John Cale, Emeli Sande and Talib Kweli play New York
Wednesday, January 16
As a member of the Velvet Underground, Welsh-born multi-instrumentalist John Cale has long been an influential force in the art and experimental rock scenes. Cale has produced or collaborated with Lou Reed, Nico, John Cage, Brian Eno, Patti Smith, The Stooges, The Modern Lovers, Siouxsie and the Banshees and many others. Tonight at BAM in "Life Along The Borderline: A Tribute to Nico", Cale explores the musical legacy of the husky voiced German singer Nico. Lyricist, composer, musician, fashion model, actress, and singer with the Velvet Underground on their 1967 classic "The Velvet Underground & Nico." She died in a cycling accident in 1988.
Supporting Cale in this Nico tribute is a who's who of the contemporary alternative scene: Greg Dulli, Kim Gordon, Joan as Police Woman, The Magnetic Fields, Mercury Rev, Alison Mosshart (The Kills), Meshell Ndegeocello, Peaches, Sharon Van Etten and Yeasayer.
Thursday, January 17
Soulful UK rising star Emeli Sandé displays influences as varied at Nina Simone, Massive Attack and Joni Mitchell in her dynamic and gospel-tinged pop. While studying medicine at university she signed with EMI, giving up her studies when her songwriting career took off. She has enjoyed several number one records in the UK, and is now set to conquer the USA. Her debut album "Our Version of Events" became the best-selling album of 2012 in the UK overtaking Adele's "21." At Webster Hall.
Friday, January 18
John Cale's residency at BAM continues with "In Paris 1919." Cale is accompanied by the Wordless Music Orchestra to perform his introspective 1973 pop-art landmark "In Paris 1919," plus selections from his remarkable career and new material from his latest album, "Shifty Adventures in Nookie Wood."
Also tonight: Punk survivors and masters of the live music domain, Mission Of Burma play The Bowery Ballroom.
Saturday, January 19
Brooklyn-based Extra Life play an unclassifiable fusion of progressive experimental pop. The band’s dramatic sound, labeled by some as “Plague Pop,” has been called everything from “genius” to “pretentious” to “religious.” But, alas, this is their final ever gig. In a website posting, the band explained: "Extra Life has officially disbanded. While it’s somewhat difficult to articulate exactly why, let’s just say that the inner creative momentum driving the band has stalled. The dissolution is completely amicable." Also on the bill tonight Tyondai Braxton (Battles), Ben Vida, Oneirogen, Sam Micken's at 285 Kent Ave.
Also tonight: Los Angeles-based electronic music producer and D.J Dillon Francis brings his electro-infused dance sounds to Webster Hall tonight. He collaborated with Dizzee Rascal & Calvin Harris on the track "Here 2 China" and has also worked alongside mash-up king Diplo. His latest EP, "Something Something Awesome," was released through Skrillex’s label OSWLA. This is Francis' first US headline tour.
And: Jersey-based power-poppers The Smithereens formed in 1980 and enjoyed a string of acclaimed mid-'80s albums notably 1986's "Especially For You," and 1988's "Green Thoughts." Although their songs popped up on mainstream movies like "I Was a Teenage Zombie," "Under the Boardwalk," "Bull Durham" and "Encino Man," they never quite cracked the mainstream charts, although they enjoyed many big underground hits, especially "Only A Memory," "Behind The Wall Of Sleep," Girl Like You" and "Top Of The Pops." At B.B.King's Blues Club & Grill.
Sunday, January 20
The recipient of 14 Grammys, New York's banjo picking maestro Béla Fleck has been nominated in more different categories than anyone in Grammy history. Best known for his work with the bands New Grass Revival and Béla Fleck and the Flecktones, his most recent album is 2012's "Across the Imaginary Divide" with the Marcus Roberts Trio. Tonight he is joined by Tony Trischka, Bill Keith, Richie Stearns, Eric Weissberg, and Noam Pikelny at Michael Schimmel Center for the Arts, Pace University.
Also tonight: Acclaimed Brooklyn rapper Talib Kweli rapped alongside Mos Def and DJ Hi-Tek in his late '90s band Black Star, establishing himself as one of the most gifted rappers to emerge in years. His first solo studio album "Quality" was released in 2002, and since then Kweli has released "The Beautiful Struggle" (2004), "Eardrum" (2007) and "Gutter Rainbows" (2011) with a new album, "Prisoner Of Conscious," due in April 2013. At S.O.B.'s.
And: Diplo brings his slamming multi-cultural dance grooves to The Westway.
Monday, January 21
UK electro popstar Ellie Goulding plays Terminal 5. (also Tues)
Also tonight: '80s superstar ("Sailing", "Arthur's Theme," "Ride Like The Wind") Christopher Cross plays tracks from his varied career tonight at City Winery.
Tuesday, January 22
Soundgarden rock out tonight at Hammerstein Ballroom featuring tracks from their well-received new album "King Animal".