The 10 Best Concerts in New York This Weekend, 6/20/14


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

Friday, 6/20:

Brandy Clark
Highline Ballroom
7:30 p.m., $18-$25
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 + Traxx + Mr. BlackLauren
The 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

Jane Lynch
54 Below
Friday & Saturday, 8:00 p.m. daily, $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

Little Dragon + Lawrence Rotham
Terminal 5
Friday & Saturday, 8:00 p.m. daily, $30
Not many bands can make a dreamy dance track about the cycle of marriage and infidelity, but not many bands are Little Dragon. “Ritual Union,” off their third album of the same name released in 2011, may be one of their most perfect songs, but that doesn’t mean that the same triumphant feat of meshing the sad with the happy hasn’t been accomplished several times over the band’s four releases. The Swedish synthpop group have got soul oozing from beneath their bouncy beats. This type of dance music that makes your soul dance is better experienced live, though they still sound pretty great blaring through your headphones, too. — By Brittany Spanos

Saturday, 6/21:

Dum Dum Girls + Hospitality + TEEN
Prospect Park Bandshell
7:00 p.m., free
What started out as a bedroom project of Dee Dee Penny (aka Kristin Welchez) has since become a full-fledged rock group. After self-releasing an EP, Dee Dee and co. gained the attention of first Captured Tracks and then Sub Pop, cementing their fuzzy, textured rock as a sound with sticking power. The current lineup is all women, and watching these black-clad, somber babes take the stage and begin to shred in style is a phenomenal thing to experience. Expect dignified breakdowns that have nothing delicate about them, except the stylish outfits and lipstick involved. The Dum Dum Girls are a study in contrasts and a delightful breakdown of stereotypes about women in music and how they should look and behave. — By Caitlin White

Fall Out Boy + Paramore
Nikon at Jones Beach Theater
7:00 p.m., $37.50-$213
Pop-punk aficionados, take my word on this one: Fall Out Boy and Paramore have never toured together. Really, think about how strange that is! No overlapping on Warped Tour or the ill-fated Taste of Chaos tours. Quench your thirst for teenage nostalgia with this double whammy of a bill. The price is steep, but come on people, when else will you get to hear “Sugar We’re Going Down” and “Emergency” in the same night, on the same stage? No time machine required. — By Maria Sherman

The Glasslands Gallery
8:00 p.m., $12/$14
It’s weird to think this trio hails from Tampa, Florida–because outside of videos of idiot college kids drunk on spring break, what good has ever come from the Sunshine State? But here we are with Merchandise, a band with a cult-following so strong it’d make Stephen Malkmus jealous. Carson Cox’s haunting voice is supported by a melodic blend of punk, noise, and goth, the exact kind of music that makes you want to kiss (read: do it with) somebody after midnight. — By Eric Sundermann

Sunday, 6/22:

Backstreet Boys + Avril Lavigne
Nikon at Jones Beach Theater
7:30 p.m., $29.50-$223
The ’90s and the early ’00s were a golden age of pop music. We could feel larger than life while our female protagonists rocked ties like nobody’s business. We could worship Blink-182 and unironically appreciate the dick humor in classic teenage films like American Pie. Those days might be behind us, but with Backstreet Boys and Avril Lavigne sharing a bill, you have to wonder just how far removed the past really is. We say embrace it, go to this show, and contemplate starting a tribute band called “Sk8r Boys.” The world is ready. — By Maria Sherman

Everclear + Soul Asylum + Eve 6 + Spacehog
The Paramount
7:30 p.m., $32-$55
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

‘Bang on a Can Festival’
World Financial Center Winter Garden
2:00 p.m., free
Once again heralding summer in the city — and, more specifically, the annual River to River Fest — in all its free-music magnificence, the Bang on a Can Festival is a temporary autonomous zone for both hardcore contemporary-music freaks and open-eared day-trippers. This year’s eight-hour, 20-work edition includes Meredith Monk and Theo Bleckmann singing music from Facing North, Dawn of Midi performing selections from the trio’s 2013 minimalist hit Dysnomia, and a cappella combo Roomful of Teeth’s selections from Caroline Shaw’s delightful Partita for 8 Voices. The Bang on a Can All-Stars perform founding composer Julia Wolfe’s mind-bending Big Beautiful Dark and Scary and Louis Andriessen’s loud and brutal Hoketus. Hang around for Michael Gordon’s Timber, a grand finale involving six amplified sawhorses. — By Richard Gehr

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