July means music in the open, out in public places: by the fountain in Lincoln Park, near the flags at the south end of Liberty State Park on Tuesdays, in the shadow of the great cylinders at Berry Lane on Thursday nights. Bookings at these shows can be hit or miss, but it’s tough to have a bad time under the stars at a park. R&B standouts on the July park-concert schedule include the pure traditionalist Bobby Harden, who brings his funky Soul Purpose Band to LSP on Tuesday the 11th, and sweet-voiced Robin Andre, who incorporates elements of hip-hop and EDM into his sound, and who’ll be at Berry Lane Park on Thursday the 27th. Both of those shows begin at 6:30 p.m., and since they’re city-run, they’re free to anybody who’d like to wander in and hang out on the grass. 

Naama Gheber @ Coles Street Park (Jul 7)

Coles Street Park — just south of the Hoboken border in the as-yet-unnicknamed neighborhood adjacent to the entrance to the Holland Tunnel — is home to a little amphitheater. It’ll be ringing during a small Friday night festival called Summer Sounds, which promises food trucks, painting, a pop-up shop, and a couple of live performances. The most impressive attraction is Naama Gheber, an Israeli-born jazz artist who sings standards with complete faith in the material and without adornment or affectation.  On her recordings, she matches her graceful vocals to understated accompaniment akin to that on early Diana Krall albums. How will that translate to a crowded, hectic outdoor space? Rather well, I reckon. Gheber’s voice is subtle, but it’s also strong. Another reason to go: one of the vendors is Jersey & Co. gelato. That ought to hit the spot on a hot night. (Coles Street Park, Coles Street between 16th and 18th, music starts at 6, Naama Gheber sings at 7; free; visit www.societyxsummersounds.com).

Thaikkudam Bridge @ White Eagle Hall (Jul 14)

The actual Thaikkudam Bridge — the landmark, not the fifteen-piece touring musical collective — is in Kochi, a city on the Malabar Coast, right where the Arabian Sea spills into the wider Indian Ocean. Kochi has long been a site of international trade and cultural exchange, and the thunderous Thaikkudam Bridge is the region’s latest export of note. The group, which has been around for a decade but has only recently begun getting its due in the United States, plays an inventive, mesmerizing, and frequently scalding fusion of South Indian folk, note-bending Islamic pop, and Western progressive rock and prog-metal. The instrumentalists are note-perfect no matter how ambitious (and loud) they get, and the vocalists sing with remarkable tonal purity, even when they’re excited. The group is guided, if not exactly led, by the musical vision of singer and electric violinist Govind Vasantha, a composer of scores for dramatic Tamil movies. He’ll almost certainly play “Fish Rock,” the quick-spitting hard rock number that put Thaikkudam Bridge — the band, not the landmark — on the map. If you’re going to see one show in Jersey City in July, this is the one. (White Eagle Hall, 337 Newark Avenue, 7:30 doors, 8 p.m. show.; $60 for a general admission ticket, $95 for a balcony seat; visit www.whiteeaglehalljc.com).

Jessi Uribe
Jessi Uribe

Fearless @ Sip Studios (Jul 21)

Opinions on music are subjective, of course. But should you ask ten random people to name the greatest album in the history of rock, it’s a cinch that at least one of them will mention The Dark Side of the Moon. Pink Floyd’s 1973 classic remains a landmark: a masterpiece of sound, tone, and performance, held together by Roger Waters’s pained examinations of the thin lines between life and death, madness and sanity, inclusion and exclusion, wealth and poverty, and us and them. This month, a group of talented Jersey musicians that includes the protean pop-rocker and multi-instrumentalist Gerry Rosenthal, big-voiced Eden Mendez, and the show-runner Rostafa will celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the release of The Dark Side of the Moon with a tribute show. It’ll include other Floyd songs alongside a complete performance of the world-famous set with the prism on the cover. And because Dark Side wouldn’t be Dark Side without trippy images, Jersey City artist Frank Ippolito (also part of the Fearless band) will work his visual magic on a circular screen behind the performers. Look around; choose your own ground. (Sip Studios, 140 Sip Avenue, 7:30 doors, 9 p.m. show; $30; visit https://bpt.me/5767761).

Jessi Uribe @ White Eagle Hall (Jul 22)

Regional Mexican music made him famous, and he’s headquartered in Los Angeles. But Jessi Uribe was born in Bucaramanga in the Andean foothills, and he reserves the right to wave the bandera Colombiana. Independence Day in Colombia is July 20; Uribe arrives at White Eagle Hall two nights later for a celebration of the land of his origin. Even when he’s doing Norteño-influenced shout-alongs like the irresistible “Dulce Pecado,” there’s always been something pleasingly pan-Latin about Uribe’s music.  Much of that has to do with Uribe’s broad and genial baritone, which works just as well over dramatic banda tracks as it does when he’s matched with blithe contemporary pop production. No wonder so many artists have sought him out as a collaborator. He’ll arrive in Hudson County after an early July tour of Colombia, so he ought to be in the national spirit. (White Eagle Hall, 337 Newark Avenue, 7 p.m. doors, 8 p.m. show.; $115 for a general admission ticket, $275 for a VIP balcony seat; visit www.whiteeaglehalljc.com).  

Above the Moon @ Pet Shop (Jul 27)

Here’s an antidote to the mushrock style of contemporary alt-pop: a set from a crunchy, melody-forward quartet from Madison led by a vocalist who makes her presence felt with every astringent syllable she sings. Kate Griffin is a clear, forceful communicator who is not afraid to get wild when the song and the lyric calls for abandon. On “Mine Again,” the group’s month-old debut full-length, Griffin and Above the Moon follow the best practices of the left-of-the-dial favorites of the ‘80s and ‘90s. I hear echoes of punk-inflected power-pop bands like Cruiserweight and Velocity Girl in their pleasing sound. But what really sells Above the Moon are the tunes, which are designed to get you singing along before the band arrives at the final chorus. Kickoff track “Good Old Friend” is a standout suitable for a Turnpike cruise, but my favorite is the belated apology “I Said It,” which leads with a monster hook and a deliciously rueful performance by the frontwoman. I can’t imagine the circumstance that would prevent them from playing both at their Jersey City gig. (Pet Shop, 193 Newark Avenue, 7 p.m.; free; visit www.petshopjc.com).

Lauren Rosato @ Fox & Crow (Jul 29)

She sings like she dwells above the cloudline in some sleepy Appalachian village. In her gorgeous, languorous Dixie twang, Lauren Rosato tells us about her fears of the voices in her head, her uncontrollable desire for an off-limits object of affection, the perils of too much drinking. She projects the attendance at her own funeral and watches the rain as it falls. Typical backwoods stuff, right?  As it turns out, Rosato is from Jersey City, and she’s the possessor of one of the town’s most unusual — and most expressive — voices. “Real Enough,” her 2021 debut album, was an exercise in spectral folk-pop that fit the insular and downcast mood of the pandemic.  Has her mood picked up since?  A rare live appearance at a room that’ll suit her sound like a cowboy suit ought to give us some indication.  Either way, I’m sure it’ll be beautiful. (Live in the Parlour at Fox & Crow, 594 Palisade Avenue, 8 p.m.; $10; visit www.foxandcrowjc.com).

Tris McCall has written about art, architecture, performance, politics, and public culture for many publications, including the Newark Star-Ledger, the Bergen Record, Jersey Beat, the Jersey City Reporter,...