The Ten Best Concerts in New York This Weekend, 12/14/12


Here are the best concerts to check out around the city this weekend, in no particular order.

Rick Ross + Meek Mill + Wale + Machine Gun Kelly
Roseland Ballroom
Sunday, 7pm, $79.50-$89.50
Don’t let the year-end lists fool you: Miami rap kingpin Rick Ross made his biggest splash–or, if you will, a whopping cannonball off the roof of the Fontainebleau Hotel–not with his fifth studio album, God Forgives, I Don’t, but with the mixtape prequel, Rich Forever. Contrary to conventional wisdom, it’s the latter that’s more focused, more consistent, and more filled with potential singles like “Stay Schemin’,” which was practically inescapable earlier this year. Tonight, he headlines a bill that includes his Maybach Music label mates Meek Mill, another spitter whose best recent output came out on mixtapes, and Wale, who will hopefully put aside his penchant for spoken verse. — By Nick Murray [UPDATE: This show has been cancelled.]

Harry Belafonte + Jackson Brown + Bruce Cockburn + Pete Seeger + Rubin ‘Hurricane’ Carter
Beacon Theater
Friday, 7:30pm, $35-$125
Pete Seeger, Jackson Browne, and Bruce Cockburn are among the musical draws at this benefit for the Native American rights activist and political prisoner. Seeger and Harry Belafonte host the event, which also includes Native American drumming; speakers Peter Matthiesson and Rubin “Hurricane” Carter, and a screening of a short documentary about Peltier and his plight. — By Richard Gehr

Knitting Factory Brooklyn
Saturday, 8pm, $12
TEEN’s fizzy, head-rush pop feels unstuck in time. There’s New Age in the Brooklyn trio’s woozy, stoned keyboards; there’s tamed B-52s brio in the vocal harmonies; and there’s the sort of weird, rapturous calm that comes after a particularly satisfying church service or roll in the hay. You might not buy into the drama Teeny Lieberson and her sisters bring to bear, but the surrounding Epson salt soak is universally and emphatically wondrous. — By Raymond Cummings

Dethklok + All That Remains + Machine Head + The Black Dahlia Murder
Roseland Ballroom
Friday, 6pm, $47
Metal bands tend to be cartoonish by 
nature, but only Dethklok stars in an actual cartoon: Adult Swim’s Metalocalypse. But something special happens when transcendentally oafish band members 
Nathan Explosion, Skwisgaar Skwigelf, Pickles, William Murderface, and Toki Wartooth relocate from the small screen to a big one, and four real musicians–show creator Brendon Small (guitar, vocals), former Frank Zappa stunt guitarist Mike Keneally, Bryan Beller (bass), and Gene Hoglan (drums)–synergize with their meticulously synced animated counterparts, creating an entertainmentgasm of galactic proportions. Collected recently on Dethalbum III, Small’s tunes from his show’s past few seasons include “I Ejaculate Fire,” “Impeach God,” and “Crush the Industry.” Expect a pop Gesamtkunstwerk on a heady par with The Simpsons simulator ride. — By Richard Gehr

Sleigh Bells + Grizzly Bear + The Antlers + Cults
Terminal 5
Friday, 8pm, $40
More than a month after Sandy devastated much of the Eastern seaboard, parts of our fair city remain in ruins. Accordingly, four of our biggest local acts–Sleigh Bells, Grizzly Bear, the Antlers, and Cults–are coming to Terminal 5 to play a benefit directing all its proceeds toward the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City. Think of it as the hipper and younger sibling to Wednesday’s star-studded 12/12/12 Madison Square Garden fundraiser. There’s also a mysterious “and more” attached to the bottom of the lineup, but with bands like that, who needs it? — By Nick Murray

The Killers + Tegan And Sara
Madison Square Garden
Friday, 8pm, $35-$65
As if you haven’t heard of them, the Killers are an American rock band that mixes Britpop sensibilities with the lo-fi fuzz of early aughts indie rock. Their first album, Hot Fuss, made enough of it to launch them to success–“Somebody Told Me” still makes for a popular karaoke pick. On their latest album, Battle Born, Brandon Flowers trades out his New Wave digs for some meaningful crooning and heartland rock. Catch them with Canadian indie pop twins Tegan and Sara opening. — By Sarah Madges

The Polyphonic Spree
Webster Hall
Saturday, 5:30pm, $20/$25
The Polyphonic Spree is anything but subtle–with 20-plus members decked out in gimmicky “uniforms” performing oversized orchestral pop, it’s hard to be. Tonight, they’re swapping their white robes for Santa gear to promote their newly released holiday album, Holidaydream. Celebrating their 10th Anniversary Holiday Extravaganza, the gang will play two sets, one devoted to the holidays, and the other to rock. Get ready for a night of family-friendly fun, complete with campy costumes and sing-along choruses. — By Sarah Madges

South By South Bronx
Hostos Community College
Friday, 4pm, free
Located in a transformed former
candy factory under the Bruckner 
Expressway, the Rebel Diaz Arts Collective has spent the past few years moving minds and bodies with art and rhymes about the struggles faced by the area’s residents. This weekend, they embark 
on their most ambitious project yet: South by South Bronx, their answer to Austin’s South by Southwest music and film festival. Tonight, they host free workshops on everything from the 
history of DJing (hosted by scratch-inventor Grandmaster Caz) to surviving the police state. Tomorrow afternoon, they follow up with a concert featuring Sadat X, Mysonne, and YC the Cynic, 
and a panel discussion with two hip-hop pioneers from the borough: Afrika 
Bambaataa and DJ Kool Herc. — By Nick Murray

Paul Banks
Webster Hall
Friday, 7pm, $25
It took Interpol frontman Paul Banks three years and his band’s indefinite hiatus for him to start recording under his own name instead of his Julian Plenti alter ego. He has said that the reason for the pseudonym was to distinguish the music he wrote before he was in Interpol from his recent works, but the truth is that his strident voice will always be the connecting thread. His latest, Banks, sounds like a more densely textured and ornamented variation on his usual themes. After all, that sort of subtle change is the one thing you can rely on from him, no matter what moniker he uses. — By Kory Grow

Antibalas + Red Baraat
Brooklyn Masonic Temple
Friday, 8pm, $25
Since forming in Brooklyn in 1998, the 12-member Antibalas collective has built on what saxophonist co-founder Martin Perna calls the “elastic” formal perfection of the late Fela Kuti’s afrobeat, whose almost symphonic pleasures derive from polyrhythmic relationships and dialogues among horns, drums, guitars, and keyboards, topped by rabble-rousing vocals. Eight-member “dhol ‘n’ brass” band Red Baraat opens with their loud and funky local version of Indian bhangra beats. — By Richard Gehr

Kenny Barron + Dave Holland
Jazz Standard
Ends Sunday, 7:30pm & 9:30pm daily, $30
Evidently they played their first duo date last summer, and have booked gigs intermittently since. That’s a boon for anyone smitten with intimacy: The rapport that’s bound to surface as the pianist and bassist work their supple pas de deux could border on the majestic. As one old sage said, “god is in the details.” — By Jim Macnie

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