2009, and has now evolved into a four- and sometimes five-piece band. If you like the dark, lo-fi sound of bands like Joy Division and Bauhaus, check them out at Glasslands Gallery.
Formed in 2010, Florida's The Tedeschi Trucks Band is a partnership between husband-and-wife musicians Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi. Their debut album, 2011's "Revelator," picked up a Grammy Award for Best Blues Album at the 54th Grammy Awards. At the Beacon Theatre (Sept. 20-22), with Leon Russell (Sept. 20), The Wood Brothers (Sept. 21) and Richard Thompson (Sept. 22).
Friday, September 21
Bonobo and Gibby Haynes hit the water on the Rocks Off Concert Cruise. Bonobo plays a gentle fusion of 1960s French film themes and instrumental hip-hop, while Haynes, frontman for depraved rockers Butthole Surfers, will play a DJ set. Expect the unexpected. Boards at 7 p.m. and departs at 8 p.m. from Pier 40, West Houston Street at the West Side Highway.
Also tonight: Former Stereolab singer Laetitia Sadier recently released her second solo album "Silencio." Hear some tracks at this late show (11:30 p.m.) at Mercury Lounge.
The "I'll Be Your Mirror" Festival continues at Pier 36. Friday's lineup has been curated by festival organisers ATP and features Frank Ocean, legendary composer Philip Glass with former Battles frontman Tyondai Braxton, Janeane Garofalo, Lightening Bolt, Lee Renaldo/Leah Singer: Suspended Guitar Phenomena, Hannibal Buress and Edan (The Deejay). Full lineup here. Tickets cost $60.
Saturday, September 22
Although Joe Jackson racked up some big pop hits in the late '70s and '80s ("Is She Really Going Out with Him?", "Steppin' Out," and "You Can't Get What You Want (Till You Know What You Want)") he always seemed to have beamed in from a more refined and smooth era, perhaps the 1930s or '40s. His excellent 1981 album "Jumpin' Jive" featured a collection of 1940s swing covers from artists such as Louis Jordan and Cab Calloway, and on his current release "The Duke," Jackson focuses his arrangement skills on the music of iconic jazz and swing legend Duke Ellington.
A suite of talented collaborators fill the album, including rock-guitar hero Steve Vai, drummer Ahmir "Questlove" Thompson of The Roots, Iranian singer Sussan Deyhim, Iggy Pop (trading vocals on "It Don’t Mean A Thing (If It Ain’t Got That Swing)"), and R&B diva Sharon Jones. Also Sept 21 at The Town Hall.
Also tonight: "I'll Be Your Mirror" Festival continues at Pier 36. Saturday's lineup has been curated by Greg Dulli of The Afghan Whigs (who will be headlining) and features The Roots, José González, Mark Lanegan Band, Dirty Three, Jeff The Brotherhood and The Dirtbombs. Full lineup here. Tickets cost $75.
Sunday, September 23
Reggae legend Lee "Scratch" Perry is one figure who really revolutionized sound and music culture. He recorded Bob Marley's earliest records and was hugely influential in the creation of dub — particularly from his Jamaican studio Black Ark. He has recorded more than 50 of his own albums. At the Music Hall of Williamsburg.
Also tonight: "I'll Be Your Mirror" Festival continues at Pier 36. Sunday's lineup has been curated by festival organisers ATP and features Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Autolux, Lee Renaldo, The Album Leaf and Braids. Full lineup here. Tickets cost $75.
Bass virtuoso Stanley Clarke and gifted Japanese pianist Hiromi play the last of a run of shows at Blue Note. (September 18-23).
Monday, September 24
Dreamy indie guitar band Grizzly Bear launch their fourth album "Shields" at Radio City Music Hall. The band has described the songwriting process for "Shields" as more collaborative than on past releases, with vocalist Ed Droste noting, "As we get older, more confident, and more mature, we're becoming more comfortable with stepping on each other's toes."
Also tonight: Bebel Gilberto begins her fall residency at City Winery.
Tuesday, September 25
Gotye arrived into the nation's consciousness with the summer 2012 anthem "Somebody That I Used To Know." Born in Belgium, Wouter "Wally" De Backer arrived on the international stage from Australia, where he has been a bona-fide pop star since his 2006 album "Like Drawing Blood," and an underground sensation since even earlier — his 2003 debut "Boardface" received great reviews for it's otherworldly compositions and textures.
While he is obviously capable of writing a monster pop hit, Gotye's songwriting process is a little more out there than your average pop tunesmith. On his current album "Making Mirrors," the track "Eyes Wide Open" sees Gotye explore new musical territory, with the main bass line from the song recorded on a fence. Wouter explained in an interview with Australian media, "I was out there with my old band called The Basics — and Winton is home to this phenomenal thing called the Winton Musical Fence, which is a large fence made out of metal strings stretched between posts and you can pluck it and play it with all sorts of different materials — it makes these amazing bass sounds so I sampled some bits there in '08 and they made it into the first single I put out off the new record called 'Eyes Wide Open.'" Catch Gotye at Radio City Music Hall.
Also tonight: Former Talking Heads frontman David Byrne and singer-songwriter/multi-instrumentalist St, Vincent (Annie Erin Clark) show off their funky new collaborative album "Love This Giant" with a string of dates at Beacon Theatre. (Sept. 25, 26 and 29).
Coming up soon: Fiona Apple, October 16-17 at Terminal 5.
CMJ 2012 Music Marathon, various venues, Oct. 16-20
Amanda Palmer & The Grand Theft Orchestra, Dec. 31 at Terminal 5
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