The Ten Best Concerts in New York This Week, 1/21/13

Here are the 10 best shows around the city this week, in no particular order.

Ra Ra Riot + Savoir Adore
Music Hall of Williamsburg
Tuesday, 8pm, $23
With up-tempo hooky chamber pop ditties and technically tight swagger, the Syracuse fivesome began as superstars of college rock radio. Now touring in support of their upcoming album, Beta Love, the band has entered a new stylistic phase, adding a synthpop veneer to their upbeat rhythms and layered production. -- By Sarah Madges

Christopher Owens
Bowery Ballroom
Monday & Tuesday, 9pm, $20
Now that singer-songwriter Christopher Owens has elected to end his indie-rock band Girls, he has released a concept album of sorts about being in the indie-rock band Girls. The LP, Lysandre, recants how Owens fell in love with a woman named Lysandre (referred to, of course, as a girl in the press release) while touring for the group's debut, Album, and ultimately how that relationship didn't work out. Despite sounding heady, a healthy dose of acoustic guitars, flute, and Owens's hushed vocals keep it from becoming heavy. With Melted Toys. -- By Kory Grow

Antwon + Cities Aviv + Weekend Money
Santos' Party House
Thursday, 8pm, $8/$10
Cities Aviv's 2011 debut Digital Lows name-checked Mr. Bungle and had arty edges, but mostly delivered thoughtful trad raps--like a slightly outré iteration of arch '90s nostaljack Joey Bada$$. More recent material digs deeper, mining the groove where Throbbing Gristle abuts jazz-funk great George Benson. On 2012's Black Pleasure, Quiet Storm samples get mangled in arrays of CD-skips and chops, while Cities Aviv's incantatory raps also explore where repetition goes beyond the pleasure principle (e.g., pornography, online romance). -- By Rajiv Jaswa

Vijay Iyer Trio
Jazz Standard
Wednesday - Friday, 7:30pm, $25-$30
The pianist's Accelerando topped this year's Rhapsody Jazz Critics Poll. Like 2009's Historicity, it's another fine blend of jazz history (Herbie Nichols's "Wildflower," Duke Ellington's "The Village of the Virgins"), pop (Michael Jackson's "Human Nature"), solid originals, and Other (Flying Lotus and Thundercat's "mmmhmmm"), all played with drive and finesse by Iyer, Stephan Crump (bass), and Marcus Gilmore (drums). -- By Richard Gehr

James Carney Trio
Tuesday, 9pm, $10
The pianist's horn bands are cagey and seductive, but sometimes they hide the beauty of his keyboard work. This trio with drummer Tom Rainey and bassist Mark Helias should put those skills right up front. There's a sweet fluidity to Carney's approach, and even the knottiest moments enjoy a certain flow. It's a shared bill with percussionist Ches Smith's trio, another engaging outfit that puts a premium on forward motion. -- By Jim Macnie

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