Saturday, Sept. 9: Ear Op finds the veteran New Paltz trio opting, for the very first time, not to self-produce. The Doggies called upon the New Paltz-based indie- and post-rock producer Kevin McMahon. McMahon is best-known for his work with the epic punk group Titus Andronicus, the avant-noise legends Swans, the clinical indie guitar-pop band Real Estate and some other nationally known acts.
Friday-Sunday, September 8-10: The Meltasia Festival offers much to differentiate itself from ordinary music festivals: B-movies, a haunted mansion, wiffleball games, pool parties and goats, to name a few. Last year, Meltasia was held in the high-concept setting of the long-abandoned Catskill Game Farm. Great in theory, but this year they’ve upgraded the digs to the Blackthorne Resort in East Durham.
Friday, Sept. 1: You need to accept – acquiesce to – Sting’s default pieties and pretensions. That’s just him. Get over it. Once you’ve done that, be prepared to be impressed both by the musical craftiness of these new confessional songs, and ultimately, by their courageously awkward honesty.
Friday-Saturday, August 25-26: Silencio will be making two regional appearances in tribute to the music of the enduringly popular and recently revived television show Twin Peaks, which is to say the music of Angelo Badalamenti. Badalamenti’s evocative soundtracks (and songs co-written with series creator David Lynch) combine unironic sentimentality with jet-set swank and all kinds of creeping menace, which is just another name for “Lynch.”
Saturday, August 26: He jumps on as the headliner of an already well-stocked Americana lineup at the Livestock Music Festival in Bovina.
Saturday, August 19: Any other jazz eminences have stumbled on the rocks of Harvey Fite’s spectacular sculpture park, including local residents and jazz titans like DeJohnette, Holland, Abercrombie and (one-time local resident) Metheny. Still, there is something pretty special about this one: drummer Jimmy Cobb, the last surviving member of Miles Davis’ Kind of Blue ensemble (a group that included John Coltrane, Bill Evans and Cannonball Adderley) takes to the rocks.
Friday, August 18: In symphonies and other large-scale orchestral works, composers stake their claims, craft their legacies and position themselves in the traditions. Chamber works and – especially – solo piano music, on the other hand, are more likely to be the composer’s secret heart-songs and experimental diaries. This is why I so much prefer them.
Tuesday & Wednesday, August 15-16: Brooklyn art-rock celebrities Grizzly Bear are not only back-room material, but also material enough for two nights of it.
Saturday, August 12: From the podium and in his capacity as artistic director, longtime Hudson Valley Philharmonic conductor Randall Craig Fleisher has been a highly visible bridge-builder between the Big Show wing of classical music and the world of pop – especially rock – music.
The festival runs from August 11-20, and includes 16 musical programs and discussion panels. Pieces range from solo piano to opera, and include not just the eponymous composer, but others from the 19th century.