The Ten Best Concerts in New York This Weekend, 1/25/13


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

Walk The Moon + Pacific Air
Music Hall of Williamsburg
Friday, 9pm, $18/$20
After a surprisingly successful 2012, led by the strength of their summertime hit “Anna Sun,” the precociously poppy Ohio quartet Walk the Moon is starting off 2013 with a bang by headlining a tour in the US and UK. Catch ’em before they head off for the European leg and dance-along to the song you haven’t been able to get out of your head since June. — By Brittany Spanos

Ian Svenonius
Le Poisson Rouge
Friday, 7pm, free
Eccentric frontman Ian Svenonius of bands such as The Make-Up and the Nation of Ulysses certainly knows a thing or two about surviving in rock. So it only makes sense that he would now share them with the world in his new book, Supernatural Strategies for Making a Rock ‘n’ Roll Group: A How-To Guide (With Illustrations), on Akashic. Here, he breaks it all down step by step, from how to form your band to how to survive being with the same people in a cramped van day in and day out. Tonight, he’ll share his years of wisdom and spin records before and after his reading. — By Angela Ashman

285 Kent Avenue
Friday, 8pm, $10/$12
Iceage may have added piano splash for sophomore snarl You’re Nothing, but these great Danes still rock like a hardcore mosh pit in a blizzard. Elias Bender Rønnenfelt is clearly upset about a number of things, but what he’s saying is much less important than how he’s saying it: Every artfully fumbled verse hits like a fist thrust skyward, a stone smashing a window, a dog turd smeared on somebody else’s bedroom door. If pulse-pounders like “Wounded Hearts” are whip-smart punk parties, Rønnenfelt’s the reveling Pied Piper follows to the corner store for chips and beef jerky afterwards. — By Raymong Cummings

Super Diamond
Highline Ballroom
Friday, 9pm, $22/$25
Nothing is quite as satisfying as discovering a cover band that is almost as good as the real thing. Well, maybe seeing the actual artist beats that, but San Francisco-based Super Diamond offers such a fun experience that you’ll forget you’re not seeing Neil Diamond in person. Shout all the words to “Sweet Caroline” that you never forgot at the top of your lungs, and be sure to catch the female G’n’R cover band Guns N’ Hoses beforehand to start off an electric, cover-filled night. — By Brittany Spanos

Brooklyn Nightlife Awards
Glasslands Gallery
Sunday, 9pm, $10
There’s a lot of Brooklyn love blossoming throughout the country lately: the Golden Globe-winning Girls for one thing and the recently crowned Miss America, who lives in Park Slope! Of course, we New Yorkers have long known about and adored the charms of BK, from its colorful bars to its eccentric inhabitants. Tonight, celebrate the creative people and places that make it the city’s coolest borough at the Brooklyn Nightlife Awards. Join hosts Murray Hill and Merrie Cherry along with performers AB Soto, Horrochata, Leo GuGu, Zebra Baby, DJ Anthony Dicap, and more. — By Araceli Cruz

Femi Kuti And The Positive Force
Webster Hall
Saturday, 7pm, $30
The son also rises, they say. But in the case of the late Afrobeat pioneer Fela Kuti, not one but two of his male offspring went into the family business, perpetuating Fela’s massive horn riffs, polyrhythmic epiphanies, and engaged politics in different manners. Seun Kuti, the younger, performs with members of his father’s Egypt 80 band and is the traditionalist. Firstborn Femi Kuti, on the other hand, has continually tweaked the Afrobeat blueprint for a tighter, jazzier sound he expounds with his 10-piece Positive Force band. Where Fela stretched out songs into sidelong suites, Femi distills just as many good ideas into shorter but no less bracing blasts. And while Femi’s raspier voice doesn’t rage quite as righteously as Fela’s, he sweats and swaggers just as hard. — By Richard Gehr

Ra Ra Riot + Guards
Webster Hall
Friday, 7pm, $23
With up-tempo hooky chamber pop ditties and technically tight swagger, the Syracuse fivesome began as superstars of college rock radio. Now touring in support of their upcoming album, Beta Love, the band has entered a new stylistic phase, adding a synthpop veneer to their upbeat rhythms and layered production. — By Sarah Madges

Joe Russo’s Almost Dead
Brooklyn Bowl
Saturday, 8pm, $13
The formidably versatile drummer Joe Russo, who has been playing with various incarnations of bassist Phil Lesh’s Grateful Dead tribute bands for the past few years, drags the rest of Bustle in Your Hedgerow–Marco Benevento (keyboards), Dave Dreiwitz (bass), and Scott Metzger (guitar)–along with singer-guitarist Tom Hamilton into the Dead zone. If their instrumental attack on the Led Zeppelin repertoire is any indication, the Dead are in for a very inventive beating. — By Richard Gehr

Vijay Iyer Trio
Jazz Standard
Friday – Sunday, 7:30pm, $25-$30
The pianist’s Accelerando topped this year’s Rhapsody Jazz Critics Poll. Like 2009’s Historicity, it’s another fine blend of jazz history (Herbie Nichols’s “Wildflower,” Duke Ellington’s “The Village of the Virgins”), pop (Michael Jackson’s “Human Nature”), solid originals, and Other (Flying Lotus and Thundercat’s “mmmhmmm”), all played with drive and finesse by Iyer, Stephan Crump (bass), and Marcus Gilmore (drums). — 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

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