The Ten Best Concerts in New York This Week, 12/3/12


Here are the ten best concerts around the city this week, in no particular order.

‘Z100 Jingle Ball’
Madison Square Garden
Friday, 7:30pm, $50
With Ne-Yo, Justin Bieber, fun., Ed Sheeran, One Direction, Jason Mraz, The Wanted, Taylor Swift, Olly Murs, B.o.B., and Cher Lloyd.

Chucho Valdes
Carnegie Hall
Tuesday, 8pm, $15-$75
This Afro-Cuban jazz progenitor gave Paquito D’Rivera and Arturo Sandoval their start, has won four Grammys (not that anyone’s counting), and has been touring almost constantly for the past several years. At 71, he’s a bona fide master of his art form, and Carnegie Hall deserves some Latin seasoning, which will not be in short supply. His quintet, afterall, has two auxiliary percussionists. On December 4, he’ll be joined onstage by three other Afro-Cuban jazz piano legends: Danilo Perez, Egberto Gismonti, and Gonzalo Rubalcaba. — By Aidan Levy

Unconscious Disturbance + Mindmaze + Hack + Escape Time
The Trash Bar
Thursday, 8pm, $7
Some claim to hear hints of this group’s Sao Paolo origins amid the thrashing prog-rockery. Me, not so much. But there’s more than connections to the likes of Cynic and Intronaut in the Brooklyn quintet’s double-guitar plasticity, polyrhythm-method drumming, and stop-it-you’ll-hurt-your-throat vocals. Help them celebrate their five-years-in-the-making full-length debut, Mind’s Corner tonight. — By Richard Gehr

Simian Mobile Disco + JDH & Dave P
Webster Hall
Thursday, 6pm, $20
Even if recent EP “A Form Of Change” was a garbled mash of rave tropes and big-tent electro aspirations, the prolific English duo Simian Mobile Disco still ride high live with an analog set that incorporates everything from sing-alongs of past hits “We Are Your Friends” to the gnashing of the culinarily-inspired album oddity Delicatessen. — By Aaron Gonsher

Anais Mitchell + Cuddle Magic
Bowery Ballroom
Monday, 9pm, $15
Earlier this year, alt-folk songstress Anaïs Mitchell played a covetable opening slot at Radio City Music Hall for Bon Iver. She has a close relationship with the lo-fi, folkish band over the years and has collaborated with their frontman Justin Vernon on a few songs in the past. But it’s on her own dusky, moody, confessional songs, especially those on her latest Young Man in America–the songs she’s performing tonight–where she shines brightest. — By Kory Grow

Neil Young And Crazy Horse + Patti Smith + Everest
Barclays Center
Monday, 7:30pm, $58-$258
“Here’s how I got my mantra/Gave them 35 bucks now/Gave it to the Maharishi/It went to the organization,” recalls Neil Young in “Driftin’ Back,” the nearly half-hour slab of vintage acid-rock thud-bliss that opens his sprawling Psychedelic Pill. It’s Young’s second album with Crazy Horse this year following Americana, an album of domestic traditionals that sound like something Charles Ives might have concocted if he’d plied electric guitar on the cosmic tundra. With 43 years of on-again, off-again collaboration under their collective belt, Young and Crazy Horse (Ralph Molina, drums; Billy Talbot, bass; and Frank “Poncho” Sampedro, guitar) are one of hard rock’s more enduring and seminal combos. If there’s a valedictory quality to their latest releases–same chords, new songs, darker results–that’s all the more reason to stick your finger into their electric socket while you can. With Patti Smith. — By Richard Gehr

Black Moth Super Rainbow + Casket Girls + The Stargazer Lilies
Bowery Ballroom
Wednesday, 9pm, $15
Songwriter Tobacco and bandmates the Seven Field of Aphelion, Iffernaut, Ryan Graveface, and Bullsmear are back with their Kickstarter-sparked Cobra Juicy, a greasy lysergic wallow in slightly-right-of-Animal-Collective face-melt. Vocoders and synths still burble above the forest on a breathy, beguiling, and sometimes rather sweet album that challenges listeners to locate corollaries to consensus pop reality. — By Richard Gehr

Ben Rimalower
The Duplex
Thursday, 9:30pm, $15/$20
Oh, that Patti LuPone! She sure started something. Think of those “Evita” fans, or even tonight’s star, the one who calls his show “Patti Issues” and talks about being so diva-gone that he eventually found a way to work with and for her. Here, expect the 36-year-old writer/director to blend his attachment into the story of a life with (and too often without) a gay father. A sui generis cabaret event, directed by Aaron Mark. — By David Finkle

Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit + Communist Daughter
Bowery Ballroom
Friday, 9pm, $20
Don’t harsh the former Drive-By Trucker if the best thing on his gritty new live album with his tough trio is a surprisingly faithful cover of Neil Young’s “Like a Hurricane.” All the other finely observed hard-times tracks on Live From Alabama sound nearly as urgent, especially the boozy “Cigarettes and Wine” and noble DBT standard “Danko/Manuel.” – By Richard Gehr

Diamond Rings + Gold Fields
Bowery Ballroom
Tuesday, 9pm, $15
Whether John O’Regan’s shamelessness is a cause for admiration or disgust depends on where the listener stands on irony-free modern synth-pop. As Diamond Rings, he reaches beyond camp and schtick towards a simplicity of intent that feels almost disingenuous, an aesthetic mash-up of Morrissey, Vanilla Ice, Andrew W.K., and Max Headroom. Free Dimensional is so bleeding-gums saccharine that debut Special Affections is Dylan-esque by comparison, but the embarrassment of YouTube videos where O’Regan dances onstage is tempered by the realization that somewhere, someone’s life is maybe being saved by this. — By Raymond Cummings

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