The Ten Best Concerts in New York This Weekend, 1/18/13


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

Sean Price + Roc Marciano + Buckshot + Meyhem Lauren + Thirstin Howl 3rd & Rack-LO + Timeless Truth
Highline Ballroom
Sunday, 4:30pm, $19.67/$25
Last month, Hot 97 program director Ebro Darden took to the airwaves to stir up controversy and explain why his station plays what it plays and why it doesn’t play so-called “minor league rappers” from across the city. The good news? Those rappers, if they have talent and a vision, need radio play less now than ever, as they can all reach their fans and distribute their music through a range of other platforms, most involving a connection to the Internet. This evening, four of the best of those minor leaugers–Sean Price, Roc Marciano, Buckshot, and Mayhem Lauren–look outside the box by playing a celebration of the clothing line Polo Ralph Lauren, which features an open market for buying and trading gear. Brand aficionado Young Dro will be sorely missed. — By Nick Murray

Mission of Burma + Exclamation Pony
Bowery Ballroom
Friday, 9pm, $20/$22
Mission of Burma are grouchy post-punk par excellence: a foursome of graying, severe creatives who happen to write gravel-gargling songs that are aesthetically severe about pedestrian stuff. Last year’s Unsound found Clint Conley, Roger Miller, Peter Prescott, and Bob Weston stepping away from side projects to ratchet together some of the strongest, most vital work of their career. Why pay a king’s ransom for Stones reunion tickets when you can pay peanuts for genuine (read: non-freeze dried) rock thrills? — By Raymond Cummings

The Whammies
Roulette Brooklyn
Sunday, 8pm, $15
An international quintet dedicated to the music of Steve Lacy, the Whammies boast a direct connection to the late saxophonist-composer through his former student Jorrit Djikstra (alto sax, analog electronics) and the redoubtable Hans Bennink, Lacy’s drummer in the ’80s. Raucous yet respectful, the Whammies remain true to the composer’s spirit while taking his tunes for a more effusive spin. Pandelis Karayorgis (piano), Jeb Bishop (trombone), and Nate McBride (trombone) fill out this brash, boisterous brigade whose recent album was one of 2012’s underheard delights. — By Richard Gehr

Martha Graham Cracker
Joe’s Pub
Saturday, 11:59pm, $12
“Who should play the character of Martha in the movie about my life?” Martha Graham Cracker asks her Facebook followers. Although the first commenter suggested Jon Hamm, we have a feeling that Dito van Reigersberg (a/k/a Martha Graham Cracker) is the only man up for the job. Reigersberg has been hailed as the “world’s tallest and hairiest drag queen” and is also the co-founder of Philadelphia’s Obie-winning Pig Iron Theatre Company. Tonight, Reigersberg and a four-piece band perform mash-ups of everything from Prince to Judy Garland to Mötley Crüe. There’s no pigeonholing this lady. — By Araceli Cruz

Extra Life + Tyondai Braxton & Ben Vida + Oneirogen + Sam Mickens
285 Kent Avenue
Saturday, 8pm, $12
After just five years, Brooklyn’s Renaissance art-chamber post-punk literati Extra Life bid farewell at 285 Kent. Shepherded by schoolteacher Charlie Looker his Morrissey-cum-Antony pipes and freakazoid wordage, the band meticulously constructed sublime avant-folk and orchestral-metallic damage. Last year’s Dream Seeds is a heck of a way to go out. Fear not, Looker enthusiasts. The frontman already has a new band under the predictably cryptic moniker “Seaven Teares” and new album Power Ballads is due in March via Northern Spy. — By Brad Cohan

Umphrey’s McGee
Beacon Theatre
Friday, 9pm, $29.50-$49.50
Impeccable chops, ninja-moves tunes, sexy-time dance grooves, X-factor surprises, classic-rawk grandeur, and a refreshing sense of humor make this Midwest-spawned sextet among the four or five most fascinating bands in the country right now. Both tunes and jams–and I dare you to figure out where the former end and the latter commence–emerge like sharp-edged jigsaw puzzles that justify extended scrutiny. Catch them while they’re still cult. — By Richard Gehr

Joe Morris
The Stone
Friday – Sunday, 8pm, free
An inspired improviser with an approach to the guitar both well-formulated and idiosyncratic, Joe Morris spent the past three decades refining creative ideas, playing in myriad instrumental situations, and earning what serves as fame on the free jazz scene. Now he has written a book, Perpetual Frontier: The Properties of Free Music, which explains the quantifiable aspects of what’s oft-considered a mysterious music–“a methodology that can be used to construct a methodology,” says the bandleader and New England Conservatory teacher. The 27 gigs he has curated at the Stone for the next two weeks will likely reveal the essence of the tome’s tenets. His current cohort stretches from Boston to Barcelona with a variety of characters uniting to make everything from doom skronk (Spanish Donkey) to chamber-prov (Ultra) to ye olde free-bop (Bass Quartet). Need an extended portrait of one man’s provocative vision? Here it is. — By Jim Macnie

Madteo + Anthony Naples + T’Angelo + Judge Wise + Evan Michael
Cameo Gallery
Friday, 11:59pm, $10
New Yorkers born and bred, both Madteo and Anthony Naples construct garbled messages unearthed from the crackle and skips of hip-hop vinyl without sacrificing the crusty jack of classic house. Their structures take a bit to coalesce, but when they do the muffled samples and deep detail remain full of surprises. — By Aaron Gonsher

Sun Araw + Ital + M Geddes Gengras
Knitting Factory Brooklyn
Saturday, 8pm, $10/$12
With a guitar sound somewhere between Neil Young’s bucolic yawp and Manuel Göttsching’s minimalist mysteries, Los Angeles experimentalist Cameron Stallone–a/k/a Sun Araw–plays as though he were in a state of constant self-creation. In 2012, Stallones followed his lava-lamping Congos and M. Geddes Gengres collaboration Icon Give Thank with The Inner Treaty, which touched on gospel and jazz. Considering the openers, expect more dub, less swing. — By Richard Gehr

‘Thema Presents Terrence Dixon’
National Underground
Friday, 11pm, $10/$15
Label head Lenny Posso has kept Thema Recordings respected locally and globally by staying true to the unifying possibilities of eclectic electronic music, and the return of Thema Nights is another opportunity to celebrate. In addition to a set from Posso, the show at National Underground will feature Detroit icon Terrence Dixon, whose 2012 releases on Delsin and Tresor were full of extraordinarily warm and workmanlike techno textures. — By Aaron Gonsher

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