The Ten Best Concerts in New York This Week, 4/22/13

Michael Gira-approved Akron/Family hit up Bowery Ballroom Wednesday night
Michael Gira-approved Akron/Family hit up Bowery Ballroom Wednesday night

Here are the top 10 concerts around the city this week, in no particular order.

Akron/Family + M Geddes Gengras Bowery Ballroom Wednesday, 9pm, $15 Akron/Family caught their break off a co-sign from No Wave pioneer Swans frontman Michael Gira, but there is very little trace in their sound of the heavy, darkness that Gira's own music entails. Instead, the hyphen-happy experimental folk group opts for a similar uses of space and intervals as their No Wave forbearers, but populate the time in between with freak juxtapositions of acoustic jams, harmony heavy vocal tracks and brief stints of bright and wild noise-rock. Akron/Family is like nothing you've ever heard before, in fact, at times that seems to be their only goal. -- By Caitlin White

Frank London's Shekhina Big Band The Stone Monday, 8pm, $10 The composer-trumpeter and Klezmatics co-founder gets klezmer on his jazz--not to mention jazz on his klezmer--during this month's weekly residency-workshops. Backed here by a 21 piece band, London conducts arrangements of his work by a lineup that includes saxophonists Marty Ehrlich, Matt Darriau, and Peter Apfelbaum; trombonists Jacob Garchik and Curtis Hasselbring; percussionist Renato Thoms; drummer Richie Barshay; and too many others to mention. The music's celestial, volcanic, suspenseful, orthodox, reformed, and body-rocking. -- By Richard Gehr

Fleetwood Mac Prudential Center Wednesday, 8pm, $49.50-$179.50 Sure, Fleetwood Mac recently reissued their 1977 mega-hit album Rumours in hundred-dollar deluxe configurations with T-shirts and posters and a couple droplets of the witch juju Stevie Nicks used to withstand the rise of punk. And sure, the Big Mac has served up over 100 million LPs in sales worldwide. But all this still doesn't really explain why the classic lineup (sans Christine McVie) is touring for the second time in a decade with no new album, despite having songs written. Rumor is, though, that they'll play two new ones. The rest will just have to be hits. -- By Kory Grow

Barbara Cook 54 Below Tuesday, 7pm; Wednesday & Thursday, 7pm & 9:30pm; Friday, 8:30pm, $65-$75 Her voice may be a darkened silver now that she's comfortably in her eighties, but her acting chops haven't faltered: If anything, Cook is better than ever. Having lost her last home, Feinstein's at Loews Regency, she brings one of Broadway's brightest resumés to the room tagged "Broadway's Nightclub," though expect her to sing tunes that have reached far beyond New Yorks' most famous street. -- By David Finkle

Orange Goblin + Roadsaw + Kings Destroy Saint Vitus Monday, 8pm, $15 Despite the obvious debt to pays to its ancestors, the vehemence with which Orange Goblin plays made their seventh LP, A Eulogy for the Damned, one of the better metal albums of 2012. Joining them are a few more bands nearing the top of their game: noisy sludge-metallers KEN Mode, who recently released the frenetic Entrench, and ASG, a North Carolina crew who fuse alternative-era melodies (with actual, your-mom-would-recognize-it singing!) on their forthcoming Blood Drive. It's a metal showcase with no agenda, which might just be the point. -- By Kory Grow


Styx hopefully bring back that hair at Izod on Friday night
Styx hopefully bring back that hair at Izod on Friday night

Styx + REO Speedwagon + Ted Nugent Izod Center Friday, 6:40pm, $36-$76 The '70s torch-rock triumvirate of Styx ("Come Sail Away," "Mr. Roboto"), REO Speedwagon ("Can't Fight This Feeling," "Keep On Loving You"), and Ted Nugent ("Cat Scratch Fever," xenophobic right-wing social commentary) has united for what's they're calling the Rock 'n' Roll Express Tour. None of the artists have released new studio albums in the past few years, so the good news for fans is it will more likely be an express trip to their hits. Uh, domo arigato? -- By Kory Grow

Ben Rimalower The Duplex Wednesday, 9:30pm, $15/$20 He calls this spoken memoir "Patti Issues," and he delivers it with a spellbinding blend of confidence and uncertainty. The issues, should you be wondering, concern the performer's infatuation with the famous LuPone and his eventual opportunity to work with the diva of his dreams. This, however, isn't just a giddy fan's notes: It's also his recalling the difficulties of growing up with an often absent gay father. There's no singing, by the way, but that hardly stops it from being one of the best (and now longest running) cabaret offerings of the year. -- By David Finkle

GOAT + Holy Wave + Bear in Heaven Music Hall of Williamsburg Tuesday, 9pm, $12/$15 A cornucopia of sweet '70s West African funk and disco has poured out over the past few years. And no Western band has exploited that bounty quite like Goat, an enigmatic masked combo said to hail from the village of Korpilombolo (pop. 529) in Sweden's far northeast. Goat's sarcastically titled 2012 debut, World Music, contains the bad-ass bumping of nearly forgotten Nigerian acts like Chrissy Zembo Tembo and the Lijadu Sisters--though Goat's two female singers have more in common with Prince Rana's siblings than the latter twins. You'll also hear heavy Afrobeats, crunchy Turkish prog-rock, Lawrence of Euphoria-style Middle Eastern-isms, metallic nastiness, and aspirational transgressions reminiscent of Sun City Girls. Onstage, the band freaks out with the ferocity of a full moon party in the French Quarter. -- By Richard Gehr

Sons of Fathers The Mercury Lounge Wednesday, 6:30pm, $10/$12 Guitarist David Beck and double-bassist Paul Cauthen's exquisite Everly Brothers harmonies are the special sauce that sells these Texas boys' harder-rocking barbecue. Their second Lloyd Maines-produced album is yet another basket of surprises, with country-rocking laments rubbing up against guitar-driven ravers. They're a great live band, too, with sex appeal reminiscent of Chris Isaak--only Texan. -- By Richard Gehr

Steven Wilson Best Buy Theater Friday, 7pm, $23.50 The Porcupine Tree leader has been elbowing his prog-rock elders with a trio of sharp, smart, and immaculately conceived solo albums. The most recent of these, The Raven That Refused to Sing, is based on Wilson-written short stories in the tradition of Poe. A terrific band helps make Wilson's brainy art rock sleeker than any of its more obvious influences, which include Yes, Gentle Giant, and King Crimson. -- By Richard Gehr

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