The 10 Best Concerts in New York This Week, 8/11/14


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

Monday, 8/11:

Weasel Walter
Saint Vitus
8:00 p.m., $10
No one on the downtown scene is more qualified to be heir to the mantle of Captain Beefheart than hardcore multi-instrumentalist, impresario, and agent provocateur Weasel Walter. The former leader of now disbanded free jazz noisemakers the Flying Luttenbachers, Walter straddles the boundaries of death metal, noise, punk, and, well, anything he can get his hands on, with an irreverent disregard for the constraints of rhythm or melody. He’s also a scholar of the ’80s No Wave scene, and has recently been collaborating with poster girl Lydia Lunch, who released her last solo album on his label, the appropriately named ugExplode. With Bob Crusoe, Bukkake Moms, and Load-in. — By Aidan Levy

Tuesday, 8/12:

Jesse McCartney
Irving Plaza
6:30 p.m., $25
Former teen heartthrob Jesse McCartney has ditched the frosted tips and Disney-friendly pop tunes in favor of a little retro soul on the singer’s July-released fourth album, In Technicolor. The album marks a shift for 27-year-old McCartney in terms of musical maturity as well as a move away from his longtime home at Hollywood Records. As an independent artist, there’s more depth to his new image, now complete with disco-inflected beats and snappy suits. McCartney may be all grown up — but still expect to hear a few teenage-pitched screams on his current live tour. — By Jill Menze

The Cult
The Paramount
8:00 p.m., $37.50
English band, The Cult, have been going strong for more than 30 years, nine albums, plenty of timeless singles — including “She Sells Sanctuary” and “Fire Woman” — and numerous dramas. Although there have also been a few changes over those years (and a vow made to never record another studio album) the current line up is once again made up of the core partnership of charismatic frontman Ian Astbury and guitarist Billy Duffy, who are working on a follow up to 2012’s well-received Choice of Weapon. Three decades have not subdued them, though, or their electrifying, and often unpredictable, shows. — By Karen Gardiner

Vieux Farka Toure
Highline Ballroom
8:00 p.m., $20-$42
The late Ali Farka Touré’s son has wisely chosen to transform his father’s Saharan guitar boogie into a vehicle of raw electric power. Expect him to slip acoustic traditional tunes from his father’s repertoire into a show dominated by tough vamping jams that illuminate the family sound’s flashpoint connection to Delta blues. — By Richard Gehr

Tori Amos
Beacon Theatre
Tuesday & Wednesday,
Tori Amos, the queen of the heartbroken piano ballad, has returned. The new release Unrepentant Geraldines is her 14th studio album and her eighth to debut in the Billboard Top 10. Her particular brand of alternative, baroque pop is punctuated with forays into story songs, like album standout “Trouble’s Lament.” Tori plays at New York’s intimate, historic Beacon Theatre, a venue best suited to her often slow and intense musical style. She is performing back-to-back shows, a testament to her staying power. Deeply influenced by musical theater, her own classical training, and visual art movements like Impressionism, Amos remains enigmatic even at age 50 — still a must-see. — By Caitlin White

Wednesday, 8/13:

DJ Dog Dick
McCarren Park
6:00 p.m., free
Formerly of Baltimore and today thriving in Brooklyn, DJ Dog Dick is deeply representative of what some like to call the New Weird American aesthetic: an impulse that parties heartily and perversely at pop’s expense while embracing punk, noise, and rap. The result is a gnarly, theatrical hybrid where separating those out strains becomes a fool’s errand, and the only option is to submit wholeheartedly to Max Eisenberg’s wavy, grainy mania. Difficult to stay what any of it really means — recent album The Life Stain is a recombinant adventure – but, like a Lars Von Trier flick, it’ll stick with you. — By Raymond Cummings

Jazz Standard
7:30 p.m. & 9:30 p.m., $20
Sometimes agility is everything. This new trio of old friends carries the day with an intuitive sense of back ‘n’ forth. On the just-out Singular Curves, snippets of melody leap from the sax, bass and drums, pinballing around the playground. Best part? Pith. These guys have a collective inner editor that knows when its time to write that closing graf, so everything stays tight. — By Jim Macnie

Thursday, 8/14:

Agnes Obel
Bowery Ballroom
8:00 p.m., $20/$25
Danish singer/songwriter Agnes Obel’s sparse, haunting songs shine brightly during her live performances, stripped down to just a piano, some strings, and her soft velvety voice. Her understated debut album Philharmonics, released in 2010, was a multiple award winner and was followed up last year with the bolder, more assured Aventine. The dark beauty of Obel’s music often inspires such descriptors as “gothic” and “brooding,” but there’s a sweetness, too. In fact, Jeni of the currently hip ice cream brand Jeni’s Splendid cited Obel as inspiration for a flavor a couple of years ago. — By Karen Gardiner

Friday, 8/15:

Keith Urban
PNC Bank Arts Center
7:00 p.m., $30-$63.25
Though overshadowed shadowed by several awful incidents at a recent Massachusetts concert, Keith Urban is still clocking dates for his Raise ‘Em Up Tour. The Australian country powerhouse and American Idol judge is on the road in support of his latest No. 1 album, Fuse, an effort that finds Urban straying, successfully, outside the lines of traditional country. While Urban’s likely to play it a little safe on the remainder of his tour, fans can still expect a rowdy good time alongside hits like “Somebody Like You” and “Cop Car.” — By Jill Menze

Thievery Corporation
JBL Live at Pier 97
6:00 p.m., $45
If you’re one of those people who has only heard of the Thievery Corporation from the Garden State soundtrack then shame on you, because, put simply, Thievery Corporation is world music at its finest. This DC-based group is one of the most eclectic artist and DJ collectives around, spanning a wide variety of genres, including dub, acid jazz, reggae, Indian classical and bossa nova. The group’s members also speak a crazy number of languages; besides the requisite English, we’ve got Hindi, Persian, Romanian, Portuguese and Italian in the mix. They’ve released a steady stream of albums since their 1995 birth, their latest album Saudade embracing the collective’s bossa nova roots. — By Tara Mahadevan

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