The 10 Best Concerts in New York This Week, 9/23/13


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

Monday, 9/23:

Dave Douglas Sextet
York Theatre at St. Peter’s Church
7pm, $20
The Festival Of New Trumpet Music has been taking place this week, giving some shine to visionary veterans and rising talents alike. One of our most intrepid brass players, and the guy who gave the Fest its start, brings his latest group to the stage in a show that helps celebrate his 50th birthday. From Protestant hymns to churning freebop to a new commission entitled “Pathways” (inspired by in a Bach chorale) Douglas’s ensemble is sure illustrate the breadth that has been central to the trumpeter-composer’s work. — By Jim Macnie

Tuesday, 9/24:

Lionel Richie
Barclays Center
8pm, $39.50-$149.50
Forever young, and redolent of a dreamy, low-risk idea of pop maturity, the decades between his prime stardom and the present have been kind to Lionel Richie: Like contemporaries Prince and Bruce Springsteen, the man has never quite been a punchline. And while it’s true that the average stranger on the street is more likely to erupt with “Dancing On The Ceiling” or “All Night Long” than, say, “I’m In Love,” Richie’s voice still carries a distinctive warmth. Admit it: If a pal randomly gifted you with Lionel Richie tickets, you’d be all over it, even if you didn’t brag about it on Twitter. — By Raymond Cummings

Julia Holter + Nedelle Torrisi
Music Hall of Williamsburg
9pm, $16/$18
There’s a moment on Julia Holter’s latest LP where everything turns to jazz. Horns blurt inconsolably. Strings swirl. There’s a slide whistle. That song, “Maxim’s II,” is the brassiest, most disconcerting part of the deceptively titled Loud City Song, and she follows it up with a gentle piano ballad. It’s an unusual turn for the album, which mostly draws from the dynamic interplay between hushed new-wavey synthscapes and Holter’s understated vocals. But that unpredictability is what separates the 28-year-old singer from the rest of the art-rock pack. While her previous album, 2012’s Ekstasis, owes a debt to Kate Bush, Julee Cruise, and a fair chunk of the early ’80s 4AD roster, Loud City Song contains all the mystery of those artists, but also Holter’s own outbursts of inspiration. It’s a curious turn that could make for a dramatic concert tonight. With Nedelle Torrisi. — By Kory Grow

Local Natives + Wild Nothing
Terminal 5
8pm, $27.50/$30
Lulling and harmony-ridden, the Los Angeles-based Local Natives burst onto the indie folk scene with their debut, Gorilla Manor, in 2009, drawing comparisons to blog darlings Grizzly Bear. Nouveau folk luminaries who refract personal reflections through driving melodies and gossamer vocals, the group quickly signed to French Kiss and built a loyal fan base. Expect dream pop infused with folk elements and an overwhelming sense of acoustic spaciousness. — By Caitlin White

Said the Whale
The Mercury Lounge
6:30pm, $10
For a Vancouver-based band, Said the Whale creates convincingly sunny West Coast indie rock. Formed in 2007 by songwriters Ben Worcester and Tyler Bancroft, the five-piece has built a repertoire of hooky riffs, breezy vocal harmonies, and choruses sung with the reckless rock ‘n’ roll abandon. Touring in support of their new purposefully misspelled album, hawaiii, expect repetitive yet somehow compelling refrains, solid guitar work, and catchy near-sea shanties. — By Sarah Madges

Wednesday, 9/25:

Chick Corea and the Vigil
Blue Note
Tuesday through Friday, 8pm & 10:30pm daily, $45-$65
Corea’s mastery of his piano is still exquisite, particularly in sedate contexts like solo performances and duo work with vibraphone player Gary Burton, but the truly transcendent moments tend to come around more frequently when he has more aggressive foils like his mid ’80s Elektric Band or the notorious revolving-door jazz-fusion project Return To Forever. He’s now on tour with the Vigil, a brand new five-piece outfit which splits the difference nicely. — By Vijith Assar

Martin Hayes and Dennis Cahill
Irish Arts Center
Wednesday through Friday, 8pm, $55
A sobbing long tone on the fiddle and a tender strum of the guitar are all Martin Hayes and Dennis Cahill need to woo anyone with a modicum of interest in traditional Celtic sounds. For the past 20 years, the two masters have refined an enviable chemistry, the kind of deep teamwork that makes their airs, reels, and jigs seem simultaneously designed and offhand. Perhaps it’s odd, then, that they celebrate their partnership by inviting a series of comrades to the stage. For eight dates in September they hold forth with one player per night, and the guest list stretches from the New Yorker’s poetry editor (guitarist Paul Muldoon) to Uilleann piper Ivan Goff, and at least two wildcards, local hero Doveman (spectral pianist Thomas Bartlett) and jazz clarinetist Doug Wieselman (last seen at Sunny’s in Red Hook tearing it up with Smokey Hormel’s cha-cha outfit). Longtime devotees needn’t fret: chances are slim that any of the intriguing interlopers could cloak Hayes and Cahill’s abiding communion. — By Jim Macnie

Thursday, 9/26:

Neko Case
Radio City Music Hall
8pm, $35-$45
As her run of great solo records continues with this month’s The Worse Things Get, it’s possible that Tacoma’s Neko Case will soon be able to remove the line about being “best known as a former member of the New Pornographers” from all her artist bios and encyclopedia entries. If Middle Cyclone was her masterpiece, The Worse is a worthy follow-up, a record where the lyrics are filled with self-doubt but the music couldn’t sound more confident. If you’re looking for a chance to play a little air guitar, check out the hard-rocking “Man,” and if you want to hear some a capella harmonies that will stop you in your tracks, go directly to “Nearly Midnight, Honolulu.” Oh, and don’t forget your lighter–there won’t be any hands-in-the-air anthems, but you’ll want to smoke a cigarette as soon as you leave the theater. — By Nick Murray

Friday, 9/27:

Ben E. King
B.B. King Blues Club & Grill
8pm, $35-$40
Though best known for his iconic and timeless single “Stand By Me,” Ben E. King’s long and rich career goes deeper than that. His work with the Drifters and successful solo career that yielded hits like “Spanish Harlem” and “Save the Last Dance for Me” are part of R&B’s multi-layered history and have remained revered and influential on all accounts. At 74, King is still an enduring musical voice though he’s stepped out of the music business for the past several years to focus on his philanthropy. In concert, King not only plays the songs of his that are some of pop’s most recognizable but provides a link to the past that helped shape the music we love today. — By Brittany Spanos

Bowery Ballroom
9pm, $25
Superchunk must not hate music too much since they decided to release an entire new album, titled I Hate Music, just this year. After helping make a name for the Chapel Hill, NC scene during a time when the Seattle sound reigned supreme, the band has continued to release perfectly fuzzy and spunky tunes for well over ten years while staying true to their DIY and indie roots. Plus, they can play a mean cover of other artists’ songs, as proven by their fantastic version of “Say My Name” by Destiny’s Child. — By Brittany Spanos

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