Friday, July 30, 2010

Newport Folk Festival - Live Webcasts

The Newport Folk Festival is this weekend, and NPR Music is again webcasting a number of shows this weekend. You can find NPR's Newport Folk Festival home page here, along with a schedule of webcasts.

Many of these webcasts will probably be archived for streaming later on, and some will likely be available for downloading as podcasts.

They are webcasting roughly from 12 Noon to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday (actually starting at 11:40 a.m. tomorrow and 11:30 Sunday). Here's the schedule (all times Eastern):

Saturday, July 31
11:40 a.m. - Sarah Jarosz
12:35 p.m. - The Low Anthem
1:30 p.m. - Nneka
2:20 p.m. - Blitzen Trapper
3:25 p.m. - Yim Yames (Jim James of My Morning Jacket)
4:30 p.m. - Andrew Bird
5:45 p.m. - O'Death
6:05 p.m. - John Prine

Sunday, August 1
11:30 a.m. - Tao Rodriguez-Seeger
12:20 p.m. - Horse Feathers
12:35 p.m. - Sharon Jones And The Dap-Kings
1:35 p.m. - A.A. Bondy
2:05 p.m. - Preservation Hall Jazz Band
3:10 p.m. - Punch Brothers, featuring Chris Thile
3:45 p.m. - The Avett Brothers
4:25 p.m. - The Swell Season
5:30 p.m. - TBD

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Free NYC Concerts This Week: Sonic Youth, Ted Leo, St. Vincent, Wailin' Jennys, More

If you didn't manage to get tickets to the Black Keys paid benefit concerts at Summerstage (today and tomorrow), well, there's still plenty of good live music happening in New York this week, including lots of free stuff.

Here's a quick look at just some of the highlight of what's coming up for free NYC concerts this week:
Tuesday, July 27
* Summerstage: R&B group Blue Magic (remember the hit "Sideshow"?) - Tappen Park, Staten Island, 7 p.m.

* Summerstage: The Metropolitan Opera: Summer Recital Series featuring Monica Yunus, Matthew Plenk, Donovan Singletary, and Jonathan Kelly - Queensbridge Park, Queens, 7 p.m. (also at Jackie Robinson Park on Thursday)

Wednesday, July 28
* Summerstage: jazz and Caribbean singer and player Olu Dara - Queensbridge Park, Queens, 7 p.m.

Madison Square Music: Canadian female singing trio The Wailin' Jennys - Madison Square Park, 7 p.m.

Thursday, July 29
* Seaside Concert Series: '80s rockers George Thorogood & the Destroyers and Southside Johnny & the Asbury Jukes - Asser Levy/Seaside Park, 7:30 p.m.

Friday, July 30
* South St. Seaport: pop rockers Avi Buffalo and Chad VanGaalen, South Street Seaport Pier 17, 6 p.m.

Saturday, July 31
* Celebrate Brooklyn: Sonic Youth, Grass Widow, and Talk Normal, Prospect Park, 7 p.m.

* Summerstage: global pop superstars Jovanotti, Los Amigos Invisibles, and Natalia Lafourcade - Central Park, 3 p.m.

Sunday, August 1
* Summerstage: a trio of great female singer-songwriters: St. Vincent (Annie Clark), tUnEyArDs, and Basia Bulat - Central Park, 3 p.m.
Jelly NYC Pool PartyTed Leo & the Pharmacists, Brooklyn Bowl, 6 p.m.

As for non-free concerts, here's one that sounds like fun (two, actually): the 30th anniversary celebration of music magazine The Big Takeover, with two shows at the Bell House in Brooklyn July 30th and 31st. Friday's show features The Avengers, The Libertines U.S., Visqueen, Channel 3, Flower, Springhouse, and EDP. Saturday's lineup has Mark Burgess, For Against, Springhouse, Sleepover Disaster, Jon Auer, Don McGlashan, The Sharp Things, and Steve Drewett of The (Newtown) Neurotics.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Arcade Fire Will Stream August 5th NYC Show LIVE on YouTube

Arcade Fire announced last week that it will be streaming its August 5th concert live from Madison Square Garden, the second of its two New York City shows. (The first concert on August 4th is sold out, but it seems there are still tickets available for the 5th.)

The band's new album, "The Suburbs," will be released on August 3rd, with eight (slightly) different album covers.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

St. Ann's Italian Festival in Hoboken, July 21-26 - Free Live Music (Plus Food & Fun)

Besides all the free music in New York City this week, there's some fun no-cost live entertainment in my neck of the woods, too. The St. Ann's Italian Festival in Hoboken is a much-anticipated event each summer, and the 2010 festival — celebrating 100 years — takes place from July 21st to July 26th. The Festival takes place at 7th and Jefferson Streets, easily accessible via mass transit (see NJ Transit website,

The official St. Ann's Italian Festival website has more information and details on the events and performers, but here's a brief recap of the musical acts on this year's bill (entertainment starts at 8:15 each night):

* Thursday, July 22: Jay and the Americans
* Friday, July 23: The Nerds
* Saturday, 7/24: Ryan Pelton - Tribute to the King (that would be Elvis, not Michael Jackson)
* Sunday, 7/25: The Stylistics
* Monday, 7/26: Cristina Fontanelli & the Jordan Thomas Orchestra

As always, there will be games and lots and lots of food, including Italian sausage, calzones, zeppole, cannoli, and much more. Enjoy!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

2010 Virgin Mobile Festival Lineup Announced

The performers that will play the 2010 Virgin Mobile Festival were announced today, July 20th. As usual, it's a good lineup, and for the second year in a row, the concert is being presented FREE. (As with last year, Virgin is promoting this concert as the "Virgin FreeFest.")

This year's Virgin Mobile Festival/FreeFest takes place September 25th and will be held at the Merriweather Post Pavilion and surrounding grounds in Columbia, Maryland. Although tickets are free, it's first come, first serve, and you'll need to go to Virgin Mobile Festival ticket website,, starting at 10 a.m. on Saturday.

The acts announced today (more may be forthcoming):
* M.I.A. * Pavement * Jimmy Eat World * Joan Jett and the Blackhearts * Ludacris * The Temper Trap * LCD Soundsystem * Yeasayer * Matt & Kim * T.I. * Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeroes * Chromeo * Neon Indian * Sleigh Bells

For updates on the Virgin Mobile Festival/FreeFest and information on how to get tickets, visit the website at or the festival's Twitter page,

Monday, July 19, 2010

Beach Boys*, Burning Spear, The Antlers, Antibalas, Comedy Central, & More in a Big Week for Free NYC Concerts

Left: The Beach Boys (shown here in 2008) play a free show in Coney Island this Thursday (details below). Photo: Flickr user Wonker Wonker

There have been a lot of fun free concerts in NYC this summer, but this week is jam-packed with a diverse range of great entertainment (including the Beach Boys, The Antlers, and Antibalas on Thursday alone). (UPDATE: see Note below re: Beach Boys lineup.)

Here's a quick look at just some of the highlight of what's coming up for free NYC concerts this week:

Tuesday, July 20
* Summerstage: The Metropolitan Opera: Summer Recital Series Featuring Susanna Phillips, Michael Fabiano, & Pianist Jonathan Kelly - Brooklyn Bridge Park, Brooklyn, 7 p.m.
* Summerstage: Lisa Lisa - Tappen Park, Staten Island, 7 p.m.

Wednesday, July 21
* Summerstage: Comedy Central Park presents The Daily Show and Friends, hosted by Lewis Black - Central Park, 8 p.m.
* Summerstage: Pharoahe Monch, Hosted by Danny Castro of Lyricist Lounge - Queensbridge Park, Queens, 7 p.m.
* Madison Square Music: Somi and John Ellis & Double Wide, Madison Square Park, 6 p.m.
* River to River: Burning Spear - Rockefeller Park (River Terrace at North End Avenue and Warren Streets), 7 p.m.

Thursday, July 22
* Seaside Concert Series: Beach Boys, The Turtles, Micky Dolenz (of The Monkees), and Mark Lindsay (of Paul Revere & The Raiders) - Asser Levy/Seaside Park, Coney Island, 7:30 p.m. (*NOTE: Though it doesn't say this on the concert's website the Beach Boys lineup playing Coney Island is the Mike Love/Bruce Johnston configuration; Love has apparently licensed the Beach Boys name. Brian Wilson is not part of this lineup.)
* RiverRocks: Brooklyn's The Antlers and Dinosaur Feathers, Pier 54, doors: 6 p.m.
* River to River: Antibalas - (Afrobeat band that's also in Broadway's "Fela!"), Castle Clinton, 7 p.m. (tickets distributed starting at 5 p.m.)

Friday, July 23
* Summerstage: The Main Ingredient - Rochdale Park, Queens, 7 p.m.
* South St. Seaport: indie rock with Free Energy and Best Coast with Loose Limbs, South Street Seaport Pier 17, 6 p.m.

(Also: Sheryl Crow performing on Good Morning America and John Mayer on The Today Show.)

Sunday, July 25
* Summerstage: Bassekou Kouyate & Ngoni Ba, Burkina Electric, Fool's Gold, and DJ Frank of Voodoo Funk - Central Park, 3 p.m.

Friday, July 16, 2010

More Free NYC Concerts: Caribou, We Are Scientists, Thee Oh See, More

The embarrassment of riches in free concerts in New York continues this weekend and next week. Besides the Siren Festival and other shows we wrote about a few days ago, there are some other tasty free concerts going on:
* Caribou, Phantogram, and The Chain Gang of 1974 TONIGHT at The Beach at Governors Island, 6 p.m. (first come, first serve, so get there early)
* Thee Oh Sees with Golden Triangle and So Cow TONIGHT at Seaport Music, 6 p.m.
* "Summer Stock NYC 2010: An Evening of Broadway Blockbusters" - Sunday, July 18, Schimmel Center at Pace University, 5 p.m.
* We Are Scientists - Saturday, July 17, Sound Fix Records, Willliamsburg, Brooklyn, 8 p.m.

And the hit parade continues next week — with free shows by Burning Spear, the Beach Boys, The Antlers, Antibalas, and more.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Siren Festival Headlines Free New York Concerts

Above: Matt & Kim (shown here at Lollapalooza 2007) headline the 2010 Siren Festival. Photo: Tammy Lo.

The Fourth of July is over, the there are plenty of fireworks coming up for the rest of the month as far as free music in New York is concerned. The big event of this week is the annual Siren Festival on Coney Island, sponsored by the Village Voice. Here are details on that and some other notable free concerts in New York this week:

* David Bromberg Quartet at Madison Square Park: The longtime singer, songwriter, and session guitarist (for folks including Bob Dylan and The Eagles) returns to the stage, this time with a quartet. David Bromberg puts on a good, rocking show, based on the times I saw him back in the 1980s with the much larger David Bromberg Band.

* 10th annual Siren Festival at Coney Island: I finally made it to my first Siren Festival last year and wasn't disappointed: the Coney Island setting, the lineup of quality bands, the two stages, watching live rock bands as the Cyclone rollercoaster whizzed by.

This year's Siren Festival has another good lineup, headlined by Matt and Kim, Ted Leo & the Pharmacists, Holy F*ck, Cymbals Eat Guitars, Screaming Females, and more. The festival runs from 12 Noon to 9 p.m., so pray for good weather and come out for a long day of live music. See the full Siren Festival schedule with set times here.

* African Festival at Celebrate Brooklyn: Congolese thumb-piano wizards Konono No. 1 headline the annual African festival concert at Celebrate Brooklyn at Prospect Park. The show also includes Senegalese pioneers Omar Pene and Super Diamono, Zimbabwean singer Chiwoniso, reggae band Meta & The Cornerstones, and horns and drums from Haitian group Djarara.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Jimmy Cliff Plays Free Central Park SummerStage Show Sunday

Above: Reggae pioneer (and Rock & Roll Hall of Fame member) Jimmy Cliff performs at SummerStage Sunday. Photo: Philippe Jimenez

Now that the Great Eastern Heat Wave of 2010 has broken (for a couple of days, at least), it might be worth venturing out to a live outdoor show. And Central Park SummerStage has a great one on Sunday, July 11th: Jamaican reggae legend Jimmy Cliff headlining a bill with two younger reggae-influenced roots musicians, Trevor Hall from South Carolina and Victor Démé from the African nation of Burkina Faso.

Jimmy Cliff, best known for writing the songs to (and starring in) "The Harder They Come," was inducted into the latest class of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The show starts at 3 p.m., which puts it in the same time frame as the World Cup final, but you can always check game updates on your mobile phone, right?

Friday, July 02, 2010

Free Fourth of July Concerts in NYC: Rosanne Cash, She & Him on Governors Island

Above: Rosanne Cash plays New York's Governors Island in a free Fourth of July concert. Here she and bandmate (and husband) John Leventhal are seen playing a Fourth of July show last year in Minnesota. Photo: Jonathunder

New York is famous for the free Macy's Fourth of July fireworks, but there's a lot more going on for the nation's birthday, including free music. Two excellent choices are the free pop-rock concerts that happen to be taking place on the same island--no, not Manhattan, but Governors Island. And both take place in the afternoon, giving you plenty of time to catch the fireworks.

In one show, singer-songwriter Rosanne Cash plays and sings her blend of pop, folk, country, and rock music. A daughter of Johnny Cash, she has more than 10 albums under her belt, the most recent of which is "The List," covers of classic tunes she learned from her father.

The free Rosanne Cash concert runs from 2 to 4 p.m. at the Colonels Row section of Governors Island.

Also on Governors Island is the latest free show in the Water Taxi Beach series, featuring She and Him. If you're not familiar with this band, "she" is multitalented actress/singer Zooey Deschanel, and the "him" is indie singer-songwriter Matt Ward, who has recorded a number of albums under the name M. Ward. They play bright, catchy tunes--as their website says, "They occupy an alternate universe where the saddest of songs feel as warm as sun showers."

Their latest album is the imaginatively titled "She and Him: Volume Two."

The free She and Him show runs from 4 to 6 p.m., and though it's free only the first 3,500 customers will be admitted, so get there early.

See the Governors Island blog for details on both shows, including links for directions and ferry schedule to Governors Island.

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Canada Day Focus: Sarah McLachlan Back with New Album, Lilith Fair

OK, Canada Day is pretty much over (except for people on the West Coast), but thought I'd post this late article on one of the most successful musicians from the Great White North, Sarah McLachlan. She's just started performing on the revival of Lilith Fair (which, appropriately enough, played a show in Vancouver on Canada Day).

It's been 10 years since McLachlan first started Lilith Fair, which went on for three consecutive summers (she says she never planned for it to go on indefinitely), and there have been a lot of changes since then: for the music industry and for McLachlan.

Downloads (legal and illegal) are the biggest means of music distribution these days. As for McLachlan, she is now divorced and has two daughters. With the girls getting a bit older, she and her Lilith co-producers felt the time was right to resurrect Lilith Fair. And McLachlan is back with a new album, "Laws of Illusion," which dropped on June 15th.

It's definitely a challenging economic environment in which to stage a cross-country North American tour. The promoters announced today that 10 Lilith Fair dates had to be cancelled; others had previously been moved to smaller venues. (Fortunately the Lilith concert I'm attending, the July 31st New York/New Jersey show, is still a go.)

You can find a live session McLachlan did for Starbucks above (22 minutes). And you can read an article and see a bit of discussion and singing she did for the Wall Street Journal's "Speakeasy" blog.

Sarah McLachlan has gotten a lot of other press attention, too, which is good to see: you'll find a Los Angeles Times article on McLachlan here, and one from Reuters here, titled "Sarah McLachlan Resurfaces With New Album, Tour."

Good luck to Sarah McLachlan on Lilith Fair 2010, and Happy Canada Day!