a guide to 2016 Thanksgiving Weekend events in NYC
Thanksgiving Weekend is upon us, giving many of us four-day weekend. For folks staying in NYC — as well as the many visitors to the city — there’s lots of things to do, including lots of great show options. There’s not much on Thanksgiving Day proper (most people are happy just to stuff themselves alongside family and friends) but there are lots of options rest of the weekend. Here are our day-by-day picks starting with Wednesday night:
WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 23
Conor Oberst, Simon Joyner @ Carnegie Hall
Conor Oberst returned last month with Ruminations, a literal solo album that’s the rawest, most bare-bones thing he’s done in at least 15 years. It’s really good, and seeing him in an environment like Carnegie Hall should suit the new songs perfectly (hopefully he’ll do some stripped-down renditions of some older songs too).
Thurston Moore & John Zorn @ Rough Trade
Rough Trade record shops have been celebrating their 40th anniversary all year long, and there have been a number of very cool-sounding shows at their UK locations. Tonight is the official NYC show, featuring downtown icons John Zorn and Thurston Moore, as well as an Ecstatic Peace-presented exhibit/archive of ’70s-era MUSICS fanzine.
The Complete Last Waltz @ Capitol Theatre
A whole bunch of cool artists, including Phosphorescent, Nels Cline, Natalie Prass and more, are coming together to celebrate the 40th anniversary of The Band’s Last Waltz tonight (just two days shy of the concert’s actual 40th anniversary).
DMX @ BB Kings
It’s been a while since DMX released a banger, but in the late ’90s and early ’00s he released tons of bangers and the nostalgia for that era is pretty high right now (thanks to X’s appearance on the Bad Boy Family reunion tour). Partying (up in here) with him on the biggest bar night of the year sounds pretty fun.
Meyhem Lauren & friends @ The Studio at Webster Hall
Some competition for DMX on Thanksgiving Eve is newer New York rapper Myehem Lauren, who frequently collaborates with Action Bronson and dropped the new album Precious Metals this year.
Chick Corea @ Blue Note
Jazz and fusion pianist Chick Corea, who was once a member of Miles Davis’ band, has a residency at Blue Note currently to celebrate his 75th birthday. Wednesday night is with vibraphonist Gary Burton; Friday through Sunday is Chick Corea’s Origin II with Ravi Coltrane, Steve Wilson, Steve Davis, Del Puerto, and Marcus Gilmore. Two shows each night.
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 24 (THANKSGIVING DAY)
Fabolous & Jadakiss @ BB Kings
The day after you see DMX at BB King’s, you can take a break from stuffing your face and head back to that same venue for more ’90s/early ’00s New York rap, Fabolous and Jadakiss. (You can eat there too, if need be.) They apparently have a collaborative release planned, and they’ve teamed up on songs a handful of times before. Maybe they will at this show, too. (They also both play a Long Island show on Sunday.)
The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade actually has some cool performers in it this year (we’ll be watching on TV).
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 25
A$AP Feg, Playboi Carti, Rob $tone @ Webster Hall
A$AP Ferg returned earlier this year with Always Strive and Prosper, which, among other things, is home to his great Future collaboration “New Level.” Ferg’s also got plenty of other great material to pull from too. Tonight should be fun.
Guster, Old 97’s @ Beacon Theater
Long-running indie band Guster are celebrating their 25th anniversary tonight at one of NYC’s swankiest rooms, and have brought along alt-country greats Old 97’s along for the ride. Old 97’s frontman Rhett Miller brings his annual Holiday Extravaganza to City Winery on Monday (11/28)
Ween @ The Capitol Theatre (Friday – Sun)
The reunited Ween have a three-night run at the Capitol Theater, and if you are any kind of fan of the band you should get yourself to at least one of those. Known for their long, jammy, joke-filled sets, Ween shows are about as close to a guaranteed good time as one can get these days. You may recall Ween instructed fans to bring food to their shows way back on their debut album, so if you have some extra stuffing or cranberry sauce you need to get rid of, here’s your chance.
Murray Hill, Dirty Martini, Angie Pontani, Brian Newman Organ Quartet @ Joe’s Pub
Have yourself A Murray Little Christmas with Mr. Showbiz and his annual Yuletide show. 7 and 9:30 shows, a true NYC tradition.
You may also just want to stay home all day eating leftovers and binge-watching the new episodes of Gilmore Girls which premiere on Netflix today.
Today is also Record Store Day Black Friday with some cool exclusive vinyl items you may want to pick up.
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 26
New York Night Train Soul Clap & Dance-Off @ Bowery Ballroom
Jonathan Toubin brings his monthly dance competition and party to Bowery Ballroom with Kid Congo Powers as Guest Selector of the evening, plus live performances from Wolfmanhattan Project, Olivia Neutron John, and PMS & the Moodswings.
Mutoid Man, Endon, Summoner @ Saint Vitus
Mutoid Man, fronted by Cave In’s Stephen Brodsky, have had a busy 2016, and this weekend marks their third stop in NYC this year, following an appearance with GWAR and a special 6/6/6 show at Saint Vitus. Mutoid Man are a fun, raucous outlet for those serious dudes to let off some serious steam.
Homeshake @ Baby’s All Right (2 Shows)
Best known as the band Mac DeMarco used to be in, Homeshake have a devoted following all their own (and a similar loose style to their old bandmate). The 8 PM show is sold out, but you can still get tickets to the 11 PM show.
Wesley Stace’s Cabinet of Wonders @ City Winery
The artist formerly known as John Wesley Harding has been doing this monthly music/comedy/readings Cabinet of Wonders series for some time now, and tonight’s edition is more stuffed than a tofurkey, with Robert Coover, Mikey Erg & Connor Ratliff, Dave Hill, Garland Jeffreys, Alec Ounsworth (Clap Your Hands Say Yeah), Ryan Miller (Guster), Lucy & Suzzy Roche, Alex Ross, Brinsley Schwarz & more.
The Straight Arrows, Squad Car, Wilful Boys @ Union Pool
Sydney, Australia’s Straight Arrows have spent the last month touring North America with Thee Oh Sees, and their brand of wound-up garage pop made for a great opener. This is their last show before heading back to the other side of the planet.
Iron Chic, Laura Stevenson, Worriers, Nude Beach, Shellshag, Outskirts, Big Eyes, Weed Hounds @ Brooklyn Night Bazaar
This show, dubbed Wild Fest BK, is a benefit for the family of Rob McAllister, the former Iron Chic guitarist who passed away earlier this year. Iron Chic are playing, as are a handful of other great local punk bands.
The Menzingers, Hemming, The Bella Vista Social Club @ Knitting Factory Brooklyn
The Menzingers are releasing a new album in February, and so far they put out two killer singles that are keeping hopes high for it. They’ll go on a lengthy tour around its release, including a big NYC show at Irving Plaza, but you can catch them in a way more intimate environment tonight. This show’s also for a good cause, benefitting the Sweet Relief Musicians Fund.
SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 28
John Waters Christmas @ City Winery
Filmmaker, author and King of Sleaze tastemaker John Waters genuinely loves Christmas, though his affections lie on the tackier side of the American holiday experience. (Silver aluminum trees and jello molds, yes please.) Sounds like fun to us.
Tredici Bacci, Kalbells, Ryan Power, Mmeadows (DJ set) @ Threes Brewing
Do you love exotic soundtrack work of Italian greats like Ennio Morricone, Goblin and Edda Dell’Orso? So do Tredici Bacci who pay homage to those out there sounds, and do it well. Tonight’s show is presented by NNA Tapes.
There are lots more options and you can browse our full NYC show calendar for all upcoming NYC-area shows. Have a great Thanksgiving Weekend.