Thursday, Jan. 9
Before Questlove takes over Brooklyn Bowl with his Thursday night Soul Train-inspired residency, Bowl Train, catch Workout's anthemic odes on love, death and fantasy (think Queen or maybe The Darkness), along with raggedy Americana from Wild Yaks and chilled Air-inspired pop from Oceanographer.
Neil Young continues his sold-out run at Carnegie Hall's Stern Auditorium. According to Rolling Stone he's been treating fans to an "absolutely jaw-dropping two hour and 20-minute show that focused largely on his golden period of 1966 to 1978."
Friday, Jan. 10
Young English rocker Jake Bugg recalls the swagger of the White Stripes and the sounds of swinging early '60s London and Liverpool. He writes deceptively simple songs with catchy hooks and his style, as Sarah Larson writes in this week's New Yorker, "has an immediate appeal, melodic and un-selfconscious, that sounds like a natural expression of who he is; you can enjoy his music without being distracted by anxieties about the state of modern pop music and the problem of authenticity." In support Albert Hammond Jr., and another young band on the rise, The Skins, all at Terminal 5.
Saturday, Jan. 11
Sonic Youth guitarist Lee Ranaldo wrote much of his recent solo album “Last Night on Earth” on acoustic guitar during a Hurricane Sandy blackout. The album has a laid-back psychedelic pop vibe not unlike Kurt Vile or some of Sonic Youth's more cruisy moments. Ranaldo's band The Dust features guitarist Alan Licht, bassist Tim Lüntzel, and former Sonic Youth drummer Steve Shelly. In support, catch Brooklyn guitarist and songwriter Steve Gunn and Pete Nolan's Spectre Folk — which also contains Shelley. At The Bell House.
285 Kent is going out with a bang — the underground Williamsburg venue has announced that it is shutting down, and has four jam packed shows planned before it closes the doors forever. Tonight catch Maxmillion Dunbar, Laurel Halo, Autre Ne Veut, ITAL and Bookworms.
The final three shows are planned for next week on Jan. 17 (Dan Deacon, Ava Luna), Jan. 18 (Wolf Eyes, Noveller) and Jan. 19 (Fu***d Up, DIIV).
Sunday, Jan. 12
As part of his Magna Carter World Tour, Jay Z plays Barclays Center in Downtown Brooklyn tonight and tomorrow night. Last Sunday, Jay Z pulled a 12-year-old boy out of the crowd at his concert in Greensboro, N.C. The boy, Justin, was holding a sign "Can I Rap For You?" The aspiring rapper from Maryland has become a YouTube star after he rapped the lyrics of Jay Z's “Clique” to wild applause.
Monday, Jan. 13
The Holmes Brothers bring their gospel-infused R&B harmonies to Joe's Pub.
Tuesday, Jan. 14
Jaggedy Brooklyn (via Texas) rockers Parquet Courts recall alt-icons such as Pavement, The Fall, Sonic Youth and the Modern Lovers. They released their debut recording "American Specialties" on cassette in 2011 and, with their breakthrough album "Light Up Gold" following in 2012, they caught the attention of tastemakers far and wide, with Rough Trade Shops voting it #9 in their Albums of The Year 2013 commenting that "bright guitars swirl over looping, groovy post-punk bass lines and drums that border on robotic precision." Here's a documentary tracking the band's first shows in Mexico. At The Acheron, Bushwick.
Wednesday, Jan. 15
Texan guitarist and singer Alejandro Escovedo has covered a continent of musical terrain since he formed his first band, a punk rock outfit called The Nuns, in San Francisco in 1975. In 1997, Alejandro collaborated with Whiskeytown and Ryan Adams during the recording sessions for their album "Strangers Almanac." After falling ill in 2003 friends rallied, raising funds by recording a tribute album "Por Vida: A Tribute to the Songs of Alejandro Escovedo." Contributing musicians included Steve Earle, Lucinda Williams, John Cale and Son Volt, as well as Escovedo's niece Sheila E.
Escovedo has released 11 solo albums, most recently 2012's "Big Station" which was produced by the legendary Tony Visconti (David Bowie, Morrissey). At City Winery in TriBeCa.