Live Choices 9/3-9/9: Synth Libraries, Punk Jazz and a MacArthur Genius

Dance late on Labor Day eve, support your local synth library, find punks mixing with jazz players and Afrobeat kung-fu practitioners.

Live Choices 9/3-9/9: Synth Libraries, Punk Jazz and a MacArthur Genius

As you likely know by now, Bklyner is ceasing publication on Friday, September 10th, which means that next week’s Bklyn Sounds column and coverage will be the last ones you find here, at least for a while.

Bklyn Sounds was always meant to be for the local lay-readers, not music nerds or hipsters. My goal is to convey the importance of music to the fabric of our community and find readers who loved music, who participated in the discovery of its new (or less covered) practitioners, and who were willing to take a chance on something, especially if that was happening in their neighborhood.

Please continue to support your local and independent art and music community, and the independent outlets who bring them to your attention (especially with your dollars, if you have some to spare). Please don’t forget to tell these artists, writers, photographers, musicians, event producers and publishers how much their work means to you (positive feedback is important when you feel like you;re screaming into a full-force gale). And most of all: Please be safe and use best practices when attending live music events, but do not stop going.  


Launched last spring, the Synth Library NYC is an amazing resource for city musickers, providing its members with inexpensive rentals of equipment, and becoming a community point for democratizing music technology. On Friday (9/3) evening, the organization is holding a fundraiser at H0L0 on the border of Bushwick and Ridgewood, featuring DJ sets by DJ Haram, the Love Injection DJs, Donis and other local faves. (1090 Wyckoff Avenue, 5 pm, $10adv/$15)

Chameleon, by Anthony Naples
from the album Chameleon

Since dropping his first single “Mad Disrespect” almost a decade ago, Anthony Naples has been a cornerstone of Brooklyn’s dance and electronic community. Grounded in techno/house but not bound by genre orthodoxies as a producer/DJ, while championing great locals like DJ Python and Beta Librae on his Brooklyn label Incienso. Friday (9/3), Naples celebrates the release of his new album Chameleon, with a record release show on Elsewhere’s Bushwick rooftop. (599 Johnson, 6 pm, $20)

Two great improvised music shows on Saturday (9/4):

Increminced, by Tim Berne/Matt Mitchell Duo
from the album Spiders

Saxophonist Tim Berne has been a decades-long stalwart in the city’s free jazz community, while pianist Matt Mitchell is well on his way there. They’ve played duo shows for a few years now, and issued a recording of one last fall. This performance at Soapbox Gallery in Prospect Heights, will see two veteran musicians in full control of their (by-design) out-of-control environment. (636 Dean, 8 pm, $25)

A three-layered, experimental “WOW” bill at Williamsburg’s Union Pool: The fantastic (first-time?) trio of hardcore-meets-improv drummer Ryan Sawyer, interstellar folk jammer Steve Gunn on guitar and multi-instrumentalist jack-of-all trades Shahzad Ismaily may be the new-music draw. But show up early for the seasoned multi-instrumentalist pairing of Samara Lubelski and C. Spencer Yeh, and a solo set by the incredible Lester St. Louis (cello in jaimie branch’s Fly or Die, but known to rock the bass clarinet, amongst other devices). Cross-pollinating fireworks potential too. (484 Union, 8 pm, $15)

Deeper Than (Feat. Tane), by Malik Hendricks
from the album Cutting Shapes

No work on Monday means more reason to go out dancing late on Sunday (9/5) — and no better place to do it than at Nowadays, on the border of Bushwick and Ridgewood. I’ve written on multiple occasions about the landmark afternoon party Mister Sunday (if you’ve never been, treat yourself); but as tradition dictates, Labor Day eve also sees a rare night-time after-party, and this year’s features the DJing of Malik Hendricks, whose jazz-inflected house music is in constant Bklyn Sounds rotation. Also: an as-yet-unannounced “special guest.” (56-06 Cooper, 9 pm, $10)

Abraham “Duke” Amayo is the co-founding lead singer and percussionist of the mighty Antibalas, New York’s orchestral afrobeat institution for more than two decades now. Amayo’s Fu-Arkist-Ra has been around almost as long, a group of musicians Amayo gathered to mix African spiritual rhythms and stories with traditional Chinese lion rhythms (Amayo is a martial arts master), under the big band ideals of Sun Ra’s Arkestra. On Wednesday (9/8), they’ll try to fit into the restrictive confines of Bed-Stuy’s Bar Lunatico. Expect something special! (484 Halsey, 9 pm, $10 suggested)

Muzzling Unwashed, by Mary Halvorson’s Code Girl
from the album Artlessly Falling

As befits a MacArthur Genius grant recipient, jazz guitarist/composer Mary Halvorson puts in an enormous amount of work in numerous creative directions. On Wednesday (9/8) & Thursday (9/9) she kicks off the new season at Downtown Brooklyn independent arts temple Roulette with a double program: “Amaryllis” is a jazz sextet which includes her longtime collaborators trumpeter Adam O’Farrill and drummer Tomas Fujiwara; and “Belladonna” is a set of compositions written specifically for Halvorson and The Mivos (String) Quartet. (509 Atlantic, 8 pm, $25)

Tunnel To Light, by Laplante / Nazary
from the album Tunnel To Light

As I mentioned when writing about Red Hook’s 360 Record Shop for RSD, it is a community hang-out that puts on great spontaneous shows. One such excellent local bill will take place on Thursday (9/9), featuring a pair of improvisation duos — Travis LaPlante (saxophone) and Jason Nazary (drums), who are celebrating their new album Tunnel To Light, as well as jaimie branch (trumpet) and Tcheser Holmes (drums) — as well as a wonderful free music quartet of Joanna Mattrey (viola), Tim Angulo (drums), Laura Cocks (flute) and Henry Fraser (bass). (360 Van Brunt, 8 pm, $TBD)

Stand Your Ground, by Blacks’ Myths
from the album Blacks’ Myths II

This is where we salute local musicians getting bigger gigs. Thursday (9/9) (and Friday, actually) will find the post-hardcore Brooklyn-meets-DC duo of electric bassist Luke Stewart and drummer Trae Crudup III, aka The Blacks’ Myths, showing up at the newly reopened Music Hall of Williamsburg to open for Tuareg electric-guitar deity M’Dou Moctar (whose own Brooklyn “roots” include an American live debut at Greenpoint’s Academy Records). Gonna be an intense night of new-generation “rock” music. (66 N. 6th, 9 pm, $22 adv/$25 door)