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The Author Of “The New Paris” Tells Us Where The French Go To Feel At Home In The Big Apple

Lindsey Tramuta just wanted to get home. It was the last day of the writer’s book tour for her recent bestseller, The New Paris, which makes the case for the City of Lights as a hotbed of contemporary influence and inspiration. Tramuta had cut the tour short, and for good reason: France’s presidential election fell the day after her return, and it would be her first as a French citizen.

A Philadelphia native, Tramuta has lived in Paris for the last decade and now holds dual citizenship between the two countries. She returned to the United States last fall to vote in our own election, and she recalls her feeling of heartbreak “not that Hillary lost, per se, but that I had misjudged the values and morals of many of my fellow Americans.” As she considers France’s state of affairs and the alarming rise of populism, she sees clear parallels between the country in which she was born and the country she now calls home. “The book is my priority,” she says, “but I can’t not be there for this monumental election. I’ve gone through the trauma of the U.S. election, and now this one. My stress levels can’t handle it, and I’m looking forward to [the election] simply to know where things are going.”

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Fortunately for Tramuta, Emmanuel Macron was declared the president-elect of France, winning by an overwhelming margin. Post-election, Tramuta is experiencing renewed relief and hope, calling Macron a “champion for the growth of the creative class,” with his advocacy for start-ups and innovation in a country that has historically been risk-averse and resistant to change. “This is precisely the kind of culture the country needs to be nurturing to move forward,” she says.

Tramuta’s own urge to share the stories behind the rise of Paris’s creative class came from observing a sea of change she says was impossible to ignore. “The food scene was obviously the most visible area of change,” she says, noting the fleet of neo-bistros that docked in her neighborhood of the eleventh arrondissement, ranging from a Korean barbecue spot to burgers with an international spin. Not only were the menus un-French, the dining experiences also fell short on tradition, with interiors trending toward clean modern lines instead of the comfortably familiar bistros culture of French yesteryear.

“What really did it was a series of conversations with people who said they were sick of doing what they were trained in school to do, and that they were going to go off and pursue a passion,” says Tramuta, citing a local cheesemonger who left an unfulfilling career in finance as an example. “I couldn’t not dig deeper to understand what was motivating some of this change.” And The New Paris does just that, examining the people and places fueling the current Parisian culture, from the ascent of a vibrant cocktail scene to the dining movement nicknamed “bistronomy.”

As for our fair city, Tramuta sees similarities with Paris. “It’s a place that can be so inspiring and full of history and immaculate, and then you turn a corner and it smells like urine,” she says pointedly. “It’s the imperfection that I appreciate, as they’re places with such character, and that’s what I like.”

Lindsey Tramuta
Lindsey Tramuta

Lindsey Tramuta’s French Finds in NYC

Arcade Bakery
“For baguettes and rustic breads, I would come here. I find their selection really sharp — they’re doing few things, but doing them really well.”
220 Church Street

Aux Merveilleux de Fred
“This is a very small shop in the West Village that sells phenomenal cream-filled meringues.”
37 Eighth Avenue

Compagnie des vins Surnaturels
“A wine bar in Nolita opened by the Experimental Cocktail Club, which is French-owned and has locations in Paris and London.”
249 Centre Street

Dominique Ansel Bakery
“I come here for his croissants or the kouign-amann, a Breton pastry [made with brown sugar], which is phenomenal.”
189 Spring Street

La Maison du Chocolat
“For chocolate, I would go straight [there]. They make the most spectacular ganache, and they do a lot of beautiful seasonal flavors. The creative director, Nicolas Cloiseau, is a Meilleur Ouvrier de France, which is the highest and most prestigious honor given to the best craftsmen of France. At his level, you don’t want to just do the same-old all the time. He pushes the boundaries to discover new pairings and flavor associations that might be less expected with chocolate.”
Various locations throughout New York City

Ladurée
“The new creative director is starting to overhaul some of their macarons. I used to find them too hard and crunchy. I’ve found them to be far more enjoyable in recent months — I like a mix of slight crunch on the shell, then for the ganache to be quite soft, so it’s a double-texture kind of experience when you bite into it.”
398 West Broadway

Le Coucou
“[Chef Daniel Rose] is playing up meat dishes you’re not likely to see in the U.S., like veal tongue with caviar and crème fraîche, squab, or veal head. He’s perfecting some of these heavy Gallic classics and doing them in a lighter way. I had the black bass in a red wine sauce, which makes you think, ‘Fish and red wine sauce?’ But it was absolutely beautiful.”
138 Lafayette Street

Mace
“Nico de Soto, who splits his time between New York and Paris, is one of the most well-known French mixologists, and he opened Mace; he also co-owns a bar in Paris. The cocktail scene in Paris came so much later — it’s only seven or eight years old. Nico is big on trying to use unusual flavors and ingredients. It’s not the kind of place where you’re going to get a classic anything. You’re going to put your trust in his and his team’s hands and be surprised.”
649 East 9th Street

Mah-Ze-Dahr
“I went ballistic when I went, as it’s the closest American bakery I’ve found that does high-quality French desserts. [Chef] Umber Ahmad does amazing choux (cream puffs), fruit tartlets, and sablee cookies (French shortbread). The French have lightened the sugar count in most of their pastries, and it’s more French-level sweetness than American.”
28 Greenwich Avenue

Maman
“I like this spot for a more casual canteen. It’s French-owned, and the food is very fresh, lots of big salads and lovely quiches.”
211 West Broadway

The Ten Bells
“This is a wine bar with mostly organic wines, which are having a big moment in Paris right now. The small-scale feel of the place, with the small plates and laid-back intimate space, reminds me of Parisian wine bars.”
247 Broome Street

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The Best NYC Shows This Week: Slowdive, Pond, Trade Show

Two Australian psychpop artists play on the same night this week. If you’re in the mood for bizarre costumes and festival-friendly bangers, check out Empire of the Sun at Terminal 5. If you’re in more of an underground mood, Pond, the other project of Tame Impala’s Kevin Parker, plays at Music Hall of Williamsburg. Vintage jangly pop also abounds, from Slowdive to the Feelies, who pioneered dreampop and indie pop in general, respectively. If all that sounds like a bunch of noise, no worries — there are also some solid techno and house parties for those of the dance music persuasion.

5/9
Slowdive, Japanese Breakfast
Brooklyn Steel
7 p.m., $35

Slowdive, the English dreampop band whose albums in the early Nineties helped define the genre, have just released their first album in 22 years. Over this long hiatus, the group, known for its warm, woozy guitars and soft vocals, has gained a bigger and bigger following as new generations have discovered its classic recordings. On its new self-titled album, the band doesn’t mess much with the formula that made it great. Fuzzy guitar tunes unspool over six minutes — sinking into them feels like a warm bath. This week, Slowdive will play with Japanese Breakfast, a young Brooklyn artist with a totally different take on jangly guitar pop and an excellent debut album.

Pond, Kirin J. Callinan
Music Hall of Williamsburg
8 p.m., $20

Pond are the project of Australian drummer Kevin Parker, whose solo endeavor, Tame Impala, has won fans around the world with its blissed-out, epic psychedelic rock. Several Pond bandmates have toured with Tame Impala in the past, and you can hear the groups’ kinship. Fans of Parker’s other project won’t be disappointed: Like Tame Impala, Pond trade in shimmering psychpop with multi-tracked, reverbed vocals and arena-style rock breakdowns. Opening is another Australian artist, Kirin J. Callinan, one of the strangest and most promising artists working today. His experimental pop music emits an aura of discomfort, and live, he does his best to make his audiences feel just as weird as him.

Tara Jane O’Neil, Mike Bones
Union Pool
8 p.m., $10

Tara Jane O’Neil was once the bassist for the Kentucky math rock group Rodan, but as a solo artist she’s released nine albums of acoustic folk that sways between experimental ambient and straightforward singer-songwriter material. Her most recent album, a self-titled record released this year, finds O’Neil embracing her singer-songwriter side, with quiet, contemplative songs that focus on her voice and lyrics. This is an album for a car ride on a rainy day or a walk in the forest. Her intimate music invites you to come in, get comfortable, and notice all the careful details that make it special.

Empire of the Sun, Grandmaster Flash
Terminal 5
7 p.m., $45

Australian synthpop duo Empire of the Sun made their name with their 2008 album, Walking on a Dream. Their quirky pop tunes sounded like mutated versions of Eighties stars like Prince or George Michael. The band’s aesthetic also made it stand out — the duo wear outfits that look like something out of a long-lost straight-to-VHS sci-fi B movie, and their album covers could be the posters for said imaginary film. Now Empire of the Sun are incredibly successful — they added a second date at Terminal 5 after the first one sold out. Their sets have entertained festivalgoers around the world — it’s perfect music for an early summer night. As an extra treat, Grandmaster Flash, the true OG of hip-hop, will perform alongside them.

5/10
Forest Swords, Actress, UMFANG
Mercury Lounge
8 p.m., $15–$20

“We all communicate using images now,” U.K. producer Matthew Barnes, who goes by the name Forest Swords, told Dazed recently. “Emojis or gifs have wide, open meanings, and have a lot of wiggle room in what they can convey to someone else. In some ways they’re more expressive and creative than using words.” On Barnes’s most recent album, Compassion, released last week, he tries to do just that — communicate deeply felt emotions without words, instead relying on the evocative power of his productions, which often have a dark, muted quality and draw on genres like drone, dub, house, and IDM. The songs on Compassion may not contain lyrics, but they are haunted by voices, distorted and chopped up, representing the difficulty of communicating our subjective reality to others, something that’s come to the fore in the era of Brexit and Donald Trump. Despite this challenge, Barnes’s album is an attempt to reach out and express his own pain and fears in a language that he hopes others will understand.


5/11
Omar Souleyman, Tim Sweeney (DJ)
le poisson rouge
7 p.m., $30–$35

Exiled Syrian musician Omar Souleyman makes dabke, a traditional music of the Levant used as the soundtrack for line and circle dances common in the region. But Souleyman’s music isn’t merely traditional — he fuses dabke with modern electronic instruments and styles, creating a mashed-up genre of dabke techno that’s found an enthusiastic audience in the West. But where Souleyman’s music doesn’t diverge from tradition is in the skill of his players, who riff endlessly and mesmerizingly on instruments like keyboard and saz, a long-necked lute. Souleyman is notoriously non-celebratory live — he tends to stand in one spot onstage — but his hypnotic tunes are engrossing enough that you’ll be too busy dancing to care.

5/12
Sublimate: Hessle Audio 10 Years
Ben UFO, Pangaea, Pearson Sound, Faso, Turtle Bugg, Sagotsky
Sugar Hill Disco
10 p.m., $30–$40

Sublimate is an ultra-underground after-hours party that is a refuge for house and techno heads who don’t like going home before 8 a.m. This week, the party will shift to an earlier time slot to celebrate the U.K. label Hessle Audio’s ten-year anniversary. Hessle is home to some of techno’s most celebrated rising artists. It was founded by producers Pangaea and Pearson Sound, who both trade in club music that has an experimental edge. Alongside house prodigy DJ Ben UFO, the third Hessle founder, each will play a rare marathon set. Sublimate residents Faso, Sagotsky, and Turtle Bugg will also play — they’re excellent DJs who always bring the party. Better yet, this party is located at Sugar Hill Disco, a perfectly preserved disco and soul food restaurant in Bed-Stuy that’s one of the city’s most interesting places to dance.

5/13
Trade Show
Honey Soundsystem, Wreckednyc, Honcho, Spotlight, NeedlExchange, Men’s Room, the Carry Nation, DJ Holographic
592 Johnson Avenue, Brooklyn
6 p.m., $25

If you’ve ever been to an underground queer dance party, you know that it’s the most fun you’ll ever have. Compared to the mostly hetero worlds of minimal techno or EDM, underground queer club scenes tend to focus on house music that’s more soulful and funky, less divorced from its roots in disco and black culture. Often, creating and wearing over-the-top looks is as important as the music or the venue. For Red Bull Music Academy’s festival, some of the country’s premier queer party throwers will come together for a twelve-hour mega-party. New York’s own Wrecked and Carry Nation are playing, while San Francisco’s Honey Soundsystem and Los Angeles’s Spotlight rep the West Coast.

Adult., Ritual Howls, Void Vision
Brooklyn Bazaar
8 p.m., $15–$18

Adult. is a project of the married duo Nicola Kuperus and Adam Lee Miller whose music fetishizes post-punk aesthetics and crunchy vintage synths. But Kuperus and Miller’s fascination with the past doesn’t make their music sound derivative — the innovative way they combine elements of coldwave, electroclash, and gothpop feels fresh. They’ll play with Detroit’s Ritual Howls, whose cavernous, droning industrial rock has an atmosphere so thick you can feel it.

5/14
The Feelies
Rough Trade
8 p.m., $25

New Jersey band the Feelies formed in 1976. Inspired by contemporaries like Lou Reed, the band pioneered a purposefully shambling, jangly pop aesthetic that would go on to influence everyone from R.E.M. to Calvin Johnson, helping to birth the genre known as indie pop. In 2011, the Feelies released their first album in twenty years, and this year, they followed it up with another album, In Between. Though the title may sound indecisive, In Between is a solid effort full of laid-back, confident guitar pop songs that wouldn’t be out of place on the band’s seminal 1986 work, The Good Earth. We should feel lucky to live in a time when a band like the Feelies is still going strong.

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The Best NYC Shows This Week: Redd Kross, Moodymann, A Bed-Stuy Function

Two heroes of early punk, from very different backgrounds but each celebrating their fortieth anniversaries, will play in New York this week. Redd Kross are a Los Angeles group of the late Seventies, whose grungy DIY music often referenced the films their city produced. The Damned, founded in 1976, were one of the first punk groups to emerge in the U.K., introducing a gothic vibe into the emerging genre. If punk isn’t your thing, there’s plenty of cutting-edge dance music in store as well, from the U.K. techno collaborators Demdike Stare to the German techno DJ Dasha Rush. And if all that fails, you can always head to see the performatively obscene garage rockers Black Lips.

5/4
Redd Kross, Roya
Bowery Ballroom
9 p.m., $15

When they were founded in 1978 by brothers Jeff and Steven McDonald, the Southern California group Redd Kross sounded a lot like the hundreds of other DIY punk bands that were springing up at the time. But their willingness to combine punk aesthetics and pop-culture camp made Redd Kross stand out from their peers and linger in the scene’s memories. Their first album, 1982’s Born Innocent, was a catalog of their cultural obsessions, referencing everything from The Exorcist to Beyond the Valley of the Dolls. The group went on to have a major influence on some of the era’s most legendary groups; members who left the band ending up playing in Black Flag, Circle Jerks, and Bad Religion. Over the years, punk has often taken itself too seriously — that’s not a concern with Redd Kross, who always seem to be having a great time.

5/5
Demdike Stare, Regis, Abby Echiverri, Maria Chavez, Covert Joy
Good Room
10 p.m., $20–$25

U.K. friends Sean Canty and Miles Whittaker have collaborated as Demdike Stare for nearly ten years now, DJing and playing live sets that draw from many of electronic music’s most interesting niches. Their 2016 album, Wonderland, contained snippets of ambient, breakbeats, techno, jungle, and grime, sometimes all on the same track. Demdike Stare will play live at the Good Room, alongside the Downwards Records label boss Regis and Brooklyn artists Abby Ecchiverri and Maria Chavez.

The Damned
Warsaw
7 p.m., $141 (for the Fan Club Package, including a meet and greet with the band and merch)

The U.K. group the Damned have gone through many lineup changes since they first got together in 1976, but the punk pioneers can still rock it live. Their first-wave goth punk was hugely influential on a litany of bands in the hardcore, punk, and goth rock scenes. Last year, incredibly, the band celebrated its fortieth anniversary and announced a new album and tour. They’ll play songs new and old at Brooklyn’s Warsaw.

Sustain-Release Campers Reunion
Dasha Rush, Voiski, Umfang, LNS, DJ Wey b2b DJ Xanax b2b Luis, NK Badtz Maru
Brooklyn Bazaar
Midnight, $20–$25

Sustain-Release is a two-day, members-only underground techno festival that has taken place for the last three years at a Boy Scout camp in the Catskills. The festival, curated by Brooklyn producer Aurora Halal, has inspired a fierce devotion from its attendees. A less expansive Sustain-Release event, open to the public, will take over two floors of Greenpoint’s Brooklyn Bazaar, bringing some festival favorites out to party until dawn. These include Discwoman’s techno übermensch Umfang and the Germany-based experimental techno star Dasha Rush.

New Jack Swing: The Hype Dance
Just Blaze, Kid Capri, Brucie B
Louie and Chan
10 p.m., Tickets TBA at door

In late-Eighties New York, hip-hop, R&B, and dance pop came together into a new style called New Jack Swing, a genre that seeped into the mainstream and influenced artists like Janet Jackson. Red Bull Music Academy will revive the early days of New Jack Swing for one night this week. After a conversation with genre progenitor Teddy Riley, some of the original DJs of the era, including Brucie B and Kid Capri, will play sets at the lower Manhattan venue Louie and Chan. If you didn’t have the chance to experience this scene-defining cultural moment the first time around, this is an unmissable opportunity.

Black Lips, Surfbort, the Brooklyn Bluebirds
Webster Hall
7:30 p.m., $20

“It doesn’t seem all that crazy to me,” Black Lips bassist Jared Swilley said in a 2010 interview about the band’s notorious stage antics. “It’s not like we have ever done a human sacrifice on stage or anything like that.” Much of the attention around the Atlanta band has centered around its extreme performances, which, especially early on, often included urination, vomiting, and nudity. Inspired by Viennese Actionism and GG Allin, the Black Lips performance is certainly hard to ignore. But they also craft delightful, catchy garage rock tunes, which these days often carry their shows perfectly well on their own — no human sacrifice needed.

5/6
Moodymann
637 West 50th Street
10 p.m., $30

Detroit DJ Moodymann is known for his distinctly black take on today’s house music. His mixes are deeply soulful and funky, often incorporating traditional African-American musical styles like jazz and samples from Seventies blaxploitation films. The DJ-producer’s efforts are a true continuation of the work done by the inventors of house and techno, who were themselves all black and from the Midwest cities of Chicago and Detroit. Aside from his own music, Moodymann is known for his endless love of Prince. In Detroit, the DJ has a house that stands as a living monument to the Minneapolis star, entirely cloaked in purple and full of Prince memorabilia. For the Red Bull Music Academy festival, Moodymann will indulge in his love of the pop icon a year after his death, spinning a set of his favorite Prince songs. There’s no one better qualified to help us celebrate the life of one of America’s musical heroes.

Bang on a Can Marathon 30th Anniversary
Bang on a Can All Stars, Asphalt Orchestra, Pan in Motion, Laraaji, Oliver Lake, Innov Gnawa, Kaki King, more
Brooklyn Museum
2 p.m., $16 donation before 5 p.m., free after

The New York experimental ensemble Bang on a Can have spent the last three decades playing innovative, boundary-pushing music that ranges from free jazz to rock, while curating fantastic lineups and collaborating with the likes of Steve Reich and DJ Spooky. Their Bang on a Can Marathon is a yearly chance for the ensemble to assemble some of their favorite musicians for a day of challenging and beguiling performances. This year, for their thirtieth anniversary, some of the highlights include the street marching band Asphalt Orchestra, a group of highly skilled musicians that cover artists like Björk and Frank Zappa; Laraaji, an ambient artist who makes use of instruments like zither and mbira; and Kaki King, the guitar prodigy whose mind-bending compositions are as emotional as they are technically impressive. If none of this convinces you that this show is worth attending, get this — after 5 p.m., the concert is free.

Vagabon, Nnamdi Ogbonnaya, So Much Light
Brooklyn Bazaar
8 p.m., $12

Laetitia Tamko, who goes by the moniker Vagabon, is a refreshing voice in the indie rock scene. On her new album, Infinite Words, she sometimes sings her contemplative tunes softly over guitar-picking, while other times she yelps as a full band crashes in. Many of these emotionally charged songs explore feelings of displacement and alienation — Tamko grew up in Cameroon before moving to New York as a teenager. “I’ve been hiding in the smallest space/I am dying to go/this is not my home,” she sings on “Fear & Force.” But her backstory is merely an interesting sidenote — the music Tamko makes as Vagabon expresses the universal fears, insecurities, and joys of growing up.

5/7
A Bed-Stuy Function
Juliana Huxtable, Tygapaw, Bearcat, Papi Juice, FXWRK, Stud1nt
Sugar Hill Disco
2 p.m., $10

Some of Brooklyn’s most radical artists and promoters will come together at this Red Bull Music Academy festival event, taking over the historic Sugar Hill Disco in Bed-Stuy. Sugar Hill is a legendary spot — it’s functioned as a nightclub and soul-food eatery for decades — and almost any event there is worth attending. The lineup on this event is as stellar as the location. Multimedia artist Juliana Huxtable, who has showed pieces at MoMA and the New Museum, will play her avant-garde take on party music, while DJ Tygapaw will bring her amped-up mix of hip-hop and electronic music. The queer Latinx party Papi Juice is also participating, as is Discwoman DJ Bearcat and the experimental producer Stud1nt. This is without a doubt the most fun you will have dancing on a mid-spring Sunday afternoon.

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The Best NYC Shows This Week: Mitski, Playboi Carti, Shonen Knife

Two of New York’s most adventurous spring festivals begin this week. Ende Tymes, a scrappy celebration of DIY experimental artists, will showcase some of the city’s stranger offerings over its four-day run. Red Bull Music Academy’s yearly festival, which also begins this week, is on the opposite end of the spectrum as far as funding and visibility goes, but the fest still manages to book endlessly surprising and forward-looking acts, along with panels, installations, and collaborations. Whichever way you lean, it’s hard to go wrong with these eclectic offerings.

4/27
Ende Tymes Festival
Denis Rollet & Francisco Meirino, Jenny Gräf (Metalux), Joe Colley, TRNSGNDR/VHS
Issue Project Room
7:30 p.m., $15–$20

The DIY noise and experimental music festival Ende Tymes enters its seventh year this week, with concerts across many New York arts spaces. This show, at Issue Project Room, is the first Ende Tymes event of the week, and it features artists who push electronic music to its aesthetic limits. TRNSGNDR/VHS, the most exciting performance of the night, is a project by artist Alexandra Brandon, who uses noise and pop music samples to explore questions of gender, race, and identity.

Of Montreal, Christina Schneider’s Jepeto Solutions, Potted Plant
Music Hall of Williamsburg
8 p.m., $25

Whether he’s riding a real white horse onstage or getting stark naked, Kevin Barnes, the mastermind behind indiepop group of Montreal, is an unforgettable performer. Barnes’s music is as fascinating and scintillating as his live performance — over the course of fourteen full-length albums, the Athens, Georgia, artist has explored genres from ’60s pop to electroclash and, on last year’s Innocence Reaches, modern dance music. Barnes’s wild taste for costumes and gender-bending, sexual-boundary-pushing themes makes him one of the primary heirs to David Bowie’s and Prince’s legacies. He would make them proud.

Pinegrove, Hovvdy, Lomelda
Bowery Ballroom
7 p.m., $15–$19

The New Jersey rock band Pinegrove trade in an earnest sensitivity — their songs draw on everyday emotions and conflicts blown out into the realm of melodrama. Sonically, the group has a lot in common with Americana-laden predecessors like Wilco and indie rockers like Built to Spill. It’s an intoxicating combination — even if you didn’t live through those bands’ prime years, Pinegrove’s openness and sincerity evoke nostalgia for a simpler time, which is probably why they’ve earned a quickly growing fanbase of young people who feel this music deeply.

4/28
Psychic Ills, Purling Hiss, Junk Boys
Baby’s All Right
8 p.m., $13–$15

Psychic Ills are known for brash, droning tunes laden with guitar distortion and psychedelic flourishes. On its most recent album, last year’s Inner Journey Out, the New York group takes a more contemplative route, playing fuzzy, gentle psychpop ballads along the lines of Mazzy Star, perfect for lying on your back, experiencing the substance of your choice, and considering existence. They’ll play with the noisy psych-rock group Purling Hiss, fellow distortion lovers on the legendary Chicago label Drag City.

Low End Theory NYC
Daddy Kev, Nobody, the Gaslamp Killer, D-Styles, Prefuse 73
Paper Box
10 p.m., $15–$25

Low End Theory, the long-running Los Angeles experimental hip-hop and beat music party, comes to Brooklyn this week with some of the scene’s biggest stars in tow. The party is probably the world’s most influential event for this kind of music — it’s helped launch the careers of artists like Flying Lotus and Nosaj Thing. The party is a draw for visionary producers whose music skirts the mainstream, like the Gaslamp Killer and Daddy Kev, the latter of whom has produced tracks for rappers like Busdriver and Sage Francis. There’s no better way to experience this constantly mutating scene than to get down on Low End Theory’s hallowed dance floor.

4/29
Mitski, Salt Cathedral, Told Slant
Brooklyn Steel
7 p.m., $25

Mitski’s album Puberty 2 was one of last year’s purest victories. The young artist has transitioned seamlessly from her early DIY recordings to making emotional, intimate, yet anthemic rock music that will easily fill Brooklyn Steel’s cavernous space. On the record, Mitski chronicled her struggles with depression, anxiety, and growing up a Japanese American woman, constantly challenging assumptions about how someone like her should present her identity and music. Mitski is one of indie rock’s contemporary songwriting geniuses — she’s a powerful voice of today’s scene whose potential can’t be underestimated.

Playboi Carti, DJ Wavy
Knockdown Center
8 p.m., $20–$25

Atlanta rapper Playboi Carti has coasted by the last few years on his associations with the A$AP crew, but with the release of his self-titled mixtape, that’s all about to change. The easy, woozy New Orleans bounce–influenced production combined with rapid-fire vocals on single “Magnolia” has already earned the track a preemptive Song of the Summer tag from Pitchfork. This show will be Carti’s New York coming-out party, a chance to hop on the wagon while this future star is just gearing up.

Shonen Knife, Yucky Duster, the Prits
Sunnyvale
8 p.m., $15

Osaka pop punk powerhouse trio Shonen Knife have been dominating audiences with euphoric live shows for more than 35 years now, and they show no sign of stopping. In fact, they’ve outlasted the much more famous bands that their jangly pop rock helped inspire — from Nirvana to Sonic Youth. Shonen Knife are truly Ogs of underground indiepop, and their matching outfits and choreographed moves are no less charming today than they were in the early ’80s. They’ll play with Yucky Duster, an up-and-coming Brooklyn indiepop group who similarly draw inspiration from girl group harmonies and punk progenitors like the Ramones.

White Lung, Pop. 1280, Verdigrls
The Studio at Webster Hall
7 p.m., $13

On White Lung’s last LP, last year’s Paradise, the Vancouver, British Columbia, punks intentionally embraced a pop sensibility that diverged from their messier, rougher early work. The result was an album of massive, anthemic tunes with epic, endless riffs and lyrics that wouldn’t look out of place scrawled in your high school notebook: “I’m all about you/You’re all about me too.” In a lot of ways, this shift was a way of fighting against being pigeonholed as an overly earnest feminist punk band. But the transition in no way diminishes the group’s power — it’s just made White Lung’s music something that even more people can enjoy.

Fluxo: Funk Proibidão
MC Bin Laden, MC Carol, DJ Assault, Sicko Mobb, Venus X, Asmara, Leo Justi, Tom DJ
Secret Location TBA
9 p.m., $15

This weekend marks the beginning of Red Bull Music Academy’s monthlong New York festival, a collection of highly curated events that spans some of the most fascinating and forward-thinking global trends in music (full disclosure: the author of this list has written for Red Bull Music Academy’s publications). This night will explore the music of fluxos, Brazilian block parties that take place in the poor favelas that surround major cities. Fluxo parties have spawned a diverse and wildly creative dance music culture that mixes hip-hop, traditional Brazilian music, and bass music. It should be a fascinating and sweaty evening — prepare to dance.

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The Best NYC Shows This Week: Danny Brown, Jerry Paper, Wolf Eyes

This Thursday is every stoner’s favorite holiday: 4/20. As usual, there are some tripped-out artists to satisfy your musical munchies playing this week, including rapper Danny Brown, who spits manic rhymes with mind-bending speed, and Jerry Paper, a mysterious weirdo synthpopper (who will be joined by a Sublime cover band). The jammy psych rock band Tonstartssbandht will also play their blissed-out tunes this week, but if you’re looking for something a little more hardcore to expand your consciousness, the experimental noise group Wolf Eyes will be here to help. Be warned — if you’re too baked for a show like theirs, you may find yourself tripping into another dimension.

4/19
Moderat, Vatican Shadow
Terminal 5
7 p.m., $40

Moderat, a collaboration between techno duo Modeselektor and ambient electropop genius Apparat, weren’t always as intuitive as their music makes it appear. After releasing an EP in 2003, the group found it so difficult to work together that it took six years for it to release a full-length. Since then, something must have clicked, because the collaborative project has churned out several albums of soulful, creative electronic music, with elements of Apparat’s wispy pop and Modeselektor’s harder techno melding beautifully. They should be a rare good fit for Manhattan’s massive Terminal 5, which was originally a nightclub and still functions best for acts that are less about the visuals than they are about beats.

4/20
Jerry Paper, Field Trip, R33l B!g F1$h (Sublime tribute)
Brooklyn Bazaar
7:30 p.m., $10–$12

Brooklyn artist Jerry Paper’s off-kilter psychpop tunes form the basis for his strange persona. In addition to featuring music reminiscent of the Elephant 6 collective’s quirky psychedelia, his creative output has included surrealist video games, a mockumentary, and a T-shirt featuring an “anatomically correct bird-like creature” and the words “Drink from your own ass!” In an interview with the Fader, Paper described his aesthetic as follows: “The point is try to get you to ask questions about it. ‘Is this guy an idiot?’ That’s a totally valid question.” If all of this isn’t enough to intrigue you, Jerry Paper will be joined by a Sublime tribute band with the name R33l B!g F1$h. It should be a strange night.

PJ Harvey
Brooklyn Steel
7 p.m., $59–$65

The elusive U.K. artist PJ Harvey has made a career out of emotionally devastating blues-infused rock songs that probe deeply into her listeners while leaving her own life and intentions beyond their reach. The famously reclusive artist isn’t afraid to touch on politics in her work — on her most recent full length, 2016’s The Hope Six Demolition Project, she sings about journeys into the dark side of American power at home and abroad, an issue that’s more relevant now than ever. PJ Harvey’s shows, known for their raw emotional power and technical mastery, are worth the big-ticket prices.

The Coathangers, Snail Mail, SIGNAL
Sunnyvale
8 p.m., $15

The Coathangers are simply a great punk band. Hailing from Atlanta, the swaggering trio melds garage rock riffs with riot grrrl energy for catchy songs that are perfect for a small, noisy room like Williamsburg’s Sunnyvale. It’s a wonder that a group this solid has remained under the radar for its ten years of existence, during which it’s released five full-lengths. Their omnivorous music tastes are apparent in their slew of influences, from classic punk like the Ramones to the experimentations of Sonic Youth and poppier contemporaries like Dum Dum Girls. This show is a no-brainer for those who want to spend their 4/20 rocking out.

Skate the Loft
Danny Brown, Dave East, Nick Catchdubs, Sean Cee
Webster Hall
7 p.m., free with RSVP

The main highlight of this sportswear-sponsored free show is the rapper Danny Brown, an iconoclast whose nasal, rapid-fire vocals make his tracks and virtuosic guest spots immediately identifiable. On his last album, the much-lauded 2016 effort Atrocity Exhibition, Brown was in peak form, incorporating a whirlwind of musical styles — from new wave to free jazz to industrial — to back up his hyperactive, introspective rhymes. Brown is a black sheep contender for best rapper working today — it’s more than worth it to catch him live.

4/22
Lydia Ainsworth, NOIA
Baby’s All Right
8 p.m., $13–$15

Canadian artist Lydia Ainsworth’s 2014 album, Right From Real, featured gorgeous baroque electro-acoustic pop compositions that drew as much from her classical training as they did the experiments of peers like Grimes and Owen Pallett. On her new LP, Darling of the Afterglow, everything is bigger, brighter, and more direct — it’s her pop record. It’s not difficult to imagine this album as a crossover hit, soon to be played in Starbucks locations the world over. But Ainsworth’s bewitching experimental sensibility is still at work here, even if it’s slightly less obvious. Live, her vocal looping is mesmerizing to behold. It will be a treat to see these new songs come to life.

Chairlift, Kristin Kontrol
Brooklyn Steel
7 p.m., $20

The synthpop duo Chairlift burst onto the scene thanks to a spot in a 2008 iPod commercial. Since then, they have made good on their initial promise of big, hooky tunes with high-quality production and catchy melodies. Now, the band is saying goodbye — it’ll break up at the end of April, after twelve years together. Before they go, catch them at Brooklyn Steel for a proper New York send-off.

Wolf Eyes, Eartheater, Twig Harper
Brooklyn Bazaar
8 p.m., $13

The Michigan noise rock project Wolf Eyes will play at Brooklyn Bazaar this week in honor of their new record, Undertow, a meditative, spooky collection of songs that represents some of the group’s quieter and less abrasive work. The hyper-prolific band’s innumerable releases and side projects since its founding in 1996 make up a sprawling, self-invented universe that allows the group to warp and shift into whatever it wants to be at the moment: pure noise, post-industrial, experimental. Unsurprisingly, the band’s mythology is strong: It draws on a cult following of fellow weirdos, who now claim the made-up genre “trip metal” as their banner. This show may fall two days after 4/20, but you’d be hard-pressed to find a more mind-bending show to attend this week.

Sebadoh, Tobin Sprout, DTCV
The Bell House
8 p.m.. $18–$20

When ’90s lo-fi heroes Sebadoh returned in 2013 with their last album, Defend Yourself, their first after a fourteen-year recording hiatus, expectations were high. The album largely delivered — it’s a collection of sensitive, memorable pop tunes that satisfied their die-hard fans. It may not quite reach the heights of their golden-era work, but that hasn’t stop fans of ’90s indie rock from turning out in droves to hear them play their catalog, which they’ll do alongside fellow lo-fi god Tobin Sprout of Guided by Voices.

4/23
Tonstartssbandht
The Park Church Co-Op
7 p.m., $12

Tonstartssbandht may have a difficult-to-pronounce name (it’s TAHN-starts-bandit) but their music goes down easy. The band is made up of two brothers, Andy and Edwin White, who have now released seventeen albums of unspooling, contemplative psych rock under this name. Their most recent release, Sorcerer, is a gorgeously flowing collection of just three songs (two of which are over ten minutes long). Nothing about Tonstartssbandht’s music feels rushed — it takes its time, settling peacefully into your consciousness. If “blissed out” sounds like anything, it’s this.

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The Best NYC Shows This Week: Princess Nokia, Xenia Rubinos, Tinariwen

We are nearing Day 100 of the Trump Presidency and, against all odds, the world is still turning. Over these intense few months, many of us have learned about the diversity of resistance; not all forms of struggle are obvious. New York concerts this week run the gamut in this regard, from Princess Nokia, whose self-confident rhymes were brewed in the depressed Bronx of her childhood, to the underground pop artist Xenia Rubinos, who uses joyful music to reckon with her American identity as a descendent of immigrants. Tinariwen, a bluesy African group, know firsthand about what it means to struggle for freedom when you’re no longer welcome in your homeland. As our new reality continues to unfold, we can draw strength from these artists, who are far from giving up.

4/10
Jonathan Richman
Bowery Ballroom
8 p.m., $20

Jonathan Richman’s influence on modern music is hard to quantify. Starting with his pioneering proto-punk group the Modern Lovers in 1970, Richman has developed a trademark mix of shambling rock ’n’ roll, baritone voice, and innocent, wide-eyed wonder that would go on to inspire artists from the Magnetic Fields to Jens Lekman to M.I.A. (who borrowed lyrics from the classic Modern Lovers track “Roadrunner” for “Bamboo Banga”). Since the breakup of the Modern Lovers in 1974, Richman has written countless memorable tunes on his many albums, earning a cult fan base in each generation that discovers him.

Bing & Ruth
The Mission
7 p.m., $15

Musician David Moore’s project Bing & Ruth combines classical music with a flowing sentimentality reminiscent of a film soundtrack. His last release, No Home of the Mind, delivers strong and clear emotions on its ten piano-based, wordless tracks. The album stands up to the best and most beautiful works of ambient music ever made — it’s just gorgeous.

4/11
Princess Nokia
Brooklyn Bazaar
8 p.m., $15

Several years ago, the Bronx underground rapper Destiny Frasqueri began appearing at queer parties around Brooklyn under the name Wavy Spice. Her presence and flow was instantly commanding, but it wasn’t until this year that Frasqueri came into her own, under the name Princess Nokia. 1992, put out on SoundCloud last fall, is her first straightforward rap album, showcasing a confident hip-hop sensibility and rough-around-the-edges productions. At this point, Frasqueri has modeled for Calvin Klein and Vogue and had her track used at an Alexander Wang runway show — it’s unlikely she’ll be playing venues this intimate for long.

4/13
Xenia Rubinos, the Kominas, Starchild & the New Romantic
Bowery Ballroom
8 p.m., $15
Brooklyn musician Xenia Rubinos has a voracious cultural appetite, synthesizing genres like indiepop, hip-hop, jazz, electronic music, and soul into her maximalist compositions. On her most recent album, 2016’s Black Terry Cat, she uses this diverse palette to investigate her identity as a person of color and descendent of immigrants in America. Her kaleidoscopic instrumentation and inventive song structure can make it easy to miss her sometimes scathing lyrics. On the polemic “Mexican Chef,” she lists the positions that brown and black Americans find themselves forced into: “Brown cleans your house, brown takes the trash, brown even wipes your grandaddy’s ass,” she spits. If we weren’t convinced before, this album should cement Rubinos as a fascinating force in underground pop music.

Floating Points, JFDR, Okay Kaya
Brooklyn Steel
7 p.m., $20–$25

After a reunited LCD Soundsystem break in this cavernous new Brooklyn venue, Floating Points — the electro-acoustic instrumental project by producer Sam Shepherd — will provide the comedown. Shepherd’s debut album, Elaenia, released in 2015, beautifully realized his vision across sweeping, atmospheric tracks that combined electronics, traditional orchestral instrumentation, and personal touches like handclaps. Shepherd will perform live this night, which often means alongside musicians playing real instruments, who help to bring his expansive works to life.

4/14
gobbinjr, Yucky Duster
Baby’s All Right
8 p.m., $10

On Emma Witmer’s song “bb gurl,” off her 2015 album as gobbinjr, manalang, she sings, “Last night I dreamt your girlfriend died/You should have cried/You didn’t.” Witmer’s lo-fi pop songs are full of these kinds of slyly mischievous thoughts on jealousy, self-hatred, and growing up. More recently, on her 2016 EP, vom night, she repeats, mantra-like, “I just want to be perfect/Anything less is shameful.” Her bracing honesty is cushioned by twee vocals and Casio-esque synths. Witmer is following in the path of artists like Mirah or the Blow, whose cutesy aesthetics often belie barbed and risqué lyrics.

Quiet Time
Objekt, Amourette, Solpara
Secret Brooklyn Loft TBA
10 p.m., $23

The German producer TJ Hertz, who goes by the stage name Objekt, uses the structure of techno as a base for wild experimentation. His tracks explode with IDM breakbeats, industrial noises, and atmospheric flourishes. Hertz’s music is clearly the work of someone obsessed with detail, yet he never delves so far into the realm of formal experimentation that the music ceases to be dynamic and danceable. Hertz will play at this underground late-night rave at a loft with a rooftop space.

Dan Friel, Jerkagram, Parlor Walls, Collapsible Shoulder
Muchmore’s
8:30 p.m., $7

Dan Friel, a solo musician formerly of the band Parts & Labor, is the standout on this lineup of great local musicians. Friel’s bombastic 2015 album, Life, showcased his talent for creating compositions made up of abrasive synths and effects pedals that somehow come out sounding like pop music. His instrumental barrages of drum machines, simple synth melodies, and video game noises are a joy to experience live. He’ll play with the rising Brooklyn group Parlor Walls, who mix rock with dissonant experimental jazz.

4/15
Tinariwen, Dengue Fever
Brooklyn Bowl
8 p.m., $30

Tinariwen’s sublime African blues is the best kind of world music, an often problematic genre. The group of Tuareg musicians, who first formed in 1979, has crafted a unique sound, mixing the rhythms of its native Saharan Africa with products of the African diaspora, from jazz to blues. The musicians were forced to flee their home in 2014, because of conflict and increasing restrictions on secular music. At a time when global borders are tightening, Tinariwen’s music is a reminder of the strength and resilience of displaced people everywhere.

Why?, Eskimeaux
Irving Plaza
7 p.m., $22

After several years of mediocre output, Yoni Wolf gives his project Why? a new lease on life with his latest album, Moh Lhean. Wolf, often known for his uncomfortably confessional lyrics and unlikely genre hopping, sounds more cohesive than ever here. Sonically, Moh Lhean is his prettiest album yet — while the songs still pop with vibrant and surprising instrumentation, there’s a lot here that’s simply beautiful. Though his lyrics are less purposefully shocking, his rhymes are just as creative and thought-provoking. After a few years of self-reflection, Wolf shows with Moh Lhean that he’s perhaps finally grown a little wiser.

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The Best NYC Shows This Week: LCD Soundsystem, Diet Cig, Gucci Mane

We regret to inform you that you probably won’t be seeing LCD Soundsystem this week. If you haven’t heard, the indie dancepop sensation who went out with grand style in 2011 (including a highly publicized Madison Square Garden show and a documentary) is back and playing at the new East Williamsburg venue Brooklyn Steel for five nights starting this week. When tickets went online, the site immediately crashed, and few people who tried were able to nab one. But never fear — there are plenty of other great shows to look forward to this week, from fresh acts like garagepoppers Diet Cig to more established names like the emotionally grandiose group Xiu Xiu. New York still hasn’t lost its edge.

4/4
Operators, Charly Bliss
Rough Trade
8 p.m., $15

Wolf Parade fans who miss the mid-aughts indie rock band’s explosive energy and dissonant pop sensibilities should be pleased with Operators, a side project by Dan Boeckner, one of the band’s two lead singers. Operators’ last album, 2016’s Blue Wave, showcased Boeckner’s unmistakably rough-edged vocals and endlessly surprising songwriting. Unlike Wolf Parade and Boeckner’s other former project, Handsome Furs, Operators have distinct new wave and ’80s pop influences. It’s just enough to make them stand out from the slew of Wolf Parade offshoots without losing what makes Boeckner’s music great.

4/6
Xiu Xiu, Dreamcrusher, Gold Dime
Brooklyn Bazaar
8 p.m., $13

Jamie Stewart — leader and visionary behind the experimental pop project Xiu Xiu — is one intense dude. Since 2002, the Bay Area musician has performed and recorded with a wide variety of collaborators on work that is often painfully emotional. In Stewart’s music, beats drop in and out, guitars and synths stretch and groan, percussion crashes into noise and pulls back to near-silence. The one constant is Stewart’s trembling, rich voice, which soars above whatever din he’s created. One former Voice writer compares seeing Xiu Xiu to being punched in the gut — but damn, does it feel good.

LCD Soundsystem
Brooklyn Steel
7 p.m., whatever you can find on StubHub

James Murphy’s übercool, New York–centric dancepop project LCD Soundsystem bid farewell in 2011 in a grand fashion: five nights of sold-out shows at Terminal 5, one massive send-off at Madison Square Garden, and a feature-length documentary. But the goodbye didn’t stick — just a few years later, Murphy was playing festivals as LCD again. And now he’s announced new music and a string of shows at the massive new industrial space Brooklyn Steel. Thanks to Murphy’s rabid fan base, the shows sold out immediately, but if you’re a true fan who wasn’t too pissed off by Murphy’s 2011 stunt, you can probably find tickets on StubHub for about the cost of a plane ticket to Europe.

Inga Copeland, Sadaf, Blursome
Knitting Factory
8 p.m., $15–$17

Hype Williams — a collaboration between musicians Dean Blunt and Inga Copeland — were one of the most mystifying and fascinating projects of the last decade. The group’s affected, unsettling work felt like performance art warped through electronic dance music. When their partnership ended, Blunt and Copeland went their separate ways. Since then, Copeland, who was the intoxicating voice on Hype Williams’ bizarre tracks, has released work that sounds more like the sideways pop of groups like jj or even Swedish star Lykke Li. She’ll play alongside the politically provocative Brooklyn techno DJ Sadaf.

4/7
Diet Cig, Daddy Issues
Baby’s All Right
7 p.m., $13–$15

New York powerpoppers Diet Cig write highly relatable anthems about millennial anxiety. Their new album’s title, Swear I’m Good at This, sums up a gnawing uncertainty that almost everyone experiences in their twenties. This destabilizing combination of newly found self-assurance and creeping insecurity is even more intense when we’ve lost the former signposts of adulthood like marriage, children, and homeownership. Diet Cig’s headbanging rock tunes reassure us that even if we have no idea what we’re doing, at least we’re not alone.

Son Volt, Anders Parker
Bowery Ballroom
8 p.m., $22.50–$25

Uncle Tupelo remains one of the iconic acts of ’90s alt-country. But Son Volt, the project started by Uncle Tupelo member Jay Farrar in 1994, has now been around for many more years than that original band. His gentle bluesy folk uses standard country instrumentation like slide guitar to frame memorable melodies and solid storytelling. Like the best country artists, Farrar is an observer of America, often writing about mythical figures like the small-town drunk or the long-suffering working man filled with colorful details.

Huerco S., Via App, Will DiMaggio
Sunnyvale
Midnight, $10–$15

Last year, Brooklyn producer Huerco S. released one of the best ambient records of the decade. For Those of You Who Have Never (And Those Who Have) is composed of nine gorgeous atmospheric tracks. Beats wander in and out of the recordings, never fully forming into anything danceable, like tuning through static on a radio dial. Huerco S. will play with two other solid local acts, the meditative techno producer Via App and Will DiMaggio, who makes complex, joyful house.

4/8
The Carry Nation, DJ Minx, Bearcat, Maze & Masters, Andy Egelhoff
Good Room
10 p.m., $10–$20

The Carry Nation are a DJ duo — composed of Will Automagic and Nita Aviance — who host some of the city’s best queer events. They’re one of those acts whose presence on a bill is a signal that no matter who else is playing, the party is worth attending. The Automagic and Aviance are known for their killer marathon house sets, but on this night they’ll be joined by other serious contenders for DJ stardom, including Discwoman’s Bearcat and the funky Detroit house artist DJ Minx.

4/9
Charlemagne Palestine, Rhys Chatham Duo, C. Spencer Yeh, HEVM
Le Poisson Rouge
7:30 p.m., $20–$25

Rhys Chatham is a multi-instrumentalist and composer of avant-garde music. But he’s most known for his work as the first music director at the New York experimental venue the Kitchen, which has shaped New York’s fringe music scene since its founding in 1971. On this night, he’ll be collaborating with the avant-garde performance artist Charlemagne Palestine. Representatives of a younger generation of experimental artists will play as well, including C. Spencer Yeh, whose music is highly conceptual and sometimes sounds like someone running a cassette tape through a blender.

Gucci Mane
Terminal 5
7 p.m., $40

Last year, the flamboyant Atlanta rapper Gucci Mane was released from prison after serving a three-year sentence for federal gun and drug charges. Shockingly, the rapper who has an ice cream cone tattooed on his face emerged from prison a changed man. He lost seventy pounds, seemingly quit drugs, and was even sporting a six-pack. This transformation is evident on his silly, playful late-2016 release, The Return of East Atlanta Santa, a nominally Christmas-themed album that finds Gucci discussing his favorite subjects: sex, drugs, guns. Perhaps he hasn’t changed that much, but prison certainly gave him a more optimistic outlook. He’s never sounded so joyfully nasty.

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Sounds of Spring: This Season’s Must-See Concerts

Critic’s Pick: Mr. Melody

Since any Tom Zé fan will already know to catch this precious BAM show (June 3, Howard Gilman Opera House, 30 Lafayette Avenue, Brooklyn, bam.org), anyone who hasn’t yet joined us had best stream the Brazil Classics 4 comp David Byrne got behind in 1990. A shop owner’s son born before electricity came to his remote Bahia town, a schooled twelve-tone avant-gardist who long composed advertising jingles, the eighty-year-old Zé is looked up to by such slightly younger tropicália giants as Gilberto Gil and Caetano Veloso. But he’s always been spikier, punchier, and more dissonant than the tropicália norm, remaining miraculously fresh and prolific as he released seven remarkable albums in this century, the latest the puckish, philosophical, candidly sexual Canções Eróticas de Ninar. This will be his third recent New York appearance: In 2011, he greeted Alice Tully Hall with eight vertical jumps, deployed his hips in girlish circles rather than masculine thrusts, and offered up new songs with refrains that went “In case of emergency dial 9-1-1” and “Stand clear of the closing doors.” In a 2016 promo video, Zé’s hair is still black, his naked body muscular and trim behind an acoustic guitar deployed for modesty’s sake. He’ll be backed by a sextet of compadres anchored by his sidekick and protector Jarbas Mariz. There’ll probably be a program, and he probably won’t follow it. So if he hasn’t sung “Brigitte Bardot” after 45 minutes, start requesting it. He’ll be so glad you did. — Robert Christgau

New Order

April 13

New Order’s 1983 “Confusion” music video climaxed with a mad dash from the studio to the DJ booth, as producer Arthur Baker brought the band’s recording straight to the dancefloor at Chelsea nightclub the Fun House. This Radio City show won’t be quite so spontaneous, but the beats should be irresistible nonetheless. After going rock in the 2000s, New Order returned to dance music with 2015’s Music Complete. Their first album without bassist Peter Hook, it’s the kind of hard-driving synthpop that a hundred Brooklyn bands are currently in the studio trying to program for themselves. Radio City Music Hall, 1260 Sixth Avenue, manhattan, radiocity.com — Nick Murray

Maya Jane Coles gets back to the club.
Maya Jane Coles gets back to the club.

Maya Jane Coles

April 14

London DJ Maya Jane Coles makes tech house that’s at once cool and sensuous, constructing tracks around undulating grooves that entice you to dance rather than demand it. Her sound began wooing ravers in the early 2010s and unexpectedly reached the mainstream in 2015, when the rap producer Nineteen85 pitched down Coles’s hypnotic “What You Say” to create the beat for Nicki Minaj’s “Truffle Butter.” Coles returns to her club roots with a visit to Output, in between big gigs at Ultra Music Festival in Miami and Coachella in California. Output, 74 Wythe Avenue, brooklyn, outputclub.com — N.M.

PJ Harvey

April 20

Brooklyn Steel is this spring’s most notable new venue, an 1,800-capacity warehouse space a short walk from the Graham Avenue L stop. It opens with shows from Floating Points and the Decemberists, but its sound system will be put to the test when PJ Harvey turns up the volume for her arrival in mid-April. Harvey’s latest, The Hope Six Demolition Project, documents so-called urban renewal in a D.C. neighborhood where politicians try to alleviate poverty by opening Walmarts. Perhaps at this gig she’ll make the personal political by connecting the expansion of the concert industry to ongoing gentrification here in New York. Brooklyn Steel, 319 Frost Street, Brooklyn, bowerypresents.com — N.M.

Pinegrove

April 27 and 30

Pinegrove make rock music that’s warm and loose like a comfy old sweater. Their sound, occasionally punctuated by banjo, owes something to the rootsy indie of Bright Eyes, but frontman Evan Stephens Hall’s lyrical vision is a little more optimistic: He’s less concerned with angst than with the everyday relationships that give life texture. Those who prefer the digital to the analog — and like their music eerie and out of joint — should also check out Pinegrove’s keyboardist, Nandi Rose Plunkett, when she brings her synth-driven solo project, Half Waif, to Silent Barn on April 6. April 27 at Bowery Ballroom, 6 Delancey Street, manhattan, boweryballroom.com; April 30 at Music Hall of Williamsburg, 66 North 6th Street, Brooklyn, musichallofwilliamsburg.com — N.M.

Mitski

April 29

You can tell a lot about an artist by the way she describes fireworks. On Mitski’s Puberty 2, the explosions hold the secret to a happiness just over the horizon, their colors recalling a memory so potent that she can’t decide whether to forget it or hold it close. This intensity has helped make the 26-year-old singer-songwriter a breakout star. And because her arrangements are just as sharp as her lyrics, jolting the words with driving guitars and adventurous electronics, her live shows beat those of nearly all her peers. Brooklyn Steel, 319 Frost Street, Brooklyn, bowerypresents.com — N.M.

The Revolution

May 3

Dearly beloved, on May 3 you can gather at Webster Hall to celebrate that thing called Prince, with music provided by the most authentic tribute band you’ll ever find: the Revolution themselves. A mid-Eighties Family Stone that once dressed like dandies and heart surgeons, the group remained at Prince’s side through Purple Rain, Parade, and a game of pickup hoops immortalized in a Chappelle’s Show send-up. Now they’re reuniting for their first tour with neither their leader nor their cravats. According to reports, their musically and emotionally raw debut last September at Minneapolis’s First Avenue nightclub provoked both dancing and tears. Webster Hall, 125 East 11th Street, manhattan, websterhall.com — N.M.

Mexrrissey

May 4–5

Sometimes the portmanteau tells you everything you need to know. Mexrrissey, fronted by the charming producer Camilo Lara (better known as the DJ Mexican Institute of Sound), remake the music of former Smiths frontman Morrissey en español, with a seven-piece band adding mariachi horns and cumbia-inspired beats. This is the kind of translation that creates new meanings rather than erasing established ones. “Suedehead,” named after a word that doesn’t even appear in most English dictionaries, would seem to present a particular linguistic challenge, but Mexrrissey’s cover of the tune, “Estuvo Bien,” offers a richness even Moz can’t match. Brooklyn Bowl, 61 Wythe Avenue, Brooklyn, brooklynbowl.com — N.M.

NYC Ballet With Sufjan Stevens

May 12–20

This winter, choreographer Justin Peck’s The Times Are Racing gave us our first look at resistance ballet under Trump, setting Dance Dance Revolution–inspired moves to electronic music by Dan Deacon. That show returns May 5 and 9, followed by performances of another Peck project, a nine-part saga in which 25 ballerinas — none in Nikes — move to an orchestral score by the singer-songwriter Sufjan Stevens. The program, titled Everywhere We Go, premiered in 2014 and places the dancers’ graceful pas de deux against a set of matte geometric shapes. Stevens’s lyrics will be notably absent. David H. Koch Theater, 20 Lincoln Center Plaza, manhattan, nycballet.com — N.M.

Rhiannon Giddens

May 13

It seems that the world is finally ready for a Rhiannon Giddens crossover. It could certainly use one. Freedom Highway, the roots star’s first solo album of original songs, is one of the year’s most bracing LPs, an unsparing look at American history that refuses to erase either the brutality of racist oppression or the love and culture that have flourished in the face of it. It’s a story Giddens tells not just with her lyrics but with her music, picking her own minstrel-style banjo while incorporating elements of jazz, soul, and hip-hop. This show will end Lincoln Center’s “American Songbook” series on a high note. Alice Tully Hall, 1941 Broadway, manhattan, americansongbook.org — N.M.

Future and Migos

May 19

Future’s dense hip-hop, filled with towering beats and subtly melodic flows, envisions a sort of molly-water purgatory: an Atlanta rooftop party that never ends, but never really begins, either. This feeling is emphasized by the rapper’s near-constant stream of releases: In the five months since his previous New York City show, Future has already put out two albums and a mixtape. Don’t be surprised if we get another three before this May gig with “Bad and Boujee” trio Migos, three younger artists having the time of their life on the ground floor. Barclays Center, 620 Atlantic Avenue, Brooklyn, barclayscenter.com — N.M.

The xx

May 19–20

Even if listened to on headphones, the music of the xx seems to expand across space: Carefully picked guitar notes reverberate outward while singers Oliver Sim and Romy Madley Croft circle around the center. That may be why every xx performance feels as though it’s site-specific. In their most memorable NYC gig, in 2014, the trio played in the round at the center of the Park Avenue Armory. This spring, they take their show outdoors to Forest Hills Stadium. Their latest album, I See You, fortifies some of their fragile after-dark arrangements with skittering house beats; this venue should push their songs even closer to the light. Forest Hills Stadium, 1 Tennis Place, Queens, foresthillsstadium.com — N.M.

 

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Spring at the Movies: From the Quad Cinema to “The Lost City of Z”

Critic’s Pick: Screen Glories

In this season of rebirth and renewal, no greater rite of spring 2017 awaits the local revival-calendar enthusiast than the return of the Quad Cinema, relaunching under new ownership after going dark in 2015 for major renovations. The compact West 13th Street movie house — the first multiplex to open in the city, in 1972 — will devote one of its four screens to repertory programming, which promisingly kicks off with the unexpected: “Lina Wertmüller: Female Trouble” (April 14–30), an extensive retrospective devoted to the polarizing Italian filmmaker. During her 1970s prime, Wertmüller became the first woman to be nominated for a Best Director Academy Award for Seven Beauties (1975), just one of the titles excoriated by critics like Molly Haskell, who called out the regista for her “gallery of female grotesques.” The May 21 return of another landmark institution — David Lynch and Mark Frost’s Twin Peaks — occasions BAMcinématek’s “Peak Performances” (May 12–24), a wide-ranging constellation of films that feature those who starred in the cult TV show’s first iteration (1990–91). The series’ inspired organizing principle makes a cherished musical like West Side Story (with TP crackpots Richard Beymer and Russ Tamblyn in breakthrough roles) the logical listmate of Eighties Southern-fried erotica Two Moon Junction (with Sherilyn Fenn, here two years before she displayed her cherry-stem-knotting skills on the spooky serial). Spotlighting only one screen divinity, Metrograph’s “Marlene Dietrich,” opening May 24, brings together more than a dozen of the Teutonic titaness’s movies. All bear out Kenneth Tynan’s observation that the actress “stormed the senses, looking always tangible but at the same time untouchable,” words that especially resonate in the films she made with Josef von Sternberg, which constitute an unsurpassable septet of sumptuous delirium. — Melissa Anderson

Marx Film

April 4–30

How can movies foment dissent against authoritarian leadership? Williamsburg’s Spectacle looks eastward with two recent documentaries from the Estonian production company Marx Film that capture the resistance in Ukraine and Russia against the regime of Vladimir Putin. In The Term (2014), filmmakers Pavel Kostomarov and Aleksei Pivovarov track the contentious re-election of Putin and concurrent protests in Moscow, as well as the political leaders (Alexei Navalny) and cultural figures (Pussy Riot) who fought but failed to change the oppressive climate. In Kiev/Moscow (2015), director Elena Khoreva examines both the mass resistance in Ukraine and the fighting along the border of Donetsk to explore the influence and control of the Russian state. Spectacle, 124 South 3rd Street, Brooklyn, spectacletheater.com — Peter Labuza

Graduation

April 7

Taut thriller or absurdist comedy? The latest from 4 Months, 3 Weeks, and 2 Days (2007) director Cristian Mungiu takes a deadpan approach to toeing this line. After a student is attacked before her college entrance exams, her father attempts to manipulate her scores when the school refuses to grant her an extension. As he involves his family and friends in the scheme, his social exchanges only make the situation more surreal. Staged in even-handed two-shots and defying moral judgment, the Romanian-language Graduation deftly balances humor with increasing horror. Sundance Selects, ifcfilms.com — P.L.

‘A Woman’s Work: Anne-Marie Miéville’

April 12–19

Consideration of Jean-Luc Godard’s re-emergence in the Eighties too often focuses entirely on the legend himself, when little of his work in that period would have been possible without the collaboration of his partner, Anne-Marie Miéville. BAMcinématek here honors her with a series that spans the pair’s deeply political works from the late Seventies (including a documentary on Palestinian freedom fighters), Miéville’s scripted features directed by Godard, and her rarely screened directorial work from the Nineties. BAMcinématek, 30 Lafayette Avenue, Brooklyn, bam.org — P.L.

The Lost City of Z
The Lost City of Z

James Gray

April 12–15

With a nod to the traditions and values of American cinema of the Seventies, James Gray invests his tales with scrupulously detailed production design and lived-in gestures and performances that elevate his work. Metrograph presents a look at his oeuvre, from his quietly devastating debut, Little Odessa (1994), to the evocatively shot (by the late Harris Savides) Sunnyside gangster tale The Yards (2000) to the modern romance Two Lovers (2008), starring a hushed Joaquin Phoenix. All this backstory leads to an early screening of a new feature, his first shot outside of New York: the period epic The Lost City of Z, which follows Charlie Hunnam as an early-twentieth-century explorer searching the Amazon for an ancient metropolis. Metrograph, 7 Ludlow Street, Manhattan, metrograph.com — P.L.

‘The Complete Wiseman: Part 1’

April 14–27

One of the most important figures in nonfiction filmmaking for the past half-century, the lawyer-turned-documentarian Frederick Wiseman has dedicated himself to dissecting the institutions that undergird American life. (The movie that started it all, 1967’s Titicut Follies, depicted the inhuman brutalities of a Massachusetts mental hospital.) Film Forum’s two-part retrospective of the man’s massive filmography will proceed chronologically. The scope, specificity, and occasionally daunting length of Wiseman’s films allow complex portraits of systems to emerge; time and again, he’s reached beyond the obvious Foucaultian dynamic to locate indelible moments of humanity. No one will forget the LSD-tripping teen in Hospital (1970), or the workers of Welfare (1975) stepping outside their doors for a chance to breathe, or the letter from a deceased Vietnam veteran that closes High School (1968). Film Forum, 209 West Houston Street, Manhattan, filmforum.org — P.L.

Slack Bay

April 21

Once branded as a shock-generating director prone to coupling horrifying scenes of anguish with sobering religious themes, Bruno Dumont has, in recent efforts, embraced a more comic mode. His latest film takes aim at the French aristocracy of 1910, with co-stars Juliette Binoche and Fabrice Luchini shouting each line with pointed vapidity. Once again murder and mystery abound for Dumont, as two buffoonish inspectors (one oversize and one petite) investigate mysterious disappearances along the northern French coast while the noble go about their stiff-upper-lipped business. Dumont’s rigorous framing and lush landscapes create a spirit of inclusivity amid the recurring displays of bad behavior. Kino Lorber, kinolorber.com — P.L.

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword

May 12

The customary self-seriousness of the contemporary Hollywood blockbuster has long grown tedious, but director Guy Ritchie has always carried a few singular tricks up his sleeve. His TV-to-screen adaptation of The Man From U.N.C.L.E. (2015) turned the swinging-Sixties spy series into a fashion parade with a machismo-oriented, and at times homoerotic, competition between its two male leads (Henry Cavill and Armie Hammer). His new historical endeavor, King Arthur, might not offer similar avenues for delightful drollness, but it does have Jude Law (lately one of the internet’s favorite actors, owing to the memes surrounding HBO’s The Young Pope) chewing the scenery as Vortigern, the villainous ruler of Britain. Warner Bros., kingarthurmovie.com — P.L.

‘Moustapha Alassane: Pioneer of the Golden Age of Nigerien Cinema’

May 12–15

The films of Moustapha Alassane, perhaps the most idiosyncratic director to emerge from Niger, mix genre, style, and national identity into movie magic. MoMA’s retrospective sheds light on a filmmaker who, over the past five decades, integrated the stories of his culture into various forms (animation, documentary, fiction) to create a genuinely populist cinema. Humorous shorts like Bon Voyage Sim (1966) and Kokoa (1985) reimagine the political landscape of Africa through animated amphibians, while The Return of an Adventurer (1966) demonstrates the imposition of Western values on Nigerien society through the use of cowboy iconography in chronicling a gang of hooligans. Museum of Modern Art, 11 West 53rd Street, Manhattan, moma.org — P.L.

James Caan

May 19–28

The Museum of the Moving Image’s series provides a selection of James Caan’s chameleonic performances that make internal tensions brim with a steely coolness. Thief (1981) and The Gambler (1974) remain the eternal classics, with Caan disappearing into characters who attempt to control their untenable addictions. Caan’s later roles in movies like Bottle Rocket (1996), his face and voice grizzled through age, put forth a funnier sensibility. Caan has also provided weight to slighter films: Kathy Bates may have won an Oscar as the overbearing villain of the Stephen King adaptation Misery (1990), but her antics wouldn’t be as terrifying without Caan’s pleading and squealing to anchor them in genuine psychological terror. Museum of the Moving Image, 36-01 35th Avenue, Queens, movingimage.us — P.L.

Baywatch

May 26

Likely modeled after the success of the big-screen reboot of 21 Jump Street, Paramount’s revival of the Nineties beach drama comes packaged with self-conscious irony. With an original story from the creators of Reno 911!, the film casts Dwayne Johnson and Zac Efron as mismatched lifeguards solving crimes. Both actors have displayed pitch-perfect self-aware humor in the past, making them well suited to pull off a riotous intersection of earnest conviction (while dutifully saving beachgoers) and utter ridiculousness (while tossing off cheeky one-liners). Not to mention their both possessing the toned physiques that were the show’s bread and butter. Paramount Pictures, thebaywatchmovie.com — P.L.

 

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Fresh Bites: Where to Eat in NYC This Spring

Critic’s Pick: Fancy Casual

International culinary superstar and Mexico City’s patron saint of mole Enrique Olvera can’t wait for you to try the tlacoyos and consomés at ATLA (372 Lafayette Street, no phone or website yet), the all-day café he’s opening soon in Noho with chef de cuisine Daniela Soto-Innes. The heady soups and toasted masa cakes, Olvera tells the Voice, “are my all-time favorites to eat in Mexico, and we have never served them [here] before. Not even at Cosme’s brunch.” The cerebral chef’s first foray into NYC fine dining, which opened in 2014 in the Flatiron district, Cosme serves tostadas loaded with sea urchin and bone marrow salsa and offers a $90 platter of duck carnitas with all the fixings. Olvera swears this new project will be a more modest affair where the “beauty is in the flavors, not in the plating.” The decision to keep things pared down “is a reflection of the moment I’m going through,” he says. “I want to make food that I like to eat, that is tasty, healthy, and not pretentious. I want our customers to have the chance to visit us daily, not only for special occasions.” That translates to a casual atmosphere (think neutral tones and blond wood furniture) and under-$20 dishes. In the morning, that might mean Instagram-ready chia seed oatmeal topped with nuts and raisins, or a nod to the city’s appetizing counters and bagel shops in the form of a cured arctic char tostada with farmer’s cheese and capers. On the beverage front, expect sweetened aguas frescas plus hot options including coffee, Mexican hot chocolate, and almond atole, a frothy, viscous drink typically enjoyed with tamales. Lunch and dinner can be quick or leisurely, as your schedule allows, with an array of small plates that will include such traditional dishes as chicharrón stewed in salsa verde as well as newfangled takes on classics, like the steak tartare relleno Soto-Innes will serve in a hollowed-out poblano chile pepper. — Zachary Feldman

Smorgasburg

Opening April 1

The ultimate sign of spring in New York City isn’t cherry blossoms or allergy attacks, but rather the re-emergence of outdoor eating. Just as bar backyards reopen and sidewalk seating returns, so does the alfresco behemoth Smorgasburg bring its tents and grills to the hungry, vitamin D–deficient masses. Around a hundred local vendors will set up at both locations: Saturdays beginning April 1 in Williamsburg, and Sundays beginning April 2 in Prospect Park. Smorgasburg was previously responsible for the Ramen Burger and Wowfulls, so as you wander, be on the lookout for the next weird food craze. 90 Kent Avenue, Williamsburg, and Breeze Hill, East Drive at Lincoln Road, Prospect Park, Brooklyn, smorgasburg.com — Mary Bakija

Ample Hills Creamery brings deliciousness to DeKalb Market Hall.
Ample Hills Creamery brings deliciousness to DeKalb Market Hall.

DeKalb Market Hall

Opening April

This massive food hall opens in April, joining the Alamo Drafthouse, Target, and other businesses in the City Point development project on the site of Downtown Brooklyn’s old Albee Square Mall. Options for takeout and sit-down eats will come from about forty local and regional spots like Hard Times Sundaes, Ample Hills Creamery, and Katz’s Delicatessen; there will also be a butcher, fishmonger, and bakery, among other attractions. DeKalb Stage, a show kitchen and event space, will put on workshops and live entertainment for young and grown foodies alike.

DeKalb Market Hall, 445 Albee Square West, Brooklyn, dekalbmarkethall.com

Du’s Donuts and Coffee

Opening April

If you’ve somehow grown bored with donuts, Wylie Dufresne’s got your back. The innovative chef helped popularize molecular gastronomy with wd~50, but now he’s made donuts his main focus. Though he hasn’t revealed any hints about what this version will be like, we expect they’ll push the cruller envelope a bit. With both wd~50 and his more accessible East Village spot, Alder, now closed and another planned space having fallen through, Dufresne has poured his creative energy into this project. The establishment is scheduled to open in mid-April at the William Vale Hotel; we’re eager to see if Du’s Donuts stay straight, or if Dufresne lets his wild side show.

William Vale Hotel, 107 North 12th Street, Brooklyn, dusdonuts.com

The Grill, at the Landmark Rooms

Opening April

When Major Food Group — the team behind Parm, Carbone, and Sadelle’s — reveals its new take on the old Four Seasons space in the Seagram Building, it may be all this city’s culinary scene talks about for a while. The details have already consumed us: The historic venue will be divided into three separate restaurants, collectively known as the Landmark Rooms, with the first scheduled to open in April. (We’re still waiting to see if a lawsuit over the name, filed by Marc Murphy of nearby Landmarc, gums up the works.) That first space will be the Grill, a steakhouse that promises much of the grandeur of its predecessor, but with modern flourishes that will introduce updated classic dishes to a new generation.

99 East 52nd Street, Manhattan, majorfood.com

The Queens Taste

May 2

This city is home to countless all-you-can-eat and -drink events, but very few come with admission to a fun interactive museum. That’s what you’ll get at the Queens Taste, where you can sample goods from more than forty Queens bakeries, chocolatiers, and restaurants, including Sabor de Cuba and F. Ottomanelli; sip cocktails from breweries, wine stores, and distillers, like Queens Courage; and wander the Hall of Science, where your curiosity will be piqued by exhibits on science, technology, engineering, and math. You’ll leave stuffed with food, drink, and quirky science facts.

New York Hall of Science, 47-01 111th Street, Queens, thequeenstaste.com

Shabazz Larkin and Philip Lee at the 2016 Food Book Fair
Shabazz Larkin and Philip Lee at the 2016 Food Book Fair

Food Book Fair

May 11–14

Whether your nightstand is weighted down with cookbooks or you’ve got an idea for a cookbook of your own, you’ll find your people at the Food Book Fair, a festival and conference that celebrates food and the printed page. Highlights include an interactive, multisensory experience with Dinner author Melissa Clark and photographer-author Melanie Dunea; a breakfast with Elisabeth Prueitt to celebrate her new book, Tartine All Day; and “literary speed dating” with top agents and editors. In addition, expect discussions and workshops on food and, of course, plenty of things to nibble on — think fancy cheese, beer, and more.

Ace Hotel New York, 20 West 29th Street, Manhattan, foodbookfair.com

NYC Vegetarian Food Festival

May 20–21

This is for anyone who likes a side of good feels with their food fests. Yes, you will eat — dozens of exhibitors will serve tasty and creative vegetarian and vegan samples, which have even managed to impress a few carnivores over the event’s first six years. But other panelists will put their personal spin on this dietary way of life, including Michael Suchman and Ethan Ciment of the blog Vegan Mos, whose first cookbook, out this spring, will feature vegan takes on such New York City dishes as pizza, cheesecake, and even the reuben sandwich.

Metropolitan Pavilion, 125 West 18th Street, Manhattan, nycvegfoodfest.com

Hometown Pan Fried Chicken

Opening June

Billy Durney, the chef behind the well- regarded Hometown Bar-B-Que, has another restaurant in the works just a few blocks away from the massive Red Hook barbecue space. And if his fried chicken is anything like his brisket, we’re all in for a treat. But just as we’ll have to wait after putting in an order for the chicken — which could take a little patience, since pan-frying takes a bit longer than deep-frying — we’ll also have to wait a bit longer for the restaurant to open: Complications along the way have pushed the date again and again, but Durney says he’s currently hoping to have the space ready in June.

329 Van Brunt Street, Brooklyn, no website yet