The Best Shows in NYC This Week: Savages + Sufjan Stevens + Louie C.K. + Fleetwood Mac + Joey Bada$$ + Ricky Eat Acid + Zola Jesus + The Ting Tings + The Sidekicks + Cayetana + more goodness
Written by Patrick McNamara
This feature has a blues riff in B, watch me for the changes, and try to keep up, alright?
Monday - January 19th, 2015 A.D.
Savages play Baby’s All Right and that’s going to be a reoccuring theme for awhile on here because January is the month the London “post-something” punk band decided to take over NYC. All shows are sold out. So if you have a ticket, cool. If you don’t, where there’s a will there’s a pay.
Liverpool lads The Wombats play radio friendly indie pop (not to be confused with indiepop) at Rough Trade (and tomorrow at Mercury Lounge). Wardell opens both shows and now’s the perfect time to hear more from Steven Spielberg’s kids.
Young lyrical laureate Joey Bada$$ plays Rough Trade and I can already feel the smooth flow from here. This show is “free entry with purchase” and that’s not really free, now is it? Regardless, should be worth it. If you go, tell ‘em Oh My Rockne$$ sent ya.
Tuesday - January 20th, 2015 A.D.
Sufjan Stevens starts a run of six shows at BAM this week. The performance is called “Round-Up” and it involves Sufjan playing electronics alongside rodeo visuals that come accompanied by piano players and beat makers. Yee-haw.
British synther rockster popster duo The Ting Tings play Bowery Ballroom and wayyyy back in 2008 I wrote that they had one of the worst band names I’ve heard. Boy, have I come along way since then. The Ting Tings wouldn’t even crack my Top 50 Bad Band Names these days. Blame Fartbarf.
EDITOR'S UPDATE: THIS SHOW HAS BEEN RESCHEDULED FOR APRIL. DANG DANGS.
I wonder how many Jeffrey Lewis shows we’ve listed on the blob since 2004. It could either be 100 or 1000 or somewhere in between. This prolific lo-fi folk punk (and comic book) guy plays all the time (because he's good) and seemingly with a different band in tow for every show. Tonight, it’s Jeffrey Lewis and The Jrams playing Rough Trade.
Wednesday - January 21st, 2015 A.D.
Landlady play Union Pool and Adam Schatz leads this grand, theatrical band that’s equal parts pop + rock + vaudeville + burlesque + carnival. Here’s a happy catchy song that’s about feeling good that right now you’re closer to your dying day than you ever have been before. It’s cryptically called “Dying Day” and I guess that could be a happy catchy afternoon? Regardless, I hope it’s not today.
Washer play Shea Stadium. This up-and-coming slacker fuzz duo play bendy “post-something” punk goodness sprinkled with a bit of that sweet sludge sauce. Mmm. That sounds delicious. But wait till you hear how it sounds, man. Here’s a song from their split with Big Ups. Works best if you blast it.
Troubadour Alex Bleeker (who’s also in Real Estate) and his longtime alt-Americana band The Freaks play The Living Room. Good news. This one is free. And you should play some Neil Young before to get you pumped.
Thursday - January 22nd, 2015 A.D.
Amen Dunes (currently chilling on Sacred Bones) + Kevin Morby (click that) + Nude Beach (click that 2) play Bowery Ballroom and that’s a good lineup all around. I love when this happens because once I get to a place I’d really rather not leave for awhile. Moving is so overrated.
Fleetwood Mac play Madison Square Garden. I’ve heard of neither this band nor this venue but I heard on the World Wide Intrasphere that this is a band to watch out for in 2015. Here’s a song I’ve never heard played everywhere before. Please enjoy discovering it for the very first time.
Sara Schaefer records her live comedy album tonight at Union Hall (one early - one late). Go and maybe one day your distinctive cackle will be captured and preserved for generations of standup comedy fans to come.
Also. Say Sufjan Stevens Sara Schaefer five times really fast without fucking up. Bet you can’t. So far my record is two.
Friday - January 23rd, 2015 A.D.
Speaking of solid lineup all around (I was earlier - scroll around enough and you’ll find the segue) The Sidekicks headline Baby’s All Right and they sound like Built to Spill meets Band of Horses. Also playing this show are super solid lo-fi pop folk emo (!) band Cayetana (Philly) and Columbus, OH pop punk band All Dogs who are so catchy they all belong in heaven.
Speaking of punk that pops (this seque should be easier to spot), Foxing + Slingshot Dakota lead a fun free show at Brooklyn Night Bazaar. Come on the earlier side to catch What Moon Things. I’ve liked that band since wayyyy back in November of 2014. What was that time even LIKE, man???
Ricky Eat Acid plays Palisades. And this Band We Like feature on Ricky Eat Acid's lo-fi electronic enlightenment is pretty much my best work on the subject of his goodness. File Under: post-pastoral RIYL: made up genre names. (Foxes in Fiction opens and that band is good.)
Life Size Maps play Aviv. They’ve been slinging the synth solid pop rock for a bit and I’m always happy to hear it. And now, they’re finally set to release their debut full-length via Old Flame. Here is a good song from it. How about that melody?
Other notable shows = Sufjan Stevens at BAM + Vacationer at Bowery Ballroom + Dragons of Zynth at Highline Ballroom + Lia Ices at Rough Trade + Impose Benefit for Eric Gardner at Shea Stadium + Mister Lies at Silent Barn + Sylvan Esso and Mr. Twin Sister at Terminal 5
Saturday - January 24th, 2015 A.D.
Louie C.K. plays Madison Square Garden. Not familiar with the man or the venue but I think he’s that redhead that uses all those funny props???
Good new NYC band EZTV play Knitting Factory. This one comes recommended if you like sweet jingle-jangle indiepop and I do which is why I’m recommending this show to you. Please enjoy this song “Trampoline” which is about jumping and having fun, I’d imagine.
Atmospheric Montreal pop band The Besnard Lakes have been soaring strong for over a decade now. The husband/wife duo play their sprawling melodies at Rough Trade tonight and I hope they come with sweet visuals. I’d take that trip.
And you know I’m not going to end the picks for Saturday without mentioning that Extreme play The Space at Westbury. How could I not? Where in Extreme’s set do you think they put “More Than Words?” It’s a tough situation. If you play it too early, everybody would go home before the show’s over. If you play it too late, everybody would have already left (because how many Extreme deep cuts can a person be expected to sit through). Tricky times. I would not want to carry the burden a one hit wonder schleps around for all their remaining days. Fuck that.
Sunday - January 25th, 2015 A.D.
Zola Jesus plays Saint Vitus and it’s sold out. So get excited or shift to Plan B - depending on if you have a ticket or not. And if you weren’t planning on going to this show and still aren’t even after reading these dynamic words about it OHHHH GOOD FOR YOU.
They Might Be Giants play Music Hall of Williamsburg and what ever happened to the actor who played the dad in Malcolm in the Middle?
In closing this week, let’s end by giving a shout out to Steve Sobs playing Palisades tonight. I haven’t listened to him yet - and I promise you I might - but he's already won the game with his name.
Other notable shows = Sufjan Stevens at BAM + I love rodeo music
That's it. We're done. I hope I wasted your precious procrastination time to the best of my blob abilities. Please enjoy the rest of your day staring at your screen.