The 10 Best Concerts in New York This Week, 8/12/13


For more shows throughout the week, check out our New York Concert Calendar, which is updated daily.

Monday, 8/12:

Hiatus Kaiyote
Knitting Factory Brooklyn
8pm, $15
Vocalist Nai Palm, who wields an Ibanez Artstar guitar and often appears garlanded with most of a midtown notions store’s contents, fronts Melbourne quartet Hiatus Kaiyote. Despite the vintage punk-rock moniker, her voice is all cool, honeyed soul, and there’s a whole lot of everything going on around her. Kaiyote’s economical debut, Tawk Tomahawk, opens with “Mobius Streak,” a six-minute sonic travelogue embracing interlocked West African rhythms, heady Los Angeles glitch-psych, interstellar space rock, and bubbly Jaco-jazz. Half the album’s tracks, however, clock in at less than two minutes; these brief gems evoke still other Eno-esque green worlds, colonized by “future soul” chanteuses like Cocorosie and Erykah Badu. Equally ambitious and accessible, Hiatus Kaiyote deserve the accolades they’ve been receiving from nearly everywhere, and if you miss tonight’s show, you’re going to wish you’d seen them here. — By Richard Gehr

High Pop + Strange Mangers + Speak Memory
Cameo Gallery
8pm, $8
Connecticut’s High Pop worship at the altar of lightweight pogo-punk boomeranged through cellars of effects pedals. There’s the throwaway melodic snap of early Wavves, the eager wonkiness of early Atlas Sound, plus some Japanther thrown in too. Combing through the group’s trio of self-releases, you’ll keep expecting duds, but they’re curiously hard to come by. Great things–greater things, really–are expected, and soon. — By Raymond Cummings

Tuesday, 8/13:

Backstreet Boys + Jesse McCartney + DJ Pauly D
Nikon at Jones Beach Theater
7pm, $25-$245
Celebrating their 20th anniversary together, Backstreet Boys have jumped the shark back into the forefront of pop culture consciousness with a high profile movie cameo and a fall cruise to look forward to. And with a new album on the horizon, Nick, Brian, Howie, A.J., and Kevin are back in the game with hopefully better outfits and hair than they had much earlier in their 20 year career. Joined by “Beautiful Soul”-lover and now all grown up former tween pop dreamboat Jesse McCartney and the former Jersey Shore resident with the gravity-defying hair DJ Pauly D, fans will get a chance to rock their body right. Backstreet’s back, alright? — By Brittany Spanos

Wednesday, 8/14:

Baroness + Royal Thunder
Irving Plaza
7pm, $19.99
Although the burly rockers in Baroness toured some in support of their critical fave third LP, Yellow & Green, they weren’t truly able to reap the praise they deserved due to a near-fatal bus accident in Europe that sidelined the group for nearly a year. So even though they were opening for Melvins in Brooklyn a few weeks ago, this is really their moment of glory, a chance to celebrate how a band can reform its sludge-metal past in lieu of catchy hard rock and keep on truckin’, even with a slightly tweaked lineup. — By Kory Grow

Run the Jewels + Despot + Kool A.D.
Webster Hall
7pm, $25
Unlikely pairing that they seem, Run the Jewels proved to be a match made in Gangsta’s Paradise. Oozing with confidence after last month’s stellar self-titled, Killer Mike and EL-P unite to tag-team the mic with a distinctive blend of tough talk, geeky humor, and lyrical skill unheard of in today’s hardcore rap. El-P’s beats are raw, splitting the difference between Crunk and the Bomb Squad, and the pair’s rhymes cover a dazzling thematic range that reveals the group’s chemistry to be the result a mutual dedication to cerebral, well-informed thuggery. Run the Jewels are unabashed intelligent hoodlums in an era where street knowledge trumps book learning, and the music is so refreshing because its mix of street smarts and brains reflects the very essence of hip-hop. — By Winston Groman

Wednesday, 8/14:

Ariana Grande
Best Buy Theater
7:30pm, $35/$37
Ariana Grande got her start on a children’s television, but the barely 20-year-old has a bubblegum voice that’s destined for a spotlight much bigger than Nick at Night. Her collaboration with Mac Miller, “The Way,” gave her some quick buzz, but the singer’s chops indicate that the hullabaloo isn’t for nothing. After all, she’s inspired by Mariah Carey and still pocketing fame and fortune from her TV appearances. Since Britney fell off, America’s been waiting for another full-fledged goodie two shoes pop star with an edge–Grande might just be it. — By Caitlin White

Music Hall of Williamsburg
9pm, $15
Lucius are a Brooklyn indie pop group that manages to set themselves apart from the hordes of local sound-alikes through the driving combined force of lead vocalists Jess Wolfe and Holly Laessig. Eschewing harmonies to mostly double barrel the melody line, this unusual option gives Lucius an undeniable energy that is lacking in most of their peers. Expect a pop-driven, interesting take on the synth-happy styles of late with enough rock to keep things on edge. — By Caitlin White

Thursday, 8/15:

Myra Melford and Snow Egret
Roulette Brooklyn
8pm, $15
The sensitively scorching pianist offers an excerpt from her ongoing “Language of Dreams” multimedia project based on Uruguayan writer Eduard Galeano’s magical-historicist Memory of Fire trilogy. She’ll be accompanied by her Snowy Egret band–Ron Miles (trumpet), Liberty Ellman (guitar), Stomu Takeishi (acoustic bass guitar), and Tyshawn Sorey (drums)–and augmented with bilingual narration, choreography, and videography. — By Richard Gehr

The California Honeydrops
Canal Room
8pm, $17/$20
Their latest album, Like You Mean It, is pure soul–not the kitschy kind, but that deep brand of soul that springs from the taproots of the American collective unconscious. As it turns out, mixing the Polish heritage of frontman and songwriter Lech Wierzynski with Oakland crunch and a jazz pedigree gives birth to something like Sam Cooke on happy pills. The band has aged here: They ditched the jug and washboard for a funkier groove, but they preserved that original kernel of gutbucket strut. They’re just four blues fanatics kicking it old school with lo-fi equipment, but together they make a wailing wall of sound.– By Aidan Levy

Friday, 8/16:

The Gramercy Theatre
6pm, $14
At the cusp of the new millennium, the sound of alt-rock may have been changing but Wheatus proved that teen angst will always remain the same. “Teenage Dirtbag,” the band’s breakout hit, began its reign as one of the most perfect high school anthems with a music video starring Jason Biggs and Mena Suvari, and 13 years later, One Direction’s live covers have brought it to a new generation of ears. At the release show for their forthcoming Valentine, celebrate the band’s new tunes and relive those wonder years because they’re still teenage dirtbags, like you. — By Brittany Spanos

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