The 10 Best Concerts in New York This Week, 5/19/14


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

Monday, 5/19:

Joey Ramone Birthday Bash
Bowery Electric
7:00 p.m., $25-$30
Mickey Leigh has Frankensteined together a 14th annual Joey Ramone Birthday Bash for his late punk-icon brother, who would have turned 63 today. The house band for this tribute benefiting the Joey Ramone Foundation for Lymphoma Research consists of Cheetah Chrome (Dead Boys), Glen Matlock (Sex Pistols), George Tabb (Iron Prostate), members of the Sic F*cks, and Leigh (Birdland, the Rattlers). Three decades after its heyday, the Ramones’ loud, fast, droll style furnishes a timeless corrective to rock ostentation. Tonight, the Bullys, the A-Bones, the Independents, Heap, the Gobshites, and Andy Shernoff (Dictators) are among the teachers offering a refresher course in the art of brutal concision. — By Richard Gehr

Tuesday, 5/20:

The Neighbourhood + Danny Brown + Little Daylight + Born Casual
Central Park, Rumsey Playfield
5:00 p.m., $30
A simple Spotify search for the song “Let it Go” yields hundreds of synonymous titles, but right underneath Demi Lovato and the Frozen soundtrack, you’ll find The Neighbourhood’s shadowy, emotional take. Similarly, their overnight radio hits like “Sweater Weather,” “Female Robbery,” and “Afraid,” are genre-crossing mixes of indie rock, electronica, and R&B–a revelatory combination of rock instruments with a hip-hop aesthetic. Spearheaded by frontman Jesse Rutherford and four of his musician buddies, their moody style has been dubbed “black and white,” due to the merging of the two different musical worlds that characterize The Neighbourhood’s sound. In fact, the band can only be seen in black and white, whether it’s in photographs, videos or late-night TV. They’re a band with a vision, to say the least, and they are about to embark on the befittingly titled El Tour Blanco with Travi$ Scott, Danny Brown, White Arrows, and a host of other hoodlums in preparation of the mixtape they’re releasing soon while working on their new album. Give them a neighborly welcome in Central Park later this month, supported by Danny Brown, Little Daylight and Born Casual. — By Erin Manning

Unicycle Loves You
The Glasslands Gallery
8:30 p.m., $10
Unicycle Loves You songs are layer cakes of variegated distortion, intelligible pleading, and Oxycontin-strength hooks this Brooklyn indie-rock trio seem to yank out of a bottomless sack. Cherry-picking gems from the group’s album is a fool’s errand; best to crank up the volume and let the scrambled jams own you. Live, you don’t even have to feel lame about waking the neighbors. — By Raymond Cummings

Wednesday, 5/21:

Brooklyn Museum
6:00 p.m., $15
Michael Eugene Archer, otherwise known as D’Angelo, he of the silky-smooth croon and Adonisian pelvic muscles, sits down with Nelson George, filmmaker, critic, and author of The Hippest Trip in America: Soul Train and the Evolution of Culture and Style, as part of Red Bull Music Academy’s month-long festival in New York City. (The organization has staged similar, engaging lectures with Erykah Badu and James Murphy.) D’Angelo’s history as a prodigiously talented and innovative singer and part of seminal neo-soul collective Soulquarians are fodder enough for conversation, and it’s possible he’ll shed some light on his long-time-coming third album tentatively scheduled for release this year, which he’s recording with Questlove. — By Harley Oliver Brown

Split Single
The Glasslands Gallery
8:30 p.m., $10
Split Single is Jason Narducy, a Chicago indie-rock journeyman whose debut, Fragmented World, is the stuff underground dreams are made of: post-punk guitar licks, pulse-pounding tempos, hints of synthesizer, and Spoon’s Britt Daniels and Superchunk’s Jon Wurster, along for the ride as glorified sidemen. But in the personnel turned head initially, it’s Narducy’s penetrating harmonies and habit-forming melodies that are keeping listeners rapt. A decade or two previous, Fragmented World‘s title track might have been a alt-radio smash; in 2014, Narducy’s will have to content himself with knowing he’s a couple steps ahead of the pack, and grab those festival gigs as they’re offered. — By Raymond Cummings

Thursday, 5/22:

‘Hot 97 Who’s Next Live’
9:00 p.m., $12/$15
Hot 97 Who’s Next Live is a showcase designed to give shine to some of the more encouraging independent rappers from in and around New York. Hosted by Hip-Hop “purist” Peter Rosenberg, this edition of Who’s Next features underground artists like Ransom, Black Dave, Anti Soundmasonz, and David Dallas. Put under the spotlight at SOB’s, the New York City hip-hop community will see if any of these artists have what it takes to really rep the city properly on the mic. If you feel like hip-hop hasn’t been the same since 2006 (or 1996, or 1986), this is a chance for you to hear some “real” MCs. — By Winston Groman

Nick Ziobro
6:00 p.m., $20
Just when you think they don’t sing ’em like they used to, along comes another one who does. We’re talking about crooners of the sort Frank Sinatra, Mel Tormé and Vic Damone used to represent and Michael Feinstein and Michael Bublé represent today. Feinstein is so intent on preserving and promoting the sound that he runs a competition that this engaging young lad recently won. He’ll celebrate the release of his A Lot of Livin’ to Do CD with its arrangements by the ubiquitous Tedd Firth. — By David Finkle

Randy Weston Quintet
Jazz Standard
Thursday & Friday, 7:30 p.m. & 9:30 p.m. daily, $30
Dude turned 88 a month ago, and his power only seems to grow. Last year’s Roots of the Blues told us that his touch could still make a room quake, and that age has only refined his eloquence. The way Weston injects rhythm into each phrase can be magical, and a sly intimacy marks his instrument’s alignment with that of his colleague Billy Harper, who’s up front on this gig. — By Jim Macnie

Friday, 5/23:

Trans Am
Knitting Factory Brooklyn
8:00 p.m., $12/$14
Trans Am, overlords of futureworld synthesizer-streaking groovage, pulverizing riff-rocking anthems and Vocoder-warped, robotic speak-sing histrionics are fast approaching the twentieth anniversary of its 1996 post-rock movement-defining self-titled first record and they are celebrating the milestone early with spanking new LP, Volume X. Back in the 90’s indie rock glory years when Tortoise and The Sea and the Cake were meticulously post-jazzing it up, Trans Am were the electro-batshitalternative, reconfiguring weirdo Devo-esque booty shakers and sound manipulating Kraut-rock through an Atari console and spitting out a dancified, sci-fi alien music. That fuckery is manifested once again on the return-to-planetary-form of Volume X, Trans Am’s first record in four years. Expect a similar space-rock mind-meld this evening as Trans Am embark on a rare tour. — By Brad Cohan

Karrin Allyson
Wednesday through Friday, 8:30 p.m. & 11:00 p.m., $40
arrin Allyson is widely considered one of the eminent jazz vocalists on the scene today, imbuing the American songbook with a Midwestern breeziness and a mellow alto range, as comfortable rendering Sondheim’s “Send In the Clowns” as she is on Thelonious Monk’s sultry “‘Round Midnight.” Her recent Christmas album Yuletide Hideaway recasts familiar carols with a clear-toned freshness and subtle artistry in the tradition of Vince Guaraldi. Yet Allyson works in many moods, waxing nostalgic on Simon and Garfunkel’s “April Come She Will” and pulling no punches when tackling hard bop standards such as Art Blakey’s propulsive “Moanin’.” — By Aidan Levy

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