The Ten Best Concerts in New York This Weekend, 4/12/13


These 10 concerts were chosen “Best of Weekend” by a robot made of melted down vinyl copies of Black Sabbath’s Paranoid and the guts of old tube amplifiers. Make it happy. Go out into that good night.

Cold War Kids
Webster Hall
Saturday, 7pm, $25
With their 2006 debut, Robbers and Cowards, a record whose unique stripped-down, off-center chord progressions, and intricate narratives earned the unique genre tag “soul-punk,” Cold War Kids secured a place for themselves in the indie rock world. However, frontman and dramatically emotive vocalist Nathan Willett seems to be hoping for more than a time slot at music festivals, with each successive album broadening into palatable arena rock, leaving comparisons to the Black Keys behind and opening the doorway to Madison Square Garden, or so they hope. — By Sarah Madges

Pissed Jeans + Roomrunner + Yi
Bowery Ballroom
Saturday, 9pm, $15
It’s tempting to think of Allentown, Pennsylvania’s Pissed Jeans as Incesticide-era Nirvana with a less obfuscated sense of humor, a healthier frontman, and a hard-on for masculine self-immolation. In the foursome’s rotted, grinding guitars there is the warp of punk, the rank sludge of metal. One difference: Singer Matt Korvette holds a corporate day job and treats songwriting as a sort of anthropological therapy, which makes his screeds frighteningly relatable. Another: They aren’t constitutionally beholden to pop and so are free to embrace the noise sinkholes drummer Sean McGuinness’s old band (Air Conditioning) surrendered to on the regular. — By Raymond Cummings

Rez Abbasi Trio
Downstairs at Cornelia Street Cafe
Saturday, 9pm & 10:30pm, $20
The guitarist continues to tantalize with electric excursions that investigate his Pakistani roots and cosmopolitan personality. On last fall’s Continuous Beat this means a wealth of grooves, a nod to the extrapolation of ragas, and enough cross-hatched beats to keep everything up for grabs. As a soloist, he can fly away at any moment, but Abbasi is a sharp listener, and he’s always moving in step with his team, which tonight might be bolstered by an extra member: There has been talk of a special guest. — By Jim Macnie

Barn Owl + Stygian Stride + Jahilyya Fields
Death By Audio
Friday, 8pm, $7
Ladies and gentlemen will be floating in space when Barn Owl, the droning San Francisco duo of Evan Caminiti and Jon Porras, swoop into town tonight. Since meeting in college in 2006, the guitarists have mixed the hypnotic side of Terry 
Riley and La Monte Young with terrifying black metal timbres, doom-laden Takoma acoustic properties, something Porras has described as “the powerful feeling of fog creeping along the horizon,” and other 
aural manifestations of dark matters. Glacial ghost rhythms underpin Barn Owl’s 
brilliant new V (Thrill Jockey), which concludes with “The Opulent Decline,” a half-hour improvisation whittled down to 17 thickly layered minutes of syrupy wonderment. The synthetic strata of Jimy 
SeiTang’s Stygian Stride project will set 
the stage for Barn Owl’s slo-mo space race. — By Richard Gehr

Joan Soriano
Roulette Brooklyn
Saturday, 8pm, $25
Born in 1972, Soriano plays a romantic and lilting style of bachata that might be characterized as Dominicana. Pitched in-between the music’s rural origins and poppier contemporary sound (which even includes a crunk-bachata hybrid), Soriano’s take on the DR’s national music embraces Afro-Dominican rhythms like palo and gaga as well as merengue, son, and bolero. El Duque de la Bachata, as Joan is known, leads the six-piece Soriano Family Band. — By Richard Gehr

Graham Parker and the Rumour
The Gramercy Theatre
Sunday, 7pm, $29.50-$39.50
As his turn in This Is 40 demonstrated, Graham Parker may not have the album sales he used to–his album in the movie sold 612 copies–but those few fans who do follow the British rocker’s career are dedicated and hungry. Tonight, he appears with his classic backing group, the Rumour, celebrating the release of their most recent real-life album, Three Chords Good, and to show his good nature about having his cards on the table, the DVD release of This Is 40. If it’s anything like the movie, look for Billie Joe Armstrong in the back. — By Kory Grow

Cameo Gallery
Friday, 11:59pm, $7/$10
The clicks and yips of Canadian-born producer Egyptrixx’s past releases fit right in the lucid-dreaming mutability of UK label Night Slugs, which has enjoyed a recently raised profile in New York due to their monthly label showcases. Egyptrixx isn’t as much of a low-end obsessive as the various beat scientists that make up the rest of Night Slugs nascent roster, but the man born David Psutka has mastered a particular strand of gaseous melodicism that plays like radio hits on Tattoine’s podracing circuit. Evan Michael supports at this monthly presented by Brooklyn Bass, which has lately scored some choice bookings — By Aaron Gonsher

Instant Composers Pool Orchestra
Saturday, 9pm, $15/$18
Free improvisation, game strategies, and the tonal delights of Ellington, Monk, and Nichols synergize merrily in the daring alchemy of this ten-piece group founded in 1967 by drummer Hans Bennink, pianist Misha Mengelberg, and the late saxophonist Willem Breuker. The ICP’s entire output recently became available as a 52-CD box set, which you will surely be tempted to possess having sampled their wares at this rare and arguably essential local appearance. — By Richard Gehr

Bonobo + Shigeto + Nickodemus
Webster Hall
Friday, 7pm, $20
Ever since his wonderful debut, Animal Magic, DJ and producer Simon Green has been one of Britain’s foremost publishers of mesmerizingly twinkling electronics, effortlessly whisking together drums and keyboards to create a seemingly endless instrumental swirl that occasionally becomes a home for some lucky guest vocalist. His new album, The Northern Borders is more of the same, thankfully, filled with clever little dioramas built atop the bones of trip-hop, from riffs so natural you’re almost surprised he didn’t come up with them years ago. — By Vijith Assar

Big Tree
Union Hall
Saturday, 10:30pm, $10
Big Tree hail from the Bay Area, but their sound holds remnants of the blossoming folk-pop movement from every landscape. With an emphasis on soaring harmonies and dynamic multi-instrumentation, the art rock collective caught the attention of tUnE-yArDs, gaining some exposure by touring with her in 2011. Their music woozy guitars evoke open skies and road trip freedom, expect to keen for childhood summertime and lost innocence–but without any regret. — By Caitlin White

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