The Weekend Shortlist March 21 to 23
Friday March 21
Alarm Will Sound is a 20-member band that takes modern music and reconstructs it for an orchestra. Here, the band explores music from that year of musical experimentation, 1969, performing works by The Beatles, Luciano Berio, Leonard Bernstein, and Karlheinz Stockhausen, among others. Not just a great name for a restaurant, Il Bastardo offers excellent Italian food, seafood, and steak in a large and beautifully designed space. With an interesting menu of cosmos and cocktails like the Fother Mucker, made with Zygo, a locally distilled energy vodka, Brite Bar is a gorgeously designed bar that looks like a lounge but is way more fun. One of my favorite coffee houses due to the fact that they are doing a great job of reinventing the wheel when it comes to making coffee, is Café Grumpy. Here, every cup is freshly pressed and the latte’s are thick and rich tasting.
Friday March 21
The Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin belts out her hits, while her voice is still able to make you feel it in your bones, as she performs at Radio City. Declaring yourself a chef-driven burger joint is one way to separate yourself from the competition. At Zip Burger they prove their point, offering farm-raised, organic, grass-fed meat and poultry, letting you build your own burger with plenty of gourmet toppings. The first time I went to Subway Inn I thought it was completely strange that there was a dive bar off Lexington Ave., in this neck of the woods, but somehow it works. Born in the 30s, this bar has somehow remained, and thank god, as it’s easily the cheapest place in the area for a drink. For fans of Japanese pop-culture, Kinokuniya Bookstore has a large selection of Japanese themed books, videos, CDs, magazines, comics, and stationary.
Saturday March 22
Location: Williamsburg, Brooklyn
Bands: Holy Fuck + A Place to Bury Strangers + Beat the Devil
Show time: 10:00 PM
Venue: Music Hall of Williamsburg
Food: Dumont Burger
Drink: Radegast Hall & Biergarten
Miscellaneous: Verb Cafe
Two DJs, a live drummer, and bass player make up the awesome Holy Fuck who play experimental electro-pop. Joining them are wall-of-sound making A Place to Bury Strangers and the “must see to believe” Beat he Devil. With one of the best burgers in Williamsburg, Dumont Burger offers theirs with gourmet toppings, sandwiches, salads, and their amazing mac & cheese. So you consider yourself a beer connoisseur and like to party. You can do all that and eat at Radegast. The Austrian/German menu perfectly compliments the 12 beers on tap and more than 30 German and Austrian bottles at this large beer hall. One of the oldest and best hipster hangout coffee shops, The Verb offers up excellent coffee and baked goods, a boho vibe, and big windows to watch the days pass while collecting unemployment!
Saturday March 22
Before hip hop artists were incorporating weird electronic sounds into their mostly drum and bass sound, Anti-Pop Consortium’s M. Sayyid, High Priest and Beans were already laying the groundwork. Now that they have reunited, catch their still-kickass live show. Nearby, Pakistan Tea House is a buffet style Indian restaurant where you can choose between chicken, meat, fish and vegetables. It’s affordable and very good. For drinks, check out Mocca Lounge. With a funky interior and a menu of Italian inspired fare, it’s also a bar with a large list of coffees with or without alcohol, beers, and frozen shots. Smack dab in the heart of Chinatown, the Chinatown Ice Cream Factory makes gourmet ice cream flavors like Black Sesame, Ginger, Durian, and more exotic flavors like Taro and Wasabi. Don’t worry, they have the go-to’s like Vanilla, fruits, and chocolate flavors too.
Sunday March 23
Experimental rock band Xiu Xiu stops by Williamsburg via San Francisco to play. Joining them is Thao Nguyen with the Get Down Stay Down and Brooklyn folk-singer Chris Garneau. Excellent Thai food in a huge restaurant with a giant Buddha overlooking a small pond, SEA looks like a futuristic club yet has a large menu of Thai food that’s affordable. Not just a huge bar but also a bowling alley, The Gutter, owned by the people who brought you Barcade, have created a long awaited instant classic! Whether you’re looking to check out some performance art, burlesque, or just want a beer, Galapagos art space is one of the best things happening in Williamsburg, at least till they move to DUMBO this coming Spring or early Summer.