It's All a Blur for This Weekend's Best Concerts in NYC
Blur at the Music Hall of Williamsburg, May 2015
Courtesy of Converse
For more shows throughout the weekend, check out our New York Concert Calendar, which we update daily.
Blur are back, baby. It's been over a decade since the Britpop giants have toured with their original lineup, but the release of The Magic Whip in April heralded a reunion with guitarist Graham Coxon and a true return to form. A very intimate one-off show at the Music Hall of Williamsburg this past spring had fans clamoring for tickets, fearful that their heroes would never return, but alas, Damon Albarn — who's kept busy with his solo records, writing musicals for the National Theatre, and his side project Gorillaz — put aside his misgivings about touring with Blur in the U.S. for two whole shows, and one of them, luckily for New York fans, is at Madison Square Garden. While "Song 2" is routinely used to pump up the crowd at Knicks games, it'll be the first in-person appearance there for the band as a whole. Their MHOW gig focused heavily on the new record, but their stop at the Hollywood Bowl last Tuesday featured a more well-rounded, career-spanning set that included such iconic tracks as "Girls & Boys" and, yes, those obligatory "WEEEEE-hoo"s. It also featured an array of brass players, backup singers, and a surprise appearance from Fred Armisen (who lent a hand on "Parklife"), so there's little doubt that their MSG stop will be a full-scale production. Another mainstay of Nineties alt radio, Garbage, will make an appearance at Flatbush's Kings Theatre with their "20 Years Queer" anniversary tour, and country music's reigning beauty queen, Kacey Musgraves, brings her latest record, Pageant Material, to the Apollo.
Madison Square Garden
8 p.m., $29.50–$85
The iconic British band made headlines in 2015 with the announcement of their first new LP in twelve years, The Magic Whip, a Hong Kong–inspired album released in April that marked the return of guitarist Graham Coxon to the original lineup (alongside Damon Albarn, Alex James, and Dave Rowntree). Equally exciting: Blur announcing that one of their two U.S. dates this fall will roll through Madison Square Garden. Though the famed Britpoppers did preview their new material at a free surprise show in May at the Music Hall of Williamsburg, the MSG gig will be Blur's first proper show in New York since 2003. Acclaimed singer-songwriter Courtney Barnett opens. — Jill Menze
8:00 p.m., $20
Performing as Glasser for roughly six years now, Cameron Mesirow has explored her relationship to outside elements; on her 2010 debut, Ring, with tracks like "Apply" and "Home," the singer-songwriter took a metaphorical approach to examining the spaces around her, while she has said that 2013's Interiors was inspired by New York City architecture. While she's still working on the follow-up to that LP, she takes a little detour with a multimedia performance that gazes inward, using the breath and the body not only as inspiration, but as the building blocks for new sonic structures. The show is called Charge, and for two nights she and filmmaker Jonathan Turner, who has created some stunning visuals based on abstracted visions of the natural world, will take over the Kitchen, a multidisciplinary nonprofit space located in Chelsea. — Lindsey Rhoades
Chance the Rapper (also 10/25)
7 p.m., $35
Equal parts hip-hop and neo-soul, Chance the Rapper secured national attention with his colorful 2013 mixtape Acid Rap and quickly broke out as a millennial flag-bearer. (The Rugrats references on "Cocoa Butter Kisses" — "Used to like orange cassette tapes with Timmy, Tommy, and Chuckie" — are a prime example of this.) On May 28, Donnie Trumpet & the Social Experiment (the band Chance the Rapper's in with his Chicagoan pals) surprise-released their debut, Surf, and Chance's contribution exhibited all the range and talent he has to offer. — Silas Valentino
James Elkington & Nathan Salsburg
8 p.m., $12–$14
What happens when two accomplished but unassuming guitarists get together for a songwriting session in order to stay loose on their six-strings? Listening to Ambsace, the latest collaborative record between James Elkington and Nathan Salsburg, the answer starts to become as clear as a plucked note on a crisp autumn day. So, too, is there clarity in the relationship between these players and their beloved instruments; these men are passionately dedicated to the guitar, and they’ve composed a delicate, deliberate collection of songs that showcase the way in which two acoustic melodies twine around each other like braided gold. They’re sandwiched on a bill with other nonchalant virtuosos of the same craft for two dates at Union Pool — Brooklyn’s own Steve Gunn (with whom Elkington has recorded in the past) will headline, while freak-folk patron saint Matt “MV” Valentine opens. — Lindsey Rhoades
Oneida and Kinski
8:00 p.m., $8
If the streets of New York City were named after the quintessential bands that defined its music scene (rather than, y'know, Dutch colonialists), Oneida Avenue would fall along the grid beside Liars Lane, Suicide Street, and Bush Tetras Boulevard. They wouldn’t be as heavily trafficked by tourists, but they’d provide a go-to shortcut for true New Yorkers, connecting important landmarks in the city’s sonic history by taking a scenic route. Since 1997, Oneida have released a dozen records dabbling in nearly as many genres, most notably Kraut-rock, psychedelica, and noise. Vocalist and drummer John Colpitts — better known as Kid Millions — has also been an extremely prolific collaborator on a vast array of projects. Oneida are headlining this one-off show for their West Coast counterparts Kinski, who just released their grunge-tastic seventh (or eighth) studio record, aptly titled 7 (or 8). For a measly eight bucks, it would be silly to miss these two legendary acts in such an intimate space. — Lindsey Rhoades
7:00 p.m., $24
For those who never forgot the Teaches of Peaches (really, how could you?), this October offers the chance to catch the singer/performance artist née Merrill Beth Nisker back in session. Known as Peaches, the provocative, sexually charged Canadian is the visionary behind such boundary-pushing albums as The Teaches of Peaches, Fatherfucker, and Impeach My Bush; the less initiated might know her through pop-culture usage of her songs in films such as Lost in Translation and Mean Girls. While it's been six years since her last album, the time off yielded a film and a book by Peaches, and this fall she returns with RUB. In support of the album, Peaches makes a stop at Irving Plaza on October 24. — Jill Menze
7:30 p.m., $40–$50
As befits her delightful country throwback album, this June's Pageant Material, Kacey Musgraves has embarked on a fall trek entitled "The Kacey Musgraves Country & Western Rhinestone Revue." The jaunt brings the country sensation to the historic Apollo Theater, where fans can expect to find Musgraves decked out in all her retro Dolly Parton–esque glory. Her latest album follows the former Nashville Star contestant's breakout Same Trailer Different Park, which nabbed Musgraves a Grammy and a spot on many critics' Best Of lists. Countrified hit singles like "Follow Your Arrow" and "Biscuits" will highlight her live set.
8 p.m., $41.50–$71.50
To mark their twentieth anniversary, alt-rock heroes Garbage announced a "20 Years Queer" tour, which brings the group to Brooklyn's Kings Theatre on October 24. For the tour, the Shirley Manson–led outfit will be performing its 1995 self-titled debut in its entirety, including such classic hits as "Stupid Girl" and "Only Happy When It Rains." The tour coincides with a special remastered edition of the LP, which features unreleased versions of the songs as well as remixes.
They Might Be Giants
Music Hall of Williamsburg
7 p.m., $25
Once a month since last January, They Might Be Giants have performed a show at the Music Hall Of Williamsburg. It’s longer than a typical residency, and that term feels somewhat self-serious for a band that’s made a living out of turning tongue-in-cheek observations into irreverent little anthems. But their stay at MHoW has been productive; by the end of the year they’ll have written 52 original recordings for their quirky Dial-A-Song project, fifteen of which make up Glean, their seventeenth studio album, released last April. Sadly, though, their time at MHoW is coming to an end. They’re about to embark on a month-long Australian tour, but will return to play once more in November. Then they go out with a bang, playing three consecutive shows beginning with a New Year’s Eve blowout. This last run could be their zaniest yet. — Lindsey Rhoades
Helado Negro and Buscabulla
Baby’s All Right
8 p.m., $12–$15
It wouldn’t be all that surprising to walk into Baby’s All Right this Sunday and see a banner reading “Young, Latin, and Proud” slung across the stage; not only is that the title of Helado Negro’s latest single, it could also describe openers Buscabulla. Both acts are Brooklyn-based and make atmospheric electronic dream-pop influenced by their Latin roots (and usually sung in Spanish). In Buscabulla’s case, the duo at its center (Raquel Berrios and Luis Alfredo Del Valle) hail from Puerto Rico, while the man behind Helado Negro, Roberto Carlos Lange, was born in Miami to Ecuadorian immigrants. The song’s message is one of unity across Latin cultures, and this double bill is the perfect representation of that in action. — Lindsey Rhoades
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