These are the 10 best concerts in NYC this week.
Coldplay + Jay-Z
Mon., Dec. 31. 7pm. Barclays Center. $59.15-$495. (LOL)
When Coldplay released the piano ballad “The Scientist” as the second single from 2002’s A Rush of Blood to the Head, one could scarcely imagine a group less likely to become the center of a mainstream hip-hop rivalry. Nevertheless, half a decade later, their frontman Chris Martin was singing hooks for Jay-Z (“Beach Chair”) and Jay-Z protégé Kanye West (“Homecoming”), who then called out his mentor with those immortal bars, “I told Jay I did a song with Coldplay/Next thing I know he got a song with Coldplay/Back of my mind I’m like, ‘Damn, no way.'” With that beef long squashed, Coldplay rings in the New Year at Jay’s new Brooklyn stadium, double-billed with Hov himself. No word on Kanye’s plans. — By Nick Murray
Mon., Dec. 31. 7:30 and 10 p.m. Metropolitan Room. Price: $45-$149.99
Tonight, this ever-talented octogenarian welcome 2013 with open arms and open voice. Those steel pipes have lost none of their luster since she began singing publicly over 70 years ago. Since she’s soon to reprise “Marilyn By Request,” it’s possible she sings only new ones, so long as that’s what the reservation call-ins dictate. For her, that won’t be problem. — By David Finkle
Blonde Redhead + Beach Fossils
Mon., Dec. 31. 8:00 p.m. Irving Plaza. $10.
If only the end of every year could sound as serene as one of Blonde Redhead’s glacial, cinematic dream-pop symphonies, the world would be a lot… glassier. Tonight, Blonde Redhead aren’t ringing in just another new year but their own 20th year. And, whether they’re specifically celebrating that milestone or not tonight, they haven’t released an album since 2010, so we should expect a career-spanning set of their most transcendent works. For more glassy-eyed transcendence, the VIP price includes a champagne toast. — By Kory Grow
The Bad Plus
Mon., Dec. 31. 9:30 p.m. Village Vanguard. $150.
Jazz fans rarely think of the Bad Plus as traditionalists, but the most celebrated and scrutinized piano trio of the past decade certainly seems to be the go-to crew for ringing in the new year at the Village Vanguard. Revelers who want to kiss the old year goodbye with a dab of poignancy while splashing into the great unknown have found that a visit to the revered jazz cellar is a must when the band is holding forth. It remains remarkable that drummer Dave King, bassist Reid Anderson, and pianist Ethan Iverson can straddle that line of sensitivity and ferociousness, but “Pound for Pound,” from this year’s Made Possible is both steely and bittersweet. Their approach nudges everything towards the majestic, so expect even a momentary “Auld Lang Syne” to boast an epic vibe. And don’t forget to go back and check ’em on a normal old Thursday night. — By Jim Macnie
David Berkman Quartet
Wed. and Thurs., Jan 2 and 3. 9:30 p.m. Smalls Jazz Club. $15.
The pianist’s Live At Smoke floated by during our recent Sandy flood, so I dried it off and spun it again: mainstream jazz with just enough twists and turns to let you know that Team Berkman is always sniffing out ways to give the familiar a sense of adventure. He’s known for killer rhythm sections, and this foursome boasts one, but what you’ll truly notice are the sage idiosyncrasies of the lines created by trumpeter Tom Harrell. — By Jim Macnie
Tues., Jan. 1. 9:00 p.m. S.O.B.’s. $15.
We’ve always known Philadelphia transplant Questlove was a talented drummer–beyond his work with the Roots, he had a role on D’Angelo’s neo-soul masterpiece Voodoo, Erykah Badu’s Baduizm and Mama’s Gun, and Fiona Apple’s Extraordinary Machine, among others. But the past few years have seen him emerge as a Renaissance man of sorts, designing sneakers for Nike, associate-producing Broadway show Fela!, DJing at Brooklyn Bowl, and appearing regularly on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon. Last year, his show Shuffle Culture premiered at BAM to rave reviews, and he just finished his first semester as a professor at NYU. Tonight, join his class when he and Herbert Holler take you to school at S.O.B.’s. — By Nick Murray
Basement Bhangra’ w/ Panjabi MC+Co-Lab+Mandeep+Sethi & Mandip Kalsi+DJ Rekha+Ranbir S.
Thu., Jan. 3. 7:00 p.m. Le Poisson Rouge. $15/$20.
For the past 15 years, DJ Rekha’s Basement Bhangra has remained a New York institution, giving Indian music and dance a home in the city’s ever-evolving club and nightlife scene. Tonight, she and fellow resident Ranbir S. kick off their 16th year with a new location, the Village’s Le Poisson Rouge, and performance by Panjabi MC, the British rapper whose Knight Rider-sampling “Mundian to Bach Ke” crossed over to American rap audiences when Jay-Z jumped on a remix. Expect him to mix old hits with tracks from last year’s 56 Districts. With visuals by Fictive and early performances by Mandeep Sethi and Dutty Chutney’s DJ Mandip Kalsi. — By Nick Murray
Thu., Jan. 3. 9:00 p.m. S.O.B.’s. $30.
With his Smoker’s Club revue, this New Orleans rapper and has brought friends and fellow marijuana connoisseurs like Big K.R.I.T., Method Man, Fiend, Mac Miller, and the aptly named Smoke DZA to the New York City stage. Tonight, he comes to S.O.B.’s for a solo gig, with his drawling tongue-twisters front-and-center.
John Abercrombie Quartet
Thu., Jan. 3, 7 and 9:30 p.m. Jazz Standard. $10.
Abercrombie dips into a river of modern-classic influences and often summons up his inner Jim Hall on Within a Song, his most recent ECM release. But this quartet–which includes Seamus Blake (tenor sax), Gary Versace (organ), and Adam Nussbaum (drums)–should also provide the guitarist with opportunities to explore his spikier, electronically augmented side as well. — By Richard Gehr
Ed Palermo Big Band w/ Napolean Murphy Brock
Thu., Jan. 3. 8:00 and 10:00 p.m. Iridium. $30.
Frank Zappa’s purely musical genius nearly always trumps his satire whenever saxophonist-bandleader Palermo’s 18-piece ensemble whips up the late composer-guitarist’s repertoire, as they’ve been doing since 1980. And as FZ’s longest-tenured sideman, the singer-guitarist Napoleon Murphy Brock infused Zappa’s music with r&b vitality and plenty of the spontaneous funny, so expect the same during tonight’s sit-in. — By Richard Gehr