Little Big BBQ
Saturday, June 18, 1 pm to 9 pm at Stuyvesant Cove Park. Tickets (seriously), $45 to $1,000.
Chefs are a competitive type. Believe me, I saw more than a couple of knife-throwing incidents in my brief, unsuccessful career in the service industry, and working as expo, Nicolasa La Borracha only earned respect from the cooks after they learned I could calmly take a fried egg in-hand, directly off the grill, and place it on a burger without feeling too much pain (let’s just say I’ve stuck my bare hands in some noxious chemicals over the years). So you can bet that this competition put on by Jimmy Carbone of East Village gastropub Jimmy’s No. 43 is gonna produce some amazing stuff.
The two-part cook-off, set right on the water at Stuyvesant Cove Park with a promise of live music, begins with a sides competition (that includes all-you-can-eat access to the spoils and bottomless booze for $45), and continues onward and belly-outward with a race to find the “Ribs King of NYC.” In case that’s not enough food for you, or perhaps you’re not interested in eating exclusively things that bleed, the nighttime meal will feature grill stations and veg options too. Craft beer, cider, rosé, and Prosecco will be available for tipplin’. Sorry! Sounds like there won’t be any test-tube shots.
No word on who these “live music” bands will be, but the BBQ competition includes Ash Fulk of Hill Country BBQ, Robbie Richter (formerly of Fatty ‘Cue), Jean-Paul Bourgeois and Dan Jacobellis of Blue Smoke, Jay Fox from West Village butcher shop Hudson & Charles, and the brothers behind the Gowanus-based Fletcher’s Brooklyn BBQ. More reps from East Village Meat Market and Beast of Bourbon will be on hand, and some surprise TBD guests too.
Thursday, June 23 through Saturday, June 25 at The Acheron, Pet Rescue, and The Gateway. Tickets: three-day passes, $18 and single-day passes, $6, $8, and $10 respectively. Full lineup.
To celebrate their third annual return to the sweaty confines of Brooklyn punk venus, Pizzafest has sub-dubbed their happening this year “PizzaFist.” And while you could argue with that, you probably don’t want to see the consequences of a rebellion against something called PizzaFist, so just go with it.
Don’t worry, this one will be much easier on your belly than Little Big BBQ– you’re guaranteed to be super sweaty and mildly sated, as long as you take it easy on the za. The three-day fest, put on by the independent Brooklyn label King Pizza Records, is spread out between the Acheron (Thursday, June 23, 8 pm), Pet Rescue (Friday, June 24, 7:30 pm), and The Gateway (Saturday, June 25, 3 pm), a DIY venue in Bushwick approaching its one-year anniversary. Two dozen bands from New York, the East Coast, and places like Virginia, Georgia, and Tennessee are playing, and the newfound variety proves that King Pizza are broadening their label’s output and amassing a mixed bag of sonic potpourri that smells much more interesting than a same-scented bundle of upbeat garage.
Each day is blessed with pizza from Vinnie’s, the Bedford Avenue establishment– even if you don’t immediately recognize the name, I guarantee you’ve ended at least a few drunken nights there, and have maybe passed out sobbing, face-down in one of their unreasonably cheesy slices and been sent home in a cab, none the wiser. Plus, the fest coincides with three separate King Pizza tape releases, one for each day, from Lumps (saxy party-garage from Brooklyn), Heavy Flow (a twangy coven of ethereal noisemakers out of Santa Barbara, California), and Coach n Commando (folk “Psychohillbilly” out of NYC).
More bands include Stuyedeyed (The Gateway’s de facto heavy-psych house band), record label founder Greg Hanson‘s band, The Mad Doctors (raucous, speedy garage rock), Garbage Brain (garage-punk from New Jersey), and Jacques Le Coque (heirs to Jay Reatard’s sound).