The Ten Best Concerts in New York This Week, 1/28/13


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

Cat Power
Terminal 5
Tuesday, 8pm, $29.50/$35
Despite its once-appropriate title, the case can be made that this year’s Sun dethroned 2006’s The Greatest as the all-time, forever-and-ever, no-take-backsies best album in the Cat Power discography. Theoretically, that case might start with “Manhattan,” the five-minute lullaby that places a couple carefully pressed piano chords over a crisp drum machine beat that’s eventually interrupted by some live-action smashing. One might also argue that it’s “mature,” “sonically progressive,” and even “salubrious.” But we’ll leave the debate to the record-store clerks, what few of them remain, and head to Terminal 5 to catch one of her always-interesting performances. — By Nick Murray

Bowery Electric
Tuesday, 7pm, $25/$30
December 22 marked the 10th anniversary of Joe Strummer’s untimely death from a heart attack at the age of 50. Tonight at Strummerville, a fundraiser benefiting the Joe Strummer Foundation for New Music, you can remember the rock legend with a night of songs from his seminal band and amazing solo career, performed by members of the Hold Steady, Bad Brains, Gaslight Anthem, the Vandelles, and many more. The walking music encyclopedia Matt Pinfield will serve as host, along with a surprise appearance by a Saturday Night Live cast member. We have a good guess who that will be! —By Araceli Cruz

Ed Sheeran
Radio City Music Hall
Wednesday, 7pm, $35-$55
Like most overnight sensations, Ed Sheeran spent years working on his craft. In 2009, after reading that his fellow British songwriter James (not Jim) Morrison once played 200 gigs in a year, the 18-year-old played 312. By the time he met One Direction’s Harry Styles three years later, Sheeran was able to give him 40 tunes for possible inclusion on the group’s debut album. After the chart-topping success of his debut +, he’ll spend the rest of the year opening for Taylor Swift, cutting down the number of gigs but increasing the number of spectators. Catch him tonight all by his lonesome. — By Nick Murray

Lorinda Lisitza & Ted Stafford
Don’t Tell Mama
Thursday, 7pm, $10
Though they like to work alone, Lisitza and Stafford recently discovered some kind of musical symbiosis: As they leap and lope through their set, the music they choose from various catalogs acquires a faint country/folk tinge. — By David Finkle

Javelin + Guardian Alien + Life Size Maps
Shea Stadium
Friday, 8pm, $12
Brooklyn-based avant-dance duo Javelin named their upcoming album Hi Beams “because the songs evoke to us a sense of sky, stars, night, and warmth.” Hearing the r&b guitar figures and atmospheric strut of recent single “Nnormal”, I imagine Drake and 40 smoking weed under a star projector, giggling about getting Jamie xx and Patrick Adams together for Take Care‘s follow-up. Maybe they can bring in Javelin too, who sounded great doing an impromptu live “sesh” with Stalley and Curren$y in 2009. — By Rajiv Jaswa


Trinidad James + Vinny Chase + SNL & Danse
Wednesday, 9pm, $12
Just as Ca$h Out’s “Cashin’ Out” was the breakout Atlanta rap single of the first half of 2012, Trinidad James’s “All Gold Everything” ruled the year’s B-side, making a catchphrase out of the line “Pop a molly, I’m sweatin'” while screwing the beat down to a Codeine-ready 50 bpm. Unlike Ca$h Out, James also released a tape full of hot beats and entertaining rhymes, most of them slant, unified by an original aesthetic equal parts 2 Chainz and Shock G. Tonight, he pops one more molly and heads to S.O.B.’s for a Hot 97 showcase. With Vinny Cha$e, Danse, and SNL. — By Nick Murray

School of Seven Bells + Prince Rama + Weeknight
Music Hall of Williamsburg
Thursday, 9pm, $15
Members of our fair city’s shoegazing new-wave group the School of Seven Bells have cited Beyonce, Joni Mitchell, and New Order among their biggest influences, but only the last of those reflects how they sound: The fuzzy synths and catchy vocals are purely British, recalling the older band’s Factory Records sound, as well as about every 4AD release before 1988, to the point that frontwoman Alejandra Deheza could do a mean impression of Cocteau Twins’ Liz Fraser if she’d simply stop singing real words. With Prince Rama and Weeknight. — By Kory Grow

Gemini Club + HITS
The Mercury Lounge
Thursday, 9:30pm, $10/$12
The memory of reckless youth prevents me from reaching for Sparks when I’m at the bodega, even though it still has a sweet 6% alcohol content. The saccharine jolts collected in Gemini Club’s “Here We Sit” EP give me pangs in the same places–especially single “By Surprise” which would have been a shoe-in for The O.C. Season 10. Yeah ‘it tastes different’, but the Chicagoans’ summer-kissed indie-electronica makes for innocent party fuel. “Show My Hands” stands out. — By Alexis Stephens

Freddie Gibbs
Santos’ Party House
Wednesday, 7:30pm, $15
In what Times critic Jon Caramanica has tagged rap’s “post-truth” era, Freddie Gibbs remains committed to the craftsmanship and “reality rap” ethos of early Rap-a-Lot greats like the Convicts and Royal Flush. No lie, I’m not well-positioned to say whether Gangsta Gibbs is this generation’s real-est realist. But his appeal verily lies in his particular concern for verisimilitude, as evoked in hyper-competent, hard-boiled verses, delivered without any ad-lib references to what’s sewn on the seat of his jeans (true!). — By Rajiv Jaswa

The Glasslands Gallery
Thursday, 8:30pm, $12
Born from an early incarnation of Dum Dum Girls, Crocodiles retains the lo-fi but saccharine aesthetic of its noise pop beginnings, living by the motto “Nothing is that clean, so why should music be?” But unlike other two-piece noise rock groups like Japanther or Lightning Bolt, these San Diego-ers have a toned down approach that reads more like a fuzzier Beach Boys or a grittier New Order. With three full-length albums under their belt, the duo’s sound has slowly evolved into self-assured, if scratchy, rock ‘n’ roll. — By Sarah Madges

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