The 10 Best Concerts in New York This Week, 9/30/13


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

Monday, 9/30:

Jagwar Ma
The Mercury Lounge
6:30pm, $12
Fusing a half-lidded lyricism with the boundless energy of Manchester drug-popsters like the Happy Mondays, Jagwar Ma’s ecstatic debut album, Howlin‘ is a criminally overlooked sunburst of guitar repetition and rhythmic joy, doused in rays of psychedelic sunshine without ever becoming cloying or making you wish the trip would come to end. The duo of Gabriel Winterfield and Jono Ma hit Mercury Lounge for an intimate sold-out show. — By Aaron Gonsher

Tuesday, 10/1:

Webster Hall
Monday & Tuesday, 8pm, $25
As her aptly titled single “Royals” topped the Alternative charts, the 16-year-old New Zealand native has become one of the most sonically shocking acts on the mainstream charts this year, complimenting her dry, straightforward lyrics with a similarly minimalist sound. Just days after the release of her highly anticipated debut album, Pure Heroine, Lorde will bring her songs to NYC. Catch this rising star now. — By Brittany Spanos

Music Hall of Williamsburg
9pm, $25
It has been two years since the L.A. indie-rock quartet Warpaint visited New York and three since they released their breakthrough LP, The Fool. That album played out like a fuzzy, familiar, occasionally avant-garde soundscape of melancholy moans, intricately textured rhythms, and all-around bittersweet melodies. When those elements worked together, it all added up to an enjoyably morose listening experience, one that seems to pour effortlessly from the group’s vocalist-guitarist frontwomen Emily Kokal and Theresa Wayman. But more impressive is the way they pull off that delicate balance in a live setting, and their ability to make their sad songs sound fun at the same time. Tonight, they’ll likely play tracks from The Fool, but they’ve also promised to play some new numbers as well. It’s about time.

Elliott Sharp
The Stone
8pm & 10pm, $10
The powerful and prolific multi-instrumentalist begins a week-long residency with a pair of shows highlighting his considerable composition and improvisation skills, respectively. At 8 p.m. the Sirius Quartet premieres Mare Undarum, one of the graphic scores Sharp has been concentrating on in recent years. At 10, he’ll unleash the latest version of his Bootstrapper improvising unit, playing guitar, saxophone, and electronics with longtime cohorts Melvin Gibbs (bass) and Anton Fier (drums). — By Richard Gehr

Jenny Hval
The Mercury Lounge
9:30pm, $12
Norwegian singer-songwriter Jenny Hval has been on the slow grind to success, previously releasing two albums under the moniker Rockettothesky before her two releases as Jenny Hval. The abrasive, gritty vocal style and explicit lyrics she embraces convey a powerfully feminine energy in the folk and experimental rock vein that leans toward avant garde. — By Caitlin White

Wednesday, 10/2:

The Flaming Lips + Tame Impala
Terminal 5
Tuesday & Wednesday, 8pm, $42.50/$45
As the world awaits Lipsha, the unlikely brainchild of the Flaming Lips and Kesha, Lips fans will have to content themselves more of The Terror, Wayne Coyne’s foray into existential despair and ontological dread following a breakup with his partner of 25 years. They’ve never sounded so gloomy or so heavily influenced by Kierkegaard’s paradox of romantic love, but the journey into the psychedelic void dredges up some compelling gray matter. Leave it to the Flaming Lips to take the Beatles “All You Need Is Love,” turn it into a contemplative slow jam, and make it super sad. — By Aidan Levy

‘Carnegie Hall’s Opening Night Gala’ w/ the Philadelphia Orchestra + Esperanza Spalding
Carnegie Hall
7pm, $49-$154
Esperanza Spalding’s progression from a Post-Bop prodigy with strong Afro-Latin Jazz chops and an impeccable vocal phrasing to the electric bass-wielding Neo-Soul-Fusion songstress of 2012’s Radio Music Society might have been unexpected, but it was certainly not a fruitless endeavor. For one, her jazz/pop/r&b jams sparkle with energy, purpose, and a musicality perhaps unheard in r&b music since Anita Baker’s 1991 Jazz-Soul opus Compositions. What’s more, as songs like “Black Gold” clearly indicate, Spalding has decided to increase her visibility in the urban music community by tightening the groove and pushing the jazz virtuosity to the background, in support of music that takes equally from Kamaal the Abstract, Baduizm, Heavy Weather, and Milton Nascimento’s Courage. Live, no doubt, the jazz chops resurface, meaning that everybody’s happy. — By Winston Groman

Twin Peaks
The Mercury Lounge
9:30pm, $10
The way this band captures the reckless and joyful energy of being 19, you could probably guess their age even without looking them on Wiki. Playing a mix of garage rock and dream pop that brims with the scuzzy punk vigor of Iggy and suffers neither from immaturity nor sonic acne scars, the four-piece conjures up at once glammy soundtracks to daydreams and giddy romps for joyrides with confidence and charm. — By Sarah Madges

Thursday, 10/3:

Massive Attack
Park Avenue Armory
Monday through Thursday, 8pm, $60
This unusual collaboration with the award-winning documentary filmmaker has the trip-hop icons performing while the audience is enveloped in videos which turn a suspicious eye toward modern technology. That perspective has always been a central part of their appeal, but this may be the most dramatic crystallization yet. The bleak future they sang about in the ’90s felt like an ominous looming possibility; now it’s all around us. — By Vijith Assar

Friday, 10/4:

Regina Carter
Monday through Friday, 8:30pm & 11pm, $35-$45
The reigning queen of jazz violin has carved a niche for herself by blending the traditionalist style of Stephane Grappelli with the avant-garde bravado of Billy Bang and the dazzling technique of Itzhak Perlman. She studied with the latter at one point as a young classical violin student at the New England Conservatory before catching that incurable jazz bug. Though she got her start performing with the Detroit Civic Orchestra, she is as likely to draw inspiration from fellow Michigan natives Anita Baker and Stevie Wonder, imbuing the Motown sound with a fluidity that never loses sight of her Rust Belt roots. — By Aidan Levy

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