CNY Concert Calendar: January and February

Shows are slow to be booked at the start of the semester, but let the New Year inspire you to find new music in the meantime.

Happy New Year and New Semester from Otto-Tune. Unfortunately a fresh start for the spring usually means a slow start for concert bookings in CNY (look back to 2010, many of the must-see shows were on college campuses and they won't announce any official shows until after class is in session).That, along with Ted Leo having to reschedule his nearby Scranton date, all leads to a meager CNY Concert Calendar for January and February at the moment (see below).

This early lull is a perfect time to plan ahead while waiting for things to heat up. Whether or not standard New Years resolutions are your style, make a New Music resolution in 2011. What is it? Simply a self-pledge to find new music in a variety of different ways. Here are a few suggestions to get you started: 

Mixtape Exchange Clubs

Think book club in terms of feeling hip and being exposed to new ideas, just a lot less reading. Gather a group of friends, exchange addresses (e-mail or otherwise), set up a schedule and prepare to share. The basic premise is that everyone receives one mixtape according to schedule (once a month? bi-monthly? etc.) while the group rotates a mixtape creator each time. Depending on the time of year and the tastes of your participants, the experiment can yield any number of results. You're sure to get a variety of unique themed playlists, new finds and welcomed classics to keep your listening fresh throughout.  Even if one mix falls short of your expectations, who doesn't love getting mail? 

Supporting Local Musicians

It's easy to keep up with the latest bands getting hyped through free mp3s on your favorite blog, but keeping up with music in your neighborhood is (oddly enough) a lot harder. Many local acts are relatively new, lacking in promotional recordings / general exposure, and limited with their show dates.  It may take a little bit of legwork to seek them out (or luck in knowing the right folks), but pledge to support your local scene whether it brings you to coffee shops, VFWs or off-campus basements. Start with the local music that showcased itself at CMJ last fall, then push even further by looking for some of the newer acts suggested by Mouth's Cradle's Kevin Hegedus this year. 

Plan a road-trip to a hallowed venue

Places like Bowery Ballroom, Terminal 5, Madison Square Garden or even Bethel Woods are just a short day trip away. If you want to continue your pursuit of new music however, try to take in a show at a unique CNY venue. Castaways in Ithaca is a bar where you'll sit closer to major acts than you do your professors. Northern Lights in Clifton Park is a massive space hidden in what appears to be a strip mall. Even the Spark Art Gallery here in 'Cuse is a closet-sized gem just off campus. Their occassional shows are always must see no matter who plays simply so you can feel what it's like to be shoulder-to-shoulder at a show where the walls literally shake.


No matter the method, take the new music challenge in 2011. It could even start with one of the shows below:



Snoop Dogg - 1/27 (Thursday) in Niagra Falls

Lewis Black - 1/28 (Friday) in Scranton, Pa.

Neil Diamond - 1/29 (Saturday) in Buffalo

My Brightest Diamond - 1/30 (Sunday) in Ithaca...and the next night in Rochester

Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings


30 Seconds to Mars - 2/3 (Thursday) in Rochester... and the next night in Clifton Park

Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings (right) - 2/3 (Thursday) in Ithaca

Aziz Anzari - 2/4 (Friday) at RIT...and the next night at Cornell
Best Coast - 2/6 (Sunday) in Toronto

GZA - 2/12 (Saturday) in Ithaca

Dr. Dog - 2/16 (Wednesday) in Rochester
Buckcherry - 2/18 (Friday) in Clifton Park

Gwar - 2/21 (Monday) at The Wescott Theater

Dropkick Murphys - 2/23 (Wednesday) in Niagra Falls

For consistency's sake...

SUUNS - 1/28 (Friday) at Funk N' Waffles

Big Sean/Donnis - 2/23 (Wednesday) in the Schine Underground

Harry Belefont coming in January as well

Forgot one for any fans of the "Just Dance 2" favorite "Jump In The Line"...

Harry Belefonte - 1/31 (Monday) here in Syracuse

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