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Check It Out

Check It Out!: May 31, 2013

Madeleine Peyroux –

The Blue Room  (Decca)

Blessed with a smoky phrasing that seems like she's channeling Billie Holiday, Madeleine Peyroux might not be the first person you’d expect producer Larry Klein (Joni Mitchell) to have take a crack at elements of Ray Charles’ Modern Sounds in Country and Western. Considered by many to be one of the first times a major artist chose to have jazz and country music meet at creative crossroads, you’d think Klein would have gone with Peyroux peer Norah Jones, who went down a similar road with 2005’s Feels Like Home and even collaborated with Charles shortly before his death. Be that as it may, Klein’s instincts proved correct as the Atlanta-born Peyroux slipped into these songs comfortably while putting her own subtle spin on these readings. Peyroux fares well with the Charles-related material.

Felice and Boudleaux Bryant’s “Bye Bye Love” has a bouncy swing to it provided by Larry Goldings’ rich organ accompaniment, “You Don’t Know Me” has deliciously languid pacing to it embraced by lush but not overbearing string arrangements while Don Gibson’s “I Can’t Stop Loving You” is given just the right amount of sensual phrasing. Equally effective is an ethereal “Born To Lose” which benefits from the combination of mournful but never maudlin vocals and John “Scrapper” Schneider’s muted horn.

 And just like in past years where the former street performer has dipped into the canons of Bob Dylan, Elliott Smith and Serge Gainsbourg, Peyroux choices continue to be equally wide-ranging. This time around Buddy Holly (a playful “Changing All Those Changes”), Randy Newman (the saloon song-ish “Guilty”) and Warren Zevon (a forlorn “Desperadoes Under the Eaves”) all benefit from this gifted interpreter’s unique touch.

May 31


The Mane Event @ Baiting Hollow Farm Vineyard

2114 Sound Ave., 6 to 9 p.m. $60 (tax deductible) 631-574-9667

With Triple Crown season in full swing, the work that Baiting Hollow Farm Horse Rescue doest to prevent these noble animals from being abandoned and destroyed all the more crucial. The Mane Event is the organization’s premier fundraiser and this year will feature live music by Southbound, live and silent auctions, raffles and prizes. In addition, News 12 anchor Doug Geed will receive the first annual Horse Angel Award. Country western attire is optional and donations are welcome.

May 31


Ke$ha & Pitbull @ Nikon @ Jones Beach Theater

1000 Ocean Pkwy, 7:30 p.m. $125, $99.50, $79.50, $59.50, $39.50, $29.50. 800-745-3000

Ke$ha’s Warrior Tour, which is in support of her sophomore bow of the same name, finds the L.A. native once again joining forces Miami-born rapper Pitbull. A big part of what makes Ke$ha such an unclassifiable pop star is a bizarre range of influences that somehow includes Johnny Cash, Madonna, Britney Sears, The Velvet Underground, Fugazi, Iggy Pop (who appears on Warrior) and graffiti artist Banksy. The party rap queen is continuing to go down that quirky path by paying back The Flaming Lips’ appearance on her current outing by preparing to release a collaborative album with the band called Lipsha.

June 1


New Kids On the Block/98 Degrees/Boyz II Men @ Nassau Coliseum

Nassau Coliseum, 1255 Hempstead Tpke., 7:30 p.m. $94.50, $74.50, $54.50, $24.50. 866-448-7849

Call it what it is—a big money grab driven by the nostalgia of now-adult teeny-boppers. And while you would think that the demand to see these’90s bubblegum heavyweights would be considerable, word on the street is that Groupon is offering discounts on Package Tour tickets.

(Also appearing on June 13 @ the Izod Center @ The Meadowlands Arena, New Jersey, 212-307-7171 and on June 16 @ Barclays Center 620 Atlantic Ave., 917-618-6700

June 1


Art In The Park Fine Art & Craft Fair @ Heckscher Park

10 a.m.-5 p.m. Free. 631-462-5400

The Art League of Long Island’s Art in the Park Fine Art & Craft Fair returns to the scenic Heckscher Park in Huntington on Saturday June 1 and Sunday June 2.  Now in its 46th year, this juried fair attracts thousands of discerning art lovers from the metropolitan area.

More than 70 artists and craftspeople will show and sell original works of art and handmade crafts such as paintings, photographs, ceramics, jewelry, sculpture, woodwork, glasswork, wearable art, and more. Prizes will be awarded to artists and craftspeople for superior artistry and craftsmanship.

The event will also feature live art demonstrations by Art League instructors and live music throughout both days. A variety of delicious treats prepared by on-site food vendors round out the experience.  A 50-50 raffle will run both days to benefit visual arts education programs at the Art League of Long Island. This event will be held rain or shine.

June 5


The National @ Barclays Center

620 Atlantic Ave. 8 p.m. $49.50. 917-618-6700

Coming off the success of 2010’s critically acclaimed High Violet, The National has attained the kind of rarified air that’s allowed them to headline arena shows. And with the release of Trouble Will Find Me, the indie rock outfit’s sixth studio album that includes guest spots by St. Vncent, Sufjan Stevens and Richard Reed Parry of Arcade Fire, this could very well turn out to be the year of The National. With Youth Lagoon.