The Nine Best Concerts in New York This Weekend, 5/22/15
Courtesy of Arrowhawk Records
For more shows throughout the weekend, check out our New York Concert Calendar, which we update daily.
Friday, 5/22 Condo Fucks Cake Shop 8 p.m., $12 Cake Shop — the venerable concert venue/record store/coffee joint that has persevered in the face of the LES's high-brow overhaul — is celebrating its tenth birthday with a slew of shows, and the seventh show of its 10 Days for 10 Years bacchanal promises to be a helluva shredder. This stellar lineup is a groovy one that harks back to Maxwell's classic days of yore. Indie-rock institution and the pride of Hoboken Yo La Tengo will slip into their gloriously shit-fi garage-cover alter ego Condo Fucks, ripping into covers galore. (Expect a hodgepodge of cuts from the Troggs, Slade, the Kinks, Richard Hell, and other luminaries explored on 2009's hilariously titled Fuckbook, a hilarious play on YLT's own Fakebook from 1990.) Longtime buds Antietam — led by guitar goddess Tara Key — and another Jerz mainstay, Speed the Plough, set the stage for the batshit festivities. The presence of WFMU DJ and music journo Gaylord Fields is sure to make this one raucous event. — Brad Cohan
Priests Brooklyn Night Bazaar 7 p.m., $5–$35 Washington, D.C., four-piece Priests play sparse, intense postpunk brimming with tension and a political edge. Their debut EP, Bodies and Control and Money and Power, took on Big Issues without getting preachy, and in the process it made many best-of-2014 lists. As good as that record is, it pales in comparison to their live set. Singer Katie Greer brings a seething energy to every word, and the band's impeccable, tight support turns already excellent songs into riveting bursts of fury and purpose. Considering the recent announcement that Brooklyn Night Bazaar will close the night after this show, seeing Priests is a good way to say goodbye. — Zoë Leverant
Bambara Palisades 7:30 p.m., $7 Simply put, Bambara are not for everyone. But for those who love loud, expansive, noise-influenced post-rock that fills your stomach with a vague sense of dread, the three-piece are almost unparalleled. They alternate between spacious, haunting soundscapes and distorted full-band assaults but are never exhausting or overly serious. And sometimes, their songs are even a little catchy. Onstage they're slightly more subdued than their perfectly titled album Dreamviolence would suggest, allowing their music room to breathe under all the heaviness. Still, it's a good call to bring earplugs. — Zoë Leverant
Dan Deacon Warsaw 9 p.m., $20 Dan Deacon is a rare individual: He wears the weighty title of composer while also making hit records (where "hit" means earning high praise from major media outlets and loyal fans). He's sort of a unicorn, managing to win admirers from both the highbrow, New Classical camp as well as, for lack of a better term, hipsters. It helps that he's an older Millennial and that his music is predominantly electronic. Those two factors perhaps broaden the appeal of his work, which is neither traditionally accessible in a pop sense nor alienating in the heavily academic sense. Maybe it's easier to describe what it isn't than what it is, because you never know what exactly to expect from Dan Deacon. He might ask the audience to participate in the performance, and, if you're there, you'll find your experience greatly enhanced if you oblige. — Linda Leseman
On the next page: More picks for the long weekend
Photo courtesy of Chicano Batman
Saturday, 5/23 Electric Daisy Carnival NY MetLife Stadium Saturday & Sunday, 12 p.m.–11 p.m., $275+ Much like the music it inspires, the Electric Daisy Carnival went from a dark, 1997 basement rave to a global phenomenon encompassing just about anyone with eardrums and access to a computer. Since 1997, EDC has extended its reach from Los Angeles to Las Vegas, the U.K., Puerto Rico, Mexico City, and Chicago, to name just a few of its current worldly whereabouts. This year marks the fourth annual EDC in New York, and since its conception the lineup has only grown more and more compelling, from headliners like Armin van Buuren and Tiësto to classic acts like Loco Dice to newer guys like Oliver Heldens and Flosstradamus. The two-day event still has yet to sell out, so grab your tickets and your tutus, 'cause this is an EDM-fest for the books. — Eleanor Lambert
Aram Bajakian Residency The Stone Friday–Sunday, 8 p.m. & 10 p.m., $10–$15 The company Queens-based guitar shredder Aram Bajakian has kept is eye-popping, and like Marc Ribot, he's a virtuosic jack-of-all-trades. Some highlights from his deep résumé: Bajakian wailed for the late and legendary Lou Reed on his final tours, served as go-to ax-man for downtown icon John Zorn, and toured with award-winning crooner Diana Krall. After a stellar 2014 that saw the release of his solo joint (and ace guitar clinic) there will also be flowers in hell and a collaboration with his wife and vocalist Julia Ulehla entitled Dálava, Bajakian has once again been summoned by Zorn. He teamed up with him on last year's Psychomagia, a book of music written especially for Bajakian's band Abraxas by the composer himself. Now he'll curate a week of shows at Zorn's Avenue C performance space, the Stone. Luminaries including Joe Morris, Jeremiah Cymerman, Jon Irabagon, and Sylvie Courvoisier will help Bajakian pay tribute to his mentor and teacher Dr. Yusef Lateef, and the six-stringer will play new music for solo guitar inspired by Russian director Sergei Parajanov's seminal 1969 film The Color of Pomegranates. — Brad Cohan
Shilpa Ray Rough Trade NYC 8 p.m., $12–$15 When Shilpa Ray and her new label, Northern Spy, came up with a mock newspaper titled Savage Times as a promotion for her new record, Last Year's Savage, they created a realistic-looking webzine and printed up a broadsheet to distribute around coffee shops and record stores. Unwittingly, their wheeze created the perfectly titled publication for these savage times, when lust for power and money results in global devastation. It isn't like Ray writes inaccessible songs, either. On Savage, manning her trusty harmonium, she's a torch singer run through a punk rock filter. Though it's not a dour record, Ray admits Savage's creative roots do lie in disenfranchisement and depression. "I don't know how to describe it without it sounding overly serious," she says. "I think it's part of human nature to get depressed and wonder where your life is going. For me, still feeling disenfranchised in my thirties, [I] was like, 'When is this gonna stop?' " — Linda Laban
Sunday, 5/24 Chicano Batman Brooklyn Bowl 8 p.m., $7 Recent Jack White tour openers Chicano Batman resemble freaky-deaky prom kings as they play their psychedelic cumbias and Farfisa-driven ballads and prog-pop gems. The East Los Angeles quartet's latest album, Cycles of Existential Rhyme, is warm and deeply funky. Even an eightysomething mom can give it up for singer Bardo Martinez, a crooner with plenty of Brazil in his voice. And there's more than a little trippy tropicália in the cool crusaders' cozy yet structurally akimbo jams, which reassemble Mexican balladry filtered through early Pink Floyd. — Richard Gehr
Flux Pavilion Pacha NYC 10 p.m., $10–$100 When Flux Pavilion's remix to "Gold Dust" came out in 2010, its incendiary, wailing beat indicated the undeniable talent and eargasm that is Flux. In preparation for his Sunday performance at EDC, Flux, born Joshua Kierkegaard G. Steele, is coming to Pacha NYC for an official pre-party set. Since he began producing in 2008, his music has maintained a melodic explosiveness, with drops that wriggle and wobble with flitting pulses regardless of the track. Whether he's playing around with a trap-like high-hat build or remixing the Star Wars Rebel theme song, he'll send any audience into full-fledged gyration. — Eleanor Lambert
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