NEW YORK CITY — Just as some of us venture back to our hometowns for Thanksgiving, reminiscing about past lives as suburbanites in the 1980s, '90s and early 2000s, the city’s music venues, too, are feeling the throwback vibe.
Artists who reached their prominence in the '90s dominate this week’s gig schedule. Put on your jeans backwards, check out our Spotify playlist of the bands in town and read on.
Wednesday, Nov. 27th
Any metal fan worth his salt can break down every time signature change in Slayer’s “Raining Blood.” Head-bang with them at the thrash metal band’s Theater at Madison Square Garden gig on Thanksgiving Eve.
Lauryn Hill — best known for her award-winning 1998 hip-hop album “The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill” — will perform at the Bowery Ballroom. Tickets are still on sale for the 6 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. shows, which are her first gigs after a stint in prison for tax evasion.
Thursday, Nov. 28th
It’s Thanksgiving! Even musicians are taking a break to eat some turkey. With most venues closed for the holiday, you can still catch some iconic movies that have inspired rock and hip-hop. “Taxi Driver” and “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid” will screen at the IFC Center. Spike Lee’s remake of the South Korean film “Oldboy” will be showing at Nitehawk Cinema. The original 2003 film has served as a reference point for hip hop artists such as Wu-Tang Clan’s Raekwon, who has supported the remake’s release.
Go two decades further back and remember “how the darkness doubled” and “how lighting struck itself” with one of two shows from the influential proto-punk band Television, which will be playing Friday and Saturday at Williamsburg’s brand new venue, Rough Trade.
Saturday, Nov. 30th
Rough Trade will continue it’s streak of high-profile events by hosting some of indie-pops recent luminaries for two Saturday afternoon shows. First at 1 p.m. hear the delicately beautiful folk songs of singer-songwriter Marissa Nadler, who will likely perform new material from her upcoming album “July” which is set for release on Feb. 10, 2014. Following her at 3 p.m. will be Georgia native Matthew Houck’s band Phosphorescent. The band’s 2013 album “Muchacho” marks their evolution from stark lo-fi indie rock into warm Americana.
If you happened to be in college in the late 1990s, your ears did not escape the dormitory without hearing at least a few chords from Guster’s 1999 hit album “Lost and Gone Forever.” The post-grunge band’s New York fan-base is so fervent that they’re playing three gigs while in town. The only one that still hasn’t sold out is Saturday’s Beacon Theatre performance, with Ben Kweller supporting.
Sunday, Dec. 1st
Indie darlings like Adam Green (previously of The Moldy Peaches) and Satomi Matsuzaki of Deerhoof will gather to perform a tribute to Scott Walker. Walker’s long, storied career began in the 1960s, with his Walker Brothers pop hit “The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine” and continued into 2012 with his avant-garde album “Bish Bosch.” He’s on every music snob’s top 10 list and his music has been featured in the films of Wes Anderson and Nicolas Winding Refn.
Monday, Dec. 2nd
Former frontman of Colorado shoe-gaze outfit the Czars, John Grant has been making a splash with his sophomore solo album “Pale Green Ghosts.” The album’s snappy electropop grooves have charmed critics, as have the delightfully snarky lyrics for his single “Black Belt” — “What you got is a black belt in B.S. but you can’t hawk your pretty wares up in here any more. Hit your head on the playground at recess. Etch-a-sketch your way out of this one, reject.” Grant will play a stripped-down acoustic show at the Music Hall of Williamsburg Monday night with Arc Iris.
When Noel Gallagher of Oasis fame says you’re one of his favorite bands, the world pays attention. Thus Australian trio Jagwar Ma’s new psychedelia has received heaps of media attention and praise. They’ll play at Rough Trade on Monday and Bowery Ballroom on Tuesday.
Tuesday, Dec. 3rd
The untouchable diva that is Elton John will be playing Madison Square Garden Tuesday and Wednesday as a part of the tour in support of his new album “The Diving Board.”
Leader of the Stone Temple Pilots and Velvet Revolver, Scott Weiland will perform a solo gig at City Winery. Weiland has shed his image as a rough, hardened rocker and in recent years has morphed into more of a Michael Buble-type crooner. His most recent release was a 2011 Christmas album, “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year.”