The 10 Best Concerts in New York This Week, 6/23/14


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

Monday, 6/23:

The Capitol Theatre
8:00 p.m., $40-$60
The psychedelic court jester of acid rock reunites with guitarist Larry LaLonde and drummer Tim Alexander for the first tour featuring Primus’ original members in years. With a new album rumored to be percolating on the road, the trio has hinted at heading into the studio to cover the Willy Wonka soundtrack, loosely billed as Primus and the Chocolate Factory. Who knows what that confection might be laced with, but if the comestible results of their New Year’s 2014 instrumental cover of “Pure Imagination” is any indication, it will represent a return to the thrash fondue that inspired “Sailing the Seas of Cheese.” — By Aidan Levy

Tuesday, 6/24:

Tegan and Sara
Hammerstein Ballroom
8:00 p.m., $39.50
In Tegan and Sara’s 13-year career, they’ve made progressively influential material that has earned them a global following. The Canadian twins are back again, but this time they’re playing ’90s inspired music influenced by artists many of us have become increasingly nostalgic for this year as electronica seemingly devolves. Released in 2013, Heartthrob is the duo’s seventh studio album, filled with infectious singles like “I Was a Fool,” “Closer,” and “Now I’m All Messed Up”–modern pop/rock that makes you feel young and carefree, in the same vein as Ace of Base or “Baby Baby”-era Amy Grant. Tegan and Sara will be supporting Katy Perry on her Prismatic World Tour in September, which will also mark the anniversary of their much-celebrated fourth album, So Jealous. In the meantime, they’ll be doing what they do best: bridging the pop and indie music worlds as they finish up their Let’s Make Things Physical tour with The Courtneys–a Vancouver-based slacker pop trio blowing up skirts with their flying nun-influenced punk/pop that also drifts back to the sound of the early ’90s. — By Erin Manning

Kris Davis Residency
The Stone
Tuesday through Friday, 8:00 p.m. & 10:00 p.m. daily, $15
One of New York’s most inventive ensemble players, the pianist can be startling in an array of contexts. That means there should be numerous surprises at this six-night residency, a stretch of gigs that finds Davis trading ideas with a cohort of intrepid associates who are terrifically eloquent with abstraction. From Tom Rainey’s Obbligato outfit’s inside-out standards to Davis’ Capricorn Climber quintet with Mat Maneri’s viola generating a chamber feel, to her Death Rattle trio with guitarist Mary Halvorson and saxophonist Ingrid Laubrock, it’s likely aggression will be poised and subtleties well honed. And if the recent Massive Threads is any indication, her solo piano night might be the most enticing gig of all. — By Jim Macnie

Wednesday, 6/25:

Evian Christ
10:00 p.m., $15/$20
Though he’s gone from Youtube unknown to Kanye West’s co-producer in just under three years, British producer Evian Christ has traversed plenty of ground in that time. From maximalist rap to desiccated rhythmic workouts indebted to footwork and trap, Christ’s polyglot interests shine in his DJ sets, where dollops of pop and straight R&B soften his usual preference for abrasion. — By Aaron Gonsher

White Magic
Union Pool
9:00 p.m., $8
What’s bewildering about Brooklyn’s White Magic: a meager trickle of recorded material. What’s awesome about White Magic: what material does exist – including an album here, buncha EPs there, some singles – is amazing in a “psychedelic baroque gin-joint” kind of way, with Mira Billotte’s strident chants and and math-piano moxie burrowing in through your third eye. This music is a contradiction: noose-tight and flower-child billowing. It’s makers deserve more respect, and a boundless cult. — By Raymond Cummings

Wednesday, 6/25:

Kim Gordon
Strand Book Store
7:00 p.m., free with purchase of book or $20 gift card
At worst, she was pigeonholed as the “token girl” in the band. At best, she’s been recognized as a feminist and rock ‘n’ roll trailblazer. At weirdest, she was the designer of an Urban Outfitters clothing line geared toward “cool moms” (Mirror/Dash, 2009). But many don’t know about Kim Gordon’s stake in art and academia, which is pretty extensive. Her new critical essay collection, Is It My Body? (Sternberg), spans 36 years of writing and presents itself as a tomboy manifesto. Tonight, the founding member of Sonic Youth presents her book alongside one of its featured subjects: conceptual artist Raymond Pettibon, who in 2013 transformed the David Zwirner Gallery into his own personal studio in order to display work in the place it was created. At the release party for Pettibon’s To Wit (Strand), he and Gordon discuss his career and the project, followed by a Q&A and book signing. — By Heather Baysa

Thursday, 6/26:

Cyrus Chestnut Trio
Jazz Standard
Thursday & Friday, 7:30 p.m., 9:30 p.m. & 11:30 p.m. daily, $25-$30
Following the recent passing of Horace Silver, his virtuosic heir apparent is sure to pay homage to the late iconoclast’s earthy fusion of Latin jazz, funk, and gospel. The 51-year-old pianist has made a point of covering Silver throughout his career, including a consummate rendering of his standard ballad “Peace.” Chestnut’s working trio consists of bassist Dezron Douglas and drummer Neal Smith, both students of alto saxophonist Jackie McLean, a Silver collaborator, so the legacy of hard bop is in full swing for this four-day residency in an intimate, dimly lit jazz haunt reminiscent of the Five Spot and Cafe Bohemia. — By Aidan Levy

The Budos Band + Spires
Bowery Ballroom
9:00 p.m., $15/$17
The sound of summer in Brooklyn is a hotly contested title that could never be definitively decided, but these two bands vie for singular yet complementary claims to capturing it. The Budos Band blends their no-frills Staten Island roots with an overpowering horn section inspired by Fela Kuti and a touch of ’70s kitch. Asphalt and merciless heat combine into a mostly minor mood; Budos shows get hot fast. Spires plays it cooler, having steadily developed a boho-chic psych-pop aesthetic alongside British corollary Temples, with the infectious debut single “Candy Flip” still underground enough that you probably haven’t heard of them. — By Aidan Levy

Friday, 6/27:

Stage 48
11:00 p.m., $20
Whether it’s a celebration of her oldies or a display of her new work off of Braveheart, Ashanti’s show will feature that same honeyed voice we all know and love. The R&B princess’ new sound is reminiscent of her past hits while exploring the new trappy sound omnipresent in today’s R&B/rap/hip-hop hybrids. Her voice cascades in that very familiar and rich manner, a powerful blend of high control and loose flow that feels like a lullaby while grinding like a rap verse. One of pop’s sexiest singers and performers, Ashanti will put on a stunning show and likely cover all the bases we’d expect from the urban soul legend. — By Eleanor Lambert

‘The Ambassador Revue’
Town Hall
8:00 p.m., $30-$65
Hello, hello, what’s this? Or better yet, Allo, allo, qu’est ce que c’est? Why, it’s a rediscovered work Cole Porter wrote in 1928 and really called “La Revue des Ambassadeurs.” It’s about the Paris the songwriter loved from a young age and includes few songs familiar these days, like “In a Moorish Garden.” In the cast then? The Gershwin sister Frances. In the cast now? Amy Burton, Anita Gillette, Jason Graae, Ted Levy, Catherine Russell and Tom Wopat. Leading the pack? Vince Giordano & the Nighthawks. No Cole soul can afford to miss it. — By David Finkle

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