The 10 Best Concerts in New York This Week, 4/28/14


Monday, 4/28:

Cloud Becomes Your Hand
Studio at Webster Hall
8:00 p.m., $10

A stacked bill features Brooklyn’s own Cloud Becomes Your Hand, who sublimely construct a melodic sprawl of alien soundscapes. On the new Rocks or Cakes, its familial, drug-inducing quirks gloriously rage full on. CBYH color its rainbow-streaked otherworld with psych radiance, weirdo proggy damage ‘n’ freak-folkery, harmonic sing-alongs, chants and synth noise and streaks while traces of Americana fingerage of John Fahey, Oneida-styled space-rock trippiness, and Pink Floydian warped eclectics hover overhead. Setting the stage for CBYH will be eardrum busting guitarorrist Nick Millevoi of Philly prog-jazz scientists Many Arms, who will undoubtedly be the polar opposite of CBYH, bleeding from his ax punishing, deafening skronk epics from his just-dropped third solo joint, Numbers on the Side. with Alden Penner (of The Unicorns) and Pours. — By Brad Cohan

Olga Bell
Le Poisson Rouge
8:00 p.m., $15-$20

Russia-born Dirty Projectors singer-keyboardist Olga Bell reimagines the music of her homeland on Krai, an exhilarating song cycle devoted to the personalities of her homeland’s nine designated “fringe” territories. Bell’s Russia is a kinder, gentler, but no less confusing place than we’ve seen in the news of late. In lyrics written with her mother, a former Radio Moscow DJ, Bell sextuples and processes her voice to evoke the throat singers of Altai Krai, the shamanic songs of Kamchatka Krai, and the Bulgarian-style harmonies of Perm Krai. Guitar, cello, mallet percussion, and electronics create a bubbling counterpoint to Bell’s one-woman choir (which actually includes two male voices). Released on the approachably experimental New Amsterdam label, Krai complements Nothankyou, her dance-pop collaboration with Tom Vek. — By Richard Gehr

Tuesday, 4/29:

Nickel Creek + The Secret Sisters
Beacon Theatre
8:00 p.m., $35-$59.50

On Tuesday, at New York’s historic Beacon Theatre, two acts who nod to the past will be gracing the stage. Opening act The Secret Sisters are a pair of real life siblings who got their break at an open call held by a major label in Nashville and unlike their debut full of classic covers, their sophomore release Put the Needle Down is almost entirely original songs. Nickel Creek is easily the most popular bluegrass act in America, and when Chris Thile, Sarah Watkins and Sean Watkins announced their hiatus in 2007, fans were devastated. Luckily, seven years later, the group has released their new record The Dotted Line. Expect plenty of old favorites from them sprinkled in with brand new bluegrass gems. — By Caitlin White

The Both
Bowery Ballroom
9:00 p.m., $25

Indie rock icon Ted Leo and esteemed singer/songwriter Aimee Mann have joined forces in a clash of independent music titans with their collaborative project, The Both. They may have just released their debut self-titled album, but from the first listen it’s instantly clear that the veteran solo artists combined the best of their talents with ease. Together, the underground sweethearts have forged an eloquent amalgam of classic pop/rock songwriting with tinges of folk and punk production — think a chilled out Leo and a distorted Mann — that warrants putting their respective solo careers on the back burner for a little while. So no, it’s not a midlife crisis, which they reveal in a ridiculous video interview with media coach Janessa Slater, played by SNL’s Vanessa Bayer, where they also defend their lusterless choice of a band name. Mann had that memorable cameo on Portlandia, but who knew they both had acting talents in addition to musical skills? Either one is reason enough to catch The(m) Both on their first supporting tour. — By Erin Manning

Annie Gosfield
The Stone
8:00 p.m. & 10:00 p.m., various prices

Jamming — of both the improvising and disrupting varieties — provides the focus tonight and during the remainder of composer-performer Annie Gosfield’s week-long residence at John Zorn’s austere performance space. A ceaselessly re-inventive composer, Gosfield mixes history, technology, and autobiography in work that oscillates vibrantly between past and future. Jammed radio signals have inspired much of Gosfield’s recent work, as in tonight’s early-set premiere of her Bach-referencing Long Waves and Random Pulses for violin, cello, and sampling keyboard. In addition, Felix Fan performs The Harmony of the Body-Machine, for cello and machine sounds, and Four Roses, a work rooted in whiskey and detuned pianos. At 10, Gosfield deploys her “phantom electronics” alongside fellow improvisers Sylvie Courvoisier (piano) and Ha-Yang Kim (cello). — By Richard Gehr

Wednesday, 4/30:

2 Chainz + Miguel
Best Buy Theater
8:00 p.m., $50-$55

DJ Prostyle will be living the dream when he has 2 Chainz and Miguel, two of the most sought after and successful artists in hip-hop and r&b, respectively, play his birthday party, and he’s gracious enough to invite anyone who wants to join him. The former 106 & Park DJ turned popular Power 105.1 host is a natural to feature the pair of hit-makers at the Best Buy Theater. 2 Chainz has been inescapable most recently due to his guest spot on Jason Derulo’s single “Talk Dirty,” and has worked with the likes of Drake, A$AP Rocky, and Juicy J. Meanwhile, Miguel has been riding the wave of 2012’s Kaleidoscope Dream while preparing to release another album this year. Both are guaranteed party-starters and a great way to turn up on a Wednesday night. — By Brittany Spanos

Michael Feinstein
Carnegie Hall
7:30 p.m., $83-$99

This piano man fronts a big event called “Standard Time with Michael Feinstein ASCAP…A Centennial Celebration.” Yes, it’s been 100 years since songwriters won the right to royalties and logged their ditties with the society (and some of them later with BMI). Also singing selections chosen from the thousands available will be Liz Callaway, Siedah Garrett and Jimmy Webb, whose ASCAP checks must be eye-popping. Feinstein, based in San Francisco since his Loews Regency room shuttered, should be back in the fall with a new upstairs at Birdland joint. — By David Finkle

Future Islands
Webster Hall
8:30 p.m., $18/$20

Future Islands plays some of the most passionate electro-pop there is right now–or in existence, if you want to be fittingly melodramatic. Led by frontman Samuel T. Herring, the Baltimore-based trio creates super accessible, synth-driven songs that always manage to feel nostalgic but visionary, in the same colour-drenched wave as Wild Nothing or Tame Impala. On top of that production is Herring’s voice–full of gravelly crooning character, like Jimmy Durante-gone-Gary Glitter– and the theatrical, impassioned way he delivers lyrics that would sound overly-sentimental and far less striking in the hands of someone else. Released just this year, their Chris Coady-produced album Singles is one post-wave dance hit after another–notably, “Seasons (Waiting on You),” which they performed on the Late Show and subsequently left David Letterman dazzled and, literally, speechless. Opening is Baltimore-based Ed Schrader’s Music Beat, a self-described Bowie fanatic, sandwich maker, comedian and musician. He’s supporting Future Islands on both their North American and UK/European tours, so he must make some pretty good sandwiches. — By Erin Manning

Craig Leon
Le Poisson Rouge
8:00 p.m., $13-$15

In the early ’80s, producer Craig Leon (Blondie, the Ramones, Suicide) recorded Nommos and Visiting on synthesizers and a Linn drum machine. It was a sort of motorik electronic folk music he imagined might have been enjoyed by the aliens who loom large in the mythology of Mali’s Dogon tribe. It holds up well, judging from an upcoming reissue, suggesting a finely textured high-tech jam session of African drummers and stellar visitors. Also: American Contemporary Music Ensemble (ACME) and Bill Kouligas. — By Richard Gehr

Thursday, 5/1:

The Knife
Terminal 5
Thursday & Friday, 8:30 p.m., $40/$50

Last year’s Shaking The Habitual is The Knife’s first album since their wildly acclaimed breakthrough Silent Shout, and that eight year gap has manifested as a dramatically different sound even though it’s built from all the same elements. This time around, the percussion mostly disappears into a haze of metallic buzzes that sound the way monochromatic tiling looks, which makes a lot more sense once you remember that singer Karin Dreijer Andersson now also has her solo career as Fever Ray to use as a showcase for the most immediately melodic of her Doomsday-oracle vocal bits. This is ultimately to our benefit: if they don’t stick in your head now, they can’t haunt your dreams later. — By Vijith Assar

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