The Nine Best Concerts in New York This Week, 3/23/15
For more shows throughout the weekend, check out our New York Concert Calendar, which we update daily.
Monday, 3/23 The Music of David Byrne & Talking Heads Tribute Carnegie Hall 8 p.m., $100 David Byrne is more than just bicycle racks — however cool they are. Tonight, an incredible lineup of contemporary musicians and artists will honor the Talking Heads frontman's career, from his days on the art-punk scene at CBGB to his forays into Latin and funk and onward to this decade's collaborations with Fatboy Slim and St. Vincent. The lineup features Alexis Krauss of Sleigh Bells, the Roots, Amanda Palmer, CeeLo Green, Beth Orton, Santigold, and Cibo Matto with special guest Nels Cline covering songs from every corner of Byrne's career. Proceeds from this yearly benefit go to support music education in schools, with past donations to Young Audiences New York, Little Kids Rock, and Church Street School of Music. — Heather Baysa
Tuesday, 3/24 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
Rudresh Mahanthappa Bird Calls Jazz Standard 7:30 & 10 p.m., $25 There were some visibly dropped jaws in the audience when Rudresh Mahanthappa's band blasted their first notes at the Winter Jazzfest in January. The quintet came out charging, its fractured spin on Charlie Parker's songbook teeming with the ardor that has come to define the saxophonist's work. The new Bird Calls catches all this fierceness. Mahanthappa has crafted original tunes inspired by a signature phrase or thematic element in the Parker canon, and his squad breaks them apart and glues them back together with a maniacal glee. In a modern tongue, they sustain all the joy and physicality that helped define bebop's beginnings. — Jim Macnie
Taking Back Sunday+The Menzingers+Letlive The Paramount 7 p.m., $27.50–$45 Tell all your friends: Taking Back Sunday are officially here to stay. After celebrating the ten-year anniversary of their debut album, the Long Island emo band has proven that it's more than nostalgia and a phase that's getting them booked at mega-venues like Times Square's Best Buy Theater. With the recent release of the complete recordings of 2014's Happiness Is, it's clear TBS are taking a more mature approach, but you can bet there will be a few sing-and-clap-along throwbacks padded between newer material. Join hundreds of people you were likely MySpace friends with to sing and sweat along in unison. — Lina Abascal
Wednesday, 3/25 Brandon Flowers Webster Hall 8 p.m., $39.50 The Killers' singer, Brandon Flowers, has a new solo album due this May, so expect plenty of airwave-friendly hits from the pop-rock frontman. His last album, Flamingo, was received as "avant-garde," according to the singer, and while he can't seem to understand how this is so, he is ready to make music that fits into the "weird world" of today's radio. In the wake of this upcoming shift, one thing we can definitely count on is that borderline melancholy voice that oscillates with both power and serenity. His upcoming show at Webster Hall will feature opener and fellow lead singer turned solo artist Donald Cumming of the Virgins, and is open to everyone sixteen or older (everyone who already has a ticket, that is...the show is totally sold out!) — Eleanor Lambert
Ibeyi Music Hall of Williamsburg 8:30 p.m, $15 Twin daughters of Cuban percussionist Anga Diaz, of Buena Vista Social Club, Ibeyi combine soul, hip-hop, and electronic influences with the traditional sounds of their father's Yoruban culture. On their self-titled debut album, released February, Lisa-Kainde plays piano; Naomi's on the Afro-Cuban percussive instruments, the cajón and batá, and both take turns on vocals, evoking Santería and breaking out into Yoruban chants. The result is hypnotic and quite unlike anything else you'll hear for a while. English singer-songwriter Flo Morrissey opens. — Karen Gardiner
Tove Lo Highline Ballroom 8:30 p.m, $25 Beginning as a songwriter for Icona Pop and Girls Aloud, Tove Lo has put her writing chops to good use to become a musical wonder in her own right. In just the three years since the 2012 drop of "Love Ballad," Lo has carved out her own corner of electro-pop with her powerful, sultry, and sweeping voice. The "Habits" singer has been featured on many EDM tracks with artists like Seven Lions and the globally recognized Alesso. Tove Lo will be performing at the Highline Ballroom alongside opener Phoebe Ryan, and this is sure to be a passionate and poppy display of women with real vocal talent. The show is sold out, but tickets can be found on the secondary market. — Eleanor Lambert
Thursday, 3/26 Jacob Garchik's Ye Olde Joe's Pub 9:30 p.m, $15 "Imagine a 2015 cover of the soundtrack to a 1970s remake of a 1930s movie about the Middle Ages," says ubiquitous trombone monster Jacob Garchik by way of unsuccessfully pigeonholing his latest ingenious combo. Let's just say that with drummer Vinnie Sperrazza and a guitar triad of Jonathan Goldberger, Mary Holvorson, and Brandon Seabrook filling out the group, chances are better than average of Ye Olde getting downright medieval on your ass. The show is open to all ages and starts promptly at 9:30 p.m. — Richard Gehr
Shakey Graves+Nikki Lane Thursday - Irving Plaza // Friday - Warsaw Thursday & Friday, 8 p.m, $15 Former Friday Night Lights regular Alejandro Rose-Garcia has mutated into one of the country's more fascinatingly neo-country-folk singer-songwriters as Shakey Graves. Sort of a triangulation of Will Oldham, Sturgill Simpson, and Bob Log III, Rose-Garcia delivers a surreal folk primitivism that's literate, knowing, and a little freaky all at once. Nashville's trouble-loving bandit Nikki Lane sports a sharper twang and a challenging, hard-to-handle persona on last year's Dan Auerbach–produced All or Nothin'. — Richard Gehr
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