Written by Patrick McNamara
Welcome to the first official week of summer. Make the most of it. Go see shows. Or, chill at something else. Whatever it is you were planning on doing when this season came around, well, it’s time for you to just do it, man. Carpe Diem. Seize the day. Oh, Captain, my Captain. And all that.
Please note. You gotta play while you can. Because summer’s light is already fading. Oh well. Sic Transit Gloria. Glory fades. At least we still have today. And tomorrow never really comes.
These are The Best Shows This Week. Boom. For real.
Monday - June 23rd, 2014 A.D.
Iron & Wine play The Capitol Theatre tonight (and Thursday at The Space at Westbury - if you feel like driving to Westbury - which Google tells me is a place 43 minutes from NYC or, as of this writing, an hour in current traffic). This is a funny coincidence. Because the following song has been my go-to shower jam for at least the last week. It’s fun to sing songs about death while waiting for the coconut conditioner to do its magic. And even better while also drinking a beer.
tUnE-yArDs play Webster Hall. You either really like this band or you really don’t. But mastermind Merrill Garbus is asking the important questions with her musical project. Like, “wHy dO wE dInE oN tHe tOts?” Good luck solving that riddle. But my first knee jerk reaction would be to answer, “because they are deep fried dense puffs of goodness... assuming you’re talking about tots of the tater variety... and not small children…. if you’re talking about small children then I can’t help you, Merrill.”
Field Mouse play Bowery Ballroom (opening for The Colourist). This easy breezy band has been kicking out the solid swirl pop for a few years and now their debut full-length album “Hold Still Life” is finally here. Well, almost. It comes out July 23rd on Topshelf Records. I bet it’s going to be pretty chill.
Other notable shows = Dave Chappelle at Radio City (and for many more nights but this is the last I will mention of it because I gotta save space for other people too, man) + Vacationer and Ski Lodge at Rough Trade + Weeknight at Baby’s All Right + Wyatt Cenac and Dave Hill at Littlefield
Tuesday - June 24th, 2014 A.D.
There’s a funny/interesting show at The Bell House tonight. It’s a live taping of the comedy podcast Tell All Your Friends! (the exclamation is their own - but I’m sure they deserve it.) Host Liam McEneaney welcomes a bunch of guests, including Andy Borowitz (writer: The New Yorker) + Jessi Klein (head writer: Inside Amy Schumer) + Bryan Tucker (co-head writer: Saturday Night Live - a program with which I’m not familiar) + some up-and-coming emerging alt buzzy indie hot tipping comics.
Tegan and Sara play Hammerstein Ballroom. And I sure do hope they play their smash hit song “Everything is Awesome.” Here’s something else I’m realizing. Just like Elvis (not Costello) and/or the Beatles and Arby’s and/or Hardees, you’re either a “Frozen” person or you’re a “Lego Movie” person. I won’t tell you which kind of person I am. Because why should my personal opinion matter on this thing? I’ll let the following song say all their is to say on the matter (except that all the songs in “Frozen” suck - especially the smash hit song “Let it Go” - god that song blows).
Speaking of Elvis Costello, which I kind of just was, the man once known as Declan Patrick MacManus begins his two-night run of shows at Carnegie Hall. If you go see him and he’s wearing a fedora please remember this: Elvis can rock the fedora and you can’t. Get those wacky caps outta here! This isn’t Los Angeles, guys.
Other notable shows = Neighbors at Pianos + Stagnant Pools and Phone Home at Baby’s All Right (free) + Jolie Holland at Music Hall of Williamsburg + Primus at The Capitol Theatre + People Get Ready and Saint Rich at Rough Trade
Wednesday - June 25th, 2014 A.D.
Skittishly melodic Vancouver punker rockers White Lung play Saint Vitus (and Thursday at Mercury Lounge). They will be playing songs off their new album “Deep Fantasy” that all the leading alt blobs agree is a great record. You know what? White Lung still remind me a whole lot of Pretty Girls Make Graves (it’s the guitars) and that’s more than OK.
It’s comedy + concert night at (le) poisson rouge. Veteran indiepop couple Mates of State (= still adorbs) + Wakey! Wakey! (exclamation points their own) lead the musical numbers while funny ha-ha-ha humans W. Kamau Bell + Nikki Glaser + Eliot Glazer + friends handle the giggle tickles. You’ll laugh. You’ll stand.
Lionel Richie plays Jones Beach tonight and I have sooooo many important things to say about this wonderful man. Click his name and we’ll discuss his goodness together. In the meantime, I just spent the last 20 minutes agonizing over which Lionel Richie video to post. There are just too many jams. But in the end, I gotta go back to this one…. the song with that random freakout part circa the 2:50 mark that comes blasting out of nowhere to disrupt the beauty of this power ballet... I mean, power ballad.
Other notable shows = White Magic at Union Pool + Goldroom at Rough Trade + Alice Smith at Music Hall of Williamsburg + Rival Sons at Gramercy Theatre + Schoolboy Q and pals at Central Park Summerstage
Thursday - June 26th, 2014 A.D.
Sweet ‘n hazy LA band Warpaint (Emily! Theresa! Jenny Lee!) play Prospect Park tonight for Celebrate Brooklyn! It’s FREE. And that means you don’t have to pay anybody any money to get in, man. Please note. I live pretty close to Prospect Park. So you’re free to use my bathroom if the port-o-potties (or whatever cute name like “Royal Flush” or “Gotta Go Potties” or “Drop Zone” we’re using) are too jammed up. Good rates available. I charge $1 for 1. $20 for 2. And $50+ if we’re not sure.
By the way, check out our massive Free Summer Shows List we made for you and nothing bad will ever happen to anybody ever again.
Peter Matthew Bauer plays Rough Trade. He used to be in this band called The Walkmen and I bought a car because of those guys. PM & B is solo now and he will be playing Walkmen-esque jams from his debut album “Liberation!” out now on Mexican Summer.
(And by the way. There’s no way in HELL The Walkmen aren't getting back together at some point. Bet.)
If late night dancing is how you unwind before waking up and ending your work week really tired, The Juan Maclean and Tim Sweeney of DFA do DJ sets at Verboten in Brooklyn. Go for it. Don’t worry about all those unanswered emails and pending meetings and shoddy TPS reports due tomorrow. Tomorrow will worry about itself. Carpe Diem and Seize the Day and Oh Captain, my Captain and all that.
And now ladies and gentleman! Please welcome to the stage Mr. Michael McDonald!!!!!!!!
Friday - June 27th, 2014 A.D.
Well, it just wouldn’t be a Best Shows This Week thing without a Frankie Cosmos mention, now would it? The 13 of you regular readers may now answer, “No, Whoa My Blobness. It wouldn’t.” What can I say, 13? I like me some good indiepop and Frankie Cosmos gots it in spades and everything is coming up roses and sunshine and puppy dogs and ice cream. This fine band play Shea Stadium tonight. With some other bands too. You’ll figure it out.
Heavenly Beat play Rough Trade (opening for White Hinterland). Can anyone command a smoother groove and swirl up the good pop vibrations better than these guys? I don’t know, man. When I experience the chill I’m not thinking who might be chiller out there. Although I do sometimes engage in dialogue with myself. But that’s a whole different sitch.
Crystal Stilts play Baby’s All Right. They were one of the late-aughts alts at the forefront of the “Crystal” band naming movement. You might remember this era came shortly after the “Bear” and “Black” craze, and near the “Wolf” and “Ghost” craze, but before the ‘all caps’ and ‘vowel-less’ BND NM days.
Saturday - June 28th, 2014 A.D.
Beverly play Baby’s All Right. And that is so weird because I JUST wrote about this really good band. It’s like I planned that shit or something! This show comes highly recommended if you like beach music with a little bit of bite. Also recommended if you like songs that sound good. Not suggested for humans who like stuff that sucks.
Clap Your Hands Say Yeah play Music Hall of Williamsburg. You want to hear something seriously messed up? Their famously self-released debut album is now 10. Years. Old. The same age as Whoa My Blobness! Is there any doubt that history will remember CYHSY (like when New Kids on the Block switched their name to NKOTB) as the very first breakout blog band? Who else would even be in the conversation? Voxtrot? I think not.
The Hold Steady certainly have (held steady). They play The Paramount tonight in Huntington, NY. Google tells me this town is 57 minutes from NYC but, as of this writing, 2 hours and 8 minutes in current traffic. Ouch. Wrong Island is right.
Say Anything + The Front Bottoms + The So So Glos + You Blew It! play this super alt DIY punk club called Best Buy Theater (come for the bands - stay for great prices on high definition entertainment systems and $22 compact discs). Oh and by the way, EMO IS NO LONGER A DIRTY WORD YOU GUYS!!!!!
Other notable shows = Teengirl Fantasy at 88 Palace + Psychic Twin and Future of What at Mercury Lounge + Young Magic and Doe Paoro at Rough Trade + Primus at the Stone Pony + Sam Sparro at Central Park Summerstage (free) + Bear Hands at The Surf Lodge
Sunday - June 29th, 2014 A.D.
Did you know we made a Free Summer Shows list? Oh, I mentioned this already? Oops. Well, don’t worry. It’s cool. I’ll go back and fix the double mention in post. Yep. I’m totally 100% definitely for sure going to do that. NOT! (have you seen the smash hit movie “Wayne’s World” yet?)
Speaking of free, the legendary Patti Smith plays a free show at Fort Tilden beach in Queens for Rockaway Arts Fest. Clothes not required - if the naturalistic alts of Fort Tilden have anything to say about it.
Rat Fist feature members of No Age (Randy Randall) and Pissed Jeans (drummer Sean McGuinness). They play Cake Shop tonight. If you think this band sounds like scuzzy fuzz punk - you’d be right. But only if you didn’t already press play on the song below. That would, like, totally be cheating if you did before guessing.
And oh brother I guess you can see Mother at Baby’s All Right. That’s Penn Badgley’s band. I guess. I never got into the “Gossip Girl” scene. But he was absolutely wonderful on “The Young and the Restless” as Phillip Chancellor IV. Did I spend precious moments looking up Penn Badgley’s prior work just to have something - anything - to say about this dude? You’ll never know.
Thanks for reading The Best Shows This Week again, guys. Pretty soon the regular 13 readers will snowball into 14 or 15. I just know it. But these things take time. You can’t expect 1-2 more people to read your shit overnight…. or after 16 months…. patience, steadiness, and working at a relaxed pace... that’s what makes the world go round.
Embrace the chill out there. And get into the goodness.
Forever and Ever.