If you haven’t yet made plans for New Year’s Eve (and you don’t already have My Morning Jacket tickets for their Madison Square Garden show), you might want to consider Ms. Patti Smith for your evening’s festivities. While Smith doesn’t exactly have a new studio album to promote, she’s certainly been in the headlines this year. July saw the release of The Coral Sea—a live rendering of a Smith poem of the same name, and one dedicated to her good friend Robert Mapplethorpe, backed by My Bloody Valentine’s Kevin Shields on guitar. And then ther’es Dream of Life—Steven Sebring’s epic documentary on Smith’s music and life—released the following month.
The goddess of the Bowery plays the Bowery Ballroom (appropriately enough) on December 30 and 31. And while we can’t promise Shields will show up, we can promise a real good time. [Tickets on sale: Friday, November 7 at noon]
If it weren’t for Scott Hutchison’s endearing Scottish brogue and unfailingly catchy songs, Frightened Rabbit would be just another indie rock band with a silly name. But on their sophomore record, The Midnight Organ Fight, the Glasgow quartet do the old jangle ’n’ moan with such wit and conviction, you’ll stop worrying about all the tired grievances lodged in their songs. Somehow “The Modern Leper” and “Head Rolls Off” make boyhood crises—romantic, existential, and otherwise—fun again. Whine away your evening with Scott and the boys at their just-announced Bowery Ballroom gig on January 17. [Tickets on sale now]
If you recruited Sonic Youth circa 1987 and replaced Steve Shelley with Lighting Bolt drummer Brian Chippendale, they might sound like HEALTH. Or, using more contemporary reference points, if you replaced Boredoms frontman Yamatsuka Eye with the Liars’ Angus Young, you might end up with tunes that approximate HEALTH’s self-titled debut. Point is, the Los Angeles quartet makes a blistering racket with expert precision… and you can sorta dance to it. The boys bring their day-glow chaos to the Knitting Factory this Friday with Video Hippos, Dirty Projectors bassist Angel Deradoorian, and DJ Marty McSorley. [Tickets on sale now]
On the other hand, we could all use a couple hours to decompress after such a long and brutal campaign. And since we haven’t said much about classical music lately anyway, we thought we’d mention a few performances over at Lincoln Center. World famous Chinese pianist Lang Lang is in the midst of a four-night engagement at Avery Fisher Hall performing Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 1. The concerto is paired with Bruckner’s Symphony No. 9 conducted by Christoph Eschenbach. Tickets for tonight’s show and Friday’s are on sale now. (Saturday’s performance is sold out.) And next week, Stravinsky’s classic Firebird Suite comes to Avery Fisher Hall for three nights with Andrey Boreyko conducting. Tickets on sale now.