Irving Plaza; 1/22 at 7 p.m.; 17 Irving Pl., at 15th St.; 212-777-6800
These gritty Cardiff popsters know melancholy well, but they undercut it with highly danceable beats. With Massachusetts-based noise poppers Speedy Ortiz opening, fresh off a tour with the Breeders. Their churning grunge lives in the 90s, but we're certainly not mad at it.
Glasslands Gallery; 1/23 at 8:30 p.m.; 289 Kent Ave., nr. S. 1st St.., Williamsburg, Brooklyn; 718- 599-1450
Named after a creek in Alabama near where her family has a vacation home, the confessional folk of Katie Crutchfield creates immediate intimacy, warming you up on a cold winter night.
Neutral Milk Hotel
Brooklyn Academy of Music; 1/23-1/25 at 8 p.m.; 30 Lafayette Ave., at Ashland Pl., Ft. Greene, Brooklyn; 718-636-4198
Webster Hall; 1/27 and 1/28 at 9 p.m.; 125 E. 11th St., nr. Third Ave.; 212-353-1600
Some of us don’t quite get the religiosity surrounding the nineties indie quartet led by self-styled pop-weirdo Jeff Magnum. As for the others: they’ll be out in force for the band’s longprayed-for reunion shows at Webster Hall, and they’ll be genuflecting.
The Grand Victory ; 1/24 at 7 p.m.; 245 Grand St., nr. Roebling St., Williamsburg, Brooklyn; 347-529-6610
The Dismemberment Plan has had a resurgence in popularity of late, reuniting for last year’s Uncanney Valley, their first album in a twelve years. For those who missed the reunion shows, Morrison’s moody yet enthusiastic solo repertoire should do the trick.
The Pizza Underground
Brooklyn Night Bazaar; 1/24 at 6 p.m.; 165 Banker St., at Norman Ave., Greenpoint
Did you know Home Alone star Macaulay Culkin had a pizza-themed Velvet Underground cover band? Well Home Alone star Macaulay Culkin has a pizza-themed Velvet Underground cover band. And they're playing SXSW! But first, they play a free show with The French Horn Rebellion and Rush Midnight this Friday at the Brooklyn Night Bazaar.
Madison Square Garden; 1/25 at 7:30 p.m.; 4 Penn Plz., nr. 31st St.; 212-465-6741
For better and, often, worse, Luke Bryan is the biggest thing in country music. The worse is obvious: His dopey but amiable songs are the essence of bro-country. But Bryan’s a nice enough guy, though, and he can put on an arena show.