Music

The Best NYC Shows This Week: Kevin Barnes, Post Animal, The Avalanches

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It’s finally summer in New York. That means free shows, outdoor concerts and parties, and festivals. This week, the massive Governors Ball festival will bring a variety of exciting artists to the city; luckily for those of us who don’t want to attend, many of them will play shows at venues around the city after the fest. It’s time to get sweaty.

5/31
Magic City
Jubilee, Otto Von Schirach, Black Noise, Doctor Jeep, Astrolith, Proper Villains, Free Magic, Olive T, Katie Rex, Orlando
Good Room
10 p.m., free with RSVP

This week, the Brooklyn DJ Jubilee throws a party to celebrate her third Magic City compilation, featuring artists in the booty-shaking Miami bass scene, which mixes Latin, funk, hip-hop, and electronic dance music, often with deliciously explicit lyrics. One of the artists in tow is Otto Von Schirach, a German Cuban from Miami who specializes in absurd outfits and wild DJ sets. For the third time, Jubilee’s free comp is out in partnership with the ultra-hip fashion label Opening Ceremony; thanks to the label’s sponsorship, the party is also free. There is unlikely to be a more fun way to spend a Wednesday night this summer.

Kevin Barnes (of Montreal)
Union Pool
8 p.m., $20

One of the ironies of the psychedelic, sensual, maximalist music made by the Athens, Georgia, group of Montreal is that the man at the center of the project, Kevin Barnes, is quiet and reserved everywhere but the stage. In his band, Barnes plays music about strange desires, deep depressions, and terrible heartbreaks, revealing much of what goes on in his head, often while wearing little but a pair of sparkly booty shorts. But watch him play solo and suddenly all his Bowie-esque bravado is stripped away. Seeing Barnes in this context reveals that his strength as an artist runs much deeper than his band’s gimmicks. His writing is raw, emotional, and contemplative — it will be good to see some of these songs get their due without of Montreal’s usual dazzling distractions.

6/1
Post Animal, Acid Dad, Faux Ferocious, Field Trip
Baby’s All Right
8 p.m., $10–$12

Chicago six-piece Post Animal are one of many bands today who draw inspiration from psychedelic pop of the Sixties and Seventies. Their newest song, “Special Moment,” released this month, updates their Kinks and Beatles influences to incorporate a dancier beat, clearer production, and snarling riffs. Post Animal are also notable for including on guitar the actor Joe Keery, who played the teenage douchebag–turned–nice guy Steve in the hit Netflix series Stranger Things. The band has little in common with the show or the character, though it’s not impossible to imagine brooding older brother Jonathan rocking one of their cassettes in an alternate dimension.

6/2
Car Seat Headrest, Nap Eyes
Webster Hall
10:30 p.m., $25

New York’s early summer mega-fest, Governors Ball, will take over Randall’s Island Park this weekend. That means that some of the world’s best bands will be in town, and this year the festival is taking advantage of that fact to stage extra shows by festival acts at venues around the city. This is great news for people who like some of the bands playing the Ball but are unwilling to shell out hundreds of bucks to stand around in a field with teenagers on molly. One of the best of these after-parties features the Seattle band Car Seat Headrest, whose album Teens of Denial was a masterful indie rock odyssey of depression, substance abuse, and millennial ennui. Their music should sound even better in the dark.

NAAFI 7 NYC
Tayhana, Jubilee, Debit, Tygapaw, Mexican Jihad, Fausto Bahía
Brooklyn Bazaar
10 p.m., $10–$12

The rising Mexican electronic label NAAFI is known for its inventive parties and political edge. The label’s founder, Alberto Bustamante, who goes by the artist name Mexican Jihad, makes music that directly confronts what we conceive of as dance music, often verging into sound art territory with abrasive samples and industrial flourishes. Yet with the addition of Latin music and hip-hop, NAAFI’s adventurous music somehow still remains danceable. For its seventh New York showcase, NAAFI will take over Brooklyn Bazaar with its artists Fausto Bahía and Debit, and local favorites including Tygapaw.

6/3
Sweat Equity 2 Year Anniversary
Tygapaw B2B JX Cannon, Macy Rodman (DJ), Jasmine Infiniti, Parts 1 & 2, BKGD Audio, Bell Curve, Ali Berger, Benoit B, Divorce, F1k
Secret Project Robot
4 p.m., $8–$10

The Brooklyn label and dance party Sweat Equity has spent the last two years releasing some of the borough’s most experimental and fascinating dance music, from the avantpop of artist Macy Rodman to the weirdo club jams of label founder JX Cannon. To celebrate the label’s anniversary, some of its hardest-hitting DJs and performers will take the stage at the newly reopened Secret Project Robot, alongside a free barbeque and (according to Facebook, at least) a day-long screening of the film Boss Baby. This party is going to be hot (perhaps in multiple ways) — don’t miss out.

The Avalanches, The Range
Brooklyn Bowl
11 p.m., $30

Last year, the Australian DJs behind the mash-up project the Avalanches released their first album in sixteen years. When they released their explosive LP Since I Left You in 2000, the duo created a new standard for sampled music that would go on to influence a generation of artists — though few, if any, would get close to that album’s artistry. On the Avalanches’ long-awaited follow-up, Wildflower, all the elements that made their breakthrough work great — a mix of nostalgic pop samples, rap, and found sounds —are there, creating a cacophony of noise that evokes walking down a city street bursting with life. But the group has grown in all this time, and that’s evidenced here by the presence of guest vocalists from rapper Danny Brown to David Berman of Silver Jews, who fit in seamlessly. Their Governors Ball After Dark show will be a chance to revisit our own musical memories through their expertly crafted mutant pop.

Mavis Staples, Toshi Reagon
Central Park SummerStage
6 p.m., free

Living in New York has its perks; one of the best is the opportunity to see legendary musical performers amid the beauty of Central Park on a nice summer day, for free. As part of the Central Park SummerStage festival this year, concertgoers will have the chance to experience the famous soul singer Mavis Staples. Staples, who rose to prominence in the Fifties with her family’s band, the Staple Singers, is known best for her renditions of civil rights songs like Bob Dylan’s “A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall” and Buffalo Springfield’s “For What It’s Worth,” and for her activist work with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Her half-century-long career is still going strong, driven by her powerhouse voice, political integrity, and musical passion.

 

Zane Lowe & Friends
YG, Charli XCX, Anik Khan
Schimanski
10 p.m., $25–$30

“I’m ’bout to turn Black Panther,” YG rapped on his pre-election protest banger, “FDT” (which stands for what you think it does). The Los Angeles rapper is outspoken on political issues including police brutality, but his condemnation of our current president brought out some of his best and most strident rhymes. Red Friday, his 2016 mixtape, is one of his best releases. Partnering with longtime producer and friend DJ Mustard, YG sounds precise and nimble as ever on these hard-hitting and catchy tracks. There’s plenty of bravado and shit-talking here, but the standout track, mixtape closer “One Time Comin’,” gets serious. The song takes place in YG’s head during a police stop that could have turned violent. His panicked diction here effectively communicates the terror implicit in this situation for a man of color. In the thick of our current political shitshow, music like this, that directly conveys marginalized experience with emotion, is more valuable than ever.

Richard Lloyd (of Television), No Ice, Castle Black, Miracle Sweepstakes
The Bowery Electric
7 p.m., $10–$15

In the time since the premature breakup of punk trailblazers Television, guitarist Richard Lloyd has kept busy. In addition to releasing many solo albums of guitar-driven rock with a signature Seventies punk sound, Lloyd re-formed and then left the renowned proto-punk group Rocket From the Tombs, and produced albums for bands like Chris Purdy and Holy Trinity River. Lloyd doesn’t play many live shows these days, so this is a great chance to see a legend in action. He’ll play with No Ice, an ecstatic garage rock band who are not embarrassed to put their hearts into their bombastic songs.