This Week’s Music Picks

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

La Strada - Photo: Jennifer McManus

LA STRADA – Friday, July 16 at 9pm

La Strada” means “the road” in Italian, and with songs like “Go Forward,” “The Traveler,” and “Where You Want To Go,” it’s clearly an apt appellation for this Brooklyn 5-piece. They’ve also been on the road quite a bit, building a loyal following across the country with a fizzy concoction of accordion, strings, and horns, that blend crisscrossing harmonies and pop melodies.


Last year they succeeded in the difficult task of translating the fantastic energy of their live shows to their most recent recording, “New Home.” Hit the Mercury on Friday to get a contact buzz from these dynamic music makers.

$10 // Mercury Lounge – 217 East Houston Street

Christina Courtin

CHRISTINA COURTIN – Friday, July 16 at 9:30pm

Christina Courtin entered into the professional musical world as a Juilliard trained violinist, collaborating with the likes of Yo-Yo Ma, but by the sound of the original work she’s created over the last several years, you’d think she was born with a microphone and tape recorder in her hands. An astonishingly natural singer and songwriter, Christina rarely showcases her violin chops these days.

Her self-titled debut came out last year on Nonesuch Records, and she nimbly finds a way of being fresh and inventive in her compositions while keeping them an effortless joy to listen to. Claiming to be at one time embarrassed by her own singing, her voice comes across like glass – clear and pure. She’ll be at Joe’s Pub on Friday, which is really the perfect room for her, because you’re going to want to listen.

$14 // Joe’s Pub – 425 Lafayette Street

Nick Casey - Photo: Sarahana Shrestha

NICKCASEY – Sunday, July 18 at 9pm

Brooklyn’s NickCasey continue their Sunday residency at the Livingroom. “Their” because NickCasey is (are?) two people ― Casey Spindler and Nicholas Webber. The confusion ends there though, as the sound is straight forward indie roots-rock, and thoroughly pleasing. Having just finished their first full length album, NickCasey is building some buzz with a string of gigs at the Livingroom, every third Sunday of the month.

$5 Suggested // The Livingroom -154 Ludlow St

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.