The Weekend Shortlist April 4-6
Friday April 4
A night of awesome local shoegaze music, Dirty on Purpose lead off this bill along with Mahogany, who are amazing, Shooting Spires, and Sisters. Not a reference to that “Real World” guy, Pukk serves up some delicious vegetarian Thai food. With a futuristic design, plastic, and green tint everywhere, the menu offers traditional Thai from Pad Thai to Spicy Watercress Duck, only the duck, like all meat here, is made of vegetarian soy. A chill bar where you can go, have a drink, and not be bothered with loud, annoying drunks is The Magician. This place, which has no visible name, is across the street from Welcome to the Johnsons. With a southern theme, the big draw at Mason Dixon is being one of the only bars in NYC with a mechanical bull. For $10 you can ride it. Expect to be thrown off in 5 seconds, if you can stay on that long!
Friday April 4
Two shots of death and a kiss! Indiana natives Murder By Death head up this goth-rockabilly extravaganza with O’Death and Kiss Kiss. While equally known as a wine bar as it is an Italian eatery, Inoteca is one of the hipper places to eat on the L.E.S. offering a menu of small items like cheeses that are more about sharing with friends than walking away stuffed. An excellent German beer garden, Loreley offers 12 German beers on tap and a menu of German food items like potato pancakes with smoked salmon applesauce and lingonberries ($15). One of the best cupcakes in the city, Sugar Sweet Sunshine has a menu of 10 different cupcakes daily. Try the “Sassy Red Velvet,” you won’t be disappointed.
Saturday April 5
Tonight, Sci-fi gets scored as Monkeytown plays one of the sci-fi genres greatest movies, George Lucas’s THX 1138 as The Dystopians, made up of Stuart Argabright and Bones (Black Rain), and Norman Westberg (Swans and Heroine Sheiks) revise the soundtrack live. Though Relish looks like a 50s diner or an even larger version of an L train car, this restaurant offers up some gourmet treats for dinner. With influences from all over the globe, Relish features diner classics like burgers and onion rings, and step it up with the likes of Blackened Yellow Fin Tuna ($21). Williamsburg’s first beer garden, Radegast, has a beautiful all-wood interior, an enclosed outdoor backyard, and 12 German/Austrian beers on tap and more than 30 bottles. Another great bar in the area, Zebulon offers free live jazz and afrobeat. The drinks here are inexpensive, and I’ve never seen a bad show here before.
Saturday April 5
Swedish folk singer Jens Lekman, whose influences vary from hip hop to folk rock, shine through in his songs. His new album, “Night Falls Over Kortedla,” sees Jens drawing material from everywhere, while his lyrics are more fun than literate. Opening for him is fellow Swede, The Honeydrips. If you like ramen noodles and pork, then Momofuku is your spot for food. The Berkshire pork is the best I’ve had and it’s the only place I’ll eat pork period, which should tell you just how good Momofuku really is! What looks like a neighborhood bar to watch sports actually has three more rooms, where you can order food or find a quiet place to smooch! For dessert a little left of the dial, Sundaes & Cones offers eclectic flavors like wasabi and corn and many more flavors that are familiar.
Sunday April 6
One of my favorite hip hop groups of late, The Cool Kids take 80s beats and make them their own. Featured on HBOs Entourage and in a Rhapsody commercial of late, I’m sure these kids will rock S.O.B.’s along with Mickey Factz. For fans of macrobiotics, tofu, seitan and even fish, Souen is great for healthy food that won’t have you feeling like you shouldn’t have ordered that. Try the Broiled Tofu Okabe, which sees thick slices of tofu, broiled and topped with a sesame and sake paste ($11). One of the oldest bars in the city, Ear Inn offers cheap pints in a timeless environment. Walk through the doors and it’s like you’re in the early 1900s, though the occasional ringing cell phone will bring you back to reality. Possibly one of the best sandwich shops in the city, Alidoro has 40 kinds of amazing Italian sandwiches, all named.