The Ten Best Concerts in New York This Weekend, 3/29/13
O Children: Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds take over Beacon Theatre Friday and Saturday
Please get out and do something. Your roommates are worried about you.
Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds + Sharon Van Etten Beacon Theatre Friday & Saturday, 8pm, $39.50-$69.50 Now that the maestro of the morose has survived what we assume was one hell of a midlife crisis--the only evidence being the scabrous, virile declarations on songs like "No Pussy Blues" that he released with his noise-rock band Grinderman--Nick Cave has returned to his main gig: conducting the symphony of sadness that is the Bad Seeds. On their latest, Push the Sky Away, he paints in darkly muted tints, singing with delicate melodies songs about the trivial trappings of modern life and, in true Cave fashion, love. -- By Kory Grow
Bush Tetras Slipper Room Friday, 7pm, $15 Some can say that Bush Tetras predicted the future. After debuting their first single "Too Many Creeps," the group's funk-infused take on post-punk and aggressively danceable beats made them underground successes during the '80s but the sound hit the mainstream in the early millennium with the success of bands like Bloc Party and LCD Soundsystem. After releasing their latest album, Happy, Bush Tetras has firmly solidified that they'll continuing being underground innovators every decade. -- By Brittany Spanos
Christian Scott Ginny's Supper Club Saturday, 10:30pm, $20 The New Orleans-born, fashion-forward trumpeter Christian Scott celebrates his 30th birthday with his trumpet Katrina, a custom-built instrument featuring a bell that pointed skyward in the style of Dizzy Gillespie's iconic horn. Beyond Dizzy, Scott jumps across a range of styles and sounds, channeling everything from hip-hop to On the Corner-style funk and African rhythms. His most recent album, Christian aTunde Adjuah, represents a step towards artistic self-creation that firmly establishes him as one of the new young lions of jazz. -- By Aidan Levy
Sean Moran's Small Elephant Barbes Sunday, 7pm, $10 Even grumpy nylon-string skeptics will get off on the rhythmically challenging and harmonically colorful tines of Tusk, the (non-Fleetwood-Mac-inspired) solo debut by guitarist Sean Moran, an electric component of the Four Bags and Bassoon. With Michael McGinnis (clarinet), Chris Dingman (vibraphone), Reuben Radding (bass), and Harris Eisenstadt (drums) aboard, Small Elephant skims the cream of the Brooklyn slipstream. -- By Richard Gehr
Red Baraat + Vandana Jain Webster Hall Friday, 6pm, $20 The thunderous local drums-and-brass ensemble presents its second annual Festival of Colors. Led by Sunny Jain, whose double-headed dhol drum serves as its heartbeat, Red Baraat expands India's wedding-band template into a more inclusively throbbing caterwaul evocative of joyous brass-band cultures from New Orleans to the Balkans but with a Bollywood bent. India-raised Vandana Jain plays experimental synth-pop, and the Parijat Desai Dance Company brings its blend of Indian classical and Western contemporary dance. -- By Richard Gehr
Celebrate 20 years of Last Splash with The Breeders on Friday at Brooklyn's Bell House
The Breeders The Bell House Friday, 9pm, $20 For their first official "LSXX" concert, the Breeders are celebrating the 20th anniversary of Last Splash, reuniting that album's lineup and relearning every minute of feedback, every curl-lipped coo, every harmony, and every overdriven "aaah-ooo-aahh" in order to play the entirety of its 39 minutes and 38 seconds. In 1993, the album stood out for twin sisters Kim and Kelley Deal's easy-breezy delivery and proclivity for alt-pop hooks, with catchy singles like "Cannonball," "Divine Hammer" and "Saints." After 20 years, and with 20/20 hindsight, it all still holds up. -- By Kory Grow
Tomasz Stanko New York Quartet Birdland Friday & Saturday, 8pm & 11pm, $30-$40 The Polish trumpeter always has one foot in town these days, so he's built a Gotham foursome to help keep him company. Everything from the leader's steely lines to the rhythm section's mercurial support shimmers on their new Wislawa, and though Stanko stays close to his safety zone--hazy, forlorn and cinematic are his go-to vibes--this latest squad (including Gerald Cleaver, Thomas Morgan, and David Virelles) gets him to interact a bit more than usual, revealing a rarely seen aggressive side. -- By Jim Macnie
Pandit Shivkumar Sharma + Zakir Hussain Town Hall Saturday, 8pm, $35-$55 At age 13, Shivkumar Sharma's father, the singer Uma Dutt Sharma, decided that his son should become the first musician to perform Hindustani (North Indian) classical music on the santoor, a hundred-stringed hammered dulcimer played with a pair of light walnut-wood mallets. Sharma's brilliance on the instrument--he translated his vocal and tabla training into lightning-fast runs, liquid glissandi, and an emotional melodiousness--made 1967's divine Call of the Valley one of the highest-selling Indian albums to date and landed him a session on George Harrison's Wonderwall soundtrack. Now 75, Sharma has been collaborating with peerless tabla master Zakir Hussain since 1966, and their infrequent local appearances are don't-miss events of virtually guaranteed musical transcendence for appreciative East Coast raga cognoscenti. -- By Richard Gehr
Art Department + Guy Gerber + Nitin + Bill Patrick + Cameo Culture Highline Ballroom Friday, 11pm, $25/$30 Still riding off inescapable singles like "I C U" and "Without You," Jonny White and Kenny Glasgow make for a menacing Art Department. The Canadian duo saps the melodies from Chicago house until only skeletal wisps of the influence remain, drowned out by the malaise in Glasgow's droopy vocals. With a second artist album forthcoming in the fall and the newly released debut mix compilation Social Experiment 003, their woozy burners can still tranquilize and move dance floors. Verboten fan favorite Guy Gerber co-headlines this party showcasing Art Department's No. 19 Music label. -- By Aaron Gonsher
'Freestyle and Old School Extravaganza' Radio City Music Hall Friday & Saturday, 8pm, $64-$115 Now that freestyle and hip-hop are both about three decades in, nostalgia-pumping "old-school" revue concerts are popping up more and more frequently: Before long, we'll be seeing snippets of show's like tonight's Freestyle & Old School Extravaganza during PBS pledge weeks. But that's not to say that seeing some of the '70s and '80s best performers cutting to the chase and performing their A-material is a bad thing. Artists touting their hits tonight include Sugarhill Gang, Biz Markie, Cover Girls, Lisa Lisa (no Cult Jam listed), Slick Rick, Rob Base (apparently sans DJ E-Z Rock, so maybe it doesn't always take two), and many more. -- By Kory Grow
Get the Music Newsletter
Keep your thumb on the local music scene each week with music news, trends, artist interviews and concert listings. We'll also send you special ticket offers and music deals.