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, May 8
As part of The Red Bull Music Academy, Kieran Hebden’s Fourtet plays Webster Hall tonight. Hebden first came to prominence in his mid 90's London-based post-rocking band Fridge, beginning his solo Fourtet project when his bandmates from Fridge were studying. Fourtet avoids mainstream pop in favour of a more abstract sound which draws on hip hop, electronica, techno, jazz and folk music often complimented with live instrumentation. Very active on the remix scene, Fourtet has worked alongside Burial, The xx, Radiohead, Battles, Explosions in the Sky and Aphex Twin. With support tonight from London-based electronica producer Jon Hopkins (Domino Records) and Red Bull Music Academy participant koreless (Young Turks).
Also tonight: Futuristic Australian pair The Presets play synth-laden dance music influenced by bands like Daft Punk, New Order and the Pet Shop Boys. Their third and most recent album "Pacifica" features the single "Ghosts" — check out its beautiful, ambient video here. At Terminal 5.
And: Texan bred singer songwriter Steve Earle emerged in the mid '80s, and along with Dwight Yoakam, kick-started the neo-traditionalist movement in country music. A protégé of legendary songwriters Townes Van Zandt and Guy Clark, Earle quickly became a master storyteller in his own right, with his songs being recorded by Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Emmylou Harris, Waylon Jennings, The Pretenders & Joan Baez. At the Music Hall Of Williamsburg, with his band The Dukes.
Thursday, May 9
WFUV Radio’s Annual Spring Gala moves into its Sixth Year, a benefit for New York’s Rock and Roots public radio station. Tonight Grammy winning singer/songwriter/author Rosanne Cash will be recognised as WFUV’s Artist of the Year. Cash says she's “a passionate fan of WFUV". The eldest daughter of country music icon Johnny Cash and his first wife, Vivian Liberto Cash Distin, Rosanne Cash is a recording star in her own right, with eleven chart topping country hit singles and two gold records. Her 2011 memoir "Composed", the story of an artist finding her voice in the context of her family legacy, was described by Elvis Costello as "an extraordinarily and dauntingly honest book." At Edison Ballroom.
Also tonight: Originally conceived as a multimedia project - Neon Indian combined the talents of video artist Alicia Scardetta and electronic music producer Alan Palamo. Neon Indian's latest album "Era Extraña" was recorded in Helsinki, Finland and was mixed by Dave Fridmann, who has mixed and recorded most of the albums by The Flaming Lips and Mercury Rev. Expect similarly trippy and exploratory sounds in this DJ set at Output.
Friday, May 10
CocoRosie will be warming up new material from their forthcoming release, "Tales of A Grass Widow", before embarking on their world tour starting in Berlin later this month. This will be CocoRosie’s only US show before returning later in the year for their North American tour. At The Paper Box.
Saturday, May 11
April 2013 marks the 25th anniversary of both Mudhoney and Sub Pop Records,and there could be no better band to represent the iconic label, past, present and future. Along with this milestone celebration, Mudhoney have recently released "Vanishing Point", their ninth studio album. English music magazine Q wrote that on the album Mudhoney sound "pissed off, over-amped, just the right side of sloppy." At the Music Hall Of Williamsburg tonight and the Bowery Ballroom, Sunday.
Sunday, May 12
British singer Alice Russell is celebrating the recent release of her fifth solo album "To Dust". Russell has been busy collaborating with David Byrne, Mr Scruff, Quantic, DJ Yoda, but it is with her Brighton UK-based musical partner TM Juke that she is able to fully express her musical vision. “We’ve both got a very open approach to writing songs,” Alice explains of the prolific relationship, “and we both like so much different music whereas some people are purists. Our influences run from Sarah Vaughan to Bach, Kate Bush to Arvo Part, and J Dilla to Alice Coltrane. We love everything from dirty, squelchy dubstep to old school soul. We nudge each other in the right directions.” At Le Poisson Rouge.
Monday, May 13
French indie rockers Phoenix have just released their fifth album "Bankrupt!". Described by Rolling Stone Magazine as "rich with colorful, astral-planing synths, wry guitar shimmer, pillow-pump drums and Thomas Mars' blue-eyed vocal swoon" the record is shaping up as their biggest album thus far, building upon their 2009 breakthrough "Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix". As part of the Creators Project the band have offered the individual instrument tracks of the album cut "Trying To Be Cool" to bedroom producers to mess around with at home. Download the tracks here, and watch the band describe the process of recording the album here. At The Apollo.
Also tonight: Ghostface Killah's latest album "Twelve Reasons to Die" is a concept album based on a comic book of the same name, and sonically is heavily influenced by the legendary Italian film composer Ennio Morricone. Check out the video for "Rise of the Ghostface Killah" here. At Irving Plaza, with the innovative producer Adrian Younge's ensemble Venice Dawn.
Tuesday, May 14
The Killers most recent album "Battle Born" picked up from where they left off with 2008's "Day & Age". The Killers formed in Las Vegas in 2001, enjoying international success with their very first single, the ubiquitous "Mr Brightside"- still their biggest hit in the USA. Released in September 2012, "Battle Born" has hit the top spot in the UK and top 5 in the US, Australia, Canada and Germany. The video for their most recent single "Miss Atomic Bomb" features part traditional animation, part live action and reunites the cast of the Mr. Brightside video almost a decade later. At Madison Square Garden.