Music

Alabama Shakes Storm Queens to Lead NYC’s Best Concerts This Weekend

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

Alabama Shakes are set to return to New York and solidify their status as one the most exciting rock bands alive by performing at the legendary Forest Hills Stadium. Earlier this year they released their second LP, Sound & Color, and it was a bold leap forward marked by spacey jams and clear-cut rockers. If the train into Queens seems too much, local world music aficionados TriBecaStan hit Drom and the MC of hilarity Busdriver swings by Baby’s All Right. 

Friday, 9/18

Cold Beat

Union Pool

8 p.m., $10

The San Franciscan band Cold Beat hardly sound anything like what their frosty name suggests. Instead, the power-pop foursome glides by the angelic vocals of bandleader and bassist Hannah Lew (formerly of the art-punk trio Grass Widow) whose falsetto gives Alvvays a challenge on the “Who can produce the most-pleasing tunes in the afternoon sun?” front. Cold Beat are hot off the release of their second LP Into The Air – released September 4 on Lew’s label Crime On The Moon – and opening track “Bruno” is an endearing introduction with its crunchy guitar lead and art-pop rhythm. This Union Pool date is the first of four NYC appearances (with Shea Stadium, Other Music, and Silent Barn in the mix as well) allowing for multiple chances to catch this glossy and fresh ensemble. – Silas Valentino

TriBecaStan

Drom

8 p.m., $12 – $17

In 2011, on the heels of the group’s forthcoming album, New Deli, Christopher Weingarten wrote the following in the Voice of the unique collective TriBeCaStan: “New York cultural mash-up experiment TriBeCaStan is part of a growing number of local groups…who dive so deep into the melting pot that borders become burned away — even the name ‘TriBeCaStan’ is meant to evoke an imaginary republic defined by New York cool, explorer energy, and outer-space vibes.” The group is now celebrating the release of their fifth studio album, Goddess Polka Dottess, which, over the course of fourteen tracks, offers the triumphant range of styles listeners have come to expect. Join the musicians tonight as they sample the new tracks. – Danny King

Ultimate Painting

Rough Trade NYC

8 p.m., $12

Made up of two dudes from London, Ultimate Painting — Jack Cooper of Mazes and James Hoare of Veronica Falls — churns out über-catchy, slacker indie rock from the classically casual and intertwining guitar school of Pavement, the Feelies, the Bats and the Velvet Underground. That Velvety influence was all over Ultimate Painting’s 2014 self-titled debut, a set of candied lite-noise pop bubbling with heavenly vocals. The twosome’s tie-dyed, Deadhead-y vibe continues on the recent Green Lanes, twelve free and easy riffers that Cooper and Hoare ostensibly wrote in their sleep. Along with their Trouble in Mind label-mates Dick Diver, Ultimate Painting are bringing slack rock back. – Brad Cohan

PWR BTTM

Silent Barn

10 p.m., $8

On the Silent Barn event page for PWR BTTM’s late-night show, the mantra “get weird get beautiful get some glitter” is presented – appropriately introducing the high-spirited whimsicality this New York duo has been harnessing to help define their vowel-less name. Members Ben Hopkins and Liv Bruce trade off microphone duties while their guitar/drum garage-pop incorporates elements of glam and queercore. This Silent Barn appearance will serve as the release party for their debut LP, Ugly Cherries, which glistens during the Nineties-echoing alt. rocker “West Texas” and the crooked love song “Dairy Queen.” It’ll be a packed show of burgeoning talent with locals Charly Bliss, Fern Mayo, and Philly’s Kississippi rounding out the bill. – Silas Valentino

Algiers

Mercury Lounge

8 p.m., $15

Though Algiers produce a sound that’s vastly different than the soulful revolutionist Nina Simone, her spirit of rebellion and ability to use music as a platform for challenging political ideologies hovers over these “Southern émigres.” In May, Algiers released their self-titled debut album on the indie label powerhouse Matador and even though the eleven tracks might not shine with catchy hooks, that doesn’t prevent moments like “Irony. Utility. Pretext” and “But She Was Not Flying” to grab you by the collar with post-punk industrialism – and the gospel touch on vocals aids in that as well. Algiers also hit the Music Hall of Williamsburg on October 11, and this gives the Mercury Lounge crowd an upper hand so you can fully embrace their heat. – Silas Valentino

Saturday, 9/19

Busdriver

Baby’s All Right

11:30 p.m., $12

Alternative hip-hop, L.A.-based MC Busdriver’s trademark track “Imaginary Places” – featured on the era-defining 2003 Tony Hawk Underground video game soundtrack – offers this comical bridge: “Kids – if you want to piss off your parents / Show interest in the arts / Kids – if you, really want to piss off your parents / Buy real estate in an imaginary place.” Busdriver’s 2002 triumph Temporary Forever is an underground hip-hop gem worth revisiting a decade past its release, but this rapid-fire rapper with a crystal-clear flow isn’t a pariah of the past. 2014’s Perfect Hair — his tenth studio release — was marked by the Aesop Rock and Danny Brown-featured highlight “Ego Death” that confirms Busdriver’s timeless affect. – Silas Valentino

Alabama Shakes

Forest Hills Stadium

7 p.m., $39 – $69

Gregg Allman always claimed that the term “Southern rock” was redundant. Whether it is or isn’t, these two groups are evolving the concept (the Drive-By Truckers for far longer than the Alabama Shakes), while at the same time redefining the very meaning of “Southern.” The Alabama Shakes outdid themselves on Sound & Color, an album so superior to the group’s debut you might as well put the notion of “sophomore jinx” to rest. Brittany Howard and her instrumentalists play wild and passionate rock that’s also seeking new approaches to an old form. As with the Shakes, both Nashville and Muscle Shoals are in the Drive-By Truckers’ DNA. The band builds powerful structures around Patterson Hood’s memorable story songs about life in a South where the past is ever-present to a fault. – Richard Gehr

Caspian

Rough Trade NYC

8 p.m., $15

Generals in the field of post-punk, instrumental industrialism, Caspian have been elaborating and developing their brooding technique since the mid-Aughts, with their fourth LP Dust and Disquiet due September 25 on Triple Crown Records. This will be the first album released following the death of founding bassist Chris Friedrich (who passed away unexpectedly in August 2013) and the surviving members appear to be honoring his legacy in this touching, peaceful moment “Sad Heart of Mine.” Though no lyrics appear, the admiration for their fallen bandmate is clear and heartbreakingly understood. Georgian screamo veterans Circle Takes the Square open. Although the show is currently sold out, check secondary markets for tickets. – Silas Valentino

Sunday, 9/20

LOCASH

Terminal 5

7 p.m., $25

To belittle the popular trend in current country music that focuses on the fun-loving good times (insert: Bro Country) is to summarize a birthday party as just an excuse to chow down cake. Simple celebration and appreciation are the qualities worth examining, and the Nashville duo LOCASH are seasoned songwriters in detailing this carefree Southern lifestyle. Formerly known as the LoCash Cowboys, Preston Brust and Chris Lucas have traded up and achieved a new peak on their recent single “I Love This Life.” Celebrated Texans the Eli Young Band lead the bill. – Silas Valentino

Glasser

50 Kent

3 p.m., FREE

Cameron Mesirow (a/k/a Glasser) is a product of her environment. Her mother, Casey Cameron, fronted the Eighties new wave group Human Sexual Response, and her father, Jeff, is a member of the Blue Man Group. The dazzling synth pop heard during Blue Man performances works well with the influence of her mother’s amped up lyrical wit – Human Sexual Response’s biggest hit “Jackie Onassis” humorously details First Lady life to the point of mockery. The daughter plucks the shiniest qualities from her influences to shape her experimental electronica that sounds its most confident during 2013’s Interiors. Glasser is a merchant of intrigue and we’re fortunate to get her for free as the autumn breaks. – Silas Valentino 

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