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The Set List: Live Music on the Lower East Side

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Sunflower Bean

Here’s TLD Contributor Flora Theden’s weekly run-down of the best live music on the Lower East Side.

Friday – Veronika Jokel 

Pop-soul vocalist Veronika Jokel will be playing songs from her latest EP Black Magic. She’s a little more “traditional pop” than what we normally go for, but her voice is hypnotic and sultry, and her songs have some edge to them. You’ll like her if you’re into Estelle or Janelle Monae.

Listen to: Black Magic 

Rockwood Music Hall // April 10th // 7pm // Free

Saturday – Sunflower Bean

This new East Village haunt isn’t your typical music venue. With a sauna-like seating area, Kama Sutra bathroom wallpaper, and disco-balled DJ booth – but no actual stage to speak of – Elvis Guesthouse is the ideal spot to catch up-and-coming psychedelic rock band Sunflower Bean before they play at Baby’s All Right on Monday.

Listen to: Somebody Call a Doctor

Elvis Guesthouse // April 11th // 8pm // $5

Saturday – Janka Nabay & The Bubu Gang and Yonatan Gat

OkayAfrica presents Janka Nabay, the undisputed king of bubu music, and Yonatan Gat, who was named “Best Guitarist in New York” by the Village Voice. Nabay and the Bubu Gang play frantically-paced bubu dance music that has ancient, magical origins in their native country of Sierra Leone.

Nabay has an incredibly interesting story – he fled Sierra Leone in the 1990’s after his music became a rally cry for rebel forces and it was unsafe for him to remain in the country. After relocating to New York, he spent years trying to find a place for his music, and eventually linked up with the True Panther Sounds label in 2010. He was later signed to David Byrne’s Luaka Bop label.

Listen to: Feba

Mercury Lounge // April 11th // 10:30pm // $10

* Monday – Mail the Horse *

Our featured recommendation for the week, this Brooklyn-based band is currently playing on repeat in my apartment. Without a concern for anything hip and trendy, the quintet has quietly been crafting honest and stunning American Rock ‘n’ Roll music for nearly five years throughout the Northeast’s vibrant DIY community. Their sound is steeped in the raw country spirit of The Band.

Listen to: Novocaine Blues

Rockwood Music Hall // April 13th // 9:45pm // Free

Tuesday – Kitty, Daisy & Lewis

Three siblings from North London, this rockabilly/vintage country trio makes you feel like you stepped into a 1940’s cocktail bar complete with swing-dancing and deep, raspy voices.

Listen to: Baby Bye Bye

Bowery Ballroom // April 14th // 9pm // $15

Thursday – Bess McCrary

A singer/songwriter based in New York City, Bess McCrary is an alchemist of both pain and joy, her brave songwriting and profound lyrics providing purpose for her unique, classically trained voice. A North Carolina native and lifelong performer, Bess has always crossed genre lines and let her most personal experiences dictate the path her music takes. She gave TLD the exclusive first listen of the single off of her new album – check it out below! It will be officially released April 21st.

Listen to: Conquer and Thrive

Parkside Lounge // April 16th // 9pm // $6 

Thursday – Bless Your Heart New York City: A Benefit for the People of The East Village Fire

Kung Fu Luke, Jeffrey Lewis, Duckspeak, Penny Arcade and Prewar Yardsale are a few of the bands coming together for this benefit for the victims of the recent East Village fire. Great live music that benefits our neighbors in need? We can’t think of a better way to spend $10.

Cake Shop // April 16th // 8pm // $10


Flora Theden lives and works in the Lower East Side.  She loves music.  She is also an Account Executive in the Hospitality Division of Brandsway Creative, a Public Relations, Marketing and Branding firm.

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