The Eight Best Concerts In NYC This Week
Sufjan Stevens + Sheila Saputo
Fri. & Sat., Dec. 21 & 22. 8pm. Bowery Ballroom. $20.
The ultimate Renaissance man of the indie scene, Sufjan Stevens creates folk of epic symphonic proportions. Now with a pair of Christmas albums under his belt, he is touring with a five-piece band in support of the second, Silver & Gold: Songs for Christmas Vols. 6-10. Officially called the "The Sirfjam Stephanapolous Christmas Sing-A-Long Seasonal Affective Disorder Spectacular Music Pageant Variety Show Disaster," the night will be a mix or reverent hymns, pop carols, and cheap holiday props. Song sheets will be provided, so there's no excuse not to sing your holiday heart out. -- By Sarah Madges
Thurs., Dec. 20. 7:30 & 9:30pm. Lincoln Center-Performing Arts. Free.
The Seattle composer-bassist is one of the more promising uncategorizeables operating in the slipstream of contemporary music. Bischoff knocked one out of the park earlier this year with Composed, an album of charmingly akimbo arrangements sung by David Byrne, Caetano Veloso, and others. These shows include a half-hour of new music created at the behest of Lincoln Center and performed by Bischoff, the yMusic ensemble, and Deerhoof percussionist Greg Saunier. -- By Richard Gehr
Jane Ira Bloom Trio
Thurs., Dec. 20. 8pm. The Stone. $10.
It's one of those ongoing joys the way Bloom's lithe soprano sax parkours through the ever-shifting architecture of bassist Mark Helias and drummer Bobby Previte. Forward motion is everything in this band, and the hurdles that the rhythm section supplies aren't road bumps but springboards, bringing the action to a graceful zenith. -- By Jim Macnie
Monoloc + Rebekah
Thurs., Dec. 20. 10pm. Cielo. $20.
Beatport recently awarded Cielo the best sound system in America, and the sunken dance floor can assuredly be a glorious place to disappear into frequencies, even despite a crowd that typically treats whatever beats are blasting as simple background. Monoloc's recent Drift was a an exercise in precision programming that dissolves many of the German label CLR's usual blunt-object techno, and should only improve heard through Funktion Ones. -- By Aaron Gonsher