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Highly Selective Listings

Brooklyn Rail Highly Selective Music Events

A thoughtful, discerning, and carefully compiled list of the most notable, promising and unique musical events for the month of May in New York City.

Sparse Melody and High-Class Noise: Phil Kline with Jim Jarmusch

On a Wednesday evening in early April, Roulette hosted a concert from composer Phil Kline, featuring a range of pieces from the past decade. The evening was divided into two parts, the first half presenting a set of compact, haunting art songs, the latter an extended wave of drawn-out guitar noise. Kline's many projects include the worldwide Christmas phenomenon Unsilent Night, and like a greatest hits album by a still-active band, the Roulette show seemed only to offer a small slice of the composer's work—a small slice, but enough to recommend the rest.

From Watermelon to Lemonade
Sobering Up with Beyoncé

“Drunk in Love” dropped along with thirteen other tracks at midnight on December 13, 2013, and promptly got stuck in all of our heads. Its freedom and ecstasy were infectious.

Jeff Buckley’s Iconic Flame

In May 1997, we heard rumors. We called from pay phones scattered throughout the East Village to get our messages: “Did you hear?” We heard each other say, “Jeff is strong.” For three days, we were in limbo.

Bitter Beats and Vitriol
Sleaford Mods at Warsaw

Kicking off their first-ever North American tour in support their new album, English Tapas (Rough Trade), Sleaford Mods of Nottingham, U.K. appeared in late March before a sold-out crowd at Warsaw in Greenpoint, Brooklyn.

Originality and Derivation
Sondre Lerche’s Pleasure

Sondre Lerche’s 2002 debut, Faces Down, and 2004 follow-up, Two Way Monologue, displayed his distinct skill for crafting pop hooks, frequently exhibiting the influence of Paul McCartney (Re: melody) and Nick Drake (Re: atmospherics).


For years, Steve Joerg has been a devotee of this music we call free jazz, and has championed such giants as William Parker, Cooper-Moore, Matthew Shipp, and above all David S. Ware, along with younger ones like Darius Jones and Craig Taborn.


The Brooklyn Rail

MAY 2017

All Issues