The 10 Best Concerts in New York This Week, 6/16/14


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

Tuesday, 6/17:

Sam Smith
Apollo Theater
8:00 p.m., $35-$43
Sam Smith is the real deal. Something about the way he belts lyrics that sound like his deepest, darkest secrets makes his music simultaneously painful and cathartic. Since appearing on Disclosure’s breakthrough single, “Latch” in 2012, 22-year-old Smith has been rising on his own, seeing his career skyrocket with the release of his debut EP, Nirvana, a bewitching sampler of what would come on his follow-up full-length album, In the Lonely Hour, released in May. With a bite like Amy Winehouse and a knack for perfectly capturing the many facets of love and heartbreak à la Adele, Smith keeps British soul alive in a way that makes you want to curl up inside the walls of his vocal range. — By Brittany Spanos

Courtney Barnett + Benjamin Booker
Bowery Ballroom
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

Everclear + Soul Asylum + Eve 6 + Spacehog
Irving Plaza
6:30 p.m., $35
Sometimes life bites. There are seasons, allergies, and boring jobs, which when coupled with the selfitis of today’s youth, the future may seem pretty bleak. During times like these, close your eyes and imagine yourself a “Runaway Train,” headed straight to Arcadian “Santa Monica” where avuncular 90s rockers with bleached hair will whisper “I Will Buy You a New Life” into your yearning ear. Here, life is lived “Inside Out,” that is, with emotions on sleeves, and non-stop Everclear, Soul Asylum, Eve 6 and Spacehog music shimmers in the air. Know that this world will come to be. Trust that the 90s will return triumphant. “In the Meantime,” go to this year’s Summerland Tour, the last bastion of 90s alt-rock nostalgia and a harbinger of the Utopia to come. — By Winston Groman

Mercan Dede & Istanbul Tribe + The Secret Trio
Brookfield Place Plaza
7:30 p.m., free
Making his first local appearance in a decade, Dede (AKA DJ Arkin Allen) is a popular Turkish progressive who fronts a traditional ensemble on turntables, electronics, and occasional ney flute. The concept behind his 2013 double-CD album _Dunya_ is environmental apocalypse. The Secret Trio – Tamer Pinarbasi (kanun zither), Ismail Lumanovski (clarinet), and Ara Dinkjian (ud lute) – play mesmerizing originals and traditional music from Turkey, Armenia, and Macedonian Roma. — By Richard Gehr

Danilo Pérez + John Patitucci + Brian Blade Trio
Blue Note
Tuesday through Friday, 8:00 p.m. & 10:30 p.m. daily, $20-$35
As the acclaimed rhythm section for the Wayne Shorter Quartet, this trio generates a sonic psychodrama each time the living legend hits the stage. Long story short, they’re responsible for some of the most engaging improv being made these days. On their own, Danilo Peréz, John Patitucci and Brian Blade are all about the creative recalibration of melodic motifs and rhythmic events – there’s not a second in their work where anything stays still. Keep an eye out for the deep buoyancy – go ahead, call it swing – that will the music’s secret weapon. — By Jim Macnie

Wednesday, 6/18:

Goat + Holy Wave
Webster Hall
8:00 p.m., $20
Dialing in from a similarly warped and distant otherworld as Brooklyn’s own psychedelic jamming troupe Nymph comes alien Swiss collective, Goat. Mysterious, cosmic and illuminating with familial, Zen master vibes, Goat–recently scooped up by the Sub Pop behemoth–unearth as a drum circle beating, tribal-centric, psych color swirling and chant-heavy jambandness of dream-like enormity. On “Shipbuilding,” its throbbing debut Sub Pop single, these remote Swedish village crusaders twist Middle Eastern-flavored guitar riffage, pulsating Voodoo army drumming and spiritual howling and fly to the heavens with a righteously melodic thumper. Come join the cult of Goat. — By Brad Cohan

Jane Lynch
54 Below
Wednesday & Thursday, 7:00 p.m.; Friday, 8:00 p.m., $75-$145
You’ve loved to hate her as coach Sue Sylvester on Glee these many moons. When she played Miss Hannigan in the recent Annie revival on Broadway, you loved to hate her then, too. Now she’s offering another chance to love to hate her. Or perhaps in an as-herself switch, she’s offering the opportunity to love to love her. When Lynch was younger, she worked on her comedy technique in Chicago area church basements. See how she does in this much swankier NYC basement. — By David Finkle

Thursday, 6/19:

House of Vans
7:00 p.m., free
STRFKR crosses boundaries between synth-pop, alternative rock, and electronica, creating a sound that is both ethereal and exciting. Their performances, which are seemingly as entrancing to the audience as they are to the band members, can be seen at your local town bar or alongside headliner electronic DJs and producers at well known EDM festivals. Their shows are usually adorned with impressive eye candy, be it dancing men and women in odd costumes or a wild light show. Exceptionally multifarious, their sound is at times calm, at times totally unrestrained, and is sure to please almost any concert-goer with its motley and inclusivity. — By Eleanor Lambert

Friday, 6/20:

Brandy Clark
Highline Ballroom
7:30 p.m., $18
Brandy Clark is a Nashville songwriting veteran who had given up on a solo career, until the labelhead of a tiny Dallas-based label Slate Creek Records, Jim Burnett, helped push her to release her own album. 12 Stories was practically met with glee by critics–the songs tell stories that are nuanced, often bleak takes on American life, but they’re peppered with hope and determination. Clark has an excellent grasp on her own throaty alto range, and the resulting combination has been setting the country music scene ablaze. Expect heartfelt lyrics delivered with wry passion and an undercurrent of humor. Her first single “Stripes” was a raucous, catchy number that bemoaned a cheating ex, but stopped short of jealous murder because of a distaste for prison fashion–redneck rage meets southern decorum, the perfect match. — By Caitlin White

Gavin Russom
Glasslands Gallery
11:30 p.m., $10
Gavin Russom isn’t just a former touring member of LCD Soundsystem and a synthesizer fetishist renowned for his technical acumen. He’s also a DJ. capable of marrying multifarious avant-garde inclinations with the functionality required to really tear up a dance floor, from Albert Ayler to Nguzunguzu. Russom takes a break from his ongoing Crystal Ark band project to headline this night, also featuring the hardboiled styles of Traxx. — By Aaron Gonsher

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