The 11 Best Concerts in New York This Week, 12/15/14


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

Monday, 12/15
Highline Ballroom
6 p.m., $20 – $75
Tinashe‘s been bubbling under the surface as pop’s new It girl for some time now, thanks to her work with girl group the Stunners and her solo mixtapes. This year Tinashe released her debut studio album, Aquarius, one of the year’s most sexy, sultry listens, highlighted by her club-poppin’ breakout single “2 On,” featuring Schoolboy Q. Also a schooled dancer, Tinashe’s performances offer the full package. Think of her as a mini Beyoncé in training. — By Jill Menze

Tuesday, 12/16
Gramercy Arts Theater
7 p.m., $27
Touring on the strength of his new single, “Till It’s Gone,” off the long-awaited Love Story album, Gadsden, Alabama-born rapper Yelawolf returns to New York tonight for a show that also promises a performance of “Box Chevy V,” the latest song in his “Box Chevy” series. And get there early, as he could open with “Honey Brown,” also off the upcoming Love Story. — By Nick Lucchesi

Wednesday, 12/17
Beach Fossils
The Glasslands Gallery
7 p.m., $20
Brooklyn band Beach Fossils got their start playing shows at Glasslands, so it’s only fitting the lo-fi rockers are helping close out the Williamsburg venue’s final days. Formed by Dustin Payseur in 2009, Beach Fossils have seen a number of lineup changes over the years, finally expanding from Payseur’s bedroom project into a full band for the recording of 2013’s Clash the Truth, released via Captured Tracks. With surf-inspired, reverb-heavy pop tunes, this is just the show you need to shake loose those winter blues. PC Worship, Jerry Paper, and Red Sea kick off the 8 p.m. show, which is open to everyone 18 and older. — By Jill Menze

Bowery Ballroom
9 p.m., $22 – $25
Amanda Sudano and Abner Ramirez are the sound of new Nashville — that is, both musically trained since childhood, Ramirez through school in his native Jacksonville, Florida, and Sudano by her mother, Donna Summer. Both transplants to the country-music mecca, they met after a Sunday church service, and that was that. The duo that now goes by Johnnyswim was born. Taking their name from Johnny, a cat that was once chased into a river by Ramirez’s dog, the band makes jubilant folk, blues, and pop. Their earthy sound, replete with hand claps and knee slaps on nearly every track, is lent a somehow audible element of authenticity, as it was actually produced below the Mason-Dixon line (and not, say, in Brooklyn). Last month, they released A Johnnyswim Christmas, and we’re still grateful for the batch of non-nauseating holiday tracks. Catch them up North tonight and tomorrow. — By Heather Baysa[

Thursday, 12/18
Nels Cline
7 p.m., $10
NYC-via-Cali guitar-wielding godhead Nels Cline is one tireless, globe-hopping maestro. Consider this: Just in the last year, the punk-jazz noise-monger has performed his six-string magic with Cibo Matto and Wilco, dueled with young gun Julian Lage on guitar duo record ROOM, and, with the Nels Cline Singers, given an ax-shredding clinic on Macroscope. Tonight, Cline’s DIY free-improv roots will be in full-throttle gear as he converges with the hall-of-famers of Brooklyn’s avant-jazz scene for interstellar fret-pounding and skronk-heavy freakouts. — By Brad Cohan

Knitting Factory Brooklyn
7:30 p.m., $12
For popcentric Brooklyn DIY songstress Mitski, it’s been a helluva breakout year. As vocalist for experi-metal oddball collective Voice Coils, she played chanteuse to its brainiac jazz-damaged complexities to dreamy perfection on their recent 7-inch slab, and just dropped her third solo joint, the awesomely titled (and obscure Simpsons-referenced nugget) Bury Me at Makeout Creek. Infectiously jangly, sun-drenched, candy-sweet fuzz-pop is Mitski’s M.O. on Bury Me , whose 10 slices of heaven feel oh-so-good, echoing Frankie Cosmos and tour-mate Joyce Manor’s melodiously frisky flair. — By Brad Cohan

Thievery Corporation
Webster Hall
8 p.m., $49.50
After two decades of lacing records teetering on the edge of trip-hop with samples and guest singers of unexpected far-flung provenance, Thievery Corporation‘s latest album explicitly focuses on drawing inspiration from Brazil, and for the trouble becomes one of their most sedate and coherent outings, if not necessarily the most exciting or elaborate. Maybe getting older has just chilled them out a bit — ironic for a band once explicitly marketed as “chillout music” — but either way, D.C. electronica’s most celebrated crate-diggers have at least finally settled on a less grueling flight plan. — By Vijith Assar[

Friday, 12/19
Barclays Center
7:30 p.m., $25 – $150
It’s a hip-hop heavyweight holiday this season as Queens natives Run-D.M.C. headline Barclays Center in Brooklyn. The gig marks one of the few times that Run-D.M.C. members Joseph Simmons, a/k/a Rev. Run, and Darryl McDaniels have played since group member Jam Master Jay died in 2002. Joining the legendary rappers on the bill is fellow hip-hop pioneer LL Cool J, as well as the likes of DJ Z-Trip and Lecrae. Expect some sick collabs and a fitting “Christmas in Hollis”. — By Jill Menze

RL Grime
Terminal 5
8 p.m., $20 – $40
Another year is coming to an end and it remains uncertain if EDM trap will live another year. L.A.-based WeDidIt collective member RL Grime, also known by his big room house moniker, Clockwork, combines his street cred (like an official remix for Chief Keef) and rave reputation for a DJ performance that has the crowd singing and dancing like a rap show. On this headlining tour, the young producer will combine the twerk high hats that aided his rise to fame with the more mature, dark techno sounds heard on his 2014 debut album, VOID. He’ll be joined by openers Lunice (known for his collaborations with Hudson Mohawke) and fellow L.A.-based producer Branchez. There’s a reason why RL Grime has received co-signs from Diplo, Big Sean, and Goosebumps author R.L. Stine, so see for yourself at Terminal 5. The event is sold out, but you can find tickets on the secondary market. Doors open at 8 p.m. and the show is open to everyone 18 and older. — By Lina Abascal

Shilpa Ray
Cake Shop
8 p.m., $8
Like no-wave goddess Lydia Lunch, scuzzy blooze-punk howler and harmonium-stabbing noise queen Shilpa Ray is one fierce brutarian to be reckoned with. Just recently, Ray leveled Ridgewood DIY hub Trans Pecos with a powerhouse blast of soulfully husky yelps, rockabilly-twisted chug-downs and dark-as-fuck blues. It’s no wonder goth-head legend Nick Cave has championed Ray, releasing her It’s All Self-Fellatio EP and giving her a Grinderman tour slot. Now Brooklyn’s own Northern Spy Records has swooped up Ray and will unleash her new LP, Last Year’s Savage, in 2015. — By Brad Cohan

Mat Zo
Pacha NYC
10 p.m., $10 in advance, $25 – $45 afterward
EDM producer Mat Zo is having a moment: After producing for three years and releasing music for the past year, he’s landed on a powerful signature sound at just 26 years old. Signed to Above & Beyond’s Anjunabeats label, Zo’s music is the exact kind Anjuna has come to love — emotional, melodically enticing, and funky, sometimes all at once. Tonight, catch Mat Zo’s solo show, a part of his Mad Zoo Winter Roadshow Tour (Mad Zoo is Zo’s very own label) as it comes through NYC’s Pacha. Let those groovy beats fulfill nearly every musical need you have. The show is open to everyone 19 and older. — By Eleanor Lambert