Brooklyn’s Spring Music Scene Is in Full Bloom
Spring is finally in full flower – and so is Brooklyn’s ever-blossoming music scene. Our borough is fertile ground for cultivating new talent and May-June is a good time to catch a variety of local performers. Here is a sampling.
For Mother’s Day on May 14, you can give mom a little love – or rather Lover — at Baby’s All Right. Lover is local rock duo Jordan Robin (guitar/vocals and Byron Kalet (bass/drums). If mom is into hardcore punk and death metal, take her to the Knitting Factory for a five-act show that includes two Brooklyn bands, Skullshitter and Lion’s Cage.
Lively Brooklyn punk-rockers Answering Machine (not to be confused with the like-named UK band from earlier in the decade), are busy touring in support of their new EP, which comes out May 19. You’ll have three chances to catch them in their home borough this month: at Sunnyvale, May 8; Muchmore’s May 17 and Brooklyn Bazaar May 21. You can give their new single, “Wallow,” a listen on Bandcamp. On the bill with them at the Muchmore’s show will be local Indie folk-pop duo Easy Riser, who also have a new single out (“The Nevers”) in advance of their forthcoming full-length album Currents.
Everyone can get their funk on at Brooklyn Bowl on May 22 with local sensations Mamarazzi, and, on June 1, the Bowl presents the soulful sounds of Charles Bradley and his Extraordinaires.
Fresh for her performance at last month’s Brooklyn Folk Festival, banjo virtuoso and long-time Brooklynite Hilary Hawke will lead the free Slow Jam at Jalopy on May 28 and then perform with her band, the Flipsides, at the 68 Jay St. Bar on June 10.
On June 7, local favorites Lake Street Dive will kick off the 39th Celebrate Brooklyn! concert series at the Prospect Park Bandshell. This year’s lineup also includes Brooklyn’s own Yeasayer along with Lisa Loeb, Pharoah Sanders, Chronixx, Robert Randolph & The Family Band, Andrew Bird, Esperanza Spalding , Bela Fleck & The Flecktones, and Wilco guitarist Nels Cline, who will perform music from his jazz album, Lovers. The Shins will headline the festival’s first benefit concert on June 15, with Planetarium, Conor Oberst , Sylvan Esso and Fleet Foxes filling out the benefit schedule.
Before the Ford Amphitheater at Coney Island Boardwalk launches its second summer concert series, the venue will host a special “Salute to Our Heroes” on May 19. The concert – starring Dionne Warwick, Jon Secada and Bernie Williams — will honor veterans and raise awareness of Brooklyn’s 150th Memorial Day Parade. Among the shows already scheduled for the Amphitheater’s upcoming season is the 40th Anniversary Celebration Concert of Saturday Night Fever, which was filmed in Bay Ridge, Bensonhurst and Sunset Park. On the bill for the July 29 event, among others, are The Trammps, Tavares, Yvonne Elliman, Harold Melvin’s Blue Notes, Carl Carlton and Anita Ward.
Brand new music from Brooklyn-connected artists include Garland Jeffreys’ latest album, 14 Steps to Heaven, and the limited-release seven-inch vinyl single by the late Sharon Jones, singing with the E.L. Fields Gospel Wonders four decades ago: “Heaven Bound” b/w “Key To The Kingdom.” Joan Osborne Sings the Songs of Bob Dylan is expected to be out later this spring and Nicole Atkins’ fourth album, Goodnight Rhonda Lee, is due July 21. Further down the line, Sufjan Stevens has set September 22 for the release of Carrie & Lowell Live.