If you want to listen to the music while you read — click here for my Spotify playlist featuring some of the music mentioned in this article.
Wednesday, May 29
Marina Lambrini Diamandis, known by her stage name Marina and the Diamonds, plays tracks from her new electro-pop Gaga-esque album "Electra Heart" at Rumsey Playfield, Central Park.
Thursday, May 30
Canadian metal rockers Anvil were formed in Toronto during 1978 by two high school friends, Steve "Lips" Kudlow and Robb Reiner. Both were heavily influenced by the driving guitar sounds of Judas Priest and Iron Maiden. In the hands of Anvil, that British hard rocking template was upgraded. They played faster and harder than their heroes and also added their own flourishes including the double kick drum hits that still propels thrash and speed metal to this day. With the albums "Hard 'n' Heavy" (1981), Metal on Metal (1982) and Forged in Fire (1983) Anvil inspired the next wave of hard rocking and metal superstars (Metallica, Slayer, Anthrax), but somehow large scale success eluded them. But, of course, Anvil never gave up, and it was this story of dogged determination that was captured so well in the 2009 hit indie feature film, "Anvil! The Story Of Anvil." Since the film's success, Anvil has been enjoying their 15 minutes, supporting AC/DC on their Black Ice World Tour and even appearing on The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien, the first network television appearance of their career. A new album, "Hope In Hell," has just been released. At the Knitting Factory.
Cibo Matto (meaning 'crazy food' in Italian) is a longstanding Japanese-born, but NYC-formed experimental, danceable pop duo. Formed by Yuka Honda and Miho Hatori in 1994, they released two acclaimed albums, "Viva! La Woman" (1996) and "Stereo * Type A" (1999), before disbanding in 2001. They announced their reunion in March 2011 to perform in benefit concerts for victims of the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami. The concerts, which took place at Columbia University, also included Yoko Ono, Sonic Youth and Patti Smith. They are also playing the Meltdown Festival (curated by Yoko Ono) next month in London. As a part of the Grand Royal Records family in the 1990s, the band collaborated with the Beastie Boys and have also featured Sean Lennon in their lineup at various times. Best known for the songs "Sugar Water" — check out the Michel Gondry produced video — and "Know Your Chicken," Cibo Matto is preparing the release of a new album in 2013. They'll be previewing tracks at these two shows at Littlefield , Brooklyn, with Argentine singer-songwriter Federico Aubele in support tonight and Japanese sound sculpting duo Shoko Nagai (piano) and Satoshi Takeishi (laptop) tomorrow night.
Friday, May 31
Portland, Oregon's The Dandy Warhols are hitting the road in celebration of the 13th anniversary of their 2000 album "Thirteen Tales From Urban Bohemia." The album is being repackaged in various formats, including many bonus tracks ruled from the original album sessions. Although the album was only a minor hit in the US (charting at 180), it was much more popular in Australia, New Zealand, the UK and Europe. The album did contain their biggest US hit "Bohemian Like You" and other singles, "Get Off" and "Godless." While the band will be playing "Thirteen Tales From Urban Bohemia" in its entirity, not sure if we'll be hearing anything from their most recent album, 2012's "This Machine". Check 'em out at Terminal 5.
Saturday, June 1
The Bell House will be rocking tonight to the sounds of NYC Popfest 2013. Featuring an international lineup of indie pop, the festival features New Zealand's jangly guitar pop icons The Bats. Since forming in Christchurch in 1982, The Bats have maintained the same lineup of Paul Kean (bass), Malcolm Grant (drums), Robert Scott (lead vocals, rhythm guitar, keyboards) and Kaye Woodward (lead guitar, vocals). They’ve toured North America five times, guested with Radiohead and the Buzzcocks, charted in France, been on the cover of Billboard magazine and landed an NME Single of the Week (for “Made Up in Blue”). In 2011, The Bats reunited with their old label Flying Nun and released their eighth album, Free All the Monsters, which was described by music blog Pitchfork as "...their best record in years, possibly ever". Also on the bill, Azure Blue (Sweden), The Proctors (UK), The Hobbes Fanclub (UK) and Tigercats (UK). Stick around afterwards too for the Indiepop Dance Party immediately following the show.
Sunday, June 2
Quiet achiever Grouper (Liz Harris) creates haunting, ambient folk ballads and soundscapes. Music blog Gorilla vs. Bear ranked Grouper's 2008 album "Dragging a Dead Deer Up a Hill" one of the albums of the year, noting that "2008 was a banner year for hazy, ethereal dream-pop (see Beach House, Fight Bite, High Places, School of Seven Bells, Chairlift, etc.), with Grouper's devastatingly beautiful Dragging a Dead Deer Up a Hill firmly implanting itself at the pinnacle of the broad genre." Grouper was chosen by Animal Collective to perform at the All Tomorrow's Parties festival that they curated in the UK during May 2011. Her most recent album is "The Man Who Died in His Boat." Also playing, otherworldly folksinger Jessica Pratt, and Bella Union label founder and former Cocteau Twin Simon Raymonde (DJ set). At Le Poisson Rouge.
Also tonight: Hailing from Brooklyn, Hawk and Dove is an indie rock band whose calm-before-the-storm sound has been described as the “loudest quiet band you have ever heard”. At Arlene's Grocery.
Monday, June 3
Since forming as the Guildford Stranglers in 1974, The Stranglers articulated the angst of the '70s and apathy of the '80s music scene much more clearly, and cleverly than many of their more fashionable peers. Amassing 23 top 40 singles and 17 top 40 albums in the UK, the Stranglers are the longest-surviving and most continuously successful band to have originated in the UK punk scene. The Stranglers never avoided controversy. Called "old hairy misogynists" for writing songs like 1977 hit single "Peaches," the band was also in hot water when bassist Jean-Jacques Burnel, a martial arts enthusiast, punched music journalist Jon Savage during a promotional event. Aside from "Peaches," their biggest hits were "No More Heroes," "Golden Brown," and "Strange Little Girl." Original lead singer Hugh Cornwell left the band in 1990, replaced by Baz Warne (The Toy Dolls). At the Highline Ballroom.
Tuesday, June 4
The Blue Note Jazz Festival continues to expand and evolve in this, its third season. Presented across nine New York City venues, tonight's concert at The Town Hall is a highlight, featuring saxophonist Joshua Redman, who will be previewing his forthcoming album “Walking Shadows."
CORRECTION: An earlier version of the story incorrectly had the Anvil gig on Wednesday, when in fact the performance is Thursday.