NEW YORK — This week sees Questlove back to his curatorial best at BAM with a tribute to a range of electronic music pioneers, and Kurt Vile and friends play Terminal 5, and there are also shows from influential '80s U.K. artists Simple Minds, Gary Numan and The Waterboys. Drake celebrates his No. 1 album with a big show at Barclays Center in Downtown Brooklyn.
Slip on your headphones and check out my Spotify playlist below to get in the mood.
Wednesday, Oct. 23
Presented by the influential music collective Giant Step, the weekly night Offline is curated by hip hop legend Q-Tip (A Tribe Called Quest).
"The concept of Offline is a party that brings all elements of New York club culture together with great music, diverse people and no bottle service,” said Q-Tip. “I started the party last year as a monthly at Irving Plaza with great success, but now I'm happy to have found a home at Output in Williamsburg and can't wait to play my music on their house sound system."
Brooklyn fashion label "МИШКА" is celebrating the underground influence of Dinosaur Jr. by releasing an exclusive capsule collection inspired by the band today, with Dinosaur Jr. singer and guitarist J. Mascis appearing in-store (at 350 Broadway, Brooklyn) for signing and chilling out between 6 and 8 p.m. Afterwards it's on to The Flat (just around the corner at 308 Hooper St.) for a J. Mascis solo set followed by critical darlings and champions of the new independent rock scene, Speedy Ortiz.
Thursday, Oct. 24
Described by the U.K. music press as "The Most Rock 'N Roll Rock 'N Roll Band In The World," The Black Crowes were formed in Georgia during the mid 1980s by brothers Chris and Rich Robinson, and hit their commercial peak during the '90s with a string of big selling bluesy rock albums including "Shake Your Money Maker" (1990), "The Southern Harmony and Musical Companion" (1992) and "Amorica" (1994).
Tonight the band plays Terminal 5 with Ray Wylie Hubbard in support, Saturday with The Blind Boys of Alabama, Sunday with Dr. John & The Nite Trippers and Tuesday with Maceo Parker.
Simple Minds are best known in the U.S. for their 1985 number one single "Don't You Forget About Me" from the film "The Breakfast Club." Forming from the ashes of Glasgow punk band Johnny & The Self-Abusers in 1977, Simple Minds' early albums, from "Life in a Day" (1979) to "Sons and Fascination/Sister Feelings Call" (1981), veered between synth pop and new wave experimentation before the band struck gold in 1982 with what singer Jim Kerr described as the band's "holy grail," "New Gold Dream (81–82–83–84)". Simple Minds, along with U2, defined a progressive and hugely commercial direction for post-punk inspired stadium sized pop in the 1980s. For the remainder of the '80s each album they released in the UK topped the charts — "Sparkle in the Rain" (1984), "Once Upon A Time" (1985) and "Street Fighting Years" (1989). Tonight at Roseland Ballroom spend the whole evening with Simple Minds — two halves with an interval and no support band.
Friday, Oct. 25
Ashrae Fax's 2003 underground classic "Static Crash!" has just been re-released by Brooklyn label "Mexican Summer" who said "Its eight songs take chances that most all had forgotten about, delving into the solitary power of Kate Bush, the esoteric directions of groups like Dif Juz or the Durutti Column, and the brash iconoclasm of prime-era Siouxsie & The Banshees, ballasted by stretches of ambient interlude and ear-damaging chaos." Experience a rare Ashrae Fax gig at Glasslands Gallery, Williamsburg.
Kurt Vile & the Violators headline a strong bill of modern-day guitar bands including Lee Ranaldo and The Dust (also featuring Lee's former Sonic Youth bandmate Steve Shelley) and Beach Fossils. At Terminal 5.
The Waterboys, founded by the group’s sole constant member Mike Scott, have been blending Celtic folk music and rock since 1981. At the Bowery Ballroom, Lower East Side.
Saturday, Oct. 26
Following the acclaim of 2012’s "Shuffle Culture," Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson returns to BAM with an all-star mash-up that celebrates the pioneering works of electronic music in "Electronium: The Future Was Then." A crack crew including R&B singer-producer Tom Krell ("How To Dress Well"), beatboxer Rahzel and conductor Andrew Cyr & Metropolis Ensemble join Questlove to sample and deconstruct seminal recordings by everyone from Robert Moog to Stevie Wonder into a feverishly modern playlist. At BAM, Fort Greene, Brooklyn. Also Friday.
Sunday, Oct. 27
Psychedelic garage rockers Thee Oh Sees join Minneapolis riff-scientists The Blind Shake for two shows. Tonight there's an all-ages show at 285 Kent Ave in Williamsburg and Tuesday there's a gig at Irving Plaza, Union Square.
Monday, Oct. 28
Tonight at (Le) Poisson Rouge spend an evening immersed in the sounds of innovative Icelandic record label Bedroom Community. Playing this evening is label founder Valgeir Sigurosson, (collaborators include Björk, Feist, Bonnie Prince Billy, Camille, CocoRosie, The Magic Numbers, múm) violist Nadia Sirota, classical composer Daniel Bjarnason, and experimental American composer Paul Corley.
Canadian hip hop producer Drake hits the big stage of Barclays Center in Downtown Brooklyn tonight, fresh from his recent number one album "Nothing Was the Same" which sold some 658,000 copies in its first week of release. Of the inspiration for the album, Drake told GQ, "It’s my story. I’m trying to get back to that kid in the basement. To say what he has to say." According to Drake, the album was heavily influenced by soul legend Marvin Gaye's 1978 double album "Here, My Dear". The show will also feature Grammy Award-winning rising R&B star Miguel and Future. Also Tuesday.
Eccentric LA duo Sparks — brothers Ron & Russ Mael — formed in 1970 and enjoyed a run of hit records in Europe staring with their UK top 5 album "Kimono My House" in 1974. Their current "Two Hands One Mouth" tour is the first time the brothers have discarded their touring band and faced audiences as a duo. At Webster Hall.
Touring behind his new album "Love in the Future," John Legend plays the Beacon Theatre on the Upper West Side. The album, produced by Legend, Kanye West and Dave Tozer, features guest appearances from Rick Ross, Stacy Barthe and Seal. Also Tuesday.
Tuesday, Oct. 29
New wave synth icon Gary Numan, while best known stateside for his 1979 hit "Cars," has released 22 studio albums since his 1978 debut "Tubeway Army." The latest, just released "Splinter (Songs From A Broken Mind)" returned him to the U.K. Top 20 for the first time in 30 years. At the Music Hall of Williamsburg.
Brazilian singer Mallu Magalhaes plays Cameo Art Gallery.