The summer concert season is upon us and the Hidden Track staff knows that it’s virtually impossible for us to afford every show we want to hit, and still be able to pay our insanely expensive New York City rents. Luckily for us, there are a plethora of fantastic free concerts throughout the summer that don’t cost a dime. We decided to weed through all the listings and present to you our 4th Annual NYC Free Summer Concert Picks. Let’s take a look…
Where: Central Park Summerstage
When: Saturday, June 11, 7:00PM
Official Info: The trio’s combination of jazz, funk, “avant-noise” and a million other musical impulses is nearly impossible to classify. Wide open: That’s the phrase that describes Medeski Martin & Wood’s musical sensibilities, attitude, and the spirit of adventure that the band has pursued for over two decades. The trio’s combination of jazz, funk, “avant-noise” and a million other musical impulses is nearly impossible to classify. Although the “jazz spirit” has been ever-present in their songs, the group has won over a substantial audience that is packed with alternative-rock lovers, jam-band aficionados and jazz heads.
The King Froopy All-Stars is an electric 12-piece project from celebrated trombonist and composer Josh Roseman. Featuring some of the edgiest voices harvested from Brooklyn’s new jazz scene, this electro-acoustic supergroup focuses world beat, spontaneous improvisation, dub, satire and psychedelia through Roseman’s unconventional lens. Able to simultaneously compel both your feet and the neocortex, this is what AAJ has called, “jazz-tinged party music with a master’s degree.”
AlasNoAxis is the culmination of famed jazz drummer, Jim Black’s years of experience on stage and in the studio with some of the world’s greatest composers and improvisors. The band’s 2000 self-titled debut, established a new standard for the cross-fertilization of rock, electro-acoustic and jazz, becoming the standard-bearer of “future jazz” and thrilling listeners with its powerhouse combination of virtuosity, rock emotion and noisy catharsis.
Other Free Shows At Central Park Summerstage: 6/22 – Reggie Watts / Natasha Leggero, 6/25 – Lee Fields & The Expressions / Fitz & The Tantrums / Andreya Triana / Rich Medina, 6/26 – Hugh Maskela / Freshly Ground / Somi, 6/29 – Comedy Central Park w. Jim Gaffigan & John Pinette, 7/2 – Everybody Love The Sunshine – Roy Ayers & The Jazz Mafia Symphony, 7/27 – Wanda Jackson / Imelda May, 8/6 – Shelebration! A Tribute To The Words Of Shel Silverstein, 8/7 – Friendly Fires / The Naked & Famous / Cults, 8/20 – Tiken Jah Fakoly / Meta & The Cornerstones / Los Rakas, 8/21 – Rakim / EPMD / Funkmaster Flex
READ ON for the rest of our list of free summer concerts in NYC…
The summer concert season is upon us and the Hidden Track staff know that it’s virtually impossible for us to afford every show we want to hit, and still be able to pay our insanely expensive New York City rents. Luckily for us, there are a plethora of fantastic free concerts throughout the summer that don’t cost a dime. We decided to weed through all the listings and present to you our 3rd Annual NYC Free Summer Concert Picks. Let’s take a look…
HT Recommends: She & Him / Oakley Hall
Where: The Beach @ Governors Island
When: Sunday, July 4, Beach Opens At 10 AM, Show 4 PM
Official Info: She & Him make music for an eternal springtime, when the temperature is warm enough to go riding with the top (or at least the windows) rolled down and the radio turned up. They occupy an alternate universe where the saddest of songs feel as warm as sun showers; the rain may be coming down, but somewhere nearby, everything looks bright. What began as a fascinating, no-strings attached collaboration on 2008’s Volume One has evolved into a bona fide, touring band, and She & Him are here to stay. Zooey Deschanel and Matt Ward are as comfortable and complementary a musical pair as Les Paul and Mary Ford; hearing them again on Volume Two feels like getting together with two old friends. This time, the harmonies have grown more angelically layered, the string arrangements more dramatic, the songwriting even sharper and more confident. But, as with Volume One, the prevailing mood is bittersweet, dreamy, and romantic.
Other Free Shows At Governors Island: 6/5 – Yeasayer, 7/3 – Portugal. The Man / Alberta Cross, 7/10 – Lucero, 7/16 – Caribou / Phantogram / The Chain Gang of 1974, 8/8 – Josh Ritter & The Royal City Band / Justin Townes Earle / Dawn Landes & The Hounds, 8/14 – Neon Indian, 8/15 – Dr. Dog / Cheif
READ ON for the rest of our list of free summer concerts in NYC…
Looking back through the annals of rock journalism, just three publications carry the historical clout to be considered in the upper crust of music scribble: Rolling Stone, Creem, and the Village Voice. Rolling Stone, of course, wielded(s) the biggest brand name and Creem threw its weight behind being the badass on the block. The Village Voice on the other hand, while bohemian, paved its way relatively quietly with great writers, a careful focus on the written word, and of course, the best location.
When current shopkeep of the Voice’s storied music department, Rob Harvilla, took over for Chuck Eddy back in 2006 (shortly after the New Times bought the paper), he slid into a pair of rather large shoes. Not merely did he face filling the void left behind by the beloved Eddy, but also followed in a long line of Mohinder Surresh-caliber verbose superheroes like Greil Marcus and Robert Christgau. And perhaps most challenging, he came into the leadership fold right in the thick of the changeover between old and new media. In other words, Harvilla had his work cut out for him in carrying the the Village Voice’s high standard for musical credibility into the digital age. Fortunately for longtime Voice readers, he’s done a tremendous job and taken it all in stride.
Hidden Track: I read somewhere that you discovered your passion for music journalism while sitting in the waiting room at the dentist reading a Rolling Stone. Do you remember what article you read?
Rob Harvilla: Orthodontist, actually. Dr. Pfister. P-F. No specific article, but I can remember covers (first of my own subscription: Eddie Van Halen), specific features (Cosmic Thing B-52s), a few reviews (how can this guy not like They Might Be Giants?), etc. From that period I also remember that either Time or Newsweek did an Alternative Rock! cover story that broke the genre down into different categories and alleged that if I liked TMBG, I’d love Butthole Surfers, which remains to this day the single worst piece of advice I have ever received.
READ ON for more with Rob Harvilla of the Village Voice…