Top 20 winter concerts
Chill out at these hot events during the next three months.
Mon Dec 5 2011
Antony and the Johnsons
Jan 26 Antony and the Johnsons: Swanlights
In late 2010, fey, soulful singing enigma Antony issued Swanlights, a ravishing album filled with sweeping, histrionic emotion and subtle balladry, then presented some of its songs in ornate orchestral arrangements at Lincoln Center. Seems that the Museum of Modern Art was paying attention, because that institution has now commissioned Antony and three savvy young composer-arrangers—Rob Moose, Maxim Moston and Nico Muhly—to fashion an evening-length spectacle for Radio City. In a word: swoon. Radio City Music Hall; $40--$70.
Feb 3 Hello, Gorgeous! Leslie Kritzer Sings Jule Styne
After her supernova star turn at Joe's Pub in Leslie Kritzer Is Patti LuPone at Les Mouches, many fans hoped that Kritzer would be cast as Fanny Brice in the Broadway revival of Funny Girl. She wasn't, but now she gets the last laugh: The production has been shelved, but she will bang out songs from the show—and others by master composer Jule Styne (Gypsy, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes)—as part of Lincoln Center's American Songbook series. The Allen Room (at Frederick P. Rose Hall); $35--$100.
Feb 4--Mar 28 Ecstatic Music Festival
Returning for a second season, composer Judd Greenstein's audacious blend—classical renegades, artful popsters and other uncontainable talents—mixes and mingles in an ear-bending celebration. Among the highlights of the 11-concert series: prodigious creator Jherek Bischoff with guests David Byrne, Craig Wedren and the Wordless Music Orchestra (Feb 4); post-rock combo Oneida, pictured, with guitar-army maximalist Rhys Chatham (Mar 17); and quirky storytellers the Mountain Goats with ethereal a cappella quartet Anonymous 4 (Mar 24). Merkin Concert Hall; $25, students $15, 11-concert pass $175.
Feb 8 Bill Callahan
Your favorite songwriter's favorite songwriter, Bill Callahan hid behind the alias Smog for 20 years, pioneering the art of lo-fi releases. Since returning to his given name, he's put out some supremely beautiful records, one of those being Apocalypse—among the most overlooked albums of 2011. Catch the indie vet live and bear witness to his tenderly disconcerting, slyly humorous songs. The Allen Room (at Frederick P. Rose Hall); $35--$85.
Feb 9 Tune-Yards
Merrill Garbus and her crew roll into town for a night of extraordinary looping, innovative instrumentation and primal, hair-raising vocals. Performing at this unexpectedly swanky uptown venue promises excellent sonics, perfect for such nuanced folk-pop. Face paint is optional, but recommended. The Allen Room (at Frederick P. Rose Hall); $35--$85.