Week Ahead in New York Music: June 4 to June 10

Week Ahead in Music


Future, Pusha T at Irving Plaza, June 4, $25

At the risk of overstatement, Future is truly in a class all his own. The Atlanta rapper, tangentially affiliated with OutKast's Dungeon Family clique, has put out one of the most confoundingly brilliant albums of the year in Pluto, a stunning cadre of pop brilliance, street-level psychedelia, and astounding whip-smart dumbness. Essentially, what Future does is simple: he takes the robotic, R&B thug template established by Akon and T-Pain, and then turns the screws on the whole apparatus until things start to get zany. Pluto contains (1) a song about Scarface called "Tony Montana," where Future raps using a very poor late-period Al Pacino impression, (2) a love song, dedicated to Future, sung by Future, and perhaps most importantly (3) "Parachute," which features R. Kelly and is easily the best thing he's done in years. These are three important things about Pluto. Pusha T will be opening, and he was in The Clipse, so that's never a bad thing. -Drew Millard

Merzbow at Saint Vitus, June 4, $15

In 2000, the Masami Akita released a 50-CD box set of his work called the Merzbox that collected the decades worth of punishing noise he's made under the name Merzbow. One could say that collection merely scratched the surface, as he's made so many albums of orchestrated audio pain there's not enough room on the internet to catalog them all. The man has worked hard to find as many different shades of black and gray in his piercing assault as possible, proving that there's an art to making the sort of music that sounds like putting your ear to the speaker and then turning it all the way up until your head explodes and you die. -Michael Tedder

ESG at le poisson rouge, June 7, $25 

Dance-punk might be on its last legs — when James Murphy's LCD Soundsystem ended, the microgenre lost its premiere band and arguably its defining force — but the enduring '80s gem of ESG is forever. The bass-happy, polyrhythm-intensive Bronx outfit merged punk, disco and funk in ways that, through a charming anti-logic of their own, confounded your brain until you gave in to the beat. Also, they've been sampled by the Wu-Tang Clan. So you know they're legit. -DM

The Cult, Against Me!, The Icarus Line at Terminal 5, June 8, $29.50

No disrespect to The Cult, because those guys wrote "She Sells Sanctuary" and that song still rules (though not as prevalent on karaoke playlists as one might imagine), but Against Me! are one of the greatest bands of their time. Fearsome live, smart songwriters, tunes for days, incisive lyrics, the whole nine yards. Why do they keep doing these opening tours? They have a dedicated fanbase, they don't need to do stuff like that. In the past few years they've been here with Silversun Pickups and Dropkick Murphys, and wiped the floor with both of them. Actually, why would The Cult ask these guys to tour with them? Do they know that they're in for? Anyway, there's been a lot of attention on the Florida punks since the singer formerly known as Tom Gabel announced he's undergoing a sex change, but recent tour reviews have reported that the woman now known as Laura Jane Grace has lost not a bit of power onstage, and there are new songs like "Black Me Out" to look forward to as well. -MT

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