Wednesday, January 30
A defining and groundbreaking band of the post-punk, pre-hip hop era, (late '70s - early '80s) South Bronx's ESG are playing their last ever gig tonight at The Bowery Electric. ESG were an influential band across hip hop, post-punk and disco — sampled by the likes of The Beastie Boys and Wu Tang Clan ("Putting Shame in Your Game" by the Beasties sampled ESG's "UFO") and adored by current bands like Liars and The Yeah Yeah Yeahs. As ESG frontwoman Renee Scroggins states, "ESG appreciates that New York has always been supportive of the band from the first day we stepped on a stage."
Also tonight: Young UK folk troubadour Ed Sheeran has a clever way with words and an angelic voice, and has seen his hard work on the live scene at home pay off - in 2012, he won BRIT Awards for Best British Male Solo Artist and British Breakthrough of the Year, while his hit "The A Team" also won the Ivor Novello Award for Best Song Musically and Lyrically. Join Ed tonight at Radio City Music Hall.
Thursday, January 31
Londoners The Vaccines released their debut album "What Did You Expect from the Vaccines?" in 2010, drawing comparisons to cool guitar bands like The Strokes, The Wedding Present and The Jesus And Mary Chain. Their second album "Come Of Age" was released in September 2012 and, after hitting the top spot in the charts, the band celebrated with its biggest live shows to date in the U.K. With DIIV and San Cisco at Terminal 5.
Friday, February 1
LA indie rockers Local Natives and People Get Ready play Music Hall of Williamsburg. Tonight's Local Natives set will be streamed live in HD via The Bowery Presents Live channel on YouTube.
Also tonight: Catch the soulful sounds of Musiq Soulchild at B.B. King Blues Club and Grill.
And: Popular Denver-based folk-rockers The Lumineers hit Terminal 5 tonight (also Saturday).
Saturday, February 2
Techno producer Photek plays as part of Bassment Saturdays at Webster Hall. Photek (Rupert Parkes) was an early pioneer of the UK drum and bass scene, releasing his first record (as Origination, a collaboration with Rob Solomon) back in 1992. His most recent album "KU:PALM," released in October last year on his own label, Photek Productions, graced many Top 10 albums lists for 2012. From 11pm.
Also tonight: The Remix Artist Collective (RAC) use vintage gear and live instrumentation to breathe new life into the finest indie tracks around. At Le Poisson Rouge.
Sunday, February 3
Although John Waite may be best known for his 1984 smash hit "Missing You," his first taste of pop stardom was five years earlier as singer with English rock band The Babies. They scored two big hits in 1979, "Everytime I Think Of You" and "Isn't It Time," which have since become classic FM staples. Since 1984, Waite has continued releasing new music, and though the hits have dried up, he's released ten solo albums, the most recent 2011's "Rough & Tumble." Waite said, “I’m not into recreating the past or living on my laurels. I obviously feel blessed to have enjoyed a lot of success but that’s not the most important thing to me. Life’s a journey, not a destination. I still like to challenge myself.” At The Iridium.
Also tonight: Feed Me is English dubstep/electro producer Jon Gooch (he also records drum 'n' bass as Spor). Signed to Deadmau5's Mau5trap label, Feed Me released his debut long player "Feed Me's Big Adventure" in 2010. At Webster Hall (also Saturday).
Monday, February 4
Southern Californian ska-punks Reel Big Fish broke through in 1995 with their brash debut album “Everything Sucks” and are still going strong fronted by original lead singer and song writer Aaron Barrett. At Brooklyn Bowl.
Tuesday, February 5
Leo Kottke is a gifted fingerpicking guitarist drawing on classic American blues, jazz and folk music. His first album "6 and 12 String Guitar" was released in 1969. He recorded a string of outstanding albums while signed to Capitol Records in the early '70s including his second live album, "My Feet Are Smiling." In a review for Allmusic, critic Mark Allen wrote, "The prodigious technique, deadpan sense of humor, and infamous singing are all evident less than a minute into the opening tune." If you want to be swept away by a guitarist with true instrumental prowess, catch Kotke at City Winery. (Also Wednesday).
Also tonight: As the elder statesman of British blues, it is John Mayall's lot to be more renowned as a bandleader and mentor than as a performer in his own right. Throughout the '60s, his band, the Bluesbreakers, acted as a finishing school for the leading British blues-rock musicians of the era. Guitarists Eric Clapton, Peter Green and Mick Taylor joined his band in a remarkable succession in the mid '60s, honing their chops with Mayall before going on to join Cream, Fleetwood Mac and the Rolling Stones, respectively. At B.B. King Blues Club and Grill.
And: English guitarist Richard Thompson made his debut as a recording artist as a member of influential folk band Fairport Convention in 1967, and after leaving the band in 1971 teamed up with his wife, the singer Linda Peters, recording as Richard and Linda Thompson. Their partnership lasted until 1983 , thereafter Thompson recorded solo. Highly regarded for his guitar techniques and strange, darkly-funny lyrics ,Thompson's songs have been covered by dozens of acclaimed artists including Robert Plant, R.E.M., Bonnie Raitt, Christy Moore, David Gilmour and Elvis Costello. At Joe's Pub.
Ed Sheeran, ESG and The Vaccines Play New York
Wednesday, January 30