The Nine Best Concerts In New York This Week
These are the best concerts in New York this week, in no particular order.
Mon., Jan. 7. 8pm. Bowery Ballroom. $40.
Once a local star in Washington--a city that was struggling to make it onto the hip-hop map--Wale became an Internet favorite when his mixtapes for Fool's Gold guru Nick Catchdubs (most notably, his breakout 100 Miles and Running) circulated across the hipper neighborhoods in cities across the country. Today, he's a national star, two seats away from the throne of Rick Ross's Maybach Music Group imprint, finding radio success with the Miguel-assisted slow jam "Lotus Flower Bomb" and flavoring songs like Ross's "Diced Pineapples" with spoken-word intros. After the cancellation of Maybach's small-arenas tour (due to "scheduling conflicts"), Wale comes to the Bowery Ballroom for a more intimate solo show. -- By Nick Murray
Soft Moon + Majical Cloudz
Tues., Jan 8. 10:30 p.m. Mercury Lounge. $12-$15.
The first song on Soft Moon's latest album, Zeros, is titled "It Ends," which is about as cheery as it gets for this lot. Since releasing their self-titled debut in 2010, the Bay Area group has excelled in creating drab electronic-tinged downers, but with the sort of nuanced textures, industrial filigrees (they recently remixed a song by Trent Reznor's new band), and murky Joy Divisiony guitars to make it more than just a depression session. They learned early on how to find the right balance between minor keys and expressionism--a trait they likely picked up from listening to misery mechanists like Einstürzende Neubauten and about every 4AD artist who put out a record before 1986. Openers Majical Cloudz will provide a slightly more uplifting counterpoint to Soft Moon's negativity. -- By Kory Grow
'Robert Gordon's Elvis Birthday Bash'
Wed., Jan. 9. 7:30 p.m. B.B. King Blues Club & Grill. $20/$25.
When the Ramones were wearing Elvis-esque leather, their fellow CBGBs performer Robert Gordon was channeling the King's Sun Records years with the release of his 1977 rockabilly breakthrough, Robert Gordon With Link Wray. Tonight, he performs his ninth annual Elvis Birthday Bash, where he pays tribute to the man whose "Heartbreak Hotel" stirred him as a 9-year-old and whose "One Night" he covered to get a record deal. All hail the King! -- By Kory Grow
Wed., Jan. 9. 8:00 p.m. ShapeShifter Lab. $10.
It wouldn't be wrong to call them a band of accomplished sidemen, but more and more saxophonist Seamus Blake, trumpeter Alex Sipiagin, pianist Dave Kikowski, bassist Boris Kozlov, and drummer Donald Edwards sound unmistakably formidable as co-leaders in this feisty mainstream collective. Each contributes tunes, and the new Pentasonic bristles with the kind of old school swagger that only killer chops can cultivate. -- By Jim Macnie