The 10 Best Concerts in New York This Week, 10/21/13


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

Monday, 10/21:

Fiona Apple + Blake Mills
Beacon Theatre
Monday & Tuesday, 8:00 p.m., $39.50-$65
When singer-songwriters Fiona Apple 
and Blake Mills announced this tour, which they’ve dubbed Anything We Want, they said in a typically verbose missive (at least for Apple) that they had “26 percent of an idea of what the fuck we will be playing for you.” Of course, the prospects are 
endless. The only trait they seem to share is understatement. On her most recent 
album, with the 23-word title The Idler Wheel. . . ., Apple erred toward moody, piano-based ruminations and quasi-psychedelic showstoppers, while Mills–who was Apple’s guitarist on The Idler Wheel–tends to use restraint as his secret weapon, holding back in his folky solo recordings until he swells to a shout. The few Anything We Want shows they’ve played at press time have found them working through a mix of new songs, some Apple classics, a Conway Twitty cover, and a number that showcases Apple on the drums. But with the ever temperamental Apple, that “26 percent” can change on a whim. — By Kory Grow

Tuesday, 10/22:

Chris Thile
Carnegie Hall
7:30 p.m.
Last year, mandolin virtuoso Chris Thile won a MacArthur fellowship for his ongoing attempts to fuse bluegrass with classical music. If you aren’t already familiar with those efforts, you should drop everything immediately and listen to “The Blind Leaving The Blind,” the awe-inspiring four-movement suite he wrote for his band Punch Brothers as a way of coping with his 2003 divorce. The piece premiered at Carnegie Hall back in 2007, and now its author returns alone to focus on solo renditions of Bach violin concertos, which are perfectly suited in range and fingerings for adaptation to his relatively lowbrow version of the original intended instrument. — By Vijith Assar

Boys Noize + Jimmy Edgar
10:00 p.m., $15/$30
Boys Noize is the performing name of German-born Alexander Ridha, a DJ and electronic music producer who also runs and curates the label Boysnoize Records. Blending everything from disco and hip-hop to French electro and house, Ridha has produced and remixed for artists like Snoop Dogg, the Scissor Sisters, and Spank Rock. Should you go, bring earplugs, as volume is what his 2012 record Out of the Black capitalizes on. — By Caitlin White

Jane Monheit & Peter Eldridge
Tuesday & Wednesday, 8:30 p.m. & 11:00 p.m. daily, $35-$45
Here’s an unusual case of Svengali and Trilby live in person: Monheit studied with Eldridge before launching her hotshot vocal career, and he’s continued his work with New York Voices. He also writes songs, which makes it likely that in this reunion they’ll do a ditty or two of his, along with whatever else they plan to grace with their irresistible stylings. It’ll all sound like silk and satin magically materialized. — By David Finkle

Wednesday, 10/23:

Robin Thicke
Hammerstein Ballroom
10:30pm, $100
Before playing Jackie to Timberlake’s Marilyn–or Dante to Jon B’s Virgil–and before being the grist to Miley’s millstone, he was just Thicke, an ambitious song-peddler earnestly hawking Jamiroquai-esque long-haired, blue-eyed soul over Beethoven beats and doing gratuitous Sprite ads at Andre Harrell’s behest. A decade later, Robin Thicke has mastered the art of making slick, sophisticated r&b pop more than anyone since Hall & Oates, freeing him from the promotional whims of label execs. He’s his own man now, even though like most contemporary r&b artists, he’s never really freed himself from the innovations of his musical inspirations. But that’s no huge bother for us, because whether Marvin Gaye is rolling in his grave or dancing in it, songs like “Blurred Lines” keep our bodies moving during these turbulent times. — By Winston Groman

Wednesday, 10/23:

Toro y Moi + The Sea and Cake
Terminal 5
8:00 p.m., $25/$30
Look at the climbing sales of the records he makes, the growing size of the venues he plays, or his placement in the soundtrack of video games like Grand Theft Auto V, and you’d think that Toro y Moi is slowly inching toward the mainstream. Just as likely, though, is that the mainstream is inching toward him, incorporating more of his sun-kissed, melancholy, sepia-toned sound at every turn. No matter how you see it, the funky 2011 cut “New Beat” remains a jam–a staple of any dance party worthy of the term “hipster”–and this year’s Anything in Return is full of the subtle grooves that will be supersized in a live show, particularly one at Terminal 5. With the Sea and Cake. — By Nick Murray

Ben Monder & Theo Bleckmann
Jazz Standard
7:30 p.m. & 9:30 p.m., $20
Harmonically kaleidoscopic guitarist Ben Monder and vocal experimentalist Theo Bleckmann have been recording together since 1997, but it all falls into place on Monder’s beautiful and oceanic new Hydra, a prog rock-tinged jewel of an album that often suggests what Brian Wilson might have heard in his deepest sandbox reveries. They perform as a duo here. — By Richard Gehr

Thursday, 10/24:

Campbell Brothers
Lincoln Center, David Rubenstein Atrium
7:30 p.m., free
More than 60 years ago, the pedal-steel guitar came along to add a tart electric twang to the music-driven Pentecostal church ceremonies in Florida’s House of God. A terrific series of Arhoolie albums have documented the phenomenon, but Rochester’s Campbell Brothers are among the few guitarists to present this beatific gospel innovation outside the fold. The Campbells kick off Lincoln Center’s annual White Light Festival with tonight’s free performance. — By Richard Gehr

‘In the Sprit: Music From the World’s Great Traditions’
Town Hall
7:30 p.m., $35-$90
Baritone Gregory Purnhagen and pianist Nelson Padgett premiere Songs of Milarepa by Philip Glass, who assembled this promising multiculti benefit for the Garrison Institute, a not-for-profit that applies Buddhist contemplative practices to social action. Renaissance vocalists Pomerium, Sufi trance masters Riyaaz Qawwali, Mandingo griot Foday Musa Suso (who will also perform with Glass), Turkish ney flute virtuoso Omar Faruk Tekbilek, and Chinese pipa star Wu Man also perform. — By Richard Gehr

Friday, 10/25:

Nina Kraviz + Stacey Pullen + Alex from Tokyo
10:00 p.m., $40
A video profile of Nina Kraviz in March showed the knockout Russian DJ in a bubblebath, discussing the difficulties that come with being a female DJ. Though it stirred a mini-controversy on feminism in electronic music, Kraviz’s jacking, minimalist productions and DJing skills speak for themselves, making her a dynamic draw on the international circuit. Move fast if you’re intrigued: Tickets to this Halloween bash also featuring the Detroit techno of Stacey Pullen are already above $40. — By Aaron Gonsher

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