The Best Concerts in New York This Weekend, 12/27/13


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

Friday, 12/27:

Valerie June
Highline Ballroom
7:30 p.m., $18-$20
Although Valerie June seemingly came out of nowhere, the Memphis-bred thirtysomething roots singer has been slinging her world-weary, soulful songs for close to a decade. Her August breakthrough, Pushin’ Against a Stone, just got the most attention, thanks to co-production and 
co-writing credits by the Black Keys’ Dan Auerbach and some funky organ playing by ’60s soul trailblazer Booker T. Jones. Auerbach’s presence is hardly underplayed on songs like “You Can’t Be Told,” which could be a Keys outtake with its clapping rhythm and wonky bluesy chorus, but June proves her uniqueness on tracks like the lush and touching “Somebody to Love,” as she pines airily over Appalachian-style fiddle and some intricately embroidered acoustic orchestrations. There’s a genuineness that will likely sound even stronger in person. With Michael Daves. — By Kory Grow

Psychic TV
Brooklyn Night Bazaar
8:00 p.m., free
Throbbing Gristle. Coil. The Cult. Soft Cell. In ’80s industrial England, these were the pinnacle of goth experimentation, the bands you’d be lucky to know about. At the center was Genesis P-Orridge, god/dess of the art collective Thee Temple ov Psychick Youth and founding member of Psychic TV. As it goes, the band has had a revolving lineup of these legendary acts, a surprising and ever-changing treat throughout decades. On Friday they play at free show at Brooklyn Night Bazaar (fun fact: all the shows here cost $0.) Expect psychedelic post-punk at its finest. — By Maria Sherman

Saturday, 12/28:

Stage 48
4:00 p.m., $30-$60
With his ’80s and ’90s statutory rape allegations and indictments returning to the news, R. Kelly seems to be ending 2013 in decline. That said, the Chicago crooner’s year took a turn for the worse in late summer back when Jaheim released his own “Age Ain’t a Factor,” the best r&b sex jam in years. The track finds the singer promising to pleasure his aging love, assuring her that, like a fine wine, she’s only getting better with time. The following album, Appreciation Day (I won’t tell you what he appreciates, but you’ll probably guess it on your second try), contains more of the same, as should today’s Stage 48 show. — By Nick Murray

Liquor Store + Las Rosas + Shalom
The Glasslands Gallery
8:00 p.m., $10
Liquor Store are out for a good time. Their first album, Yeah Buddy, featured an attractive woman with massive boobs on the cover and tracks with titles like, “Manchild in Paradise,” “Jerkin’ It,” and “Proud To Be An American Man.” Think playful rock ‘n’ roll at its most boyish: The band wear a seal of approval from everyone’s favorite Nashville garage band Diarrhea Planet (not to mention, share more than a few sonic similarities) and New Jersey punks Titus Andronicus. Las Rosas veer on the jangly side of things and Shalom distort punk with lively reverbed darkness, a well-rounded lineup for the guitar lover. — By Maria Sherman

Green Velvet
10:00 p.m., $25
Curtis Jones has managed to maintain a big-tent, American EDM relevance that many of his contemporaries are unable to match. The man behind iconic Chicago-based house label Cajual Records and tracks like “Flash” frequently plays festivals like Electric Daisy Carnival or HARD in Los Angeles, despite the fact that his latest and biggest tune of 2013, “Bigger Than Prince,” is ricocheting and warm funk far removed from the digital maximalism currently in vogue. Pacha, not known for its progressive booking policies, is smart to host Jones DJing under the Green Velvet alias, which is reserved for his more percussive and disorienting techno-leaning productions. — By Aaron Gonsher

Sunday, 12/29:

Patti Smith and Her Band
Webster Hall
7:00 p.m., $45
The rocker-writer-actor-poet and her perennial sidekick, nuggets-nourishing guitarist Lenny Kaye, kick their evergreen art, acid, and punk-rock hybrid as decisively as ever. Hard to complain about an ecstatic punk priestess whose career began with songs about Rimbaud and more recently includes a zoned-out poetic tribute to filmmaker Andrei Tarkovsky. With Belle Ghoul. — By Richard Gehr

The Punch Brothers
Bowery Ballroom
9:00 p.m., 440
Inside Llewyn Davis executive music producer T Bone Burnett considers The Punch Brothers mandolin virtuoso Chris Thile the Louis Armstrong of our time for his genre-bending reshaping of folk classics, incorporating both classical and pop. That’s why he hired the Brothers to sing Irish folk ballad “The Auld Triangle” on the film’s soundtrack. Though it’s been a year since they released a new album, they’ll be ringing in 2014 with a three-night run of music that, like the film’s eponymous hero tells us, has timeless appeal: “If it was never new and it never gets old, then it’s a folk song.” — By Aidan Levy

The Disco Biscuits
Best Buy Theater
Saturday & Sunday, 11:00 p.m., $42.50
The core doesn’t get much harder than when this veteran Philadelphia improv-rock quartet hits town for a multi-night run. (This one ends Sunday.) Whether drawn from one of their two rock operas or pastiched from dub, hip-hop, prog, or even vaguely Hawaiian sources, the Biscuits’ tunes are secondary to extended trance-rock jams that bubble and slice and regularly hit ecstatic peaks of white-hot, crowd-thrilling intensity amid an epileptic fit of strobing, lasering lights. — By Richard Gehr

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