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This Week's Best Shows and a Spotify Playlist of the Bands

By Daniel Jumpertz | November 20, 2013 8:05am
 The essential concert experiences in New York City between Nov. 20 and Nov. 26.
Gigs of the week Wednesday, Nov. 20
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NEW YORK — This week you can attend a benefit concert to aid the Philippines in the wake of Super Typhoon Yolanda and get your rocks off (and lighten your wallet) as cool London record retailer Rough Trade sets up its first U.S. shop in Williamsburg. There will be mountains of new vinyl in a huge 15,000-square-foot music store and live performances by indie stars most nights of the week. Here's this week's Spotify playlist to listen to while you choose your gigs.

Wednesday, Nov. 20
Mazzy Star emerged in 1989 as a refreshing alternative to the rising grunge aesthetic and produced a sequence of stately, ambient albums including "She Hangs Brightly" (1990), "So Tonight That I Might See" (1993) — which contained their biggest hit "Fade Into You" — and "Among My Swan" (1996). Co-written by Hope Sandoval and David Roback, their new album "Seasons Of Your Day" was recorded in California and Norway and features performances by all the original members of Mazzy Star along with guests including Colm O’Ciosoig (My Bloody Valentine) and the late, legendary Bert Jansch. At Terminal 5.

Fresh from the launch of his surreal new video "Bound 2" on Ellen, Kanye West and A Tribe Called Quest play Barclays Center in Downtown Brooklyn.
Soul legend Mavis Staples continues her run of shows at City Winery in Tribeca.
Red Bull Sound Select presents Cold Cave, Bad Girlfriend, Young Boys and Nothing at Tammany Hall on the Lower East Side.

Thursday, Nov. 21
Jonathan Richman kicks of the first of two nights at The Bowery Ballroom with long-time sidekick Tommy Larkins. Richman formed his legendary band The Modern Lovers in Boston in the early '70s, heavily inspired by the confronting, earthy sounds of The Velvet Underground. After four influential albums, and a clutch of thrilling singles (including "Roadrunner," "Egyptian Reggae" and "Pablo Picasso,") Richman has pursued an idiosyncratic solo career unbound by genre. He's become better known in recent years thanks to a series of appearances on "Late Night with Conan O'Brien," while another major profile boost was a key part in the Farrelly Brothers' 1998 film, "There's Something About Mary." Also Friday.

Body/Head is the current project of musician, visual artist, and Sonic Youth cofounder/bassist Kim Gordon and free-noise guitarist Bill Nace. Joining for a DJ set is Feminist punk icon Kathleen Hanna of Bikini Kill, Le Tigre, and, most recently, her new band The Julie Ruin. At MoMA. $22

Friday, Nov. 22
The WFMU Record Fair kicks off today at Manhattan's Metropolitan Pavilion, 125 West 18th Street in New York City. Also on Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Admission is $7. Earlybirds can enter beginning at 4 p.m. on Friday for $25, which includes re-admission all weekend. The Fair is peppered with a curated selection of live radio broadcasts, short films, music and media-themed discussions and live music for the duration of the weekend.

Saturday, Nov. 23
Sleigh Bells plays Midtown's Terminal 5 tonight. The third full-length release for the Brooklyn duo "Bitter Rivals" displays pop and R&B influences with singer Alexis Krauss more involved in the process. Spin Magazine wrote that "While 2010 debut Treats was an exotic, overdubbed roar… and 2012's Reign of Terror winked through a heavy heart at Mutt Lange's scorched-earth sound field, Bitter Rivals is sly and sleek."

Kanye West's NYC shows continue tonight at Madison Square Garden. On Sunday, he's joined by A Tribe Called Quest.

Sunday, Nov. 24
Sohn produces sophisticated dubby electronica with textures varying between ethereal and muscular, overlaid with crystalline male vocals. At The Mercury Lounge, Lower East Side tonight and Monday at Glasslands.

Post-rock is on the bill tonight with Caspian and UK's 65daysofstatic, alongside The World is a Beautiful Place & I am No Longer Afraid to Die at Bowery Ballroom on the Lower East Side.

Monday, Nov. 25
To benefit the people of the Philippines in the wake of Super Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) David Byrne has rallied the troops of his (and Fatboy Slim's) camp and energetic theatrical presentation "Here Lies Love" for this Concert for the Philippines. All proceeds go to Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières. At Terminal 5.

Purchase singer/model Sky Ferreira's new EP "Night Time, My Time: B-SIDES PT 1"  today at Rough Trade NYC and get free entry to her performance tonight from 7 p.m. At 64 N 9th St, Williamsburg, Brooklyn.
'80s pop idol Rick Springfield plays City Winery tonight and tomorrow with the show "Stripped Down," an intimate solo performance with storytelling.

Tuesday, Nov. 26
A six-time Grammy winner and member of the Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame and Songwriters Hall of Fame, Van Morrison is one of the most influential artists of the modern age. He rose to prominence in the mid-1960s as the lead singer of the Northern Irish R&B band Them, with whom he recorded the garage band classic "Gloria." His solo career began with the release of the hit single "Brown Eyed Girl" in 1967. Throughout the '70s he produced a string of soulful, influential hit albums including "Astral Weeks" and "Moondance." His latest album "Born To Sing: No Plan B" is the 34th studio album from the Northern Irish superstar. Thematically, in an interview with Rockcellar Magazine, Morrison was moved to sing about "the worldwide preoccupation with money, materialism, income equality and the greed that has poisoned society." At Beacon Theatre, Upper West Side tonight and Monday at the Theater at Madison Square Garden.