February: A Short Month That’s Long on the Music We Love

January 24, 2018 by
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Jason Isbell at Celebrate Brooklyn! /photo by Al Pereira

For lovers of great music, every day in February is Valentine’s Day in Brooklyn. The year’s shortest month is long on great sounds from local artists and visiting performers alike. Here is a sampling:

Grammy-winning roots singer-songwriter Jason Isbell, who wowed the crowd at Celebrate Brooklyn!  in 2015, returns to our borough on February 3. This time he’s performing at Kings Theatre with his band, The 400 Unit, and opening act James McMurtry.

Williamsburg-based Latin rockers Cartagena the Band play at Pete’s Candy Store on February 9. Two popular local bands – Sleigh Bells and Sunflower Bean – take the stage at Brooklyn Steel on February 13. Four nights later there, another home-grown act, Rubblebucket, opens for New Orleans quintet Galactic.

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Antibalas / photo by Al Pereira

February highlights at Brooklyn Bowl include the legendary reggae band The Wailers on the 14th and 15th, followed by Brooklyn’s own Antibalas on the 17th and, for country music fans, Corey Smith on the 28th. On the 17th, Barclays Center presents “Ladies Night R&B Super Jam,” with Xscaoe, Bobby Brown, Bell Biv Devoe, K-CI & JoJo, Faith Evans, Tank, Stokley (of Mint Condition) and Blackstreet. The Bell House closes out February with two nights of Modern Lovers founder Jonathan Richman with Tommy Larkins on drums.

New Music Update

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Andrew VanWyngarden / photo by Al Pereira

MGMT’s long-awaited fourth album, Little Dark Age, debuts February 9. The duo’s current tour includes shows at Kings Theatre and Brooklyn Steel on March 24 and 25, respectively. On February 15, First Acoustics present Carolann Solebello’s Hometown CD Release show. The new album, the follow-up to 2014’s Steel and Salt, is called Shiver. The following evening, Brooklyn Raga Massive presents a CD release party for Sameer Gupta’s A Circle Has No Beginning at Littlefield. The Brandee Younger Trio will open the show. Lucius’ new acoustic album, Nudes, is slated for a March 2 debut. Williamsburg duo Matt and Kim have a brand new single and video called “Forever.” You can catch it online now and hear them sing it live when the play Brooklyn Steel n April 28. India-born Marine Park singer-songwriter Nishi Rajan is currently finishing production on her new album Master of My Fate; stay tuned. Belated congrats to Fabolous and Jadakiss, whose Friday on Elm Street debuted at number 10 on the Billboard 200 in December. For Brooklyn rapper Fabolous, this is his sixth top 10 album.

Beyond Brooklyn

Joan Osborne / HBL photo

Joan Osborne / photo by © Howard B. Leibowitz / B.L.Howard Productions

Local artists playing just across the East River in February include Joan Osborne at Highline Ballroom on the 10th, American Nomads the following evening at Mercury Lounge, and Garland Jeffreys at City Winery on the 24th.