The Nine Best Concerts in New York This Week, 4/6/15


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

Monday, 4/6
Cody Simpson
Bowery Ballroom
9 p.m., $29–$150
While some young acts are dropping members (luv you always, Zayn), others are looking toward the horizon. Enter eighteen-year-old Cody Simpson, a name that bubbled up to the surface a few years ago thanks to his ties to YouTube and the Biebs. Simpson is moving toward his future with an aptly titled new album, Free, his first after leaving a deal with Atlantic Records. Simpson’s new direction is more of the Jason Mraz/singer-songwriter variety than of teenybopper-pop land, which the Aussie is showcasing on a handful of spring U.S. dates. Number of hysterical teenage girls to expect on premises TBD. — Jill Menze

The Decemberists
Beacon Theatre
8 p.m., $46
It’s been awhile since we’ve heard anything new from everyone’s favorite literary lyricists the Decemberists, but the start of this year saw the band’s first new output since 2011, What a Terrible World, What a Beautiful World. In support of the band’s seventh album, Colin Meloy and company are bringing their always reliable and theatrical live show back on the road. Hear Meloy’s poetic lyrics take form alongside the likes of accordion, mandolin, and a harmonica melody or two at the fittingly pristine Beacon Theatre. Canadian buzz band Alvvays open. The show is sold out, but tickets are available on the secondary market. — Jill Menze

Tuesday, 4/7
Chet Faker
Tuesday: Output // Wednesday: Terminal 5
Tuesday 8 p.m. & Wednesday, 10 p.m.
The title for his first EP, Thinking in Textures, perfectly embodies the mood of Chet Faker‘s music: pensive, fundamentally challenging, and rife with electronic surges. Each of Faker’s songs cascade over deep, soulful backbeats. The Australian released his first studio album, Built on Glass, one year ago, and between these two albums, his voice remains soothing and inquisitive while the music itself has continued to develop instrumentally and, yes, texturally. Beyond his personal repertoire, Faker has collaborated with numerous artists, including producer Flume, with whom he’s released a number of songs. After already playing two sold-out shows, Faker will continue his NYC performances on Tuesday at Output and with another sold-out show on Wednesday at Terminal 5 with XXYYXX. The show is open to all ages. — Eleanor Lambert

Wednesday, 4/8
Gesaffelstein (DJ Set)
10 p.m., $20–$25
The two tracks for Kanye’s Yeezus that he produced are probably the closest Gesaffelstein will get to making music that could in any way fit under the label of “pop.” His tracks are deep and grimy; heavy, scorching beats are his staple. Although he hasn’t put out an album in quite some time, his sets are always ripe with a steady, primal tattoo, his sound quite literally reverberating with all its heavy wobbling and dominating trills. Yes, we know this is a DJ set, but after the recent announcement that his upcoming Coachella performance will be his last “live” show, we recommend catching whatever you can of this Frenchman. — Eleanor Lambert

Bowery Ballroom
Wednesday, 9 p.m., $25
Venezuelan producer Alejandro Ghersi (better known as Arca) has been busy of late, working his electronic magic at each of Björk’s sold-out NYC shows and earning an increasingly stellar reputation for his work on albums by FKA twigs, Kanye West, and Kelela. He’ll be on his own for this date at Bowery Ballroom, in support of his debut LP, Xen. Released late last year, the shape-shifting and, at times, unnerving Xen displayed a twisted yet elegant approach to electronic music that proved Arca has a bright and utterly compelling future ahead of him. 18+. — Karen Gardiner

Rex Manning Day!
Rough Trade NYC
10 p.m., $42
With Aprils Fools’ Day and Easter officially behind us, it is time for April’s next (and obviously most significant) holiday: Rex Manning Day! Music and film lovers together, rejoice! It is once again time to pay homage to the all-important Empire Records. How others will celebrate the twentieth anniversary of such a classic is unknown, but BBQ Films is hosting its own “immersive cinematic experience,” which will feature a screening of the movie, loads of live music, and even an opportunity to shave your head for Deb’s funeral. Come damn the man with fellow fans and celebrate the holiday accordingly. — Eleanor Lambert

Thursday, 4/9
Terminal 5
Tuesday 8 p.m., $20–$25 // Wednesday 10 p.m.
What happens after your band releases a string of infectious and inescapable singles? Why, you attempt world domination with another band! Jack Antonoff, the multi-instrumentalist of fun. and main man of Lena Dunham’s life, has headed up a side project called Bleachers, a band whose biggest competition in the indie-pop department is every other project of Antonoff’s. The world was introduced to Bleachers through “I Wanna Get Better,” the absurdly catchy first single off of their July 2014 debut album, Strange Desire. With its Eighties new-wave sound, Bleachers have given us a breezy soundtrack for endless nights spent dancing our faces off in the same way fun.’s Some Nights did in 2012 (and 2013). Let’s see which of Antonoff’s projects will keep us smiling and be stuck in our heads through 2016. — Brittany Spanos

Annie Mac
9 p.m., $20–$25
Leading lady of dance and host of her own show on BBC’s Radio One, Annie Mac is coming to NYC as part of her upcoming North American tour. Despite her celebrity, it is only fitting that Ms. Mac perform at Verboten, a dark, deeper, sensuous venue that will be a proper home for her old-school beats and moody drops. In 2014 Mac launched her brand, Annie Mac Presents (AMP), through which she carefully curates festivals, compilations, and events all in the vein of the deeper dance music she has so masterfully crafted and inspired. For all those 21+, catch the first stop of her tour this Thursday at Verboten. — Eleanor Lambert

Friday, 4/10
Cock Sparrer
7 p.m., $32
Back in 1976, the young punks in Cock Sparrer coulda been the next Sex Pistols, but they famously wouldn’t cut their hair into a punk style for Pistols manager Malcolm McLaren. (Another story has the reason as McLaren wouldn’t buy them a second round of beers.) Yet, as any punk worth her Docs will tell you, Cock Sparrer were soooo much better as musicians and songwriters than their snotty contemporaries. The band from London’s East End floundered a bit after that McLaren miss, and went belly-up by 1978. Yet the beer-soaked power-pop punk songs from their ’78 Decca Records album (released only in Spain) kept ending up on oi! and punk compilations. The group’s ear for simple melodies pulled from England’s football terraces, and its mix of junkshop glam, first-wave punk, and the Rolling Stones (even covering “We Love You”) always gave them a sizable lead on other bands of the era. They reunited and released Shock Troops in ’83, then Running Riot in ’84, forming the bulk of material treasured by their fans. The band hasn’t played New York City in fifteen years, despite stops in California, Philly, Baltimore, and Austin since then. But this weekend they’ll be at Warsaw in Greenpoint. The Friday-night show sold out in a single day, but you can find tickets on the secondary market or try the Saturday show, which was quickly added. — Nick Lucchesi