This Weekend's Best Concerts in NYC Includes a Cameo Gallery Goodbye From SSION
We're bummed, too: Cameo Gallery is closing in November, so see SSION there this weekend.
Photo by Amos Mac
For more shows throughout the weekend, check out our New York Concert Calendar, which we update daily.
More bad news for Williamsburg-based showgoers this week: Cameo Gallery announced its impending closure yesterday afternoon. The good news is that they've got a wide swath of fantastic offerings coming up over the next few months, beginning with the perfect opportunity to drown that collective sorrow in some sick disco rhythms courtesy of SSION. Naturally, there are DJs playing the afterparty; we haven't checked, but we're pretty sure you could spend every night boogying under the installation dangling above Cameo's stage until it's time to say goodbye. And depending on your bent, there are a couple of niche festivals happening around town, too: NY Deathfest brings aggressive thrash and grindcore to Saint Vitus, while Modern Sky celebrates the intersection of Chinese and Western rock.
Friday, 10/2 - Sunday, 10/4
Laurie Anderson with Merrill Garbus, Omar Souleyman, and Shazad Ismaily
Park Avenue Armory
8 p.m., $45
While her new installation at Park Avenue Armory, Habeas Corpus, deals with a weighty subject – the experiences of her collaborator for the piece, Mohammed el Gharani, who was the youngest detainee held at Guantanamo – Laurie Anderson subscribes to the Buddhist principles of “feeling sad without being sad” and seeks some levity with a nightly dance party following the installation’s viewing hours. From noon to 7 p.m., viewers can take in a livestream of the motionless el Gharani, beamed from West Africa into the cavernous Drill Hall while Stewart Hurwood performs a drone piece composed by Lou Reed. She’s hinted that other performers and “friends” will pop in and out of the space, kind of like buskers on the subway, but at 8 p.m. every evening, Merrill Garbus (of tUnE-yArDs), multi-instrumentalist Shahzad Ismaily, and Anderson perform a new work, and renowned Syrian singer Omar Souleyman headlines the celebratory culmination of this poignant work. – Lindsey Rhoades
Toro Y Moi
Music Hall of Williamsburg
9:00 p.m., $30
The final lyrics of the song "What You Want," the opening number off Toro y Moi's recently released fourth studio album, What For?, ask a rhetorical question: "Does anyone know where we go from here?" It's voiced in train stations and college graduation speeches alike, although when put forth by Chaz Bundick, the phrase begins to earn complexity, revealing a layer of personal inquiry beneath its subtle surface. The answer to the question is washed out all over What For?. Comprising ten tracks that barely beat 36 minutes, Bundick's latest offering is instantly recognizable as a change in tempo from his 2013 electronic-heavy Anything in Return. To follow his progression from the sample-collage 2010 debut Causers of This to today's rich endeavor into psychedelic power-pop is to see the building, perfecting, and eventual dismantling of Toro y Moi's style. – Silas Valentino
Wavves, Twin Peaks
7 p.m., $20
Having started as a lo-fi, ramshackle solo project for wunderkind (and frequent thrower of tantrums) Nathan Williams, the San Diego-based Wavves has evolved into a more traditional band structure as it has moved from album to album. For the fifth outing, aptly titled V, Williams is splitting writing duties with bandmates Stephen Pope and Alex Gates. The album's October 2 street date coincides with a release show at Brooklyn's Saint Vitus; a second gig goes down October 6 at Irving Plaza. Chicago rockers Twin Peaks open both shows. – Jill Menze
Radio City Music Hall
7 p.m., $35-$90
It's been a long time since Grace Potter released any music without her band, the Nocturnals, but years of what she dubs "heavy lifting" left her well equipped to take the plunge into solo territory. After a decade of cultivating a vintage rock vibe with the band, the poppier inspiration behind her newest solo release, Midnight, didn't fit the legacy the band had built. But fun is par for the course outside the studio, where Potter has developed an unwavering reputation for jumping and howling her way across any stage she graces. Her own enthusiasm on the road is now matched by a revolving cast of friends and collaborators backing her, which makes for an opportunity to evolve. – Dacey Orr
8 p.m., $15
On October 1, Cameo Gallery announced that it will sadly join the ranks of other shuttered Williamsburg venues and close permanently at the end of November. That means that it's time to make these last few weeks count, and there's no better way to do that than dancing away the sadness at a disco-rific SSION show. Mainly the recording project of Freddy Mercury acolyte Cody Critcheloe, SSION has always been part performance art, with a flamboyant, funky soundtrack. Jams with major earworm potential like "My Love Grows In The Dark" also showcase Critcheloe's knowing humor, its last line playing on Sinead O'Connor's iconic pate: "I shaved my head, what else is new? Nothing compares to you." Ladosha and Thurmon Green open, with an afterparty to follow. - Lindsey Rhoades
Baby’s All Right
8 p.m., $13-$15
As frontwoman of Swedish post-punk band Makthaverskan, Maja Milner’s vocals are at their best when they break urgently against the disgruntled dream-pop of her four bandmates. Still in their early twenties, angst informs every note of every melody, and while their sound on tracks like “Witness” is a good deal darker than the cheeky indie sound of a homeland oft associated with Lykke Li, Robyn, and Jens Lekman, their youthful live energy connects on a level that’s pure, ecstatic fun. Copenhagen quartet Lower operate on a similar axis, with dissonant guitars and crashing percussion accentuating lead singer Adrian Toubro’s poetic, enigmatic lyrics. The band’s debut LP for Matador, Seek Warmer Climes, is a must-listen for fans of Denmark’s other underground darlings, Iceage. – Lindsey Rhoades
Brooklyn Masonic Temple
8 p.m., $30-$35
Manchester‘s preeminent experimental techno duo Autechre have been making music for nearly thirty years, long before the current wave of dubstep-worshipping EDM acts began populating festivals left and right. In fact, Rob Brown and Sean Booth have made moves in recent years to distance themselves from the house and hip-hop mish-mash that informed their early work, favoring more sonic abstraction and ambient tones with glitchy, textural beats instead. Autechre’s penchant for pushing the envelope should make for an immersive experience under the ornate vaulted ceilings of Brooklyn’s Masonic Temple, with Cygnus and DJ Rob Hall opening. – Lindsey Rhoades
NY Deathfest 3
3 p.m. $40 per day; continues Sunday, 2-day pass $75
Abhorrent Deformity. Dead Infection. Bleach Eater. Immortal Suffering. These are but a few of the charmingly-named acts playing NY Deathfest 3 – two full days of the most extreme grindcore and death metal that eardrums and fragile sensibilities can handle. Presented by Useless Christ Records, most of the lineup features New York-based bands like Morpheus Descends and Without Remorse. But there are also some international acts, including Sweden’s Soils of Fate, Holocausto Canibal from Portugal, and Gutalax from the Czech Republic, who are making their U.S. debut on Saturday. Ohio metalcore veterens Ringworm are evidently extra excited, having posted an appropriate imperative on facebook announcing the show: “Let’s Get Sick!” – Lindsey Rhoades
Hedgehog plays Modern Sky on Sunday.
photo courtesy Modern Sky Festival
Modern Sky Festival
Central Park’s Rumsey Playfield
2 p.m., $43.20 - $150
The Modern Sky Festival, started by the Chinese record label of the same name, returns to Central Park's Rumsey Playfield for a second year on October 4 to showcase the best of its roster alongside an eclectic, international group of rock-inclined bands. Though it has scaled back to one day from last year's two, it promises to be just as much, if not more, of an event. Yoko Ono will headline with her Plastic Ono band, here comprising some very special surprise guests. Also headlining are foundational postpunk group Gang of Four. Indie rockers Hedgehog and New Pants — the latter of which played Coachella in 2011 — make for a special draw for fans of Beijing's rock scene. – Beverly Bryan
8 p.m., $25
Earlier this year, Canadian singer-songwriter Dan Bejar released another sprawling, orchestral gem, Poison Season, under the moniker Destoyer. Amazingly, it’s his tenth solo album, but after achieving an unlikely breakout with 2011’s Kaputt, plus stints in The New Pornographers and Swan Lake, he’d been reluctant to release a follow-up. The new record was certainly worth that wait, with golden string arrangements and poignant brass interludes tenaciously supporting Bejar’s wordy narratives, sometimes with unpredictable flair. With not one but three odes to Times Square anchoring Poison Season, Destroyer’s stop at Webster Hall will feel particularly relevant this tour cycle, and will likely be as unpredictable as the record itself. Fellow Canuck Jennifer Castle opens with an elemental folk set. – Lindsey Rhoades
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