The 10 Best Concerts in New York This Weekend, 6/13/14


Like seeing live music? Well GOOD NEWS, we’ve got every concert in the city worth a pair of ear plugs right here for you to comb through, and we add to the list each day.

Friday, 6/13:

‘Vision Festival’
Roulette Brooklyn
Friday through Sunday, 7:00 p.m. daily, $20-$270
The breadth of free improv never fails to amaze at the annual jazz festival, which touts a vibe of committed inquiry in the name of experimental music. This time around veteran multi-instrumentalist Charles Gayle is celebrated, performing his oft-stormy excursions with a dancer and leading a tentet of horns, strings and rhythm. Another veteran, Peter Brötzmann, rocks his amazingly agile and purposefully manic trio this year as well. But the five-night affair makes plenty of room from younger players who refine the avant lingo and broker new sounds – don’t miss guitarist Mary Halvorson connecting with steel guitarist Susan Alcorn. From Tarbaby’s tense freebop to Angelica Sanchez & Omar Tamez’s dreamy duets, the landscape will be in flux. Pick hit: the voice/percussion confluence of Fay Victor and Tyshawn Sorey. — By Jim Macnie

Webster Hall
8:00 p.m., $25
Food, Kelis’s sixth album, released in April, was a kind of catharsis for the r&b singer. After being unceremoniously dropped by Jive Records following the underappreciated Kelis Was Here in 2008, she took solace, as many of us do, in cooking comfort food. “It feels just like it should,” she sings over the finger-lickin’ bass lines of “Jerk Chicken.” Indeed, her versatile voice, weathered by a hard slog through the music industry, sounds just like it should over soulful production courtesy of resident super-producer Dave Sitek of TV On the Radio. Grab a bite and see her tonight. — By Harley Brown

Beach Fossils
7:00 p.m., $20
Dustin Payseur’s indie rock project is getting older–both in age and maturity. For five years now, the Brooklyn-based musician has been vibing on fuzzed out guitar licks and introspective lyrics, all supported by a DIY backbone. Their NYC show will feel like a homecoming, as the band hasn’t performed much in the city since last fall. They take the stage at the Warsaw in Payseur’s own neighborhood while showcasing support from the rest of their label, Captured Tracks. — By Eric Sundermann

Northside Festival
McCarren Park
Friday through Sunday, 12:00 p.m. daily, free-$315
While Governors Ball is island-bound and CMJ is perhaps too scattered, the Northside Festival homes in on the already established musical centers in the city — read: Williamsburg — drawing big acts like Albert Hammond Jr. and an Animal Collective DJ set, both slated for this evening. The fest’s seven days also include plenty of indie films and talks, but odds are the Pitchfork-curated showcase featuring break-out twee sensation Frankie Cosmos, or the subsequent double hit of woozy psychedelia and harmony-haze that is The War on Drugs and Woods, will draw in the biggest crowd. Week-long badges are available for purchase, but each concert is also its own ticketed event, open to the public. — By Caitlin White

Saturday, 6/14:

Dead Milkmen
7:00 p.m., $25
If the immediate appeal of punk rock is that anyone can make it, then maybe Philadelphia’s Dead Milkmen are punk rock epitomized: a gaggle of now-graying goofs with just enough musical ability to sell blink-and-miss-’em songs so juvenile they could have been conceived for a series of especially daft Second City skits. “Bitchin’ Camaro” and “You’ll Dance to Anything” are the “hits” everybody remembers, but the vaults are deep, and this particular gravy train is still on the tracks. Someday, the Dead Milkmen will receive their due as second-wave punk court jesters – probably sometime after they’ve called it quits, for good. — By Raymond Cummings

Courtney Barnett + Benjamin Booker
Music Hall of Williamsburg
8:00 p.m., $15
Melbourne-based guitarist and singer/songwriter Courtney Barnett has a gift for turning workaday situations into captivating anecdotes–one of several clever qualities her music has become known for since 2012, when she started her own record label, Milk! Records and subsequently put out her first EP, I’ve Got a Friend Called Emily Ferris. Barnett draws from folk, country and ’60s psychedelia, writing earnest, wordy songs that woozily drip with sarcasm and witty commentary. “It’s a Monday; it’s so mundane. What exciting things’ll happen today?” she asks in “Avant Gardener,” before going on to detail what she plans to plant in her garden as a way of keeping her mind off of things she should actually be thinking about. But escaping humdrum life is essentially the same thing as learning to carve a carrot into a rose, and Barnett seems to know how to do both beautifully. — By Erin Manning

Lust For Youth + Pharmakon + Container + Uniform
Baby’s All Right
10:00 p.m., $10/$12
Fresh off the release of their yearning and emotionally transparent LP International, Lust For Youth will headline this schizophrenic lineup as part of the massive Northside Festival. Lust For Youth’s driving tunes hold well on their own, but it remains to be seen how sturdy synth-pop will hold against the skewed, caustic techno of Container and the power electronics of Pharmakon, whose Abandon, also on Sacred Bones, was a highlight of 2013. — By Aaron Gonsher

Sharon Van Etten
Bowery Ballroom
Friday & Saturday, 8:00 p.m., $20
In our age of internet terribleness of trying to stay cool and ahead of the trends, it’s easy for us to cast quick judgement on singer-songwriters for being “harpy” or #emo, but Sharon Van Etten breaks the mold. Her latest album Are We There is one of honesty and frustration–a beautifully tragic portrait of the heartbreaking challenges we face every day within our relationships. She understands the essence of being human–what that means, and how we can deal with that. Being a human being is really hard sometimes. She gets it. And it’s okay. — By Eric Sundermann

Sunday, 6/15:

Fuck Buttons
7:00 p.m., $18
This British duo is obviously heavily indebted to Mogwai, the patron saints of abstract instrumental rock, but instead often perform with just a card table of gadgetry between them, and not a guitar in sight. The individual sounds are thus often pretty odd, but despite their taste for the weird, their 2013 album Slow Focus more often than not glues them together into melodies which are entirely approachable, familiar structures replicated by tiny glitches and buzzes, like a famous painting loosely reinterpreted with macaroni. — By Vijith Assar

Aretha Franklin
Radio City Music Hall
Saturday & Sunday, 8:00 p.m., $55-$150
The Queen of Soul is sometimes also the queen of “undisclosed health reasons,” which is why 72-year-old Aretha Franklin’s January Radio City dates are happening tonight. With recent shows topping out at a dozen or so extended numbers over 90-some minutes, the slimmed-down diva replaces stamina with nuance, blending full-range jazz improvisation with just enough full-throttle gospel flair to remind you who you’re dealing with. Perhaps echoing the Motown musical currently on Broadway, her big band includes a half-dozen backing singers and a fulsome horn section. Franklin’s next album is reportedly a concept project on which she covers female pop faves including Donna Summer’s “Last Dance,” Barbra Streisand’s “People,” and perhaps even Beyoncé, with Babyface and Andre 3000 producing. — By Richard Gehr

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