The Ten Best Concerts in New York This Week, 5/13/13

Maybe R. Kelly will pop up for Phoenix's show at the Apollo on Monday night? We can dream.
Maybe R. Kelly will pop up for Phoenix's show at the Apollo on Monday night? We can dream.

Support live music and check out one of these 10 shows this week.

Phoenix Apollo Theater Monday, 8pm, $50 How long until Phoenix can play a show without fans wondering if Paris peers Daft Punk will make a surprise appearance? Since the latter duo joined the former four-piece during a show at Madison Square Garden two years ago, the rumors always seem to fly, and when Phoenix played Coachella last month, all they could produce was R. Kelly. Alas. Of course, you go see Phoenix because the band doesn't need any surprise appearances: "Lisztomania" is the best song the Shins never wrote, and even a car commercial couldn't make "1901" any less wonderful. Expect to hear both songs at the Apollo tonight, along with tracks from Bankrupt!, their latest album. -- By Nick Murray

The Killers Madison Square Garden Tuesday, 8pm, $35-$65 From Hot Fuss on, the Killers have explored sounds in massively unique waves more than most bands dare to. The dance-y electropop of their debut somehow bled into the Americana vibe of Sam's Town before traversing the Bowie space fantasy of Day & Age. In their 2012, appropriately titled Battle Born, they finally reached a destination where all of these elements could blissfully coexist. When frontman Brandon Flowers isn't touting the group as the best thing since the Beatles, he's putting on a hell of show. -- By Brittany Spanos

Marissa Nadler Saint Vitus Monday, 8pm, $12 Although Marissa Nadler's sparse acoustic folk doesn't seem like a natural fit for the confines of Brooklyn's bona-fide metal lair Saint Vitus, she espouses a sort of dark, nightmarish quality, teleported from the backroom some Black Lodge in David Lynch's imagination, that kind of works. Her latest album, last year's The Sister, contains mostly subdued, down-tempo numbers, and her lyrics about dying and hearts made of twisted vines will serve as a relaxing respite from the previous night's Kill 'Em All Karaoke. With Guy Blackeslee of Entrance and Jozef Van Wissem. -- By Kory Grow

'Remembering Mabel & Bobby' Town Hall Thursday, 8pm, $25-$500 Not that long ago they'd have needed no introduction. Perhaps they do now: She's Mabel Mercer and he's Bobby Short; together and separately they presided over Manhattan cabaret let it be known with their joint appearance in this room 45 years back. Pay tribute, Mercer-Short disciples singing tonight include Joyce Breach, Eric Comstock, Natalie Douglas, Barbara Fasano, Clint Holmes, Tanya Holt, Andrea Marcovicci, Karen Mason, Steve Ross, and Catherine Russell. Current Mabel Mercer Foundation artistic director KT Sullivan does the presiding. -- By David Finkle

Nico Muhly Le Poisson Rouge Tuesday, 6:30pm & 9:30pm The Social Network meets Carmen in "Two Boys," composer Nico Muhly's Metropolitan Opera debut, which premieres in October 2013 following a several year development process. A true crime story set against a minimalist backdrop in the tradition of Einstein on the Beach, the plot tracks a murder investigation that delves into chat room betrayal, closed-circuit TV, and shifting identity. The 31-year-old composer joins cast members and others to perform excerpts from his operatic nightmare for the digital age, as well as a duo with frequent collaborator violist Nadia Sirota, a critical darling on the contemporary classical scene. -- By Aidan Levy


Catch Ghostface of the Wu Monday night at Gramercy
Catch Ghostface of the Wu Monday night at Gramercy

Ghostface Killah + Venice Dawn The Gramercy Theatre Monday, 8pm, $27 Ghostface Killah may be the de facto star of Twelve Reasons to Die, the veteran Wu-Tang rapper's 10th solo album, but its musical visionary is the name above the title: 30-something producer Adrian Younge, who also shares the billing on tonight's concert. Although Ghost crafted an intricate, cinematic plot, set in 1960s Italy, that finds his Tony Starks alter ego battling a crime family so he can become Ghostface, it's Younge's giallo-soul backing soundtrack that steals the show. In recent years, the producer has reunited Philly soul singers the Delfonics ("La-La (Means I Love You)") and assembled the soundtrack for Blaxploitation spoof flick Black Dynamite, but it's in between Ghostface's smooth and taut musings on torture and death wishes where Younge conjures his inner Ennio to great effect, heightening the drama along the way. With Venice Dawn and William Hart. -- By Kory Grow

Huey Lewis and the News Irving Plaza Monday, 8pm, $39.50 Three decades ago, Huey Lewis and the News were as ubiquitous as Cabbage Patch Kids, thanks to upbeat, no-frills-rock singles like "Heart and Soul," "I Want a New Drug," and "If This Is It." They had a sort of family-friendly optimism and their big sax solos and Lewis's scratchily soulful soliloquies served as an anesthetic to Reagan-era recession-related depression. It was a unique quality that they captured best on their multi-platinum 1983 record Sports, which contains those songs (as well as "The Heart of Rock & Roll") and will be played in its entirety tonight at Irving. -- By Kory Grow

Iron & Wine Beacon Theatre Tuesday, 8pm, $45-$65 Sam Beam has long lingered in the current folk landscape as an example of an artist who is doing it right, drawing on the rich legacy of the genre's past while using softly sung poetics to explore his own subconscious and fight his own demons. On his past two albums, Beam has expanded his influences to include a mish-mash of jazzy electric funk, something that offsets his early acoustic sound with elegance, and his growth as a songwriter and a musician continues with each record. Expect heavy-lidded love ballads that snuggle right up to groove-heavy lamentations, both riddled with existential questions. -- By Caitlin White

Matthew E. White Bowery Ballroom Monday, 9pm, $13/$15 The guitarist-founder of Richmond, Virginia, slipstream jazz combo Fight the Big Bull has morphed into a '70s channeling blue-eyed soul singer--a bearish, white Barry White, if you will. His solo debut was one of last year's best, and his nine-piece group stirs together gospel, reggae, and yacht rock into a sweet haze. Ecuador-born Roberto Lange's solo project Helado Negro delivers distant and rather abstract electronics con vocals. -- By Richard Gehr

Paramore + Kitten Hammerstein Ballroom Thursday, 6:30pm, $39.50-$59.50 It's bene four years since Paramore's massive album Brand New Eyes produced hits like "The Only Exception." Their self-tiled fourth album, however, proved that Hayley Williams and Co. can produce an even catchier and even more addictive collection of radio-ready singles post-inner band turmoil. The departure of Josh and Zac Farro may have left a bit of a scar on the BNE high, but 2013 seems to be reenacting 2011 and becoming the Year of Paramore once again. -- By Brittany Spanos

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