The Best Concerts in New York This Week, 1/20/14


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


Monday, 1/20:

Whitney Houston Jukebox Musical
Cameo Gallery
8:00 p.m., $10
As far as we know, no one has yet made a musical about Whitney Houston’s life — until now. Tonight’s Whitney Houston Jukebox Musical: A Hastily Written Masterpiece Starring the Audience is everything you dreamed a Whitney Houston musical should be, especially the fact that it features you in the lead role. With Josh Sharp and Aaron Jackson of Upright Citizens Brigade and Jo Firestone of Punderdome 3000 leading the way, tonight’s tribute brings 
together Houston’s greatest hits in a coordinated plot that involves the audience and
 . . . gremlins. We never said this show would make sense. — By Araceli Cruz

Tuesday, 1/21:

Waxahatchee + All Dogs + Cayetana
The Mercury Lounge
9:30 p.m., $12
Waxahatchee’s Katie Crutchfield has a lot to be thankful for. From her melancholic acoustic debut, American Weekend, to last year’s critically acclaimed sophomore LP, Cerulean Salt, the talented singer-songwriter has toured endlessly, helping spread the gospel of intelligent pop-punk. With all that under her belt, she’s invited Columbus’s refrishingly power-pop All Dogs on her latest venture, and to a causal listener, vocalist Maryn Jones sounds like a long lost Crutchfield sister. If it’s happy melodies and poetic truths you’re after, look no further. — By Maria Sherman

Wednesday, 1/22:

Los Campesinos! + Speedy Ortiz
Irving Plaza
7:00 p.m., $22
There is nothing more necessary than some mid-week twee pop, and luckily, Los Campesinos! is here to save the day. Joined by the equally brilliant Massachusetts’ indie outfit Speedy Ortiz, who blew up the scene with their debut Major Arcana last year, the Welsh band continuesl celebrating the positive reception of No Blues, their fourth full-length and first without Ellen Campesinos! playing bass. And if the pair of excellent releases delivered by Los Camp! and Speedy last year aren’t enough, just remember that a band with an exclamation point in their name tends to deliver on the promise of the punctuation mark in a live setting. — By Brittany Spanos

Ty Dolla $ign
9:00 p.m., $12
A couple of years ago, when we caught up with L.A.’s Ty Dolla $ign (then styled “Ty$”) while working on a story about his city’s minimalist, post-jerk, post-hyphy sound (dubbed “ratchet music”), the young producer and MC was best known for having his hand in YG’s “Toot It and Boot It,” a funky ode to loving and leaving with a ’60s bassline that required some serious crate-digging to find. It came as no surprise, then, that Ty had a large record collection (more than 10,000 albums, he told me) and came from a musical family (his dad played in the funk band Lakeside). And it’s no surprise now that, two years later, Ty continues to expand his sound, producing singular, dynamic tracks like last year’s “My Cabana” and adding his own syrupy r&b vocals. — By Nick Murray

Uri Caine
The Stone
Wednesday through Friday, 8:00 p.m. & 10:00 p.m. daily, $10
He’s earned a rep as a cagey structuralist by wildly reimagining Euro classical pieces, but from his spin on the Goldberg Variations to a Luciano Berio nod, the pianist-composer’s ideas are born from an improviser’s noggin. Put another way, Caine sees nothing but options everywhere he turns. This week’s gigs typically stress versatility, from duets with Zorn and Berne to a hard-swinging romp with his famed jazz trio. And BAM! — you best stand back when he gets his rumble on with the electric Stone Age quartet. — By Jim Macnie


Thursday, 1/23:

Hard Working Americans
Bowery Ballroom
9:00 p.m., $25
Progressive singer-songwriter Todd Snider delivers a Workingman’s Dead for the 21st century with his new band’s debut album. Chris Robinson Band guitarist Neal Casal and Widespread Panic bassist Dave Schools add a psychedelic tinge to a set of cover songs — by the likes of Bottle Rockets, Drivin’ ‘N’ Cryin’, and Randy Newman — that celebrate the country’s underclass with passion and choogle. — By Richard Gehr

Friday, 1/24:

Gipsy Kings
City Winery
8:00 p.m., $92.50-$147.50
Gipsy Kings are perhaps the best known flamenco band in North America. For purists, their broadening of the genre’s sound was considered blasphemy, but for the Kings it was the road to success: Their 1988 self-titled album went gold and platinum all around the world and became one of the rare Spanish language albums to go gold in the US, spending 40 weeks on the charts. Although they’ve maintained global fame — especially in their native France — it’s last year’s Savor Flamenco and this year’s 25th anniversary tour that have rekindled a bit of interest in the flamenco purveyors. Even if you don’t know Spanish, the unrelenting spirit of joy and sorrow that inhabits this music is powerful, dramatic, and ecstatic. — By Caitlin White

Prurient + Azar Swan + Clay Rendering + DJ Becka Diamond
Saint Vitus
8:00 p.m., $10
Woe be to you, as-yet-unborn musicology grad student tasked with anthologizing each and every musical styling Dom Fernow commits to digital tape. There’s a ton of it already, most of it logged as Prurient, and it’s unequivocally rough stuff: punishing power electronics, blistering drones, ponderously growled monologues swathed in static. As with other prolific artists, there are peaks and troughs to Fernow’s discography — we, without hesitation, recommend 2013’s Through The Window, 2007’s Cocaine Death, and 2004’s fraught split with Kites — but given that the stage is his true arena, this show is the best way to start getting familiar. — By Raymond Cumming

Damien Jurado + Courtney Marie Andrews
Bowery Ballroom
9:00 p.m., $15
Producer (and Shins member) Richard Swift facilitated this Seattle singer-songwriter’s evolution from hardscrabble folk realist into cosmic crooner on 2012’s Maraqopa. The pair take their Christian acid rock even further on their new Brothers and Sisters of the Eternal Son, a concise yet infinitely expansive album of psychedelic road songs. Expect him to perform both solo and with band. — By Richard Gehr

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