Al Green, The xx and Esperanza Spalding Play New York

By Daniel Jumpertz on October 24, 2012 7:54am 

Wednesday, October 24
Regina Spektor heads uptown to the Beacon Theatre to play tracks from her new album "What We Saw From The Cheap Seats." A recent single represents a subtle style change, more electronic, but with the same piano-driven intensity. Check out "All The Rowboats" here.

Thursday, October 25
Although charismatic Gospel and soul legend Al Green was at his commercial peak in the early '70's — "Let's Stay Together" hit No. 1 in 1971 — he still has much to offer on stage, according to recent rapturous reviews. His most recent album of new material, 2008's "Lay It Down," was his most successful in 35 years, making the Top 10 on U.S. charts. The album was produced by Ahmir "Questlove" Thompson of the The Roots and English producer James Poyser. At The Capital Theatre, Port Chester, N.Y.

Friday, October 26
Gifted bass player and 2010's Grammy winner for Best New Artist, Esperanza Spalding brings her sophisticated jazz, soul and pop to the Apollo Theatre for two nights (also Saturday). Her most recent album "Radio Music Society" features 12 eclectic songs, all of which are accompanied by conceptual music videos, further expressing Esperanza’s inspiration and story behind each track.

Also tonight: Sensitive English indie popsters Saint Etienne are returning to New York for the first time in five years, with a new album, the autobiographical "Words And Music By Saint Etienne," at Webster Hall.

Saturday, October 27
Grimes is the experimental pop-music project of prolific young Canadian producer Claire Boucher. Her new album "Visions" (she is signed to cool UK label 4AD) incorporates influences as wide as Enya, TLC and Aphex Twin, while drawing from genres like New Jack Swing, IDM, New Age, K-Pop, Industrial and glitch, resulting in a record that is both otherworldly and futuristic. At Bowery Ballroom (also Friday).

Sunday, October 28
English three-piece The xx won a Mercury Award (UK album of the year) in 2010 for the beautifully minimal indie-pop sounds on their debut self titled-album. Their new album, the just-released "Coexist," is another stylish statement of restrained and passionate songwriting, and is sure to win a clutch of new fans. Explaining the group's sonic aesthetic to Pitchfork, band member Romy Madley Croft commented, "throughout pop music, you usually have to make the chorus really big, but we have a way of working where everything has to be played live. That's why there's not loads and loads of guitars or doubled vocals. That's really how we make minimal music — we're making what we can play on stage. It sets limits, which is good."  Catch The xx at Loew's Paradise Theatre in The Bronx. With Chairlift. Also Friday.

Monday, October 29
Fronted by underground hero Michael Gira, Swans are a New York based post-punk outfit originally active between 1982 to 1997. Of their name, Gira commented, ""Swans are majestic, beautiful looking creatures. With really ugly temperaments." In 2010, Gira reactivated Swans and has released two new studio albums: "My Father Will Guide Me Up a Rope to the Sky" in 2010, and 2012's "The Seer." At the Bowery Ballroom Sunday and Music Hall of Williamsburg Monday.

Tuesday, October 30
Freedom To Love Now! is the inaugural fundraising concert for marriage equality, benefitting the Freedom to Marry organization. Starring Rufus Wainwright, fun., The National, They Might Be Giants and Reggie Watts, among others. At the Beacon Theatre.

For more Gigs of the Week, follow @bandupdate on Twitter.

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