The Best NYC Shows This Week: Danny Brown, Jerry Paper, Wolf Eyes


This Thursday is every stoner’s favorite holiday: 4/20. As usual, there are some tripped-out artists to satisfy your musical munchies playing this week, including rapper Danny Brown, who spits manic rhymes with mind-bending speed, and Jerry Paper, a mysterious weirdo synthpopper (who will be joined by a Sublime cover band). The jammy psych rock band Tonstartssbandht will also play their blissed-out tunes this week, but if you’re looking for something a little more hardcore to expand your consciousness, the experimental noise group Wolf Eyes will be here to help. Be warned — if you’re too baked for a show like theirs, you may find yourself tripping into another dimension.


Moderat, Vatican Shadow
Terminal 5

7 p.m., $40

Moderat, a collaboration between techno duo Modeselektor and ambient electropop genius Apparat, weren’t always as intuitive as their music makes it appear. After releasing an EP in 2003, the group found it so difficult to work together that it took six years for it to release a full-length. Since then, something must have clicked, because the collaborative project has churned out several albums of soulful, creative electronic music, with elements of Apparat’s wispy pop and Modeselektor’s harder techno melding beautifully. They should be a rare good fit for Manhattan’s massive Terminal 5, which was originally a nightclub and still functions best for acts that are less about the visuals than they are about beats.

Jerry Paper, Field Trip, R33l B!g F1$h (Sublime tribute)
Brooklyn Bazaar

7:30 p.m., $10–$12

Brooklyn artist Jerry Paper’s off-kilter psychpop tunes form the basis for his strange persona. In addition to featuring music reminiscent of the Elephant 6 collective’s quirky psychedelia, his creative output has included surrealist video games, a mockumentary, and a T-shirt featuring an “anatomically correct bird-like creature” and the words “Drink from your own ass!” In an interview with the Fader, Paper described his aesthetic as follows: “The point is try to get you to ask questions about it. ‘Is this guy an idiot?’ That’s a totally valid question.” If all of this isn’t enough to intrigue you, Jerry Paper will be joined by a Sublime tribute band with the name R33l B!g F1$h. It should be a strange night.

PJ Harvey
Brooklyn Steel

7 p.m., $59–$65

The elusive U.K. artist PJ Harvey has made a career out of emotionally devastating blues-infused rock songs that probe deeply into her listeners while leaving her own life and intentions beyond their reach. The famously reclusive artist isn’t afraid to touch on politics in her work — on her most recent full length, 2016’s The Hope Six Demolition Project, she sings about journeys into the dark side of American power at home and abroad, an issue that’s more relevant now than ever. PJ Harvey’s shows, known for their raw emotional power and technical mastery, are worth the big-ticket prices.

The Coathangers, Snail Mail, SIGNAL

8 p.m., $15

The Coathangers are simply a great punk band. Hailing from Atlanta, the swaggering trio melds garage rock riffs with riot grrrl energy for catchy songs that are perfect for a small, noisy room like Williamsburg’s Sunnyvale. It’s a wonder that a group this solid has remained under the radar for its ten years of existence, during which it’s released five full-lengths. Their omnivorous music tastes are apparent in their slew of influences, from classic punk like the Ramones to the experimentations of Sonic Youth and poppier contemporaries like Dum Dum Girls. This show is a no-brainer for those who want to spend their 4/20 rocking out.

Skate the Loft
Danny Brown, Dave East, Nick Catchdubs, Sean Cee

Webster Hall

7 p.m., free with RSVP

The main highlight of this sportswear-sponsored free show is the rapper Danny Brown, an iconoclast whose nasal, rapid-fire vocals make his tracks and virtuosic guest spots immediately identifiable. On his last album, the much-lauded 2016 effort Atrocity Exhibition, Brown was in peak form, incorporating a whirlwind of musical styles — from new wave to free jazz to industrial — to back up his hyperactive, introspective rhymes. Brown is a black sheep contender for best rapper working today — it’s more than worth it to catch him live.

Lydia Ainsworth, NOIA
Baby’s All Right

8 p.m., $13–$15

Canadian artist Lydia Ainsworth’s 2014 album, Right From Real, featured gorgeous baroque electro-acoustic pop compositions that drew as much from her classical training as they did the experiments of peers like Grimes and Owen Pallett. On her new LP, Darling of the Afterglow, everything is bigger, brighter, and more direct — it’s her pop record. It’s not difficult to imagine this album as a crossover hit, soon to be played in Starbucks locations the world over. But Ainsworth’s bewitching experimental sensibility is still at work here, even if it’s slightly less obvious. Live, her vocal looping is mesmerizing to behold. It will be a treat to see these new songs come to life.

Chairlift, Kristin Kontrol
Brooklyn Steel

7 p.m., $20

The synthpop duo Chairlift burst onto the scene thanks to a spot in a 2008 iPod commercial. Since then, they have made good on their initial promise of big, hooky tunes with high-quality production and catchy melodies. Now, the band is saying goodbye — it’ll break up at the end of April, after twelve years together. Before they go, catch them at Brooklyn Steel for a proper New York send-off.

Wolf Eyes, Eartheater, Twig Harper
Brooklyn Bazaar

8 p.m., $13

The Michigan noise rock project Wolf Eyes will play at Brooklyn Bazaar this week in honor of their new record, Undertow, a meditative, spooky collection of songs that represents some of the group’s quieter and less abrasive work. The hyper-prolific band’s innumerable releases and side projects since its founding in 1996 make up a sprawling, self-invented universe that allows the group to warp and shift into whatever it wants to be at the moment: pure noise, post-industrial, experimental. Unsurprisingly, the band’s mythology is strong: It draws on a cult following of fellow weirdos, who now claim the made-up genre “trip metal” as their banner. This show may fall two days after 4/20, but you’d be hard-pressed to find a more mind-bending show to attend this week.

Sebadoh, Tobin Sprout, DTCV
The Bell House

8 p.m.. $18–$20

When ’90s lo-fi heroes Sebadoh returned in 2013 with their last album, Defend Yourself, their first after a fourteen-year recording hiatus, expectations were high. The album largely delivered — it’s a collection of sensitive, memorable pop tunes that satisfied their die-hard fans. It may not quite reach the heights of their golden-era work, but that hasn’t stop fans of ’90s indie rock from turning out in droves to hear them play their catalog, which they’ll do alongside fellow lo-fi god Tobin Sprout of Guided by Voices.


The Park Church Co-Op

7 p.m., $12

Tonstartssbandht may have a difficult-to-pronounce name (it’s TAHN-starts-bandit) but their music goes down easy. The band is made up of two brothers, Andy and Edwin White, who have now released seventeen albums of unspooling, contemplative psych rock under this name. Their most recent release, Sorcerer, is a gorgeously flowing collection of just three songs (two of which are over ten minutes long). Nothing about Tonstartssbandht’s music feels rushed — it takes its time, settling peacefully into your consciousness. If “blissed out” sounds like anything, it’s this.