Sleater-Kinney Show NYC Some Love in This Weekend's Best Concerts

Sleater-Kinney takes over NYC this week, beginning with a stop at Kings Theatre on SaturdayEXPAND
Sleater-Kinney takes over NYC this week, beginning with a stop at Kings Theatre on Saturday
Photo by Brigitte Sire

For more shows throughout the weekend, check out our New York Concert Calendar, which we update daily.

On the title track of their first new album in ten years, Sleater-Kinney sings "There are no cities, no cities to love," but it sure seems like they've got a crush on NYC. The first leg of the tour brought them to Terminal 5 for two sold-out nights, but they just can't stay away, lining up a total of five more shows (beginning this Saturday at Kings Theatre) in a variety of venues with a different opener each night. Their final date signifies another reunion of sorts — that of Bushwick's DIY space Market Hotel, which closed in 2010 after multiple run-ins with city officials. Resident show promoter Todd P has been teasing the re-opening of the space since last January, and those that commute from the Myrtle-Broadway JMZ stop have been eagerly monitoring its progress from the station's elevated platform, which peeks right into the new-old venue's window — there's been a drum kit set up there for months. Since there haven't been other shows announced for the space yet, it looks like Corin Tucker, Janet Weiss, and Carrie Brownstein will be the ones to christen it when they play the space on Wednesday next week; until then, fans can get their S-K fix at the aforementioned Kings Theatre show or at Terminal 5 on Sunday. Also recommended, Shellshag play their homecoming record-release show at the Bell House (which should get pretty wild), and Blood Orange brings his besties to the Apollo for two benefit shows on Saturday (one in the afternoon, one in the evening).

Friday 12/11
Thievery Corporation
Terminal 5
9 p.m., $40-$45
Washington D.C. lounge-scene poobahs Rob Garza and Eric Hilton have successfully transformed what used to be known as "space-age bachelor pad music" into a life-style accessory for a new generation of swinger. Following two albums of politically engaged dub and space-rock as Thievery Corporation, the duo returned to its tropical roots last year with Saudade, a breezy, mellow (and sometimes rather bland) collection of Brazilian bossa nova. Expect a rather more rocking trip through their catalog here, with a rotating crew of vocalists. – Richard Gehr

Andrew W.K. (solo)
Knitting Factory
11 p.m., $20
As our resident advice columnist here at the Village Voice, Andrew W.K. regularly shares his wisdom on the power of positive partying. He’s also given motivational lectures and been a radio and television host, club owner, and record producer, but before he was any of those things, he espoused his pro-partying stance via his own peculiar hybrid of metal and punk, which he introduced to the world with his debut record I Get Wet in 2001. Like the Santa Claus of partying that he is, Andrew W.K. has visited various locations once a year for the last eight years on an annual solo holiday tour to spread good vibes and cheer. That tour lights up the Knitting Factory this Friday, where we wouldn’t be surprised to see fans party around the Christmas Tree and drink eggnog 'til they puke. – Lindsey Rhoades

Hamilton Leithauser
Baby’s All Right
8 p.m., $20
With his smart blazers, biting lyrics, and an idiosyncratic croon, Hamilton Leithauser became one of indie rock’s most iconic mid-Aughts frontmen during his time in the Walkmen; when the band announced their indefinite hiatus, it already seemed inevitable that Leithauser would go on to record solo records. His 2014 solo debut Black Hours didn’t stray too far from the path he'd been on previously, but it certainly lived up to his past work, helped along with guest appearances by Vampire Weekend’s Rostam Batmanglij, Amber Coffman from Dirty Projectors, the Shins’ Richard Swift, Morgan Henderson from Fleet Foxes, and his old bandmate Paul Maroon. He and Maroon have already collaborated again on vinyl-only follow-up LP Dear God, and more recently, a five-song EP called I Could Have Sworn. Leithauser plays NYC-area shows with some regularity, performing Friday night in Brooklyn for a one-off gig with a full band at Baby’s All Right before he and Maroon hit the road together in January in support of Dear God. – Lindsey Rhoades

Parquet Courts
8 p.m., $18
After spending the late summer and early fall touring Europe, Parquet Courts released an EP titled Monastic Living, which has proven to be something of an odd duck. Most of the EP’s meandering instrumental tracks devolve into catatonic drone, hinging on repetitive, trancelike loops. Whether or not they’re searching for spirituality in the noise and have abandoned the shouty, bracing sing-alongs that populated their excellent 2014 releases Sunbathing Animal and Content Nausea remains to be seen; more likely, Monastic Living’s unraveling tunes will serve as sketches for a yet to be unannounced album, much the way their EPs in the past functioned as launching pads for fuller records. Notorious for previewing new material on the road, their tour with Pill (whose debut Andrew Savage released via his Dull Tools label) ends with its last stop at Warsaw on December 11. – Lindsey Rhoades

Stew, Eszter Balint, Church of Betty
The Living Room
8 p.m., $15-$18
A drolly charismatic onstage delight, monomonikered Stew (of Passing Strange and the Negro Problem fame) is the sort of performer who makes other singer-songwriters sound painfully drab in comparison. He'll also be MCing tonight's lineup of smart, witty, and distinctive acts, including Chris Rael and his longtime Indian-influenced art-rock outfit Church of Betty along with Eszter Balint, the darkness-loving folk-punk singer notable for her unsettling performances as Louie C.K.'s Hungarian-speaking lover during last season's Louie– Richard Gehr

Saturday 12/12
Blood Orange & Friends
Apollo Theater
3 p.m. & 7 p.m., $20
Dev Hynes has a lot of friends. The last record released under his moniker Blood Orange, 2013's Cupid Deluxe, was packed with guest spots from Caroline Polachek, Samantha Urbani, Dave Longstreth, and more. He's also a prolific remixer and producer, working with artists like Sky Ferreira, Solange Knowles, Empress Of, FKA Twigs, and Carly Rae Jepsen, who invited him onstage for her SNL appearance last April. So there's no telling who might show up for Blood Orange's benefit concerts at the Apollo on Saturday, though Le1f, Junglepussy, Ratking, and Adam Bainbridge of Kindness have been confirmed. There's also no telling what songs Hynes might perform — a few months ago, he played a "karaoke-style" set at Elvis Guesthouse with Kirin J Callinan, Sean Nicholas Savage, and Weyes Blood, among others, debuting a handful of new songs (he also played a surprise secret show at Baby's All Right on Thursday). With October's release of new single "Sandra's Smile," featuring Hynes' trademark silken vocals over minimalistic, hand-clap beats and a ripple of sax, he's clearly gearing up for something big. The first Apollo performance sold out immediately, so a matinee the same day was added a few weeks ago, with proceeds from both shows going to Opus 118 Harlem School of Music. – Lindsey Rhoades

Kings Theatre
8 p.m., $37.50
This year, Christmas is coming early for still-ecstatic Sleater-Kinney fans. After releasing the band's first new album in a decade, No Cities to Love, at the beginning of this year, the trio of Corin Tucker, Carrie Brownstein, and Janet Weiss is playing New York for an impressive five-night stay this December. Even better: The stop hits a variety of venues, from Brooklyn's historic Kings Theatre on December 12, to small Bushwick space Market Hotel on December 16 (with nights in between at Terminal 5 on December 13, Irving Plaza on December 14, and Music Hall of Williamsburg on December 15). Expect hipsters, riot grrrls, and rock 'n' roll fans of all stripes out in droves for these sure-to-be-memorable shows. – Jill Menze

Upcoming Events

The Bell House
8 p.m., $10-$12
There are few bands that manage to stay on the DIY grind for more than a decade, and still fewer who remain so ecstatic as those years go by. But the joyous, rowdy, and frankly unforgettable live shows that Shellshag is known for have long inspired a rabid fanbase, and they're ending their current tour with a hometown record release show at the Bell House on Saturday. The scrappy punk duo, comprised of Jennifer Shagawat and John Driver, dropped their fifth studio LP, Why’d I Have To Get So High, in October, and have been on the road ever since, rallying around their iconic home-made mic tower and singing their four lungs out, encouraging the audience to do the same. Their shows are always triumphant, but this one should be extra-memorable, with the indomitable sax punk of Downtown Boys and Screaming Females’ Marisa Paternoster side-project Bad Canoes getting things started with equal parts politics and pogoing. – Lindsey Rhoades

Sunday 12/13
Dave Harrington & Friends Holiday Spectacular
Le Poisson Rouge
8 p.m., $12-$15
Dave Harrington has deep roots in psych, jazz, and electronic production, making him a versatile multi-instrumentalist, and after seven years active in NYC's music scene, playing with Darkside, ARMS, and more, he's also well-connected. He'll invite some of his longtime collaborators for his second annual Holiday Spectacular, presented by PopGun booking and taking place at LPR on Sunday. Expect eclectic takes on non-denominational classics like you've never heard, opening remarks from Richard Hell, and a veritable who's who of New York's finest indie musicians, including a Place to Bury Strangers, Tanlines, Real Estate, Yeasayer, and many more. And since it's the season for giving, proceeds benefit the Harlem School of the arts. – Lindsey Rhoades

Unnatural WaysEXPAND
Unnatural Ways
Photo by Leyya Tawil

Unnatural Ways
Silent Barn
8:30 p.m., $8-$10
Since arriving from Oakland, Brooklyn-based guitarist Ava Mendoza has been swinging the ax as maestro of melding jazz, metal, blues and punk into brutal shredfests, spreading her fret-hopping wizardry at DIY hubs across NYC's landscape. Mendoza — a Nels Cline, Henry Kaiser and Fred Frith disciple — rounded up a couple of musically sick locals (bassist Tim Dah; drummer Max Jaffe) for a reboot of Unnatural Ways, a trio she originally started in Cali. That collaboration spawned a self-titled debut, and its nine dizzying epics feature a genre-hopping clinic of six-string domination recalling Sonny Sharrock, Black Flag and the Flying Luttenbachers. Rounding out this killer bill are spazzy noise-rockers BBIGPIGG, Silk Purse (featuring former members of noise institution Sightings) and Indigo Street. – Brad Cohan

Kosha Dillz
Mercury Lounge
6:30 p.m., $12
The best way to celebrate the last night of Hannukah? That would probably be taking in some of the formidable freestyle of Jewish rapper Kosha Dillz, who takes the stage at Mercury Lounge for a Sunday night set. With unparalleled flow, Dillz raps in Hebrew, English, and Spanish, and has collaborated and toured with stars like Matisyahu, Snoop Dogg, and several members of the Wu-Tang Clan. More recently, the Jersey-born MC has been writing for Billboard, penning an impassioned essay on the Paris attacks versus the power of live music, and providing a rundown of the eight best Hannukah songs (which included a special holiday mix of his own). Make sure to bring your Dr. Dreidel– Lindsey Rhoades

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