The 10 Best Concerts in New York This Weekend, 4/25/14


Friday, 4/25:

The Mercury Lounge
10:30 p.m., $15

Erika M. Anderson, better known as EMA, is unapologetically loud and “SOOO BLONDE” as she hoarsely screams on the track of the same name off her second solo effort, The Future’s Void. Previously, the South Dakota-born singer had been in a pair of startlingly raucous and excellent bands (Amps for Christ and Gowns) that left audiences speechless and exhausted after live shows. On her own, EMA has proven even more successful with the dystopian nightmares of her music and “meta grunge” of her lyrics, as they’ve been described. Her sound and style comes from the lineage of Courtney Love, an inspiration Anderson has cited, where her vulnerability and noise mesh together to make something truly explosive. — By Brittany Spanos

Steve Gunn + Kevin Morby + Prince Rupert Drops
Rough Trade NYC
9:00 p.m., $15

The impeachable Steve Gunn has been involved with Kurt Vile and The Violators in the past, but more recently, he has recently focused on his own material and solo career. A guitarist in the American Primitivist tradition, Gunn pulls from John Fahey’s wide scope of influence without ever feeling like he’s cribbed anything. In reality, Gunn has five solo albums of eclectic, sparse guitar work and simply sung lyrics, but 2013’s Time Off has been one of his most recognized releases so far. Expect wry, dour reflections on life amidst intricate finger-picking and a storm of strumming. — By Caitlin White

Joe’s Pub
9:30 p.m., $20

How would you like your piano prepared this evening? As Hauschka, Dusseldorf’s Volker Bertelmann augments a standard acoustic keyboard with ping-pong balls, strings, wood, foil, paper, and other objects. He’s a one-man band who often sounds like a complete ensemble, especially when augmented by electronics. The happy, dark, and intermittently house-hoppy tracks on his new Abandoned City force you to hear an old instrument in a new way. — By Richard Gehr

Saturday, 4/26:

Andrew W.K.
7:30 p.m., $25-$30

Step aside, LMFAO: The original party rocker, co-owner of Santos Party House, and the Voice’s very own advice columnist Andrew W.K. is bringing his Grand Piano Party back to Bleecker Street’s Subculture. This event, which features the musician banging the ol’ 88 with his feet à la Lady Gaga, is a departure from his usual party-hard rock ‘n’ roll antics but also a return to his roots: W.K. started playing classical piano at age four, and it’s a skill he’s taken as far as playing his anthem “Get Wet” on Liberace’s piano in Beverly Hills — but not even such a posh venue could get in the way of a head-banging grunt-along. — By Harley Brown

Sol Cat
Cameo Gallery
8:00 p.m., $10-$12

A fluid, insistent guitar style that’s disco at moments and flanged at others, plus a magnetic, over-enunciating frontman? Yes, that’s Nashville’s Sol Cat, a weirdly thrilling smash-up of first-album Franz Ferdinand and fake-tamed Anthony Kiedis. There’s a crowd-pleasing lilt to their rock that skews pop — they may as might have dubbed themselves “Soul Patch” — but the sheer weirdness of the sonics clothing every hook may well endear Sol Cat to both the 12-CD a year punter and the Brooklyn beardo who wishes the Strokes employed more effects pedals in the studio. — By Raymond Cummings

Saturday, 4/26:

Pet Shop Boys
Terminal 5
9:00 p.m., $55

With Electric, the Pet Shop Boys 12th album, Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe made glossy platinum pop perfect for serotonin-craving EDM crowds half their age. Any track from Electric, which hit #3 on the UK Album Charts, could feasibly be played out by DJs playing Ultra’s Main Stage, especially “Vocal,” a soaring and strangely addictive mega-EDM track as only the proto-EDM Pet Shops Boy could do. Could someone like Avicii have gotten away with naming a song “Love Is A Bourgeois Construct”? — By Aaron Gonsher

Tommy Tune
Cafe Carlyle
8:45 p.m. & 10:45 p.m., $70-$130

These days he’s 75, but he’s still smiling and youthful as he goes about singing, tapping (that’s right, he taps in front of you on the small stage) and telling anecdotes that’ll charm your socks off. The only mystery about the lanky guy is why he no longer directs and choreographs on Broadway, but that’s probably something he won’t go into. No matter. What you get is sheer performing magic. — By David Finkle

Joe’s Pub
11:30 p.m., $25

Somali-Canadian emcee K’Naan has fashioned quite a name for himself on the World Hip-Hop circuit with his brand of life-affirming music that takes from Mos Def and Nas as much as it does from Bob Marley, at his most uplifting, and Wyclef, at his most carnivalesque. Throw in the hippie politics of a Michael Franti and a production style that somehow sounds like a fusion of both pre- and post-“Where is the Love?” Black Eyed Peas, and you’ve got the ideal soundtrack for every international sporting event for the next 16 years. Anthems like “Wavin’ Flag” must come easy to K’Naan — and how could you begrudge him this given the difficult childhood he survived in war-torn Somalia? This trauma is ever-present in his music, grounding the occasional cases of Bono-esque grandstanding in the harsh realities of post-colonialism and global capitalism. — By Winston Groman

Sunday, 4/27:

The Bad Plus
Jazz Standard
Friday through Sunday, 7:30 p.m. & 9:30 p.m. daily, $20

The trio is known for messing with jewels like “Heart of Glass” and “Iron Man” but their new disc is dedicated to a different kind of classic – “The Rite Of Spring.” Genuflecting to Strav’s wise audacity while claiming it as part of an increasingly Catholic jazz canon, they refract its grandeur and reveal its swing. Which come to think of it, was their M.O. with Blondie and Sabbath, too. Given their seismic sense of interplay and drummer Dave Kings’ charisma, it’s a good bet they’re going to tear the place apart. — By Jim Macnie

Mark Nadler
54 Below
9:30 p.m., $35-$45

Mark Nadler, a prodigiously talented fellow, is a New Year’s Eve blow-out every night of the year all by himself. He calls his latest escapade “Runnin’ Wild Songs and Scandals of the Roaring ’20s,” which seems oh-so-right for a room that has a picture of Texas “Hello, Suckers” Guinan on the wall. Incidentally, the song “Runnin’ Wild” is featured in the just-opened and disappointing “Bullets Over Broadway.” This incarnation is likely to be a notable Charleston-step up. And he can tap, too. — By David Finkle

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