Written by Patrick McNamara
Look out. We’re going to do things a little different this week. Gonna mix it up. Keep it spicy. Get a little crazy.
This week is Northside Fest. Well. It’s Thursday through Sunday. And there are a whole lot of shows at a whole bunch of different venues associated with that thing. I would give you an exact number. But I’m certainly not going to sit here and count them all.
Therefore. This blob doth decree that this week we will only discuss Northside shows. We’ll pick the five (5) best shows each night (x 4) = 20 strong.
Don’t cry for Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday because they won’t be included this time. Those three days will be fine. They’re used to disappointment. When the best thing you can say about yourself is that you’re a hump day….
(...but if you want to make Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday feel a little bit better, click those big time links to see who is playing those nights too, but no worries either way ok thx bb boo boo.)
Ready? Here we go.
The 20 Best Shows at Northside 2014.
(in alphabetical and chronological order - to keep things chill)
Wednesday - June 11, 2014 A.D. (honorable mention kick-off show)
After all that. I do have to mention this one Wednesday show. Because I had the date wrong. And thought it was Thursday. But the original editorial was so dynamic I had to figure out a way of keeping it. Thus, an honorable mention kick-off show was born.
Three good bands. All on the same bill. I love when that happens. Because once I get to a place I prefer to stay there. I’ll come for the perfectly twee indiepop of Frankie Cosmos, stay engaged for pop troubadour Kevin Morby, and stick around for the folk-y eccentro-pop goodness of Porches. And then I’ll go home and think “man, i was at baby’s all right a long ass time tonight” before drifting off to a gentle sleep.
Thursday - June 12, 2014 A.D.
You may know by now that TEEN make perfectly swirling pop as they’ve been doing it for a couple years now. If you don’t know about TEEN - that’s OK. It’s never too late to get into something good. And don’t let any discouraged dude tell you otherwise. Herzog also plays this show. Whoa My Blobness has compared them to “Weezer meets Dinosaur Jr. meets Diarrhea Planet meets Hum meets…. goodness defeating despair.” Ha! Brilliant! And don’t miss Las Rosas gentle garage jingle jangle because I hate to see you cry.
(*Valarie rhymes with Beverly)
This one starts late. Come ready to dance. Don't worry if you don't know the latest steps. I've got plenty of sweet moves to spare. But you can't have Picking Coconuts From Palm Trees. That's my trademark. That move is mine.
Very few artists are as respected in today’s modern alt world as Sharon Van Etten. That’s because SVE is the best. I never thought listening to someone else’s pain could be such a blessed experience. Love. Who needs it. Damn it. We do. See her tonight at MHOW tonight. But you can also see her Friday and Saturday night at Bowery Ballroom. All of those shows are #1 in my book, I mean blob.
Some solid up-and-coming Brooklyn punks creeping on this one. The 13 regular readers of this thing know I’ve been riding the Big Ups train for awhile now. And I’m not jumping off anytime soon. Because these guys are just going too damn fast. If I leap right now I’d break my ankle at best and at worst, well, sorry Big Ups, I love your jams, I really do, but they're not worth dying for. Oh, yeah. See Weird Womb’s garage crunch and Lost Boy?’s warbled lo-fi eccentro-punk too.
(eccentro-punk is this year’s eccentro-pop which peaked in popularity circa never)
Did you know Titus Andronicus played OMR’s 2nd birthday party at The Annex (RIP - i guess) in the LES on October 30th, 2006 A.D.? It’s true. I will always love them for that. Their songs have been consistently rule-age worthy for practically 10 years too. So perhaps that also helps explain my affection. Post-snarl-punks (no idea) Eagulls also play this one. Eagulls recently completed “The Sic Tour” with Cheatahs. (right? i made that one up all by myself!) Low Fat Getting High open. They play what Whoa My Blobness calls “raw and raspy sludge boom goodness.” Ha! Brilliant!
SEE ALL OF OUR THURSDAY NORTHSIDE SHOW PICKS
Friday - June 13th, 2014 A.D.
50 Kent? Where’s that? Oh, you know it. It’s the place formerly known as Williamsburg Park formerly known as the artist formerly known as the symbol. The War on Drugs play songs off their recent easy breezy pretty close to perfect pop album “Lost in the Dream.” And I totally feel that way too sometimes. Like, what if real life IS the dream? Wonderful weirdo psych folk dudes Woods also play. As does Julianna Barwick - whose voice will make you see the face of God no big deal. Considering the chillness of the talent and the tranquility of the setting (outdoors - under the cosmos) I don’t imagine the war on drugs will be won at this one.
Is this it for #7? Yes. This is it.
What’s not to like about this show? You’ve got a melodic shredder in Marnie Stern who is never afraid to mix it up and keep it spicy and get crazy (a kindred spirit). You’ve got the glorious Cinci-naughty trash pop of Tweens. No complaints there. And you have Philly's rated-rookie future rising stars Amanda X blasting fuzzy pop punk that you’d be well within your right as a goddamn American to sing along to.
#9 Perfect Pussy + Hop Along + Frankie Cosmos at Saint Vitus Bar (co-presented by Pitchfork)
Again, this is an instance where three bands I like are all playing on the same bill at the same place. And again Frankie Cosmos is involved. This is merely a coincidence. Or is it???? Joining FC will be intense Syracuse punker rockers Perfect Pussy (you may have read about them on some of the leading alt blobs?) and Philly’s Hop Along who Whoa My Blobness described as making “punk pop that’s not pop punk.” Ha! Brilliant!
Captured Tracks is one of the leading alt labels. At least that's what the leading alt blobs first told me and my ears soon agreed. Tonight they’ve brought some of their roster to play some of their real life songs for you from a real life stage. Beach Fossils + Craft Spells + Juan Wauters + Donovan Blanc + Axxa + Abraxas will all be there.
SEE ALL OF OUR FRIDAY NORTHSIDE SHOW PICKS.
Saturday - June 14th, 2014 A.D.
Zach Condon - a.k.a. Beirut - a.k.a the worldly alt folker that single-handedly made the glockenspiel cool again for awhile there - plays 50 Kent tonight. Once again, that’s the place that used to be called Williamsburg Park. Remember that place? Sure you do. Now, I don’t exactly remember the last time Beirut played NYC but if you said 5 years I wouldn’t be surprised (and I might find out later that you were lying to me... but I’d forgive you... I ain’t mad at ya…. disappointed….. but not mad).
Baths’ beats will haunt your dreams. But they’ll be totally 100% chill about it. See Will Wiesenfeld make his easy breezy big time booms at Brooklyn Night Bazaar. You can dance to this. If you want to. If you need to borrow some sweet moves I’ll be showcasing them towards the back near the taco stand.
Thee Oh Sees Bee Free (click that if you enjoy reading outdated 6-year-old band profiles). If You RSVPEE. Pay nothing to see John Dwyer’s drug punk in McCarren Park. Or is it Marsssss, mannnnnn? The incredibly named King Gizzard and The Lizard Wizard to open. This show has fun written all over it. Tagged by an extremely optimistic graffiti artist.
Australian slacker Courtney Barnett’s songs have a free flowing spirit of chillness. She’s a poet and probably knows it, but I bet she’s cool about her talent. Fun story. Several months ago I rented a car for a week and, like the good alt that I am, immediately tuned my radio dial to the alt station as I was pulling out of the parking lot. Courtney Barnett's “Avant Gardener” was playing. And I thought, “hey. this is a pretty chill song.” And then over the course of seven days I heard the same song approximately 47 more times. I wasn’t really counting but it was pretty close to that. Now... all these months later... I think I’m finally ready to hear it one more time. Pretty sure. Yeah. Why not? Let’s do it.
You may know these Philadelphia punks from their string of worldwide smash hit #1 triple platinum albums “Big Lizard in My Backyard” (1985) and “Eat Your Paisley” (1986) and “Bucky Fellini” (1987) and “Beelzebubba” (1988) and “Metaphysical Graffiti” (1990) and “Soul Rotation” (1992) and “Not Richard, But Dick” (1993) and “Stoney’s Extra Stout (Pig)” (1995) and “The King in Yellow” (2011).
SEE ALL OF OUR SATURDAY NORTHSIDE SHOW PICKS.
Sunday - June 15th, 2014 A.D.
Exploding In Sound is one of my favorite DIY record labels. They keep the (mostly melodic punk) goodness flowing over there. Fact. The EIS party starts at 2 PM today with a bunch of up-and-coming bands. You know who will be there? Flagland + Krill + Ovlov + Baked will be there. Guess what? I didn’t even tell you half of who's playing. You’ll just have to click the link to see. Ha! If you don’t feel like running back and forth to things today and just want to set up camp somewhere - you should hang at this one for the long haul. And I should mind my own business.
Former Fiery Furnacer Eleanor Friedberger loves alliteration. She’s got to, right? She also loves writing good songs and then playing them for you. I’m pretty sure of that. See Former Fiery Furnacer Eleanor Friedberger hand you happiness at beautiful Brooklyn Bowl. Sunny fuzzy Toronto jingle-janglers Alvvays to open. Whoa My Blobness calls them “svveet.”
Another instance of three good bands all playing the same bill, and one where Frankie Cosmos isn't involved. I told you there was no conspiracy. Or was there????. If it’s good rockin’ pop that you want - you’re going to want to be at Glasslands tonight. Swearin’ is solid. Radiator Hospital is a delight. Bent Shapes is mighty fine. Their names wouldn’t be linked like that if they weren’t. They link to profiles I wrote about them recently. Not their official website or anything like that. And I hope you remember that, man.
This is the #1 Most Popular upcoming show on the entire site - according to you wonderful “My Rockness” users. You guys just really like the completely catchy glitch pop that CHVRCHES have been throwing so gently down. It also should be noted that this show is free. But you had to RSVP. So if you did - yay! for you. If you didn’t - you’re not going to be able to get in (unless you have a Northside badge). That’s OK. Go do something else. The world is big and beautiful and bright.
(The following is my favorite pop song written about half-siblings EVER.)
Because with a name like Fuck Buttons it's gotta be good!
SEE ALL OF OUR SUNDAY NORTHSIDE SHOW PICKS
Thanks for reading The Best Shows This Week...errr....I mean.....The 20 Best Shows at Northside Fest.
We mixed it up. Kept it spicy. Got a little crazy.
Enjoy the festival.
Be excellent to each other.
And party on, dudes.
(the following video i just stumbled upon concerns a baseball stadium morphing into view from slo-mo outer space....totally, man.....totally)