The Nine Best Concerts in New York This Weekend, 6/12/15


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

Friday, 6/12
MONO| Holly Hunt
Le Poisson Rouge
7:30 p.m., $18 advance; $20 day of show
The crucial combo of experimental kooks Boredoms and all-instrumental ensemble MONO have long anchored the Japanese music scene with decidedly different visions. But it’s been MONO who’ve been the more active of the pioneering twosome, both on vinyl and in blazing the tour circuit. Late last year, MONO followed up 2012’s For My Parents with, not just one measly record, but two albums released on the same day. The Last Dawn and companion piece Rays of Darkness manifested MONO’s fully realized vision of sinister yet electrifying opuses that sublimely blend post-rock, slow rock and doom metal with classical music-influenced salvos. Roaming a like-minded stratum as Mogwai, MONO’s live show is hypnotic and dense. In the intimate setting of Le Poisson Rouge, this collective is sure to expand minds with its slow-building epics. – Brad Cohan

Ustad Aashish Khan
St. Peter’s Episcopal Church
8:00 p.m., $30
Heredity counts for a lot in Indian classical music. Aashish Khan began studying the lute-like sarod at age five with his illustrious grandfather, Alauddin Khan, the guru of sitarist Ravi Shankar and Aashish’s father, Vilayat Khan, with whom he continued his studies. He co-founded the fusion group Shanti with Zakir Hussain and performed on George Harrison’s Wonderwall Music. He’s joined here by sarodist Shri Anupam Shobhakar, Pandit Anindo Chatterjee on tabla, and Pandit Manik Munde on the two-headed Pakhavaj drum. – Richard Gehr

Bad Religion
Bowery Ballroom
8 p.m., Sold Out
Whether you consider Bad Religion the thinking punker’s choice or the soundtrack to undergraduate societal discontent, it’s impossible to fault the band for encouraging considered dissent, sponsoring an annual college scholarship, or giving “21st Century Digital Boy” to a crumbling world that’s emphatically tuned it’s three-chord broadsides out (and there have been so, so many) since Day One. Along for the ride because, why not: California’s next generation of punk rockers (and fellow Epitaph label champs) Plague Vendor. The show is sold out, but tickets can be found on the secondary market. — Ray Cummings

Tyler, the Creator
Irving Plaza
7 p.m., Sold Out
Tyler, the Creator is far from old as hell. At 24 years old, the Los Angeles native and Odd Future frontman (born Tyler Gregory Okonma) can’t legally rent a car, and his antics — on- and off-stage — often put him in the goofball-kid-brother category. His live performances are a testosterone-fueled, A.D.D. frenzy. He’s been known to jump from the rafters, spin around in office chairs, and occasionally don a wig. At Coachella this year, he famously stopped his set and said “fuck you” to Kendall Jenner for not paying attention. He isn’t worried about that happening at his forthcoming show at Irving Plaza. “New York is probably my best market, to be honest,” he said. “I always have good shows there. New York is really tight. Ever since day one.” Tickets may be available on the secondary market. – Sowmya Krishnamurthy

Esperanza Spalding Presents: Emily’s D+Evolution / José James
Celebrate Brooklyn at the Prospect Park Bandshell
7:30 p.m., FREE
The jazz bassist and singer Esperanza Spalding is currently on loan from Brooklyn to San Francisco, where she serves as resident creative director at SFJazz and plays a handful of (typically sold-out) performances. “What is the new project?” Spalding murmurs thoughtfully when asked what Emily’s D+Evolution is all about. “It’s hard to jump right into describing it. It’s a lot of things: It’s going back to go forward; it’s going back to before anyone ever heard me. So it will be new, even though it’s old. It’s an old curiosity that’s being explored in a new way for me.” A simple summation, but an apt one, too. Emily’s D+Evolution finds Spalding taking a break from her Grammy-winning adult incarnation and hooking up with Emily, her inner child. Emily is her middle name, and “D+Evolution” refers to the nonsense notion that organized education is the only way to learn anything. – Linda Laban

Saturday, 6/13
Graham Parker & The Rumour
Highline Ballroom
7:30 p.m., $45 – $75
No, that’s not Elvis Costello’s voice you hear when the chorus to “Local Girls” reaches its new wave peak. That squeal is courtesy of yet another Brit: Graham Parker. Along with his backing group The Rumour, Parker left a mark on the late Seventies music scene with the seminal album Squeezing Out Sparks (even snagging album of the year in the Voice‘s 1979 Pazz & Jop Critics Poll). Parker reunited with The Rumour for Judd Apatow’s 2012 film This is 40 and have since been touring behind their record Three Chords Good, their first album together since 1980. – Silas Valentino

Viet Cong
Music Hall of Williamsburg
8 p.m., $15
It’s almost a shame Viet Cong’s drummer Michael Wallace is all mended after breaking his arm last winter. Normally, a broken limb is not a good thing for a drummer, but this Calgary quartet spectacularly navigated SXSW gigs supporting their self-titled winter-released EP with Wallace playing one-armed, augmented by both Metz drummer Hayden Menzies for one set, and Swans/Shearwater powerhouse Thor Harris for another. Lemonade from lemons? Both shows are part of the Northside Festival, and both are sold out. Tickets may be available on the secondary market. Note: Viet Cong are performing again on Sunday (6/14) under the same circumstances. – Linda Laban

Sunday, 6/14
Red Hook Jazz Festival
Urban Meadow
1 p.m., $10
Concertgoers know context counts — it always helps if the room is right for the music. The Red Hook Jazz Festival takes place in an urban meadow lined with flora and fauna, perfectly situated to catch the breezes blowing off Buttermilk Channel while improvisers fill the air with expressionistic art. From groovers to freedom fliers, this year’s successive-Sundays affair milks the local scene for diversity. Today the dreamy delirium of guitarist Ben Monder, the bold nu-bop of pianist Alon Nechushtan, and the architectural abstractions of Trio X & Rosi Hertlein (as well as trumpeter Ahmed Abdullah and violinist Jason Kao Hwang) whisk you to the nearest faraway place. On the 21st, organist Brian Charette leaps into high-flying funk-swing, guitarist Rez Abbasi plugs in for some seismic jazz-rock, and the Brooklyn Qawwali Party rocks its frenzied spin on Sufi devotional music until its good foot is calling all the shots. (Guitarist Kenny Wessel and saxophonist Eric Person are also on the bill.) This is the eighth year of this feisty little affair at this super-cozy spot, always a good hang. One bit of advice: Don’t forget the hat and sunblock. – Jim Macnie

Blue Note Jazz Festival
Blue Note
Daily, 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


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