Lukas Ligeti | Juana Molina @ Le Passion Rouge

When I saw Ligeti as part of the wordless series, I though there would be a special rendition from the unique composer. I was sad to realize that it was NY composer-percussionist Lukas Ligeti on stage experimenting with classical and electronic combinations. At times interesting but mostly discordant muddy sounds.

I’ve been following Juana Molina’s musical career for several years and I am constantly impressed with her unique blend of ambient, electronic and folky music. Her new album “Un Dia” is rich with textured melodies and easily one of her best releases to date. Every time that I have seen her perform she has played solo carefully layering her sounds with the aid of a looping device. I jumped at the chance to finally see her perform with a full band. Accompanied by a bassist and drummer her songs were much more dynamic and allowed her to fully realize her beautifully complex songs live. She had a lively and sold out crowd that gave her an overwhelming reception. For her encore the trio played 1 final new song and a rhythmic 3 cup monte flipping and banging the cups in a choreographed melody. I had her songs buzzing and repeating in my head many hours later. Easily the best musical concert so far this year.

Brooklyn Symphony w/ Clogs and Bell Orchestre @ BAM

The Brooklyn Philharmonic shared the stage with The Bell Orchestre and Clogs to create a unique dialogue of classical music. Each band took turns playing their compositions and at times together. It was definitely a night of musical collaboration even including special guests Sufjan Stevens and Shara Worden of My Brightest Diamond.  They performed original works as well as masterpieces from composers such as Mahler, Piazzolla, and John Adams. Overall a very rewarding night of music.

Tim Fite | Benjy Ferree @ The Bell House.

Unfortunately I only caught the tail end of Benjy Ferree’s set but what I heard was pretty good and I’ll have to catch him the next time he’s in town.

Clearly sick with the flu, Tim Fite still came out to play his quirky set of music and performance art. I always enjoy seeing Tim play his music live as you can really feel his creative spirit on stage. His songs are engaging and quickly jump from genre to genre. To protect the crowd from getting sick he passed out surgical masks and threw out cough drops. Although the crowd thinned out after Benjy Ferree, those that remained clearly enjoyed the show.

Some pictures. (currently giving away a pretty good EP there)

Balthrop, AL @ Union Hall

I made a decision to see Balthrop, Alabama again after they gave an entertaining show at Mercury Lounge the year before. I was more intrigued how they were going to fit all the band members on the very small stage. And no, they didn’t all fit, They played a very fun set of folk country jams with live drawings displayed on the screen onstage. They have a new album coming out in the beginning of March and I enjoyed the new tunes live. Lauren Balthrop was a little tipsy throughout the night which gave the show some added entertainment. Still a fun band to see live and I may have developed a crush on Miss Georgiana.

Some pictures.

Beirut @ Music Hall of Williamsburgh

There is no question that Beirut composes some very amazing and addictive songs, unfortunately they are spread out over multiple albums with lots of filler in between. The musical genius of  Zach Condon didn’t explode tonight and didn’t live up to what I’ve seen in the past. The songs were slowed down and the entire evening seemed to be underwater. The most interesting part of the evening was when Björk spilled some beer on Tara which almost prompted a heated throw-down. Zach has a bright and long future ahead of him, I just hope he starts pushing his recordings and live performances some more.