The Best Shows in NYC This Week: Modest Mouse + Perfume Genius + Bjork + Palma Violets + The Pop Group + Cold War Kids + Sebadoh + Chumped + Swans + Max Richter + Bent Shapes + Cashmere Cat + Ellen Allien + Fort Romeau + The Menzingers + more
Written by Patrick McNamara
Happy SXSW week to those of you not at SXSW. South By So What. Trademark that shit if you wanna.
I say let them have their little fun running around under Austin’s highways, their laminated dork tags flapping in the wind. There’s plenty of show goodness right here in Bedford Falls and unlike Texas these sweet sounds are just a relaxing MTA train ride away!
I hope you choo-choo-choose to go to some.
Happy Living in New York week.
Keep Austin Weird.
Monday - March 16th, 2015 A.D.
Palma Violets play Baby’s All Right. Careful readers of this weekly dynamic digital article will perhaps remember that they played last week in NYC too. Not sure where they played. I never look back after writing these as there are no rear view mirrors at Rockness HQ. Although I’m pretty sure I asked if Palma Violets had taken over this side of “The Pond” like the leading music experts predicted back in 2012 because they’re British and they play guitars. But nobody ever got back to me.
The Pop Group are a post-punk band formed in Bristol back in 1977 (the year that “Oh, God!” and “The Kentucky Fried Movie” captured the hearts of film-going Americans everywhere). They recently released their first new album in 35 years and play songs from it at Rough Trade tonight (and tomorrow at Bowery Ballroom). “Star Wars” came out in 1977 too. Whatever happened to that movie.
Tuesday - March 17th, 2015 A.D.
Happy St. Patrick's Day! Love, Patrick
Westfield, MA lo-fi legends Sebadoh play Music Hall of Williamsburg. I think I can honestly say “Brand New Love” (which Lou Barlow now sometimes closes with, solo acoustic) is nestled somewhere comfortably in my Top 100 songs of all time list that does not yet exist as I’m too busy living my life. Don’t be a Masshole and miss this show.
Aggressively atmospheric punk shredders Young Widows play songs from their latest album “Easy Pain” put out by the seemingly forever solid record label Temporary Residence (EITS + Mono + Envy + Pinback + LOTS) tonight at Saint Vitus. They’re from Louisville, KY and you’re not. This one is gonna get loud so bring earplugs and nobody gets hurt.
Other notable shows = The Pop Group at Bowery Ballroom but yeah I already mentioned that
Wednesday - March 18th, 2015 A.D.
Olympia, WA’s Modest Mouse released their first new album in nine years this St. Patrick’s Day which, depending on when you read this, is either in the immediate future or the recent past. Isaac Brock and crew play Webster Hall tonight and tomorrow too. Pretend it’s 1997 and get excited (that’s not nice). The following is a great video, though. They destroyed once.
Bjork is playing a bunch of shows this month and she’s at the Kings Theatre in Flatbush tonight. And maybe if MoMA wasn’t $25* I’d go check out her current career retrospective/exhibition that didn't get really good reviews.
* When I worked there in 2000, admission to the museum was $12. That was a pretty good job - I sold tickets to Bruce Springsteen (true to form, he was an extremely chill laid-back dude) and a membership to Tom Waits who looked up from the form I presented him to fill out and growled “what’s a zip code?” but he was just having some fun with me. #BeforeTheBlob
I recently profiled the drum/bass punk delight of Baltimore party duo Ed Schrader’s Music Beat. Consider reading those carefully crafted words and perhaps more importantly, if you like what you hear below you just might want to see these two shred at Palisades tonight. But that decision - though the right one - is pretty much on you.
Other notable shows = Taking Back Sunday and The Menzingers at Best Buy Theatre + Ski Lodge at Pianos
Thursday - March 19th, 2015 A.D.
Mike Hadreas aka Perfume Genius brings his brilliantly haunting pop melancholy to Stage 48 on the far, far West Side of Manhattan and you just might shed a few euphoric soul cleansing tears near those forgotten piers. This guy is trying to break your heart - so sad, so right, so good.
On the opposite end of the emotion spectrum, Long Island pop punks Taking Back Sunday and similarly jubilant Scranton band The Menzingers play Best Buy Theater. Ain’t nobody cried at a pop punk show except due to injury because some bro at a show thought that in celebration of your common musical interests you would enjoy being pushed and/or punched for some reason.
Friday - March 20th, 2015 A.D.
The A.V. Club presents a catchy (mostly) punk one at Warsaw with Phoenix’s Andrew Jackson Jihad + Melbourne’s The Smith Street Band + Bomb the Music Industry!’s Jeff Rosenstock + Brooklyn’s Chumped (a personal favorite).
German-born British composer Max Richter plays his euphoric neo-classical compositions to St. Ann & The Holy Trinity Church in Brooklyn Heights tonight. A string quartet will be in tow to help fill this majestic space with orchestral sounds of wonder and grace.
Belgium DJ dance dude Aeroplane and London’s Fort Romeau bring big time beats to Good Room (formerly Club Europa) in Greenpoint tonight for FIXED. That monthly party is always a fun and sweaty late night time.
And Cold War Kids play Terminal 5. Pretend it’s 2006 ('07?) and get excited (<---------that was totally uncalled for, yet here we are).
Saturday - March 21st, 2015 A.D.
Norwegian turntablist producer remix master Cashmere Cat (born Magnus August Høiberg) spins the hits at Webster Hall. Here’s a brand new song released a week ago that already has over one million likes so I’m really glad I could give him the needed press boost by writing about him here. If this show sells out, it’s all due to The Best Shows This Week. 100%.
Longtime Berlin beat maker Ellen Allien (founder of BPitch Control) busts the IDM electro booms at Output tonight. She’s been slinging the dance goodness since 1992, son. Don’t do drugs.
Sunday - March 22nd, 2015 A.D.
Legendary destructo punks Swans play Music Hall of Williamsburg and if you have never been to a Swans show, well, you should go. You might not love Michael Gira’s highly specific chaotic vision but I bet you’ll remember it. Bring ear plugs, protect the area immediately around you, keep your arms and elbows to yourself, and nobody gets hurt. Good luck.
South By So What. Damn. It's really too bad that's already trademarked.