Monday, March 25 at Madison Square Garden, Sigur Ros, Tim Hecker, $56
Sigur Ros are headlining Madison Square Garden. No, not opening for Radiohead or something, but headlining. Yeah, no matter how many times we write that out, it still blows our mind. Not that the finest avant-garde band with (mostly) nonsensical lyrics that Iceland ever gave the world isn't amazing and worthy of such honors, but how often do great bands get the huge audience they deserve simply be virtue of being unique and fearless? Not very often. But they've been a hard-touring band for more than a decade, released a few legitimate classic albums and several very good ones and have been on a ton of movie soundtracks, and you can't put that kind of work in without getting a solid fan base. That said fan base can fill Madison Square Garden is one of the wonders of living in New York in 2013 where word of mouth is sometimes louder than any radio station in the world. Anyway, Sigur Ros will be releasing a new album called Kveikur this summer and you can probably expect to hear some of it at the show, which is obviously great but it's not like you needed further proof that is going to be a special night.
Thursday, March 28-Saturday, March 30 at Beacon Theater, Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds, Sharon Van Etten, $39.50
After a few years raising a rucked with this scuzzy midlife crisis noise rock project Grinderman and 2008's Biblical hellraiser Dig, Lazarus, Dig!!!, Nick Cave is firmly back in his more contemplative, slow-burn mode on this year's Push The Sky Away. It's not as immediate a pleasure as the brasher stuff, but its a pleasure still, as no man makes life seem like noir film just by opening his mouth quite like Cave. Opening the show is Sharon Van Etten, whom we have not praised in this space in many months, which seems wrong somehow. This is as good an opportunity as any to point out that Tramp is more than a year old and has lost not a speck of power or grace.
Thursday, March 28 at Music Hall of Williamsburg, Kate Nash, Supercute!, $20
Kate Nash got her start in the U.K. as a pop singer in the Lily Allen vein, but on her new album Girl Talk she's stripped away most of the pop shine of her early career for a sound that closer to Joan Jett or a Top 40 version of Bikini Kill, with an appropriate uptick in feminist lyrical content. She's also making videos where people dress up like monsters and dance, which is also a welcome change. She's touring with Supercute!, the finest group of young ladies playing ukuleles songs about pigeons and candy in all of New York. They've very charming, show up early.