This Week’s Music Picks

Here are musician Ken Beasley’s top music picks on the Lower East Side this week:

Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears

BLACK JOE LEWIS & THE HONEYBEARS – Thur-Fri, Mar 25-26 | 8:30PM at Bowery Ballroom

Black Joe Lewis comes from Texas, but you’d swear he came straight from the late 1960’s. After boredom caused him to teach himself to play a guitar he got from the Austin pawnshop where he worked, Lewis put together a band and had a couple years of hit & miss success on the local scene. Ready to hang it up for good in 2007, serendipity stepped in, and Lewis was booked with his old band to open for Little Richard at a music festival. Things have never been the same. Somewhere between the tight horn groove of Eddie Floyd, and the sweaty raunch of Chuck Brown – “Garage Soul” is the term they’ve been throwin’ around, and it fits Lewis & The Honeybears pretty damn perfectly.

$16 Advance, $18 Door // 6 Delancey St.

OYAMA X NITTA DUO – Sat., Mar 26 | 3PM at Abrons Arts Center

Yutaka Oyama, Masahiro Nitta

Yutaka Oyama and Masahiro Nitta, specialists in playing the ancient banjo-like Tsugaru shamisen, perform this Saturday at Abrons Arts Center as part of the Carnegie Hall Neighborhood Concert Series and the JapanNYC Festival. Oyama and Nitta have become known not only for their skillful abilities on the shamisen, but also for displaying a modern approach to the traditional folk music it is synonymous with. They will perform on the backdrop of a projected animation created by Japanese design crew TEAMLAB. FREE//466 Grand Street (at Pitt)


THE SHORTSLEEVES –  Sun.,  Mar 27 | 9PM at The Mercury Lounge

The Shortsleeves

Using not much more than an old Casio keyboard and a Nintendo Gameboy, New York’s The Shortsleeves have rejected any suggestion of obsolescence from these bits of 15-year-old technology. The duo, made up of Paul Owens of Go Motion and Jenn de la Vega of Drum Machine Dating Service, use their old toys to create textured compositions ranging from atmospheric to engagingly melodic. Their set will be part of the Magic Lantern Show, the Tokyo originated vaudevillian variety show, described as “concert meets vintage talk show.” $8 Advance, $10 Door // 217 East Houston Street

Splitting his time between performing and producing, contributor Ken Beasley primarily plays with his own roots/rock band, Ken Beasley & Co., as well as the power punk outfit,  Missy Sport, while also curating the Underground at the Abrons music series on the Lower East Side.