The Ten Best Concerts in New York This Week, 2/25/13
Solange kicks off the week with a show at Webster Hall.
Here are the 10 best concerts in the city this week, in no particular order.
Solange Webster Hall Monday, 9pm, $25 Though I share Solange's enthusiasm for Craig David and Groove Theory, her recent tweets requesting the hiring of more "writers who truly understand" the "culture of r&b", probably aren't about me. I'm stuck in a historical materialist understanding of r&b as a function of black middle class expansion and corporate neo-colonialism. And I understand Solange as the fly femme flâneur of this Brooklyn moment, where we're still dancing to Whitney in the shadow of the Barclays Center. -- By Rajiv Jaswa
Tom Wopat 54 Below Monday, 7pm, $20-$34 Wopat has left Hazzard far behind but become even more hazardous in his recordings. With his subtle macho, he gets the most from the material included on his moody new I've Got Your Number CD. Aside from two obviously autobiographical songs--"Summer Dress" and "I Still Feel That Way"--the duke explores nifties by Paul Simon, Bruce Springsteen, and Bruce Hornsby with somber aplomb. -- By David Finkle
Unknown Mortal Orchestra + Foxygen + Wampire Bowery Ballroom Thursday, 9pm, $15 The formerly anonymous UMO turned out to be the ingenious studio invention of Ruban Nielson, who now leads a trio. The Portlandia-based New Zealander's distinctive finger-style manner with an electric guitar elevates his androgynous voice and downbeat pop songs nearly into XTC territory, although the Flying Nun stable, which he joined as a former member of the Mint Chicks, is certainly a bigger influence. -- By Richard Gehr
Burnt Sugar Cinefhonic Strike Force The Stone Thursday, 8pm, $10 Greg "Ironman" Tate perpetuates the late Bruce Morris's conduction techniques in Burnt Sugar's score for African-American filmmaker Oscar Michaeaux's 1925 silent film Body and Soul, wherein Paul Robeson plays the double role of a sham preacher and his inventor brother. Sugar's little big band of a lineup blends voices (Carl Hancock Rux, Abby Dobson), electronics, guitar, and horns. Tate debuts his new song project Rebellum during at 10 p.m. -- By Richard Gehr
Bang on a Can Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) Tuesday, 6pm, $10 Impressionism canoodles with minimalism when the always inventive local new music organization presents "Consonant Abstraction: Claude Debussy and Steve Reich" in conjunction with the current MOMA exhibition "Inventing Abstraction, 1910-1925." Teachers and students from Bang on a Can's Massachusetts MOCA summer program will perform a chamber version of Claude Debussy's Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun followed by Steve Reich's modern classics, Electric Counterpoint and Different Trains. -- By Richard Gehr
No longer the missing ones, Desaparecidos take over two nights at Webster Hall this week.
Desaparecidos + Joyce Manor + States and Kingdoms Webster Hall Tuesday & Wednesday, 7pm, $25 It may have taken Bright Eyes' Conor Oberst a decade, but by last year, he had witnessed enough injustice to re-form his activist-minded, raw-sounding post-hardcore group Desaparecidos. That group, whose name translates to "disappeared ones" and references 30,000 Argentinians whom the country's military dictatorship seemingly erased from existence in the '70s and '80s, only released one album in its first run, 2002's Read Music/Speak Spanish. But then they found inspiration for a new song in the anti-immigration screeds of Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio, who works in that state's Maricopa County. Last year, they released the song "MariKKKopa" about Arpaio, as one face of a double-A-sided single. Now, they're returning, full of ire, with the single "Anonymous," this time praising the Occupy movement with the declaration, "You can't stop us/We are anonymous." Them's fightin' words. -- By Kory Grow
Mostly Other People Do the Killing Cornelia Street Cafe Thursday, 8:30pm, $10 There's no less frenzy in the puckish jazz band's new Slippery Rock, but there is more melody, and therefore more coherence. From Jon Irabagon's circular squawk to Kevin Shea's post-Bennink bash, refinements have been made, and they make the music a tad more entertaining. On stage, well, frenzy is the coin of the realm for the fourtet's fans, and these guys have plenty of pennies in their pocket. -- By Jim Macnie
Bob Mould + Bear in Heaven Bowery Ballroom Tuesday & Wednesday, 9pm, $25 Shortly after entering his own silver age (or maybe just the age of silver hair), 52 year-old Hüsker Düde Bob Mould returned to his hard-edged alt-rock rööts last year with the soaring, guitar-driven Silver Age. After years of albums that dabbled with electronics and (more surprising) Auto-Tune, the singer is applying his acidic vocals to an appropriate setting. Better yet, his concerts--including this one, find him singing not just songs from Silver Age, but also dipping back into his Hüsker Dü and Sugar catalogs. -- By Kory Grow
Man Man + Murder by Death Music Hall of Williamsburg Thursday, 8:30pm, $20/$22 Philly-bred experimental rockers Man Man are more than reckless percussion, face paint, and piano-pounding. Using every idiosyncratic instrument possible, from a Rhodes to a Danelectro, they produce all kinds of orchestral arrangements boosted by growling bass lines and lead man Honus Honus's rabid vocals. Although their albums often involve cartoon voices and kazoos, there is a compelling emotional realism that packs its own punch. 2011's Life Fantastic continues to demonstrate this lyrical and melodic sophistication, but don't worry--the fewer wacky moments don't mean Man Man can't put on the raucous show they're known for. -- By Sarah Madges
Gary Peacock, Marc Copland, & Joey Baron Birdland Tuesday-Friday, 8:30pm & 11:00pm, $30-$40 A piano trio that thrives on the wisdom of agility, this band moves from rumination to rumble as the evening unfolds. The idea isn't to keep audience off balance, it's to offer a range of hues. Copland is a pianist who values mood as much as rhythm, and he's often willing to let the music float a bit. That's why his cohorts are aptly chosen: Both Baron's feathery snare rolls and Peacock's rich plunks are expert at observing the value of pure sound. -- By Jim Macnie
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