Here are musician Ken Beasley’s top music picks on the Lower East Side this weekend:
URSA MINOR – Fri., Feb. 11 | 8PM at The Living Room
Ursa Minor has been grinding out winning New York rock songs & shows for over 5 years now, and although they were already great when they started, they have since moved beyond being really good writers with really strong musical chops, and are now a fully realized, fantastic rock band. The level of comfort they have while playing together gives an overall free and organic feeling to the material. That, combined with the top-notch musicianship of Rob Jost (bass), Tony Scherr (guitar) and Robert DiPietro (drums), plus the voice and frontman presence of Michelle Casillas, proves that they’ve really settled into a well-oiled, powerful collaboration. Kinda like Voltron. FREE // 154 Ludlow St.
HENRY ROLLINS – Wed., Feb. 9- Sat., Feb. 12 | 9PM at Joe’s Pub
With the recent celestial shift, Henry Rollins may or may not still be an Aquarius, but he’s not letting that keep him from celebrating his 50th birthday in stellar style. This month, the songwriter/poet/author/media host commemorates his 50 years on the planet with a string of shows in DC, LA, and NY, which includes 4 nights at Joe’s Pub. Originally known for masterminding the iconic punk group Black Flag, Rollins has gone on to do a million other things, including acting and hosting his own talk show. Which of these many chapters in his history will he be pulling from during these performances, it’s hard to say, but what IS certain is that it will not be boring. $35 // 425 Lafayette St.
JACK HARDY TRIO – Sun., Feb. 13 | 7PM at Banjo Jim’s
This gig is a few blocks north of the LES, but… it’s Jack Hardy. One of the most prolific songwriters of our generation, Hardy first landed in Greenwich Village in the early 80’s. He had spent some time stirring the political pot at the University of Hartford, and later headed west to be a cowboy in Colorado, but once back in New York, he wasted no time playing resident gigs on Bleeker Street, hosting weekly songwriter gatherings, and founding the music magazine Fast Folk (which now has its back-catalogue housed in none other than the Smithsonian).
For the last 30 years, Hardy has written close to a song a week, and released an album every year or two. He’s played with the likes of Suzanne Vega and John Gorka, and continues to tour endlessly across the US, Italy, Ireland, and beyond. This Sunday he’s home, playing with his trio at Banjo Jim’s. Will he play some country-western originals? Will he sing in Gaelic? Will he reference French history and obscure dead poets? Don’t be surprised if the answer is “all of the above.” FREE // 700 East 9th 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.