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.
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.
If we had to pick one emoticon to describe Kid Congo Powers’ attitude about his own three decades-long career, we’d go with the shruggy guy (i.e.¯\_(ツ)_/¯). He’s surprisingly humble and when he speaks about the past, it’s with what we imagine was the same wide-eyed amazement he had way back when The Cramps asked him to come on board. By some estimations, Kid Congo’s been a part of at least 420 bands over his three decades-long career, including legendary acts like The Cramps, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, and this writer’s personal favorite, The Gun Club, of which Powers was a founding member.
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.
Last time B+B faves Dead Stars graced us with a new song, it was via a music video in which they cruised from Williamsburg to Rockaway. Next Saturday you can make that same trip to see them do a free show at the new Riis Park Beach Bazaar. By way of road music, here’s their new single, “Calm Punk.” This one is a little less Lotion/Dino Jr. and little more Weezer. If you can’t catch them next week, the grunge revivalists will also be playing a bevy of local shows in the coming weeks.
Oh hi, did you forget SXSW was happening this week? Of course you did. It’s not like you actually would have wanted to go anyway. Austin is, like sooooo over anyway you say? Uh huh, yup. Cool your jets, kids, we’ve seen this act before. It’s OK, you’ve just got a wicked case of the FOMOs. But don’t prepare your death mask just yet– there is hope. A cure comes in the form of a bunch of great shows happening this week and beyond. Sure, some of these bands are picking up and heading south to Slackerville as soon as they wrap up their shows here, but you know what’s cool about that? You get to tell your holidaying friends in Texas (aka the jerks that freaking left you behind to wallow in loserdom) that you already saw most of the bands they’re going to see and that you’re just positive they’ll be worn out by the time they hit Austin. Then you can do that little kissy emoji or maybe even the hairflip one if you’re feeling extra, extra sassy.
Hi guys, it’s been a minute since we’ve done a Good Shows listing featuring our picks for live music happenings of the week, but here we go again. As before, we’ll try our darndest to bring you a diverse range of shows featuring lesser-known bands, great touring acts, and local mainstays. The only rule we stick to is that the music rules– no genre or scene specific constraints. However, any band that describes their music as “soaring” need not apply. Sorry, we have our limits.
I only had one real conversation with Ray Abeyta. Luckily, I captured it for everybody to see. We met at his favorite hangout, the bar-restaurant Five Leaves, so I could interview him for The Regulars. I told him I’d seen him around town for 10 years and we had friends in common. He said I looked familiar. We ordered our drinks and the conversation flowed. His badass personality blazed before me.
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Time again for Good Shows, our weekly roundup of what’s good in live music.
Bad Rabbits are a Boston-based rock/R&B outfit who’ve been around since ’07. The five-piece band serves up infectious, funky beats and driving vocal harmonies that manage to remain nimble. It’s impossible not to hop when Bad Rabbits play. Brooklyn Night Bazaar, Greenpoint, Friday, August 8 at 8 p.m., tickets free
Because the your pyrotechnic fun on this most sacred day, arguably defying the founding fathers’ true intentions, please be advised it’s probably best to toss out your mortars and Roman Candles if you’re sticking around this crock-pot of a city for the weekend. But buck up kiddies, because we’ve got an ultra-Patriotic guide for this 4th of July featuring tons of activities that are almost as exhilarating as narrowly escaping having your hand blown off by a defective firecracker.
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The Brooklyn band celebrates the release of its new album and its Williamsburg-happy new video. Opening up is Slothrust, whose loud/quiet/loud sensibilities echo the Pixies and Slint.