Northern Irish singer-songwriter Steafán Hanvey was born in 1972, right in the midst of the Troubles. Both of his parents were musicians; his father, Bobbie, was a photojournalist and radio host as well. On his second album, last winter’s Nuclear Family, the follow-up to his 2006 debut with his band, the Honeymoon Junkies, Hanvey, “a man whose bad dreams have already come true,” explores the complications of relationships on such songs as “Secrets and Lies,” “Marta’s Always Coming Home,” “Darling Please,” and “Leaving What You Know.” He has combined his past with the present in his deeply personal and political traveling show, “Look Behind You! A Father and Son’s Impressions of the Troubles in Northern Ireland through Photograph and Song,” which is profiled by NPR in the above video. On March 8, Hanvey will be giving a rare solo performance for “Belfast Rocks the Craic” at Mercury Lounge, part of the sixteenth annual Craic Fest; Duke Special and Rams’ Pocket Radio are also on the bill.
Amy Lynn Zanetto goes full Jackson Pollock over an ex in the video for “Don’t Trip on the Glitter,” the second single from the upcoming debut album of the same name from Amy Lynn & the Gunshow, following their cover of the Shangri-Las’ “Remember (Walking in the Sand).” “Drink my wine / Sleep in my bed / Funny how / I kinda want you dead / No, I don’t want you dead / I want you out of my life / I’ve given you everything everything everything / But you still can’t get it right,” she forcefully sings while dancing and throwing paint. The soulful powerhouse vocalist and her brass-heavy six-piece band — arranger (and husband) Alex Hamlin on baritone sax, Jeff Hermanson on trumpet, Ed RosenBerg III on tenor sax, Michael Ross on drums, Ben Gallina on bass, and Brian Whitted on keyboards, along with “black-up” singers James Jackson and Ladiva Burns — are also joined by strings on several songs on the disc, due out April 29. The album, produced by Steve Greenwell, features such other tunes as “West Village Blues,” “Last Call,” “Can’t Put My Finger on It,” and “Dirty Mouth.” The New York City-based band will celebrate the release of the album with a special show May 8 at Joe’s Pub.
EASY VIRTUE (Alfred Hitchcock, 1927)
209 West Houston St.
Tuesday, March 4, 6:45
The Complete Hitchcock: February 21 - March 27
The Hitchcock 9: February 21 - May 4
Loosely based on a Noël Coward play that was recently made into a film starring Colin Firth, Jessica Biel, and Kristin Scott Thomas, Alfred Hitchcock’s Easy Virtue is another of the Master of Suspense’s cleverly told melodramas, a risqué tale of a woman unfairly placed in a lurid situation. Isabel Jeans stars as Larita Filton, a loving wife whose husband, Aubrey (Franklin Dyall), has commissioned her portrait by painter Claude Robson (Eric Bransby Williams). Just as Claude makes a play for Larita, she fights him off and Aubrey walks in. He misinterprets the scene, shots ring out, the artist is dead, and Claude files for a highly publicized divorce case in which Larita is found guilty of misconduct. Trying to put her notorious past behind her, she heads for the Mediterranean, where she meets John Whittaker (Robin Irvine), a wealthy mama’s boy who falls instantly in love with her and brings her back to his parents’ country estate. But once there, Whittaker’s nasty mother (Violet Farebrother) and conniving sisters (Dacia Deane and Dorothy Boyd) do everything they can to ruin the relationship, seeking to uncover Larita’s history while also attempting to put her son back together with longtime family friend Sarah (Enid Stamp Taylor). Easy Virtue, which features yet another Hitchcock blonde, is a gripping film about honesty, reputation, individuality, and character as an innocent woman is forced to face undeserved consequences in the superficial world of high society. Hitchcock, who makes his cameo holding a walking stick, gliding past Larita while she sits by a tennis court, includes several wonderful touches involving circles and ovals, from a close-up of a judge’s wig to a shot through a tennis racket’s strings to a dining room dominated by a group of elongated, haloed saints on one wall. Easy Virtue is also one of Hitchcock’s dourest silent melodramas, lacking any comic relief as a wronged woman desperately tries to right her life. Easy Virtue is screening on March 4 at 6:45 as part of the Film Forum series “The Hitchcock 9,” with live piano music by Steve Sterner. “The Hitchcock 9” continues through May 4 with Blackmail, The Pleasure Garden, Champagne, The Farmer’s Wife, The Ring, Downhill, and The Manxman (all featuring Sterner on piano), in conjunction with “The Complete Hitchcock,” which runs through March 27 and includes all of Sir Alfred’s feature narratives. In addition, the Paley Center will be hosting “The Complete Hitchcock: Television” on March 29-30 and April 5-6, consisting of all episodes of Alfred Hitchcock Presents that the master directed, as well as documentaries, interviews, and other bonuses.
200 Eastern Parkway at Washington St.
Saturday, March 1, free, 5:00 - 11:00 (some events require free tickets distributed in advance at the Visitor Center)
In 1982, the United States recognized the first official Women’s History Week, comprising seven days in March; five years later, the third month of the year became Women’s History Month, passed by a congressional vote of 100 to 9. The Brooklyn Museum will be celebrating Women’s History Month on March 1 in their free First Saturdays programs by examining women and art, music, publishing, poetry, and more. The evening will include an artist talk by Alison Elizabeth Taylor, an arts workshop demonstrating how Taylor uses wood in her pieces, Tatyana Fazlalizadeh discussing her anti–street harassment project “Stop Telling Women to Smile,” pop-up gallery talks in English and Spanish on specific works by women, the interactive performance “Sublime” by the South Asian Women’s Creative Collective, a martial arts workshop with ABADÁ-Capoeira, a talk by Toni Blackman about hip-hop and activism, live music by Zuzuka Poderosa, TECLA, and Venus X with live animation by Niky Roehreke, pop-up spoken-word poetry, a live performance combining music and spoken-word by Alixa Garcia and Naima Penniman of Climbing PoeTree, and a book club talk by members of the Feminist Press. In addition, the galleries will be open late, giving visitors plenty of opportunity to check out “Wangechi Mutu: A Fantastic Journey,” “Twice Militant: Lorraine Hansberry’s Letters to ‘The Ladder,’” “Divine Felines: Cats of Ancient Egypt,” “Life, Death, and Transformation in the Americas,” “Connecting Cultures: A World in Brooklyn,” and other exhibits.
“Why am I not ashamed / while I am standing still?” midwestern singer-songwriter Angel Olsen asks on “Enemy,” one of eleven tracks on her brand-new album, Burn Your Fire for No Witness (Jagjaguwar, February 18). Standing still is not Olsen does a whole lot of. Born and raised in St. Louis, Olsen moved to Chicago when she was nineteen and now lives in Asheville, North Carolina. She continues to expand her sound, from her 2011 debut EP, Strange Cacti, to 2012’s widely praised Half Way Home, to Burn Your Fire, the music for which was mostly recorded live with drummer Josh Jaeger and bassist Stewart Bronaugh, along with producer John Congleton (Anna Calvi, the Black Angels, Xiu Xiu) on keyboards. Olsen’s often whispery voice and heartfelt lyrics reach deep down into your soul and never let go, especially on such new songs as “Unf*cktheworld,” “White Fire,” “Iota,” and “Forgiven/Forgotten.” “I wish I had the voice of everything,” she sings on “Stars,” continuing, “to scream the animals, to scream the earth / to scream the stars out of our universe / to scream it all back into nothingness / to scream the feeling till there’s nothing left.” The crowd should be doing a lot of screaming when Olsen headlines at (Le) Poisson Rouge on Thursday, February 20, with Cian Nugent and Jaye Bartell opening up.
Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage
881 Seventh Ave. at West 57th St.
Monday, March 31, $48-$160, 8:00
Still going strong after all these years, Newark-born singer-songwriter Paul Simon is currently on tour with Sting, singing their own tunes as well as each other’s, alone and together. The show will stop in New York City — where they both lived in the same building for an extended period of time — for a pair of hotly anticipated concerts at Madison Square Garden on March 4 & 6. But on March 31, even more people will be performing songs from throughout Rhymin’ Simon’s fifty-plus-year career at Michael Dorf’s annual benefit at Carnegie Hall, this year celebrating the music of one Paul Frederic Simon. In past years, Dorf, the owner of City Winery (and, previously, the Knitting Factory), has gathered together a vast array of talent to raise funds for music education and pay tribute to such all-time greats as Neil Young, Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, Elton John & Bernie Taupin, Prince, the Rolling Stones, Joni Mitchell, R.E.M., the Who, and others, with the guest(s) of honor sometimes making a surprise appearance. (In addition, the Music of Simon & Garfunkel commemorated the twenty-fifth anniversary of SummerStage with a special show in Central Park in 2010.) The roster honoring Simon on March 31 so far includes Josh Ritter, Joe Henry, Bob Mould, Ben Sollee, Dan Wilson, Bettye LaVette, Joy Williams, Madeleine Peyroux & Jon Herington, Allen Toussaint, Judy Collins, Isobel Campbell & Andy Cabic, and house band Antibalas. The benefit will raise money and awareness for the American Symphony Orchestra’s Music Notes, Church Street School for Music & Art, Young Audiences New York, Fixing Instruments for Kids in Schools, Little Kids Rock, and the Center for Arts Education. Regular tickets are $48 to $160, while various VIP passes range from $325 to $10,000 — the latter earns you a trip onstage during soundchecks and the encore. And be on the lookout for news about the live rehearsal, which takes place at City Winery the night before the big event and is open to the public.
Grand Central Terminal, Vanderbilt Hall
89 East 42nd St.
Friday, February 21, $75 in advance only, 7:00 - 10:00
New York City Beer Week runs February 21 - March 2
It is highly unlikely that Plato ever said, “He was a wise man who invented beer,” no matter what the internet says, but that doesn’t mean he shouldn’t have, because indeed, it was a very wise man who invented beer. The sixth annual New York City Beer Week, a celebration of all things suds (but not Plato), gets under way February 21 with an opening-night party in Grand Central’s historic Vanderbilt Hall. A $75 ticket, which must be purchased in advance, gets you a tasting glass and access to potent potables from more than three dozen breweries, including 508 Gastrobrewery, Brooklyn Brewery, Chelsea Brewing, City Island, Eataly Birreria, Gun Hill Brewing, Harlem Brewing, Sixpoint, Allagash, Dogfish, Finback, Ommegang, Shelton Brothers, Shmaltz, Smuttynose, and Wandering Star, along with snacks from Parmacotto, Murray’s Cheese, GUS, and Whole Foods and live entertainment from Music Under New York. Among the more than eighty restaurants hosting Beer Week specials between February 21 and March 2 are Atlantic Chip Shop, Barcade, Dinosaur BBQ, the Gate, the Kent Ale House, Spuyten Duyvil, Superfine, and Waterfront Ale House in Brooklyn, Amsterdam Ale House, Barcade, Blue Ribbon Bakery Kitchen, Blue Smoke Flatiron, Gramercy Tavern, Hospoda, Luke’s Lobster, Shorty’s, Swift Hibernian Lounge, Jimmy’s No. 43, and Waterfront Ale House in Manhattan, Austin’s Ale House, Alewife NYC, the Courtyard Ale House, Forest Hills Station House, Oliver’s Astoria, Rocky McBride’s, and Woodbines in Queens, and Bronx Alehouse and the Bronx Beer Hall in the Bronx.
In addition, the NYC Craft Beer Festival takes place February 28 and March 1 with three sessions at the Lexington Armory ($55-$125, food extra) in which attendees can get unlimited two-ounce tastings of approximately 150 American craft beers. New York City Beer Week concludes March 2 with a beer brunch at Houston Hall. New York City Beer Week is organized by the New York City Brewers Guild, whose mission, which we heartily endorse, “is to advocate for and promote awareness of its local brewing members; to increase the visibility of local beers through programs, events, and consumer education; and to foster a healthy, ethical, and growth-focused craft beer industry throughout the city.” Plato might not have commented on the invention of beer way back when, but he did claim, “No human thing is of serious importance,” and we strongly disagree with that statement, starting with the invention of beer, of course, which could not be any more significant in the annals of history.