The 10 Best Concerts in New York This Week, 12/16/13


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

Monday, 12/16:

Son Lux + Trevor Wilson and Vocal Ensemble
Baby’s All Right
6:00 p.m., $20
Son Lux, a/k/a Ryan Lott, is an all-over-the-map innovator working across the pop, hip-hop, film, and experimental zones. He’s a frequent collaborator with Sufjan Stevens, whose influence can be heard in Lott’s trebly, bubbling harmonies. He performs at this early-evening benefit for the nonprofit New Amsterdam label with Trevor Wilson, whose exquisitely harmonized Vocal Ensemble, accompanied by guitar and musical saw, possesses an ineffable fragility. — By Richard Gehr

Yo La Tengo
The Bell House
9:00 p.m., $30
What would December be without an epic Yo La Tengo run to warm the cockles of our cold hearts? With Hanukkah overlapping Thanksgiving and Maxwell’s succumbing to late-stage capitalism, Hoboken’s loss is Gowanus’s gain as the trio relocates to the Bell House for four nights (starting December 13) of historically informed eterna-pop; lustrous meditations on life, love, and mortality; and sturdy neoprimitive space jams. YLT presumably won’t be replicating their Hanukkah format, however, so expect nothing more (or less) than a couple of sets of mind- and heart-expanding music — and perhaps some memorable sit-ins — with these middle-aged rockers in their prime. As Ira Kaplan sings late in Fade, their gentle all-things-must-pass take on keeping faith in precarious times, “If we’re not so young, that’s the point of it.” — By Richard Gehr

Tuesday, 12/17:

The 1975
Webster Hall
7:30 p.m., $25
The members of the 1975 started out as teenagers, playing pop and punk covers, and now they’ve made a fusion of dance-floor-ready, new-wave-style pop-rock with a little punk sneer all their own, over and over again on their recent self-titled debut. It’s a sound best described as the Killers with a slight stuttering problem, but catchy. Their recent hit, “Chocolate,” and its “We’re never gonna quit it,” you-only-live-once message capitalized on the Manchester-area quartet’s knack for making music so bouncy and buoyant that it’s easy to overlook the song’s other telling line: “We’re dressed in black from head to toe, we’ve got guns hidden under our petticoats.” But thugs they are not. What they are is a group of four Englishmen who settled into a unique style — more “rock-pop” than “pop-rock” — early in their lives. Luckily, it’s a sound that’s just dancey enough it’s easy to forgive them for being so passionate about playing so many songs that sound alike. — By Kory Grow

Eric Comstock & Barbara Fasano
Stage 72
7:00 p.m., $25
They’re calling this show “Rat Pack Poet: Songs of Sammy Cahn” and in putting it together are forming a natty pack of their own. In addition to their song-knowledgeable married selves, Comstock and Fasano are including the suave, probing Jeff Harnar and expert bassist Boots Maleson. For his part, Oscar winner Cahn was quite tight with Frank Sinatra et al and just couldn’t stop turning out pulse-quickening standards one after another. Those reprised here will be as hip as they ever were. — By David Finkle

Stars of the Lid
Basilica of Our Lady of Perpetual Help
8:00 p.m., $25/$30
Brian McBride and Adam Wiltzie kicked off their first two decades’ of Eno-esque slo-mo ambience (featuring classical instrumentation) with the promisingly titled Music for Nitrous Oxide. Since then, the Austin-based duo, whose name refers to closed-eye imagery, have released a half-dozen increasingly rigorous soundscapes, most recently 2007’s Stars of the Lid and Their Refinement of the Decline. Expect time to slow down to a nearly manageable crawl at this Worldless Music presentation taking place in a venerable Sunset Park parish. — By Richard Gehr

Wednesday, 12/18:

Blevin Blectrum + Omnivore + Maria Chavez + Tamio Shiraishi & Cammisa Buerhaus
Death By Audio
9:00 p.m., $7
Pagan electronic goddess and part-time veterinary nurse Blevin Blectrum, whose upcoming Emblem Album seems to convey coded messages from Middle Earth, headlines this evening devoted to wild women with technology at their disposal. Omnivore, a/k/a Glenna Kay Van Nostrand, plays musical games of telephone with, well, telephones. Chavez specializes in post-Stockhausen sound installations. And saxophonist Shiraishi improvises alongside Buerhaus’s keyboard arsenal, which may include a Chroma Color Organ or Soviet synthesizer. — By Richard Gehr

Lakutis + Nacho Picasso + GDP+DVS + Perrion + Rosegold
285 Kent Ave
9:00 p.m., $10/$15
Aleksey Weintraub, a/k/a Lakutis, has been slowly teasing his intermittent releases throughout the course of 2013. Affiliated with Heems’s label Greedhead, Lakutis dropped the one-off single “Too Ill For the Law” this past fall and will be releasing his full-length album Three Sea Shells on January 16 of 2014. He recently paired with Hot Sugar for the record’s first single “Body Scream,” and his concert promises to bring you about as close to that song title as legally possible. — By Caitlin White

Thursday, 12/19:

Chris Forsyth and the Solar Motel Band + Heaven’s Gate + Advaeta + Millions
9:00 p.m., $8
On last year’s iridescent Solar Motel, Forsyth’s double-guitar army welded the punky street jive of Television’s Richard Lloyd and Tom Verlaine to the monolithic yawp of Neil Young and Frank Sampedro. It’s a sun zoom spark of a band with radioactive impulses. Heaven’s Gate punk out with confidence in tunes like “Jesus Hair” and “Weakness Worms.” — By Richard Gehr

Mike McGinnis + 9
Jazz Gallery
9:00 p.m. & 11:00 p.m., $20
The respected local reed player calls Bill Smith’s “Concerto for Clarinet and Combo” a roller coaster ride, and the new update of this overlooked classic for mid-sized ensemble does get its kicks from enjoying the twists and turns. McGinnis celebrates its release on the new Road*Trip and parallels it with an equally elaborate work for his impressive tentet. Bet this stuff starts to really sizzle on stage. — By Jim Macnie

Friday, 12/20:

Brand New
The Paramount
8:00 p.m., $35-$42
This Long Island punk rock quartet took the early aughts by storm with their debut album, Your Favorite Weapon. The follow-up, Deja Entendu was so successful that it earned them a spot on Interscope’s roster. Cut to 2013 and the group have gone two years without a new record, but they’ve been teasing new material and with the recent resurgence of pop-punk, it looks like 2014 is the perfect year for their comeback. Expect plenty of emotion shouted through waves of guitar and insistent drums. — By Caitlin White

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