The 10 Best Concerts in New York This Week, 11/4/13


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

Monday, 11/4

Jessie Ware + Mikky Ekko
Irving Plaza
7:00 p.m., $29.50
Are Big Punisher samples the new Aaliyah samples? In the past year, Ariana Grande flipped the “Still Not a Player” piano into teenpop gold, and a nationally respected underground rapper from Connecticut sampled Pun’s “dead in the middle of Little Italy” tongue-twister on a track by his far-from-super group Demigodz. But, best of all, U.K. dance diva Jessie Ware included a vocal snippet from “100%” in her own “110%,” a light, bouncy electro track made for afternoon dancing and late-night come-downs. Upon its official release, copyright forced Ware to change the sample (and, logically, the title), but the vibe remains. Tonight at Irving Plaza, expect the tune to warm up the crowd before hits like “Wildest Moments” and “Confess to Me” make it go boom. With Mikky Ekko, he who was featured on Rihanna’s “Stay.” — By Nick Murray

Roomful of Teeth + Holly Herndon
Le Poisson Rouge
8:00 p.m., $20/$30
A show of teeth can be either welcoming or terrifying, and Massachusetts vocal ensemble Roomful of Teeth embodies and celebrates that notion. Its performances are rusty saucers of tics, clicks, and other verbal detritus shaken and arranged into hilarious, baffling commentaries on the meaning conversation. They’re like an NPR-friendly Matmos or Negativland, with a classical bent, and yet inherently more fascinating than whatever laptop splooge your cousin’s boyfriend is hawking on Bandcamp this week. — By Raymond Cummings

Tuesday, 11/5

The Head and the Heart + Quiet Life
Terminal 5
7:30 p.m., $30/$35
Off the strength of their initial self-titled release, this Seattle-based indie-folk band went from local darlings who met in Old Ballard’s vibrant music scene in 2009 to a touring act with international acclaim. The organic popularity of their first release led to a record deal with Northwest label powerhouse Sub Pop in 2010, and the band went on to re-release the album in 2011 before putting out their sophomore Let’s Be Still this October. With close-knit harmonies and plenty of spiritual and pastoral references, the band both reflects and embodies their Pacific Northwest roots while expanding nouveau folk tradition with pop-styled hooks and, as their name suggests, plenty of heart. Expect earnest lyrics with lots of strings and easy rhythms. — By Caitlin White

The Men + Purling Hiss + Pampers
Music Hall of Williamsburg
9:00 p.m., $12/$14
Sometimes the most punk thing a band can do is explore a sound outside of the oft-homogenous punk aesthetic. 2012’s Open Your Heart and this year’s New Moon saw exactly that from New York’s the Men, who added elements of country rock and Americana to their guttural and scuzzy garage rock sound, even going so far as to record some tunes around a campfire while recording in Big Indian, NY. We’re sure in concert, the Men will be much rowdier. — By Brittany Spanos

Wednesday, 11/6

Young Galaxy + Mister Lies + Brothertiger
Knitting Factory Brooklyn
7:30 p.m., $12
Young Galaxy might be a celestially-inclined dream pop band from Montreal, oft-compared to Galaxie 500 (fitting) and Pink Floyd (I don’t understand), but their Polaris-nominated, synthesizer-studded album Ultramarine was a sublime descent into the dark side of doomed ’80s new wave. As frontwoman Catherine McCandless lets her soaring Kate Bush vocals fly, she sings of the evening’s pretty boys to come, qualifying, “For you I am a gangster” on “Hard To Tell.” Let’s see if she delivers the same promise to the Knitting Factory Brooklyn. With Mister Lies, Brothertiger. — By Chandler Levack

Wednesday, 11/6

Justin Timberlake
Barclays Center
8:00 p.m., $54.50-$200
Having spent his whole life on stage or on screen, it’s clear that Justin Timberlake loves to be seen, and if this year’s 20/20 Experience albums, with their phoropter-themed cover art, are any indication, he regards himself as a seer as well. But as the video to “Cry Me a River” shows, his sight is more voyeuristic than visionary, and at times he has proven quite willing to revel in the privileged gaze of white-male masculinity, as Janet Jackson will attest. Elsewhere, as in the Lonely Island collabo “Dick in a Box,” JT is able to shine as both seer and seen, paying homage to the Color Me Badd and Jon B videos he clearly admired as a child while also exposing for common view all the quirks of ’90s white-boy r&b–cultural blind spots that remain audible in JT’s contemporary white-boy loverman lyrics, but not really visible. And when only hindsight is 20/20, anything out of sight really is out of mind. — By Winston Groman

The Mercury Lounge
9:30 p.m., $15/$18
Midlake’s music has always reminded me of a cup of tea – not necessarily thrilling or otherworldy, just simple and soothing. Fitting in somewhere between newish folk and old-school Laurel Canyon classic rock, Midlake formed out of Texas around 2000 and brought ’70s lullabies as far as the U.K. after their subsequent signing with Bella Union. Still fairly under the radar, their brand of warming, earthy music is a perfect foil for the EDM that’s pervaded pop this year. Although their fourth album Antiphon is decidedly more psychedelic, it manages to hold true to their minimal, pastoral core. Expect to feel the kind of sad that eventually ends up making you happier. — By Caitlin White

Thursday, 11/7

Alexz Johnson
7:30 p.m., $12-$15
Instant Star isn’t only the name of Alexz Johnson’s successful early millennium teen soap, but it’s what she turned into because of it. Since the show’s debut, she’s had a strong following of devoted fans that have helped her embark on her second US tour this year and quickly fund a PledgeMusic campaign for her upcoming album. As she prepares for the release of that next album and a tour of the UK in February with Ron Pope and Wakey!Wakey!, the Brooklyn-based indie singer-songwriter is ready to unveil some new tunes and old favorites for her fans at her final U.S. show of this year. — By Brittany Spanos

Deer Tick + Robert Ellis
Webster Hall
6:00 p.m., $20
Deer Tick’s latest, Negativity, channels lead singer John McCauley’s apocalyptic 2012 into a reflective collection of remorseful hard-luck tunes that betray the type of suffering Jerry Lee Lewis was known for–dealing with a broken engagement and his father’s prison sentence, this is McCauley’s rock therapy. After passing through the crucible of disappointment, he seems to have shed the boozy persona of “Divine Providence,” adopting more of a crestfallen country ramble and twang, the tight horn parts notwithstanding. Yet despite morose titles like “Just Friends,” “The Dream’s in the Ditch,” and “Trash,” the album ultimately serves as a testament to perseverance. — By Aidan Levy

The B-52s
Brooklyn Bowl
8:30 p.m., $52
Art-punk hipsters the B-52’s have spent nearly four decades playing their kitschy party anthems, even though in recent years they’ve slowed the production of new music. Their last record, Funplex, came out in 2008 to generally favorable reviews, but when the group teased a new record this year, it turned out it was just live recordings from Europe. Regardless, the live setting is where the band has always thrived, and in a cozy atmosphere like Brooklyn Bowl–for a price befitting of their name, no less–they’ll easily rust some tin roofs, as a lyric to one of their hits goes. — By Kory Grow

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