The 10 Best Concerts in New York This Week, 10/14/13


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

Monday, 10/14:

Nine Inch Nails + Godspeed You! Black Emperor
Barclays Center
8 p.m., $54-$99
Back in gear after a several year absence, the visceral nature of early Nine Inch Nails has given way to something more rewardingly cerebral. Reunion album Hesitation Marks plays like the sonic equivalent of a long, winding tour through fossilized wormwood. Life may not have frontman Trent Reznor as aggrieved as it once did, but his creative muse is restless, sending rivulets of synthesizer, guitar (some of it played by famous virtuosos), and percussion into ticklish electronic-pop tributaries and intersections. It’s composition as chess and narcotic. — By Raymond Cummings

Those Darlins
The Mercury Lounge
6:30 p.m., $12
Feminist rockabilly sounds like an oxymoron, but these darlins pull it off with a brash combination of sass, sex appeal, and the unvarnished truth of their experience. On Blur the Line, their self-consciously titled third studio album, they ironically ask whether the subaltern can truly speak, vacillating between telling it like it is on the wistful “Oh God” and having some tongue-in-cheek fun on girl power anthem “Optimist.” The video for the latter apes “Blurred Lines,” but as a feminist reclamation of Thicke’s misogynistic tropes, depicting a series of dancing torsos, cropped at the head, in a satirical and effective attempt at reverse commodification. — By Aidan Levy

Tuesday, 10/15:

Vanessa Carlton
Highline Ballroom
8 p.m., $35/$40
It’s hard to believe that it’s been 11 years since the release of Carlton’s riveting debut, Be Not Nobody, a record that set the bar high for singer-songwriters in the new millennium. Since then, she’s continued to float around pop music both as an artist herself and as an influence on the latest crop of female songwriters looking to craft earnest and catchy pop songs with a little extra meat on their bones. Though she hasn’t put out a new album since 2011, Carlton is reportedly hard at work on her next endeavor. Until then, prepare yourself for a White Chicks-level sing-along to “A Thousand Miles.” — By Brittany Spanos

Wednesday, 10/16:

Selena Gomez + Emblem3 + Christina Grimmie
Barclays Center
7 p.m., $30.50-$70.50
Born in Grand Prairie, Texas, and named after “Dreaming of You” singer Selena, the Wizards of Waverly Place and Spring Breakers actress Selena Gomez has scored four top-10 LPs and gone four times platinum with “Love You Like a Love Song,” all before turning 22. This year’s “Come & Get It,” the lead single from the chart-topping Stars Dance, meanwhile, has reached double platinum, its stomping dance beat and Bollywood sample representative of an album that includes a handful of possible club hits and a Buju Banton vocal interpolation somewhere in between. Last time Gomez headlined a show in these parts, she was relegated to the suburbs, playing the PNC Arts Center way out in Jersey. Tonight, she comes to the Barclays Center with X Factor boy band Emblem3–this generation’s LFO. With Christina Grimmie. — By Nick Murray

Terminal 5
7 p.m., $23/$25
Savages are an all-female English foursome who approach post-punk with a ferocious feminism that rivals the wildness of the riot grrrl movement. Fairly new on the scene, they only formed at the end of 2011 but have already won plenty of accolades from both fans and press. Expect ceaseless roiling guitar and scream-sung lyrics with deeply political and poetic intent. — By Caitlin White

Wednesday, 10/16:

The Band Perry
Roseland Ballroom
8 p.m., $39.50
If 2013 goes down as the year of Rick Rubin’s resurgence, with pundits and list-compilers pointing to his work on Kanye’s Yeezus and Eminem’s “Bezerk,” the Band Perry’s Pioneer will be the one that got away, a record that the Def Jam founder was initially going to produce but which ended up in the hands of Nashville go-to guy Dann Huff. The Band Perry, an all-sibling trio led by older sister Kimberly, did just fine regardless, coming out with an excellent sophomore album that lives up to the promise of–and maybe even equals–their self-titled debut, mixing hair-metal riffs (and hair-metal hair) with pop hooks and lyrics that could be late additions to the Southern Gothic canon. “Better Dig Two” was the lead single, but “Done” is the highlight, as good a kiss-off as you’ll find on the radio. — By Nick Murray

Black Moon + Talib Kweli + Phony Ppl + Smif-n-Wessun + The Underachievers + Res + Cory Mo + Meka
Music Hall of Williamsburg
8 p.m., $20
Though this performance commemorates its 20-year existence, Black Moon’s canonical boom-bap rap album, Enta Da Stage, shouldn’t be regarded as a reliquary for the dry bones of styles bygone. Producers Da Beatminerz assembled the original 14 tracks like verdant terrariums, each with a micro-architecture of soiled grooves and tendrilous jazz loops, to be fully inhabited by the group’s antic MCs, Buckshot Shorty and 5 ft. The live backing band should ably air out the original recordings’ sometimes suffocating dankness. Co-headliner Talib Kweli’s latest release, Prisoner of Conscious, alludes to a less inspired generic confinement. — By Rajiv Jaswa

Schoolboy Q + Casey Veggies + The Bots + DJ Sliink + Bishop Nehru + SZA
Webster Hall
8 p.m., $20
Schoolboy Q should not be written off as just a Kendrick Lamar affiliate, as he’s far more than merely a name in the Black Hippy crew. 2012’s Habits & Contradictions jittered and skittered through samples and beats cribbed from artists like Kid Cudi and Menomena and paired them with Q’s stop-and-go flow,–a fierce combination. Darkly funny, moody, and passionately explicit, Schoolboy Q is a welcome foil to Kendrick’s good kid role. — By Caitlin White

Thursday, 10/17:

‘An Evening of Britten and Muhly’ w/ Nico Muhly
7:30 p.m. & 10 p.m., $30-$35
Le Poisson Rouge
Innovative classical composer Nico Muhly’s opera Two Boys has its U.S. premiere this month at the Met, but here he takes time to pay homage to one of his key influences, British Neoclassical composer Benjamin Britten. As part of the Britten centennial celebration, Muhly leads a cadre of classical luminaries in performance of excerpts from Britten’s opera A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Cabaret Songs (his lyrical song-cycle collaboration with W.H. Auden), and others. Britten was frequently dismissed by post-tonal theorists as simplistic, but this evening demonstrates how history can brand someone a conservative only to see him rebranded as a radical revolutionary. — By Aidan Levy

Friday, 10/18:

Real Estate
Bowery Ballrom
8 p.m., $20
Essentially a supergroup composed of Alex Bleeker (Alex Bleeker & The Freaks), Matthew Mondanile (Ducktails), Martin Courtney (Titus Andronicus), and Etienne Duguay (Predator Vision), Real Estate makes lackadaisical synth pop, but they do it so well that instead of feeling lazy, the slowness itself becomes gripping. Although their last album, Days came out in 2011, even two years later it feels at home in the current musical landscape. Expect long guitar solos and lyrics that take a recount the sweet nothings of the life in the suburbs. The band have also been teasing material from a forthcoming album, so don’t rule out hearing some new ones. — By Caitlin White

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