Thursday, Dec. 26
Fans of indie electro-pop from the likes of Cut Copy and Matthew Dear will dig Tiga. The Montreal DJ’s brand of IDM (intelligent dance music) mixes icy synths with sing-talking vocal delivery. It’s camp and cool at the same time. Get your dancing shoes on for his show at Output in Williamsburg.
Friday, Dec. 27
The dudes of thrash metal band Gwar know how to put on a show. Take, for example, their stage costumes, which would put any Comic Con attendee to shame, or their origin story in which they claim to be "interplanetary warriors, descended from aliens stranded in Antarctica and initially created from the lowest filth in the universe," according to their website. Always in full regalia (even when enjoying an open bar), the members of Gwar put on an unforgettable show. Catch all the theatrics — and perhaps some ritual sacrifice — at their Irving Plaza show where Battlecross and Iron Reagan open.
Saturday, Dec. 28
The London Souls are a relatively new band who hail from New York, not the U.K. as one might think. They’re the kind of band that wears its influences on its sleeve. Their love for Led Zeppelin, Cream and other late '60’s and early '70’s rock outfits is apparent in songs like their 2011 single “She’s So Mad.” Put through the filter of modern recording equipment, these Souls sound like Lenny Kravitz circa 1993 or the yin to The Alabama Shakes’ yang. Check them out at Brooklyn Bowl, which will also host a Kwanzaa Party after the show.
The sweetly tuneful Spring Standards will play the Mercury Lounge. The boy-girl harmonies and piano accompaniment are so prettily twee that you’ll be expecting to hear a commerical tagline like “the touch, the feel of cotton…” at some point. But this is no glamorous TV spot from the band that rivals fellow indie popsters Chairlift. Toy Soldiers will open.
Sunday, Dec. 29
This is New York. If you haven’t read “Just Kids” or seen proto-punk revolutionary Patti Smith in concert, some would argue that you do not deserve to call yourself a New Yorker. The antidote? This Webster Hall show. See her with a backing band and Belle Ghoul opening both Sunday and Monday night.
Monday, Dec. 30
Brooklyn afro-beat clan Antibalas have a way of hypnotizing any audience that’s lucky enough to be in their presence. The band will play SOB’s tonight. You can also dance to their infectious beats on New Year’s Eve for a repeat performance.
For their 2013 album “Free the Universe” Major Lazer collaborated with everyone from Ezra Koenig of Vampire Weekend to Ms. Dynamite, Wyclef Jean and Bruno Mars. The DJ duo, started by producers Diplo and Switch (Wes Pentz and Dave Taylor, respectively, though Taylor has since left the group), is all about unexpectedly palatable pairings. They’ll play Pier 94 with Boyz Noise supporting.
Tuesday, Dec. 31
There's so much pressure to pick the right event, the right party, the right band to see on New Year’s Eve. Fortunately, you won’t be stuck for options. You can go the hipster route by checking DIIV, Potty Mouth, RatKing and others at Williamsburg’s new venue Baby’s All Right.
The man who makes it his life’s goal to party hard is the logical host for Irving Plaza’s holiday concert. Wrapping up his weeks-long “Party Hard Holiday Tour,” pop-metal artist Andrew W.K. will host the original punk rock heavy metal karaoke, so be sure to warm up your vocal chords ahead of time.
Delta Spirit have a knack for rock — solid, toe-tapping stuff that recalls Dr. Dog and Cold War Kids. The San Diego outfit will headline Brooklyn Bowl’s New Years’ Eve celebration, with a DJ set from Cults and a performance from Sacco.
Gogol Bordello and Man Man will hit Terminal 5 tonight. Billy Joel and his soul twin/son-he-never-had Ben Folds and his band Ben Folds Five will do a show together at the Barclays Center tonight. Thurston Moore will perform with his new group Chelsea Light Moving with Mike Watt and Raymond Pettibon at The Stone on Avenue C in the East Village.