The 10 Best Concerts in New York This Week, 4/14/14


Monday, 4/14:

Ashley Monroe
Joe’s Pub
7:00 p.m. & 9:30 p.m., $30

Although Ashley Monroe first earned her country chops working with Miranda Lambert and Angaleena Presley in the feisty all-girl trio Pistol Annies, her debut last year proved she’s a distinctive artist on her own terms. Like a Rose channels the reedy, crystalline vocal stylings that buoyed Alison Krauss to fame, but eschews bluegrass for honky-tonk, and takes a wry, personal look at everything from unwanted pregnancy to smoking pot. Rose is a rare singer-songwriter who blends contemporary attitudes with traditional sounds seamlessly. — By Caitlin White

Tri-Centric Music Festival
Monday through Friday, 8:00 p.m., various prices

Has any musician ever been so comfortably inside and cosmically outside accepted jazz parameters as Anthony Braxton? Rarely played vintage compositions, new works by younger composers, and the April 17 premiere of his latest opera, Trillium J (The Non-Unconfessionables), comprise the former chess hustler and MacArthur Fellow’s Tri-Centric Music Festival, a 10-day, two-venue celebration of Braxton’s uncompromising, if sometimes frustratingly hermetic, sensibility. It kicks off at high noon today, at Eyebeam, with André Vida’s “Moving Scores (Solo Interpretations),” a six-hour series of visually interactive solos. Later, at Roulette, Braxton conducts and plays saxophone in “Composition No. 46” (1975) for chamber ensemble. Then check out tomorrow night’s “Moogie and Stetson” for 12 flutes, two tubas, and percussion. — By Richard Gehr

Tuesday, 4/15:

The Used + Taking Back Sunday
Best Buy Theater
Tuesday & Wednesday, 6:00 p.m., $32-$35

Celebrate Tax Day by hearkening back to a time when you didn’t have to pay taxes. That time was 2004, when the emo (though they bristle at the term) titans The Used and Taking Back Sunday were the biggest things in remote proximity to a guitar. Though you might have stopped paying attention, neither band has stopped making music, with TBS’s newest Happiness Is serving as a testament that every band can age out of hype and remind people why they mattered in the first place. — By Drew Millard

‘The Best of Rufus Wainwright’
Town Hall
8:00 p.m., $35-$85

Every generation needs a great songwriter, and there’s a fine argument to be made that Rufus Wainwright is ours. The son of folk legends Kate McGarrigle and Loudon Wainwright III, Rufus, along with his sisters Martha Wainwright and Lucy Wainwright Roche, was born with storytelling capabilities and exquisite musicianship in his blood. Sixteen years after releasing his self-titled debut, Rufus looks back on his heavily lauded and still young career with a best-of compilation titled Vibrate and an upcoming U.S. tour kicking off at Town Hall, the home to many tribute shows Rufus and his sisters have hosted in honor of their late mother. With Lucy opening the show, “The Best of Rufus Wainwright” is another kind of family affair, and like the ones the Wainwright family tend to host, it’s as much a celebration as it is an ode to great artistry. — By Brittany Spanos

Daniel Rossen + William Tyler
Music Hall of Williamsburg
9:00 p.m., $20

Spring is here and the gods are smiling upon us by sending two glorious beams of light — two coinciding solo tours that must be the double whammy of 2014 in music (so far). The aforementioned dream duo is Daniel Rossen and William Tyler, and while this isn’t a collaboration, it is a rare opportunity to experience two intimate solo performances from two of music’s most prolific, complex artists. Rossen spent last year touring with his main act Grizzly Bear (maybe you’ve heard of it), but for his first-ever solo tour, he’ll be headlining and performing songs from his debut solo EP Silent Hour / Golden Mile, plus selections from 2008’s Department of Eagles release In Ear Park. Opening is guitar wizard William Tyler, who has toured and recorded with Lambchop, Silver Jews, Wooden Wand, Bonnie Prince Billy and Charlie Louvin, to name a few. His 2013 LP Impossible Truth was a universally acclaimed masterpiece, despite being an instrumental album. Once you witness the magic Tyler makes with a 12-string guitar though, you’ll be a believer. — By Erin Manning

Juana Molina + Xenia Rubinos
Le Poisson Rouge
8:00 p.m., $15/$20

Once upon the ’80s, Juana Molina was a sketch comedian on Argentinian TV; now, she’s best known for her decades’ worth of dreamy, Spanish-language folk. Her eclectic-electronic compositions have earned her multiple comparisons to Bjork, though she’s got more in common with artists like Lisa Hannigan or Cortney Tidwell, specifically their droll-affect harmonies and multilayered tracks that reward immersing yourself in the details. For examplke, “Eras,” the lead single from last year’s Wed 21, is a meditation set to spring-rubber rhythms, a combination some artists struggle to pull off. It’s craft writ small and intricate, which has won her a devoted cult fanbase and is a perfect match for the curators at Le Poisson Rouge, where she’ll appear with Brooklyn’s spikier Xenia Rubinos. — By Katherine St. Asaph

Jesse Stacken Quartet + Tony Malaby TubaCello Band
9:00 p.m. & 10:30 p.m., $10

The earthy tone of Malaby’s tenor fits snuggly with pianist Stacken’s cunning freebop. With drummer Tom Rainey guiding things while enhancing the textural quotient, Stacken’s tunes take on a mischievous nature – very inviting stuff. The second half of this double bill finds the saxophonist sailing over an unholy alliance of shadowy strings and a fat brass bottom. Call it a porto-orchestra. — By Jim Macnie

Wednesday, 4/16:

Kristeen Young
Bowery Electric
8:00 p.m., $10

Predating Amanda Palmer, Kristeen Young’s now logged over a decade of theatrical dervish shows along with a robust, ripe-for-rediscovery catalog of albums full of weaponized piano riffs and lyrics that aren’t TMI so much as too much candor, in the best way. She’s perhaps best known for railing at the canonical rock gods both on record (see: “Strangle Bowie with his neckerchief / Punch holes in the Beatles’ yellow boat”) and on stage. She’s probably best known for touring with Morrissey, getting kicked off the tour after accomplishing the not-entirely-difficult feat of saying something on stage Morrissey didn’t like, then joining the tour again a few years later. That said, her latest, The Knife Shift, is rather studio star-studded, co-produced by Tony Visconti and featuring players like Dave Grohl and Boz Boorer. She’ll be playing a four-show residency at Bowery Electric this month. — By Katherine St. Asaph

Thursday, 4/17:

Black Lips + Natural Child
Webster Hall
8:00 p.m., $20

From songs about being forced to sleep with someone, to smoking weed with friends — (and crack, just that one time) — the Black Lips and Natural Child know how to boogie. Even after roughly a decade of serving as two of garage rock’s wildest bands, the Atlanta punks and Nashville grease-balls aren’t tired yet. In fact, their respective recent releases show they’ve waked and baked and readily rolled out some fresh material, ripe for the road and their supporting tour. Released via Vice and co-produced by the Black Keys drummer Patrick Carney and Dap Kings’ Tommy Brenneck, the Lips are touting the slick, Southern Rock-inspired sounds of Under the Rainbow, while Natty Child is sporting their own multi-colored melee on Dancin’ with Wolves (Burger Records). Getting high and getting lost listening to Willie Nelson is one thing, but carefully balancing all that with shots of liquor in the mosh pit at a fish fry with a lampshade on your head is an entirely different area of expertise — one that beer-spewing buds of laid-back vintage country-rock and fatties full of fun should be able to put into practice at a Black Lips and Natural Child show. — By Erin Manning

Friday, 4/18:

Billy Joel
Madison Square Garden
8:00 p.m., $64.50-$124.50

Las Vegas was once the go-to spot for legendary musicians looking to settle down for a residency, but it looks like MSG and Billy Joel have found a way to take that concept home to New York. After playing a New Year’s Eve show at Barclays, the Bronx-born, Long Island-bred performer, who has provided the pop and rock canon with an endless list of iconic, timeless, and modern standards, is preparing a monthly residency at the Garden from now until we’re sick of him. From the first seven sold-out shows, the end of this East Coast franchise isn’t going to arrive for some time — the Piano Man’s got us feeling alright. — By Brittany Spanos

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