The 10 Best Concerts in New York This Weekend, 12/12/14


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

Friday, 12/12
Sakishima Meeting
Asia Society
7:30 p.m., SOLD OUT
This popular Okinawa folk-pop duo consists of guitarist Isamu Shimoji and Yukito Ara, who plays the sanshin, a three-stringed, snakeskin-covered relative of the banjo. The pair’s mellow, often sentimental music employs the so-called “Okinawan scale,” which seems to split the difference between Japanese and Hawaiian styles. Find out more during a pre-performance talk about Okinawan music and culture. — By Richard Gehr

Cymbals Eat Guitars
Knitting Factory Brooklyn
9:30 p.m., $12
New York rockers Cymbals Eat Guitars have never been part of a particular city “scene” (they do, after all, call Staten Island home), but the group has been producing solid, unique indie rock since it formed in 2009. The group’s third album, this year’s Lose, is Cymbals Eat Guitars’ most impressive work to date: Built to Spill-like guitar heroics sit alongside bursts of pure pop perfection. Led by Joseph D’Agostino, the band’s current lineup includes Andrew Dole, Matt Whipple, and Brian Hamilton. Live, expect some serious ax work and a hipster or two busting a move. The show is all-ages and Alex G opens. — By Jill Menze

Saint Vitus Bar
Friday & Saturday, 7:30 p.m., SOLD OUT
With so much doom metal available these days, it can be hard to separate the quality goods from the unspecial. What makes one plodding, down-tuned, blues-reliant band any better or worse than the next? For an example of doom that delivers the goods, flip to the “Y” section of your metal encyclopedia and consider YOB, from Eugene, Oregon. Eighteen years in, they’re finding ways to roust a sleepy genre. Maybe it has something to do with their newer work, which treads beyond heavy blues. Maybe it’s the screaming and singing of Mike Scheidt — it’s rare for both vocal deliveries to work equally well. Maybe it’s their fearless use of negative space to contrast sonically saturated moments. Or it could be simply that intangible thing that’s better felt than described — spirit, soul, heart; take your pick. Experience it for yourself when YOB play a double-header at Saint Vitus on Friday, December 12, and Saturday, December 13. Both shows are sold out, but you can still score tickets on the secondary market. Ecstatic Vision and Occultation open on Friday, while Brooklyn darlings Tombs and Kings Destroy open on Saturday. — By Linda Leseman

Terminal 5
Friday (SOLD OUT) & Saturday, 8 p.m., $35, 18+
This DJ/producer duo Flosstradamus is blending hip-hop/rap and electronic beats with heat and precision, practically defining the Trap subgenre with their triple-time high hats and and edgy lyrics. Hailing from Chicago, DJs J2K (Josh Young) and Autobot (Curt Cameruci) joined forces in 2006 and have been laying down twerk anthems ever since. Get ready for heavy bass, trippy, drippy beats and an equal amount of hand and ass clapping throughout the night as these boys make their 2013 “Ass Quake” a reality. — By Eleanor Lambert[

Saturday, 12/13
Computer Magic
The Glasslands Gallery
7 p.m., $10
Although Williamsburg’s beloved venue Glasslands has already held its own funeral, there’s still a chance to check out a few shows in the space before the doors close for good on New Year’s Eve. At the top of the Glasslands docket tonight is Computer Magic, the electronic project of Brooklyn-based Danielle “Danz” Johnson. On record, such as this year’s Extra Stuff EP, Johnson is the star of Computer Magic’s show, creating danceable, fuzzy electro pop. On stage, her music is fleshed out with a live band, which includes Solange Knowles’s drummer Chris Egan. Mainland and the Prettiots open the show. — By Jill Menze

Steve Tyrell
Cafe Carlyle
Friday & Saturday, 8:40 p.m. + 10:45 p.m., $65 – $190
As an a&r man he’s overseen Rod Stewart, but perhaps he has taken a step back since becoming a gritty crooner in his own right. Always remember, though, that Tyrell did sing with his Texas rock band back in the day. Now he’s into standards exclusively and will saunter through venerable tunesmiths like Oscar Hammerstein, Richard Rodgers, Sammy Cahn, Jimmy Van Heusen, Barry Mann, Cynthia Weil, Carole King, Michel Legrand, and Alan and Marilyn Bergman. — By David Finkle

Unsilent Night
Washington Square Park
7 p.m., FREE
Nothing takes the chill off a cold winter evening better than a warm cloak of luminous electronic minimalism. Since debuting on the streets of Greenwich Village in 1992, composer Phil Kline’s crowd-performed Unsilent Night has spread to dozens of other cities to become an annual oasis of tranquility amid our seasonal anxieties. To participate, either download parts from the website onto your favorite digital device or manually load a cassette or CD provided by the composer into your dusty boombox. After simultaneous ignition, paraders proceed from Washington Square to Tompkins Square, delighting passersby along the way with the work’s tintinnabulating totality. Part sculpture and part demonstration, Unsilent Night musically affirms the magical bond connecting public space to listening public. — By Richard Gehr

Fat White Family
Baby’s All Right
8 p.m., $8 – $10
The sort of perfectly pitched anger artists that only England can produce, FWF compress a generation’s worth of indie-rock spleen into a skinny white container guaranteed to go boom. Last year’s Champagne Holocaust sounds like the misbegotten spawn of the Mekons, Gun Club, and Oasis’s loneliest collective hangover. Their live shows are challenging, saliva-spewing affairs that threaten to ride off the rails at the drop of a trouser. — By Richard Gehr[

Sunday, 12/14
The Glasslands Gallery
7 p.m., $10 – $12, 18 +
Another highlight during Glasslands’ end-of-an-era show run is Crocodiles, the San Diego duo of Brandon Welchez and Charles Rowell. Few bands can mesh the fuzzy, feedback-drenched sonics à la the Jesus and Mary Chain with such slick pop hooks — a trick Crocodiles all but mastered on the group’s fourth album, Crimes of Passion. Live, the group’s garage rock sensibilities get kicked up several notches. For a night of pure rock ‘n’ roll fun, look no further. — By Jill Menze

Justin Timberlake
Barclays Center
9 p.m., $65 – $230
The renaissance of Justin Timberlake‘s solo career has been something of a transition for the former boyband star. With Justified and FutureSex/LoveSounds, Timberlake established that he could continue on as a pop star in his own right — but The 20/20 Experience aims for adulthood and maturity, both sonically and in subject matter. “Mirrors” and “Suit & Tie” both sought a more contemporary, jazz-infused sound, and the rest of the record played with experimental instrumental breakdowns, gospel, and doo-wop. For the most part, it worked, and Justin was able to ascend into a new, more grown-up phase of his career. The follow-up second volume of the record wasn’t as critically lauded as its predecessor, but revealed that Timberlake and his constant collaborator Timbaland aren’t afraid to take chances. But turning *NSync fame into a full-fledged solo career wouldn’t be possible for just anyone — JT still performs with the same verve and charisma that makes an arena feel like a living room. — By Caitlin White