November offers a lot more reasons to be thankful than just Thanksgiving turkeys and the best pies. The season of summer music festivals may have passed, but there are plenty of things to do in the fall nonetheless—including a slew of must-see shows. Check out our list of exciting fall concerts, and you’ll see braving the autumnal cold is well worth it. Here's our list of our favorite music highlights for the month.
RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the best concerts in NYC
NYC concerts in November
The goth-leaning singer-songwriter offers an improbable mix of scrappy outsider folk and black metal that has garnered substantial underground acclaim despite long odds. Despite what the title might imply, Wolfe aims her sights on the folk-ier end of those inspirations with her latest album, Birth of Violence.
On her captivating Warp Records debut Ultraviolet, composer Moran conjures alien timbres from prepared piano, which she weaves into gorgeous, kaleidoscopic sonic tapestries. Introduce yourself to her ethereal sound as she performs with Montreal composer Coverdale in a stately setting: a historical Brooklyn church complete with immersive architecturally mapped A/V projections.
This Connecticut ensemble plays textured, moody emo music that reaches moving peaks of post-rock heights—a unique poignancy derived from heart-on-the-sleeve lyrics and Odyssian song structures that occasionally match the band name for length.
The only certainty about Chazwick Bundick is his penchant for change—from his initial synth-swathed chillwave output, to the full-on smooth-funk goodness of Anything in Return, to the hip-hop-inspired club beats of his side project Les Sins. Here he plays behind Outer Peace, a new album that lands somewhere between pumping house beats and woozy Drake-style R&B.
Call us nitpickers if you must, but it's hard for us to think of this heavy metal institution the same way in light of guitarist Jeff Hanneman's tragic passing and the formal sacking of drum titan Dave Lombardo in recent years. That said, this is your last chance to catch Slayer's bone-chilling warp-speed thrash, as the band touches down in support of the last leg of its farewell tour, "The Last Campaign," alongside funk-metal freaks Primus. Since even the thirteenth studio album promised to be released before the oncoming disbandment looks to be dead in the water—slain, if you will—cue up 2015's Repentless, throw up the horns, and come out to say au revoir to the dark gods of metal.
Prolific singer-songwriter (Sandy) Alex G, formerly known simply as Alex G, has built a dedicated following over the past few years through a steady output of washed-out indie odes, gently demented psych musings and, most recently, twangy roots rock. The lead track "Gretel" off new release, House of Sugar, starts off with the Philly native's vocals pitched up into a disintegrated Chipmunk-register, all set over yearning strings—indicating that the new songs are sure to be every bit as grainy and touchingly earnest as 2017's excellent Rocket.
Fifty songs written on 50 instruments celebrating 50 years of life—what more would you expect from the guy whose musical project centers on taking mundane concepts to the extreme? In what feels like the spiritual successor to the monumental 69 Love Songs, Stephin Merritt's recent 50 Song Memoir is another vast conceptual collection of charming yet cuttingly sardonic diddies. Performers behind that project join him here alongside the full original band lineup to play music from across the past thirty years in addition to new material.
What hasn’t Clarke played over the course of his four-decade career? He’s proficient in mainstream jazz, of course, but he has also taken on chamber-scaled projects of genuine delicacy and electric fusion of arena-rock proportions. He turns up here with a combo that includes young drumming prodigy Mike Mitchell, whose furious chops never fail to inspire awe.
The ambling soundscapes from this local quintet traverse the sonic plains (and perhaps, mesas and oases) of the Southwest with an ambient bent. Pedal steel guitars, harmonica and mandolin all whirl together into a wistful, dreamlike haze that feels simultaneously universal and geographically specific. Here the band celebrates the release of High Line, the followup to last year's acclaimed debut. Also on the bill is Brooklyn composer Rachika S, whose live performances feature a spellbinding installation of neon lights and video projections.
The celebrated German techno fest returns to NYC for the first time since its inaugural 2014 edition, taking over the New York Expo Center for two nights. With an impressive lineup including Peggy Gou, Ricardo Villalobos and Richie Hawtin, it’s safe to say this is going to be a big one.