Twigs, Torch Songs and a Shock of Gray
By Andy Battaglia FKA Twigs
125 E. 11th St., (212) 353-1600
FKA Twigs is a London-based R&B artist who got her start as a backup dancer in music videos (for Kylie Minogue, Jessie J and more) before asserting herself as a force of her own. At 26 years old, she is still in the early stages of the process, but her debut album "LP1," due out next week, stands poised to count as an event. The speed of it is slow, with lots of suggestive back-and-forth sway, and its sense of patience and space places FKA Twigs in a legacy of futuristic R&B going back to Aaliyah and Timbaland. Expect a set of sinuous rhythms and a store of spacey grooves.
620 Atlantic Ave., Brooklyn
John Legend pulled off a surprising kind of coup when he found the top of the pop charts with "All of Me," a remarkably spare song made up of nothing more than piano and voice. Minimalism has long been the fashion in R&B, but that usually applies to elegant beats or delicate electronic stylings. In Mr. Legend's case, however, it signals a newfound devotion to the old-fashioned mode of the heart-tugging torch song. "All of Me" has figured in the Billboard Hot 100 chart for 42 weeks, but the rest of his album "Love in the Future" fattens up, comparatively, with expansive productions that are pitched between contemporary R&B and old soul.
Prospect Park Bandshell
Prospect Park West and Ninth Street, Brooklyn
St. Vincent plays guitar like a maniacal electrician and boasts a shock of gray, frizzy hair to show for it. In her wildly unpredictable songs, elements are as likely to veer in out of nowhere as they are to follow any conventional line. In their midst, more often than not, is a guitar solo that casts the instrument as a tool still likely to startle and surprise. The 31-year-old rocker found a kindred spirit in David Byrne, with whom she made the collaborative album " Love This Giant" in 2012, but her self-titled album from this year stands as her most commanding mission statement yet. Its unique arrangements of electronic eclecticism and rock power should make for a thrilling end to the summer's Celebrate Brooklyn outdoor concert series.
Mad Decent Block Party
1904 Surf Ave., Brooklyn
Mad Decent is a record label run by Diplo, an ambassador for the madcap spirit of electronic dance music from around the globe. As a DJ and producer, he has championed "favela funk" from Brazil and digital dance hall from Jamaica, among many other sounds, and he plays down his presence with coinages like "Random White Dude Be Everywhere," the title of a new compilation of his own numerous hits. For this tour stop of the Mad Decent Block Party inside the baseball stadium for the Brooklyn Cyclones, Diplo will join other label acts for a day and night of dance music likely to be big, brash and bumptious. Among others on the bills are Flosstradamus, DJ Snake, Vic Mensa and Dillon Francis.
Le Poisson Rouge
158 Bleecker St.
The Rock*A*Teens are a cult band adored by aficionados of ragged, spirited indie rock songs. Among professed fans of the group, which toiled in Atlanta during the late 1990s and early '00s, are Will Sheff from Okkervil River and Dan Bejar from Destroyer. Mr. Sheff, in particular, has championed the cause by calling the Rock*A*Teens "the best rock 'n' roll band of the 1990s." Their sound is deliberately sloppy and raw, in line with scrappy craftsmen like the Replacements, but the songwriting digs deep below the surface of where most songs reside. The recently reunited band just played the 25th anniversary of the indie label Merge Records in North Carolina, and now comes a New York tour stop with Mr. Sheff along to lend support. The Rock*A*Teens also play on Saturday at Glasslands Gallery in Brooklyn.
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(END) Dow Jones Newswires 08-05-142350ET Copyright (c) 2014 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.