The Best Shows in NYC This Week: The Vaccines + Speedy Ortiz + Against Me! + Widowspeak + Aziz Ansari + Joy Formidable + Ghostface Killah + GZA + Eddie Izzard + The Antlers + Swervedriver + Bass Drum of Death + Ricky Eat Acid + Old Man Gloom + more!
Written by Patrick McNamara
Heard this timely song today.
September morn. Like, morning...but also mourning, man. You see the old double dose of meaning Neil's slinging? Two important points. 1). This song gives me the howling fantods whenever I hear it why the fuck did I decide to go to Bed Bath & Beyond to buy a new shower curtain at that exact time and 2). I simply disagree with ND's grandiose display of seasonal melancholy on this somehow still inescapable song.
This is hardly the time to get sad about everything we've lost this summer because September is the best month of the entire year. It's true. And we've still got some time before everything turns to shit for seemingly the rest of our lives.
Since we're wasting time together anyway like old friends sometimes do, here's a good story. My dad works security at concerts in his post-retirement days at places like the United Center in Chicago and he recently did a Neil Diamond show where Neil (being Neil) said to the crowd of aging Aunt Janets something along the lines of "I love you. I'd go out there and kiss all of you but I'd be torn to shreds."
Hahahaha. Oh, Neil.
(for another good story my dad tells about The Beatles read this whopper)
Anyway, enough about Neil Diamond he has nothing to do with anything who even brought him up. Let's now talk about the good shows happening this first week of September if you still feel up to it, but if you want to cut this short and go procrastinate on some other blob instead that's totally cool by me. All chill. Either way.
MONDAY - AUGUST 31, 2015 A.D.
Speedy Ortiz is a good band and are worth a helluva lot more than 5 bucks. However, that's all you have to pay to see them at Saint Vitus tonight. Here's the thing, though. It's sold-out. Because who wouldn't want to pay 5 bucks to see Speedy Ortiz at Saint Vitus? It's all one big circle, man.
Funny as fuck comedian Eddie Izzard shreds a set at The Capitol Theatre. Please enjoy watching his classic "yes and no" bit below. In less than one minute your day could turn around and start heading to wherever you want it to be. I'm serious (obviously, I'm not serious). But seriously, though (no but really I'm joking). Seriously. I have no idea. It's true. But obviously not true. No clue.
Other notable shows = Wyatt Cenac and friends at Littlefield
Tuesday - September 1, 2015 A.D.
London's The Vaccines play two shows at Rough Trade tonight and they've been a good jingle jangle band for a pretty long time (see formula: 5 band years = 35 human years) but not long enough for me to not misspell Vaccines every time I talk about them. I can never remember if it's one c and two n's or vice versa and it's the vice versa of whatever i choose that always seems to be correct. Anyway, two Vaccines shows at Rough Trade today. Yay!
The Studio at Webster Hall is part of something called "Summer's End Music Fest" and I'm not going to get sad about it. Summer had its time but now September has the floor. I talked about this a great deal in the intro. Remember? Neil Diamond? September Morn? That's OK. It doesn't matter. Ricky Eat Acid + Ed Schrader's Music Beat lead a pretty dope lineup featuring your next favorite lo-fi heroes and future all-star bands of tomorrow. See ya, summer. You had a good run. Once again, I'm not sad.
Washer and Downies are two punk bands playing Silent Barn who both happen to be good. So they should have a lot to chat about in between their respective sets. Vagabon and Slight also play but I haven't listened to them yet but I will. Tell me not my faults for I already know them.
WEDNESDAY - SEPTEMBER 2, 2015 A.D.
Pill has great sax. Along with the guitar and bass and drums and stuff, the skittish punks will show Elvis Guesthouse* how well they can blow tonight so don't miss it. Especially if you like watching great sax. RIP, Oliver Sacks.
*this spot is where Elvis disguised as an old man sometimes hangs with Tupac who's disguised like his grandma... it's totally true… I read it on a screen
What Moon Things play Shea Stadium and way back on November 18, 2014 I said (and I quote... myself), "They make romantically tragic post-something ramshackle punk that flies and dives and swoops and steers and just might drop down into the distorted crevice of your indie rock loving heart." God that's great. How the hell I got a C+ for that I will never fucking understand.
Also, this band The Love Supreme play Brooklyn Bowl and I don't know who that is but it gives me an excuse to post A Love Supreme because it's sort of related and it's a really slow Wednesday night and man could that Coltrane cat blow.
Other notable shows = Nothing (not the band Nothing just like the space in between something)
THURSDAY - SEPTEMBER 3, 2015 A.D.
There's another free (w/ RSVP) House of Vans show tonight and if it's not the last one of these this summer (not sad) it's pretty damn well close. Wikipedia had no idea. This one's got Ghostface Killah + GZA + Joey Bada$ and conveniently posted below (by me) is the best scene from 2003's Coffee & Cigarettes.
"And you're Bill Murray. Groundhog Day Ghost Bustin' Ass Bill Murray."
The excellent Widowspeak celebrate the release of their excellent new album on a boat tonight. Not a little tiny one that Mac DeMarco plays his songs in or anything like that (when he's not eating popcorn and playing Jenga with Shamir). I'm talking like a cruise, man. God, September rules. Speaking of good black and white movies….
"When they asked Greta Garbo why she chose to live in New York City she said that New York was the only place where she could be alone."
But I'm distracting you from peeping this new Widowspeak song which is much more important for our purposes here today than reflecting on how good that 17-year-old documentary The Cruise was.
Germans play early (7 PM) at Pianos. Remember this big time Germans jam because I SURE DO. #bigtimejam
(If 7 PM is a tad too early for you to make this one because you'll be coming directly from work and you work like a dog because management is insane I have some good news. In all my years in the music blobbing game I don't think I've ever been to a show at Pianos that actually started on time.)
FRIDAY - SEPTEMBER 4, 2015 A.D.
The second to last of the free shows at The Surf Lodge happens today with Joy Formidable. I have lived in NYC 15 years and still have never been to Montauk. Maybe today's finally the day I change all that, but nah…. probably not. I got me no wheels, son. For graduation I asked for a car and got a computer instead.
Against Me! play tonight and it's only $3 due to one of those Red Bull Sound Select jobs. But hang on to your pants because a.) it's at the Stone Pony and that's in New Jersey which many of you might deem "too far" even though cheap and easy mass transportation is a thing that's already been invented and b.) the RSVP list might already be closed I'm not sure you'll have to see for yourself because I'm not going to sign up for an account just find out for you.
SATURDAY - SEPTEMBER 5, 2015 A.D.
The great Swervedriver play tonight. The first time I ever saw this band was in 1993 when they opened for Smashing Pumpkins. Here's that really good story. But if you prefer not to laugh at my past I highly suggest you instead use the time to get yourself ready to go to Bowery Ballroom and you can start by cleaning your shoes since everyone will be staring at them during this one.
The Antlers play Bearsville Theater in Woodstock, NY. Have I ever been to Woodstock? I have not. But the name sounds familiar. Please note: this show is also featured on the Summer Getaway Guides we made for you. Please note #2: there's not that many shows to getaway to because summer is almost over. I'm totally not sad. The world is dew, is made of dew, and yet….and yet...
Speaking of that, the last MoMA Summer Warm Up happens today. Alright, now I'm getting a little sad. "All Nature seems at work; slugs leave their lair, The bees are stirring; birds are on the wing, And winter, slumbering in the open air, Wears on his smiling face a dream of spring; And I, the while, the sole unbusy thing, Nor honey make, nor pair, nor build, nor sing." - Samuel Taylor Coleride (but it was also in Groundhog Day featuring Ghost Bustin' Ass Bill Murray)
SUNDAY - SEPTEMBER 6, 2015 A.D.
Tee Pee Records presents "Cosmic Sonic Rendezvous" at The Wick tonight and bands like Witch and The Bevis Frond our playing. You bring enough sweetness to share and I'll bring my airtight scientific opinions about the illusion of both space and time that will blow your fucking mind, man.
Bass Drum of Death play Baby's All Right. In the meantime, go ahead and rip this.
SUMMER IS OVER SUMMER IS OVER SUMMER IS OVER SUMMER IS OVER SUMMER IS OVER SUMMER IS OVER SUMMER IS OVER SUMMER IS OVER SUMMER IS OVER SUMMER IS OVER SUMMER IS OVER SUMMER IS OVER SUMMER IS OVER SUMMER IS OVER SUMMER IS OVER SUMMER IS OVER
Other notable shows = _________ at ______________ + ___________ at _________ + the mighty return of __________ (!) at ___________ HOLY __________!
But back to Neil Diamond. I never got into him. How about you?
What's your take on it? What can't I hear? Why do you love him so much you would tear him to shreds?
"The world is dew
is made of dew