Ohio transplant Joe Williams released his debut, Smoke, as White Williams late last year, and heÃ¢â¬â¢s been playing in the city nearly every week since. Early shows showed a young kid, unsmiling and severe behind a laptop, looking up only to sing blankly into a microphone; more recently, heÃ¢â¬â¢s stretched it out a bit more. Smoke makes his references clear (T. Rex, Blondie, the Talking Heads) and his aims clearer (a day that begins at sunset, a bit of danger, and a lot of glamour). This being New York, heÃ¢â¬â¢s found plenty of detractors. But WilliamsÃ¢â¬â¢s icy specificity and obvious ambition are two rare commodities in a yelpy indie-rock community where visible emotion and kitschy theater are the usual coin of the realm. HeÃ¢â¬â¢s not much for confession, but that doesnÃ¢â¬â¢t make him insincere. With Lemonade, Leif, and DJ Rezound.
Mon., May 26, 8 p.m., 2008