This Week’s Five Best Concerts: Pistol Annies, Thrill Jockey, Austra, And More


If you’re thumbing through the print edition (God bless your soul), it’s hard to miss the three pages of recommended events that open the issue. Because the internet makes those a little less obvious, here are our five picks for concerts this week.

Tomorrow, the Pistol Annies come to Midtown’s Terminal 5, a long way from Brooklyn but closer than Long Island or New Jersey. Nick Murray writes:

As a solo artist, it took Texas native Miranda Lambert less than a decade to go from second runner-up on a country-themed Idol to the genre’s queen bee, winning CMA album of the year for her 2009 return-to-form Revolution. Lately, however, her best music has been coming from retro-oriented supergroup Pistol Annies, which includes both Nashville journeywoman Ashley Monroe and songwriter Angaleena Presley, the pen behind recent hits including Ashton Shepherd’s “Look It Up” and Lambert’s own “Fastest Girl in Town.” Tonight, the trio brings tunes like the self-explanatory “Hell on Heels” and “Bad Example” to Terminal 5, setting a bad example that all New Yorkers would do best to follow.

Friday, as you might expect, holds a handful of excellent concerts and dance parties. Your best bets are Ariel Pink at Webster Hall and Maria Minerva at Glasslands. Sez Murray on the former:

Of the 100 or so cassette tapes and CD-Rs that L.A. home-recording mysterioso 
Ariel Pink has made over the course of his 33 years, none have been more important than the one that he passed along to the members of Animal Collective 10 years ago this summer: Soon after giving that record its first spins, the band signed him to their new label, Paw Tracks, and began releasing more like it, his masterpiece House Arrest included. These days, Pink is recording with a full band and touring behind his studio-polished Mature Themes, but he remains one of the most compelling figures in indie music, filtering an FM station’s worth of classic rock into a sound that has influenced everyone from John Maus to Animal Collective themselves.

…and the latter:

Despite making music for a grand total of two years, Estonia-born, London-based Maria Minerva has already released three albums (all on L.A. label Not Not Fun) and two EPs (both on Not Not’s dancier subsidiary 100% Silk), all while completing a master’s degree at Goldsmiths College. Tonight, touring behind her new Will Happiness Find Me?, she brings her laptop grooves to Williamsburg’s Glasslands Gallery, playing the early show before Groundislava and Jess Jubilee take over at 11:30.

Next, on Saturday we suggest checking out the second of Thrill Jockey’s two 20th anniversary showcases. Mikael Wood writes:

This fall, the adventurous Chicago-based indie label Thrill Jockey is celebrating its 20th anniversary, and to mark the occasion, it’s presenting a series of all-star 
concerts in cities across the United States. Here in New York, we’ll get two shows, with many of the label’s heavy-hitters due at Webster Hall tonight, including its flagship post-rock outfit, Tortoise; local black-metal philosophers Liturgy; and the playful electronic duo Matmos, whose Thrill Jockey debut comes out next month. Younger–or maybe just fringier–acts such as White Hills and Guardian Alien (with former Liturgy drummer Greg Fox) get a jump on their elders Friday at Death by Audio in Brooklyn.

But even after the weekend peaks, the concerts keep coming. On Wednesday, try to make it out for Austra at Music Hall of Williamsburg. Wood:

Devoted goth heads are sure to be planning their weekend around Saturday’s Beacon Theatre concert by the Finnish metal band Nightwish. But lovers of spooky sonics should consider a mid-week rendezvous tonight with Toronto’s Austra, who conjure an equally creepy atmosphere without the help of big, bloodthirsty guitars; last year’s Feel It Break often limits the synth-based 
arrangements around singer Katie Stelmanis to a “Beat and the Pulse,” as one song title puts it. Stelmanis and her mates (including twin-sister backing vocalists Sari and Romy Lightman) play the MHOW ahead of an 
appearance at this month’s POP Montreal festival.