In New York, sometimes the best shows aren't listed in any magazine or website. On Monday, I was on my way to the subway from the Piledrivers' gig and decided to stop in on Gabe's current residency at Rockwood Music Hall. He played a few of his numbers from the piano, switching between that and banjo before introducing his surprise guest for the evening: Alisa Weilerstein, who, at 26, is already one of the world's great cellists, having performed as soloist with most of the great American and European orchestras. Making her official club debut, she seemed completely at ease, accompanying Gabe - whom she's known since they were five - on a few songs before performing Osvaldo Golijov's solo piece Omaramor (1991). It was as close to perfection as anything I've seen: virtuosic, heartfelt, with a stunning technique well beyond her years. And, it all happened less than fifty feet in front of me.
The following night, my friend Greg was playing his farewell-to-NYC gig at Bowery Electric, but told me to get there early for the opener. Imagine my surprise when the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion took the stage, the first time I've seen them since they played Summerstage back in 1999. The blues-punk trio ripped through a huge set of nearly two hours, with Spencer strutting and doing splits like Mick Jagger. And there were, maybe, 100 people there. Who needs sleep on nights like these? (More pics below.)