The 10 Best Concerts in New York This Week, 3/31/14


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

Monday, 3/31:

Black Sabbath
Barclays Center
7:30 p.m., $70-$150
Three-fourths of the original satanic foursome reunite for a victory lap following a Grammy and the guitarist’s successful chemo treatment. Tony Iommi and bassist Geezer Butler are reportedly in fine fettle onstage, with sad clown Ozzy Osbourne the weakest link. Whatever. It’s still all about the guitarists’ pummeling proto-prog. — By Richard Gehr

Jeff Taylor & Thomas Bartlett
Rockwood Music Hall
9:30 p.m., $10
The artist formerly known as Dumpster Hunter has been making the rounds recently with his original moniker and now we get to to hear the first release under that name. Jeff Taylor’s Organelle EP is huge departure from the often frenetic sound he had been making under Dumpster Hunter — it’s intimate, sullen, and even more richly layered. At Rockwood, the same venue that signed him to their label, Taylor and his album’s producer/pianist Thomas Bartlett will perform a duo show and give a more in-depth taste of this new and exciting beginning. — By Brittany Spanos

Lady Gaga
Roseland Ballroom
Monday through Friday, 8:00 p.m. daily, $52-$202
What better way to close out Roseland Ballroom’s final week than a residency from one of pop’s most eccentric artists and proudest New Yorkers? Before it became a concert venue hosting some of music’s most popular acts, Roseland popularized marathon dancing, hosted some of the biggest names in hot jazz, and put on many a controversial disco night. Several years shy of what would’ve been its 100 year anniversary, the ballroom is closing its doors, but not without a final ball from the ever-theatrical Gaga. Before heading out on her stadium tour ‘ArtRave: The Artpop Ball,’ she’ll be giving a more intimate last stand and provide the last dances that floor will ever see. — By Brittany Spanos

The Music of Paul Simon
Carnegie Hall
8:00 p.m., $48-$160
Rhymin’ Paul Simon gets the all-hands-on-deck treatment at The Music of Paul Simon, the latest iteration of past Knitting Factory and present City Winery impresario Michael Dorf’s annual benefit for music-education nonprofits. With afrobeat purveyors Antibalas as house band, you can bet that at least a handful of these semi-household names will address Graceland’s music (if not the controversy surrounding its creation). Allen Toussaint, Angelique Kidjo, and Bettye LaVette will undoubtedly ring the rafters, while solid citizens such as Joe Henry, John Doe, and Madeleine Peyroux can do no harm with the material at hand. But it’s wild cards like former Butthole Surfer Gibby Haynes and Phish’s Mike Gordon who should provide the big surprises at this high-quality nod to a tunesmith worthy of tribute. — By Richard Gehr

Scott Siegel
Town Hall
8:00 p.m., $47/$57
Scott Siegel, who put the “imp” in “impresario,” has impishly scrambled his “Broadway by the Year” programming this season. Rather than feature one year for his four evenings, he’s covering 100 years of B’way tuners by choosing one song from each of 25 years. This frame culls ditties from 1940-1964 shows. Singing them are, among others, Nancy Anderson, Robert Cuccioli, Adriane Lenox, Anita Gillette, Aaron Lazar and Jeffry Denman (who’ll dance, too). Let the guessing game begin: “On the Street Where You Live” from “My Fair Lady” (1956)? “Somewhere” from “West Side Story” (1957)? — By David Finkle

Tuesday, 4/1:

Regina Carter’s Southern Comfort
Tuesday through Friday, 8:30 p.m. & 11:00 p.m. daily, $30
How down home is the virtuoso violinist’s new Southern Comfort? By the time the dust settles, she and her crack squad have moved through barndance tunes, graveyard laments, and Gram Parsons’ “Hickory Wind” – not exactly a jazz standard. Best part is that the band’s folkish inflections are all nuanced enough to be truly seductive, and the essence of interplay is everywhere in the music. They’ll take it even farther on stage. — By Jim Macnie

United Palace Theatre
7:30 p.m., $40-$75
With only a single original member — Ralf Hütter — still at his pre-programmed workstation, electronica pioneers Kraftwerk have effectively become the Google car of contemporary music ensembles, a driverless machine offering effortless efficiency. For their first New York appearance since their 2012 MOMA retrospective, the Germanic foursome deepen their usually flat stage presence by adding pupil-popping 3-D imagery to their computer-generated mantras about rockets, robots, models, and modes of transportation. Slide on some ungainly non-Google glasses and enjoy satellites hurtling through space as the band appears to levitate before you. A custom surround-sound array of floor-to-ceiling speakers will make it all seem almost real. — By Richard Gehr

Wednesday, 4/2:

Oren Ambarchi + EVOL
Issue Project Room
8:00 p.m., $25
The reliably challenging and adventurous Unsound Festival kicks off tonight with a pair of ear-clearing experimentalists. Australian guitarist-composer Oren Ambarchi and members of Sinfonietta Cracovia will tie you in Knots when they perform the Sunn 0))) collaborator’s industrial-strength work. Barcelona-based Roc Jiménez de Cisneros and Stephen Sharp, AKA EVOL, have adapted Hanne Darboven’s 36-poem Opus 17a for electronics. The Unsound Festival runs through April 6 at various venues. — By Richard Gehr

Thursday, 4/3:

Death by Audio
8:00 p.m., $10
Trash-pop trio Tweens only formed in 2012, but the Cincinnati punks have managed to make a name for themselves with fans and tour mates like The Breeders and the Black Lips. It probably didn’t hurt their speedy headway by having drummer Jerri Queen and bassist Peyton Copes of the already-established experimental punk act Vacation. Triumphant stints, most recently at SXSW and Nashville’s Dead, have proven the kids know how to have a good time. Taking a cue from their name, Tweens are a combo of girl-gang pop and garage influence, creating a sound they’ve deemed “bubblegum badass,” which ranges anywhere in influence from Shangri-Las to Palma Violets. With their freshman LP debuting on 4/8 via Frenchkiss and the weather warming up to somewhere ‘tween freezing cold and fair-weathered, this is a good time to hear their new material. Maybe 21 isn’t such a lame age after all. — By Erin Manning

Friday, 4/4:

Matt Mitchell Quartet
ShapeShifter Lab
9:30 p.m., $10
As a composer, Matt Mitchell is smitten with the kind of intricacy that takes a second to understand. When the kaleidoscope focuses, however, the payoff is big. He’s swung hard with Dave Douglas, waxed turbulent with Tim Berne, and dropped a killer duet album of abstract etudes called Fiction. This outing, with Chris Speed on sax, just might be an unholy combo of all three approaches. — By Jim Macnie

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