Best NYC music

Feminist musical powerhouse Michelle Shocked takes on Joe’s Pub Aug 28. For this special show, she offers a sneak peak at her forthcoming album, ToHeavenYouRide, in which her eclectic folk-blues style and bold lyrics come full circle. The new album was originally a bootleg that Shocked was unaware was being recorded, and it spotlights her where she’s always shone brightest—live, on stage, before an audience. Highlights include her cover of the Billie Holliday classic “God Bless The Child,” her cover of The Band’s “The Weight” and amazing renditions of soulful Shocked originals such as “Quality of Mercy.”

Virago, the high-energy guitar and percussion consisting of musicians/composers Amy Schindler and Maire Tashjian, will entertain crowds at the 7th Annual Jersey City Pride Festival on Aug 25. Virago’s edgy rock sound pulsates with undercurrents ranging from American blues to Brazilian samba. Amy calls an audience to attention with riveting vocals and bold acoustic guitar riffs, and the songs come alive with an ethnic flavor as Maire plays a variety of percussion instruments, including a surdo (Brazilian bass drum), congas and a full drum set. Virago has a passion for Brazilian music which has inspired them to perform songs in Portuguese. They’ve performed internationally, including El Salvador and Brazil.

Aug 6, 12 and 19, internationally-renowned vocalist Diamanda Galas brings her gothic stylings to the hot Chelsea venue The High Line Ballroom. The dark queen of extended vocal technique will perform two new programs of songs: Imitation of Life (Aug 6 and 12), turning classic jazz standards and French ballads about the thrill and pain of romantic love into haunting elegies to Eros; and Chansons Malheureuses and Amanedhes (Aug 19), a program of original compositions set upon the poetry of symbolist and surrealist French poets, combined with the dazzling vocal tradition of the Amanedhes (improvised lamentations from Asia Minor and the Middle East), and Greek and Armenian Rembetika songs.

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