The Best NYC Shows This Week: Laurel Halo, Kendrick Lamar, Burger Records


It was harder than usual to pick the best shows happening today through Sunday, but nevertheless, the Voice persisted. This week is an eclectic one, ranging from rap to noise to rock to experimental Americana, and an international one, too, with artists from Bangladesh, Japan, England, Germany, and Poland all represented. A few include some travel — specifically, to Red Hook or Coney Island — but they’re worth the trip, and with such nice weather, now’s the perfect time to hop on your bike or that damn ferry the mayor won’t shut up about. Happy listening!

Anik Khan
Rough Trade
8 p.m., $12–$15

Fresh off his late-April mixtape, Kites, rising Queens-via-Bangladesh rapper Anik Khan headlines in Brooklyn with his multicultural beats. Blending r&b, rap, and traditional South Asian sounds, his smooth and relaxed flow tells stories about being a kid in New York with an immigrant background, or about his efforts to balance his family and personal life while he strives to make it big. Along with a few other South Asian Queens performers, like Swet Shop Boys, Khan is changing the sound of his genre to reflect New York’s most diverse borough. As he told the Voice last year,  “It takes people a little longer to digest because they’ve never heard a tabla be the lead drum in a hip-hop song….My shit has always been a slow burn.” A bright one, too.

Pioneer Works
8 p.m., $20

Since the late Eighties, Keiji Haino has made aggressive, psych-influenced experimental rock with a rotating cast of collaborators as Fushitsusha. Agnostic to format or amplitude, Haino often shifts through multiple lenses for his guitar work over the course of a single album — Krautrock, post-rock, metal, noise — remaining through each a careful, intense composer prone to improvisation and meandering. To see him live in the United States is rare enough in itself, but to see him in Pioneer Works’ massive main hall, under a revival tent that’s part of the current “Grand Ole Opera” installation, is an opportunity that will never come again. Also 7/20.

Kendrick Lamar, Travis Scott, D.R.A.M.
Barclays Center
7:30 p.m., ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

The price of this show is a shrug emoji because tickets sold out instantly (as they did for the added 7/23 show) and are running a very large price gamut on StubHub. But there is functionally no limit to what seeing Kendrick Lamar is worth, so here he is on the Voice best shows list for the week. On paper, Lamar is the best rapper of his generation, and on tape he’s many more things: producer, composer, free-jazz enthusiast, beat poet, academic, jack-of-many-trades and master of basically all of them, including performer, a skill that selling out stadiums has only amplified for him. These shows support his latest album, DAMN., a record that reinforces his long-held title as America’s finest hip-hop storyteller and effortless-est spitter.

Ride, Froth
Brooklyn Steel
8 p.m., $40

Be as cynical as you must about bands reuniting, but don’t let it keep you from seeing British shoegaze pioneers Ride. While their first album in twenty years, June’s Weather Diaries, got mixed reviews, their live shows have not: Nearly every performance since their 2015 return has inspired serious praise, particularly for their willingness to expand their already-expansive, driving sound into long (but never boring) freak-out experimentations. Another reason to go to this show is that it was moved to the newly opened Brooklyn Steel, which is lovely for such a large-capacity venue, from Terminal 5, which is so awful that Bowery Presents should honestly just close it and only use Brooklyn Steel from now on since it’s there and isn’t terrible.

Laurel Halo, Thomas Brinkmann, Derek Piotr
Issue Project Room
8 p.m., $20

A rare presentation of club-ruling artists in a formal setting, this evening sees one-offs and premieres from a handful of stellar electronic performers. Laurel Halo, who grew up in Michigan but now lives (and commands huge rooms) in Berlin, plays selections from her latest album, Dust, a strange marvel of a record whose genre sort of resembles house but is too full of electronica, r&b, backmasking, hand-drum samples, and weird sci-fi bleep-bloops to be simplified into a describable sound (other than “wonderful”). Germany’s Thomas Brinkmann offers the U.S. premiere of 2000’s Klick, a mesmerizing dub record whose drum samples Brinkmann made by dragging knives across vinyl albums, playing them back, and chopping the results up into beats. Opening is Derek Piotr, a young Polish drum’n’bass producer based in New England, playing a live rework of last year’s Drono.

Hank Wood and the Hammerheads, Show Me the Body, Surfbort, Suicide Slide
Pioneer Works
8 p.m., $15

Do you think punk is dead? You have not heard Hand Wood and the Hammerheads. At first, the New York natives’ sound is classic, lo-fi, raw guitar chugging-and-screams loudness. But then comes highly focused feedback, cowbell, and spacey keyboard samples. And, of course, shirts-off, pure-love abandon that keeps the band getting back together every time it breaks up (which has happened several times). Another Best Show at Pioneer Works? Yeah, they’re that good, so just go, OK? But if you don’t want to go to Red Hook, Hank is also playing the next night at Brooklyn Night Bazaar, which is not nearly as good of a venue but is much more convenient.

Burger Records Beach Bash
Coney Art Walls
Noon, $15–$20

L.A.’s Burger Records is the John Waters of music: a home for endearingly crass weirdos with trashy Sixties-influenced style. In other words, the label of choice for ecstatic, irreverent surf and garage rock. For the second year in a row, it’s bringing part of its endlessly entertaining roster (and a few friends) to Coney Island, the Burger Records of NYC, for a beach party. MCing is Village People cowboy Randy Jones, and the lineup includes Chula Vista punk pioneers the Zeros, NYC’s own Sunflower Bean, leporid nudist Nobunny, and a heaping handful of other loud, charming freaks.

Buck Gooter, Eartheater, the Dreebs, Sunk Heaven
Silent Barn
8 p.m, $10

Buck Gooter are a banner band of weird Appalachia, a Virginia duo with a multiple-decade age gap who met working in a restaurant kitchen and started making noisy, trend-resisting, theremin-heavy Americana that is so intense and sincere it’ll make your ears and heart both bleed. Eartheater, a/k/a performance artist Alexandra Drewchin, uses her blonde-bombshell appearance to subvert, challenge, and weaponize femininity, drawing her audience into her ritualistic noise sets with intense floor-level choreography. The Dreebs, a Voice favorite, are a sort of side project of local stars PC Worship, making spacey, proggish no wave out of guitar, drums, and electric violin.