The Nine Best Concerts in New York This Week, 2/17/15


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

Tuesday, 2/17
Andrew Drury’s Content Provider
Roulette Brooklyn
8 p.m., $15–$20
Sometimes ruckus carries the day. It certainly juices the action on percussionist Andrew Drury‘s mildly ornery and occasionally overwhelming new album, Content Provider. Using everything from trance motifs to prog patterns, the drummer drives his two-sax & guitar outfit into frenzied elation. Reed players Ingrid Laubrock and Briggan Krauss lock horns with a nail-biting fervor, and Brandon Seabrook’s six-string hubbub sparks all sorts of explosions. This is a visceral bunch, and their instinctual chemistry should be obvious onstage. The gig will also feature a set of solo floor tom pieces from Drury’s other new disc, The Drum, as well as a visit by special guests. — Jim Macnie

Joe Lovano Nonet
Village Vanguard
Tuesday–Sunday, 8:30 p.m., $30
There’s always been something ultra-sensual about Jim Lovano‘s little big band. With the leader’s lusty horn out front, his reed brigade weaves together, often coming up with a wall of rich textures that complement his ideas and fortify his élan. I’m thinking of an early-Aughts spin through “After the Rain” that advanced the anguish of Trane’s lament and unearthed the mastery that Lovano’s tenor reveals so frequently these days. The iconic West Village cellar sounds terrific when nine individuals hit the stage to make a refined ruckus. Plan on visiting two nights. There are two shows a night, at 8:30 and 10:30 p.m. Admission is $30 and there’s a one-drink minimum. — Jim Macnie[

Wednesday, 2/18
Uri Caine Residency
The Stone
8 p.m., $15
Ever heard Uri Caine glide through “Lazy Hazy Crazy” with bassist John Hébert and drummer Ben Perowsky? You need to, and the chance arrives as the virtuoso pianist unpacks his multiplicity during this six-night run. With two discrete shows an evening (8 p.m. and 10 p.m.), the Stone stints allow artists to get kaleidoscopic and underscore variety. Caine, heralded for bringing an improviser’s vision to the classical canon, is never lacking for novel ideas. From the chamber refinement of cello and violin to the “chamber refinement” of sax and drums, he’s an expert at both following and flouting rules. His “Winterreise” duo with Theo Bleckmann should be as evocative as his “Dragnet” trio with cellist Eric Friedlander and drummer Clarence Penn — what kind of swing will they concoct? Options abound, and don’t forget the solo night. When the stars align he’s a one-man orchestra. — Jim Macnie

Helado Negro
Merkin Concert Hall
7:30 pm, $20–$25
Some performances you can enjoy with no strings attached. That won’t be the case at Merkin Concert Hall on Wednesday, February 18, when Brooklyn resident Roberto Carlos Lange, a/k/a Helado Negro, will tether himself to members of experimental outfit thingNY, controlling their musical expressions with yarn. It’s an extension of Lange’s 2013 piece “Brain Finger Composition” and the keystone of his collaboration with thingNY for the Ecstatic Music Festival. He’ll also be performing his original blend of atmospheric folk and experimental electronica, while thingNY plans to preview its upcoming opera, entitled This takes place close by. The show is one of the many unique collaborations taking place as part of that Ecstatic Music Fest, and you can get a festival pass for $150. Individual tickets are $25 in advance, but the price drops to $20 per ticket for two or more shows. All ages are welcome to attend; the show starts at 7:30 p.m. — Lindsey Rhoades

Thursday, 2/19
Baby’s All Right
8 p.m., $12
If you’ve got a hankering for Philly-based lo-fi pop punk, look no further. Baby’s All Right (146 Broadway, Brooklyn) hosts a triple bill featuring some of our Southern sister city’s fuzzed-out best, kicking the night off at 8 p.m. with new-ish projects Attendant and the Goodbye Party. Headliners Swearin’ feature the snappy vocal exchanges of Allison Crutchfield and Kyle Gilbride, both veterans of the scene despite their youth. It’s been a few years since the release of Surfing Strange, and although they just re-released a six-song EP of older songs entitled What a Dump, the band is likely to preview some new material — well worth the $12 ticket price. The show is 18+.

Friday, 2/20
Lauryn Hill
Highline Ballroom
8 p.m., $125–$200
Ms. Lauryn Hill‘s long reign as an almost mythical figure in hip-hop and r&b is twice as impressive given that she hasn’t put out a proper release in over fifteen years; actually, might as well immediately double it again in light of her recent history of erratic live appearances. This is one of only a handful of acoustic sets featuring Hill and her guitar alongside a partial screening of Concerning Violence, the 2014 documentary about independence movements in Africa for which she served as the narrator. Both shows are sold out, but you can find tickets on the secondary market. — Vijith Assar

An Evening with the Mavericks
Town Hall
8 p.m., $35–$65
Invigorated by the success of their 2012 comeback album and reunion tour, The Mavericks are back on the road in support of their soon-to-be-released record, MONO (due February 17). The new album finds the Miami country band short a founding member (bass player Robert Reynolds was ousted last year for a spiraling opiate addiction), but their sound is as sleek as ever. The record was recorded in just five days; that fact alone testifies to how strong they are live. The songs keep the classic Mavericks sheen of 1950s-style innocence seasoned with Cuban-American zest. Frontman Raul Malo’s shiny tenor voice is forever that of a hopeless romantic, crooning tunes of love and love lost. It’s quite possible these Grammy-winners have never written a bad song; even the sad ones leave the feel-good aftertaste of clean, satisfying songwriting. Enjoy a late-winter pick-me-up when the southerners play Town Hall on February 20. — Linda Leseman

Mountain God
The Acheron
8 p.m., $5–$8
The catalog of Brooklyn’s Mountain God is thin; to date, they’ve released a single EP, Experimentation on the Unwilling, from 2013. It’s doom metal, sure, but companionable doom metal: growled vocals, on-the-nose lyricism, sizzup’d riffs heavy enough to slay a herd of buffalo, atmospherically daring studio trickery, plus discernible melodies. One might easily hum and headbang along, if one wished to, or cue up “Fields of Life,” say, whilst squiring Grandma to Sunday services, with no ill result. A full-length of similarly dense, pop sludge would be welcome. Dreadlords, Hercyn, and Imperial Triumphant also perform. The show is open to those 21 and older. Tickets are a measly $5 in advance and $8 at the door. — Raymond Cummings

Cakes Da Killa
Baby’s All Right
11:55 p.m., $10–$12
Cakes Da Killa‘s debut mixtape, Easy Bake Oven, Vol. 1, and 2014’s The Eulogy showcase Rashard Bradshaw’s ability to flawlessly craft brilliant, memorable rhymes with visceral diction. If the Englewood, New Jersey–based MC somehow managed to slip past your radar, now is the time to catch up. Leaving fans turnt up on the heels of the revamped re-release of his Hunger Pangs EP, Cakes’ lyricism is the perfect ratio of lethal wit laced with arrogance, raunch, and charm. Fierce cuts like “Truth Tella” and the house-ready thump of “Its Not Ovah” prove Bradshaw has a gift for cooking up addictive tracks that could easily double as mantras. As the crowned MC royal of Cunt Mafia, Bradshaw’s onstage moniker is a force to be reckoned with. Get ready for his brand-new EP, #IMF, to become your new BFF. Also performing are UNiiQU3, Cunt Mafia, Rizzla, Tigga, LA TR!CK$, and a few special guests. — Dianca Potts

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