Indie Feed

2019 NYC Summer Music Preview

Celebrate Brooklyn 2018 It's up in the mid-80's today in NYC, which has got me thinking about my favorite time of year: summer, when all sorts of amazing music heads outdoors. In addition to some of our old faves - Celebrate Brooklyn, Summerstage, Warm Up - there are some exciting new additions this summer, such as Industry City's new Summer Series. Sadly, there are also several casualties this year, including Williamsburg's Northside Festival and Panorama. R.I.P.

Below are some highlights; check out our Summertime list on the right for updates throughout the summer. 

Celebrate Brooklyn: (June 4-August 10) My personal favorite of all the free NYC music festivals - and not just because it's walking distance from my apartment - Celebrate Brooklyn returns to the Prospect Park bandshell for it's 41st season with an eclectic lineup including R&B, Latin, indie, and roots music, most of it free. Highlights include a blockbuster opening night with Patti LaBelle (6/4), a double bill with Liz Phair and Ted Leo and the Pharmacists (6/29), bluegrass supergroup I'm With Her (Aiofe O'Donovan, Sarah Jarosz, and Sara Watkins, 7/18) and Canadian stalwarts Broken Social Scene (7/25). Benefit shows include The National with Courtney Barnett (6/12&13), Father John Misty with Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit (6/19) and Mac DeMarco (8/6).

SummerStage (June 1-September 24): SummerStage gets a facelift this summer with a (long overdue) $5.5 million renovation to Rumsey Playfield, including a new stage, sound system, lighting and raised bleacher seating. Lineup includes Durand Jones and the Invitations (who we caught twice at SXSW in March, 6/1) Parquet Courts (6/8), Big Freedia (6/13) and Jack DeJohnette, Ravi Coltrane and Matt Garrison with Brandee Younger (6/15).

Rite of Music Summer Festival (June 1 - Sept. 7) Governor's Ball has long since outgrown it's original home on Governor's Island, but you can still take the ferry to see live music once a month this summer with this free new music festival, now in it's 9th year. Performers include Ensemble Connect (6/1), Sandbox Percussion (7/6), Go: Organic Orchestra and Brooklyn Raga Massive (8/10), and Sirius Quartet (9/7); performances take place at 1 and 3pm. 

Met Opera Summer Recital Series (June 10-19): It's not the same as when they used to do full operas in the parks, but if you want the Met experience on the cheap, go check out one of these free recitals, which take place in all five boroughs. Among the top flight singers are Ying Fang, Nathan Gunn, Leah Hawkins, and Joseph Lim.

NY Philharmonic Concerts in the Parks (June 11-16): Music Director Jaap van Zweden is sticking around this summer to lead the parks concerts in all five boroughs, with a program including Rachmaninoff's Symphony No. 2 and Copland's "Hoe-Down" from Rodeo. Followed by fireworks, of course.

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Maggie Rogers at La Gaîté Lyrique in Paris

by Katie Zepf

MaggiePARIS, FRANCE - While in Paris two weeks ago (Feb. 22), I had the good fortune to see singer-songwriter Maggie Rogers perform at La Gaîté Lyrique. Rogers was discovered by Pharrell Williams at a master class at New York University less than three years ago, and her unique art pop sound has quickly made her a star. Her singles “Alaska” and “Light On” have only elevated her fame, landing her a spot on Saturday Night Live back in November. I had previously seen Rogers perform at the Governors Ball back in June, and I was excited to see that she was back on tour with new music.

For starters, La Gaîté Lyrique (like most of Paris) is stunning. The white entrance hall is lined with grand staircases and pillars, and was colored only by the neon pink and purple lights filling the space. The performance room itself was a very open general admission concert hall, with a bar and merchandise table located outside. If you’re ever in Paris, I would highly suggest catching a show there.

The opener was Grace Shaw (better known as Mallrat), an Australian singer-songwriter, backed by her DJ, Denim. I was previously unfamiliar with Shaw, whose music is dreamy electro-pop, but I enjoyed the set nonetheless. Playing several of her singles, such as “Groceries” and “UFO”, Shaw provided a relaxed start to the night, with just the right amount of energy throughout her performance to get the crowd excited for Rogers.

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The Kooks at Terminal 5

by Katie Zepf

Luke the kooks Thursday, I had the pleasure of seeing The Kooks for a second time at Terminal 5. The English indie rock band, fronted by Luke Pritchard, are best known for their easygoing and carefree sound, with tracks such as “Naive” and “She Moves In Her Own Way”. Having six albums under their belt, the band’s sold-out show was in promotion of their most recent album, “Let’s Go Sunshine”, released last summer.

The Kooks had an energetic start to their set, playing “Always Where I Need to Be” from their second album, Konk. The band continued with more familiar selections from their older albums, Inside In/Inside Out and Listen. The colorful band’s energy was reflected in the lively audience, who danced and sang along to the upbeat 20-song set. Midway into the show, Pritchard climbed off the side of the stage into the crowd, singing along with excited fans. He slowed things down on the piano for an emotional tribute to his father in “See Me Now”, but picked things up with more cheery songs from their newest album Let’s Go Sunshine. For their encore, the band played their breezy new single “No Pressure”, and ending the night with their most popular song (and crowd favorite) “Naive”.

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Winter Jazzfest Marathon 2019

by Dan Lehner and Pete Matthews

Winter finally reared its adversarial head for last weekend’s Winter Jazzfest, which was incredibly celebrating its 15th year. The bitter cold may have deterred some would-be last minute attendees, but the bulk still huddled in increasingly lengthening lines to hear some of the world’s best and freshest jazz and creative music. The oldest, most platonic form of WJF, the marathon - now taking on an almost literal dimension - had attendees running up-and-across town to catch whatever they could get into.

Friday night kicked off with local jazz radio stalwart WBGO's 40th birthday party at SOB's. After an opening set by up-and-coming singer Alina Engibaryan, guitar virtuoso Kurt Rosenwinkel took the stage with his quartet (Taylor Eigsti on piano, Ugonna Okegwo on bass and Jason Brown on drums.) Rosenwinkel stayed onstage to play alongside "DJ Brother Mister" (aka, Christian McBride), who indulged his fetish for old school funk by spinning records while simultaneously strumming an electric bass. The crowd readily obliged McBride's invitation to get up and dance. 

"Don't let me catch you standing there looking at me," McBride shouted. "It's a dance party!"

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