The 10 Best Concerts in New York This Weekend, 11/29/13
For more shows throughout the weekend, check out our New York Concert Calendar, which we update daily.
Brian McKnight + Musiq Soulchild + Avant Beacon Theatre 8:00 p.m., $45-$95 Brian McKnight probably edges out Babyface for the title of "Smoothest Artist in 1990s R&B," as the latter's funk background generally meant that his hits contained some degree of urban edge. Mr. McKnight, on the other hand, was more indebted to gospel and smooth jazz, and his most enduring songs ("Anytime," "Back to One," "The Only One For Me") are all ballads, floating in the elegant ether of '80s Quiet Storm. Even his more "uptempo" numbers like "You Should Be Mine" still prominently display atmospheric piano chords taken straight from Aja and jazzy vocal harmonies reminiscent of Take 6, his older brother's gospel/vocalese group. McKnight's music is perfect for these late-fall evenings when people sport sophisticated coats, turtlenecks, and scarves, and his concerts provide the perfect space for Autumn in New York-style romance. -- By Winston Groman
Steve Tyrell Cafe Carlyle Friday & Saturday, 8:45 p.m. & 10:45 p.m. daily, $65-$185 As an A&R man he's overseen Rod Stewart, but perhaps he has taken a step back since becoming a gritty crooner in his own right. Always remember, though, that Tyrell did sing with his Texas rock band back in the day. Now he's into standards exclusively and will saunter through venerable tunesmiths like Oscar Hammerstein, Richard Rodgers, Sammy Cahn, Jimmy Van Heusen, Barry Mann, Cynthia Weil, Carole King, Michel Legrand, and Alan and Marilyn Bergman. -- By David Finkle
Hunters The Glasslands Gallery 8:00 p.m., $10 In December 2012, this paper put Brooklyn indie-punk duo Hunters on the cover and declared the group was bringing "scuzzy collision rock back to Brooklyn." In the story, former Smashing Pumpkins member and Hunters buddy James Iha recalled the first time he saw the prickly pair: "They went off like an explosion in the corner of the room." That show was at a small Chinatown art gallery. Tonight, they play Glasslands, which is bigger than an art gallery but still small enough to feel the group's sonic aftershocks. Earlier this year, Hunters released their self-titled debut, which contains 10 catchy post-art-rock cuts that recall the frenzy of similarly indie-minded co-ed groups like Sonic Youth and X. With Audacity and Big Ups. -- By Kory Grow
Phosophorescent Rough Trade NYC 3:00 p.m., free Matthew Houck -- the man behind Phosphorescent -- has been making music for over a decade, yet his 2013 Muchacho still manages to feel like a fresh variety of Houck's signature lo-fi, folksy blues. It includes the entrancing melancholy lullabies of "Song For Zula" that immediately stood out as a new high water mark in the Phosphorescent catalogue. Except the gritty blues of his Alabama roots, a band that's skilled enough to improvise, and elegantly constructed country ballads and jam outs. -- By Caitlin White
Karen Mantler Barbes 8:00 p.m., $10 The consistently charming and perhaps fatally self-effacing daughter of Carla Bley and Michael Mantler may have found her home away from home at this cozy Park Slope haven. Joined by Kato Hideki (bass guitar) and Doug Wieselman (bass clarinet, guitar), expect Mantler (piano, chromatic harmonica, vocals) to perform quirky pop-jazz classics such as "My Cat Arnold," "My Organ," and the seasonal, if ironic, "I Love Christmas." -- By Richard Gehr
This Sunday, let Cheyenne Jackson blow you away with his massive voice at Birdland
Credit: Doug Inglish
Netherlands + Wild Yaks + Grandfather + Low Fat Getting High Death By Audio 8:00 p.m., $8 Multi-instrumentalist weirdo Timo Ellis has been toiling around the NYC avant scene for the last two decades, contributing his wizardry to such luminaries as Yoko Ono, Sean Lennon, Cibo Matto, and Joan as Policewoman. Now, Ellis has turned his attention to his own bizarro art-punk vehicle, the Netherlands. On the just released Silicon Vapor, Ellis melds his downtown experimentalist fuckery with the tastiest of Melvins-sized sludge-dipped crunch and bat-shit wailing. In-your-face heaviosity with a downtown edge, Ellis's the Netherlands is singular leviathan of face ripping magnitude. -- By Brad Cohan
Bushman's Revenge Nublu Club 10:30 p.m., $10 The power trio goes cold fusion in the magnificent inside-outside sound of Bushman's Revenge. If the Jimi Hendrix Experience, the Tony Williams Lifetime, and Sonny Sharrock had a baby together, its unholy midnight laments might sound a lot like this youngish Oslo-based band named after a particularly scorching South African hot sauce. While the manifest vibe is that of a ferocious Motörhead or Sabbath pummel, the latent material recaptures '60s and '70s free jazz in all its roiling, droning intensity. Consisting of Even Helte Hermansen (guitar), Rune Nergaard (bass), and Gard Nilssen (drums), Bushman operates under an "everybody solos, nobody solos" policy that has served them well over the course of seven increasingly ferocious albums, including their forthcoming Thou Shalt Boogie!. -- By Richard Gehr
'Songs from Montague Terrace: A Tribute to Scott Walker' Le Poisson Rouge 7:00 p.m., $20-$30 From his first recordings as an early-teens pop star in the late '50s to last year's dark and difficult-listening return, British songwriter Scott Walker's career has been an idiosyncratic, idea-filled odyssey of baroque melodies delivered in a billowing baritone. Adam Green, Deerhoof's Satomi Matsuzaki, Nicole Atkins, Antony Ellis, Little Annie, Eytan and the Embassy, Ex Cops, Invisible Familiars, and Ella Joyce Buckle are among those paying tribute tonight, along with Gillian Rivers's swinging strings. -- By Richard Gehr
Kirk Knuffke & Mike Pride Cornelia Street Cafe 8:30 p.m., $10 The bassist's latest endeavor is an oft aggressive and occasionally florid romp through a smart-guy's slant on fusion with Kevin Eubanks' guitar and Craig Taborn's keybs out front. Impressive, but a smidge chilly. The quartet has been on the road for a long stretch, and reports are that the active chemistry has made the material much more pliant. Know one thing: If it's chops you're hunting for, this is the place to find 'em. -- By Jim Macnie
Cheyenne Jackson Birdland 6:00 p.m., $45 Birdland is billing Jackson as a "Broadway, film, and television leading man," only omitting that he's a recording artist too. For this gig, he'll sing songs from his new I'm Blue, Skies as well as reprise numbers from Music of the Mad Men Era, the sell-out Carnegie Hall concert. OK, how many out there might go just to find out if he's blue as a result of recent relationship developments? Raise your hands. Hmmm, a fair number. Shame on you. -- By David Finkle
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