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The Best Concerts in New York This Weekend, 1/24/14

Catch Damien Jurado at Bowery Ballroom on Friday
Catch Damien Jurado at Bowery Ballroom on Friday
Courtesy of Secretly Canadian // Credit: Steve Gullick

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

Friday, 1/24:

Neutral Milk Hotel BAM, Peter Jay Sharp Building Friday & Saturday, 8:00 p.m., $41 Enigmatic and self-serving, Neutral Milk Hotel established long ago that they are perfectly fine being one of indie rock's great mysteries. In the years since the group issued its last full-length, 1998's In the Aeroplane Over the Sea, which was stuffed with quirky, unforgettable melodies, the band has amassed a legend mostly based on that record. But only until last year, reclusive frontman Jeff Mangum has ignored the accolades and shied away from reactivating the group. In 2011, he dipped his toe in the water, playing some solo sets where fans shouted Neutral Milk Hotel songs like "Two-Headed Boy" back at him and respected his request that they not photograph him. Neutral Milk Hotel played a run of shows last year, and beginning tonight, they're beginning a three-night Brooklyn stint. Fans will want to see them before they see a two-headed shadow. With openers Elf Power. -- By Nick Murray

Gipsy Kings City Winery Friday & Saturday, 8:00 p.m., $92.50-$147.50 Gipsy Kings are perhaps the best known flamenco band in North America. For purists, their broadening of the genre's sound was considered blasphemy, but for the Kings it was the road to success: Their 1988 self-titled album went gold and platinum all around the world and became one of the rare Spanish language albums to go gold in the US, spending 40 weeks on the charts. Although they've maintained global fame -- especially in their native France -- it's last year's Savor Flamenco and this year's 25th anniversary tour that have rekindled a bit of interest in the flamenco purveyors. Even if you don't know Spanish, the unrelenting spirit of joy and sorrow that inhabits this music is powerful, dramatic, and ecstatic. -- By Caitlin White

Prurient + Azar Swan + Clay Rendering + DJ Becka Diamond Saint Vitus 8:00 p.m., $10 Woe be to you, as-yet-unborn musicology grad student tasked with anthologizing each and every musical styling Dom Fernow commits to digital tape. There's a ton of it already, most of it logged as Prurient, and it's unequivocally rough stuff: punishing power electronics, blistering drones, ponderously growled monologues swathed in static. As with other prolific artists, there are peaks and troughs to Fernow's discography -- we, without hesitation, recommend 2013's Through The Window, 2007's Cocaine Death, and 2004's fraught split with Kites -- but given that the stage is his true arena, this show is the best way to start getting familiar. -- By Raymond Cumming

R. Stevie Moore + Gary Wilson Issue Project Room 110 Livingston 8:00 p.m., $15 For ones-of-a-kind, R. Stevie Moore and Gary Wilson have a lot in common. Approximately the same age (very early 60s), Moore and Wilson share overlapping cult followings based on home-studio productions that juxtapose sincere if brilliantly misguided pop aspirations with avant-garde strategies. No style is off-limits to Moore, who recorded most of his 400-plus albums -- most recently In the History of Ever and the compilation Personal Appeal -- over three decades in nearby New Jersey. Wilson, best known for his eccentric 1977 electropop masterpiece You Think You Really Know Me, is a John Cage-influenced lounge singer from the Binghamton area who incorporates inflatable women into his show. To have these icons of the WFMU anti-aesthetic on the same bill is glorious. -- By Richard Gehr

Damien Jurado + Courtney Marie Andrews Bowery Ballroom 9:00 p.m., $15 Producer (and Shins member) Richard Swift facilitated this Seattle singer-songwriter's evolution from hardscrabble folk realist into cosmic crooner on 2012's Maraqopa. The pair take their Christian acid rock even further on their new Brothers and Sisters of the Eternal Son, a concise yet infinitely expansive album of psychedelic road songs. Expect him to perform both solo and with band. -- By Richard Gehr

 

Philly's Dr. Dog play Terminal 5 on Saturday night
Philly's Dr. Dog play Terminal 5 on Saturday night
Courtesy of Anti- Records // Credit: Nicky Devine

Saturday, 1/25:

Har Mar Superstar + Computer Magic + Not Blood Paint Brooklyn Night Bazaar 6:00 p.m., free Har Mar Superstar is the artist that shouldn't have been successful -- afterall, the man behind the smoothly earnest r&r tunes is Sean Tillmann, a balding, chubby white guy who certainly employs irony in his act, often stripping down to a pair of tighty whiteys when he performs. A solo artist and a songwriter, Tillmann has cultivated a following in St. Paul since the late '90s under a number of pseudonyms including Sean Na Na and as a member of Calvin Krime. But he's enjoyed a decade of success as Har Mar Superstar and 2013's Bye Bye 17 highlighted a classic soul sound. -- By Caitlin White

Dr. Dog Terminal 5 9:00 p.m., $30 A psychedelic, backward-looking outfit from Philadelphia, Dr. Dog fill their music with oddball harmonies and opaque lyrics that allow them to operate in a dreamy, in-between-genre space that has led them to comparisons from everyone to Springsteen and the Beatles to the Avett Brothers. But in their jam-packed discography there's no cult-worship like the Boss, no British Invasion, and certainly none of the family-friendliness that the Avetts boast. Instead, the sextet dabble in DIY oddities that continually recall their forebearers -- Dylan, the Dead, even Simon & Garfunkel at times -- but still manage to stamp their own inky sound across the top of it all. Their latest, 2013's B-Room, imagines the best parts of "classic rock" mushed together and filtered through a lo-fi cheesecloth. -- By Caitlin White

Sunday, 1/26:

The Gene Clark No Other Tour Music Hall of Williamsburg Saturday & Sunday, 9:00 p.m., $25 A beautiful mystery, Gene Clark's 1974 cosmic-Americana masterpiece No Other is the sort of audio enigma you don't enjoy so much as inhabit -- or, more accurately, it inhabits you. Reportedly composed by the Byrds co-founder in Northern California tranquility and then forged with producer Thomas Jefferson Kaye in L.A.'s cocaine alembic, No Other is a widescreen head-fucker replete with gorgeous melodies, fulsome country-gospel arrangements, three-dimensional production values, and shimmering mirror metaphysics. Clark, who died in 1991, never recovered from its failure. Its subsequent rediscovery continues apace with tonight's "note for note" revival on the Gene Clark No Other Tour, featuring Beach House's Alex Scally and Victoria Legrand, Robin Pecknold (Fleet Foxes), and Daniel Rossen (Grizzly Bear), among others. -- By Richard Gehr

Uri Caine The Stone Friday through Sunday, 8:00 p.m. & 10:00 p.m. daily, $10 He's earned a rep as a cagey structuralist by wildly reimagining Euro classical pieces, but from his spin on the Goldberg Variations to a Luciano Berio nod, the pianist-composer's ideas are born from an improviser's noggin. Put another way, Caine sees nothing but options everywhere he turns. This week's gigs typically stress versatility, from duets with Zorn and Berne to a hard-swinging romp with his famed jazz trio. And BAM! -- you best stand back when he gets his rumble on with the electric Stone Age quartet. -- By Jim Macnie

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