English Beat & the Easy Star All-Stars @ The Paramount
370 New York Ave. 7 p.m. $60.25, $37.25, $31.25. 631-673-7300
Frontman Dave Wakeling may be the sole remaining founding member of the English Beat, (ex-bandmate Ranking Roger is involved in a U.K. version of The Beat), but he’s been faithfully tapping into the Two Tone zeitgeist that found his outfit at the epicenter of this movement alongside The Specials during the movement’s late ‘70s/early ‘80s height. Joining the fun are The Easy Star All-Stars, who’ve made a name for themselves taking on unusual projects that include reggae interpretations of Radiohead and The Beatles. The first one was Dub Side of the Moon, a 2003 all-reggae interpretation of Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon. With The Skints & Underwater Sounds.
Charlie Musselwhite @ The City Winery
155 Varick St., 8 p.m. $42, $40, $38, $35. 212-608-0555
A part of the generation of white blues players to emerge from the ’60s that included Paul Butterfield and Michael Bloomfield, Charlie Musselwhite is one of the few veterans still left standing. A hellacious harp player whose musical DNA includes wisps of Sonny Boy Williamson and Little Walter, Musselwhite’s style has crossed over via recording dates with Tom Waits, Bonnie Raitt and most notably, on the 1990 INXS smash “Suicide Blonde.” An avid global traveler, the Mississippi native has expanded his creative range to embrace Cuban son and spoken word while calling a number of labels home in the past few years including Peter Gabriel’s Real World imprint, Alligator and most recently Stax, where he teamed up with Ben Harper to release 2013’s Get Up! The man who was reportedly Dan Aykroyd’s inspiration for the Blues Brothers will be wielding that white-hot harmonica. With the Suitcase Junket
Blur @ the Music Hall of Williamsburg
66 N. Sixth St. 5:45 p.m. Free. 212-486-5400
During the ‘90s Brit-Pop movement, Blur played the Rolling Stones/Kinks to Oasis’ Beatles. The following decade found Graham Coxon leaving the group and the various members embarked on various projects ranging from Coxon’s solo work and role behind an indie label and Alex James’ becoming a regular food columnist to Dave Rowntree’s political activism and Damon Albarn’s bouncing between Gorillaz, Rocket Juice and the Moon and The Good, the Bad and the Queen. The boys wound up reuniting in 2008 and finally got round to recording with the end result being the brand-new The Magic Whip, the band’s first album in 12 years that came out of an unexpected five-day layover in Hong Kong during a May 2013 tour. With Honduras.
Emily Kinney @ the YMCA Boulton Center for the Performing Arts
37 W. Main St. 8 p.m. $25, $20. 631-969-1101
While playing the character of Beth Greene in The Walking Dead, Emily Kinney often got to show the musical side of the much-loved Beth. Having done quite a bit of work in musical theater as a cast member of Spring Awakening, the Nebraska native gets to go back to her music roots with the release of her forthcoming solo outing This Is War, her third collection of songs.
Sheila E. @ B.B. King Blues Club and Grill
237 West 42nd St. 8 p.m. $37.50 adv. $45 DOS. 212-997-4144
A much-respected percussionist, Sheila E. has always wound up drawing from a wellspring of music-making genetics as a member of the mucho talented Escovedo clan. Alejandro is an uncle as are his brothers Coke (of Santana) and Javier (The Zeros). Throw in the fact that Tito Puente is her godfather and her having that flash of solo success in the late ‘80s with Prince by way of “The Glamorous Life” almost becomes an afterthought. Not surprisingly, Escovedo’s talents have been tapped by a number of huge names including Ringo Starr, Jennifer Lopez, Lionel Richie and Gloria Estefan. While her last studio album was 2013’s Sheila E ICON, she’s maintained a robust touring schedule befitting her enormous talents.
Y&T @ The City Winery
155 Varick St., 8:30 p.m. $30, $28, $25, $22. 212-608-0555
Even though Y&T has its greatest heyday during the height of Hair Metal mania in the ‘80s, the foursome’s roots date back to the early ‘70s when it started out being called Yesterday & Today. Fast forward 40 plus years and vocalist/guitarist Dave Meniketti is the last one still standing. With guitarist John Nymann, bassist Brad Lang and drummer Mike Vanderhule rounding out the group, the Bay Area outfit will be dipping into a 12-album canon that includes a number of hard rock gems including “Mean Streak,” “Lipstick and Leather,” “Black Tiger” and mega 1984 megahit “Summertime Girls.”
May 1 & 3
Eric Clapton @ Madison Square Garden
4 Pennsylvania Plaza. 8 p.m. $500, $300, $190, $130, $80. 212-707-3131
There’s no doubting Eric Clapton’s resume as a bona fide guitar god with Rock & Roll Hall of Fame credentials that extend to his having being the only three-time inductee (with The Yardbirds, Cream and as a solo performer). Even though Eric Clapton is capable of creating the kind of safe, contemporary pop that has threatened to tarnish his considerable legacy, this particular tour will find him celebrating his 70th birthday by him digging deep into his considerable canon while out in support of the recently released 3-CD set Forever Man, which focuses on his Reprise Records tenure represented by three theme discs—Studio, Live and The Blues. Note: Clapton’s Saturday, May 2 show has been moved to Sunday, May 3 so the New York Rangers can play its Game 2 Conference Semifinals home game against the Washington Capitals.
May 1 & 2
Sufjan Stevens @ Kings Theatre
1027 Flatbush Ave., 8 p.m. $55.65. 929-210-8419
To say that Sufjan Stevens marches to the beat of his own drum is an understatement. His creative meanderings have led to his attempt of using all 50 states as inspirations for their own albums (he only got as far as home state Michigan and Illinois), recorded a BAM-commissioned programmatic tone poem for the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway (The BQE), cut a collection of sacred and biblical songs (Seven Swans) and banged out two Christmas box sets. Stevens’ latest, Carrie & Lowell, finds the multi-instrumentalist using the 2012 death of his mother, Carrie, and the family trips they took to Oregon during his childhood for inspiration. The album title also references his stepfather.
Fishbone & Easy Star All Stars @ Brooklyn Bowl
61 Wythe Ave. 8 p.m. $22. 718-963-3369
In wrapping ska, reggae and hardcore punk around politically conscious lyrics, Fishbone’s role as one of the ‘80s pioneering California alt-rock bands should have found them getting as huge as fellow Left Coast peers Faith No More, Jane’s Addiction and the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Instead, they had a modicum of success as a Lollapalooza headliner, but never really rose to that level of Chili Peppers success. Instead, various detours were taken that included a one-off side project with the late Jeff Buckley, label hopping and personnel turmoil that most recently found ex members of Suicidal Tendencies and The Time in the Fishbone fold. Having dropped a documentary called Everyday Sunshine: The Story of Fishbone back in 2010, this California crew is out in support of the 5-song EP Intrinsically Intertwined, which is also tied in with the web-based Fishbone reality series Unstuck. Easy Star All Stars help out with the heavy lifting after having done the same with the English Beat a few days prior. With The Skints.
The Baseball Project @ Rough Trade NYC
64 N. 9th St., 9 p.m. $20. 718-388-4111
No disrespect to Terry Cashman, but musical homages to our national pastime are pretty threadbare with notable stabs by the late Steve Goodman and bluegrass mandolinist Sam Bush notwithstanding. The Baseball Project, (Scott McCaughey, Steve Wynn, Peter Buck, Linda Pitmon), rectified this with its excellent 2008 debut, Volume 1: Frozen Ropes and Dying Quails. This most-excellent 2011 sequel lived up to its esteemed predecessor, with nods to past greats Mark Fidrych and Pete Rose along with current superstars Tim Lincecum and Ichiro Suzuki. Last year found the most recent outing, 3rd, coming out and with it more earworms directed at the likes of Dock Ellis, Hank Aaron, The Oakland A’s, Cy Young and Pascual Perez. With the Gay Blades.
Spandau Ballet @ the Beacon Theatre
74th Street & Broadway. 8 p.m. $86, $54.50, $39. 866-858-0008
The darlings of the New Romantic movement, Spandau Ballet made its mark in the States (and the WLIR airwaves) thanks to 1983’s True and its smash title track and follow-up singles “Gold” and “Communication.” A 20-year hiatus came about at the end of the ‘80s when lawsuits started flying about over songwriting royalties. Differences were settled in 2009 and even saw the release of Once More, which consisted of 11 re-recordings from the band’s catalog along with two new songs. The comeback continued last year with the release of the critically acclaimed documentary Soul Boys of the Western World. With rumors that the band is back in the studio with uber-80s producer Trevor Horn and a still-untitled record slated to drop in the summer, expect the London natives to be weaving in some new material amongst their ‘80s classics. (Also appearing on May 3 at NYCB Theatre @ Westbury, 960 Brush Hollow Rd., Westbury. 877-598-8497 www.livenation.com.)
My Excuse @ Bowery Electric
327 Bowery, 7 p.m. $8. 212-228-0228
So it might not cross your mind to celebrate Cinco de Mayo with a Greek alt-rock band but thanks to a Kickstarter campaign, My Excuse is in the States touring behind its 2013 debut All I’ve Become. Produced by noted knob-twirler Ron Saint Germain (Bad Brains/Living Colour/Red Hot Chili Peppers), the Hellenic quintet’s 10-song collection reflects the band’s Kings of Leon influence and has already gotten them on the music industry radar thanks to well-received shows at SXSW and the Stars & Stripes Festival by Lake Michigan. With Broken Compass Society and Isabella Mariott & The Boys.
Cinderella’s Tom Keifer @ B.B. King Blues Club and Grill
237 West 42nd St. 8 p.m. $22.50 adv. $27 DOS. 212-997-4144
A solid hard rock band out of Philadelphia, Cinderella got its start when Jon Bon Jovi tipped Mercury Records A&R about them after catching their show at Philly’s Empire Rock Club. (Bon Jovi sang background on Cinderella’s debut and made a cameo in the video for “Somebody Save Me” along with bandmate Richie Sambora). Two-and-half decades later, founding member Tom Keifer has been calling Nashville home since 1997 and released his solo debut The Way Life Goes back in 2013. Bolstered by the critical acclaim he’s received, the Philly native is out on the road with ex-Motley Crue/The Scream frontman John Corabi.
Paramore @ the Beacon Theatre
74th Street & Broadway. 8 p.m. $86, $54.50, $39. 866-858-0008
It’s been a decade since Paramore formed but since roaring out of the gate with its 2005 debut All We Know is Falling, the band went through some peaks and valleys before going through a 2010 lineup shakeup that saw Josh and Zac Farro leaving the band. The group’s first Farro-less record, 2013’s self-titled outing and fourth overall, found Paramore winding up with its first chart-topping album and a quartet of singles—“Now,” “Still Into You,” “Daydreaming” and the Grammy-winning Best Rock Song “Ain’t It Fun.”