The Ten Best Concerts in New York This Weekend, 3/22/13


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

Madison Square Garden
Friday, 8pm, $39.50-$125
Few could have predicted that 16 years 
after first arriving on our TRLs, Z100s, and Top 40s, this missundaztood pop star would be not only still around but better than ever. When it came to P!nk’s 2010 Greatest Hits . . . So Far!!! collection, the greatest was also the newest, suggesting that the cheeky . . . So Far!!! that finished the title was more than just talk. Then last year, The Truth About Love was both exuberant and mature. P!nk has always known how to get the party started–now she’s also trying to figure out what to do after it ends. With the Hives. — By Nick Murray

‘Mr. Saturday Night’ W/ James Holden
Saturday, 10pm, $10/$15
Youthful British electronic artist James Holden has tried it all: stadium trance, kaleidoscopic progressive, meditative downtempo, and at least one bonkers acid trip of a remix that sounds like a very angry stampede reducing an African safari to smoke and rubble. In addition to mixing well-received compilations Balance 005 and At The Controls, Holden has a reputation for being the type of cracking DJ not afraid to let, say, Boards of Canada momentarily anesthetize a dance floor. Holden’s planned appearance at MOMA PS. 1 last summer was cancelled at the last minute, but Warm Up’s loss will be the fans’ gain when he migrates to the comparatively intimate 12-turn-13 along with Justin Carter and Eamon Harkin of Mister Saturday Night. — By Aaron Gonsher

I Would Die 4 U: A Prince Dance Party
Housing Works Bookstore
Friday, 7pm, $5
In New York, location is everything. So it’s no coincidence that music journalist Touré set up the release party for his new book, I Would Die 4 U: Why Prince Became an Icon, at Housing Works Bookstore Café–half a block away from Prince Street. Smarter, though, is the fact that this is no regular author event; it’s titled I Would Die 4 U: A Prince Dance Party, and it will feature the music of His Royal Badness in all its purple splendor as spun by A Tribe Called Quest’s Ali Shaheed Muhammad. Although Touré’s tome offers a 176-page explanation of why Prince matters, tonight will make for a pretty poignant addendum. Best yet, the entire price of admission will go to Housing Works, an organization that fights homelessness and AIDS. — By Kory Grow

‘A Tribute to Paul Motian’
Symphony Space
Friday, 7pm, $45
It may have taken a while to assemble a worthy tribute to the high-gliding drummer who passed away in November 2011, but this is as august an aggregation of jazz greats as you’re likely to see for some time. Motian bandmates Bill Frisell and Joe Lovano host Joey Baron, Tim Berne, Ravi Coltrane, Marilyn Crispell, Andrew Cyrille, Larry Grenadier, Petra Haden, Jerome Harris, Billy Hart, Ethan Iverson, Ben Street, Mark Turner, Masabumi Kikuchi, Tony Malaby, Bill McHenry, Ben Monder, Greg Osby, Gary Peacock, Ed Schuller, Matt Wilson, and many others in diverse combinations. — By Richard Gehr

Gui Boratto + Samsara
Highline Ballroom
Friday, 11pm, $20/$30
Boratto emerged out of the silken dreamscapes of late-2000’s Kompakt with albums that paired the regenerative structures of minimal techno alongside a healthy dose of melodic schmaltz, with occasional vocal contributions from Boratto’s wife providing pop peaks. The Brazilian producer has since crafted melancholy remixes for the likes of Goldfrapp and Massive Attack, and his live sets are hypnotic affairs of muscular timbral tweaks moving bodies over ocean froth and cumulus clouds. This rare U.S. appearance for Gui Boratto is a coup for Verboten, whose bookings of late have trended towards the carefully manicured deep house now making inroads stateside. — By Aaron Gonsher

The Hives
Irving Plaza
Sunday, 7pm, $32
Part of the aughts’ garage rock revival trend, the Hives have built a sound at once pop radio catchy and hard rock sludgy. Mostly importantly for tonight, the band is best heard live, where vocalist Pelle Almqvist and guitarist brother Nicholaus Arson revel in their so-called “colorful idiocy” with stage antics that are as recognizable as their rotating wardrobe of black and white suits. — By Sarah Madges

Garbage + IO Echo
Terminal 5
Friday, 8pm, $35/$40
It may take Shirley Manson & Co. an unusually long time to record a new album–most recently there was a seven-year gap between 2005’s Bleed Like Me and the recent Not Your Kind of People–but whenever they do, Garbage always sounds more or less like Garbage (capital G). Not Your Kind has the big-box, memorably melodic choruses, the electronic-tinged backgrounds, and plenty of Ms. Manson’s viscous vocals, and as they come up on their 20th anniversary, it’s a refreshing reminder of how unique they were when their debut came out in 1995. — By Kory Grow

The Meter Men w/ Page McConnell
Manhattan Center’s Grand Ballroom
Friday, 8pm, $49.50-$79.50
Three-quarters of original New Orleans funk legends the Meters are about all you’ll experience in this lifetime. And so an opportunity to see Zigaboo Modeliste (drums), Leo Nocentelli (guitar), and George Porter Jr. (bass) kick out infinitely sampled tracks such as “Cissy Strut,” “Look-Ka Py Py,” and “Chicken Strut”–with more-than-adequately funky Phish keyboardist-vocalist Page McConnell replacing Art Neville–should not be shrugged off lightly. With the Main Squeeze and DJ Cochon de Lait. — By Richard Gehr

Michael Formanek
Cornelia Street Cafe
Saturday, 9pm & 10:30pm, $10
It’s architecture you notice first in the bassist’s work, as his pieces are built on elaborate designs that steadily reveal their inner logic. Last year’s Small Places is full of twists and turns that intrigue, rather than throw you aside, and his bands are populated by associates that know the terrain’s topography, so grace is often in the air. — By Jim Macnie

Alt-J + Hundred Waters
Webster Hall
Friday, 8pm, $20/$22
The psychedelic-tinged art rockers of Alt-J (whose name is the Mac keyboard stroke for a Greek delta sigil) won last year’s U.K. Mercury Prize for their debut full-length, An Awesome Wave. Aside from the fact that songs like the twangy “Breezeblocks” and sparsely arranged “Fitzpleasure” are catchy and inoffensive, the real reason they deserve recognition is for their clever interpolations of prog-rock, folk, and highbrow minimalism, as well as oblique allusions to Where the Wild Things Are in the lyrics to “Breezeblocks” and Raphael’s The School of Athens in their “Tessellate” video. Somehow, they pull it off. — By Kory Grow

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