Tuesday, April 10 and Wednesday, April 11, Pulp, Jeffrey Lewis at Radio City Music Hall, $35
Jarvis Cocker seems like the best teacher's assistant ever. He's smart and charming and he knows it, but he also knows how little that gets him, ultimately. Pulp broke up about a decade ago, but luckily no band stays broken up anymore, so the Brit-pop icons will serenade New York with their sardonic odes to class guilt and heartbreak before heading to Coachella. We've said this before and we'll say it again: people are going to lose it hard during the last minute of "Common People." Radio City might not be ready.
Wednesday, April 11-Tuesday, April 17, Kraftwerk at Museum of Modern Art, $25
These tickets sold out quicker than time can be measured, but Craigslist has passes for the totally reasonable price of $500. The uber-influential German group will be running through its entire catalog (almost) at MOMA for the next week or so, exposing the nuts and bolts of how they created the mainframe for decades worth of electronic music. But this will be no history lesson, as Kraftwerk is notorious for rebooting their classic tunes with each performance, always looking for a new angle on their hollowed classics. If this sounds more important than paying your rent for a month, we won't judge.
Wednesday, April 11, Mastodon, Opeth at Roseland Ballroom, $50
Mastodon and Opeth's latest albums (The Hunter and Heritage, respectively) have seen both of the modern metal titans ease back, a bit, on their tendencies toward complexity and conceptual trappings to focus on riff-bombs designed to get heads banging instead of chins scratched. No one would mistake either of these guys for rock-radio hit-makers, of course. But if you like face-ripping metal but have little patience for 10-minute multipart opuses or death metal vocals, these guys have thrown you a bone.
Friday, April 13, The Secret History, Summer Fiction, The Smittens at The Rock Shop, $8
Naming your band after a beloved novel is, admittedly, like waving a flag saying "we're a smart band for intellectuals!" But that's fine, because smarty-pants are going to want to know about The Secret History, as they write songs that hit you squarely in the part of your brain that wants you to spend all day listening to The Smiths and Belle & Sebastian and contemplate things. For proof of this claim, go over to their bandcamp site and check out their new single "Sergio." Perhaps you'll consider purchasing it or checking out this show, as they're trying to get together some funds to finish off their upcoming album.