Pick of the Week:
“Ragas to Niches”
“Classical Indian music meets jazz fusion.” If you’re unsure about what sort of auditory experience that provocative phrase conjures up, take a leap of faith — the kind that’s necessary if you haven’t cultivated a taste for either of these rarefied and often maligned genres. It might help to know the fusing of Indian music and, well, fusion, has the backing of those who book talent at Cornelia St. Café. That vote of confidence should put you over the fence and motivate you to attend the New York debut concert of Anupam Shobhakar.
Born in the east-Indian state of Calcutta and raised in the state’s financial capital city of Bombay, the classically mentored artist trained to play sarod in the traditional Indian fashion — spending years completing finger exercises without picking up the instrument. All of that phantom practice seems to have paid off. Look him up on YouTube and see for yourself.
What you won’t see on the web is the particular configuration of musicians appearing at this upcoming gig. The roster of talent includes Joel Harrison (national steel and electric guitar), Dan Weiss (drums), Gary Versace (piano, accordion) and Stephan Crump (bass). Wed., June 23rd, at Cornelia St. Café (29 Cornelia St.). There are two shows, at 8:30 p.m. and 10 p.m. (tickets are $12 per show). For info., call 212-989-9319. Visit www.corneliastreetcafe and www.Shobhakar.com.
“Confessions of a Prairie Bitch”
It’s easier to go through your day being mean instead of nice…and it’s way more fun. Few people know that better than Alison Arngrim. Oh, the name doesn’t ring a bell? How about Nellie Oleson? Yes, that nasty girl from “Little House on the Prairie” actually grew up to be a well-adjusted AIDS activist and all-around sweetheart. Her newly released book (“Confessions of a Prairie Bitch”) comes with a companion theatrical experience of the same name. This evening of storytelling and stand-up will tell you all you ever wanted to know about America’s favorite toxic pre-teen brat — whose tight petticoats and ringlets drove her to the brink of sanity. Arngrim will provide insight into what made Nellie tick, plus indulge her morbidly curious fans with a shockingly frank and very funny Q&A session. At 7:30 p.m. June 17th through June 19th, at the Laurie Beechman Theatre (407 West 42nd St.). For tickets ($20 + $15 food/drink minimum), call 212-352-3101or visit www.SpinCycleNYC.com.