The 10 Best Concerts in New York This Week, 9/8/14
Nicki Minaj joins a massive line-up at Barclays' 'Fashion Rocks' event this Tuesday
For more shows throughout the week, check out our New York Concert Calendar, which we update daily.
Die Antwood Irving Plaza 7:00 p.m., $29.50 Die Antwoord brought zef to the United States, a South African counterculture that simultaneously embraces and rejects luxury. If that doesn't make any sense to you, then perhaps seeing a live performance by Die Antwoord -- comprised of emcees Ninja and Yo-Landi Vi$$er, and DJ Hi-Tek -- will solidify the counterculture's meaning. Trance-y, rave-like music is the backdrop for Ninja and Yo-Lani's rapid-fire flow, with Yo-Lani's voice often rising into falsetto raps and yelps. The duo raps in Afrikaans, English, and Xhosa, so don't expect to understand everything they're saying. Just expect to have a roaring good time with these stylish, punk-esque enthusiasts. -- By Tara Mahadevan
Bombay Rickey Joe's Pub 9:30 p.m., $12/$15 This Brooklyn quintet plays a delightful amalgam of surf rock, exotica, mambo, Bollywood, and light opera - which is to say kitsch of the highest quality. The focus is on Kamala Sankaram, a coloratura soprano who evokes Yma Sumac in "Taki Rari," Asha Bhosle in Bollywood megahit "Dum Maro Dum," and every opera diva ever in "Queen of the Rumba." -- By Richard Gehr
'Fashion Rocks' Barclays Center 9:00 p.m., $75-$305 Fashion and music have long had a complex and intertwined relationship. From the way musical movements have inspired designers (remember Marc Jacobs's grunge obsession in the '90s?) to how clothes can often help cultivate a musical persona, the two media have always complemented one another. In the middle of this fall's New York Fashion Week, which runs Sept. 4-11, Fashion Rocks, a massive charity event hosted by Ryan Seacrest, will go down at Barclays. Naturally, the show features the most fashionable lineup of artists imaginable, including Jennifer Lopez, Nicki Minaj, Pitbull, Usher, Miranda Lambert, Duran Duran, KISS, Luke Bryan and more. If you can't make it, the event will be televised live on CBS, but at least wear your couture pajamas while viewing. -- By Brittany Spanos
Evan Parker The Stone Monday, 8:00 p.m.; Tuesday, 10:00 p.m; $20 Evan Parker has hit New York for shows before -- Gotham will always open its doors to revered global kingpins of free improvisation -- but his extended stays at the Stone featuring round-robin guest groupings of Euro and domestic superheroes is still a somewhat novel scenario that should be put in both caps and italics on any jazz fan's calendar -- you've gotta grab it while it's around. The 70-year-old U.K. sax virtuoso is an icon of abstraction, sculpting an intriguing slab of the modern avant lingo for most of the past half-century. His blend of multiphonics and microtones is both arresting and inviting, and his skills at sharing ideas in group settings continue to grow more eloquent with each year. This time 'round, he's a magnet, luring Belgian pianist Fred Van Hove and expat bassist Barre Phillips for rare Gotham visits. Encounters with Matthew Shipp, Nate Wooley, and Craig Taborn are also slated, but a foursome with John Escreet, John Hébert, and Tyshawn Sorey is ultra-fetching - their Sound, Space and Structures is one of 2014's more gripping affairs. -- By Jim Macnie
Shannon & the Clams Union Pool 9:00 p.m., $12 Summer is almost over but Bay Area boobies Shannon and the Clams are still on their never-ending hunk hunt, winking their way to the Big Creepy Apple for three nights of terrorizing greasy retro rock. Channeling the Shangri-Las and surfy psych rock, the crusty Clams whoop and ooga booga in the ultimate embodiment of punks at a sock hop. Like an acid trip bizarrely brought to you by the campiest of John Waters clips, they turn on the steam with songs like "Rip Van Winkle" and "Rat House," buoyed by lead singer Shannon Shaw. After three albums of familiar Muppet-style punk, (especially 2013's critically acclaimed Dreams in the Rat House), they've earned the reputation for putting on the kookiest, wildest live shows around. Go boogie with them. -- By Erin Manning
Louis St. Louis 54 Below Tuesday & Wednesday, 7:00 p.m., $35-$65 By this time he's done everything based on his songwriting, performing, conducting and arranging prowess. Perhaps he's best known for his work on the Grease flicks, but that's only by people who haven't been exposed to his propulsive playing, singing and writing. To add to the excitement, he's joined by guests, including Loni Ackerman, Vivian Reed and Lana Cantrell. You read it right. Cantrell, who quit warbling a while ago to become a lawyer, puts down the briefcase for this rare return to the boite stage. -- By David Finkle
Philip Glass Ensemble + Steve Reich Howard Gilman Opera House Tuesday through Thursday, 7:30 p.m., $30 The fathers of minimalism go big with this three-day retrospective, their first double bill in decades. For the opening night, five seminal pieces that changed the way we perceive western classical are performed: Reich's pressure-cooker "Four Organs," which erupted into chaos in its 1973 Carnegie Hall performance; excerpts from Glass's operas the CIVIL warS, a Robert Wilson collaboration with an operatic setting of Frederick the Great of Prussia, and Akhnaten, on the Pharaonic progenitor of monotheism; Glass's slow-gestating "Music in Twelve Parts;" and Reich's "Music for 18 Musicians," his first major symphonic work. It's history as mathematical recursion, set to beautiful music. -- By Aidan Levy
Karen O. McKittrick Hotel Tuesday through Thursday, 11:00 p.m., $35 Yeah Yeah Yeahs frontwoman, Karen O will release her full-length solo debut, Crush Songs, on September 9, the same day she begins a three night run at the McKittrick Hotel. It's a small space for a star of her stature, but Karen has specifically chosen more intimate venues to showcase an album that is made up of 15 songs from her personal library, written and recorded when she was 27 and, she says, crushing "a lot." The 250-capacity McKittrick Hotel is far better suited to the album's stripped-back, bedroom folk than anywhere the Yeahs would play, but good luck finding a ticket. -- By Karen Gardiner
Trampled by Turtles Terminal 5 9:00 p.m., $25 Hailing from Duluth, Minnesota, Trampled by Turtles are an alt country band caught between Dylan and Nirvana: plaintive bluegrass songs and speed-picked covers of indie rock. With old world Americana instrumentation (banjo, fiddle, harmonica, etc.), Turtles are open to interpretation as a strictly bluegrass band. However, their unconventional bouts of shredding and occasional use of drums invite people who don't necessarily like bluegrass to, well, like bluegrass. Wild Animals, their seventh studio album, landed them on Letterman this July -- a well-earned time slot thanks to songs like the expansive and melodic title track, and the melancholic waltz, "Repetition." -- By Sarah Madges
White Denim Music Hall of Williamsburg 9:00 p.m., $20 Gripping virtuosity on the edge of anarchy is a compelling rockist strategy, and that's what you get with White Denim. The Texas-based retro-futurist prog-boogie quartet kick off an unusual (for this venue) three-show run tonight. Jeff Tweedy lent a hand with Denim's most recent album, Corsicana Lemonade, and the Wilco leader's winning blend of classic-rock moves with an avant-garde tinge works even more successfully for guitarist-songwriter James Petralli's crew. Experimental traditionalists, or vice versa, Denim easily numbers among the best of the post-jam band bunch. Children of both Beefheart and Beatles, the quartet whips it up like a sonic cyclone, with a pair of monster guitarists up front, and is much more fruitfully experienced than explained. They're on tour with Clear Plastic Masks, Brooklyn expats now making a big bluesy noise in Nashville. -- By Richard Gehr
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