Latino Punk Fest
Sunday August 7, 6 pm at Aviv: $15
Sometimes the Brooklyn punk scene can feel blehhh so predictable, and hardly underground at all. But once a year, all of that same-old-same-old disappears. Enter: the 2016 Latino Punk Fest, happening at Aviv and featuring, as you might have guessed, Latino punk bands.
You’d imagine the punk scene is very anti-establishment and anti-racist and all that, partial as punks are to radical progressiveness and all that, but you’d be dead wrong to think that the scene is fully inclusive and 100 percent welcoming to women and people of color. That goes for Latino musicians too. So many of these bands are ones that you’re probably not used to seeing play the usual DIY suspects, even if you’re a regular at punk shows, but I strongly suggest that you take full advantage of your opportunity to soak em up now, because in my experience these bands know how to shred your face off.
A handful of the participating bands are from NYC: Lakras (hardcore that’s as loud as a pack of wild dogs) and Olor a Muerte. But expect to see a slew of traveling bands, too. Alimañas out of Houston, Texas, are another wicked-sounding hardcore punk outfit whose charm is derived from their falling-apart-at-the-seams live performances and a drum kit that sounds like it was rotting at the bottom of a dumpster for the last 20 years before being rescued. My personal fav of the bunch is probably Cadenaxo, a punk band from Mexico City that makes music that can only be described as completely busted. Get em before they’re gone y’all, and while you’re at it, demand that they return.
SummerStage: Neon Indian, Airbird
Tuesday,= August 9, 7 pm to 9 pm at East River Park: free.
The City Parks Foundation’s annual summertime event series is entering its last month of festivities, meaning… well, I’m not gonna say it because I refuse to believe the situation we’re faced with at the moment, but let’s just say it starts with “sum” and ends with “ver.” If you’re anything like me and you haven’t once made it to one of these free events, now is probably the time. Flashback to close to a decade ago (!) and you’ll feel closer to death, but you’ll also likely remember Neon Indian‘s Psychic Chasms, an album that seemed like it was taking over the planet when it dropped.
The band has continued to do the Digital-Age disco thing, and whether or not you’ve kept up with them, there’s no denying their stuff is crazy danceable and capable of making a banal situation into a delightful movie montage. So we can’t think of a better show to help you beat the summer’s end blues.
Brooklyn Music Festival
Sunday August 7, 11 am to 5 pm at Governors Island: $10.
Governors Island might seem super duper far if you’ve never been, but trust– it’s really only a hop/skip away, minus the jump even. (In fact, the island comes up so fast once you depart the FiDi ship slip, I was convinced I’d fallen asleep and lucid dreamed my way there.) Since ferrying over there will cost you less than a single ride on the subway and a portion of the proceeds are going to the Center Against Domestic Violence, you can feel good about throwing $12 at this thing.
The Sunday daytime affair will spread across four separate outdoor performance spaces, where you can catch a stream of acts from Brooklyn, of course, but elsewhere too– because, as we all know, everyone’s trying their darndest to be c’est Brooklyn. Some might call the lineup at the 3rd annual Brooklyn Music Festival “random,” but I’d prefer “eclectic”– from cover bands to DJs, and house music to neo-soul.
In terms of rock acts, expect to see the hilariously-named Lez Zeppelin, a broads-only Led Zeppelin “she-incarnation”– and, yup, the guitarist plays a double-necked beast just like Jimmy Page and the singer has a screech that’s nearly equal to Robert Plant’s yippy moan. They’re so similar that back in 2007, after the tribute band played a Colorado club, the venue owner was slapped with a $40,000 fine (!). Which, depending on what you think of Led Zeppelin, is kinda funny, considering that Francis Malofiy– the attorney who’s helping Spirit (a band that was active in LA in the ’70s) sue Led Zeppelin for allegedly plagiarizing “Stairway to Heaven”– told Bloomberg: “They’re the greatest cover band of all time.” BOOSH. (Led Zeppelin was recently cleared of the charges, but that decision is now being appealed by the plaintiff).
There’s also Shinobi Ninja, a pop-rock band with a hip-hop streak, that sound like the drug-free, illegitimate love child of Sugar Ray and Limp Bizkit. Shinobi can even start to resemble 311 when they toss some reggae grooves into the mix (see: “Brooklyn to Babylon,” below). Initially, their stuff might seem like bitter medicine, but it’s best to get used to a sound like Shinobi’s as soon as you can manage, because we’re certifiably at the dawn of mid-’90s to early-aughts nostalgia (on Monday MTV launched a new channel devoted solely to some of the greatest cultural products of that era, MTV Classic— get ready for the return of Daria and quite possibly the greatest car-themed show of all time, Pimp My Ride). We’ve got a long ride ahead of us until the next cultural rewind is ushered in, so do your best to smile.
But feel free to take in the music as background noise coz there’s plenty of other things happening too. The Living Gallery, for one, has coordinated a “BYO Art” event for a free-for-all art show. Anyone can participate (one piece per person, however– some other rules apply, too), and artists can choose to sell their work and keep 100 percent of the profits, or bring their piece back home. The Bushwick gallery will also host “live painting” demonstrations and “interactive projects.” Shwick Market will also represent along with a throng of local vendors.