Image from Diesel bookstores in California.
Make Music Winter, the winter-solstice counterpart to Make Music NY, will make its debut on Wednesday. I'm particularly excited about The Knights' musical occupation of the F line to Coney Island.... A heavy-duty new-music weekend is under way in New York. Tonight, ne(x)tworks and the JACK Quartet give the second of two performances of Spellbeamed, a new piece by composer-harpist Zeena Parkins; the Talea Ensemble surveys microtonal scores; and the New York Philharmonic delivers the second of a pair of CONTACT! events, with an Alexandre Lunsqui premiere and, less novel, a rendition of HK Gruber's Frankenstein!!, which the St. Louis Symphony played at Carnegie as recently as 2009. (Could we have more actual new music on CONTACT!?) Tomorrow there's a Xenakis concert at Greenwich House.... The nonprofit radio collective free103point9 announces an open call for works celebrating John Cage's radio compositions.... Worth a listen: a CBC Inside the Music program devoted to Louis Armstrong's private tapes, on which Terry Teachout drew for his Armstrong biography, Pops. If you're pressed for time, at least stick around for the moment when Lucille Amstrong tells her husband to turn off the machine, saying, "Posterity my ass.".... Housing Works is introducing a cool new series called Safe Space, pairing musicians with writers. The first event, involving Jonathan Biss and Adam Haslett, is on Jan. 9.... If you're buying books this season, I encourage you, more than ever, to shop at independent bookstores. Although you may pay more, you will be supporting book culture. Richard Russo's scathing op-ed about Amazon.com might be an incentive.