The Ten Best Concerts in New York This Weekend, 10/26/12


Here’s a list, in no particular order, of the ten best concerts to check out this weekend.

The xx + Chairlift
Loew’s Paradise Theater (Bronx)
Friday & Sunday, 8pm. $42
Festival darlings the xx have successfully avoided the sophomore slump with the release of Coexist in September, which followed their critically acclaimed self-titled debut. The band’s charm, and maybe even success, rests in the hands of their extraordinary ability to weave the restrained and equally lovely lead vocals of singers Romy Madley Croft and Oliver Sim on top of minimalist beats. A subtly palpable energy is not lost, however, in the sleepily melodic tones of their songs, which makes them a great live act to see outdoors as well as in the vintage-y atmosphere of Loew’s Paradise Theater. Supported by Chairlift, the xx will be framing the weekend with two shows at the Bronx venue while in turn creating the perfect ambient escape from the week. – Brittany Spanos

Bill McHenry Quartet
Village Vanguard
Friday-Sunday, 9pm & 11pm daily. $25
The new La Peur Du Vide was recorded last spring at the royal basement, and it shows the tenor saxophonist’s yen for both measured beauty and aggressive abstraction, like a crazed chess pro with a wild-ass streak. His secret weapon for this approach is pianist Orrin Evans, whose sage maneuvers add steady buoyancy while rattling the cage on a regular basis. — By Jim Macnie

The Weeknd
Terminal 5
Friday, 9pm. $40-$45
Last year, Toronto’s the Weeknd shook up r&b with a self-released mixtape trilogy (in order of both quality and chronology: House of Balloons, Thursday, Echoes of Silence) that basked in their own brooding mysteriousness, focusing less on the party or after-party than the lonely 4:30 a.m. comedown. This year, he climbed the charts with his guest vocals on fellow Torontonian Drake’s “Crew Love” and brought his show on the road, playing three New York shows before those mixtapes get their proper release. The show should be a good time, but we can’t make any promises about what will go on later. — By Nick Murray

Aimee Man + Ted Leo
Town Hall
Saturday, 9pm. $35-$45
In the title track of her latest album Charmer, singer-songwriter Aimee Mann contends that the world doesn’t know “that secretly charmers feel like they’re frauds.” If that’s the case, Ms. Mann will have to learn to cope with her insecurities, because over the course of her solo career she hasn’t lost one ounce of the stuff. She likely knows that, too: Take, for instance, the video she made for the album’s other single, “Labrador”; in it, she and tonight’s opening act, Ted Leo, recreate the video she made with new wavers ‘Til Tuesday for “Voices Carry” in ’85. It’s a fraud worth buying. — By Kory Grow

Grace Jones
Roseland Ballroom
Saturday, 8pm. $62-$502
It’s been four years since onetime new-wave icon Grace Jones last released an album, Hurricane, and many times that since she last sported her signature flattop ‘do, but time is not such a precious thing to her–especially considering she took a nearly two-decade hiatus between LPs the last time. But that’s not to say she’s been wasting her time, instead releasing a few sundry tracks and working on perfecting a record worth owning–which is exactly what she’s doing tonight, as she presents a program titled Hurricane: Return to Roseland in what will likely be eye-popping Technicolor. — By Kory Grow

Saint Etienne + The Golden Filter
Webster Hall
Friday, 7pm. $25
Forerunners of the ’90s indie dance movement, Saint Etienne have mastered the successful synthpop algebra of saccharine vocals and sheer pop hooks plus a gauzy atmospheric base over their decades-long career. Although the London threesome’s latest release more approaches the ambient than the danceable, their sixties groove backbone remains intact. — By Sarah Madges

Mossa Bildner & Phil Gibbs

Downstairs at Cornelia Street Cafe
Sunday, 8:30pm. $10
This duo’s improvisational take on the poetry of Dylan Thomas is noteworthy for introducing the dazzling British guitarist Phil Gibbs (who performs in another configuration at Brooklyn’s Shapeshifter Lab on Tuesday) to New York audiences. A shredding comproviser with a style somewhere between John McLaughlin and Derek Bailey, Gibbs is highly regarded for his collaborations with saxophonist Paul Dunmall, and free-improv connoisseurs will want to catch at least one of his six local dates. — By Richard Gehr

Major Lazer
Terminal 5
Saturday, 9pm.$22-$35
With 2009’s Guns Don’t Kill People . . . Lazers Do, an American and a Brit (Diplo and Switch) renamed themselves Major Lazer and set out to create a dancehall album from another planet, recruiting genre superstars like Vybz Kartel, Ricky Blaze, and Mr. Vegas to help with vocals. The result can still be heard not only in dancehalls but also on the Hot 100, where Beyoncé brought her “Run the World (Girls),” a track based around a sample from the duo’s “Pon de Floor.” Tonight, Diplo and Switch’s replacement, Jillionaire, come to Terminal 5 as they put the finishing touches on their forthcoming Major Lazer Frees the Universe. With Pictureplane and Brenmar. — By Nick Murray

Those Darlins + Heavy Cream

The Glasslands Gallery
Friday, 8:30pm. $13-$15
Hot on their “Summer’s Dead” national tour, punk is anything but with this gritty, Nashville-based power trio. Often compared to the Runaways for their high estrogen quotient and lo-fi, pseudo-’70s country punk hybrid, sort of Liz Phair if she’d been more of a badass, they share more in common with the Ramones, having taken Darlin as a last name and strumming their low-hung guitars with a reckless abandon that would have been just too intense for Lilith Fair. Setting the macabre tone for the week, the tour’s eponymous single is a murderous sprint through a haunted Winnipeg hotel the band recently played. — By Aidan Levy

Esperanza Spalding

Apollo Theater
Friday, 8pm. $40-$65
What can’t Esperanza Spalding do? Outside of Norah Jones, the Grammy winner has the highest profile of any jazz musician under 40, and certainly the biggest hair, with crossover success on the classically influenced Chamber Music Society and its Stevie Wonder-inspired companion piece, Radio Music Society, released last spring. She’s bringing the latter’s more radio-friendly large-scale group to the Apollo, with a heavy soul undertone that better suits the hallowed hall. Originally a bassist, she’s come into her own as a singer and composer, but Spalding has held onto the earthy aesthetic on which she made her name. — By Aidan Levy