Summer Guide: Amadou & Mariam's A Global Affair

Damon Albarn lends this "blind couple from Mali" a dash of Britpop

Baroque Wind Trio Extravaganza
June 6

Italian composer Giovanni Battista Sammartini, one of the most visionary figures of 16th century concert symphony, left behind a vast catalog of operas and sonatas upon his death. Many were lost in his hometown, Milan, until researchers unearthed them in 1913 and began scouting Europe for the remaining surviving scores. Now Gregory Bynum (recorder), Andrew Blotowsky (Baroque flute), and Paula Rand (Baroque bassoon) will pay tribute to many of his beautiful trios, as well as offer selected works from Haydn, Purcell, and Telemann. Morris-Jumel Mansion, 65 Jumel Terrace, Washington Heights, morrisjumel.org

Ethel and Gutbucket
June 20

This year's Celebrate Brooklyn Festival has the best little lineup in any borough: David Byrne on June 8, Blonde Redhead on June 26, Dr. Dog and Phosphorescent on June 27, etc. The most exciting installment, though, may be a meeting of less notorious but equally irreverent minds: postclassical string quartet Ethel and art-noise cerebrals Gutbucket, who will perform a score to the obscure 1959 Mexican sci-fi flick La Nave de Los Monstruos. It's about women from Venus slutting it up across the universe—and no, it's not a documentary. Prospect Park Bandshell, briconline.org/celebrate

Buffy Sainte-Marie
July 2

Buffy Sainte-Marie has been a bit sideswept by protest singer-songwriters of the '60s such as Joni Mitchell and Joan Baez. But she was no less a galvanizer in the era; the Canadian multi-instrumentalist sang about acceptance and Native American identity with a sweet vibrato as tremulous as the times. Artists from Elvis to Cher covered her wispy, fingerpicked hit "Until It's Time for You to Go," and she's continued recording since: While the times and her neighborhood have changed, her beatific ideas have not. Highline Ballroom, 431 West 16th Street, highlineballroom.com

Sonic Youth
July 3

Ready for a punk pilgrimage? Take the 1 Train to 175th for the uptown/downtown convergence of the year. Brooding homegrown icons Sonic Youth, still the axis of all things art-noise after 25 years together, will bring the momentum of their terrific, sprawling new album The Eternal to the United Palace, a 1930s theater with sumptuous details intact. Raise your beer, but don't spill it on the fancy moldings. United Palace Theater, 4140 Broadway, bowerypresents.com

Los Fabulosos Cadillacs
July 11

Democracy in action: Argentine español-rockers Los Fabulosos Cadillacs have nine members but no band leader, which explains the wide stylistic variances in their 15 albums since 1986; they simply follow the muse in whomever it inhabits. (Extra fortune when it inhabits Tina Weymouth and Chris Frantz of Talking Heads, who produced 1995's thrash-fused Rey Azucar.) Their diverse amalgams of rap, reggae, and punk with traditional South American rhythms always sound like the brink—of Western structure, maybe, but absolutely of giddy possibility. Central Park Summerstage, summerstage.com

Siren Festival
July 18

Even "Shoot the Freak" is feeling the recession nowadays, but a few things at Coney Island are still blessedly free: sandcastles, used syringes, and the Siren Festival, the Voice's annual shindig of terrific music and terrifying bacchanalia. Past performers include M.I.A. and Cursive; past highlights have included 90 percent of attendees drunkenly riding the Cyclone and eating cotton candy while treading in the ocean. (Or was that just me? Recommended.) This year's extra-solid lineup includes Built to Spill, the Raveonettes, and Micachu & the Shapes. Yes, we're a smidge biased. 10th Street (next to the Cyclone rollercoaster) and on Stillwell Avenue, Coney Island, villagevoice.com/siren

Bob James
August 1

One of jazz's most sought-after studio musicians is no stranger to futzing with electronics; his sterling 1965 album Explosions was a landmark in improvised bop, the first to combine avant-garde electronic effects and strange sound synergies (including plucking the strings inside the piano body). A hell-raiser, this one was—and he continues to loan that swing to others, produce artists, run Tappan Zee Records, and release his own commercially viable LPs. He'll have something for everyone at Blue Note, and endless prospects behind each groove. Blue Note, 131 West 3rd Street, bluenote.net

Etienne de Crécy
August
2

De Crécy's schmancy new stage show, a glowing Hollywood Squares–style cube that suspends his turntables in the center, is commanding all the attention nowadays, but there are tremendous deep-house skills behind the geometrical gimmick. His Super Discount duo carved Air remixes and originals from vapor into demanding, ambitious house, and immodestly established the DJ as a Svengali behind Paris's '90s techno boom. His latest release, Tempovision, slid a down-pace into disco club. He plays this year's All Points West festival, which features, among many other acts, Coldplay, Echo & the Bunnymen, MGMT, and the Silversun Pickups. Liberty State Park, Jersey City, apwfestival.com

FLO RIDA
August 14

If there were ever a reason to rise at 4 a.m., wouldn't it be to witness the historic, insanely awkward banter between Flo Rida and Matt Lauer? The gruff "Low" rapper takes to Rockefeller Center for a Today show set—certainly not one of the strangest things to happen at 30 Rock, but one of the few that requires 6 a.m. arrival. Count on single "Right Round" from recent sophomore album R.O.O.T.S. and possibly T-Pain in a top hat and kitty pajamas. Today show, Rockefeller Center

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