Wale, Marshall Crenshaw and The Soft Moon Play New York
With the New Year's shenanigans out of the way, it seems most big name artists are on vacation. But in this city, there's always diamonds in the rough.
Wednesday, January 2
Up for some quality metal mayhem to sandblast your still-hungover head? Well, look no further! Three acclaimed hard rockers share the bill tonight at Brooklyn's Saint Vitus Bar. Mondo Generator is bassist Nick Oliveri's creation. You'll probably recognize Nick as one of the driving forces of the highly influential hard-rocking bands KYUSS and Queens Of The Stone Age. Scott "Wino" Weinrich has been influential in helping develop doom metal's trademark sound. Active since 1976, when he started his first band War Horse, Weinrich is best known for being the frontman and guitarist of the bands The Obsessed and Saint Vitus. Weinrich is also a solo artist, having released three studio albums since 2009. Rounding out the bill, Saviours are a heavy metal band from Oakland, Calif.
Thursday, January 3
Tonight at Glasslands Gallery, Brooklyn's Robertcop release a new EP — and joinging the party are The Canon Logic, The Courtesy Tier and Jonathan Hape. The Courtesy Tier is a two-piece powerhouse influenced by such diverse bands as Morphine, Fugazi, J Dilla and Don Caballero. A forerunner of the DIY movement in Brooklyn, they describe themselves as "not your usual Brooklyn sound".
Friday, January 4
Marshall Crenshaw's biggest hit was "Someday, Someway," an upbeat, Buddy Holly-influenced hit that made the top 40 in 1982. In 1987, Crenshaw, who ended up playing Holly in the hit movie “La Bamba,” regularly released well-received albums and continued to enjoy solid airplay throughout the '80s, without recapturing his former chart glories. The Allmusic website notes that Crenshaw "writes songs that are melodic, hooky and emotionally true, and he sings and plays them with an honesty and force that still finds room for humor without venom.” At B.B. King Blues Club and Grill.
Saturday, January 5
Taking their name from a Bob Marley song, Steel Train play slick '70s-style indie rock. In 2003 they wore their influences on their sleeves with the "1969" EP featuring covers of tracks by The Jackson 5, Crosby Stills and Nash, Bob Marley, David Bowie, The Beatles and Creedence Clearwater Revival. At The Bowery Ballroom.
Sunday, January 6
Over a career spanning more than 40 years and nearly 50 albums — many on the jazz label ECM (Edition of Contemporary Music) — John Abercrombie has established himself as one of the true masters of jazz guitar. Born in Port Chester, N.Y., Abercrombie attended the Berklee College of Music from 1962 to 1966 and is known for his jazz fusion explorations, influenced by progressive jazz legends like John Coltrane, Miles Davis, Bill Evans and Herbie Hancock. At Jazz Standard.
Monday, January 7
D.C.-based rapper Wale (pronounced "wah-lay") recently launched his second studio album "Ambition." Hear tracks from the soulful hip-hop artist at The Bowery Ballroom.
Tuesday, January 8
Our gig pick of the week features one of our favorite 2012 discoveries, The Soft Moon and Montreal band Majical Cloudz at The Mercury Lounge. Californians The Soft Moon reference the dark, droney aggression of bands like Joy Division and Bauhaus, and have released two excellent albums — 2010's self-titled debut and 2012's "Zeros." Majical Cloudz is made up of Devon Welsh and Matthew Otto. They were featured on Grimes’ single “Nightmusic” last year, and their latest EP "Turns Turns Turns" has just been released on Arbutus Records. For a recent profile on the band, check out this feature in Toto Magazine.