Say Goodbye to Bowie (and Lee Bannon, Sort Of) With NYC's Best Shows This Weekend

Lee Bannon headlines Trans-Pecos late Friday night
Lee Bannon headlines Trans-Pecos late Friday night
Courtesy of Lee Bannon

Many of us are still reeling from the news Monday (and yesterday's about Alan Rickman — is 69 the new 27 or something?) and could really use a lift. Good news: There's a lot to hear this weekend. The standout is a last chance to catch Lee Bannon before the somewhat cryptic producer sheds his name and previous output to embark on a new journey. That's at Trans-Pecos, the best venue possible for his heady electro haze. And just as there is an end, there is also a rebirth: Beloved post-hardcore pioneers Shiner are bringing down Saint Vitus Saturday and Sunday. For those who like something a little less tiring, Yonatan Gat's show at Mercury Lounge promises to be pure spectacle, and Paul Kalkbrenner's set at Output is a chance to dance to a master of Berlin house. 

1/15
Weekender
Berlin
8 p.m., $5

In listening to “Loving/Hating,” the most recent single from Philly’s Weekender, it’s hard to believe that the rollicking psych-pop tune is essentially the work of one musician, Derek Sheehan. He recorded the bulk of Weekender’s latest EP, Floaty Feeling, Blue with producer Kyle “Slick” Johnson, and after opening shows for Future Islands, the Growlers, Nothing, and more, he has rounded out his touring band’s lineup and added some spacey synths to the already hazy mix. Floaty Feeling, Blue is out Friday via PaperCup Music, and Sheehan plays a show at intimate L.E.S. enclave Berlin to celebrate its release, with Surf Rock Is Dead, Little Racer, and Raccoon Fighter scheduled to play opening sets. — Lindsey Rhoades

Lee Bannon
Trans-Pecos
11:30 p.m., $12–$15

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Sacramento-based experimental producer Lee Bannon is no more: He’s pulled an “artist formerly known as” and changed his name to ¬ b (read: “not B”), rejecting his given name and the music that went with it, which he now considers immature. Some might disagree with that assessment. Critics hailed his debut LP, Alternate/Endings, as one of the best of 2014, noting its deft melding of drum'n'bass with hip-hop and the relentless pace at which Bannon tore through beats. But his interests have undeniably swerved hard toward the ambient, and his latest album (and last under the Bannon moniker), Pattern of Excel, is a set of meditative soundscapes that use jarring repetitions and heavy reverb to create a foreboding but highly listenable atmosphere. Seeing as ¬ b plans to leave it all behind, this could be the last chance anyone in New York has to hear a fantastic album. Get there early to catch local noise sensation Dreamcrusher, who curated this excellent late-night lineup. — Zoë Leverant

Yonatan Gat
Mercury Lounge
7 p.m., $10

Before striking out on his own, Yonatan Gat provided the shred in the Israeli garage trio Monotonix, who for six years bedazzled audiences worldwide with their berserk performances. Since Monotonix disbanded in 2011, Gat has racked up plenty of recognition solo — including being voted “Best Guitarist” in the Voice’s 2013 Best Of poll. He's recruited Israeli drummer Gal Lazer and Brazilian bassist Sergio Sayeg to complement his live shows, which the band always plays in the audience instead of on a stage. Maintaining momentum, he’s fresh from the release of his latest record, Director, which masterfully blends Brazilian psychedelic punk, maniacal Afrobeat rhythm, and American free-form jazz. — Silas Valentino

1/16
Shiner
Saint Vitus
8 p.m., $20–$25
(also 1/17)

In the heady alt-rock days of the mid-Nineties, post-hardcore outfit Shiner were one of the more adept bands to emerge (and from Kansas City, of all places). Over the course of four albums, they brought their sound from standard-issue to striking; their final record, The Egg, is complex and surprising, weaving sparse polyrhythms into dense and snarling tracks that are tense but never overbearing or forced. Singer Allen Epley's voice borders on beautiful at times, unusually tender and sincere for a frontman of the genre. By 2002 it was over; Shiner parted ways, working separately on other projects. They reunited for a brief tour in 2012 and, fortunately for everyone who missed them the first few times around, are playing two nights at Saint Vitus to remind heavy-music lovers why the band is still missed. — Zoë Leverant

St. Paul and the Broken Bones
Bowery Ballroom
8 p.m., $25

If you want to catch St. Paul and the Broken Bones, it’s time to turn into Sherlock Holmes. The six-piece out of Birmingham, Alabama, sold out this date quicker than you can say "primitive soul." But sleuthing on the secondary market is worth the work: The sextet match a spare but classic r&b sound (including a two-piece horn section) with frontman Paul Janeway’s passionate, gritty vocals. The band’s one and only album, so far, Half the City, dropped in 2014, bringing their immediately engaging indie-eyed soul and bluesy boogie considerable nods. Must be about time for new songs, then. — Linda Laban

Paul Kalkbrenner
Output
10 p.m., $30

To call German house veteran Paul Kalkbrenner a DJ wouldn't be quite right, since he makes his sets from scratch using a few pieces of hardware and Ableton Live. He's careful with his sample selection and tends to eschew big beats in favor of clever musical phrases that he warps into addictive, very danceable tracks. His latest album, 7, stands out among his contemporaries' output for the simple fact that it actually is an album: Rather than a series of singles or EPs pushed together into a vaguely sensible order, the record has a logic and flow, building from one track to the next to make something that's equal parts pop and house. He's jokingly referred to a few songs as "Springsteen house" for their piano stylings and hopeful lyrics, but (apologies to the Boss) Springsteen can't make people dance quite like Mr. K. Advance tickets to this show are sold out, but limited door tickets will be available. — Zoë Leverant

1/17
The Sally Can't Dance Tribute to Bowie and Elvis
The Bowery Electric
10 p.m., $10

Bowie cover band extraordinaire Michael T. & the Vanities are the featured act in a lineup of more than fifteen musicians gathering to fete Bowie and the man who first inspired him. The night is split over two levels, with a room each for the two artists (Bowie's downstairs). This one's been in the works for a while — Michael T. (an accomplished Bowie impersonator) posted, elated, about his band's fantastic practice just hours before news of Bowie's death hit — and, thanks to expert DJs like Jonathan Toubin, the quality level is higher than with some of the endearing slapdash tributes that have popped up after Bowie's passing. — Zoë Leverant

Free Dirt Records Showcase
Rockwood Music Hall
9 p.m., free

Free Dirt Records is a mom'n'pop (well, friend'n'friend) indie label from Maryland that releases roots music new and old, introducing the public to long-lost gems and new artists alike. Featured are Teddy Thompson, British folk-rockers Richard and Linda Thompson, Brooklyn singer-songwriter Kristin Andreassen, duo Anna & Elizabeth, and newcomer Dori Freeman. (Only the latter record for Free Dirt; Thompson and Andreassen are friends of the label.) Freeman’s set is worth arriving early for: She’s raising critics’ eyebrows with her Appalachian tales spun from a real-life mountain upbringing, delivered with both a sparrow-like frailty and grittily hawkish insistence. This showcase is part of the APAP NYC conference, the world's largest networking forum and marketplace for performing-arts professionals, held every January in New York City. — Linda Laban

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