Monday, Jan. 28-Tuesday, Jan 29, Tegan & Sara, DIANA at Beacon Theater, $39.50
Tegan & Sara effortlessly spin out grabby alt-pop gold like a two-woman Canadian Brill Building. For more proof of this, check out their recent album Heartthrob. But perhaps their greatest genius is the equally effortless stage banter. These sisters like to tease each other and see who can come up with the goofiest between song patter; I once saw them go on a long tangent about one of their roadies bathroom habits that was just too crass to repeat here, but was the highlight of the night. And that was a night that included a performance of the immortal "I Hear Voices." Tegan & Sara, come for the lovelorn ballads, stay for the chit-chat.
Wednesday, Jan. 30, Buke And Gase, STATS, Aleuchatistas at Bowery Ballroom, $15
Early on, the New York duo Buke And Gase were mainly known for their custom instruments, like the baritone ukulele and guitar-bass blend that they are named for. There's worse ways to gain a reputation than really, really doing your own thing, but the nice thing about their new album General Dome is that it proves these custom instrument thing isn't just a cute gimmick. Like Deerhoof or early Animal Collective, Buke And Gase treat rock, folk and pop music like one big jenga puzzle, pulling harmonies and chord structures out at weird angles and stacking them on top of each other, gleefully hoping that it'll be awesome when it all falls apart. This is some impressive sonic surgery, so don't begrudge them some fancy tools.
Wednesday, Jan. 30-Thursday, Jan. 31, Quicksand, Cymbals Eat Guitars at Webster Hall, $30
Walter Schreifels is one indecisive man. Over the past four years, he has released a smart, stripped-down solo album, and then reunited not one but two of his beloved alt-punk bands. Now that Rival Schools is back on the back burner, Schreifels is taking NYC art core institution Quicksand out for a spin. Their sound, a mix of vice-grip tight hardcore grooves, anthemic choruses and post-My Bloody Mould guitar-fuzz has aged well, so it's perfectly fine if Schreifels has decided that all of a sudden he needs to scream "Thorn In My Side" at a room full of aging moshers.
Wednesday, Jan. 30, Freddie Gibbs, Children Of The Night, Fat Tony, Push Montana at Santos Party House, $15
This is the first installment of an ongoing Rap Party from the good people at Noisey. Kicking things off is the Indiana rapper Freddie Gibbs, who has become symptomatic of a growing trend in the rap game. The gentleman can spit. Hard. Just check out his Cold Day In Hell mix tape for proof of this. The issue is that Gibbs has released more then a dozen mixtapes, EPs or compilations in the last five years, which is a lot Freddie Gibbs to sort through. At this point, Gibbs has to buckle down and release an actual, honest to goodness album before his discography becomes to intimidating to potential fans. He's a talented man, and he needs to make it a bit easier on people. But first he has a show to do for his diehards.