Wet, Chairlift, and More Keep the Post-Jonas Blues at Bay For This Week's Best NYC Concerts

Photo by Milan Zrnic via Facebook

We survived! The sidewalks are unnavigable, the trains are a mess, and the snow is twice as high as initially expected, but the city is crawling back to baseline function. It's not like nightlife took a break, though; yours truly stood with fifty others in a windy, 20°F line for last-minute Waxahatchee tickets Friday night, and DIY impresario Todd P waited until the last possible minute to cancel Saturday's show at Market Hotel. New York music, we salute you, and thank you for keeping up a fast clip through this post-blizzard week. While the usual smattering of indie-electro (Chairlift, Glassio) and indie-indie (Walter Martin) makes a strong showing, it's the more traditional (the Americans, Margaret Glaspy) and experimental (Craig Taborn, Invisible Anatomy) outings that deserve the most attention. There's something for everyone — with reliably waterproof shoes, that is — to hear.

The Americans
The Standard East Village
7 p.m., Free
RSVP to aohayon@standardhotels.com required 

From the hardly-backcountry of Los Angeles appear the Americans, a traditional Americana foursome whose sound recalls the less-celebrated rockabilly leanings of former fellow Angeleno Neil Young. Lead singer Patrick Ferris slicks his hair back and drops his voice to brass depths, but reveals a tender timbre within his words. Although The Americans’ last release was 2013’s Home Recordings, the band is fresh from their contribution to upcoming documentary series American Epic. They supported Nashville songwriter Christian Lee Hutson on January 23 at Union Pool, but this Standard East Village showcase is a more fitting setting to embrace their intimate music. —Silas Valentino

Craig Taborn
The Stone
8 p.m., $20

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If you need a lesson in versatility, this is the week to hang at the Loisaida improv box. Pianist Craig Taborn is a man of multiple perspectives, amending his approach as context — solo, duo or ensemble — dictates. His work often boasts a steely logic that can be contoured to fit the myriad situations he designs for himself. As the Stone's revolving door turns, that will include a delicate tête–à–tête with guitarist Diego Barber (2014's Tales was a delight), a romp with Farmers By Nature (featuring the mighty rhythm section of William Parker and Gerald Cleaver), and a solo stroll through John Zorn's Bagatelles book (solo at the keyboard, Taborn is a monster). Advice: don't sleep on the "electronics" night, as the confab debut of Ches Smith, Matt Mitchell and Mat Maneri should fry a few minds. The residency continues nightly through January 31. —Jim Macnie

National Sawdust
9 p.m., $20

There aren't too many synth-pop duos so good at songwriting that Beyoncé's blessed them, but Chairlift is one. The Brooklyn band, who rose to popularity after their single "Bruises" was featured in a 2009 iPod commercial, collaborated with Queen Bey on "No Angel," scoring songwriting and production credits on the superstar's beloved self-titled LP. Having worked with the biggest names in pop and indie music, Caroline Polachek and Patrick Wimberly now finally back to their own project. Chairlift's latest, Moth, is their first in four years and sees them mining familiar grooves while expanding into the synthesized horns and kinetic beats of R&B and jazz. Polachek's remarkable vocals dip into sultry low registers and soar through falsettos in the same breath, a marvel sure to shine in the faceted, jewel-like performance space of National Sawdust. Tickets are sold out but are available on secondary markets. —Lindsey Rhoades

Shea Stadium BK
8 p.m., $8

Before they've even released their debut EP (which arrives on February 17), pop duo Glassio have established themselves as perhaps the happiest DJs in Brooklyn. Charlie Pinel and Sam Rad post effusively on Facebook about their love of the local electronic scene every chance they can get, and that excitement comes through in their music. Their remixes are light and upbeat, nimbly weaving the originals through tropical-inflected hooks and fizzy beats, a technique that creates effortless tracks belying a lot of thoughtful work. Although they spin regularly at underground hotspots like Bossa Nova Civic Club and Black Flamingo, it's their live sets (like the one they play tonight at Shea Stadium) they seem to be most proud of, and it makes sense — turns out they play guitar, too, and these on-the-fly compositional sessions let them show off every side of their talents. Mid-week, mid-snow slump is no match. —Zoë Leverant

Margaret Glaspy
Mercury Lounge
6:30 p.m., $12

Songwriter Margaret Glaspy hails from rural Northern California, and her driving rock has just the slightest country twang because of it. When she opened for Thunderbitch last year at CMJ, everyone stopped talking to listen to the clarity and force she sends off the stage. Her new self-titled EP shows two very different sides of a deeply skilled musician (she studied briefly at Berklee College of Music) who’s turned her chops to pop. “You and I” is all snarl, swagger, and crunch, a breakup stomper with clever lyrics and noodling hooks; “Somebody to Anybody” shows off Glaspy’s voice, which she inflects with bluegrass warble and backs with careful guitar work. And like its EP-mate, the lyrics cover the joys of solitude and freedom. She now lives in New York, and if this city knows what’s good for us, we should help her make it here, big time. For this show she supports ATO labelmate Rayland Baxter, another worthwhile addition to the indie country catalogue. —Zoë Leverant

Bowery Ballroom
8 p.m., $15

Anticipation for a debut LP from alt-R&B trio Wet has been running Brooklyn ragged for years. In 2012, they cemented themselves as a "band to watch" after a stunning four-song EP revealed the power and vulnerability in frontwoman Kelly Zutrau's voice. But instead of churning an album out while the buzz was near-deafening, she and bandmates Joe Valle and Marty Sulko took time to focus their priorities and hone their skills, writing much of their record in isolation in Western Massachusetts. Don't You finally arrives on January 29, and Wet commemorate the event with a pair of sold out shows to their adoring local fans. Stoking the fire are three devastating and gorgeous singles off the album — "Deadwater," "It's All in Vain," and "All the Ways" — all of which prove that the wait has been worth it. Both this show and their set the following night at Rough Trade NYC are sold out, with tickets available on the secondary market. —Lindsey Rhoades

Invisible Anatomy
National Sawdust
7 p.m., $25

What can a contemporary classical ensemble learn from a rock band? The young composers in Invisible Anatomy think the answer is "almost everything." A few of these seven Yale-trained musicians used to play in touring bands, and that ethos — not one of an unapproachable, stuffy recital — is the one they draw on to debut a new suite, Dissections, tonight at National Sawdust. Each piece that makes up the "album," as they call it, fixates on a small musical or lyrical element, repeating it until it becomes unrecognizable and turns into something else entirely. One composition uses facial tics and mirrors them with music; in another, all seven of the performers literally dissect a grand piano using screwdrivers and knives. The ensemble stresses the humor and warmth in each piece, welcoming the audience to open themselves to a new, somewhat challenging, and definitely beautiful experience. —Zoë Leverant

Walter Martin
Union Pool
7 p.m, $12

“Through writing songs about rattlesnakes and chimpanzees, I figured out how to write lyrics that express my inner self…” begins Walter Martin in his online bio; so far, he’s spent his solo career confirming this somewhat odd idea. Since his band the Walkmen went on hiatus back in 2013, Martin has reinvented himself as a whimsical wonder boy, releasing his debut album We’re All Young Together – an indie rock album for the under-10 set – in 2014. The Friday following this Union Pool performance sees the release of his new album Arts & Leisure, which picks up where Young Together left off but tacks on a few decades’ worth of material. Enjoyable tunes about art history (ranging from L.A. postmodernism to John Singleton Copley) encompass the record and lead listeners on a journey into the mind of this young-at-heart rocker. — Silas Valentino

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