The 10 Best Concerts in New York This Week, 12/9/13


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

Monday, 12/9:

Motor City Dance Party
Cameo Gallery
7:00 p.m., $20
For those looking to have a little fun while giving back to a city that has given us so much groundbreaking music, attending this dance party is the perfect way to benefit Detroit and a couple of its nonprofits, COMPÁS and the Carr Center. Featuring DJ ECLIPSE, DJ Ayres, Chances with Wolves, Cousin Cole, Petey Cologne and James Mulry, there will also be a number of prizes that will be raffled, including a weekend trip to Detroit, and auctioned, like a signed copy of Patti Smith’s Just Kids. By letting out your embracing your energy, you’re giving back to organizations interested in revitalizing the creative energy of Motown’s birthplace, and that is certainly something quite special. — By Brittany Spanos

Tuesday, 12/10:

Silent Night — Classic Movies in a Gothic Setting
Green-Wood Cemetery
7:30 p.m., $30
The holidays have been a time for ghost stories since way before Dickens, so a visit to the cemetery on a cold winter’s night is actually in keeping with tradition. If you can bypass the spooky factor, venture into picturesque Green-Wood this evening for Silent Night — Classic Movies in a Gothic Setting. The historic chapel will host a genre-diverse selection of films from comedies to westerns, all scored live by professional accompanist Ben Model. See early feminist firecracker Florence LaBadie — now a “permanent resident” of Green-Wood — in Petticoat Camp (1912) as she and her gal pals forge a manifesto to their husbands signed “your ex-slaves” and row off to their own island of equal rights. Other features star “locals” William S. Hart and Charles Inslee. Cozy up to the hot toddy bar to liven up the night. — By Heather Baysa

Wednesday, 12/11:

Ensemble Tzara
Roulette Brooklyn
8:00 p.m., $20
The Swiss ensemble premieres New York avant-opera genius Robert Ashley’s new Mixed Blessing, Indiana for horn, cello, and synthesizer. One of 49 “Immortality Songs” (all with seven-syllable titles) Ashley began composing in the early ’90s as adjuncts to larger works, Mixed Blessings is conceived as a radio show derived from American literary ephemera, from advertising to pop fiction, and blends both determinate and chance elements. Timothy McCormack’s Interfacing With the Surface and David Sontòn’s La Metta da Feine fill out the program. — By Richard Gehr

Andrea Bocelli
Barclays Center
8:00 p.m., $83-$408
Whenever you see Andrea Bocelli on an album cover or in a promotional photo, the blind Italian tenor looks so happy and carefree, just chilling. Don’t get it twisted: This dude is a beast whenever he’s behind a microphone, cold murking standards and originals with operatic intensity. You have not heard “Santa Claus Is Coming To Town” until you have heard Bocelli decimate motherfuckers in his version. Forget nuclear energy — the most important, urgent thing the world’s leading scientists need to focus on is a way to yoke this guy to the international power grid, stat. — By Raymond Cummings

Miss Tess and the Talkbacks + Kristin Andreassen + Michaela Anne
Joe’s Pub
7:00 p.m., $15
Nashville meets Brooklyn on the country chic The Love I Have For You, Tess’s recently released second album on rootsy label Signature Sounds: Here, the Brooklyn-based singer presents a collection of six covers and one original that pays homage to the totemic men who shaped the genre, claiming their contributions for the distaff branch of the Americana family tree but still leaving room for matriarchal figure Bonnie Raitt’s “Give It Up or Let Me Go.” — By Aidan Levy

Wednesday, 12/11:

Keith Jarrett Trio
Carnegie Hall
8:00 p.m., $45-$100
This year marks the 30th anniversary of the magnificently self-involved pianist’s “standards” trio with drummer Jack DeJohnette and bassist Gary Peacock. Sort of a bejazzled Grateful Dead in miniature, the three intersperse long-familiar tunes with astonishing interludes of free group improvisation. Everything old becomes transcendent in these three wise men’s capable hands. — By Richard Gehr

Thursday, 12/12:

Natalia Lafourcade + Ulises Hadjis + Malka & Rigoz
9:00 p.m., $20
In the last ten years Natalia Lafourcade’s sound has evolved from the energetic mix of bossa nova guitars and lite-house beats of her self-titled 2003 debut to 2009’s Hu Hu Hu, which often sounds like a more cheerful, less weird version of CocoRosie, with some Juana Molina and Julieta Venegas thrown in for good measure. Looming largest over this transition is the figure of Björk, whose early work flaunts an effervescent versatility and cosmopolitanism that lies close to Lafourcade’s own heart. But unlike Björk, Lafourcade’s sonic experimentation is always subjugated by her pop sensibilities, which means the music never challenges more than it pleases. 2012’s Mujer Divina, a star-studded tribute to the classic Mexican composer Augustín Lara, dials back the experimentation a bit, but confirms that the 29 year-old cantautora will be a leading exponent of Pop Latino for years to come. — By Winston Groman

Cass McCombs
Bowery Ballroom
9:00 p.m., $16/$18
Cass McCombs has long been known for his oddities. Though he released a few albums before it, his breakout album, 2009’s Catacombs introduced the shadowy, winding craft that the singer/songwriter would quickly be known for. Unafraid to play with structure and tone, his latest record, Big Wheel and Others is shot through with the musings of a drug-addled 4-year-old who appears in a 1969 documentary about San Francisco’s hippie enclave in Haight-Ashbury. But when the track skips back to Cass, he’s all freewheeling guitarist questioning the universe, and despite this role’s seeming romance, McCombs makes it grim. Expect densely layered songs that dip their toes in jazz, folk, rock, and expect their author to reserve the right to take poetic license at any moment. — By Caitlin White

Friday, 12/13:

Jazz Gallery
9:00 p.m. & 11:00 p.m., $15
Even though he’s a groove master, things can be a bit unsettled in drummer Johnathan Blake’s music — he messes with polyrhythms and turns the beat every which way while looking for fresh ground. This new band is notable for the two tenors up front, as a zig-zag session with Chris Potter and Ravi Coltrane just might be an end-of-the-year club highlight. Both are fully inventive when it comes to trading ideas. — By Jim Macnie

MGMT + Dinosaur Jr. + Kuroma
Barclays Center
8:00p.m., $22.50-$45
Benjamin Goldwasser and Andrew VanWyngarden have taken a dark turn on their lugubrious self-titled MGMT. Keeping the synth-heavy aesthetic but trading in their opaque sangfroid for a blithe nihilism, sardonic tracks like “I Love You Too, Death,” “Your Life Is a Lie,” and “Plenty of Girls in the Sea” contain vaguely depressing dadaist lyrics like “Birds don’t cry when echoes quit, they trail off into the fog.” The album is by no means as iconic as Oracular Spectacular, but it provides enough of a psychedelic head trip as the band veers off from the proverbial Bedford Avenue to an endless BQE of the mind. — By Aidan Levy

Ten Free Jazz Albums to Hear Before you Die
How Not To Write About Female Musicians: A Handy Guide
Charles Mingus’ Secret Eggnog Recipe Will Knock You on Your Ass
The Oral History of NYC’s Metal/Hardcore Crossover