The Best Concerts in New York This Week, 12/2/13


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

Monday, 12/2:

Cheyenne Jackson
9:15 p.m., $45
Birdland is billing Jackson as a “Broadway, film, and television leading man,” only omitting that he’s a recording artist too. For this gig, he’ll sing songs from his new I’m Blue, Skies as well as reprise numbers from Music of the Mad Men Era, the sell-out Carnegie Hall concert. OK, how many out there might go just to find out if he’s blue as a result of recent relationship developments? Raise your hands. Hmmm, a fair number. Shame on you. — By David Finkle

John Grant
Music Hall of Williamsburg
9:00 p.m., $20/$22
Rough Trade named John Grant’s March album Pale Green Ghosts their Album of the Year, and it’s no wonder that the LP made it straight to the top. The moving piece of music is not only a testament to Grant’s talent but the hell of a year he’s been through after publicly announcing that he is HIV-positive. His health status and experiences ghost across the album in an effective yet still subtle way that’s as bold as it is comforting. This week, he’ll be sharing his tunes twice with a show at Music Hall of Williamsburg on Monday and another at Rough Trade on Tuesday. — By Brittany Spanos

Tuesday, 12/3:

Ben Allison Band
Joe’s Pub
9:30 p.m., $15/$20
It’s all-systems-go when this quark-y spaceways-traveling quartet unpacks “Neutron Star,” the dense and churning centerpiece of the hard-grooving bassist-composer’s stellar new album, The Stars Look Very Different Today. Guitarists Brandon Seabrook and Steve Cardenas blend magnificently, emitting subatomic particles and cosmic gas clouds alongside drummer Allison Miller’s solar-clock swing. — By Richard Gehr

Wednesday, 12/4:

King Krule
Webster Hall
7:30 p.m., $20
The morose, haunting music of King Krule, which spans sparse folk recordings to moody vocal exercises over hip-hop breakbeats, suggests the British singer-songwriter is a lot older than 19. His debut LP, 
6 Feet Beneath the Moon, came out two days after his birthday, and its tracks serve as a showcase for Krule’s subterranean-low voice and penchant for plinky guitar. The east Londoner channels lo-fi indie, echoey dub reggae, Joe Strummer punk humming, and jazz, all often at the same time. It all adds up to an evocative, melancholy setting for songs about feeling misunderstood and ambiguous subject matter like “finding a body in the dark” on the album’s final cut, “Bathed in Grey.” It’s only in moments like those that King Krule sounds like a teenaged male. — By Kory Grow

Ida Maria
Rough Trade NYC
9:00 p.m., $10
With global billionaires plopping their assets into New York City condos and Ibiza superclubs like Pacha and Sankeys opening Manhattan outposts in the West 30s and 40s, it’s almost surprising that London punk institution Rough Trade Records didn’t land in Brooklyn sooner. Nevertheless, the store that brought to its label bands like the Buzzcocks and Scritti Politti, recently remodeled a giant warehouse near the East River and is celebrating with a lineup of after-hours shows. Tonight, buy Ida Maria’s new Love Conquers All, then watch her play tracks like 2007’s “Oh My God,” which rocks just as hard as anything by her label forebears. — By Nick Murray

CMA Songwriter Series
Joe’s Pub
7:00 p.m. & 9:30 p.m., $35-$40
Buck Owens may have claimed that he wouldn’t live in New York City even if they gave him the whole dang town, but the Bakersfield legend would have to admit that, these days, some pretty good country music comes through here. Beyond the mega-shows, the CMA Songwriter Series showcases at Joe’s Pub tend to be the most reliable affairs at which host Bob DiPiero and artists like Dierks Bentley and Little Big Town come by to play a few of their compositions. Tonight, Deana Carter (of Did I Shave My Legs for This? fame) and James Otto (a Big & Rich associate) give the city a chance. — By Nick Murray

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