Nonstop Sound
The music of New York

Week Ahead in New York Music: August 6 to 12

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    Kele Okereke of Bloc Party

    Old Crow Medicine Show at Central Park Summerstage, August 6, $35
    Named after the delightfully inexpensive whiskey, Old Crow Medicine show were one of the greater surprises of mid-2000s country music. A old-time string band who sang about drinking and wagons and stuff (their biggest hit "Wagon Wheel" was actually co-written by Bob Dylan), they rose to prominence despite their pre-rock stylings. It's for good reason though -- "Wagon Wheel" as a single is unassailable in 1944 or 2004, and live, they approach their material with the energy of a punk band. String bands are sort of dead, but Old Crow Medicine Show will never die.

    Bloc Party, The Drums, Them Jeans at Terminal 5, August 7-August 9, $35
    It may be hard to remember it now, but when Bloc Party arrived via the stiffly slashing riffs of "Banquet," they already seemed a bit late to the early-Aught post-punk party. Indie rock had fallen back in love with the rigid grooves of Joy Division, Chic and Gang Of Four a few years prior, with The Rapture and James Murphy grabbing early acclaim for reigniting the dance floor and Franz Ferdinand scoring an actual radio hit before Kele And Co. arrived in 2005. But the group made a name for themselves, and remain relevant even after a recently ended four-year break, by pushing themselves harder than they had to. Kele Okereke was a socially conscious, emotionally vulnerable lyricist in a time when that wasn't cool at all, and Matt Tong was a more inventive drummer than was strictly required, and the band was never worried about following their vision in to heady, experimental realms. Of course, all that "bravely pushing yourself" can wear a body out, but after a few years of rest and side projects, Bloc Party are back with a new album (Four) and a three-night stand at Terminal 5. Expect these serial overachievers to make sure everyone remembers why they missed them. -Michael Tedder

    Ghostface Killah, Sheek Louch at Highline Ballroom, August 8, $29.50
    Ghostface! We've been catching the blast of his Wu-Tang style for years, and it's unlikely that anyone will ever tire of it. The perhaps most glorious member of the already-glorious Wu-Tang Clan has taken it upon himself to release tracks with various members of the New York hip-hop mainstays The LOX (check 'em on "It's All About The Benjamins" if you need a refresher course.) The LOX consists of Styles P, Jadakiss and Sheek Louch, who's sharing the bill with Ghost. If you're not familiar with the excellent Wu-Block project, it's some of the premier true-school collaborations of the year and this should be one of the tours the old heads can appreciate just as much as the young. -Drew Millard
    Wild Nothings, Grimes, DIIV at Hudson River Park, August 9, Free
    Wild Nothings have their woozy, serene charms, but I think we all know you should show up to this one for the openers. Grimes and DIIV perform a similar trick in different ways. The first takes abstract bits of pure, uncut shimmering sound, and then chops it up into blippy dance-pop anthems for sad laptops. DIIV takes that same shimmer and gooses it with a classic indie rock drive. It's disorienting beauty with a burning need to connect underneath the waves. -MT