The Nine Best Concerts in New York This Week, 3/16/15

Perfume Genius
Perfume Genius

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

Monday, 3/16 'Mobile Mondays' w/ Operator EMZ+Joey Carvello+Natasha Diggs+Just Blaze+Misbehaviour+$$$Mike Bowery Electric Every Monday, 10 p.m., FREE Anyone can queue MP3s through Serato, some can play sets with their collection of 12-inches, but a DJ night with only 45s? Until a backward-looking Brooklyn dive attempts to throw a party where DJs have to stick to wax cylinders, no one is going to touch Bowery Electric's Mobile Mondays, the weekly event where residents like Operator EMZ, Joey Carvello, Natasha Diggs, and (when he's not touring the world) Just Blaze — with guests like Biz Markie, Kenny Dope, DJ Scratch, and Spinderella — keep you moving without the help of any records above seven inches. Whether it's your first time or fortieth, tonight's party is a must-attend. — Nick Murray

"We Are the Music Makers" NYPL Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center Monday–Saturday, 12 p.m., FREE The Music Maker Relief Foundation, in association with Lincoln Center Out of Doors and Americanafest NYC, presents a multimedia exhibition to educate and engage viewers in the cultural history of Southern traditional music. "We Are the Music Makers" features photo and audio documentation of Southern roots musicians active in the past twenty years, all photographed and recorded by Tim Duffy, the Foundation's founder, in his quest to preserve the form by partnering with the artists who make it. The multimedia materials will highlight questions of how poverty, geography, and age have limited the exposure of these artists, giving rise to the widespread notion that the musical traditions they perform have "died out."

Tuesday, 3/17 Slavic Soul Party! Barbès 10 p.m., $10 Slavic Soul Party are Eastern Europe's answer to the funk (and "Grunt") of the J.B.'s or, more recently, the Budos Band. On their recordings, and every Tuesday at Barbès, the ten-person brass ensemble pins Gypsy melodies against the sort of jazzy r&b horn collages you hear in movies adapted from Elmore Leonard books. The best part, though, is how they interact with their audience at their concerts, sometimes breaking the fourth wall, and really making each word in their name — especially the last — pull its weight. — Kory Grow

The Klucevsek/Bern Unit The Stone 8 p.m., $20 Put aside all your petty accordion prejudices. This is the first performance of a six-day residency featuring composer Guy Klucevsek, who, having mastered the instrument in virtually all of its classical, modern, jazz, and international manifestations, has extended it into another dimension altogether. Following tonight's duets with fellow box squeezer Alan Bern, Klucevsek will return with the octet Teetering on the Verge of Normalcy (3/18), an evening of music for solo accordion (3/19), and a trio finale dubbed All Accordions All the Time (3/22). — Richard Gehr

On the next page: Modest Mouse, polyrhythmic diversity, and more  

Modest Mouse
Modest Mouse
Ben Moon

Wednesday, 3/18 Björk Kings Theatre 8 p.m., $75–$100 With a new album (the heartbreaking breakup record Vulnicura), a MoMA retrospective, eight shows in New York, and an upcoming appearance at Governors Ball, this is the season of the ever-experimental Icelandic artist Björk. Her NYC residency kicks off at Carnegie Hall on March 7, the same day her career-spanning MoMA retrospective opens. Joining her at these intimate shows will be a fifteen-piece orchestra and the percussionist Manu Delago. Arca, the Venezuelan producer and musician who collaborated with Björk on Vulnicura, will be joining her for the matinee shows. The shows are all sold out, but tickets are available on the secondary market. — Katherine Gardiner

Mandingo Ambassadors Barbès Every Wednesday, 10 p.m., $10 Guinean guitarist Mamady "Djelike" Kouyate came of age among such legendary Seventies guitarcentric combos as the Horoya Band and Bembeya Jazz, which blended Cuban rumba with traditional balafon-based sounds. Kouyate moved to New York in search of political asylum in 2004 and currently leads this suave weekly dance party featuring some of the city's sweeter rhythm masters. — Richard Gehr

Modest Mouse Webster Hall 9 p.m., $10 Strangers to Ourselves, the much-anticipated record from Modest Mouse, is due out this Tuesday, and we can just imagine decade-long fans binge-listening to the band's loud, emphatic melodies and trance-inducing instrumentals right before their sold-out two-night stand at Webster Hall. Eight long years have passed since the groundbreaking indie band put out its last album, and apparently another one is on the way "as quickly as it's legally allowed to be," according to frontman Isaac Brock. A good number of singles are available for listening (and some for downloading) on their website, and over the past twenty years the group has not only stayed true to its seductive quirkiness, but continues to reconfigure a rock 'n' roll band's capacity for musical expression. Mimicking Birds will open; the shows are 19+. — Eleanor Lambert

Thursday, 3/19 Perfume Genius Stage 48 8 p.m., $20 The remarkable bond of classic instrumentals and synthetic beats produced in Perfume Genius's new album Too Bright makes for a dreamy, fantastical record. Whenever it begins to feel reminiscent of something else, you are swept away by impassioned musical breakdowns reinforced by sentimental, straightforward lyricism. The genuineness and honesty with which Mike Hadreas is able to present and perform his music is extremely rare, and it has even (wrongly) offended some clearly very easily piqued and downright simpleminded people. His musical elegance is juxtaposed with a vivacity and thundering sincerity that is perfectly embodied within this new album and his overall musical repertoire. Jenny Hval will open this 18+ show. — Eleanor Lambert

The Nile Project Lincoln Center, David Rubenstein Atrium 7:30 p.m., FREE

At GlobalFest earlier this year, the Nile Project projected strength through polyrhythmic diversity. Although the ensemble's dozen members hail from Egypt, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Sudan, and Uganda, their differences somehow cohere into a vibrant whole. With six vocalists singing in some dozen languages, similar instruments (including the lyre and fiddle) employed to different ends, and several percussionists decoding even more diverse rhythmic accents, the project has the buzzing vitality of both an ancient marketplace and modern metropolis. — Richard Gehr


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