The Nine Best Concerts in New York This Week, 6/01/15


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


Monday, 6/01
Blue Note Jazz Festival
Blue Note
All Month, 8 p.m., $20–$55
Some jazz fests bet the farm on stylistic focus; some let a wide breadth carry the day. File this year’s Blue Note Jazz Festival in the latter category and get ready for action. If you participate fully, you’ll be bouncing around town (and genres). How else to describe a month-long confab that includes Bebel Gilberto and Kathleen Battle as well as Oliver Lake and the Rippingtons? Mainstream swing, old-school blues, swamp rock, classical refractions, and the city’s first all-women mariachi outfit — the BNJF curators aren’t sweating the orthodoxy, and that alone is rather refreshing. Icons are invited, of course; saxophonist Lee Konitz, drummer Roy Haynes, and pianist Abdullah Ibrahim still have the power to amaze. You’ll need to sketch your own must-see list, but be wise: That Bad Plus–Joshua Redman gig has to make the cut. — Jim Macnie

Tuesday, 6/02
The Tallest Man on Earth
Music Hall of Williamsburg / Beacon Theatre
Tuesday, 9 p.m., $30 / Wednesday, 8 p.m., $40
Kristian Matsson, a/k/a The Tallest Man on Earth, is one of many young artists who drew early comparisons to Bob Dylan. While such parallels are often lazy, well, the Tallest Man on Earth doesn’t exactly shy away from hyperbole. Plus, there’s a pinch of truth to it. Like Dylan, Matsson’s distinct croak isn’t exactly pretty, but it soothes as a musical tonic and is arresting without accompaniment (the less the better). Tonight, Matsson plucks from Dark Bird Is Home, his first album since 2012. — Chris Kornelis

Jessica Hernandez & the Deltas
Baby’s All Right
7 p.m., $10–$12
On their Instant Records debut, Secret Evil, Jessica Hernandez & the Deltas shuffle together rockabilly and punk with a side of trombone for a distinctly modern take on the well-worn genres. But there’s more promise in the ingredients than the results. There’s no standout, torch-bearing track here, and the album can feel mired in overproduction. Still, Hernandez’s vocals are strong, showing flashes of both Wanda Jackson and Amy Winehouse. And the sonic thumbprint the band has etched for itself deserves developing. It’s easy to believe that the best is yet to come. — Chris Kornelis

Wednesday, 6/03
Notes of a Native Song
Harlem Stage Gatehouse
7:30 p.m., $49
We recently ran into our mono-monikered friend Stew, who’s been rehearsing “Notes of a Native Song,” a new assemblage of songs, texts, and video inspired by writer James Baldwin. As with his Tony Award–winning musical Passing Strange, “Notes” is a collaboration with Heidi Rodewald, a longtime musical partnership that goes back to their hard-rocking days in the Negro Problem. So why James Baldwin, we asked him, and why now? “For too many,” Stew replied, “Baldwin functions as just another civil rights action figure trapped in a clear plastic box, exhibited on the kente-cloth mantel, and mined ruthlessly for poetic quotes. Baldwin was my first encounter with punk rock, and we’re trying to rescue him from PBS respectability and drag him back to Giovanni’s room, where he belongs.” “Notes” premieres tonight. — Richard Gehr

Mumford & Sons
MCU Park
Tuesday & Wednesday, 7 p.m., $78.40
Despite its lack of that infamous banjo-picking, Wilder Mind still sounds like a Mumford & Sons album through and through: moody, meaningful, pensive, and more than likely to get stuck in your head. Marcus Mumford’s voice is a raspy invitation to nostalgia, and the rambling, daringly electric rock ‘n’ roll accompaniment is unlike their previous, folkier sound, but just as hypnotizing. A Mumford & Sons show is like a jolt of raw energy, each song a call to sing along and dance unabashedly. After writing most of their third album in producer Aaron Dessner’s Brooklyn studio, it is only fitting that the group come back to BK and play the famed MCU Park at Coney Island. — Eleanor Lambert

On the next page: Picks for Thursday and Friday

Thursday, 6/04
Apollo Theater / Output
Thursday, 8 p.m., $45–$50 / Friday, 10 p.m., $20–$30
Chromeo, the electro-funk duo who brought you classics like “Night By Night” and “Sexy Socialite” along with newer hits like “Jealous (I Ain’t With It),” are performing two NYC shows for double the groove. An amalgam of syncopated, funky riffs and soothing, steady vocals, Chromeo’s songs evoke a genuine sense of delight. Thursday’s show will feature the boys on live instruments, whereas Friday’s turn at Output will be a DJ set; either is pretty much a guaranteed good time. (Or, heck, just go to both.) — Eleanor Lambert

Rough Trade NYC
6:30 p.m.
In preparation for this weekend’s upcoming Governors Ball, Odesza will be overtaking Rough Trade NYC for a Governors Ball After Dark Event. Although the set will be a brief 45 minutes, it’s sure to bring the same snappy, swirling buoyancy as the major festival showing. Harrison Mills and Clayton Knight, hailing from Seattle, only began making music in 2012, but their rise has been steady and smooth, much like their musical energy. The performance will last from 7 till 7:45, and a signing will follow immediately after. All ages are welcome, but unfortunately the event is sold out. Start the hunt for tickets quick if you want to attend! — Eleanor Lambert

Friday, 6/05
Chelsea Nights Concert Series
The Chelsea Market
7:30 p.m., FREE
Ever since it got cozy with the High Line in 2009, Chelsea Market has solidified its status as the classiest shopping mall that ever there was. Where else can you pry into top-notch lobster while enjoying the sprawling vistas of an Anthropologie store? It also houses the Food Network studios, which would surely make it a foodie’s paradise if the shops peddling artisanal cheeses, crêpes, wines, and other vaguely French-sounding stuff didn’t already. It’s a place you want to hang out long after you’re finished ingesting, and now you can. For Chelsea Nights: A Concert Series, Brooklyn’s Paper Garden Records presents its budding talent. Openers include Salt Cathedral, Little Strike, and Stranger Cat, who combine the earthy sounds of tambourine with out-of-this-world synth lines. — Heather Baysa

Little Dragon
Brooklyn Bowl
11:30 p.m., $27.50–$30
Over their years together, Little Dragon have traversed folk, dance music, trip-hop, slow jams, r&b, indie rock, and synthpop, all while remaining consistently true to their own style. Beginning as a high school band in Gothenburg, Sweden, lifelong friends Yukimi Nagano, Erik Bodin, Fred Wallin, and Håkan Wirenstrand have proven that Little Dragon has not-so-little plans for constant genre-bending and reinvention, with three studio albums burnishing their musical diversity, the most recent being 2014’s Nabuma Rubberband. The group will be performing alongside Razor-N-Tape and JKriv & Aaron Dae in advance of their Governors Ball show the following day. — Eleanor Lambert