The Ten Best Concerts in New York This Weekend, 4/26/13
Steve Buscemi directs Sunday night's Vampire Weekend concert at Roseland.
We asked a pack of cigarettes and a switch blade to pick the weekend's 10 best shows. This is what they came up with.
Vampire Weekend Roseland Ballroom Sunday, 8pm, $50 "You know what I hate?" Vampire Weekend composer and producer Rostam Batmanglij asked The Fader early this year. "When you go see a band . . . and you're waiting for them to finish playing the songs from their new album so they can go back to playing the old ones." Although the band has plenty of old ones--the summery guitar pop of tracks like "A-Punk" and "Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa" from their debut album and instrumentally and lyrically dense follow-ups like "Diplomat's Sun" and "White Sky"--they've spent the past year or two fine-tuning the new ones. So far, we at home have heard "Diane Young" and "Step," the A and B side of a seven-inch that continues to add new instruments and syncopation to the band's signature sound; head to Roseland Ballroom tonight to hear those and more. -- By Nick Murray
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
Oneida + Scarcity of Tanks + Red Dawn II The Mercury Lounge Saturday, 10:30pm, $12 Sixteen years in, NYC's guitar/drums/bass/organ answer to the future of modern composition is still vaporizing the midnight oil. From the repetitive rampaging of "Sheets of Easter" to A List of the Burning Mountains' deep-dive space skronk to the cybernetic grooves of, say, "Antibiotics," noisers, anti-pop heads, world-music freaks, and the deranged can all find something special in Oneida's bonkers kitchen-sink fusion. If their mammoth discography isn't enough--and for some it isn't--the band's members have amassed a wealth of mind-bending side projects including Man Forever, Knyfe Hyts, and People of the North. -- By Raymond Cummings
Barbara Cook 54 Below Friday & Saturday, 8:30pm, $65-$7 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
Shabazz Palaces+THEESatisfaction Bowery Ballroom Friday, 9pm, $14/$16 When Shabazz Palaces cryptically surfaced in 2009, their dense and recondite alloy of styles--inner-city griotry, Zimbabwean melodies, and nomadic sub-bass frequencies--was considered "avant-rap." Since then, a whole new generation of indigo rap kids have been building online, lacing DatPiff.com releases with knowledge and esoteric references (or, on Underachievers's "Herb Shuttles," references to their "esoteric tattoos"). And Future managed to crossover from second-wave ATLien to mainstream Astronaut Status with interplanetary braggadocio raps (he's on Pluto and Mars at the same damn time!) and genuinely weird Auto-Tune vocal experiments. But space has been the place since at least Sun Ra, and Shabazz Palaces were always more Afro-Future-istic, anyways. With THEESatisfaction and Malitia Malimob. -- By Rajiv Jaswa
Dan Deacon keeps it classy at the Met Saturday night.
Dan Deacon The Metropolitan Museum of Art Saturday, 8pm, $27 With its imposing sculptures, stained-glass windows, and 1925 Wall Street bank façade, the Metropolitan Museum's Charles Englehard Court might be just a little too on-the-nose, America-wise. On the other hand, what better venue for the latest Dan Deacon-struction (if you will) of our national values? With one foot in the academy (he counts Reich, Riley, and Cage as major influences) and the other in the rave tent, Deacon mashed together the best and worst of us in the high-intensity beats and often ecstatic, minimalism-inspired bleeps of his recent America. The new multimedia work he presents for the first and only time tonight combines live and electronic sounds, light show, video projections, and events triggered by this free-wheeling communitarian's willing audience. -- By Richard Gehr
Dayna Stephens Jazz Gallery Friday, 9pm & 10:30pm, $15 Expression may be paramount, but grace remains a sought-after element of jazz. The ever-maturing tenor saxophonist keeps seeking on the new That Nepenthetic Place, where his swirling quartet is occasionally thickened by a couple extra horns. The lush designs Stephens draws definitely keep things feisty, yet the takeaway is obvious: This is music with muscle.Dayna Stephens -- By Jim Macnie
Styx + REO Speedwagon + Ted Nugent Izod Center Friday, pm, $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
Kočani Orkestar + Sazet Band Le Poisson Rouge Saturday, 6pm, $20 Roma brass bands are flexible, if not cannibalistic. This ten-piece has twisted the Turkish military-brass tradition to surf music, Bollywood hits, funk, techno, and Balkan pop ends. With four tubas and a drummer in its lineup, the Kocanis are loud and proud. The eight-piece Sazet Band, tonight's opener, plays a local eclectic mix of traditional folk and Romani styles. -- By Richard Gehr
Fashion Fast Forward: Japanese Art Goes POP Japan Society Friday, 6:30pm, $20/$15, Japan Society members, students, seniors (includes exhibition admission) It's widely known that Japan is at the forefront of fashion trends. Designers such as David Neville and Marcus Wainwright of Rag & Bone, Tadashi Shoji, and, of course, Gwen Stefani often visit Asia for inspiration. But you don't have to fly overseas to witness the latest trends. Fashion Fast Forward: Japanese Art Goes POP, part of Japan Society's exhibition "Edo Pop: The Graphic Impact of Japanese Prints," is a look into contemporary fashion, design, and street culture inspired by Japanese art. Tiffany Godoy (author of Style Deficit Disorder: Harajuku Street Fashion) hosts tonight's talk with Takeshi Kitazawa and Emiko Sato, founders of the Tokyo-based unisex label DRESSED/UNDRESSED. After the discussion, they'll present a mini-fashion show, while DJ Ansoni spins in the special one-night-only Edo Pop Lounge. Dress code is graffiti glam; extra points for outlandish hair. -- By Araceli Cruz
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