The Ten Best Concerts in New York This Weekend, 1/18/13

Categories: Weekend

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Umphrey's McGee
Beacon Theatre
Friday, 9pm, $29.50-$49.50
Impeccable chops, ninja-moves tunes, sexy-time dance grooves, X-factor surprises, classic-rawk grandeur, and a refreshing sense of humor make this Midwest-spawned sextet among the four or five most fascinating bands in the country right now. Both tunes and jams--and I dare you to figure out where the former end and the latter commence--emerge like sharp-edged jigsaw puzzles that justify extended scrutiny. Catch them while they're still cult. -- By Richard Gehr

Joe Morris
The Stone
Friday - Sunday, 8pm, free
An inspired improviser with an approach to the guitar both well-formulated and idiosyncratic, Joe Morris spent the past three decades refining creative ideas, playing in myriad instrumental situations, and earning what serves as fame on the free jazz scene. Now he has written a book, Perpetual Frontier: The Properties of Free Music, which explains the quantifiable aspects of what's oft-considered a mysterious music--"a methodology that can be used to construct a methodology," says the bandleader and New England Conservatory teacher. The 27 gigs he has curated at the Stone for the next two weeks will likely reveal the essence of the tome's tenets. His current cohort stretches from Boston to Barcelona with a variety of characters uniting to make everything from doom skronk (Spanish Donkey) to chamber-prov (Ultra) to ye olde free-bop (Bass Quartet). Need an extended portrait of one man's provocative vision? Here it is. -- By Jim Macnie

Madteo + Anthony Naples + T'Angelo + Judge Wise + Evan Michael
Cameo Gallery
Friday, 11:59pm, $10
New Yorkers born and bred, both Madteo and Anthony Naples construct garbled messages unearthed from the crackle and skips of hip-hop vinyl without sacrificing the crusty jack of classic house. Their structures take a bit to coalesce, but when they do the muffled samples and deep detail remain full of surprises. -- By Aaron Gonsher

Sun Araw + Ital + M Geddes Gengras
Knitting Factory Brooklyn
Saturday, 8pm, $10/$12
With a guitar sound somewhere between Neil Young's bucolic yawp and Manuel Göttsching's minimalist mysteries, Los Angeles experimentalist Cameron Stallone--a/k/a Sun Araw--plays as though he were in a state of constant self-creation. In 2012, Stallones followed his lava-lamping Congos and M. Geddes Gengres collaboration Icon Give Thank with The Inner Treaty, which touched on gospel and jazz. Considering the openers, expect more dub, less swing. -- By Richard Gehr

'Thema Presents Terrence Dixon'
National Underground
Friday, 11pm, $10/$15
Label head Lenny Posso has kept Thema Recordings respected locally and globally by staying true to the unifying possibilities of eclectic electronic music, and the return of Thema Nights is another opportunity to celebrate. In addition to a set from Posso, the show at National Underground will feature Detroit icon Terrence Dixon, whose 2012 releases on Delsin and Tresor were full of extraordinarily warm and workmanlike techno textures. -- By Aaron Gonsher

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