The Brooklyn Rail

JUNE 2019

All Issues
JUNE 2019 Issue

Highly Selective Listings

June 6: Dysrhythmia, Stinking Lizaveta, PAK, and Shardik at The Kingsland. Technical and progressive metal wizardry will be doled out in immeasurable, mind-frying doses with this formidable lineup. Proggy metal mainstays and de facto headliners Dysrhythmia–the venerable trio of guitarist Kevin Hufnagel, bassist Colin Marston, and drummer Jeff Eber–will preview songs from their forthcoming record while the new and old guard are represented in Shardik, led by guitarist Matt Hollenberg of Cleric and Simulacrum and the grizzled, Philadelphia-based trio Stinking Lizaveta respectively. PAK, cutthroat technicians of a sonic pummel that combines doom-metal, punk, prog, ambient, sludge, and noise, celebrate the release of their dizzily complex monster, Bestial (Nefarious Industries).

June 7: Dead Meadow and Dommengang at The Bell House. A slow-crawling psychedelic lumber and stoner-rock boogie will fill the spacious Gowanus venue The Bell House this evening. Over the last two decades, Dead Meadow have trudged on, cementing themselves as psych-rock overlords with a catalog that includes stoner-metal classics released by Matador Records. Dommengang churn out a similar cosmic mind-meld of noisey, pedal-stomping 1970s-era heavy metal and chugging ’60s psych-rock, as heard on its latest offering, the arena-sized No Keys (Thrill Jockey).

June 8: ESP-Disk’ Festival at Spectrum. Over the last few years, the legendary ESP-Disk’ label has staged a comeback with a bevy of disparate, forward-looking releases. Some of those freethinking musicians are coming together tonight to celebrate the ESP-Disk’ Festival, including the Japanese piano trio of Megumi Yonezawa, Masa Kamaguchi, and Ken Kobayashi (their 2018 Boundary is a revelatory set that flew under the radar), The Red Microphone, and piano firebrand Gabriel Zucker. New York City avant-garde mainstays Talibam! and Steve Dalichinsky join forces for a set of cosmic-jazz and poetry.

June 8: Bill Orcutt & Okkyung Lee Duo at Public Records. This evening, two world-class improvisers team up for the very first time. A true original, San Francisco-based ax-slinger and former Harry Pussy member Bill Orcutt takes his mangled guitar cues from Ornette Coleman and The Great American Songbook to unchartered sonic realms. Alongside avant-garde cellist, improviser, and composer Okkyung Lee, the duo will undoubtedly wrangle out brain-bending sound-worlds that will envelope the new outside-the-box music venue, Gowanus’ Public Records. Orcutt is also celebrating two recent releases: the reissue of Harry Pussy’s seminal noise-maker Ride A Dove (Palilalia Records) and Electric Smog (Unrock).

June 9: Carlos Quebrada/Elima Nación/Nick Lenchner, Bloor, C. Spencer Yeh, and Ohmslice at Hart Bar. Flame-throwing spoken word raconteur Samantha Oh (a/k/a Samantha Riott) has assembled an eclectic bill of free jazz-skronking and experimental music mayhem at Bushwhick’s Hart Bar this evening. Bassist and composer Carlos Quebrada and multi-instrumentalist and vocalist Elima Nación are both staples of the creative music and avant-jazz scenes in Columbia and tonight they form a trio with local double bassist Nick Lenchner. Bloor, the trio of tenor saxophonist Sam Weinberg, guitarist Andrew Smiley, and drummer Jason Nazary, debuted earlier this year with the the prog-jazz epic, Drolleries (Astral Spirits), a devastatingly intricate beast that drew from The Flying Luttenbachers and James Chance & the Contortions. Arrive early for ace improviser and composer C. Spencer Yeh and Ohmslice.

June 10: International Contemporary Ensemble, The City of Tomorrow, and Nick DeMaison at [Roulette]( The world-renowned). International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE) recently celebrated its twentieth anniversary with both a concert and recording. Tonight, the ensemble continues its ever-inventive collaborative nature by teaming with the 21st century music-focused The City of Tomorrow woodwind quartet as they present a three-part program featuring works by Ursula Mamlok, Natasha Anderson, and Felipe Lara under conductor Nick DeMaison. The program includes rarely heard works by Mamlok alongside two U.S. premieres by Anderson and Lara. Alice Teyssier and The City of Tomorrow feature as soloists.

June 11–15: Myra Melford The Stone Residency at The Stone at The New School. Pianist Myra Melford is at the forefront of the jazz avant-garde. Her dynamic aesthetic was crystallized to the fullest of adventurous colors on 2017’s The Other Side of Air (Firehouse 12) with her group Snowy Egret. That quintet, with cornetist Ron Miles, guitarist Liberty Ellman, bass guitarist Stomu Takeishi, and drummer Gerald Cleaver (sitting in for Tyshawn Sorey) appear as part of her star-studded, week-long residency at The Stone.

June 11–16: Vision Festival at Roulette. Founded in 1996, Vision Festival stands alone as the preeminent annual summit of music, dance, poetry, and visual art to which enthusiasts across the world flock. Once again, dancer, poet, and organizer of movement, music, and causes, Patricia Nicholson-Parker, has brought together a week-long bacchanal like no other, highlighted by Lifetime Achievement Honoree, legendary drummer Andrew Cyrille. On June 11, it will be a Cyrille tour de force as he joins forces in duos with Kidd Jordan, Milford Graves, Peter Brötzmann, and Lisa Sokolov, in addition to appearing with Haitian Fascination and Lebrobra Trio (with Wadada Leo Smith and Brandon Ross), and more. Check the Arts for Arts website for the full schedule of events.

June 14: Gordon Beeferman Organ Trio Record Release Party at Ibeam. Gordon Beeferman is a wide-eyed polymath who masterfully toes the lines of myriad genres. The New York City-based organist, composer, and improviser has played with avant-jazz luminaries such as violist Stephanie Griffin, bassist Pascal Niggenkemper, and drummer Andrew Drury (on 2018’s Other Life Forms) and he continues his work with titans of the scene with the debut of his organ trio. Alongside guitarist Anders Nilsson and drummer/percussionist Ches Smith, Beeferman splatters and smashes his way through a cosmic and complex set of psychedelic jazz and rock fusion-minded freak-outs, invoking Sun Ra and electric Miles. The trio’s eponymous record is due June 14 via Minor Amusements Records.

June 16: Summer Thunder Presents Celebrating Maestro Marshall Allen’s 95th Birthday with The Sun Ra SuperSonic Arkestra at Union Pool. Epically joyous and uplifting appearances by the Sun Ra Arkestra have become an annual tradition as part of Union Pool’s free Summer Thunder! series. Sun Ra Arkestra ringleader and spiritual guiding light, maestro Marshall Allen, is celebrating 95 years on this astral plane and showing no signs of slowing down as he leads this ecstatic jazz big-band. There is nothing like a Sun Ra Arkestra performance and the last several years their outside shows at Union Pool have reached sonically exuberant heights where the packed-in throngs of Allen and Arkestra worshippers join together in hopeful unison in spite of these trying times.

June 18: Brandon Seabrook Trio with Henry Fraser and Erica Dicker at Barbès. Notes-crazed guitar freak Brandon Seabrook has cranked out operatic metal with Die Trommel Fatale and math-metal with Needle Driver. On his most recent record titled Convulsionaries (Astral Spirits), he’s mixing up elements of contemporary classical with the ferocity and intricacies of technical metal and brutal-prog, sans drummer. With upright bassist Henry Fraser and the group’s new addition, violinist Erica Dicker (replacing cellist Daniel Levin), Convulsionaries is scorched-earth brilliance that improbably combines Karlheinz Stockhausen, Anthony Braxton, and more. And don’t miss Seabrook in improvised music quartet mode alongside avant-jazz heavyweights Ralph Alessi (trumpet, electric bass), Tim Berne (alto saxophone), and Gerald Cleaver (drums) at Halyards on June 25.

June 19: Thee Reps, Peptalk, and REAL ADULT at The Windjammer. The style-spanning Gold Bolus label is a choice destination for forward-thinking music from across the sound spectrum and New York City’s Thee Reps is helping navigate that path. An instrumental psych-jazz outfit with a core of Jeff Tobias (Sunwatchers), Dave Ruder (Varispeed), and Sam Morrison—with contributions from violist Karen Waltuch and drummer Max Jaffe—Minimal Surface (released this past April) is a spaced-out and hypnotic sprawl that finds the collective gloriously locking in on Motorik grooves reminiscent of 1970s krautrock and Chicago post-rock with Tony Conrad-influenced minimalism. Positively entrancing stuff.

June 19: Earth and Helms Alee at (le) poisson rouge. Earth—the long-running cataclysmic and meditative drone-metal project of founder and guitarist Dylan Carlson (with drummer Adrienne Davies)—are the original powerhouse of the repetitive riff, establishing the blueprint that Sunn O))) has sublimely and deafeningly shaped. Without compromise, Carlson has soldiered on in his impeccably brutal and beautiful melding of drone, minimalism, and metal, and on the recently-released Full Upon Her Burning Lips (Sargent House), he and Davies have taken their slow-burning riff beast to new face-melting levels.

June 19: CVN and Koeosaeme at Muchmore’s. Outside-the-box cassette label Orange Milk Records has been front-and-center with the most out-there of electronic releases and this tour featuring Japanese musicians CVN (Nobuyuki Sakuma) and Koeosaeme (Ryu Yoshizawa) is proof of their radical vision. On I.C. (out June 7), CVN created glitch-filled, pop-centric weirdness while Koeosaeme’s OBANIKESHI (released May 17) is scratchy and dizzying knob-twiddling insanity. CVN and Koeosaeme also perform on June 30 at H0L0.

June 21: greyfade Label Launch: Theo Bleckmann + Joseph Branciforte Album Release, Kenneth Kirschner, and Greg Davis at Fridman Gallery. Producer extraordinaire Joseph Branciforte has manned the boards for dozens of records in the jazz and experimental music realms, putting on his own unique sound stamp. Now Branciforte has expanded his distinct sound and vision into a new platform: his own record label. Called greyfade, it’s focused on experimental electronic music, algorithmic composition, and minimalist forms of acoustic and chamber music. That aesthetic is manifested on greyfade’s inaugural release: a duo recording which finds Branciforte joining forces with acclaimed vocalist Theo Bleckmann on LP1, an ethereal program that combines electronic and ambient soundscapes with a classical composition bent.

June 21–23: Dave’s Waves (David First) at Sonic Luncheonette. Protean composer David First has kept himself busy lately. First recently offered up the third installment of his “Same Animal, Different Cages” series with Civil War Songs (for Solo Harmonica), plus he took his audiovisual spectacular, Dave’s Waves, on the road. Now he’s back in the booths and the counter of Sunview Luncheonette with his interactive installation. For this spring/summer iteration, First is also presenting performances featuring a duo that will find him on vintage electronic test equipment and radios alongside harpist Zeena Parkins inside of the Schumann Resonance drones (June 21), plus a live remote broadcast performance by Van der Rohe (David Gladden/synth, Tara Gladden/voice, Eric Schuster/bass drum, Mike Hall/gongs). On June 22, The Schumann Resonance Percussion Ensemble (Brian Chase, Marc Edwards, Andrya Ambro, Sean Meehan, Austin Vaughn, Joseph Benzola) will perform.

June 22: BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival: Tortoise: TNT and Emily Wells with Metropolis Ensemble at Prospect Park Bandshell. A touchstone of the post-rock and post-jazz movements, TNT by Chicago pioneers Tortoise sits atop the throne as one of the best records released in the ’90s, and possiby the apex of that group’s awe-inspiring catalog. Tonight, the post-rock godfathers perform TNT in its entirety at Prospect Park Bandshell in a free event that is not to be missed.

June 22: Aquarium Drunkard Presents ACLU Benefit with Ryley Walker and more at Trans-Pecos. For the last fifteen years, online publication Aquarium Drunkard has been the go-to spot for stellar coverage that runs the gamut from psychedelia, folk, jazz, and left-field musics. For this evening, they present a show for the worthiest of causes: to benefit the ACLU. American primitive guitar godhead, free-improvisational noodler and twanger, and ace tunesmith Ryley Walker—he of the excellent The Lillywhite Sessions, a cover of Dave Matthews Band’s album in full—heads up a stacked bill.

June 24: Pelican, Cloakroom, and Planning For Burial at Brooklyn Bazaar. Unrivaled sonic mettle, gnarly prog-metal twists and turns, and fretboard-hopping heroics are off the decibel shattering charts on Nighttime Stories (Southern Lord), the first record in six years from instrumental behemoth Pelican. Cerebral and head-banging, Pelican, with two decades under their belts, have made their most heavy and complex record to date. Expect a massively heavy show.

June 25: Sound It Out 7th Anniversary Fundraiser: Monk on Guitars 2 with Andy Summers, Miles Okazaki, and more at Greenwich House Music School. Sound It Out is an adventurous series that’s presented the best in cutting-edge jazz and experimental music. This evening is its seventh anniversary fundraiser and one that is a must-see. “Monk on Guitars 2” stars virtuoso guitarists playing the music of Thelonious Monk accompanied by killer rhythm sections. Miles Okazaki, who covered the complete compositions of Monk on solo guitar on Work (Complete, Volumes 1​-​6), is joined by Andy Summers of Police fame, Nick Millevoi, David Gilmore, Steve Cardenas, Ricardo Grilli, and Harvey Valdes, with bass and drum support from Michael Formanek, Stephan Crump, Jerome Harris, Francisco Mela, Richie Barshay, and Kate Gentile.

June 27: Blank Forms Presents Milford Graves at Gavin Brown’s Enterprise. Blank Forms continues its non-stop adventurous programming with avant-garde jazz icon and Full Mantis documentary star Milford Graves as he presents a new composition. Titled Music Meets Medicine and Science, it serves as an expansion of Graves’ research into cardiological heart rhythms and their relation to music therapy. This premiere will also include a talk and workshop with participants Akash Mittal, Dor Ben-Amotz, Shahzad Ismaily, and Jake Meginsky, as Graves explores his crucial work and spreads his words, wisdom, and creative spirit and energy.

June 29: Matt Lavelle Quartet Record Release Concert at Scholes Street Studio. The last we heard from multi-instrumental avant-garde jazz wunderkind Matt Lavelle was on 2018’s Retrograde (ESP-Disk’), with drummer Reggie Sylvester, where the duo channeled the mystical rapport of John Coltrane and Rashied Ali from their landmark 1967 recording, Interstellar Space. On Lavelle’s new album Hope, he shows off his skillset on trumpet, flugelhorn, alto sax, and bass clarinet, supported by a band that includes pianist Lewis Porter, bassist Hilliard Greene, and drummer Tom Cabrera on a swinging and warm, after hours-type set.

July 1: 75 Dollar Bill Record Release Show with Joshua Abrams & Natural Information Society at Roulette. This show might just be the premier event of the summer. Plywood crate-banging percussionist Rick Brown and guitarist Che Chen, the core behind free-improv duo 75 Dollar Bill, have been cobbling together their lo-fi trance-rock since 2012, jamming out a glorious racket with on-the-cheap gear and a stash of homemade horns and contraptions picked from the junkyard. Tonight, they celebrate the release of their new transcendent double album,* I Was Real* (Thin Wrist) with the equally hypnotic Joshua Abrams & Natural Information Society, who have a newly-released, fantastic record of their own (Mandatory Reality via Eremite Records).


George Grella

George Grella is the Rail’s music editor.

Brad Cohan

Brad Cohan is a music journalist based in Brooklyn who has contributed to Bandcamp, The Village Voice, NY Observer, Time Out NY, VICE, Noisey, SPIN, CLRVYNT, Red Bull Music Academy, and other fine publications.


The Brooklyn Rail

JUNE 2019

All Issues