Music never goes out of style.
By Sean McAlindin
Music is about style as much as anything else. From prohibition flappers and early rock ’n’ rollers to hippie seekers, gutter punks, hip-hop MCs and emo kids—the freshest musical trends are defined by radical fashion and a self-possessed flair. So, whether you’re more into bellbottoms and faux fur or leather and chains, it’s time to don your finest threads and hit the scene. Here are our picks for the hottest live concerts to see and be seen this fall season in the mountains.
The Falcon in Marlboro never fails to provide a world-class lineup, but what stands out most about this season is owner Lee Falco’s commitment to diversity and global culture. Want to see some international style? Check out the Odessa gangster folk of Ukrainian ensemble Kommuna Lux on September 14, Irish songwriting heartthrob Mick Flannery on September 30, Mexico City marimba punks Son Rompe Pera on September 24, ethnographic bandleader Kavita Shah & Cape Verdean Blues on October 1, Colombian percusivo-vocal trio La Perla on October 5 and Burkina Faso’s Baba Commandant & The Mandingo Band on October 26.
The Stissing Center in Pine Plains specializes in bringing multicultural artists to our rural region. Experience the captivating rhythms of the Camarada Tango Quartet on September 17 and Caña Dulce y Caña Brava of Veracruz, México on October 21.
Iconic Portland feminist Luz Elena Mendoza Ramos of Y La Bamba shares her experimental alternative visions at the magnificent Opus 40 sculpture park in Saugerties on September 28.
At Levon Helm Studios, down-home quality leads the way with bluegrass supergroup Mighty Poplar on September 23 and Aussie indie rockers The Paper Kites & The Roadhouse House Band with The Cactus Blossoms on October 28. Up the road at Colony Woodstock, The Split Squad features members of Blondie and The Fleshtones on September 23 and Woodstock’s own The Bobby Lees get loose November 11-12.
Ulster Performing Arts Center in Kingston has an absolutely fire lineup this autumn season highlighted by Electric Hot Tuna’s farewell tour on September 21, Violent Femmes on October 14, emo folkie Gregory Alan Isakov on October 18 and—the punk rock cherry on top—an evening with Patti Smith on November 11.
If you’re looking for something more underground, Tubby’s is the place for DIY acts including Vancouver’s multimedia collective Crack Cloud on October 7, Horse Jumper of Love with Fraternal Twin October 22 and Los Angeles harpist Mary Lattimore on November 2. You could also stop by The Avalon Lounge in Catskill for neighborhood punk legend Wreckless Eric on September 28 and talented upstarts Constant Smiles, Gary’s Dream and watergh0st on October 2.
If anyone knows anything about style, it’s Melissa Auf der Maur of Basilica Hudson. The former bassist of Hole and grunge rock goddess has immaculate taste. She’s invited Florida songwriter Ethel Cain to her refurbished riverside factory space on October 5 and Spiritualized® blows the roof off the place on November 8.
In the Berkshires, local troubadour Johnny Irion and Friends take up residency at The Ostrich Room at Apple Tree Inn in Lenox starting September 30. The Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center in Great Barrington welcomes Nashville’s Mat Kearney November 17.
How about viewing contemporary Mexican silent film classic El automóvil gris set to a live performance of the soundtrack by Guadalajara, México psychedelic jazz ensemble Troker at MASS MoCA on November 11? Now, that’s some serious style right there.
In nearby Albany, The Egg is focused on a fantastic lineup of Americana highlighted by Ben Harper & The Innocent Criminals on October 8, The Jayhawks on October 21, Lucinda Williams on October 28, The Head and The Heart on November 2 and Molly Tuttle & Golden Highway on November 12. Meanwhile, the Palace Theatre will be rocking to Les Claypool’s Fearless Flying Frog Brigade on October 20, My Morning Jacket on October 25, The Wood Brothers on October 28 and Jethro Tull on November 4.
Just a bit further north, it’s worth the trip to Spa Little Theater at Saratoga Performing Arts Center (SPAC) for Israeli mandolinist Avi Avital and Chinese accordionist Hanzhi Wang on October 19 and vocal supergroup säje on November 11.