The Ten Best Concerts in New York This Weekend, 4/5/13


These concerts are all certified “Best of Weekend” by the mayor’s office. We bring them to you by court order.

Alicia Keys + Miguel
Barclays Center
Friday, 8pm, $49.50-$125
However you feel about Alicia Keys–whether you love her voice and piano chops or find those same qualities boring and bland–you know deep down that when the DJ puts on “No One” as the party is about to end, you are there dancing, sweating, and emoting with the rest of us. Tonight, the “rest of us” run 19,000 deep, and the dancing, sweating, and emoting will continue through recent radio staple “Girl Is on Fire,” “Fallin’,” her 2001 breakthrough, and “Try Sleeping With a Broken Heart,” her best after “No One.” Miguel opens, setting the mood with tracks like “Adorn” and “Do You . . . ,” two of the finest slow jams of 2012. — By Nick Murray

Leonard Cohen
Radio City Music Hall
Saturday & Sunday, 8pm, $69.50-$200
As a near octogenarian, Leonard Cohen has become surprisingly ubiquitous. Between last year’s new album, Old Ideas, and his surprisingly rigorous touring schedule, an in-depth biography by Sylvie Simmons came out, Adam Sandler parodied the Canadian poet’s “Hallelujah” at the 12-12-12 concert, and author Alan Light put out an insightful book about the history of that particular song. Now, just a few months after his December concerts, he’s returned for another breathtaking round of songs of love and hate. Kurt Cobain once sang, “Give me a Leonard Cohen afterworld”; we should be so blessed. — By Kory Grow

Abstract Currents: An Interactive Video Event
Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)
Sunday, 8:30pm, $14-$25
For the past several weeks, artists, 
filmmakers, and anyone else with a video camera have been submitting their one-minute abstract videos to MOMA via Vimeo for a chance to be shown in the museum. Tonight, see the best of the bunch at MOMA’s Abstract Currents: An Interactive Video Event. Part of the museum’s PopRally party series, the evening includes a screening of the works with live music you can sway to provided by San Francisco-based dream-pop singer Tamaryn. The program is inspired by MOMA’s current exhibitions Inventing Abstraction, 1910-1925 and 
Abstract Generation: Now in Print. — By Angela Ashman

The Cave Singers
Music Hall of Williamsburg
Saturday, 9pm, $15
Produced by Northwest mastermind Phil Ek, the record from Seattle’s folk-gone-rogue rockers the Cave Singers manages to wrangle in both the area’s historically grunge sounds and the feeling of pastoral surroundings. Expect guitar noise that swoons into stabbing solos and harmonies that lean into the territory of Fleet Foxes with none of their preciousness. There may be folk at the foundation of their music, but the Cave Singers have built a decidedly rock sound on top of it. — By Caitlin White

Ramesh Misra, Sanghamitra Chatterjee, & Samir Chatterjee
Chhandayan Center for Indian Music
Friday, 7:30pm, $20
The inestimable legacy of the late sitarist Ravi Shankar is celebrated on the weekend of what would have been his 93rd birthday by one of his preeminent students, Ramesh Misra, along with singer Sanghamitra Chatterjee and the fine local tabla virtuoso Samit Chatterjee. Misra performs on the notably challenging sarangi, a bowed, fretless instrument consisting of three main strings and a few dozen sympathetic strings, all arranged on a single beautiful piece of carved-out wood. — By Richard Gehr

Yeah Yeah Yeahs
Webster Hall
Sunday, 8pm, $30
Once a group of New York City punks unafraid to mess with a little rhythm, 2009 It’s Blitz! singles “Zero” and “Heads Will Roll” made the Yeah Yeah Yeahs! a favorite first at downtown dance parties and then (with the help of an irresistible A-Trak club edit of the latter) at proto-EDM festivals around the world. It’s a good look for the band, and one they seem to be running with, bringing in LCD Soundsystem and DFA Records head James Murphy to co-produce their forthcoming Mosquito. The lead single, “Sacrilege,” might not get festival spins from Benny Benassi and Afrojack, but that doesn’t mean we can’t move a little bit when the band plays it tonight. — By Nick Murray

Meek Mill
Roseland Ballroom
Sunday, 7pm, $39.50-$49.50
Philadelphia MC Meek Mill raps like he’s seconds away from death by firing squad. Whether the subject is loyalty, comeuppance, or bank-account balances, his verses spill out in an insistent, telegraphed jumble that’s as emphatic as it is infectious, reinvigorating the core fundamentals of ghetto fabulousness. Pair Meek with his Maybach Music boss/benefactor Rick Ross and, inevitably, the result will son everything else you’d listened to the hour previous. Meek’s winning; ergo, so are you. — By Ray Cummings

Chelsea Light Moving + Prana-Bindu + Marco Fusinato
Bowery Ballroom
Friday, 9pm, $20
The self-titled debut by Chelsea Light Moving, one of Sonic Youth vocalist-guitarist Thurston Moore’s new groups, ends with a vicious, bloodthirsty cover of the Germs’ “Communist Eyes.” And while that’s the most kinetic expression of Moore’s mania, in light of his other band’s indefinite hiatus, the rest of the album sounds a bit like a more aggro take on his alma mater: One song’s chorus goes “too fucking bad,” and another is about a hippie massacre. And, judging from their New York debut last September, they hold none of that aggression back live. With Prana-Bindu and Marco Fusinato. — By Kory Grow

Tobias + Efdemin + Marcel Fengler
Friday, 10pm, $30
As the excesses of American EDM become a persistent presence crackling out the headphones of the subway rider to your left, German techno has retrenched, preferring oppressive angles and the kind of textural repetition anathema to most thrill-seeking American festival crowds. Berlin-based label Ostgut Ton has been at the forefront, the insular agenda still not immune to cult of personality. Blkmarket Membership will host their 4th Ostgut showcase in six months at new club Output, with the skeletal beats of Tobias, Efdemin’s jazzily melodic minimal, and Marcel Fengler’s walloping rhythmic contusions. — By Aaron Gonsher

Pandit Tarun Bhattacharya
Rubin Museum of Art
Friday, 6:30pm, $40-$50
Master of the santoor, a 100-string hammered dulcimer, Pandit Bhattacharya has studied under both Shivkumar Sharma, who introduced the instrument to Indian classical music, and Ravi Shankar. He also kicks off the first of several Rubin concerts during this rather amazing weekend festival billed as a tribute to the late sitar legend. Snehasish Mozumdar (mandolin), Kanika Pandey (vocals), Rajeev Taranth (sarod), and Shahid Parvez Khan (sitar), all accompanied by equally accomplished tabla virtuosi, will also perform during the weekend. — By Richard Gehr

The Top 20 NYC Rap Albums of All Time: The Complete List
The Top 15 Things That Annoy Your Local Sound Guy
Frank Ocean Is Boring: The Year Lifeless Music Found Critical Praise