The 10 Best Concerts in New York This Weekend, 8/16/13
Laura Jane Grace sings the Transgender Dysphoria Blues at KFBK this Friday
For more shows throughout the weekend, check our New York Concert Calendar, which is updated daily.
Laura Jane Grace Bowery Ballroom 9pm, $15 As the trans lead singer of the folk-punk outfit Against Me!, Grace has brought to light both an issue that is often overlooked and the biases of a punk community thought to be more progressive than it actually turned out to be. After the cancellation of the band's spring tour, the singer will sing the blues--the "The Transgender Dysphoria Blues," per the title of her band's upcoming LP--and continue to tell a story that needs to be heard. -- By Brittany Spanos
Anamanaguchi Webster Hall 10pm, $15 In what may be the musical equivalent to the nerd pride of a show like The Big Bang Theory, New York-area electro experimentalists Anamanaguchi make music not just with guitars, bass, and drums, but with old-school Nintendo stations and Game Boys. In the past, they've scored the soundtrack for the video game version of the graphic novel Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, and their latest album, Endless Fantasy, finds them playing 22 short, video gamey numbers full of the sort of sweet, laser-like synths that usually unfold in the dreamlike worlds of Mario and Luigi. But perhaps the most curious thing about Anamanaguchi is that the inspiration for the band came when the group's songwriter-guitarist, Peter Berkman, read an interview in Wired with Sex Pistols mastermind Malcolm McLaren in which he mentioned a group of Swedish Game Boy-music pioneers. Maybe this is the new punk rock. Fittingly, they're performing tonight as the headliners of Webster Hall's regular electronic-music-focused Girls & Boys party with Alex English and rekLES. -- By Kory Grow
Michael Formanek's Resonator Cornelia Street Cafe 9pm & 10:30pm, $20 The bassist's small group work is always meaty--lines spill and splash, rhythms churn, and activity is front and center. This is true even when the mood is on the reflective side, as part of Formanek's eloquence is juxtaposing emotions in surprising ways. This new band puts two reeds up front and brings the mighty Tyshawn Sorey to the drum chair. Expect lots of precision and lots of explosion. -- By Jim Macnie
Wheatus The Gramercy Theatre 6pm, $14 At the cusp of the new millennium, the sound of alt-rock may have been changing but Wheatus proved that teen angst will always remain the same. "Teenage Dirtbag," the band's breakout hit, began its reign as one of the most perfect high school anthems with a music video starring Jason Biggs and Mena Suvari, and 13 years later, One Direction's live covers have brought it to a new generation of ears. At the release show for their forthcoming Valentine, celebrate the band's new tunes and relive those wonder years because they're still teenage dirtbags, like you. -- By Brittany Spanos
J. Cole leads a sick lineup at MoMA PS1 this Saturday
J. Cole + King Britt + Bangladesh + Darq E Freaker MoMA PS1 $15 A lineup this good could only be booked by an urban arts museum with something to prove and an endowment that's the envy of even the richest label execs. Where J. Cole remains one of the biggest rappers in the country, having been signed by Jay-Z and touring with Drake, King Britt is the sort of dance music legend who spent his career fusing genres before they even existed. Bangladesh has crafted Dirty South classics like Luda's "What's Your Fantasy" and Lil Wayne's "A Milli," while Darq E Freaker plays a similar role in British grime. Plus, local kids the World's Fair, Mr. MFN eXquire, and bass-loving transplants Star Eyes and Jubilee--try to catch as many as possible. -- By Nick Murray
Ceremony + Ed Schrader's Music Beat 285 Kent Ave 8pm, $10/$12 The gnarly, graffitied walls of 285 Kent will make for a fitting backdrop to Ceremony's post-adolescent punk hysteria, since the group's latest, Zoo, was a perfect example of a hardcore band easing into something a bit more mature. It also works, since they haven't totally abandoned their 'roid-rage past, playing songs here and there form their HC-addled aggressive first LP. It's easy to overlook those, though, since the songs on Zoo are brimming with more than enough hooks to latch onto. Other bands' mid-life crises have certainly sounded this anxious before, but few have sounded as catchy. -- By Kory Grow
Shabazz Palaces + THEESatisfaction Cumbe: Center for African and Diaspora Dance 2pm, free In the intro to "Borough Check" Digable Planet's Ishmael "Butterfly/Ish" Butler and Mary Ann "Ladybug/Mecca" Vieira intone inner city spaces critical to psychic cultural survival of African Americans: "Block party, corner store, downtown, the projects, borough shots, my clique is so tight." Nearing 10 years later, these mantras have lost a bit of their alchemy due to bulldozers, bills, and renovated brownstones. In spite of that, Ish's latest clique, Shabazz Palaces, will Black Up in the borough's centrifuge for the Museum of Contemporary African Diasporic Arts-sponsored Soul of Brooklyn Festival, featuring "concerts, film screenings, plays, festivals, workshops, art activations and more." Bless. With abstract random and a THEESatisfaction DJ set. -- By Alexis Stephens
The Octopus Project The Mercury Lounge 7:30pm, $10 Austin-bred indietronica outfit the Octopus Project know how to mix mathy rhythms with haunting synths for seriously compelling songs. With a repertoire of mostly instrumentals, the quartet proves that you don't need vocals to get melody-heavy songs--especially when a theremin is routinely used to amp up their twitchy psych pop songs. Periodically swapping instruments, the Octopus Project don't know how to put on a boring, un-bizarre show. -- By Sarah Madges
Daughn Gibson + Hiss Golden Messenger The Glasslands Gallery 8pm, $12 Once there was this kid who got out of his boogie-woogie stoner metal band, and when he finally came back he managed to make Crash Test Dummies-style basso profundo pop cool again (mmm mmm mmm mmm). But seriously folks, Daughn Gibson, a 30-something reformed headbanger (or at least head nodder, judging from his band Pearls & Brass' swinging shuffle), deserves props for rejiggering early '90s post-grunge alt-rock into a style that's moody and ambient and deep enough to move the meter on jaded indie-rock blogs. -- By Kory Grow
Murray Hill's Miss LEZ Pageant Knitting Factory Brooklyn 8pm, $12 Miss America is so last century. Murray Hill's Miss LEZ Pageant is where you'll find true beauties--six contestants in all--competing for the prestigious title in categories such as swimsuit, evening gown, and talent. Michael Musto judges, and lady rap duo Zebra Baby, DJ Lauren Flax, Sophie Urista, and drag king Goldie Peacock keep the party going well after the winner is crowned--with a sparkling dollar-store tiara.
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