The Best Shows in NYC This Week: Bjork + The Flaming Lips + Cursive + Gang of Four + Suicide + Mitski + Arcade Fire's Will Butler + DJ Animal Collective + Patti Smith + United Nations + Debbie Harry + lots more goodness
Written by Patrick McNamara
It’s March. It’s March. Yay. We did it. Winter’s over. Yaaaaaaaaaay.
March is the ultimate fake out month. Sheee-yit, String! It ain’t spring.
But it’s coming, man. The light is returning and spring….. is…... coming.
So help me blob.
These are the good shows happening this week. Amen.
Monday - March 2nd, 2015 A.D.
United Nations (click that) play Saint Vitus. The band feature members of Thursday + Glassjaw + Converge + Pianos Become the Teeth and when they’re not shredding/screaming, they’re promoting world peace somewhere by the water on the Upper East Side. Bring ear plugs to this one and nobody gets hurt/declared a criminal of war.
Harlem hip-hop duo Cannibal Ox (Vast Aire + Vordul Mega) play The Studio at Webster Hall. Their new album will “drop” (music industry insider speak) tomorrow so expect to hear some fresh new “cuts” (same) from it tonight.
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Tuesday - March 3rd, 2015 A.D.
Brooklyn’s ONWE play Bowery Electric and that’s hilarious because I JUST wrote about the goodness of that guy’s music. Man, it’s almost like I plan that shit or something. So much deliciously dynamic synergy on this thing.
Richmond singer/songwriter/Spacebomb Records maker Matthew E. White plays BRIC House. Here’s a joyfully optimistic “cut” off White’s new album, “Fresh Blood,” that’s set to “drop” real soon on Domino Records - a label I have totally heard of before, NBD. Also, this kind of sounds like “Life is a Highway” era Tom Cochrane?
When Kevin Farrant isn’t helping his bff Aaron Maine make Porches a good band he also solos up as Rivergazer. I once called this music “ennui soaked smoothness” and I really nailed it when I said that. See Rivergazer at Shea Stadium tonight if you’re the type that likes seeing good bands. Nicholas Nicholas play before. They’re good too. I love when this happens.
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Wednesday - March 4th, 2015 A.D.
Sacramento hardcore band Trash Talk are real aggro and it’s probably because they’re still pissed their hometown Kings never took their uber talented early ‘00s teams (Webber! Peja! Bibby!) all the way to the NBA Finals. They play Webster Hall (Marlin Room) tonight and if you happen to see them working their own merch table, please, whatever you do, don’t bring up basketball. It makes them GRRRRRRRR.
DJ Animal Collective “spin” beastly post-cooperative beats at Output tonight. There will be visuals. So….. you know what to do beforehand, man. I’m not allowed to say it because this is a family blob and kids might be distractedly scrolling. In summation, I love weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeed.
Bombastic L.A. pop band Kitten play a free show (late) at Baby’s All Right. Go if you like big time songs that are radio ready and major label friendly. Punk rock, this is not.
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Thursday - March 5th, 2015 A.D.
Will Butler plays Bowery Ballroom (and Saturday at Baby’s All Right). He’s also in this band Arcade Fire and I have been hearing good things. I’ve wanted to check them out for some time now but I don’t have the money to rent a tuxedo in order to be admitted with my ticket :( Oh well. Someday before I’m dead, I guess. And then I could be buried in the same tux. You see? Everything always works out. TEEN also plays this show. I just thought you should know.
The annual Tibetan House US Benefit is tonight at Carnegie Hall. Have you heard of any of these people: The Flaming Lips + Philip Glass + Patti Smith + Debbie Harry + Laurie Anderson? Yeah. Me neither. Tickets are still available for the cheap seats. I just checked for you because it’s not like I have anything else going on.
Hundred Waters and Mitski play Music Hall of Williamsburg. I’m sure Hundred Waters are a phenomenal band (I’ve never really listened) but I suggest you go to this show for Mitski. The band’s album (yes, live Mitski is a band) “Bury Me at Makeout Creek” was one of last year’s best. And that I DON’T back down from. BTW, sorry I’ve never listened to Hundred Waters, Hundred Waters fans. I let you down. And it will happen again.*
(* it would be so easy just to listen to a bit of Hundred Waters right now - but I’m not going to.)
New Jersey’s Pinegrove play Rough Trade and this makes for a fine excuse to post this good Pinegrove song that I like to listen to whenever I have a problem such as, “How do I keep this week’s dynamic digital feature from sliding into a cesspool of stink suck?” It’s been very helpful.
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Friday - March 6th, 2015 A.D.
Carpark Records celebrates sixteen years of being a good label at Baby’s All Right tonight. 8 bands are playing, including Greys and Adventure who both just so happen to be old Rockness CMJ show alums. Thanks for playing that one time you played, guys. I don’t remember much except big time beats and shreds because I was sorta drunk but that’s more than enough. Happy Birthday, Carpark!
New Jersey punks Screaming Females play Silent Barn. I said it last week and I’ll say it again since there’s hardly any readership crossover from week to week on this digitally dynamic thing: 2015 is the Year of the Screaming Female. So see them now so you can say you saw them when.
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Saturday - March 7th, 2015 A.D.
Bjork begins her run of seven (7) NYC shows this month with a performance tonight at Carnegie Hall. It’s sold-out, of course. But where there’s a will - there’s a PAY - and as of this writing tickets on the re-seller’s market appear to be going for $250 each for this show. I’m not trying to tell you how to live your life, but if you don’t have a ticket, what I would do is buy a bottle of wine on my way home, turn off the lights, and turn up Bjork on full blast all night via the relative free-ness of my couch. Maybe get out a flashlight and make cool visuals on the ceiling. But that’s just me.
Leeds post-punk legends Gang of Four play Irving Plaza and some rag named Rolling Stone once named their classic album “Entertainment!” as the 483rd best record of all time, sandwiched between Steve Earle (482) and Mott the Hoople (484) and I do believe this is the most research I’ve ever done on this thing so I hope you have enjoyed it.
Speaking of legends, industrial experimental synth post-something goth punk heads Suicide (formed circa 1970) play Webster Hall. Here’s who has said they were influenced by Suicide. Ready? Sonic Youth + Steve Albini + Nine Inch Nails + Ministry + Henry Rollins + Pet Shop Boys + Depeche Mode + Bruce Springsteen (!) + Sky Ferreira + R.E.M. + Air + The Chemical Brothers + Aphex Twin + you and me, probably.
Baby’s All Right is doing a daytime “Wake and Bake Fest.” And while I’m unfamiliar with this term “wake and bake” I do know that a bunch of bands are playing it - including Northampton’s Blessed State who I recently wrote nice things about. Tickets are $5 and I love weeeeeeeeeeeeeed.
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Sunday - March 8th, 2015 A.D.
Veteran (legendary?) indie emo Omaha band Cursive and PA’s Beach Slang play Asbury Lanes in New Jersey but both bands will also play NYC next week too. Fuck next week. I don’t even want to think about having to do this again next week. Let’s stick with the NOW for goddamn once. Please consider going to see this one….. or see them next week…. or don’t ever see a good band again. I don’t care what you do. I just want you to be happy. I bowled a 145 once.
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Thanks for reading this thing again this week. Everything I do, I do it 4 U, dear Rockness reader. So help me blob.
Yes, spring is coming. But for now….. winter lingers. Push through. Keep the faith. Choose light.