Music

The Rainer Maria-Featuring Ground Control Touring Bash Tops This Week’s Best NYC Concerts

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

Though many show-goers might not realize it, touring doesn’t just happen by magic. There’s a connecting force between the talent that takes the stage and the venues that they play, and as bands go from gigging dives to arenas, there’s got to be someone there to manage their rise, making sure the shows sell out instead of staying empty. That’s where a booking agency like Ground Control Touring comes in. Working with artists, agents, promoters, venues, and a bunch of other industry folks, Ground Control works tirelessly to make the live music experience one that is well worth having. To prove it, they’re throwing a three-floor bash at Webster Hall that celebrates their fifteen years of success. It’s a grand chance to review some of the year’s strongest live acts, too, with performances from Torres, whose sophomore LP Sprinter wowed critics last May; Kurt Vile, whose latest LP b’lieve i’m goin down is some of his best material yet; and Waxahatchee, whose third LP Ivy Tripp is the perfect blend of the lo-fi confessions on her debut American Weekend and the searing openness of her breakthrough LP Cerulean Salt. Also on the bill are Superchunk, Parquet Courts, Titus Andronicus, Speedy Ortiz, Hop Along, and a rare performance from Rainer Maria, among others, with secret guests and special collaborations slated to occur. Elsewhere this week, watch Irish singer-songwriter Glen Hansard perform his newest LP Didn’t He Ramble in two of New York’s finest theaters, or try to snag tickets to one of Dinosaur Jr.’s whopping seven-night Bowery Ballroom anniversary shows on the secondary market.

Monday 11/30

Vanessa Carlton

City Winery

Before October’s Liberman, the last time Vanessa Carlton released a full-length LP was the summer of 2011. The album, Rabbits on the Run, was Carlton’s fourth full-length and her first without a major label, topping out at 62 on the Billboard charts. If Rabbits on the Run was about Carlton breaking out of where she’d been, Liberman is as much about finding her footing, settling in and expanding upon her newfound confidence. For Carlton, that meant moving beyond the girl-with-a-piano label she’d been stamped with thanks to her ubiquitous releases a decade ago and creating art that ignores consumption. The bridge between the old Vanessa Carlton and the new is, of course, her voice, which carries the lyrics to a more pensive place and gives each song a weight that makes “A Thousand Miles” feel like a thousand years ago. She plays two nights of shows at City Winery beginning Monday. – Dacey Orr

Glen Hansard

Kings Theatre

8 p.m., $45-$55

Irish singer-guitarist Glen Hansard has made a long career of honest, impassioned songwriting, kicking things off over two decades ago with his band the Frames. Earlier this year, they released a collection of their best songs (and a few new ones) entitled Longitude, but Hansard was hardly content to rest on those laurels. In September he also put out his latest batch of solo material, Didn’t He Ramble. With its reserved strings and aching melodies, Ramble holds some of Hansard’s best work, and he’ll be sharing it during two NYC-area shows this week, with a stop at Kings Theatre on Monday and another at Beacon Theatre December 1. – Lindsey Rhoades

Tuesday 12/1

Kelela

Music Hall of Williamsburg

8 p.m., $20

After her debut mixtape Cut 4 Me earned praise from Solange, Björk, and a whole host of music critics, L.A.-based R&B chanteuse Kelela had nowhere to go but up. On her EP Hallucinogen, released in October, Kelela’s honeyed vocals and intoxicating production (courtesy of folks like Arca, Kingdom, and DJ Dahi, to name a few) combine to form a futuristic, sensual brand of electronic soul that’s utterly gripping. Her Wednesday night show at Music Hall of Williamsburg sold out quickly so a second one was added on December 1; next time she tours, it’s likely the venues will be far less intimate. – Lindsey Rhoades

Wednesday 12/2

Ground Control Touring 15th Anniversary Celebration

Webster Hall

7:30 p.m., $35

When it comes to NYC’s thriving concert scene, we have booking agencies like Ground Control Touring to thank. Since 2000, they’ve taken a personal approach to fostering good relationships between musicians and promoters, keeping a tightly curated roster of clients on the road, and they’re responsible for some of the best shows to come through New York City in the last fifteen years. That’s why they’re taking over all three spaces at Webster Hall (the Grand Ballroom, Marlin Room, and the Studio) for a huge blow-out featuring short sets and collaborations from Superchunk, Kurt Vile, Waxahatchee, Steve Gunn, Parquet Courts, The Felice Brothers, Rainer Maria, Torres, Titus Andronicus, Beach Fossils, Speedy Ortiz, Hop Along, Porches, Frankie Cosmos, and surprise guests. – Lindsey Rhoades

Erykah Badu

Kings Theater

8 p.m., $59-$129

Recently dropping her life-giving But You Caint Use My Phone mixtape, Erykah Badu continues to surprise and sustain her nu-soul followers. She’d been teasing the release by leaking remixes of Drake’s “Hotline Bling” and a new cut called “Phone Down,” and the titular reference to her 1997 kiss-off classic “Tyrone” cements the technological critique as a running theme. Since the mixtape features appearances from André 3000 and ItsRoutine (who sounds an awful lot like Drake), it wouldn’t be absurd to expect a few visitors for her Kings Theatre show. Either way, Badu thrives on the element of surprise – make sure not to miss this. – Lindsey Rhoades

Fresh 102.7’s Holiday Jam

Beacon Theatre

7:30 p.m., $35-$155

With Thanksgiving out of the way, it’s time to start ushering in the slew of celebratory holiday shows that’ll be taking over NYC venues these next few weeks (check back for a full listing of those verrry soon), beginning with 102.7’s star-studded Holiday Jam. Headlining pop punks Fall Out Boy will deliver snarling sing-alongs from this year’s American Beauty/American Psycho as well as smash hits “Sugar, We’re Going Down” and “Dance, Dance” from their earliest days, while Elle King’s spunky jams, like the rockabilly-tinged “Ex’s & Oh’s” and the banjo-pop stomp of “America’s Sweetheart,” promise to be just as bombastic. “Brave” songstress Sara Bareilles adds her eclectic piano ballads to the mix, and U.K. sensation George Ezra rounds out the bill. – Lindsey Rhoades

Arturo Sandoval

92nd Street Y

8 p.m., $25-$65

The World Music Institute wraps up its Masters of Cuban Music series with another co-founder of the seminal group Irakere. Cubon trumpeter Arturo Sandoval will perform a tribute to his mentor, Dizzy Gillespie, who pioneered Afro-Cuban jazz in the late Forties. Sandoval will perform music from his Grammy-winning 2012 album Dear Diz (Every Day I Think of You), which focuses on Sandoval’s hot, fresh reinterpretation of Gillespie standards including “Salt Peanuts” and “A Night in Tunisia.” – Richard Gehr

DonMonique

Gramercy Theatre

7 p.m., $15

Mix New York grit and loose trap mechanics with a potent dose of DonMonique’s charisma and you get thirst trap. The twenty-year-old has been in the game for a little under a year, and she’s already coined a genre that’s distinctive with a name that sticks. Yet DonMonique — a succinct, charming speaker — can’t really summarize the amorphous new genre. It’s something you know when you hear it, and its queen has a small but versatile catalog. “Pilates (Kendall, Kylie, Miley),” DonMonique’s breakout, is an unfairly catchy tune that makes verbal playthings out of its namedropping hook. “Jada” errs more toward traditional New York, interpolating a Jay Z–ready line over gutter percussion. Both appear on DonMonique’s debut EP Thirst Trap, which dropped the same day she performed Hot 97’s Who’s Next showcase. She opens for “Purple Unicorn” Tumblr-sensation-turned-R&B-star (and IRL Jenner companion) Justine Skye at Gramercy Theatre. – Brian Josephs

Thursday 12/3

Dinosaur Jr.

Bowery Ballroom

8 p.m., $30

On the thirty-year anniversary of their debut, alt-rock legends Dinosaur Jr. will headline Bowery Ballroom seven nights in a row, playing Dinosaur in its entirety before launching into their catalogue of instantly recognizable hits like “Feel The Pain.” The career they celebrate is a tumultuous one – the feud between founding members J Mascis and Lou Barlow is certainly infamous. But since their reconciliation in 2005, Dinosaur Jr. have toured steadily without missing a beat, releasing three new albums to critical acclaim. All of the shows are sold out, but it shouldn’t be too hard to snag tickets on the secondary market. – Lindsey Rhoades

Kip Moore

Terminal 5

7 p.m., $36.50

The hits that Kip Moore has built a career on may lean on country music’s most ubiquitous tropes — trucks, girls, beer — but the singer-songwriter’s growling vocals and anthemic Bryan Adams vibe have given him a distinctive sound within the genre. It’s an individuality he holds onto by co-writing on every track he’s released. Between nostalgia number “That Was Us,” the heartfelt “Comeback Kid” and the resignation to not-so-saintly ways on “I’m to Blame,” his sophomore album Wild Ones reckons the good-times guy you see on stage with the doubt-ridden newcomer who took such solace in Psalm 40:1-2 that it’s tattooed on his right arm. For all its confessional moments, Wild Ones embraces seeking truth in bars and backseats rather than Bibles, chronicling the struggle one moment and relishing the party in the next. – Dacey Orr

Bodega Bamz

Irving Plaza

7 p.m., $30

Born on 119th Street and Pleasant Avenue in East Harlem to a Puerto Rican mother and Dominican father, rapper Bodega Bamz represents two cultures that inevitably became the foundation for his rap career. He created the Tanboys movement in the hopes that it would push Latinos to the forefront of hip-hop while instilling a sense of cultural pride amongst his ilk. To that end, he released his debut album, Sidewalk Exec, last spring. It tells the story of the connect, who is usually Latino, rather than the stories of the corner hustler or the kingpin. He also made a short film, The Streets Owe Me, about a man who’s been in and out of prison trying to get out of the lifestyle by working in his brother’s corner store. On Thursday, he’ll hit the Irving Plaza stage in support of Curren$y, along with Youth Soul Love and Jimi Tents. – Tara Mahadevan