The Ten Best Concerts in New York This Week, 2/11/13


Here are the 10 best concerts around the city this week, in no particular order.

Mumford & Sons + The Felice Brothers + Ben Howard
Barclays Center
Tuesday, 8pm, $39.99-$55
Last year their exquisite Babel received as healthy a reception as could reasonably be expected, but don’t be fooled by the fact that Mumford & Sons are now superstars: Even when songs like “I Will Wait” and “Whispers In The Dark” bore by hitting their explosive climaxes like clockwork at the halfway point, and each side of that distressingly predictable apex is still as exciting as early 2009 gems like “The Cave” and “Little Lion Man,” or the hundreds of years of traditional tunes which in turn preceded those. These songs will probably just end up buried in a shallow grave of CDRs and USB flash drives, but in another era we might have found among them a handful of all-time classics. — By Vijith Assar

Carole J. Bufford
Metropolitan Room
Wednesday, 7pm, $10
Bufford’s 2012 “Speak Easy” was one of the year’s best performances, and there’s every reason to believe the new “Body and Soul” will either equal or outdo it. For this run she’s promised passionate love songs, so look for the body to express what the soul is feeling most profoundly. Ian Herman will keep the pace on piano. — By David Finkle

Octo Octa + Leverage Models + Test House+Certain Creatures
The Glasslands Gallery
Monday, 8:30, $10
Octo Octa’s 4/4 orbits near diva house and classic Chicago house, then gently gets caught in the gravitational pull of chillwave’s gauzy atmosphere. Producer Michael Bouldry-Morrison generally snuggles in slow-burn low-fi that arches over time, but blog hit “Let Me See You” showcases his snazzier side. Their label, 100% Silk, initially issued last year’s “Rough, Rugged, and Raw” exclusively on cassette, giving Brooklynites perfect to pop into the deck on the drive to Fort Tilden. — By Alexis Stephens

Joy Orbison + Boddika
Secret Location
Friday, 10pm, free
In their own swampy productions and the limited output of their respective labels, Boddika and Joy Orbison flex through both clangorous polyrhythmic workouts and poppier vocal hooks while appealing to crowds usually split in their favor for one or the other. This night serves as the album release party for Think and Change, the forthcoming compilation from Boddika’s Nonplus label that includes tracks from the likes of Four Tet, Scuba, and Joy O’s smirking yet accurate “Big Room Tech-House DJ Tool – Tip!” To receive an email with the location, RSVP to — By Aaron Gonsher

The Civil War in Words and Music
Cooper Union, Great Hall
Wednesday, 6:30pm, free
On February 27, 1860, an unannounced candidate for president was invited to speak at Cooper Union by the Young Men’s Republican Union. His name, as 
you may well know, was Abraham Lincoln, and his famous “right makes might” speech propelled him to win his party’s nomination. Tonight, on the evening after Lincoln’s birthday, catch folk singers Judy Collins and Dar Williams, two-time Tony nominee André De Shields, and actor 
Stephen Lang for The Civil War in Words and Music, a tribute to the speeches and ideas of both Lincoln and the abolitionist Frederick Douglass. The Classical 
Theatre of Harlem provides the gospel music. — By Angela Ashman


Highline Ballroom
Tuesday, 9pm, $25/$30
Over a decade ago, Mark Anthony Neal rightly called Bilal’s debut album a standout achievement in post-soul black pop and its singer a pimp–a descendant of hypermasculine auteurs Miles and Marvin, capable of masterfully insinuating the vernacular tradition of toasting into milquetoast neo-soul sentiment such as “Soul Sista.” Like the game itself, Bilal’s sophomore effort was Love for Sale, but Interscope didn’t let him sell it. So in 2013, he’s onto Love Surreal, out independently later this month. — By Rajiv Jaswa

Mavis Staples
Jazz At Lincoln Center, Allen Room, Time Warner Center
Thursday, 8:30pm, $30-$225
One of the most unforgettable voices in American music, soul and gospel icon Mavis Staples performs tonight with the backdrop of New York behind her as part of Lincoln Center’s “American Songbook” series. Her oeuvre contains classics “I’ll Take You There” and “Respect Yourself” that she recorded with her family group, the Staple Singers (whose Yvonne will be singing with Mavis tonight), as well as songs from her recent records, which were produced by the likes of Ry Cooder and Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy. — By Kory Grow

Teengirl Fantasy + Laurel Halo + Kelela + Fatherhood
Le Poisson Rouge
Thursday, 10pm, $12/$14
Meandering through the unisex level of Spa Castle, terry-cloth-robed Teengirl Fantasy performs 2012’s Tracer in the glow of projected iTunes visualizations. Making art of noise, they play “EFX” backed by vocalist Kelela channeling “Un-Thinkable”. I’m ready to descend to the Women’s-only level, disrobe, and gingerly step into a stinging hot tub. Laurel Halo’s divisively natural harmonizing on “Sunlight on the Faded” ushers in cosmic relaxation. She then shifts between Quarantine and alter ego King Felix’s more uptempo tracks. A personal delusion, but this lineup inspires flights of fancy. With Fatherhood, the duo (comprised of Physical Therapy’s Daniel Fisher and House of Ladosha’s Michael Magnan) whose “hard club” tracks would definitely elevating the rooftop pool. — By Alexis Stephens

Matmos + Horse Lords + Vorhees
Le Poisson Rouge
Monday, 7pm, $13/$15
A cow uterus, latex fetish clothing, liposuction surgery, and the antlers of a taxidermied elk are just some of the kooky sound sources that the San Franciscan performing duo and romantic couple of M.C. Schmidt and Drew Daniel have utilized over an unorthodox career that has included collaborations with Björk, writing scores for gay porn, and now new album The Marriage of True Minds, which you can celebrate with this album release party at Le Poisson Rouge. — By Aaron Gonsher

Arlene’s Grocery
Friday, 7pm, $10
Composed of three siblings–Dan, Pat, and Tom Murphy–from, aptly, the City of Brotherly Love, Penrose vacillates between stomping garage rock and downright dark blues. With impossibly catchy riffs that sprawl headfirst into sludgy breakdowns, their music is at once accessible and mystifying–think the Black Keys meets Nick Cave. Catch their album release party at Arlene’s Grocery to see what two years of touring and writing engendered. — By Sarah Madges

The Least Likely Music Headlines of 2013
The Kanye You Once Loved Is Dead and Gone
Frank Ocean Is Boring: The Year Lifeless Music Found Critical Praise

Most Popular