We’ve got quite a week in music ahead of us, with no shortage of neuron-twisting, brain ‘sploding variety. A week in shows wouldn’t be the same without that post-punk sound that’s so very now. This time around, two (very different) bands of this persuasion are sharing a bill as well as a genre, demonstrating these constraints are as fluid as their riffs. But best of all, a legendary psych band that perhaps you took for extinct will light up the stage at one of our favorite lil’ DIY venues. Hope that’s enough flavor to get you scrolling.
Whether you’re a child of the ’80s or the aughts, your film heroes will come to life at these tributes to Ferris Bueller and Harry Potter. Get ready to don your wizard hat, mullet, or both.
Aug. 1, 2 until 8 pm at The Bell House: $8 at the door
Sorry, little muggles, this event is 21+. While there will be the requisite costumes of black robes and wands, there will also be drinks of the knock-you-off-your-broom variety (think Firewhiskey and Butterbeer). Beyond witches and wizards, expect to see magical creatures, squibs and muggles competing to win the costume contest (you may have a chance unless the lovely Fleur shows up). You can also see if you’re as smart as Hermione during trivia. Or take your turn in the sorting ceremony and try on the dusty hat. Overall, this is the perfect time to let out your inner Potterhead and practice your shoddy British accent with no shame. In keeping with Harry’s defeat of You-Know-Who through love and friendship, part of the PotterCon proceeds will go to the Harry Potter Alliance.
Gigawatts Fest is happening this weekend, which is great and all — I need my pop fix as much as the next guy. But sometimes I want to be surrounded by sounds that whinge, “I’mmmmmmm differentttttt.” If that’s you, too, get thee to these smaller shows where you’ll find acts that don’t exactly qualify as festival material, if you catch my drift.
If you had a chance to swing by Our Wicked Lady in the hours before their grand opening then maybe you found the loopy singer-songwriter Mac DeMarco throwin down dogs whilst a couple of his new tracks bumped on the boom box. Or perhaps you were stuck behind double-paned office windows, miles from anything resembling summer or fun, let alone new music. Stir not in jealousy, though, for the release of 25-year-old Rockaway resident Mac Demarco’s new “mini-LP” is just on the horizon.
“This is a chance to look at the first genocide,” said director Rajendra Ramoon Maharaj as he opened last night’s performance of “Trail of Tears” at The Nuyorican Poets Café. The emotional storm of dance, song and soliloquy casts a satirical eye on the forced relocation of Native Americans in the 1830s.
Though too often forgotten, Maharaj said, the tragedy served as a precursor to the enslavement of Africans – bruises on the face of this country that have yet to heal. He quoted a long-gone English chief: “When you acknowledge the dead, the dead stand taller.”
Here’s to hoping you took this past weekend to cram your butt, beach umbrellas, and coolers full of malt liquor onto the A train, also known as the Express Train to Beach Salvation. Lord knows nearly all of Brooklyn decided this was the way to go. I’ve got the bite marks to prove it. If you didn’t get your Rockaway kicks in along with the rest of us, chances are you’re gonna miss out big time on a weekend of epic gigs on the horizon. Trust us, this is the time to play hooky, because how else are you possibly going to realize your Best Summer Ever without skipping out on your earthly responsibilities? You’ve really dug yourself a hole, haven’t you? Here are the shows happening this week that’ll get you out of it.
Welcome back to IRL. Here’s to hoping you had a good one being equal parts proud to live in a country where you don’t have to think too hard about what went into your readily available Apple phone and palm oil snacks, and all “pshhh” about the whole affair. We’re also fingers-crossed that you didn’t go too DIY on fireworks after a failed reconnaissance mission ‘cross the Pennsylvania border (really, you gotta know a guy to get anything close to decent fireworks ’round these parts)– because fingers and toes are maybe more valuable than even the most awe-inducing homemade mortar blast or Roman candle to your unsuspecting friend’s face. In the interest of such things, maybe you didn’t get your kicks, but fear not, there are better, much safer ways to get your thrills via rock n’ roll. Take this week to scoot your butt to some shows and allow yourself to revel. Believe us, it’ll make up at least a little bit for this increasingly less-explosive holiday.
So, we dunno about you, but we certainly slept on the Death Grips shows, both of which sold out faster than you can say, “What the hell? I thought they broke up?” One’s happening at Webster Hall on July 7 and another at Brooklyn Masonic Temple on the 8th, just in case you think you have a chance of weaseling your way in. But the rest of us are just going to have to settle for a bunch of other great shows coming up, though keep in mind most of them are sandwiching the weekend. Coz it’s our Great Nation’s Birthday Celebration on Saturday, in case your sense of time is already shot from all the Jell-O shots, Cat Hair Pills, and dips in the East River after chilling at our borough’s sickest yacht club, all of which are required in heavy doses to live your best summer ever (these are actually things we’re doing, don’t sneer). Hence missing the party boat straight to Death Grips. Le sigh. You live and you learn.
It’s official now, right? We’ve entered the season of sweat. We’re all gonna smell like crap from here until depression, and shows are the perfect bacteria-breeding, lust-filled eco-chambers for housing all those fun city smells under one decrepit roof. Unless you’re so lucky as to find yourself a backyard show, or better yet a backyard show series like the one happening at Union Pool, get ready for seriously noxious fumes. But just imagine, with Summer Thunder you’ll be able to get rowdy in the heat of a summer show and be able to breathe. They don’t say Union Pool is the straight man’s cruising heaven for nothing. We’ll keep an eye out for more open-air music happenings, but until then, when heading to your neighborhood DIY dungeon, don’t forget to break out the kerchiefs, patchouli, or even a plague mask if you can swing it, you’re gonna need em.
Trans-Pecos isn’t a new establishment by any definition– the Ridgewood music venue brought to us by DIY veteran Todd P has been hosting shows in the old Silent Barn space for about a year and a half now. During that time they’ve struggled to obtain a liquor license, which, let’s face it, makes all the difference in the world when it comes to running a (legal) show space. But when we stopped by Monday night for the return of Diamond Terrifier‘s experimental and outsider music series, Practice, the place was bubbling anew not just with boozy energy thanks to a spanking new license to serve, but with a combination that might seem lost on most other venues around town: hypnotic attentiveness to mind-bending music and an experimental lineup that was magically paired with a sense of accessibility.
Northside’s over, and we trust that you made like either a baby or an old person and wore earplugs to every damn one of those million or so shows to protect your ear hairs, mockery be damned. But look who’s laughing now? Instead of having to shout “WHAT?” at absolutely everyone this week, you’ve got room for more shows. We’ll be honest though, this lineup isn’t gonna be much quieter at all. In fact, dare we say at least some of these shows we’ve selected for this week’s Good Shows, will be way, way louder than anything you saw last week. So maybe this time around get yourself some good looking ear plugs? Fashion them out of cotton balls, or perhaps bananas to save yourself some cash? Whatever you do, deal with it somehow– and hey, the Presidential campaigns are picking up speed, so you’re going to need them like what come fall– but most of all do it coz we’ve got a whole other fest for you to attend (with 30 plus bands and cheap, cheap, cheap– we promise), a night of legendary punk and indie players, and the return of one local hardcore band we haven’t seen nearly enough of.
Northside Festival is here, which means all your favorite venues are going to be filled with butt loads of people. If you’re hitting up any one of your usual spots in Brooklyn for a show this weekend– even this year’s venue newcomers like Alphaville, Aviv, and Pet Rescue are in the fest’s fold– chances are it’s going to be a Northside joint. So if you’re gonna really get out there and do the damn thing this weekend, save yourself some trubz and grip a pass. You may lament the crowds, but you can’t deny that a festival brings something like pure joy to your usual Friday or Saturday night kicks.
Based on what we’ve learned from close observers of festival culture, you’re likely to see naturally occurring people dressed in cringe-inducing headdresses and bro boats shotgunning beers. But since this is North Brooklyn and not Bro-chella, we’re guessing the headwear will be a little more culturally self-aware (e.g. an ode to 19th century farmers who had it made or something) and at least those beers will be craft. But remember, Northside may be the thing to do, but it’s not all there is.