Monday, March 18 at Bowery Ballroom, Tuesday, March 19 at Music Hall of Williamsburg, Savages, $15
The London band Savages had one of the best singles of last year with "Husbands," a delightfully filthy match-up of PJ Harvey come-ons, sinister Joy Division bass and The Stooges' hungry drive. Since hearing that single, lovers of post-punk at its nastiest have been waiting with bated breath to see if the band can craft a full-length that delivers on the promise of "Husbands." But while the album isn't here yet, they are playing two shows in New York this week, so you can get a sense of how things might end up. We'd tell you not to get your expectations too high, but that would just be hypocritical.
Wednesday, March 20, Low, ACME String Quartet at The Concert Hall, $30
Since the mid-90s the Minnesota band Low has patiently worked hard at slowing rock music down. They achieved a mournful, enthralling sound by working in the rock band format but stubbornly refusing to rock, instead offering enrapturing, slow-motion melodies that lingered on small moments, both spiritually and sonically. They got so good at this sound that around the time of 2005' The Great Destroyer, they even started adding actual rock moments (cathartic outbursts, loud guitar) in to the mix, and things got even better. For this particular show, Low will be joined by the ACME String Quartet. This is not a band that needs help sounding gorgeous or sweeping, as they already know their sound so well that it's perfect as it is. But going from 100 percent beautiful to 110 percent is hardly a bad thing.
Friday, March 22, P!nk, The Hives at Madison Square Garden, $53.25-$143.60
After Beyonce and Justin, P!nk is the most consistently interesting figure to remain from the teen pop boom of the late '90s. This is almost certainly because she's one of the few from that era, or pop in general, that continues to come off as an actual human being with actual thoughts and opinions and no shortage of witty comebacks. Her lyrics are as confrontational as any "serious NPR-approved songwriter," and it's clear that her music dabbles in everything from New Jack Swing to Modest Mouse because she's a huge music fan with open ears. Why else would she take The Hives on tour, knowing full well that they are a hard band to follow, if she wasn't just a fan of things things that are good? She's real in an industry that actively discourages the real, and for that she deserves massive respect.