These are the 10 best concerts in NYC this week, in no particular order. GO!
Vomitor + Negative Plane
Public Assembly Mon., Dec. 10. 8pm. $13/$15.
Think if Brisbane, Australia’s Vomitor as a sort of gateway drug to heavy-rock fandom. Worried that the tempos will be too sludgy, or the drumming too impossibly robotic, the riffage too mercurial, the vocal fury too turgid? Fear not, mortal: Vomitor is simply too fun, in a Romper Room-for-headbangers sort of way, to overwhelm or oppress even a newborn. The tempo, generally speaking, is breakneck, but it’s cartoon breakneck that goes on too long, like a gang of sugared-up punk kids distending a 30-second hardcore blast to three or four minutes and finding melodic religion (if not chops) along the way. Recommended for kids of all ages. — By Raymond Cummings
Riverside Church/The Interfaith Center. Mon. and Tues., Dec 10-11. $40.
In the alt-folk universe of Andrew Bird’s Hands of Glory, his companion piece to Break It Yourself, Prohibition never ended, the “county remains dry,” and the closest thing to a plasma screen is the Atlantic Ocean. In this old-timey dystopia, Bird holds court at Riverside Church, the premiere live music venue in the bible-toting metropolis after Hurricane Sandy permanently knocked out the grid. Winter concerts are lit by candlelight, summer shows crackle with the campfire — and people just listen. — By Aidan Levy
Of Montreal + Foxygen + French Horn Rebellion
Webster Hall, Tues., Dec 11. 7pm. $22/$25
Much like their album covers, indie rockers Of Montreal’s concerts are Technicolor experiments in surrealism, where the band dramatize their songs with oversized props and extravagant costumes. Despite the bells and whistles, or maybe because of them, the band manages to bring its mixture of Berlin-era Bowie and, in the case of their 11th full-length, this year’s Paralytic Stalks, what sounds like Nile Rodgers would make on acid. — By Kory Grow
Bowery Ballroom, Tues., Dec. 11. 8pm. $22.
For years, it seemed like Solange Knowles was best known not for her music but for taking her superstar sister and brother- in-law to a show by Brooklyn indie dudes Grizzly Bear. But if she keeps releasing songs as great as “Losing You,” a funky yet melancholic goodbye to a failing relationship, that should soon change. Last week’s True EP should provide the foundation for tonight’s Bowery Ballroom show, but expect the Carroll Gardens resident to draw from past efforts like SoL-Angel and the Hadley St. Dreams or her much-blogged-about cover of Dirty Projectors’ “Stillness Is the Move.” — By Nick Murray
Heathered Pearls + Benjamin Curtis
Glasslands Gallery, Tues., Dec. 11. 8:30pm. $10.
Working in A&R at Ghostly International, Jakub Alexander has signed artists varying from the slow disco of Mark E to the calm moodiness of Tycho. Under the name Heathered Pearls, Alexander’s Loyal is getting a release on Ghostly, the project based on recreating soothing environments as a break from his own mental anxieties. This album release party includes support from Benjamin Curtis of School of Seven Bells. — By Aaron Gonsher
‘The Concert for Sandy Relief’ w/ Bon Jovi + Dave Grohl + Billy Joel + Alicia Keys + Paul McCartney + Bruce Springsteen + Eddie Vedder + Roger Waters + Kanye West + the Who
Madison Square Garden, Wed., Dec. 12. 7:30pm. $150-$2500.
To aid the relief efforts for victims of Hurricane Sandy, a star-studded pantheon of classic rock, hip-hop and soul musicians are playing tonight’s Concert for Sandy Relief. Those confirmed to perform at press time include (and note, there’s really no hierarchy to run these in, other than having Macca on top): Paul McCartney, Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band, Eric Clapton, Foo Fighters’ Dave Grohl, Kanye West, Pearl Jam’s Eddie Vedder, Roger Waters, Billy Joel, the Who, Coldplay’s Chris Martin, Bon Jovi and Alicia Keys. Proceeds go to the Robin Hood Relief Fund, which provides comfort and sustenance to tri-state-area hurricane victims. — By Kory Grow
‘Sounds of Ether’
Joe’s Pub, Wed., Dec. 12, 9:30pm. $15.
Invented in 1919, Léon Theremin’s keyboardless electronic instrument has been used by serious composers (Copeland, Ives, Bernard Hermann), rockers (the Beach Boys, Pixies, Sleater-Kinney), and everyone in-between. Tonight five expert thereminists–Améthyste, Kip Rosser, Cornelius Loy, Dorit Chrysler, and Rob Schwimmer–demonstrate their various styles, which range from romantic and dreamy to dramatic and unearthly. — By Richard Gehr
Barbes, Thurs., Dec. 13. 7 and 8:30pm. $10.
For 16 years, Brooklyn’s AUM Fidelity label has unleashed glorious throngs of otherworldly music, presenting New York’s avant-garde jazz royalty like David S. Ware, William Parker, and Matthew Shipp. Now, Grass Roots can be added to its paramount stable, and tonight, the Herculean quartet–featuring dueling sax masters Darius Jones and Alex Harding, bassist Sean Conley, and drummer Chad Taylor–celebrate the release of their self-titled debut. Like the gurus they are, Grass Roots effortlessly bounce from epic blues ‘n’ soul throb, swinging be-bop, improvisational wizardry and chaotic skronking, sometimes all within the same composition. — By Brad Cohan
!!! + Sinkane + Yellow Dogs
Music Hall of Williamsburg, Thurs., Dec. 13. 9pm. $18/$20
After stints as a touring member of Of Montreal and Yeasayer, this year Ahmed Gallab released his first full-length Mars under the name Sinkane, synthesizing dusty funk and the talk-box squawks of early Funkadelic. Lead single “Runnin'” should have been a song of the summer, and live Sinkane’s full band offers extended arrangements of most of the album cuts, fleshed out with horns and emphasizing jangly guitar psychedelia. Fellow DFA flag-bearers !!! headline the night. — By Aaron Gonsher
Julio Bashmore + Paul Raffaele + Rem Koolhaus
Le Poisson Rouge, Thurs., Dec. 13, 11pm. $15/$20
Julio Bashmore’s “The Battle for Middle You” reconciled the growling Bristol bass aspirations with the straightforward scuzzy house of Dirtybird Records, inspiring sing-alongs and offering a sampled command to “get down” that further incited dance floor action. Bashmore has been laying relatively low since his runaway success in 2011 but with a healthy DJ schedule, and local promoters TurrboTax bring him in for his first NYC show since “The Battle for Middle You” blew up. — By Aaron Gonsher