The 10 Best Concerts in New York This Week, 12/30/13


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

Monday, 12/30:

Gogol Bordello
Terminal 5
Monday, 7:00 p.m.; Tuesday, 8:00 p.m., $35/$40
Expect these liberation-rocking gypsy punks to deliver a pair of rambunctious, year-smashing nights in the city’s biggest shoebox. Led by Eugene Hütz, a towering, wild-eyed, outlaw-ishly mustachioed ringmaster, GB combines classic rock transcendence and ye olde will to power in a potent, often political, brew of dub, rai, flamenco, and the traditional rhymes and rhythms of Roma. — By Richard Gehr

Tuesday, 12/31:

Mykki Blanco + Ian Isiah + DJ Rashad + Junglepussy + Princess Nokia + DJ Larry B + Boychild
The Gramercy Theatre
8:00 p.m., $29.50
Mykki Blanco recently posted the Facebook status update, “I’m over gender. I’m into species,” and paired it with an Apple Store selfie of the rapper looking like a silver-haired elfin space magistrate. Accordingly, La Blanca has assembled a merry band of cosmic mutants for a New Year’s bash at the Gramercy Theater: Expect post-sexual singer Ian Isiah’s cyborg r&b, juke wizard DJ Rashad’s Chicago futurism, Junglepussy and Princess Nokia’s tentacled raps, and intergalactic ferocity from DJ Larry B, T.E.A.M.S., Boychild, and Michael Magnan. — By Alexis Stephens

Jill Scott + Luke James + DJ Premier
Radio City Music Hall
9:00 p.m., $70-$255
Jill Scott’s music is generous and contains multitudes: scorching brushfires of soul tracks with the Roots and (in her best spot this decade) Eve, plus 13 years’ worth of post-r&b flecked with spoken word and inhabited by one of the genre’s warmest voices. She’ll be at Radio City Music Hall this New Year’s, promising emotions that transcend the season’s glitz. Opening are Danja protégé and Beyoncé-beloved Luke James (song to look up: underrated r&b edifice “I Want You”) and Gang Starr mastermind DJ Premier. — By Katherine St. Asaph

DIIV + Perfect Pussy + Potty Mouth + Nothing
Baby’s All Right
7:45 p.m., $35/$40
South Williamsburg’s latest crowning achievement, Baby’s All Right, the sort of fun, unpretentious bar/restaurant/concert venue that the neighborhood deserves, is hosting a party filled to the brim with recently popular and consistently good dream-pop and rock acts — DIIV, Perfect Pussy, Potty Mouth, and Nothing — to ring in 2014 in the noisiest way imaginable. Recommended if you’re not afraid to get rowdy. — By Maria Sherman

Black Taxi + Starlight Girls
The Mercury Lounge
8:00 p.m., $20/$25
Brooklyn’s Black Taxi are a conundrum, mostly because they very successfully mush various strains of ’00s rock insularity into a single sound: They’ve copped OK Go’s bounce, the cocksure swagger of early Strokes and Franz Ferdinand, and the synthesizer-drenched ’80s revivalism of bands like the Killers. What’s interesting is that the group’s sound incorporates these elements so seamlessly that they effectively squash the need to ever revisit their forebearers. What’s problematic is that these qualities may make it difficult for you to enjoy Black Taxi on any level, depending on what side of the legal drinking age you’re on. — By Raymond Cummings

Tuesday, 12/31:

Andrew W.K.
Irving Plaza
8:00 p.m., $39.50
An Andrew W.K. show is less concert than purification ritual. The band is hairy and huge in sound, its frontman a case of Red Bull distilled into sneakers, denim, and a tight white T-shirt. Tunes like “Party Hard,” “Long Live the Party,” and “Party Til You Puke” are moronically marvelous. (He also sings about girls, cars, and getting high, but with somewhat less gusto.) And for New Year’s Eve? Imagine a party going to a party. — By Richard Gehr

The Bad Plus
Village Vanguard
9:30 p.m., $150
There has always been a dollop of ceremony in the esteemed trio the Bad Plus’s rerouted pop tunes and noble-nasty originals, so when they spend New Year’s Eve at our most venerable jazz club, there’s some version of extraordinary in the air. Plus, they’re smitten with surprise, and it’s always nice to feel that anything can happen on the cusp of a new 3-6-5. — By Jim Macnie

‘The Bunker Limited’ w/ Bee Mask + Mark Verbose + Bryan Kasenic + Patrick Russell + Clay Wilson
10:00 p.m., $30
Knotty synthesizer odysseys aren’t everyone’s idea of a crazy good time, but after ten years of superlative parties, the Bunker knows what its audience wants. Limited to 150 attendees, this New Year’s Eve mini-bash will feature the thought-provoking psychedelia of Philadelphian sound artist Bee Mask as well as Midwest rave pioneer Mark Verbos playing a set of acid house entirely on analog hardware, alongside Bunker founder and resident Bryan Kasenic. Overall, it’s an inspired lineup of vanguard electronic music for a NYE party in New York. — By Aaron Gonsher

Thursday, 1/2:

Living Colour + Dave Dreiwitz’s Crescent Moon
Brooklyn Bowl
8:00 p.m., $15/$20
Able to blend metal, punk, funk, jazz, and even some P.E.-style hip-hop into a potent hard rock groove, Living Colour enters its fourth decade as a band in 2014. After all these years, Vernon Reid, Corey Glover and company can still pack a mighty wallop, as their most recent studio album, The Chair in the Doorway attests, but their greatest strength has always really rested in their ability to conjure up interesting sonic textures, even during the densest of metal songs. This is certainly due to Vernon Reid’s preference for colorful chord voicings (à la Jeff Beck, Hendrix, or Van Halen) that give levity to riffs that would be leaden in the hands of lesser guitarists. Add Glover, still one of the better singers in hard rock, and a rhythm section that packs power and swing, and you’ll understand why “Cult of Personality” is still relevant today. — By Winston Groman

Mutilation Rites + Subjugation + Sacrificial Massacre
The Acheron
8:00 p.m., $10
Dripping aggression. Relentless maschismo. Unforgiving d-beat. These are the tenants of Mutilation Rites, one of Brooklyn’s finest black metal acts. Partnered with the technical dissonance of Subjugation, the inexorable thrash of Sacrificial Massacre, and the Acheron’s powerfully distorted sound system and the result is sonic death… or something similar. Two days into the New Year and things are already looking pretty heavy. Ear plugs are probably a good idea, but not recommended. — By Maria Sherman

The 10 Douchiest Drummers of All Time
The Kanye You Once Loved Is Dead and Gone
The Top 15 Things That Annoy Your Local Sound Guy
Ten Jazz Albums to Hear Before you Die