The 10 Best Concerts in New York This Week, 8/26/13
Get next to Emeli Sande during her concert in Central Park on Wednesday
For more shows throughout the week, check out our New York Concert Calendar, which is updated daily.
Braids + Headaches The Glasslands Gallery 8:30 p.m., $12 These Canadian art rockers have been shaking walls with their fierce harmonies and intricate synth strains since 2011 debut Native Speaker, and their latest, Flourish // Perish promises to shake things up further. Originally from Calgary, the band is now based out of Montreal and have come off an international tour with new inspirations and bold, experimental sounds. Expect driving rhythms, angelic harmonies, and fuzzed-out instrumental breaks. -- By Caitlin White
Molotov Irving Plaza 7 p.m., $34.50 Mexico's Molotov saw the impending apocalypse of late '90s rap-metal without fear simply because they knew the diversity of their music would save them. How else could they sing so cheerfully that "El mundo se va a acabar" on 1999's aptly-titled Apocalypshit? They always matched their American peers' macho juvenilia, but Molotov transcended their purported genre with a sound that took cues from El General's proto-reggaetón, the groovy Latin Rock of Maná, and Mano Negra's multilingual musical mélange as much as from the Beasties, Rage, the Chili Peppers, and Mr. Bungle. No other rap-rock band could write songs as groovily anthemic as "Voto Latino," "Gimme tha Power," or "Frijolero." For this reason, Molotov endures. -- By Winston Groman
Fred Frith & Laurie Anderson The Stone 8 & 10 p.m., $25 The brilliant British avant-guitar innovator (Henry Cow, Art Bears, etc.) kicks off a six-night residency with a pricier-than-usual improvisatory canoodle with violinist-vocalist Laurie Anderson. Return later in the week, when Frith leads a trio (Wednesday), confronts John Zorn (Thursday at 8), and plays a solo set probably involving table guitar (Thursday at 10). -- By Richard Gehr
Emeli Sande Central Park, Rumsey Playfield 7 p.m., $32/$40 Emeli Sande built a name for herself in the UK by lending her powerhouse vocals to tracks from emerging rappers like Wiley and producer Naughty Boy. After signing with EMI, Sande won a string of awards, moved to London, and released her debut album, Our Version of the Events in early 2012. Still touring off the strength of that release, Sande blends pop, soul, jazz, and blues in a crisp conglomeration that's both easy listening and elegantly constructed. -- By Caitlin White
Mac DeMarco East River Amphitheater 7 p.m., free A few days before eclectic rock firecracker Mac DeMarco lights up the Captured Tracks label's CT5 Festival this weekend, he's playing a special free set tonight at East River Park, and seeing him live is always a treat. Although the two critically acclaimed records he released last year ooze shambolic moodiness, his live shows are just shambolic, full of funny in-jokes that he actually lets the audience in on, impromptu jams and covers (at Bonnaroo he had the gall to break into the Beatles' "Blackbird" a day after Paul McCartney played the song) and carefree, spur-of-the-moment dance numbers. The only cliché thing about DeMarco is that his audience should expected the unexpected. -- By Kory Grow
John Mayer takes Paradise Valley to Jones Beach Wednesday night.
John Mayer + Phillip Phillips Nikon at Jones Beach Theater 6 p.m., $49.50-$79.50 John Mayer will not relax or settle, bouncing from hard rock to jazz to pop to blues on the backs of fluid guitar figures that are less lyrical or prodigal than understatedly emotive. He's like a MOR Pied Piper, this guy, with the doofy lyrics, the sad eyes, the sometimes amusing facial hair, the wishy-washy Katy Perry romance. Laugh at him now, but he'll be laughing at you long after you're dead, when your great granddaughter's slow-dancing to "Daughters" at her wedding. -- By Raymond Cummings
Monogold + Slonk Donkerson + Bad Cop + Plastic Visions + Of the Opera Pianos 7 p.m., $8 The frenetic, driving rock-pop of Monogold has earned these Brooklynites a reputation as one of the best live bands in the borough. Their paint-splatter indie rock will have you tapping your feet and bobbing your head in no time, but there's no metal or hard rock edge here. Expect guitar solos that spiral into the ether without ever fully evaporating. -- By Caitlin White
Holly Williams The Cutting Room 8 p.m., $15-$20 Female country singers have been evolving over the past few years, and despite her old-school pedigree Holly Williams manages to imbue her music with a decidedly modern approach. Yes, Hank Williams is her grandfather and Hank Jr. her father, so Holly was born into a poetic lineage, but those who cry nepotism haven't taken a listen to her freight train vocals or heard her storytelling. Her latest, The Highway, can hold its own against records by both heavyweights like Miranda Lambert and newcomers like Kacey Musgraves. -- By Caitlin White
Zero Boys + Night Birds + Nuclear Santa Claust + SpEd Europa Nightclub 8 p.m., $15 Indianapolis' Zero Boys were among the have-nots of American second-wave punk, its catalogue a subsistence diet of urgent, upended blasts of tuneful mucus. Because they broke up before amassing enough material to allow anyone to define an ascent or decline, there's a sort of eternal mystery of possibility surrounding the band. These days they're making the reunion rounds in the distant wake of another reissue, laying into 30-year old anthems as well suited to partying in a basement as to skateboarding on speed. -- By Raymond Cummings
Diarrhea Planet + The So So Glos The Mercury Lounge 10:30 p.m., $12 Trapped between the moon and New York City, Diarrhea Planet will slide into Manhattan to try to convince people that their take on scuzzy, fuzzy indie rock is better than (or at least as good as) their name. But judging from the buzz around the band--much more buzz than any excretorily named band deserves (as opposed to, say, Bathtub Shitter and the Shitty Beatles)--they might be able to pull it off and score a royal flush. OK, we're done. -- By Kory Grow
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