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5+ shows to see this week: Feb. 24-March 2

Lucy Dacus

Lucy Dacus returns to Ithaca, a new documentary about UK punk pioneer Poly Styrene opens at Cinemapolis, and several local DJs spin at clubs around town. Plus, many CNY bands are performing in the area this weekend.

Please be sure to check with each show’s event page for various venue protocols, as well as potential postponement or cancellation information. Stay safe, and enjoy as much live music as you can in the coming days!

And don’t forget – it’s time for the 2022 NPR Tiny Desk Contest! It's open to area musicians of any style — you'll just have to upload a video of you or your band performing one original song. The contest is open through March 14. Find out all the details here.

Welcome Return

Acclaimed singer-songwriter Lucy Dacus will return to Ithaca for a show that was moved from the Hangar Theatre to the State Theatre due to overwhelming demand. Dacus has released three full-length albums under her name, including last year’s “Home Video,” which was built on Dacus’ interrogation of her coming-of-age in Richmond, Va. She also recorded the boygenius album in 2018 with her bandmates Phoebe Bridgers and Julien Baker. Find out more about her here. Opening the show are addy, the project of Richmond-based Adam Watkins, and Laura Stevenson, who released a self-titled album last year.

When: 8 p.m. Monday

Where State Theatre

Cost: $30-$35, available online here.

Event Info

Richie Stearns

String Thing

Richie Stearns and Friends return to South Hill Cider for a night of old-time tunes. Richie, best known for his work with the Horse Flies, Richie & Rosie, and the Evil City String Band, will be joined by a friend or two (or more!) for tonight’s event. See the venue’s covid guidelines here.

When: 4-7 p.m. Thursday

Where: South Hill Cider

Cost: free; donations welcome

Event Info


Bring the Noise

The Electrozone and Astralands join forces to present a show headlined by Komrads, an industrial synthpunk artist based in Rochester. Learn more here. Also performing are STCLVR, a harsh pop/bedroom industrial act from Western New York, and local artists Prayer Rope and Flose. Mask and proof of vaccination required.

When: 8 p.m. Thursday

Where: The Soil Factory, 610 Elmira Road, Ithaca

Cost: $10; tickets available online here.

Event Info


Punk Pioneer

Cinemapolis will screen the new documentary, “Poly Styrene: I Am A Cliché,” about the first woman of colour in the UK to front a successful rock band. She introduced the world to a new sound of rebellion, using her unconventional voice to sing about identity, consumerism, postmodernism, and everything she saw unfolding in late 1970s Britain, with a rare prescience. As the frontwoman of X-Ray Spex, the Anglo-Somali punk musician was also a key inspiration for the riot grrrl and Afropunk movements. But the late punk maverick didn’t just leave behind an immense cultural footprint. She was survived by a daughter, Celeste Bell, who became the unwitting guardian of her mother’s legacy and her mother’s demons. Misogyny, racism, and mental illness plagued Poly’s life, while their lasting trauma scarred Celeste’s childhood and the pair’s relationship. Featuring unseen archive material and rare diary entries narrated by Oscar-nominee Ruth Negga, this documentary follows Celeste as she examines her mother’s unopened artistic archive and traverses three continents to better understand Poly the icon and Poly the mother. Learn more about the film here.

When: opens Friday

Where: Cinemapolis

Cost: $7-$10.50

Event Info

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mark malkin
NEO Project

Ready to Dance

NEO Project returns to the stage, showcasing its deep repertoire. New vocalist Elly Holiday joins longtime members Jimbo Scott, Franklin Henry Jr., John White, Dwight Carroll, and Mike McCoy for a night of classic funk, R&B, Motown and much more.

When: 9:30 p.m. Friday

Where: The Upstairs

Cost: $5

Event Info

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Jim Catalano

Tag Team

Two top local DJs – DJ Double Tiger and djGOURD – will face in downtown Ithaca, spinning tunes from their vast repertoires of vinyl. Expect lots of dub, reggae, funk, soul, and much more.

When: 10 p.m. Saturday

Where: The Upstairs

Cost: $5

Event Info

Rising Up

“ELEVATE,” a monthly event featuring resident DJs and different guest artists from around the region for each session, returns. This edition will feature Ithaca-based Highstone, who will be playing a classic all-vinyl acid trance set. Resident DJs include Rob Haze (industrial techno/hard techno), Priest (raw techno/peak-time techno), and Freeze (deep house/house); visuals will be supplied by Mvstrnte, with Lake Effect Crew providing intelligent lighting and 10,000 watts of sound.

When: 8 p.m. Saturday POSTPONED to late March

Where: Forest City Lodge 180, West Green St.

Cost: $5

Event Info

Thomas Feng
Thomas Feng

Looking Inward

Cornell Music’s Midday Music series presents “Extrovert Music by Introvert People: A Birthday Recital.” In celebration of his birthday, introvert pianist Thomas Feng plays outward-facing works by two fellow American introverts, Louise Talma and Donald Martino.

When: 12:30 p.m. Thursday, March 3

Where: Lincoln B20

Cost: free

Event Info

Jim Catalano
The Small Kings

More Events

Aiken is at Cortland Beer Company at 6 p.m. Thursday

Benny T brings his Open Mic Posse back to the Ridge in Lansing at 6:30 p.m. Thursday

Jeremy Bussman hosts the weekly Open Mic Night at the Upstairs at 7 p.m. Thursday

Dan Forsyth and Joe Kollar of Driftwood are at Hopshire Brewing at 6-8 p.m. Friday

Dave Turner is at Grist Iron Brewing at 6-9 p.m. Friday

Steve Maclean is at Homer Hops at 6-8 p.m. Friday

Exit 11 is at Cortland Beer Company at 8 p.m. Friday

The Tarps Duo is at Treleaven Winery at 1-4 p.m. Saturday

Josiah is at Chateau Dusseau at 3 p.m. Saturday

Whistlin’ Dyl is at Stone Bend Farm at 4-7 p.m. Saturday

The Small Kings at Grist Iron Brewing at 6-9 p.m. Saturday

Benny T brings his Open Mic Posse to Brewers Café and Taproom at 6 p.m. Saturday

Josh Ross of Kitestring is at Summerhill Brewing at 6-8 p.m. Saturday

The Johnny West Trio is at Homer Hops at 6 p.m. Saturday

Steve Daniels and Friends will play jazz at Cortland Beer Company at 8 p.m. Saturday

The JazzHappens Band is at Cortland Elks Lodge 748 at 2-4 p.m. Sunday

Rob Ervin is at Drifters on Owasco at 2 p.m. Sunday

The Center for the Arts in Homer hosts its weekly Open Mic Night at 7 p.m. Tuesday

Flea Circus returns to Salt Point Brewing at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday

Sacred Root Kava Bar and Tea Lounge hosts its weekly Open Mic Night at 7 p.m. Wednesday

Benny T brings his Open Mic Posse back to Salt Point Brewing at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, March 3

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Dan Forsyth and Joe Kollar

Jim Catalano covers the Finger Lakes music scene for WITH (90.1 FM in Ithaca, WITHradio.org) and its affiliates.