Death From Above 1979

March 10

Bowery Ballroom, 6 Delancey, 212-533-2111. Dudes canceled on us in January—Jesse Bassist had the flu—but last time I checked, this Toronto power duo still plays metal ditties, slams cocaine sluts, and sings the virtues of babies better than any band out there. Concrete beardos with hearts of gold, DFA1979 rock bare bones without lo-fi hiss or indie priss—bring your hankies not for tears, just for blood and sweat. SYLVESTER

Keren Ann + A Girl Called Eddy

March 10

Joe’s Pub, 425 Lafayette, 212-539-8778. Born in Israel to a Dutch-Javanese mother and a Russian-Israeli father and raised in the Netherlands and Paris, Keren Ann Zeidel, whose bilingual chamber pop is enlightened mainstream fare in France, is a natural for Garden State fans here. Born in New Jersey, A Girl Called Eddy recorded her debut in Sheffield, England, with ex-Pulp member Richard Hawley and shares with Zeidel sophisticated melodies and arrangement. WALTERS

Bettie Serveert

March 11

Bowery Ballroom, 6 Delancey, 212-533-2111. As the ’90s faded into the ’00s, these Dutch sweethearts shook the feedback dust out of their eyes and left indie rock behind. Now firmly entrenched in adult alternative territory (not always a bad thing!), Bettie Serveert make mature soft pop focused on songcraft over sonics. Another sign of the times: The new Attagirl features a Bright Eyes cover. A decade ago, they did Sebadoh. PHILLIPS

Marianne Faithfull

March 12

Town Hall, 123 W 43rd, 212-840-2824. You’ve always loved her weary scary voice and I-survived-Soho persona, but if you’ve been paying attention lately, you’ve been unhappy with her management or her a&r or whoever did all those shit arrangements of pretentious material. So it’s great she’s now got the Anti-/Epitaph treatment, spare and clean like they did for Merle Haggard. Don’t you just want to say you saw her in person? GOLDFEIN

Goldie Lookin Chain

March 14

Mercury Lounge, 217 E Houston, 212-260-4700. Because anyone can rap now. Goldie Lookin Chain comes from across the pond with joke raps that aspire to a Barman-esque style with street in-jokes (“Guns Don’t Kill People, Rappers Do”) and enough early-’80s samples to be confused with a Bambaataa acolyte. Which I’m sure, in a way, he is. CARAMANICA

Ashlee Simpson

March 15 & 16

Hammerstein Ballroom, 311 W 34th, 212-485-1534. After the rockist vitriol spewed both online and off following her bravura SNL debacle, you gotta wonder what Simpson’s security detail’s like these days, which is only one reason this performance deserves your attendance. America snapped and Ashlee snapped back; if her bubble-grunge guitars, cough syrup vocals, and obsession with self-definition aren’t patriotic enough for you, how much more of an underdog do you need? WOOD


March 17-19

Irving Plaza, 17 Irving Pl, 212-777-6800. Sometimes it just takes a 14-year breakup to build a band’s audience. While Slint have been away, they’ve gotten a lot more important—their slow hard-and-prickly instrumental technique inspired a boatload of musicians in the ’90s; their alumni have gone on to bands including Zwan, Tortoise, and the Breeders; and the oblique, half-buried prose poems Brian McMahan narrates on Spiderland are still worthy of shivers. WOLK

Go! Team

March 21

Mercury Lounge, 217 E Houston, 212-260-4700. Mike Post revivalists the Go! Team push the army TV nostalgia button harder and faster than afternoon programming on the WB—it’s excessive but man do I miss The A-Team. Sampling theme songs liberally, the U.K. sextet chops them up and glues them back with live instrumentation for extra kick and the best press the military’s gonna get all year. SYLVESTER

Queens of the Stone Age

March 24

Webster Hall, 125 E 11th, 212-353-1600. Now that Nick Oliveri’s been ousted from the sand-dune-surfin’ queendom, queen bee Josh Homme rules his revolving door of mushroom-cap-eatin’ metalheads as an iron-clawed monarchy. The forthcoming CD Lullabies to Paralyze drops March 22, and teasers from sound like he’s polished and titanium-reinforced his pop scepter. This could be the one to turn ’em into the arena-sized jukebox heroes they deserve to be but you secretly hope they’ll never become. BOSLER

Lyrics Born + Heiruspecs

March 31

Knitting Factory, 74 Leonard, 212-219-3132. Oakland’s Lyrics Born is that rare rapper unashamed of rocking an ear-to-ear grin. His 2003 debut was a delightful, free-ranging mishmash of spongy synth-funk and quotidian concerns. Equally comfortable trading slanguage with E-40 and jamming with neo-funksters the Poets of Rhythm, LB takes his one-man show on the road to promote his even more eclectic disc of album remixes. HSU

Bloc Party + Ponys + Chromeo

April 7 & 8

Bowery Ballroom, 6 Delancey, 212-533-2111. This bill will get you dancing! Bloc Party are multi-racial, English art punks who worship at the temple of Gang of Four. The faux-Brit Chicagoans in the Ponys make the usually pristinely cool post-punk revival grimy with lots of garage fuzz. And Chromeo are the Lisa Lisa-loving, ironic hipsters from Montreal who peddle hedonistic electro-funk beats that double as roller-skating jams. RABER

Ladysmith Black Mambazo

April 10

Town Hall, 123 W 43rd, 212-840-2824. More than most harmony groups they seem to sing in one impossible voice, except that usually 63-year-old Joseph Shabalala’s subtle, sharp, lovely, undiminished tenor darts overhead. And then there are those clicks, ululations, whoops, whistles, kisses, yawns, yelps, gulps, gasps, glottals, gibbers, whinnies, clucks, birdcalls, long guttural trills, and r-r-rolled Rs. CHRISTGAU

Duran Duran

April 13

Madison Square Garden, 2 Penn Plaza, 212-465-MSG1. Ya gotta admit: The long-awaited studio return of the original Fab Five on last year’s Astronaut was, aside from a couple of respectable tracks, kinda sucky. But that doesn’t mean that LeBon, Rhodes, and those Taylors won’t rise like ragged tigers to prove their worth in concert. WALTERS


April 14-19, 21, 22 & 24-26

Irving Plaza, 17 Irving Pl, 212-777-6800. Although Andy Bell and Vince Clarke’s new disc isn’t as dull and disappointing as Duran Duran’s, neither does it interrupt the pair’s lengthy string of ho-hum studio endeavors. However, the duo has always kicked butt live in the fiercest nelly way, and Bell’s announcement of his HIV positivity is bound to heighten goodwill among Erasure’s ever faithful army of synthpop lovers. WALTERS

Alicia Keys + John Legend

April 22 & 23

Radio City Music Hall, 1260 Sixth Ave, 212-247-4777. Four years ago, Keys bent hip-hop over, stepped on its back, and propelled herself to pop stardom, looking back every now and then for a wink and nod, but really just happy to be free. At the time, Legend, sitting in his office by day and gigging by night, thought, “I should do that.” And so he has, putting in songwriting work with Kanye West and, a couple of months ago, releasing his solo debut, Get Lifted, which proves there’s room for more than one post-rap pianist in the game. CARAMANICA

Roots Manuva

May 7

Knitting Factory, 74 Leonard, 212-219-3132. Grime gets all the love from bloggers, but Roots Manuva don’t play that. Apart from maybe Dizzee, he’s the top rapper England’s produced in the last decade, leaning more to dub-influenced toasting and raps about feelings than to blathering boasts and street documentary. His new album, Awfully Deep, is just as great as the previous ones have been. CARAMANICA

U2 + Kings of Leon

May 21

Madison Square Garden, 2 Penn Plaza, 212-465-MSG1. Sure, they’ve been going since Carter was prez. But their knack for relevant mega-trends—iPods, poverty—and that rocking appearance on SNL last November bode well for this (perhaps final?) tour. The hype on Kings of Leon’s 2003 debut put off those leery of the “like a Southern boogie Strokes” blurbs. But word is their new CD is well worth the raves. DAVIDSON

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