This Week's Best Shows and a Spotify Playlist of the Bands
Thursday, Dec. 12
North London trio Factory Floor, influenced by the stripped-back sounds of early techno and post punk electronics, are in town for a couple of shows tonight and tomorrow night, at 285 Kent in Williamsburg. Their self-titled debut has just been released in the U.S. by DFA Records.
Friday, Dec. 13
MGMT hit big with their 2007 debut album "Oracular Spectacular" — the album was a global hit and spawned three super catchy singles — "Kids," "Electric Feel" and "Time To Pretend" — but since then they've taken a left turn into a more abstract and experimental landscape. Their 2010 album "Congratulations" powered into the charts upon release, but lacked staying power, and now their third album, the self-titled "MGMT" is upon us. The album was produced by Dave Fridmann (Tame Impala, The Flaming Lips) and, according to the U.K.'s NME, "MGMT might be an uncomfortable journey at times, but it’s also a transcendental one you’ve never been on before".
The A.V Club was less positive: "This is a bag of potato chips that’s 80 percent air, unconvincingly trying to pass itself off as a full meal." Tonight MGMT play The Barclays Center with Dinosaur Jr. in support.
Also tonight: Z100 Jingle Ball brings together today's hottest pop stars for a big annual Festive shindig at Madison Square Garden. Join Miley Cyrus, Robin Thicke, Pitbull, Paramore, Enrique Iglesias, Fall Out Boy, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis and many more.
Sprawling indie funk ensemble !!! (Chk Chk Chk) join forces with experimental dance floor innovators Holy F*** at Webster Hall.
Saturday, Dec. 14
Hailed in Rolling Stone as one of "The 50 Greatest Live Acts Right Now," Californian rockers Queens of the Stone Age (QOTSA) are touring in support of their international hit album "…Like Clockwork." Formed after the dissolution of singer and guitarist Josh Homme's previous band, Kyuss, QOTSA have released five albums with their 2007 concept album "Songs for the Deaf" yielding their biggest single, "No One Knows". Trans-Atlantic bluesy punk duo The Kills will be supporting.
Sunday, Dec. 15
B.B. King Blues Club and Grill are featuring the blind US-based (born in Puerto Rico) acoustic guitar legend Jose Feliciano tonight. One of the most prominent Latin-born performers of the pop era, José exploded into the charts in 1968 with a sexy, stripped back cover of The Doors' hit "Light My Fire".
Also tonight: The friendship between late artist Sol LeWitt and Pulitzer-Prize winning composer Steve Reich will be celebrated at a special performance to benefit The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum (Ridgefield, CT) at (Le) Poisson Rouge.
Monday, Dec. 16
Beloved New Jersey rockers Yo La Tengo play the final of four sold-out shows tonight at The Bell House.
Tuesday, Dec. 17
Wordless Music presents the first NYC appearance in five years by drone-based ambient music duo Stars of the Lid, who will perform alongside the strings of the Wordless Music Orchestra. Opening the show will be Brooklyn composer and Kranky labelmate, Justin Walter. At the Our Lady of Perpetual Help church in Sunset Park, Brooklyn.
Wednesday, Dec. 18
Tonight Phosphorescent's Matthew Houck presents a solo performance at the Music Hall of Williamsburg, followed by a rollicking three nights with the full band (from 12/19 to 12/21). Phosphorescent's "Muchacho" album has topped year-end lists at American Songwriter, Stereogum, and garnered the No. 1 spot at Paste Magazine.