The Best NYC Shows This Week: Shamir, Perfume Genius, Tyondai Braxton


It’s holiday-party season, and nearly every night is jam-packed with mandatory fun. If you get a night off from the madness, you can find a reprieve from the Christmas-spirit onslaught with the dark electronic productions of Andy Stott and Demdike Stare, or bliss out with indie pop newcomers Blush. But if you’re looking for a holiday party that’ll blow your company’s shindig out of the water, head to Secret Project Robot for Brooklyn label Sweat Equity’s seriously awesome holiday lineup.

Perfume Genius, Lydia Ainsworth
Music Hall of Williamsburg
9 p.m., $28–$31

Amid the existential oppression of 2017, the latest album from queer avant-pop star Perfume Genius, No Shape, feels like a glorious escape. The record brims with transcendence, sexuality, and romance on catchy songs that are often as beautiful as they are chaotic. Perfume Genius will perform two of his three shows in the city this week with Lydia Ainsworth, an equally fascinating artist who is twisting pop in strange and ethereal new directions. Also 12/13.

Smhoak Mosheein, M. Geddes Gengras, Sweat Equity, Courtship Ritual, Bonnie Baxter, gobbinjr, Yvette, Fits, Lazurite, Casas, War Bubble, Shea Stadium All-Star Band, Guerilla Toss, and more!
Silent Barn
8 p.m., $8–$10

Smhoakstock, now in its seventh year, is a 24-hour show hosted by Brooklyn musician and man-about-town Eli Lehrhoff, better known as Smhoak Mosheein. Until now, this freewheeling experimental art event has always taken place at the now-defunct DIY spot Shea Stadium. In the wake of that venue’s closure, the event has had to adapt. Starting at the stroke of midnight, Lehrhoff will spend all day Tuesday performing with an endless lineup of local favorites in the Silent Barn’s synth shop, Detective Squad. The show will be streamed online, or, if you’re in the neighborhood, you can stop by to watch through the shop’s windows. At 8 p.m., the very tired performers will move to Silent Barn’s main space, where guests can come to watch their four-hour finale. It’s impossible to predict exactly what Smhoakstock will be like, but we can guarantee it’ll be worth experiencing.

Nippon Leagues: Tokyo Nights Release Party
Jupiter Disco
10 p.m., free

This recurring night at the intimate Bushwick dance club Jupiter Disco features DJ sets composed of Japanese funk, disco, and boogie. This party celebrates the release of a compilation of these genres, Tokyo Nights, from Cultures of Soul records. Few Americans are familiar with the Japanese incarnation of this kind of music, so this is a perfect opportunity to familiarize yourself. If that’s not enough to entice you, there will also be free Japanese snacks on offer.

Blush, Dark Tea, Outside World, Lightning Bug
Union Pool
8 p.m., $10

The brand-new indie pop group Blush are a sort of Brooklyn DIY scene Justice League, drawing musicians from local favorite groups including Darlings, Pill, and Yvette. But this dream team produces something that’s softer, prettier, and catchier than any of those groups’ music. This is classic indie pop: songs about hanging out with your boyfriend, making daisy chains, and dreaming about an ideal life, all sung over jangly guitars and dreamy doo-wop backing vocals. Fans of bands like Camera Obscura and Dum Dum Girls should check this group out immediately.

Shamir, Partner, Frances Rose
The Hall at Elsewhere
8 p.m., $15–$20

A lot has happened for the artist Shamir in the two years since his debut album, Ratchet, a dance-pop record that charmed indie audiences. The formerly Las Vegas–based musician was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, did several stints in psychiatric hospitals, broke with his label, and moved in a totally new direction creatively. His last two releases, Revelations and Hope, are incredibly lo-fi rock that sound a bit like Billie Holiday covering Calvin Johnson. Shamir is experimenting, finding a new place to fit into the music scene. As he does, his music is a window into a raw, evolving creative force — one that we should all keep watching.

Andy Stott, Demdike Stare, Michael England, RRAO, Clay Wilson
Pioneer Works
7 p.m., $20

Some of the electronic scene’s darker corners will be on display this week for two shows at Red Hook’s grandiose Pioneer Works arts space. Demdike Stare are a duo of producers from Manchester, England, whose unsettling soundscapes, inspired by dub and minimal techno, befit their name, a reference to a famous seventeenth-century English witch, Elisabeth Demdike, who was tried and burned. Andy Stott, another Manchester artist, builds textural, oddly rhythmic experimental dance music out of an array of bizarre samples. For fans of left-field U.K. electronic music, this is a night not to miss.

Sweat Equity 3rd Annual Office Christmas Party
DJ Holographic, Vjuan Allure, SHYBOI, False Witness, Akua, JX Cannon, Alien D
Secret Project Robot
10 p.m., $10–$15

This weekend, Brooklyn dance label and party collective Sweat Equity will host one of the most exciting holiday shindigs of the season. Their yearly “office”-themed party features the revered Detroit house spinner DJ Holographic and rising ballroom scene star Vjuan Allure, along with Discwoman’s SHYBOI and KUNQ’s False Witness. The event description recommends costumes including “Resident Advisor Elf” and “Guy Fieri wrapped in Xmas lights.” It’s gonna be lit.

Tyondai Braxton, Like a Villian
Issue Project Room
8 p.m., $5–$15

At this year-end party for BOMB magazine, the multi-instrumentalist and composer Tyondai Braxton, formerly a member of the math-rock group Battles, will play a solo set drawn from his work on the recent project Hive. Hive was an eight-movement suite Braxton performed at the Guggenheim in 2013 — it’s composed of drones, percussion, drum machines, and orchestral flourishes. He’ll play alongside Like a Villain, a vocalist who performs long-form improvised sets contrasting beautiful ethereal sounds and harsh, aggressive tones. She’ll be performing pieces of a new work entitled Ölümlü, which she’s described as “Broadway noise.”

Black Marble, YOU.
Market Hotel
9 p.m., $15–$17

Black Marble is the solo poject of Los Angeles–based musician Chris Stewart. Heavily inspired by Eighties new wave, his music abounds with vintage synths and drum machines. Last year’s It’s Immaterial was a lo-fi triumph, laced with delicate melodies played on keyboard and guitar, danceable beats, and gothy vocals. He’ll play with ominous Detroit dark wave project YOU.

Lil Uzi Vert, Playboi Carti, DJ Austin Millz, Lil Skies
Terminal 5
7 p.m., $49.50–$55

Philadelphia-based rapper Lil Uzi Vert skyrocketed to fame off his hit “XO TOUR Llif3,” which featured the nihilistic chorus “Push me to the edge/All my friends are dead.” In the two years of his short career, Uzi has become a reference point for a new generation of Soundcloud kids, who are drawn to his dark subject matter and unique delivery. This is the first of his two nights at Terminal 5 with similarly hot young rapper Playboi Carti. The next Lil Uzi Vert will almost certainly be in the audience. Also 12/18.