We love CMJ, but it can definitely exhaust even the most die-hard live-music fan. Bouncing around from venue to venue, taking a chance on that obscure Czech band your roommate loves and trying to see every last group to justify that badge takes planning, stamina and vigilance. If you like your concerts a little more relaxed and immersive, maybe even consciousness-expanding, there's an alternate option we think you'll enjoy.
RECOMMENDED: Full coverage of concerts in NYC
Starting this Thursday, the Joshua Light Show takes over NYU's Skirball Center. Based around Joshua White, the lighting wiz behind the Fillmore East's hippie-rock freak outs, the group puts on the mesmerizing liquid light shows you've seen in all those ’60s movies (like Midnight Cowboy's famously trippy party scene, in which White had a hand).
The light-show outfit accompanies six artists over three days for a dreamy, psychedelic concert experience—and there's something for everyone music-wise:
Thursday, Oct 23 at 7:30pm, jazz trio The Bad Plus takes on Ornette Coleman's legendary, experimental 1971 album Science Fiction in its entirety. Later at 10pm, L.A.'s Glasser performs her brand of Joni Mitchell–infused synth-pop.
Friday, Oct 24 is indie-rock night: Baltimore crew Wye Oak supports its recent Shriek in the 7:30pm slot, and Brooklynite psych-folkies Woods—coming off the aptly titled With Light and with Love—play the 10pm show.
Saturday, Oct 25 wraps up the Joshua Light Show residency, with art-punk heroes Television playing a special all-instrumental set at 7:30pm. J. Spaceman (Spiritualized's Jason Pierce) and Oneida drummer Kid Millions continue their lysergic, mind-melting improvisational collaboration in the 10pm spot.
Check out the Joshua Light Show accompanying MGMT at Skirball in 2012: