The 10 Best Concerts in New York This Weekend, 10/17/14


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

Friday, 10/17

J Mascis with Luluc
Bowery Ballroom
The pedigree of guitar-wielding, pedal-hopping titan J Mascis is earth-shaking and underground-defining. The purple-draped long-haired godhead led Dinosaur Jr to a classic trifecta of ultra-influential LP’s of orgasmic sludge-rock brilliance that shaped indie rock in the 80’s before enjoying a fruitful run in the grunge rock 90’s era. But when Mascis isn’t inflicting ear-bleeding damage with the reunited Dino Jr, he’s mellowing out with his Martin acoustic and magically weaving sublime folkers like Tied To A Star, his new solo joint. Ever the pop tunesmith, Mascis–like he did on ’11’sSeveral Shades of Why–layers the lush strumming and pluck ‘n’ twang way thick on Star’s ethereal mediations, topped by his dreamy croak. Whether it’s amps on ten or finger-picking subtlety, J’s got it covered. — By Brad Cohan

Rat Fist with Dope Body, Bambara & bottoms
8pm. $10-$20.
No Age guitarist Randy Randall and Pissed Jeans drummer Sean are Rat Fist, a preemie of a thrash-rock super duo with little more than a 7-inch and a lengthening string of live dates to its credit. Renown counts for less that sound in this case – a Byzantine crunch that buries punk’s brevity, metal’s weight, and pop-indie’s tunefulness in contextually indeterminate attitudes that go down gnarliest in small doses. Also – and maybe it’s sacrilegious to say this – I’d take the three scowls these dudes have made public overAn Object or King of Jeans any day. — By Raymond Cummings

The Shivers with Roses, Big Kitty
Mercury Lounge
9:30pm, $10-12.
Analog rock troubadours from Queens, New York, the Shivers have evolved from a five-piece to duo to solo act, and back to their current two-piece iteration of original guitarist-vocalist Keith Zarriello and bassist Benham Jones. Authentically gritty and hauntingly beautiful, their eight-album catalog features songs about love, loss, and the overwhelmingness of NYC–all carried by Zarriello’s gravely cello vocals and intimate guitar-work. This month, the Shivers’ debut album Charades turns 10. To celebrate, they’ve remastered each track for vinyl reissue and invited a carousel of guest musicians to their show. Joined by electro-pop ex-Deer Tickers, Roses, and Big Kitty. By Jill Menze

Minus the Bear & O’Brother
The Gramercy Theatre
7:30pm. $26.50
With five studio albums and four EPs released in just over a decade, Minus the Bear have a vast musical repertoire and keep on truckin’. They also have what is, to our minds, the most interesting band name origin story in the history of all recorded music. From Urban Dictionary: “The name references an old TV show, BJ and the Bear, if you were to subtract the bear from this expression, you would be left with a BJ.” YOU GUYS! — By Eleanor Lambert

Damien Rice
9pm. $45.00
Perhaps one of the most soothing voices around, Damien Rice is not only is appreciated for his serene yet surprisingly powerful voice, but also for his very emphatic and skilled guitar playing. There is a nostalgic quality in Rice’s music, a sense of longing for another time, but without any discomfort towards the current moment. Damien Rice’s music is obviously emotional, his voice undulating whimsically in tune with his guitar, which at times seems to have a voice of its own. His presence is strong while still maintaining a very calming quality, one that is designed to unite an audience around the very deep sentimentality that is evident in his music and his singing and playing style. — By Eleanor Lambert

Saturday, 10/18

Above & Beyond
Madison Square Garden
8pm. $60-$600 (<—HAHAHAHA), SOLD OUT
There are very few DJ trios like Above & Beyond. Their entire musical repertoire seems to be founded on sentimentality and raw, interconnecting experience. Their radio show, Group Therapy Radio, is celebrating its 100th episode at MSG this weekend, and the spectacle will likely be tremendous. Known for their stunning visuals paired with euphoric build-ups and surprisingly heavy drops, A&B is designed to be felt more than heard or seen. Their live performances dance perfectly along their very unique musical lines, retaining the serene and loving qualities of their recorded music while mixing in some incredibly deep and bass-driven live drops. This show will undoubtedly be unlike most others, with their very unique beats and all-inclusive Group Therapy sentiment flowing freely across the arena. — By Eleanor Lambert

Michael Franks
B.B. King Blues Club & Grill
7:30pm & 10pm. $38.50.
When you picture a loving couple swaying arm-in-arm at some holiday event, possibly with a glass of champagne in their hands, you’re hearing Michael Franks. His romantic tunes are smooth, and sway with a familiar jazzy enlightenment that moves enticingly. His voice is tender and rather youthful, adding an interesting element to this very lowkey, saccharine version of groove. It is clear in his live performances that he, too, can feel this energy, and while he seems a bit mellow on stage, his suave voice and modest demeanor get his audience grooving accordingly. — By Eleanor Lambert

Sunday, 10/19

12pm. $20.
The two composers at the core of Sound / Source, a 10-hour immersion in the electro-acoustic zone, couldn’t be less alike methodologically but are very much humanist brothers under the skin. Alvin Lucier’s 1969 minimalist classic, I Am Sitting in a Room, kicks things off with a slow-motion exploration of the P.S.1 geodesic dome’s resonant properties. Then the 30th birthday of Paul Lansky’s “Idle Chatter” series of granular vocal manipulations will be celebrated with a new live arrangement by Roomful of Teeth, a new eight-channel surround-sound version performed by the composer himself, and yet another new interpretation by Holly Herndon. Also: a Tyondai Braxton solo set, Vicky Chow’s rendition of Tristan Perich’s lovely Surface Image, site-specific installations by Daniel Lopatin, and Lucky Dragons’ version of elevator music — performed on a real elevator. — By Richard Gehr

Zola Jesus with Martin Rev (of Suicide) and Lee Bannon
Webster Hall
8pm. $25.
Zola Jesus is the appropriately dark and provocative stage name of singer-songwriter Nika Roza Danilova. Three EPs and three full-length albums deep, she’s created a name for herself as an electro-industrial dark wave genius. Building a drama of digital opera, Danilova produces works at once darkly dingy and melodically grand, propelled by drum machine beats, and, depending on the album, a swelling string quartet. Self-described as attempting be “intense,” and “raw,” Zola Jesus has the ethereal bigness of Cocteau Twins, the semi-screech of Kate Bush, and the goth sensibility of Ian Curtis–plus a bunch of atmospheric synth sequences. Touring in support of her newest release, Taiga, expect some catchier club stomps and sultry soaring vocals at this show. By Sarah Madges

New Found Glory
Best Buy Theater
7pm. $24.50.
Who knew the likes of One Direction would spark so much Internet debate about pop-punk heroes New Found Glory? Rumor has it the 1D clan’s new song ripped off New Found Glory’s “It’s Not Your Fault,” and NFG defenders were set ablaze. But hey, all press is good press, and the coverage helped to highlight NFG’s just-released album Resurrection. The release marks the first without longtime guitarist Steve Klein, but its still chock-full of slick earworm pop like “Ready and Willing.” Alongside bona fide hits like “My Friends Over You” and “Head On Collision,” moshing to these guys live makes it feel like 2002 all over again. By Jill Menze

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