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July 2011


Sure, it's fun to have a beach house, or a place up in the mountains. But, for those of us stuck here in the city, there are plenty of musical diversions to keep you occupied on these hot summer nights. Just check out this Feast of things I plan to check out over the next few days:

  • Tonight through Saturday, the inaugural Lowdown Hudson Blues Festival takes over the World Financial Center Plaza, with headliners Taj Mahal (Thurs), James "Blood" Ulmer and Vernon Reid (Fri.) and Steven Bernstein's Millennial Territory Orchestra (Sat.) Admission is free.
  • Tonight, Celebrate Brooklyn has the Mark Morris Dance Group performing with the newly-revived Brooklyn Philharmonic under their new music director, Alan Pierson (of Alarm Will Sound). Friday has Malian star Oumou Sangare while Saturday brings Dr. John, Chuck Brown and Red Baraat to the park. Admission is free for all (but give 'em $3 at the gate.)
  • In the classical realm, Poul Rouders' Selma Jezková will receive its U.S. premeiere at the Rose Theater Friday night, part of the ongoing Lincoln Center Festival. The opera, based on Lars Von Trier's 2000 film Dancer in the Dark, will be performed by the Royal Danish Opera and Orchestra under Michael Schønwandt. Tickets available online.
  • Also tomorrow night, the excellent EELS (led by Mark Oliver Everett, or "E") are headlining Music Hall of Williamsburg. Tickets available online.
  • On Saturday, Bruar Falls hosts a "Rock and Roil Crab Boil" with McDonalds, Bells, and others. $13 gets you music and a plate: mmm.
  • Also on Saturday is the ongoing Warm Up series at P.S.1, which this week has Prince Language, Das Racist (DJ Set), Vockah Redu, Holy Other, and xxxy. $15. 
  • Also on Saturday is the second annual Mad Decent Block Party at the South Street Seaport, with Gang Gang Dance, Zeds Dead, The Hood Internet, and others. Free.
  • On Sunday, I'm headed out to Rockaway for sun, surf and a free show by JEFF The Brotherhood, Kingdom, and Friends. Show's on the boardwalk at 96th St (take the A train to 98th St.)
  • Finally, Dan Deacon and So Percussion return to LPR on Monday, along with students from So's Summer Institute (SOSI) to perform Dan's new piece for 27 percussionists. (Presumably, this will be similar to their collaboration at the Ecstatic Music Fest back in January.) Tickets are $15, available online.

Is that enough for y'all?

 P.S. I forgot the Ponderosa Stomp happening at Damrosch Park on Saturday, with Ronnie Spector, Lesley Gore, Lala Brooks and more. Free, of course.


I Got My MBA(A)

I received an email this morning, inviting me to join the new Music Bloggers Association of America (MBAA), founded by Rashon A. Massey (, Todd Walton ( and Brandon Dorsky ( Their stated goal is to share their insider knowledge and "unite music blogs as a means of creating forums for sharing content, information and music." Whatever: I'm in it for the afterparties

Amy Winehouse (1983-2011)

WinehouseG1102_468x332(Amy Winehouse, performing via satellite during the 2008 Grammys.)

Sad news from London today that Amy Winehouse - the oft-troubled R&B and soul singer - has been found dead in her Camden apartment. She was 27. For all the attention Amy got for her offstage antics, she was one of the most prodigiously talented musicians of the new soul revival, nearly sweeping the 2008 Grammys in absentia and inspiring singers three times her age to pick up the microphone again. (Ronnie Spector sang "You Know I'm No Good" when I saw her in 2009 at B.B. Kings.) A terrible waste; more details as they become available. 

P.S. Julia Werdigier in the Times makes the startling observation that Winehouse is not the first singer to die at 27: Jim Morrison, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, Kurt Cobain and Brian Jones of the Rolling Stones all passed away at the same age. Also, Ben Sisario has a nice obit here; no indication if this - like so many other Times obits - was written in advance of Ms. Winehouse's demise.