The 10 Best Concerts in New York This Week, 9/16/13


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

Monday, 9/16:

Arctic Monkeys
Webster Hall
8:30pm, $39.50
A four-piece rock band born out of a suburb of Sheffield, England in 2002, Arctic Monkeys enjoyed a meteoric rise to fame in 2005, when the then-teens tossed out free EPs to draw a fan base. Although generally considered part post-punk revival, the band has tweaked their sound each album, beefing up with heavy-handed drumming and frantic riff-heavy songs, while maintaining the quick-quipped lyrics and chunky bass lines that made them famous. Their newest album, AM, contains strange citations of hip-hop, so expect some back vocal falsettos and Dr. Dre beats atop all the swaggering balladry and muscular guitar work. — By Sarah Madges

Jeff Macaulay
Don’t Tell Mama
7pm, $15
Is it possible to be sung and unsung at the same time? You bet. Take lyricist Norman Gimbal–even though his name is unfamiliar, the songs boasting his lyrics are anything but. Ever heard of “Bluesette,” “The Girl From Panama,” “Killing Me Softly With His Song,” “I Got a Name”? Ever heard of “It Goes as It Goes,” which won the 1979 Oscar? So thanks to this fan for seeing Gimbal gets sung for his accomplishments. Not only does he work through famous and not-so-famous Gimbal items (with Tex Arnold at the piano) but he also tells Gimbal’s story with humor. — By David Finkle

Tuesday, 9/17:

Philip Glass + Elliott Sharp + Liquid Blonde + Transgendered Jesus
Santos Party House
7pm, $35
America’s most beloved minimalist composer will accompany the (silent) work of maverick filmmaker Harry Smith, and Elliott Sharp will create a live score for Paul Sharits’s 1966 Ray Gun Virus on his eight-string guitarbass, during an evening benefiting the Film-Makers’ Cooperative, the world’s largest artist-run collection of avant-garde cinema. The real surprises, however, may only emerge during whatever the accurately named Transgendered Jesus and glammy punk rockers Liquid Blonde uncork. With Optipus & E.S.P. TV, Jaded Lover. — By Richard Gehr

Wednesday, 9/18:

Le Poisson Rouge
7pm, $10/$12
This historically informed Brooklyn sextet recently released its fifth album, Bella Ciao, on John Zorn’s Tzadik label. Guitarist-bandleader Dan Kaufman traveled to Italy to research the traditional music of the Roman Jews. He returned with Jewish music that was more than two thousand years old, which he blends with original tunes inspired by the Italian Resistance of World War II. The results are a haunting art-rock rooted in tragedy and defiance. With Yotam Haber. — By Richard Gehr

Thursday, 9/19:

‘Francofolies: A Tribute to Edith Piaf’
Beacon Theatre
7:30pm, $55-$125
Edith Piaf was the Billie Holiday of France, a singer who wrenched great art out of untold suffering. Patricia Kaas, Madeleine Peyroux, Duffy, Angelique Kidjo, Alex Hepburn, Beth Ditto, Julien Clerc, Olivia Ruiz, Charles Dumont, Camélia Jordana, Jean-Louis Aubert, Zaz, Coeur de Pirate, Nolwenn Leroy, and even Harry Connick Jr. will tap her aura for the the local debut of a popular French music festival. — By Richard Gehr

Yeah Yeah Yeahs
Barclays Center
8pm, $29.50-$49.50
Yeah Yeah Yeahs are a New York avant-punk band whose infectious griminess makes for quirky yet danceable tunes. Evolving over the past decade from garage rock-meets-art pop to edgy glam rock, Karen O has sealed the band’s overall sound with her idiosyncratic vocals that range from riot grrl growls to disarmingly desperate croons. Dancing around and pummeling their instruments, the trio has a damn good time making a racket, which in turn is incredibly fun to watch. — By Sarah Madges

Laura Veirs
The Mercury Lounge
6:30pm, $15
Despite the fact that she just delivered her second son this past May, Laura Veirs still managed to put out her ninth album, Warp and Weft. Combining a penchant for country-styled folk and swooping harmonies, Veirs builds on the American musical heritage by adding her own personal flavor. Expect expansive vocal range, smooth ballads, and rickety story-songs that never slow down. — By Caitlin White

Michael Franti and Spearhead
Terminal 5
8pm, $35
Since his Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy days, Michael Franti has pushed the envelope in terms of how far music could go while still being hip-hop. In the last decade, however, Franti and Spearhead seem to have largely pushed into something entirely different from hip hop, the reggae-pop and hippie-folk populism taking centerstage, even if Franti’s vocals still often reveal his rap and spoken word roots. In fact, Franti could very well be the first true post-racial, post-hip hop artist. Songs such as “Say Hey (I Love You)” and this year’s “I’m Alive” mark perhaps the first time that the genre has been entirely engulfed in pop music without seeming too corny or exploitative. That is an immense accomplishment. — By Winston Groman

Friday, 9/20:

Patti Smith
The Metropolitan Museum of Art
7pm, $40
Patti Smith is a poet and a dreamer, but she’s most importantly a punk rock priestess who likes to remind you whose sins Jesus didn’t die for. This fall, Patti returns to the Met after last year’s personalized tribute to Andy Warhol, who was the hero of her close friend, the late Robert Mapplethorpe. This year’s show is dedicated to an artist of a different era, with Patti paying tribute to Hildegard de Bingen, a German composer, philosopher, writer and much more. Much like the Warhol show, the Met’s audience may get a taste of Patti showing appreciation for some of her favorite musicians in the form of her unique covers that always fit seamlessly into a set of her beautiful and mystifying originals. — By Brittany Spanos

The Pretty Reckless
The Paramount
8pm, $19.50-$58.50
Almost a century ago, the blues was being cast as the Devil’s music, and now the Pretty Reckless are trying to approximate that kind of hysteria with the bluesy hard rock of their latest LP, Going to Hell. To bolster that theory, frontwoman and provocateur Taylor Momsen (former child actress in The Grinch and Gossip Girl) has long had a penchant for wearing T-shirts sporting slogans like “I fuck for Satan,” and in an album teaser she even proclaims, “Don’t bless me father, for I have sinned.” It would all seem a bit corny if the songs weren’t actually good. — By Kory Grow

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