Brooklyn Voices: There’s No Place Like Here for the Holidays

November 1, 2017 by

The holiday season will soon be in full swing, and we’re thankful to be living in a borough with such bountiful music choices. In the mere five-plus weeks between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve, for example, there’s hip hop, R&B, jazz, alt-rock, modern rock, Americana, avante-garde, ethnic-infused rhythms and so much more. So make merry and unwrap some of the following musical gifts…from Brooklyn to you.

St. Vincent-08-09-14-HBL photo

St. Vincent /photo by Howard B. Leibowitz / courtesy of B.L.Howard Productions

Two Brooklyn icons – Bed-Stuy native Jay-Z and longtime resident St. Vincent (Annie Clark) – are in town for concerts in support of their new albums. Jay-Z’s “4:44 Tour” comes to Barclays Center November 26-27, while St. Vincent will be featuring music from Masseduction when she plays Kings Theatre December 2-3.

The Hold Steady is back in their home borough, playing four “Massive Nights” at Brooklyn Bowl, November 29 – December 2, with a different surprise opening act planned for each show.

Craig_Finn_of The Hold Steady-HBL photo

Craig Finn of The Hold Steady / photo by Howard B. Leibowitz / courtesy of B.L.Howard Productions

Brooklyn Steel presents Spoon, November 28-29; Deer Tick, December 2; and local favorites LCD Soundsystem, with 10 dates between December 11-23. LCD recently released American Dream, their first new album in seven years.

Local Balkan-soul/gypsy-funk sensations Slavic Soul Party and Brooklyn jazz drummer Oscar Noriega and his Crooked Trio continue their respective Tuesday and Friday night gigs at Barbès through the end of the year and into 2018. Celtic pub band Three Pints Shy, featuring Brooklyn’s own Jonathan Siregar, will be part of The Way Station’s “Whiskey Wednesdays” series on November 29.

At Pete’s Candy Store, St. Louis singer-songwriter Nick Gusman takes the stage supported by members of Brooklyn’s own Mail the Horse on November 24. Two solo shows play there the following Tuesday:  frequent Brooklyn visitor Abbie Gardner accompanying herself on dobro, followed by local guitarist Harold Davis, aka Fro. Williamsburg native Vic Thrill, former lead singer for the Bogmen, continues his Saturday evening residency at Pete’s through December 30.

Abbie Gardner / photo by Al Pereira

Music Hall of Williamsburg hosts Bay Ridge native Kevin Devine on December 16 and brings 2017 to a fun, rocking end with a double dip of local legends They Might Be Giants, December 30-31. Other New Year’s Eve shows of note include Lettuce at Brooklyn Bowl, Diarrhea Planet at Rough Trade, and Daptone recording artists The Budos Band, with local “garage soul” septet Evolfo, at the Knitting Factory.

Brooklyn Music: The Gift the Keeps on Giving

Looking for Hanukkah gifts or Christmas stocking stuffers? There are several new, recent and soon-to-debut releases from local or Brooklyn-connected artists. In addition to the albums cited above, consider Garland Jeffreys14 Steps to Harlem, Nicole Atkins’ Goodnight Rhonda Lee, More! from Terry Radigan, Painted Ruins from Grizzly Bear, The Lone Bellow’s Walk Into a Storm, Sleigh Bells’ Kid Kruschev, Capacity from Big Thief, Three Futures from Torres (Mackenzie Scott), Sharon Jones’ posthumous Soul of a Woman, and a pair of Dylan tribute albums: Joan Obsorne’s Songs of Bob Dylan and Willie Nile’s Positively Bob.  NicoleAtkins_Goodnight RhondaLee_1500pxGarland Jeffreys-12 Steps To Harlem -album cover

Norah Jones and Lake Street Dive add a dash of Brooklyn spirit to the new Holidays Rule, Volume 2 album, which also features such luminaries as Paul McCartney (with The Roots and Bay Ridge native Jimmy Fallon), Roseanne Cash and The Decemberists.