Muse, DJ Shadow and Alicia Keys Play New York
NEW FEATURE: If you want to listen to the music while you read — click here for my Spotify playlist featuring the bands and artists mentioned in this article.
Wednesday, April 10
Detroit's Rodriguez released his debut LP, the Dylan-inspired "Cold Fact", in 1970 to very little success and then followed it with 1971's "Coming from Reality", which saw even less success, before he decided to give up on his music career. Over the years, "Cold Fact" became a cult favorite in South Africa and Australia, and due to the increased interest, Rodriguez eventually began playing again, doing his first headlining show in the US in 2008. Rodriguez was the subject of the acclaimed documentary "Searching For Sugerman". Check out the trailer here. At The Town Hall.
Also tonight: Rickie Lee Jones plays City Winery as part of her ‘The Devil You Know Tour’, showcasing her deep catalog of soulful jazz-flecked folk, blues and rock songs.
Thursday, April 11
Powerhouse experimental rocker Marnie Stern, plays the Music Hall of Williamsburg tonight. Her new album, "The Chronicles of Marnia", finds Marnie subtracting from her normally dense song structures to craft a sound that is both familiar and wholly original. “I always gravitate towards interweaving and a more abrasive sound,” Marnie said about working on the new album. “I was working with Nicholas Vernhes from Rare Book Room Recording in Brooklyn, and he was the producer. He wanted my voice clearer and fewer guitar parts. I tried it because I wanted to try something different.”
Also tonight: Influential instrumental hip-hop producer and superstar behind the decks; DJ Shadow (Josh Davis) bring the hits to Output tonight as part of his "All Bases Covered 2013" tour. Since his groundbreaking "Endtroducing…." debut album in 1996 DJ Shadow has released three studio albums, the most recent 2011's "The Less You Know, the Better".
And: Since her 2001 debut " Songs in A Minor" Alicia Keys has released four albums — all chart toppers. Her most recent, 2012's "Girl On Fire" was conceived shortly after Keys' marriage to record producer and rapper Swizz Beatz as well as the birth of her first child, Egypt. At Madison Square Garden.
And: The Proclaimers are Scottish identical twin brothers Charlie and Craig Reid. They hit it big in 1988 for the first and last time with the anthemic folk song "I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles)" - also featured in the movie Bachelorette - and have released seven albums since then, all UK hits. At City Winery.
Friday, April 12
Stereo Total fuse elements of punk, hip-hop, disco, '60s pop and new wave in their catchy and fun songs. Anchored by the German/French couple of Françoise Cactus and Brezel Göring, Stereo Total formed in Berlin in 1993 and have released 13 albums. At the Knitting Factory.
Saturday, April 13
Acclaimed as one of the first ever garage rock bands, The Sonics have been a major influence on punk, garage, and hard rock music worldwide, and they've been named as inspirations by Nirvana, Bruce Springsteen, the Fall, and other major artists. They formed in Tacoma, Washington in 1960 and released their wild debut single, "Witch" in 1964. At The Bell House.
Also tonight: Californian indie rockers Cold War Kids are all set to release their fourth album this month - "Dear Miss Lonelyhearts". The album has been receiving a warm welcome from the critics, with UK magazine NME saying that "They’ve stopped trying to do indie rock by numbers and gone back to the sort of idiosyncratic weirdness that made us fall for them in the first place." At Webster Hall.
Sunday, April 14
London-born Graham Parker prowled the mid to late 70s like a pop-punk preacher. His band Graham Parker and The Rumour were responsible for some of the most incisive sonic gems of the era on albums like "Heat Treatment" and "Squeezing Out Sparks". Although Parker has garnered critical acclaim throughout his career he has only enjoyed mild commercial success Stateside with only the "Squeezing Out Sparks" (1979) and "Up The Escalator" (1980) scraping into the US Top 40 album chart. For a peek at Parker at his finest check out this version of "Hey Lord Don't Ask Me Questions". According to Rolling Stone magazine longtime Parker fan, movie director Judd Apatow is featuring Graham Parker and the Rumour in an upcoming movie. At Gramercy Theater.
Monday, April 15
English rockers Muse formed in 1994 and have slowly but surely emerged as one of the most popular alt-rockers on the planet. Their last four albums, "Absolution" (2003), "Black Holes and Revelations" (2006), "The Resistance" (2009) and "The 2nd Law" (2012) have all been number one albums at home, though they've yet to crack the top spot here in the US. Their 2009 glam rock inspired single "Uprising" did hit the top spot of the US Alternative charts and was awarded a Platinum award for sales exceeding 1,000,000. At Madison Square Garden. Also Tuesday.
Tuesday, April 16
Blues legend B.B. King is playing in the venue that carries his name: B.B. King Blues Club and Grill. His career began in the 1940s when he left home to work as a tractor driver and play guitar with the Famous St. John's Quartet in Mississippi. His first album "Singin' the Blues", a compilation of singles, was released in 1956. Edward M. Komara, King in his 2006 book "Encyclopedia of the Blues" says that King, "introduced a sophisticated style of soloing based on fluid string bending and shimmering vibrato that would influence virtually every electric blues guitarist that followed."