Fall Arts: Music Picks

The Raincoats
September 16

The post-punk trailblazers (and Kurt Cobain faves) are set to reenact their influential 1979 debut in December at England's All Tomorrow's Parties festival. Prior to that, though, the Raincoats are doing a brief North American tour in support of a new reissue of Odyshape, the sophomore set that turns 30 this year. It's a weirder proposition, with skeletal art-funk grooves and creepy kalimba riffs and words you can believe about dancing in one's head. But today it sounds like no less of a launching pad: If Merrill Garbus of Tune-Yards is in town, expect to see her here.

261 Driggs Avenue, Brooklynwarsawconcerts.com

Olivia Tremor Control
September 21

The Elephant 6 psych-pop collective is busier right now than it has been since the late '90s—see Of Montreal's aboveground incursion and Jeff Mangum's return from wherever. Admirers might be most excited about the arrival of new music by Louisiana's back-in-action Olivia Tremor Control, whose sprawling 1996 debut, Music From the Unrealized Film Script, Dusk at Cubist Castle, laid out the E6 mission: stretching catchy Beatles/Byrds/Beach Boys­–inspired melodies into something darker and more experimental. It might be the ur-chillwave text.

Le Poisson Rouge
158 Bleecker, Streetlepoissonrouge.com

September 23

These fast-and-loud pop-punk pioneers haven't released a new album since 2004's Cool to Be You, thanks in part to frontman Milo Aukerman's time-consuming biochemistry career. (He and Greg Graffin from Bad Religion, a fellow Ph.D., should totally open a SoCal boarding school once they're done with music.) But Descendents pretty much said everything they have to say on their early-'80s classics anyway: "I'm Not a Loser," "I Don't Want to Grow Up," "My Dad Sucks." You see 'em now to laugh at how unsentimentally they channel those old feelings; they're definitely in on the joke.

239 West 52nd Street, roselandballroom.com

September 27-28

Michael Gira's No Wave fear factory reopened last year with My Father Will Guide Me Up a Rope to the Sky, a brutal (and scarily beautiful) set of chamber-noise tone poems that vindicated Gira's pronouncements on how Swans' reunion shouldn't be compared to the reunions of all those other post-punk acts. The band's accompanying live shows—typically intense, darkly theatrical, almost comically loud—further solidified the claim. A new album is reportedly in the works for 2012; if you missed Swans last time, catch them now before they move on.

Music Hall of Williamsburg
66 North 6th Street, Brooklynmusichallofwilliamsburg.com

Il Volo
October 3

Don't confuse Il Volo with Il Divo, the pop-operatic boy band originally assembled by Simon Cowell in an attempt to bring some sex to the PBS-pledge-drive crowd. Actually, go ahead and confuse them: Like Cowell's creation, Il Volo wring every ounce of emotion from the classical-crossover material on their self-titled debut, then find just a bit more to extract. The twist? These fresh-faced Italians are honest-to-Dio teenagers, which gives their live presentation a splash of that special YouTube-savant sauce. They collapse the gap between Bocelli and Bieber.

Beacon Theatre
2124 Broadway, Beacontheatre.com

John Oates
October 8–10

Much of the ongoing critical reappraisal of Hall & Oates has focused on the guy with the golden pipes and the hipster-beloved webcast. But John Oates is not to be discounted, folks: In April he released a nifty little roots-rock record called Mississippi Mile that made up for some truly abysmal cover art (hit up iTunes for a look) with an appealingly croaky Delta-blues take on "You Make My Dreams Come True." Here he'll do two nights with the John Oates Band, then sit in with Iridium's Les Paul Trio on October 10.

1650 Broadway, theiridium.com

October 25

CANT is Chris Taylor of Grizzly Bear activating his nostalgia for a musical era he romanticizes along with plenty of his indie peers: the mid-'80s avant-soul of Arthur Russell and circa Sign o' the Times Prince. As Grizzly Bear's Veckatimest demonstrated, Taylor is a whiz with texture and tone, so CANT's debut, Dreams Come True, doesn't necessarily sound like stuff by those other artists; it comes from Taylor's own identifiable aesthetic sphere. But there's for sure some inter-generational crosstalk happening here, something he's making no attempt to drown out.

Bowery Ballroom
6 Delancey Streetboweryballroom.com

October 31 and November 1

SBTRKT follows the xx and James Blake as England's latest purveyor of sexy-chilly digital soul, the kind of stuff that sounds as comfortable on a pirate radio station as it does in a sleek car commercial. And perhaps in a grimy rock club: SBTRKT has been racking up plaudits lately for his unusually energetic performances, during which he complements his knob-twiddling with live drums. Given that it goes down on Halloween in New York City, SBTRKT's Bowery Ballroom date seems especially ripe for a guest appearance like the one Drake put in at a show in Toronto in July. (Maybe All Saints' Day in Williamsburg will inspire someone to show up as well.)

Bowery Ballroom
6 Delancey Streetboweryballroom.com

Music Hall of Williamsburg, 66 North 6th Street, Brooklynmusichallofwilliamsburg.com

November 2

Feist took her time crafting the follow-up to 2007's The Reminder, which upgraded the Canadian indie-rock chanteuse from a part-time gig in Broken Social Scene to whatever the scene is called where you end up singing your hit single with a bunch of Muppets on Sesame Street. The new record, Metals, is finally due out October 4, and its folky, low-key beauty should save Feist's place in the brunch-soundtrack cosmos. Skip this show if you want to (you don't want to), but you'll be hearing her fresh tunes for many Sunday afternoons to come.

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