Sam Smith - United Palace Theatre - 9/18

Categories: Last Night
Better Than: Drunk dialing the person you're in love with.

United Palace Theatre is primarily a church that moonlights as a movie theatre and music venue. The entrance is devastatingly beautiful and overwhelming, making it the perfect host for Sam Smith's grandiose voice, earnest delivery and soulful tunes. In their red velvet seats, patrons clutched their hearts and raised their hands as if engaging in a new type of spiritual experience on a Thursday evening.

See also: Sam Smith SLAYED Saturday Night Live

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Ty Segall - Webster Hall - 9/18

Categories: Last Night

All photos Lindsey Rhoades
Better Than: Taking a crowd-surfing class at NYU

Ty Segall has long been known as a musician capable of prolific output; in 2012 alone, he released three full-length LPs -- Hair, with White Fence; Slaughterhouse, with his touring band; and Twins, that year's solo effort. He followed that up by releasing 2013's Sleeper, as well as starting a whole new band, Fuzz, in which he primarily plays drums. With each project, Segall tends to tweak his approach ever so slightly, dabbling in black metal on one album, sprinkling in hints of psych on the next. With the August release of Manipulator, Segall hones his ability to layer more complex elements into his brand of punked-up, seething rock 'n' roll.

See also: The 50 Most NYC Albums Ever

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The Source 360 at BAM: A Guide

Categories: BAM

The Source turns 25 this year. How many back issues are in your closet?
This year, rap publication The Source celebrates its 25th birthday. Considered by many to be "the hip-hop Bible," the publication has been a cornerstone of the hip-hop culture, impacting everything from breaking new artists to making "5 Mics," the coveted highest honor the magazine awards an album, part of the hip-hop lexicon. Starting Friday, BAM is paying tribute to the magazine with The Source 360 Film Festival. Boasting three days of hip-hop cinema chronicling the Source era, we've assembled this guide to everything you need to know about what's playing.

See also: The Top 20 NYC Rap Albums of All Time

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The 10 Best Concerts in New York This Weekend, 9/19/14

Categories: Weekend

Credit: Christopher Victorio
The Replacements headline Forest Hills Stadium this Friday
For more shows throughout the weekend, check out our New York Concert Calendar, which we update daily.

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Rabbi Darkside Leads the Rebel Alliance to the Blue Note Friday

Categories: Blue Note

Donna Travail
Rabbi Darkside
Rapper, educator, and former MTV Made coach Rabbi Darkside will hit a new career milestone this Friday night as he headlines a special late-night show at the Blue Note. The famed jazz club has been slowly opening its doors to more and more hip-hop acts. After a few strong guest appearances on the historic stage over the past two years, Darkside will be getting a full 90-minute show of his own, where he'll be joined by the "Rebel Alliance," including musical director Lenny Reece of The Lesson. We spoke to Darkside about prepping for this show and what exactly the Rebel Alliance is.

See also: The Top 20 NYC Rap Albums of All Time

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How to Dress Well - Irving Plaza - 9/17

Categories: Last Night

All photos Jena Ardell
Better Than: Anything described as "PBR&B."

Going off his music alone, one might have assumed How to Dress Well's Tom Krell was another self-absorbed white dude with a decent falsetto and too many feelings.

Though he is indeed white, and has quite a few feelings, Krell was, to my surprise, an exceedingly gracious performer.

See also: The 50 Most NYC Albums Ever

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Native New Yorker Hari Kondabolu: Not a Political Comic

Categories: Comedy

Beth Allen
Hari Kondabolu
Between growing up in Queens and currently residing in Brooklyn, comedian Hari Kondabolu has appeared on Letterman, Conan, and NPR. With brother Ashok (Das Racist rapper Dapwell) he created the Untitled Kondabolu Brothers Podcast and fills in for Night Train host Wyatt Cenac when the latter finds himself out of town on Mondays. Kondabolu's debut album, Waiting for 2042 -- released in March on indie-rock label Kill Rock Stars -- receives the vinyl treatment this winter, and he headlines his first Carolines on Broadway weekend run this Friday through Sunday.

See also: Hannibal Buress: 'Bombing Can Be Good'

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Six Songs About NYC That Make People Hate NYC

Categories: 2013

Via Wiki Commons
There have been thousands, maybe millions, of songs written about New York City. You'll receive no argument from me that it's a special, special place. It's captured the imagination of imaginative young people around the world, and is responsible for something like a quarter of all the quintessential American artifacts. Part of that is the population density, sure, but there's no need to understate the broader influence. It's the most important city in the nation, and those who would argue that fact are simply out of ammunition.

All that said, there are plenty of things hilariously un-self-aware about that sanctified New York art. For all those great songs written from boroughs there's a whole lot of chaff. As a resident of Austin, Texas, I can confirm that some of those anthems you hold near to your heart have us laughing behind your back. It's time to clue you in. Here are the songs about New York that make people outside of the city hate New York.

See also: The 50 Most NYC Albums Ever

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Putting Aphex Twin's New Album Syro in Context

Categories: New Releases

An Aphex Twin logo, spray-painted on a sidewalk, building anticipation for the new album.
I'm ostensibly here to talk to you about Aphex Twin's new album, Syro, but first I need to admit to some Pavlovian conditioning. Over the years I've grown unreasonably excitable by the first few bars of "Xtal," the first track on his debut album, Selected Ambient Works 85-92. This has very little to do with the substance of the song, in which a seductive female vocal sample coos out nonsense syllables over twinkles and burbles almost gentle enough to qualify as a lullaby. It's not even the best track -- in particular, the dynamite closer "Actium" recasts and then anodizes the album's characteristic sleek platinum into something approaching anger, like furious expert oratory delivered on the floor of an intergalactic senate. But "Xtal" has on its side the anticipation implied by the start of a longform treasure. A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away.

See also: Five Albums That Make Their Fans Insufferable

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Ask Andrew W.K.: My Friend Is Joining the Military and I'm Furious

Photo by Anthony Dubois
[Editor's note: Every Wednesday, New York City's own Andrew W.K. takes your life questions and sets you safely down the right path to a solution, a purpose, or -- no surprise here -- a party. Need his help? Just ask:]

Dear Andrew,

One of my closest and oldest friends just told me last night that he wants to join the Army. I was completely shocked. He had never seemed interested in this before and never really mentioned it, and now he's decided to not go to college but sign up with the military instead.

At first I just didn't say anything, but then I got really pissed off and told him not to do it. I believe in peace and am just so upset at the idea of someone I've known and loved for so long participating in this kind of violence. I basically told him that if he goes through with this, I won't be able to be his friend anymore. I can't stand by in good conscience and let my friend go kill people or get killed, can I?

Pissed Off Pacifist

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