Wednesday June 27
Dresden Doll's singer, the theatrical and flamboyant Amanda Palmer, recently rose to prominence by shattering the record for crowd-funded musicians on Kickstarter. After raising her initial goal of $100,000 in only seven hours, she ended up raising a phenomenal $1,192,793 towards the recording and promotion of her forthcoming album "Grand Theft." She'll be playing with her band The Grand Theft Orchestra with The Simple Pleasure in support. At Music Hall of Williamsburg.
Thursday June 28
Jack Black and Kyle Gass formed Tenacious D after meeting in Scotland while touring as part of an actor's troupe. They used an early demo tape to secure the "Tenacious D" TV show on HBO and used many songs recorded for the show on their first two albums "Tenacious D" and "The Pick of Destiny." Their profanity-laced parodies have connected with rock-loving audiences, with each of their albums charting around the world. Their first album in six years - "Rize Of The Fenix," released last month — has proven to be their most successful yet. Black said in a recent interview that the title track "Rize Of The Fenix" was partly inspired by Survivor's "Eye Of The Tiger." At Hammerstein Ballroom.
Also tonight: Gifted bass player and all-round musical powerhouse Meshell Ndegeocello stars at Highline Ballroom.
Friday June 29
Skeletons are one of my picks to check out at the Spy Music Festival opening night at Union Pool. Skeletons play multi-layered, poly-rhythmic indie rock and are appearing with avant trumpeter Rhys Chatham, Ryan Sawyer, Steve Gunn/John Truscinski Duo and veteran NYC folkie Peter Stampfel. Spy Music Festival is a sprawling music marathon organised by record label Northern Spy, running from June 29th through July 15th and featuring 46 sets of music presented at seven venues across New York City. Click here for a free 37 track sampler of artists appearing at the festival.
Also tonight: Former Black Crowes singer Chris Robinson's latest project is a rambling feel-good blues project called Chris Robinson Brotherhood (CRB). Check them out at Music Hall of Williamsburg.
Saturday June 30
From Haledon, New Jersey, The Feelies formed in 1976 and quickly emerged as a key cog in New York City's post punk scene. Inspired by the sounds of Lou Reed and the Velvet Underground, they disbanded in 1992 having released four critically acclaimed albums — bands like REM counted them as influences, as much for the DIY ethic as their raggedy, shimmering guitar sound. The Feelies reunited in 2008, and most recently released an album "Here Before" in 2011. At Maxwell's, NJ. (6/29-7/1 Feelies 3 night pass available for $60).
Sunday July 1
In 1979, Johnny Clegg formed the first prominent racially mixed South African band, Juluka, with gardener and Zulu musician Sipho Mchunu. Because it was illegal for racially mixed bands to perform in South Africa during the apartheid era, their first album "Universal Men" received no air play on state owned radio, but it became a word-of-mouth hit. Juluka split in 1985, but Clegg has remained active as a musician, dancer, activist and anthropoligist. At its best, Clegg's music fuses Western pop and African Zulu rhythms. Check out Juluka's "Scatterlings Of Africa" video from 1985 for a taster. At City Winery.
Monday July 2
For almost forty years, Stevie Nicks has been one of the most recognizable voices in popular music. Joining Fleetwood Mac with her boyfriend Lindsey Buckingham in 1974, she was a key ingredient in what was one of the most iconic band lineups in rock n roll history. Mac's 1977 "Rumours" album - written and recorded while two relationships within the band (including Nicks's and Buckingham's) were falling apart - has sold over 40 million copies. Nicks has been part of eight more Fleetwood Mac albums since then, including the most recent, 2003's "Say You Will." But it is in her solo career that Nicks' reputation has been cemented — seven solo albums since 1981's chart-topping "Bella Donna" including her latest, "In Your Dreams" out of 2011. At Beacon Theatre.
Tuesday July 3
Norah Jones's debut "Come Away With Me" catapulted her to international stardom, selling 25 million copies worldwide. Since then, she's released three more successful solo albums and released two albums featuring her country band Little Willies. Her latest solo album, "Little Broken Hearts," was produced by Danger Mouse (Brian Burton) and sees her move to a slightly more textual and subtle beat-driven sound. At Central Park Summerstage.
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Stevie Nicks, Norah Jones and Tenacious D play New York City
Wednesday June 27