Sure, summer doesn't official start till June 21, but don't let semantics spoil your Memorial Day weekend. For all practical purposes, the season is here. The weekend means the city's beaches are officially open, your favorite canal-side yacht club is slinging drinks and you might not have to work on Monday. Whether or not that's the case, celebrate the three-day weekend by hitting up one of these concerts.
Miles Mosley & the West Coast Get Down
Mosley’s groove-heavy tunes conjure politically minded ’70s fare, and here the singing upright bassist brings his body-moving funk to Brooklyn. Fans of War and Mandrill, this one’s for you. Rough Trade NYC, 64 North 9th St, Brooklyn (roughtradenyc.com). Friday, May 26 at 8pm; $15
Hear from recent albums Indie Cindy and Head Carrier, the first new material these pioneering alt rockers have released in more than two decades. It's the big finale for the band's three-show run. Brooklyn Steel, 319 Frost St, Brooklyn (bowerypresents.com). Friday, May 26 at 7pm; $65.
Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds
Over their three decades and counting, Cave & Co. have lost none of their fire and drama when playing live. What’s more, the band’s new album, Skeleton Tree, demonstrates that Cave’s writing has only intensified its profoundly haunting qualities. Kings Theatre, 1027 Flatbush Ave, Brooklyn (718-856-2220, kingstheatre.com). Friday, May 26 and Saturday, May 27 at 8pm; $79.50.
T-Rextasy + YATTA
Scrappy five-piece T-Rextasy combines biting humor and politically charged lyricism in its punchy pop-punk takedowns of misogyny, white dudehood and voluntourism. Experimental “digipoet” vocalist YATTA, of exploratory local tape label PTP, opens. Mercury Lounge, 217 E Houston St (212-260-4700, mercuryloungenyc.com). Friday, May 26 at 7pm; $10
As part of Union Pool's free afternoon series Summer Thunder, Psychic Ills airs its brain-frazzling, deliciously dubby psych rock, as heard on its fifth album, Inner Journey Out. Turn on, tune in, freak out.… You know the drill. Union Pool, 484 Union Ave, Brooklyn (union-pool.com). Saturday, May 27 at 2pm; free.
Aye Nako + Sammus
This local queercore quartet plays a release party for its newest album of sharply personal-is-political pop-punk, Silver Haze, with rising nerdcore outsider-rap MC Sammus. Silent Barn, 603 Bushwick Ave, Brooklyn (silentbarn.org). Saturday, May 27 at 8pm; $10, at the door $12.
Teengirl Fantasy + Lafawndah + ADR + Yaeji
Melancholic, synthscapey twosome Teengirl Fantasy headlines a night of hypnotic dream-pop dance stylings. Leading into the set is Lafawndah, who combines a wide range of world influences, skittering percussion and her piercing vocals into a uniquely thundering electronica. Knockdown Center, 52-19 Flushing Ave, Queens (347-915-5615, knockdowncenter.com). Saturday, May 27 at 8pm; $10, at the door $20.
Prep yourselves for a Memorial Day date with underground dance music royalty. The pioneering U.K. dubstep producer—one of the forces behind the legendary DMZ imprint—visits for a late-night set. Sunnyvale, 1031 Grand St, Brooklyn (sunnyvalebk.com). Saturday, May 27 midnight; $12.
The hyperprolific experimental musician returns to the jazz institution for a one-off matinee show, joined by saxist Steve Coleman, bassist Christian McBride and drummer Tyshawn Sorey. Village Vanguard, 178 Seventh Ave South (212-255-4037, villagevanguard.com). Sunday, May 28 at 3pm; $30, plus one-drink minimum.
New York Philharmonic
The ensemble, led by music director Alan Gilbert, performs Mahler’s Symphony No. 4 for its annual free Memorial Day concert. Tickets are first-come, first served; distribution begins at 6pm. Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine, 1047 Amsterdam Ave (nyphil.org). Monday, May 29 at 8pm; free.
This crucial local fest returns for its 22nd edition, honoring improviser and multi-instrumentalist Cooper-Moore, who plays Monday, May 29. Other highlights include drummer Andrew Cyrille and saxist David Murray. Judson Memorial Church, 55 Washington Sq South (artsforart.org). Monday, May 29–Saturday, June 3 at various times; $40, festival pass $200.
Bruce Hornsby and the Noisemakers
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that Bruce Hornsby, the very exemplar of dad-rock, keeps being re-cool-ified. But he's no one-trick pony. He has also made bluegrass records, gigged with a jazz band and even toured as part of the Grateful Dead. He and his band take the stage behind his rootsy 2016 effort, Rehab Reunion. City Winery, 155 Varick St (212-608-0555, citywinery.com/newyork). Monday, May 29–Wednesday, May 31 at 8pm; $75–$95.