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The best concerts in NYC in December

We've narrowed down our favorite concerts in NYC for the month, including Sleater-Kinney and Billy Joel

Photograph: Nikko la Mere
TOKiMONSTA

December brings with it a toboggan-full of seasonal music: Christmas songs galore and more Hanukkah jams than you can spin a dreidel at. But by your little nephew's tenth rendition of "Rudolph" you'll probably want to be getting out of the house. That's where our list of best Christmas concerts and best New Years Eve shows come in. And if you're sick of the holidays all together (cough, Scrooge), there's plenty of unrelated shows happening. It's NYC after all.

RECOMMENDED: See our guide to concerts in NYC

Concerts in NYC in December

Kelela

Kelela’s debut mixtape, Cut 4 Me, shows her shimmering coo drifting naturally in the empty space, augmented with a playful hide-and-seek vibrato, as if her melodies were resting on turbulent air. Her emotive, organic vocals granted the works a newfound pop appeal. With her debut album now in the works, Kelela hits Brooklyn on her first headlining tour. If she continues to seek such transfixing tunes, it should be the first of many.

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Tue Dec 1 - Wed Dec 2

Erykah Badu

Neo-soul innovator Erykah Badu—whose influence on contemporary R&B can't be understated—has teased the idea of a follow-up to 2010's New Amerykah Part Two: Return of the Ankh for years. There's still no definitive plans, but that incredibly dreamy Drake cover that rendered the original obselete (sorry, Aubrey) has us foaming at the mouth for the upcoming mixtape, But U Cain’t Use My Phone. Tonight, watch the empress touch down upon Times Square, and if you pray hard enough, maybe we'll hear some new tunes.

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The Amphitheater at Coney Island Boardwalk , Brooklyn Wednesday August 3 2016

TOKiMONSTA

This is the stage name of L.A. producer Jennifer Lee, who makes psychedelic hip-hop with skittering electronic beats. Fans of Flying Lotus (in fact, she’s signed to the producer’s label, Brainfeeder) will likely dig her sound.

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Wed Dec 2 - Thu Dec 3

Dinosaur Jr.

Indie extraordinaire J Mascis augmented his trademark Jazzmaster scuzz with acoustic Martin strumming on his last three solo records, and while the combo works wonders, we miss the straight forward indie riffage characteristic of Dinosaur Jr's early days. Fortunately, there's a chance to revisit the golden years as Masci with his pivotal indie crew celebrates the 30th anniversary of their (sort-of) self-titled debut, Dinosaur, by playing it in its entirety. The gang (in its original lineup!) will be joined onstage by special TBA guests each night.

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Rough Trade NYC , Williamsburg Friday August 5 2016

Joanna Newsom

With her latest opus, Divers, onetime "freak-folk" icon Joanna Newsom reaffirms her singular place in music, indie or otherwise. The densely packed collection showcases Newsom's artfully swooping vocals, deft harp skills and meticulous, knotty arrangements.

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Mon Dec 7 - Fri Dec 11

Wale

D.C. rapper Wale, whose biggest hit so far was a feature on Waka Flocka Flame's strip-club anthem "No Hands," emerged from hiding this year with his third on Rick Ross's Maybach Music imprint, The Album About Nothing, which, yes, is Seinfeld-themed. Its first single, "The Body," smartly taps crooner Jeremih to wingman the steamy slow jam.

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08 Dec 2015

Deerhunter + Atlas Sound

Renowned for occasionally outlandish live shows (singer Bradford Cox once performed four bars of "My Sharona" continuously for an hour), Deerhunter plays warped pop-rock filtered through a haze of reverb and dissonance, with Cox’s warm, often distorted vocals bouncing off angular guitar lines. You'll hear from this year's garage rockin' Fading Frontier album. And in the opening set, look out for indie crew Atlas Sound, the solo project of...Bradford Cox? Yes: He's opening for himself.

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Tue Dec 8 - Wed Dec 9

Sleater-Kinney

A mysteriously unmarked 7" (containing a heretofore unknown song) in Sleater-Kinney's 2014 career-spanning box set was all it took to get the blogosphere buzzing with reunion rumors, and days later, it was official: The band's back. In January, the riot grrrl torchbearers and indie-rock luminaries released their eighth LP, No Cities to Love, their first LP in 10 years and an admirably toothsome, no-fuss comeback, and are playing a slew of big-venue performances.

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Sat Dec 12 - Wed Dec 16

Billy Joel

Erstwhile angry young man Billy Joel—now an official Madison Square Garden franchise, like the Knicks and Rangers—is tacking on date after date in what's threatening to become an endless run. May 28 may be sold out, but you can grab tickets for...September.

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Madison Square Garden , Midtown West Tuesday August 9 2016 - Friday September 30 2016

Royal Trux + Blues Control + IUD + Lexie Macchi

After splitting in 2001, Royal Trux ax man Neil Michael Hagerty and singer Jennifer Herrema have done the seemingly impossible and reformed their seminal garage-psych outfit, for a brief bit at least. The pair reunited for a ruthlessly bent set at August's Berserktown II festival in LA. Now Royal Trux brings its fried-mind scuzzscapes for an NYC one-off.

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19 Dec 2015
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Comments

1 comments
Linda G
Linda G

What about Lucius at Terminal 5 on 12/6?