The Eight Best Concerts In New York This Weekend, 6/26/15


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

Friday, 6/26
Mission of Burma
The Bell House
8 p.m., $25
Perhaps spurred by an appearance at NXNE and a gig later this month with Foo Fighters in their hometown of Boston, legendarily loud postpunks Mission of Burma are playing a handful of dates in the Northeast, including a stop Friday night at the Bell House. Though they haven’t released new music since 2012’s Unsound, it’s always worth catching these guys when they come through; they’ve been staples of the festival circuit these last few years, and keep getting better and bolder. Bring earplugs, lest you wind up with a case of tinnitus like the one that sidelined guitarist Roger Miller from 1983 until the band’s reunion in 2002. If you’ve ever wanted to see a prog-rock version of Metric, get there early for Austin’s Megafauna, who open the show. — Lindsey Rhoades

Jessica Pratt
Le Poisson Rouge
6 p.m., $12–$15
For those who prefer a more mellow Friday night, Le Poisson Rouge will offer a great respite from the melee of Bleecker Street when they host the lush folk fancies of Jessica Pratt and Ryley Walker, who have paired up for a short Northeast tour. Headliner Pratt comes in support of her rousing, rustic On Your Own Love Again, the follow-up to 2012’s critically lauded self-titled LP. Released last winter, her new record’s straightforward poetics belie a nuanced romanticism that feels both modern and timeless. Similarly, supporting singer-songwriter Ryley Walker, whose debut, Primrose Green, came out in May via Dead Oceans, makes music that channels the likes of Nick Drake or Bert Jansch, with a heavy emphasis on intricate guitar passages. Together, both artists guarantee an evening of nostalgic reverie. — Lindsey Rhoades

Doll Parts
Union Hall
8 p.m., $8
Doll Parts will stop at nothing to show the world that Dolly Parton is the greatest songwriter who ever lived. With plans to celebrate every aspect of Parton’s career, the band’s latest effort comprises covers from her 42nd studio album, Blue Smoke, as well as the usual hits from among the 600-plus songs they have to choose from — hello, “Jolene.” In an effort to keep it interesting for their tour in NYC and Tennessee, the band will incorporate a lap steel guitar into their repertoire, all summer long. Opening performances will include classic country band Alan Lee & the Whiskey Bumps and the acoustic duet Two of Us, but it wouldn’t be a Doll Parts show unless it was hosted by a drag queen, so get ready to be thoroughly entertained by Brooklyn’s Calcuttabitch. — Gillian Speiser

Blue Note Jazz Festival
Blue Note
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

Saturday, 6/27
8 p.m., $8
Heavily tatted guitarist-colossus Ben Greenberg has been a Brooklyn staple for years, logging time in Zs, the Men, and Pygmy Shrews while shredding in one-man band Hubble and dishing out doom in Stephen Tanner’s wrecking crew, Music Blues. Now Greenberg has hooked up with yet another luminary: singer Michael Berdan — formerly of noise-rock overlords Drunkdriver — to form sludge-punk terrorists Uniform. Tonight, this underground duo are celebrating the release of Perfect World, an epically gnarly set of hardcore-cum-industrial aggro-rock that sparks flashbacks of AmRep and downtown NYC noise-rock. With the toxic trifecta of Berdan’s frenzied, guttural moans, Greenberg’s grinding riffs, and the Big Black–ish drum machine, Uniform’s world is perfectly apocalyptic. Rectal Hygienics, Unholy 2, Ligature, and Astral Knife complete this musically sick bill at Trans-Pecos. — Brad Cohan

Morrissey + Blondie
Madison Square Garden
7 p.m., $35–$150
It feels like every Morrissey tour could be his last; the Smiths singer and cult icon is so prone to throwing hissy-fits over things like the volume of an adjacent show or venues serving animal-based foods that it’s a wonder he hasn’t retired altogether. Luckily for the zillions of rabid Moz fans, his Madison Square Garden date is scheduled to go on as planned, and in an open letter to Al Gore, Morrissey name-dropped the midtown behemoth to prod the politician into serving an all-vegan menu at the 2015 Live Earth performance (MSG has not commented on whether a meat-free menu for the evening is more than a rumor). Either way, Saturday’s concert will be a landmark of sorts for new-wave luminaries Blondie, who are set to open — it’s their first appearance at the Garden, despite New York being their home base throughout their heyday. Expect lots of sing-alongs and lots of fans reliving the Eighties. — Lindsey Rhoades

Sunday, 6/28
Contemporary Color
Barclays Center
7:30 p.m., $25
The brilliant promotional video, in the spot-on style of a public access high school news broadcast, really says it all. “It’s like ten concerts in one!” proclaims the jock sportscaster. That it is. David Byrne’s “Contemporary Color” is the New York icon’s latest Brooklyn-based project. This one seems more spectacular than ever: Top color guard teams from around the nation are invited to perform at the Barclays Center to the music of ten live acts. These include St. Vincent, Lucius, tUnE-yArDs, Zola Jesus, Devonté Hynes, Nelly Furtado, and of course Byrne himself. Fans of the mesmerizing, meticulously sequenced flag-spinning art/sport will delight in a bit of mainstream recognition, and fans of the bands will get quite a stage show. As Byrne says in his video cameo, “I’m so excited about this. Really.” — Heather Baysa

River to River Festival
Governors Island
12 p.m., FREE
Yanira Castro’s a canary torsi revamps Court/Garden, a triumph last fall at the Danspace Project, for the financial district’s historic Federal Hall. A three-act spectacle of dance and live music performance inspired by the imperial ballets of Louis XIV’s French court, it kicks off the dance offerings at this year’s River to River Festival, which also include ten more choreographers ranging from African master Souleymane Badolo to American classic Twyla Tharp (the others are Rachel Tess, Eiko Otake, Trisha Brown, Michelle Boulé, Wally Cardona, Jennifer Lacey, Catherine Galasso, and Emmanuelle Huynh) presenting spectacular dances, new and repurposed, at startling sites all over downtown (Federal Hall, the Fulton Street transit hub, Pier 15, Battery Park City, Peck Slip) and on Governors Island, courtesy of the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council. Various times and locations. — Elizabeth Zimmer

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