NYC Best: Dave Matthews, Rap Sex, Sinister Pop, Big Tree

Dave Matthews
Dave Matthews. The Dave Matthews Band starts its winter tour at the Izod Center in New Jersey on Friday night. Photographer: Fabrice Coffrini/Getty Images

There’s a head in a leather mask, Weegee’s lurid crime scenes and a bone oozing marrow in a plexiglass reliquary.

Warhol’s race riots and electric chair are here as well.

They’re all part of “Sinister Pop,” a new show at the Whitney that reveals the darker preoccupations of the period.

Don’t miss the amusing “Dark and Deadpan: Pop in TV and the Movies” just next door.

Runs through March 31 at the Whitney Museum of American Art, 945 Madison Ave. Information: +1-212-570-3600;

Saturday Matinee

What better way to usher in the holiday season than George Balanchine’s “The Nutcracker” with the New York City Ballet?

Fierce fighting mice, dazzling snowflakes and marzipan shepherdesses sweep across the stage, as Marie has sweet dreams with her Prince.

The Christmas tree magically grows from 12 to 40 feet and eight polichinelles emerge from under Mother Ginger’s capacious skirt -- all to the shimmering glory of Tchaikovsky’s music.

Runs through Dec. 30 at the David H. Koch Theater, Lincoln Center. Information: +1-212-496-0600;

Saturday Night

Dave Matthews Band is at the Izod Center as they gear up for their winter tour.

Expect to hear sophisticated jam rock from their new album “Away From the World,” including “Belly Belly Nice,” “The Riff,” and “Mercy.”

Reggae legend Jimmy Cliff opens.

At Izod Center, East Rutherford, New Jersey. Information: +1-201-935-8500;

Looking for love? Sex? Let science help you.

In his new off-Broadway show, “Ingenious Nature,” rapper Baba Brinkman puts evolutionary psychology to a practical test with women he’s found on a dating site.

Well, maybe ovulation studies are not the best first date ice-breakers.

Runs through Jan. 6 at Soho Playhouse, 15 Vandam St. Information: +1-212-691-1555;

Then head over to Aquagrill for a Manhattan and some saffrony bouillabaisse.

At 210 Spring St. Information: +1-212-274-0505.

Alternatively, hear Barber’s Violin Concerto played by the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra and Anne Akiko Meyers, who’s bringing her newly acquired 1741 “ex-Vieuxtemps” Guarneri de Gesu -- on lifetime loan from a generous sponsor.

The violin has not been played in public in decades, so now’s your chance.

Also on the program: Prokofiev’s Symphony No. 1 and Mozart’s Jupiter.

At Carnegie Hall, 57th St. and 7th Ave. Information: +1-212-247-7800;

Sunday Matinee

Listen to Yefim Bronfman and the splendid Metropolitan Opera Orchestra perform Beethoven’s “Emperor Concerto.”

The composer wrote the heroic piece sheltering in his brother’s basement as Napoleon shelled Vienna.

Also on the program, Sofia Gubaidulina’s “In tempus praesens,” featuring the Met’s principal violinist David Chan, and Stravinsky’s “The Firebird.”

At Carnegie Hall, 57th St. and 7th Ave. Information: +1-212-247-7800;

Sunday Evening

Be touched with grace as you listen to a Chanticleer Christmas at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

The a capella group sings “In dulci jubilo,” “Lo, How a Rose E’er Blooming” and other favorites in front of the Christmas tree aglow with candles, cherubs and silk-arrayed angels.

The Neapolitan Nativity below has shepherds, flocks, the three Magi, as well as townspeople and peasants drinking wine and flirting.

Animals galore -- sheep, horses, goats, plus a camel and an elephant -- enliven the eighteenth-century scene.

Performances at 6:30 and 8:30 p.m. at the Met, 1000 Fifth Ave. Information: +1-212-570-3949;

Make reservations for a special dinner in the Met’s Petrie Court Cafe and Wine Bar before the 8:30 performance. Information: +1-212-570-3986.

(Zinta Lundborg is an editor for Muse, the arts and leisure section of Bloomberg News. The opinions expressed are her own.)

Muse highlights include Lewis Lapham’s podcast and Greg Evans on film.

Before it's here, it's on the Bloomberg Terminal. LEARN MORE