The Best NYC Shows This Week: LCD Soundsystem, Diet Cig, Gucci Mane


We regret to inform you that you probably won’t be seeing LCD Soundsystem this week. If you haven’t heard, the indie dancepop sensation who went out with grand style in 2011 (including a highly publicized Madison Square Garden show and a documentary) is back and playing at the new East Williamsburg venue Brooklyn Steel for five nights starting this week. When tickets went online, the site immediately crashed, and few people who tried were able to nab one. But never fear — there are plenty of other great shows to look forward to this week, from fresh acts like garagepoppers Diet Cig to more established names like the emotionally grandiose group Xiu Xiu. New York still hasn’t lost its edge.

Operators, Charly Bliss
Rough Trade

8 p.m., $15

Wolf Parade fans who miss the mid-aughts indie rock band’s explosive energy and dissonant pop sensibilities should be pleased with Operators, a side project by Dan Boeckner, one of the band’s two lead singers. Operators’ last album, 2016’s Blue Wave, showcased Boeckner’s unmistakably rough-edged vocals and endlessly surprising songwriting. Unlike Wolf Parade and Boeckner’s other former project, Handsome Furs, Operators have distinct new wave and ’80s pop influences. It’s just enough to make them stand out from the slew of Wolf Parade offshoots without losing what makes Boeckner’s music great.

Xiu Xiu, Dreamcrusher, Gold Dime
Brooklyn Bazaar

8 p.m., $13

Jamie Stewart — leader and visionary behind the experimental pop project Xiu Xiu — is one intense dude. Since 2002, the Bay Area musician has performed and recorded with a wide variety of collaborators on work that is often painfully emotional. In Stewart’s music, beats drop in and out, guitars and synths stretch and groan, percussion crashes into noise and pulls back to near-silence. The one constant is Stewart’s trembling, rich voice, which soars above whatever din he’s created. One former Voice writer compares seeing Xiu Xiu to being punched in the gut — but damn, does it feel good.

LCD Soundsystem
Brooklyn Steel

7 p.m., whatever you can find on StubHub

James Murphy’s übercool, New York–centric dancepop project LCD Soundsystem bid farewell in 2011 in a grand fashion: five nights of sold-out shows at Terminal 5, one massive send-off at Madison Square Garden, and a feature-length documentary. But the goodbye didn’t stick — just a few years later, Murphy was playing festivals as LCD again. And now he’s announced new music and a string of shows at the massive new industrial space Brooklyn Steel. Thanks to Murphy’s rabid fan base, the shows sold out immediately, but if you’re a true fan who wasn’t too pissed off by Murphy’s 2011 stunt, you can probably find tickets on StubHub for about the cost of a plane ticket to Europe.

Inga Copeland, Sadaf, Blursome
Knitting Factory

8 p.m., $15–$17

Hype Williams — a collaboration between musicians Dean Blunt and Inga Copeland — were one of the most mystifying and fascinating projects of the last decade. The group’s affected, unsettling work felt like performance art warped through electronic dance music. When their partnership ended, Blunt and Copeland went their separate ways. Since then, Copeland, who was the intoxicating voice on Hype Williams’ bizarre tracks, has released work that sounds more like the sideways pop of groups like jj or even Swedish star Lykke Li. She’ll play alongside the politically provocative Brooklyn techno DJ Sadaf.

Diet Cig, Daddy Issues
Baby’s All Right

7 p.m., $13–$15

New York powerpoppers Diet Cig write highly relatable anthems about millennial anxiety. Their new album’s title, Swear I’m Good at This, sums up a gnawing uncertainty that almost everyone experiences in their twenties. This destabilizing combination of newly found self-assurance and creeping insecurity is even more intense when we’ve lost the former signposts of adulthood like marriage, children, and homeownership. Diet Cig’s headbanging rock tunes reassure us that even if we have no idea what we’re doing, at least we’re not alone.

Son Volt, Anders Parker
Bowery Ballroom

8 p.m., $22.50–$25

Uncle Tupelo remains one of the iconic acts of ’90s alt-country. But Son Volt, the project started by Uncle Tupelo member Jay Farrar in 1994, has now been around for many more years than that original band. His gentle bluesy folk uses standard country instrumentation like slide guitar to frame memorable melodies and solid storytelling. Like the best country artists, Farrar is an observer of America, often writing about mythical figures like the small-town drunk or the long-suffering working man filled with colorful details.

Huerco S., Via App, Will DiMaggio

Midnight, $10–$15

Last year, Brooklyn producer Huerco S. released one of the best ambient records of the decade. For Those of You Who Have Never (And Those Who Have) is composed of nine gorgeous atmospheric tracks. Beats wander in and out of the recordings, never fully forming into anything danceable, like tuning through static on a radio dial. Huerco S. will play with two other solid local acts, the meditative techno producer Via App and Will DiMaggio, who makes complex, joyful house.

The Carry Nation, DJ Minx, Bearcat, Maze & Masters, Andy Egelhoff
Good Room

10 p.m., $10–$20

The Carry Nation are a DJ duo — composed of Will Automagic and Nita Aviance — who host some of the city’s best queer events. They’re one of those acts whose presence on a bill is a signal that no matter who else is playing, the party is worth attending. The Automagic and Aviance are known for their killer marathon house sets, but on this night they’ll be joined by other serious contenders for DJ stardom, including Discwoman’s Bearcat and the funky Detroit house artist DJ Minx.

Charlemagne Palestine, Rhys Chatham Duo, C. Spencer Yeh, HEVM
Le Poisson Rouge

7:30 p.m., $20–$25

Rhys Chatham is a multi-instrumentalist and composer of avant-garde music. But he’s most known for his work as the first music director at the New York experimental venue the Kitchen, which has shaped New York’s fringe music scene since its founding in 1971. On this night, he’ll be collaborating with the avant-garde performance artist Charlemagne Palestine. Representatives of a younger generation of experimental artists will play as well, including C. Spencer Yeh, whose music is highly conceptual and sometimes sounds like someone running a cassette tape through a blender.

Gucci Mane
Terminal 5

7 p.m., $40

Last year, the flamboyant Atlanta rapper Gucci Mane was released from prison after serving a three-year sentence for federal gun and drug charges. Shockingly, the rapper who has an ice cream cone tattooed on his face emerged from prison a changed man. He lost seventy pounds, seemingly quit drugs, and was even sporting a six-pack. This transformation is evident on his silly, playful late-2016 release, The Return of East Atlanta Santa, a nominally Christmas-themed album that finds Gucci discussing his favorite subjects: sex, drugs, guns. Perhaps he hasn’t changed that much, but prison certainly gave him a more optimistic outlook. He’s never sounded so joyfully nasty.