April Is Showering Brooklyn With More Great Music
A brand new performance venue, some old friends and plenty of local talent are blooming in Brooklyn’s ever-growing musical gardens this spring. Here a few of Brooklyn Roads’ picks for April and beyond.
Brooklyn Steel, the latest stage from Bowery Presents, debuts April 13 with an international flair, presenting Britain’s Floating Points, blending of jazz, classical, soul, electronica and dance music. Opening the show is Reykjavik pop singer JFDR (Jofriður Akadottir), whose fans include fellow Icelander Bjork. The Decemberists, PJ Harvey and Squirrel Nut Zippers all play shows there the following week. May highlights include the Jesus and Mary Chain, Real Estate, Animal Collective, The Pixies, and Frightened Rabbit, whose current album, Painting of a Panic Attack, was recorded at the Ditmas Park studio of The National’s Aaron Dessner, who also produced the album. With a capacity of approximately 1,800 people, Brooklyn Steel is the largest general admission venue in Brooklyn.
On April 5, Brooklyn Bowl hosts “Brooklyn Is The Band.” Included on the bill are Nicole Atkins and Midnight North, who will each perform a set of original tunes and join forces for a tribute set of music by The Band. Atkins, who honed her craft during her Brooklyn years, will be previewing several songs from her fourth album, “Goodnight, Rhonda Lee,” due out this summer. Willie Nile headlines the following night and Daptone recording artists The Budos Band perform that Friday and Saturday. Later in the month the Bowl hosts the Spin Doctors, an “Easter Beatles Bash” and a DJ set from Park Slope’s own Talib Kweli, who will return there May 2 and 3 with a full band show.
The feel-good classic rock event of the month is Electric Hot Tuna – Jack Casady, Justin Guip and Jorma Kaukonen — at The Grand Prospect Hall, April 14. It’s a benefit for The Guild for Exceptional Children. The trio will play another benefit the following evening at Staten Island’s St. George Theater.
In celebration of the 10th anniversary re-release of their first EP, Brooklyn-by-way-of-Syracuse rockers Ra Ra Riot will perform the self-titled recording in its entirety for the first and only time ever on April 22 at the Music Hall of Williamsburg.
Local rock band The Roofer’s Union are headlining at the Knitting Factory on May 1. Also on the bill are a pair of other Brooklyn acts — garage rockers Blasteroid and pop duo Cafuné.
For country music aficionados, Hill Country presents The Nashville Attitude – actually a New York band led by Staten Islander Marc Vincent Sica and Brooklyn-born Elvin Cartagena – on April 15; K Phillips, April 21, and Bloodshot Bill, May 5.
On the folky side, Barbès hosts a couple of local standouts. Clarinetist Michael Winograd, who has played with the likes of Itzhak Perlman, and the Klezmer Conservatory Band, is in residence every Saturday in April, while multi-instrumentalist, composer, and singer Sam Reider brings his Future Folk Music project there on April 16.
Abbie Gardner, who teamed with her former Red Molly bandmate Carolann Solebello for a lively folk-Americana set at Jalopy in January, will perform solo at Pete’s Candy Story on April 13. Williamsburg native Vic Thrill, aka Billy Campion former lead singer of the Bogmen, takes the stage there every Saturday evening at 6. On the bill with him April 22 is Allie Glassman, whose new single, “Fear Takes Flight,” was recorded at Converse Rubber Tracks studio in Williamsburg, and local indie rockers The Corduroy Suit.
For something a little different, Brooklynite Evan Kaufman and Astoria’s Rebecca Vigil bring their award-winning “Your Love, Our Musical” to Union Hall on April 29. The duo interviews a couple from the audience and transforms their love story into a fully improvised musical.