Our weekly look ahead at the live music scene.
Streets of Your Town: This week's live music with Lee Fields, Mavis Staples, Freddie Jackson, Dave Grohl and more
Lee Fields' 2002 album Problems is full of tense, twitching funk, capturing the same clammy anxiety as Sly & the Family Stone's There's a Riot Goin' On, and last year's Faithful Man gave a similarly panicked treatment to tales of troubled romance. Songs like this are what Fields' voice is built for; raw and ragged, it barrels forward from within the smoky horn charts and grainy guitars, a bleeding heart in search of some relief.
Streets of Your Town: Live shows in New York, featuring the 'Ecstatic' festival, folk heroes and punk standbys
Tonight, another British act, Mumford and Sons (Feb. 6, Barclay's Center) takes a heavier hand with rustic music. Their arena folk, with its hurried tempos and hollered choruses, is simply stadium rock in Western garb. Better are Michigan's Frontier Ruckus (Feb. 9, Mercury Lounge), who deliver rollicking folk with lyrics that feel like short stories.
Cat Power’s spent a lifetime working around certain types of music, and Sun was a step into the unknown. Mistakes, like the vocal mix on “Human Being” and a few other tracks, are bound to happen. But the peaks she’s reaching are higher than ever before.(1)
After veering a bit too close to AM-radio soft rock on 2006's The Greatest, Cat Power returned to more dangerous sonic terrain with last year's stunning Sun, which spoke of both hurt and hope in equal measure.
Streets of Your Town: This week's concerts, with Rodrigo y Gabriela, Refused, Joshua Redman, and more.
Streets of Your Town is a weekly selection of New York's live music offerings, from rock to jazz to folk and rap. In this week's lineup: Rodrigo y Gabriela, Refused, Joshua Redman, and more.
As Indie-pop zine 'Chickfactor' celebrates its 20th birthday, cofounder Gail O'Hara offers her Notes on Twee
“I don't think of what I do to be particularly twee,” said O’Hara, who co-founded Chickfactor with Pam Berry in 1992. The zine celebrates its 20th birthday beginning tonight, with three evenings of music at Brooklyn’s Bell House. Each show features four advertised bands—many reunited, including Berry’s group, Black Tambourine (Tuesday; sold out), the Aislers Set and the Legendary Jim Ruiz Group (both Wednesday), and Honey Bunch and the Softies (both Thursday)—not to mention a few unnamed “special guests.”
Streets of Your Town: This week's concerts, with Kimbra, Toots and the Maytals, Skream & Benga, and more
Streets of Your Town is a weekly index of live music offerings in New York. In this week's lineup: Kimbra, Toots and the Maytals, Skream & Benga, and more.