The Best Shows in NYC This Week! Beck + Widowspeak + Au Revoir Simone + The Black Lips + Destruction Unit + Iron Chic + lots more goodness!
Written by Patrick McNamara
Happy Birthday, America! I didn’t know what to get you this year so I got you some dynamic online digital blob content. Please read. Please stream.
And if you don’t like it, you can always return it. Just pretend you never wasted precious minutes engaging with this feature when you could have been procrastinating elsewhere. But I highly doubt you’ll regret the experience. Because with a name like Oh My Rockness it’s gotta be good!
These are The Best Shows This Week. Please enjoy them. Dedicated to stars and stripes and fireworks and fireflies. Forever and Ever. Amen.
Clear your body thetans and get ready to rage because Beck plays Hammerstein Ballroom tonight (and tomorrow at Central Park Summerstage). It’s sold out. So if you want to go and don’t have a ticket, I don’t know, maybe somebody in the Sea Org can score some for you. Please note. You might have to sign a billion year contract in exchange for them. Sounds reasonable to me!
New Orleans' Donovan Wolfington play Shea Stadium tonight. They are one of my new favorite punk party pop bands. Read some delightfully nice things I recently said about them. Then blast their 11 minute EP below. If you do both of those things I bet I’ll see you at this one. It’s going to be fun.
Counting Crows and Toad the Wet Sprocket play Central Park Summerstage. Oh, boy. Two thoughts on this one. #1 If your name is Anna and you plan on going to this show do NOT sneeze during the Counting Crows set unless you want an aging alternative dread head to fall in love with you. #2 I used to really like Toad the Wet Sprocket. They were like the mainstream alt version of alt mainstream R.E.M. But don’t tell anyone. I would die if that ever got out there.
You know there’s not much going on when Boston and Cheap Trick at Jones Beach is the lede, middle and end for Tuesday. But one must play it as it lays - even the eggs. I don’t know why I’m hating and haranguing so. Cheap Trick did produce one of the greatest pop songs of the modern era, after all. “Mommy’s alright. Daddy’s alright. They just seem a little weird.” I hear that. My Mom is great but she refuses to pick me up from the airport because people drive all “nutsy” there.
As for Boston? Well, “More Than a Feeling” was cool the first 100 times I listened to it without ever meaning to, I guess. I know…. I know... the dude is actually super smart and went to MIT and there are some really interesting chord progressions and blah blah blah. Give it a rest, Boston apologists. I’m looking at you, Uncle Ronnie and Aunt Janet.
Other notable shows = Beck at Central Park Summerstage (but I already told you that) + cricket cricket + tumbleweed blows
The sublime Au Revoir Simone play Brooklyn Bowl tonight. The popsters also play MoMA “Summer Nights” on Thursday. I can’t say you should pick one night over the other. Because that goes against all the ethics I was ever taught in advanced music blob school. But let’s just say you could do a LOT worse if you decided to go to both of those shows. One comes with super fun bowling - the other with priceless works of art that will be remembered long after any of us will. Dust in the wind, dudes.
Baked + Weed play Silent Barn tonight. I wouldn't think these two bands would have much in common with each other - other than both exuding a more positive spirit and a finely tuned sense of empathy for other people living this carousel called life. Let’s go to Mars, man.
And Ida play Mercury Lounge. This band has been rocking the pretty bore core FOREVER. Goes great with cat naps. RIYL: feeling refreshed. File Under: dreaming you were late to your final exam and getting really panicky that you weren’t going to graduate even though you’ve been out of school for years and doing just fine keeping up appearances that you actually have a career.
Atlanta’s The Black Lips play a free summer show (click that link if you want the jasmine in your mind blown again) at House of Vans tonight. Oh, what will those rascal punker rockers have in store for us this time! Keep in mind, I am definitely bringing my protective poncho. The combination of blood, spit, semen, and vomit can make for some enormously pesky stains. And I just got these dazzling white pants the day after Memorial Day!
Phoenix’s Destruction Unit play The Studio at Webster Hall. If you don’t wear earplugs to this one you’re an idiot. I say this because I care about you. This blob wants to make sure you can still hear the sweet streams in your golden years. Like this one….
Have a meal with artist Lydia Lunch. The NYC No Wave legend and true original #alt plays a Backyard BBQ at Trans-Pecos with a bunch of other peeps. Ask her about her ethos as she’s passing you the mustard. You won’t regret it.
Vince Clarke plays Music Hall of Williamsburg. He was one of the original members of Depeche Mode and still gets a little respect in Erasure. I just found out this guy lives in my neighborhood. Which was a shock to me. Because I certainly have never seen him at Connecticut Muffin - the hot spot where everybody who’s anybody goes.
Vince Clarke wrote this song. And whenever I listen to it I just want more and more of it.
Let’s stop being polite, please. And start getting real...if that’s OK with you….but no worries either way. The only show you’re going to see on the 4th of July is explosions in the sky.
Happy Birthday, America. I hope you like your dynamic online digital blob present so far! USA! USA! USA! USA!
SEE ALL OF OUR FRIDAY SHOW PICKS (if you really want to know)
All the leading alt music blobs agree. Widowspeak are a real good band. They play a FREE show today (with Zachary Cale) at Union Pool for “Summer Thunder.” I’d pay to see this one. I’m not going to. But I would. And that I don’t back down from.
Speaking of Union Pool, Long Island’s Iron Chic play there later tonight. This one isn’t free. But that’s OK. Because Iron Chic rule and recently released one of my favorite shred records of the year. I’d pay to see this one. And I will. This song rules.
Hyper melodic alt ‘n b synthpop band Hundred Waters play Glasslands. The heavens shall open and the celestial trumpets shall sound the alarm at this one. Here come the angels.
The Beach Boys play Jones Beach. “Pet Sounds” was alright. But I liked this band best when Uncle Jesse was in it. Nobody this side of Neil Peart can smash the skins like Stamos can.
(little known fact: Alanis Morissette's smash hit 1995 song “You Oughta Know” was about Cousin Joey!)
Other notable shows = Nancy Whang of LCD/Juan Maclean at Brooklyn Bowl + Brian Chase of the YYYs and a bunch of others at Knockdown Center + The Body and Thou at Palisades + St. Lucia at The Surf Lodge (that’s in Montauk tho, yo)
Hannibal Buress does a free show at Knitting Factory. He’s a funny dude. Sure. But do you want to know how many free Hannibal Buress shows at Knitting Factory I’ve listed by hand on the site over the year or so? Me neither. Because that means I would have to go back and count them all. Let’s just say it’s a LOT. And then to add to that, let’s just say 44 times. Sure. 44 free Hannibal Buress shows at Knitting Factory sounds about right. If you miss this one, don’t worry, somehow I think there will be other chances. Because life is full of them.
Other notable shows = The Leftovers on HBO
Thanks for reading, America. You’re pretty much my favorite country.
USA! USA! USA! USA! WHOA MY BLOBNESS! CLAP! CLAP! CLAP-CLAP-CLAP! DEREK JETER! CLAP! CLAP! CLAP-CLAP-CLAP!
And on and on it goes….
(those who don’t read to the end are seriously missing out)