The Ten Best Concerts in New York This Week, 3/25/13

Categories: Listings, Live

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Sigur Rós keeps it abstract at MSG this Monday night

Sigur Rós
Madison Square Garden
Monday, 8pm, $56
On last year's Valtari, Sigur Rós frontman Jónsi Birgisson nervously waved his falsetto in front of molten strings, intertwining them until they became indistinguishable strands of twinkling lights dangling from the cathedral rafters. Lyrical abstraction hasn't stopped his band from zeroing in on a stable identity over the past dozen years, but their newest round sounds mostly like the tracks you justifiably forgot from Ágætis Byrjun and Takk, simplistic gradients wherein all the warbling vowels and chirping consonants never quite turn into even a single memorable hook. -- By Vijith Assar

The Breeders
The Bell House
Friday, 9pm, $20
For their first official "LSXX" concert, the Breeders are celebrating the 20th anniversary of Last Splash, reuniting that album's lineup and relearning every minute of feedback, every curl-lipped coo, every harmony, and every overdriven "aaah-ooo-aahh" in order to play the entirety of its 39 minutes and 38 seconds. In 1993, the album stood out for twin sisters Kim and Kelley Deal's easy-breezy delivery and proclivity for alt-pop hooks, with catchy singles like "Cannonball," "Divine Hammer" and "Saints." After 20 years, and with 20/20 hindsight, it all still holds up. -- By Kory Grow

Oktophonie
Park Avenue Armory
Monday - Wednesday, 8pm, $40
Installation wizard Rirkrit Tiravanija transforms the Park Avenue Armory's cavernous Wade Thompson Drill Hall into a simulated lunar viewing platform for the New York premiere of Karlheinz Stockhausen's epic 1991 electronic work Oktophonie. Audience members, who are asked to wear white, will recline on the floor of the hall as 24-channel timbres volley horizontally, vertically, and diagonally between eight speakers arranged as the corners of a cube. A screaming is only the beginning of what comes across the sky in this digital sequel to the New York Philharmonic's brilliant architectural performance of Stockhausen's Gruppen for three orchestras last year. Part slow, sublime rave, part minimalist light show, Oktophonie mirrors a cosmic confrontation of Lucifer with the archangel Michael in the Tuesday entry of Licht (Light), Stockhausen's seven-day opera cycle. -- By Richard Gehr

Hey Marseilles + Young Buffalo
The Mercury Lounge
Thursday, 6:30pm, $10/$12
With their warm sound and rootsy sweetness, Hey Marseilles, a folky seven-piece from Seattle, have put themselves on the map as part of the next wave of important bands hailing from the Pacific Northwest. Following up 2010's To Travels and Trunks, the group is currently bringing their many stringed instruments and lovely lyrics on tour in support of Lines We Trace. -- By Brittany Spanos

Darkstar + Gobby
The Glasslands Gallery
Thursday, 8:30pm, $12
Crafting hip-hop contusions for UNO label mate Mykki Blanco as well as releasing a seemingly ceaseless churn of degraded dance music, local producer Gobby is defined as much by his prolificacy as the caustic material contained therein. He's not always spot-on, but more often than not Gobby's ideas as both a frantic percussionist and gauzy rap enthusiast make for a complex listening experience rarely filtered by commercial concerns. In the time it took to write this preview, he already released two new songs on his Soundcloud. -- By Aaron Gonsher


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