Escape the Family: Five Shows To See on Thanksgiving Night


On Thanksgiving Day, most of the city’s music venues go dark–which is good for employees who wanna spend the holiday with their loved ones, and bad for those of us who either couldn’t give a shit about turkey and stuffing and Cowboys or Lions games, or who desperately need to get away from our annoying families after cramming all that food in our fat faces and want to go see a show. Fortunately, there are still a couple of options for those of you who fear being live-music-deprived tomorrow.

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Hard to believe, since “Can’t Deny It” seems like it dropped just yesterday, but Bed-Stuy native Fabolous has been in the rap game for well over a decade now. Though his flow was slick and his punchlines memorable from the jump, it wouldn’t have surprised anyone if he quickly dropped off the map like so many other flashy turn-of-the-millennium rappers. 2004’s tepid Real Talk looked like it might seal his fate, but Fab came back strong with 2007’s From Nothin’ to Somethin’ and especially 2009’s Loso’s Way (both chart-toppers thanks in no small part to his affiliation with Jay-Z). While a Loso follow-up is in the cards for next year, Fab’s been doing the mixtape thing of late: This Thanksgiving show, which celebrates the two-year-anniversary of Funkmaster Flex’s In Flex We Trust blog (which Fab namechecked on his recent Weezy-dissin’ “So NY”), is also a release party for The S.O.U.L. Tape 2, the sequel to last year’s Blueprint-inspired offering on which Fab rhymed over lush, nocturnal soul samples.
Webster Hall, 10 p.m., $25.

A-list Berlin DJ/producer Paul van Dyk–one of the few still-relevant holdovers from the Superstar DJ ’90s–has been at it so long and helped define progressive trance so well (and c’mon, we know you still have a soft spot in your heart for those blissful breakdowns) that we can almost forgive him for teaming up with that Owl City turd and Gibbard-abee Adam Young for “Eternity”: The unavoidable, not-so-enjoyable first single off of Van Dyk’s otherwise excellent, vocals-heavy sixth studio album Evolution, which came out last spring. The album title’s a bit of a feint–PvD’s bright, smooth grooves haven’t evolved all that much, and sure, his trance style has taken a beating in the Age of Skrillex. But it ain’t dead yet, and PvD remains the king. Moving forward, though, it’d be all right if he happened to lose Young’s phone number.
Pacha, 10 p.m., $12.

French-Dominican jazz chanteuse Cyrille Aimee’s smoke-curl voice–feathery, magnetic, and transportive–is truly a wonder. Which makes it far from a surprise that the Brooklyn-dwelling Aimee (whose first name is pronounced “surreal”) is one of the most talked-about modern jazz singers of the moment. An improvisational ace, she got tongues wagging a couple of years ago when she placed third in the prestigious Thelonious Monk International Jazz Vocalist Competition at the Kennedy Center in D.C., then cemented her rising-star status last month when she won the inaugural Sarah Vaughan International Jazz Vocal Competition, held in Newark. Along with her five-piece “Surreal Band,” Aimee’s in residency at Birdland all this week to deliver her French gypsy jazz and bossa nova stylings; she’s got two shows tonight, in case your turkey feast runs late.
Birdland, 8:30 p.m. and 11 p.m., $30-$40.

A charter member of NYC’s Houston-style A$AP Mob collective, A$AP Twelvy–so named for the 212–has been playing second fiddle and hypeman to leader A$AP Rocky for the past few years, though he got a choice verse on “Trilla” from last year’s highly-regarded, syrup-soaked LiveLoveA$AP mixtape. “A$AP we the last hope/Fuck it this is my fast flow,” Twelvy rhymed, slow and woozy. He’s been tapped to follow Rocky as the Mob’s next breakout solo star, ergo this headlining “Twelvy & Friends” gig (so clearly he won’t be alone; expect a Mob presence for sure). Get there early because L.A.-via-New Orleans rapper/producer Chase N. Ca$he is opening.
Highline Ballroom, 9 p.m., $20-$25.

Normally, we’d be about as hesitant to recommend something as touristy as the note-for-note Beatles reproductions of lookalike tribute band Strawberry Fields–which is about to begin its 14th year on Broadway over at B.B. King Blues Club–as we would to suggest you go see the Radio City Christmas Spectacular tonight (UGH). But hell, it’s Thanksgiving, and you’ll probably have crotchety old people and hyper little children running around your house looking for something to do after dinner, and if there’s one thing everyone can agree on, it’s Ol’ Dirty Bastard…err, the Beatles. As always, Strawberry Fields–which features one-time members of Beatlemania–takes you through every Beatles era, along with the requisite costume/hairstyle changes, and at least it’s more entertaining than a Ringo All-Starr Band show.
B.B. King’s Blues Club, 7 p.m., $20-$25.

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