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Chris Dave Drumhedz
Photograph: Courtesy Jati Lindsay

The best NYC concerts in January 2020

We know it’s cold out there, but these NYC concerts in January should give you plenty of reasons to leave the house

By Ro S and Collier Sutter
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Another new year...another year of live music to see. What a life! Am I right? Hopefully the hangover from your packed weekend of New Year's Eve parties and New Year’s Eve concerts has worn off and you're ready to get at it with these NYC concerts in January 2020. The month features top-notch music, including the annual Winter Jazzfest, that will brighten even the most sunlight-deprived month.

RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the best concerts in NYC

NYC concerts in January

Motion City Soundtrack
Photograph: Lindsey Byrnes

Motion City Soundtrack

Music Pop

Forget the normal slew of post-emo labels: Motion City Soundtrack is a straight-up power-pop band, in which vocalist Justin Pierre unpretentiously soars and slides through gently eloquent anthems of romantic distress. Reclaim your yesteryear angst as the band touches down on its reunion tour.

Deli Girls + Nah + Dreamcrusher

Music Dance and electronic

Vocalist Danny Orlowski and producer Tommi Kelly, who make up harsh noise duo Deli Girls, are the unsung luminaries of Brooklyn's music underground. Crouched over an arsenal of drum machines, Kelly pumps out shredded, brutalized beats as Orlowski storms through the crowd, veering between unhinged cackles and splintered screams: "It’s my body and I’ll fucking kill you.” Unlike so much of the bro-dominated harsh noise world, Deli Girls is far more than just its punishing aesthetics. Rather, it's a crucial model of queer release, refusal, and rage—and one of the greatest bands to emerge from the city's electronic scene in years.

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Craig Taborn
Photograph: John Rogers/ECM Records

Winter Jazzfest

Music Jazz

Each January, Winter Jazzfest offers a crash course for anyone interest in exploring NYC's jazz scene. Its signature two-night Greenwich Village marathon brings vets and up-and-comers, hordes of music fans and a palpable air of excitement to an array of cozy downtown venues. Some shows are individually ticketed, but a one or two-day pass grants you access to to the immense "Marathon" events in Manhattan Jan 10 and 11, and Brooklyn on Jan 17.

Mark Guiliana
Photograph: Courtesy the artist

Mark Guiliana

Music Jazz

An acclaimed contemporary innovator behind the set, Guiliana has developed an erratic, explosive style of groove that turns the pocket inside-out as often as it nestles deep within it. He plays here with an unannounced "special surprise guest

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Luis Nieto Dickens

The Knocks (DJ Set)

Things to do Concerts

Hit a late-night show from this popular NY duo made up of Ben "B-Roc" Ruttner and James "JPatt" Patterson. The two DJs/producers/remixers have worked with the likes of Passion Pit, Chiddy Bang and Ellie Goulding, and offer a euphoric, cut-and-paste take on disco house, but anything is possible during their set. On this night you'll also hear the sounds of British producer Mat Zo. If tickets sell out before you can swipe them, they will be selling more the door the night of, beginning at 10pm, so show up early to not miss out.

James Sharp

Modern Nature

Things to do Concerts

It’s hard to put this new project from songwriter Jack Cooper (of former alt-rock band Ultimate Painting) in a box, but that's the captivating part. The band is carving out it’s own playing field of folk music with bits of pulsating synths, wild saxophone solos, organ drones, swirling cello— you name it. Catch songs performed live off their invigorating debut album How To Live—there’s a little bit of something in it for everyone from rock to folk and electronica.

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Webster Hall, 2011. Webster Hall New Years Eve Ball
Photograph: Noah Devereaux

Caroline Polachek

Music Rock and indie

Though the recently released Pang is this pop singer's ostensible debut, her artistic fingerprints crop up in every corner of the cultural sphere from over the past decade— whether that's soundtracking 2008 iPod commercials with her brilliant electropop duo Chairlift or writing and producing Beyoncé's "No Angel." Prolific career aside, Pang proves Polacheck is a masterful songwriter in her own right: tight vocal leaps, wry humor and genre-crossing instrumentation spanning country slide guitar and Arca-esque synth majesty. It's another reminder to pay attention—today's most compelling pop music is happening in its fringes.

Snoop Dogg dará una batalla de rap con DMX
Foto: Cortesía Josh Telles

Snoop Dogg

Music Rap, hip-hop and R&B

Recent years have featured the notoriously blunted rapper releasing reggae tunes as Rastafari-convert "Snoop Lion," a gospel album titled Bible of Lifeand a Dam-Funk collaboration under the moniker "Snoopzilla." In other words, he's lost no steam (or smoke) over the past few decades. He plays here behind the his new 2019 album, I Wanna Thank Me. Expect songs from it and perhaps a rendition of "The Next Episode."

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Deerhoof
Photograph: Richard Saunier

Deerhoof + Gold Dime + Sloppy Jane

Music Rock and indie

The irrepressible Deerhoof, a.k.a. the world’s premier art-pop band, hits Brooklyn to purvey its sublime mixture of the anthemic and the angular. Opening is local outfit Gold Dime, the brainchild of Andrya Ambro—a blazing drummer best known as a former member of acclaimed noise rock duo Talk Normal.

Sentimental Rave

Clubs House, disco and techno

This Parisian DJ peddles stripped down amalgamations of gabber, techno, and industrial with an ear for emotive melodies.

Looking for some tunes to pump you up?

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