The Weekend Shortlist May 23 to 25
Friday May 23
What better way to celebrate the 67th birthday of one of folk music’s icons, than with New York’s local heavyweights of the music scene today? Those paying tribute include Adam Green, The Pierces, The Hymns, Tracy Bonham, Nikolai Fraiture, and more. Part restaurant and part club, China 1 serves up more upscale Chinese food than you’re used to. With décor that’s more dungeon lounge than China, this is a fun place to hang. With an MP3 jukebox that has 3000 albums to choose from, nicknamed “El DJ,” Hi Fi is a rock lover’s wet dream. With daily drink specials, this place is cheap, and that’s a rare thing in NYC these days. If you’re still in the mood to party after this early reading, hit up Second on Second for some karaoke, where you can sing till your throat is sore!
Friday May 23
Despite cancelled tour dates and rumors of Eddie Van Halen in-and-out of rehab, the reunion everyone’s been waiting for is on for tonight at least, with the original Van Halen lineup playing minus original member, bassist Michael Anthony, which is another story. For a kickass burger or chicken sandwich, Island Burgers and Shakes specializes in making great burgers like the Bourbon Street Burger that’s blackened, with bacon, Jack, bayou mayo, and onion on sourdough. One inexpensive bar in midtown, Smith’s is a dive with cheap booze, friendly locals, and live music daily in the next room. Though the place is way expensive, Colony Music is a fun music store that sells albums and sheet music. You can walk around and check out the entertainment memorabilia. Whether you’re looking for an autographed guitar signed by the Rolling Stones or an autographed 8×10 of Linda Carter, they’ve got it.
Saturday May 24
With their new album out Arm’s Way, The Islands, a Montreal based indie rock band with former members of The Unicorns, are fantastic live and their songs have plenty of hip hop and calypso influences among other genres, yet the new album is still more down to earth than their previous effort yet just as good. 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.
Saturday May 24
Home to such artists as Jeffrey Lewis and Schwervon!, Olive Juice is a label that many of the anti-folk scenes quirky artists call home. Cake Shop plays host to this all-day festival. Pukk serves up some delicious vegetarian Thai food. With a futuristic design, plastic, and green tint everywhere, the menu offers traditional Pad Thai to Spicy Watercress Duck, only the duck, like all meat here, is made of vegetarian soy. A chill bar where you can 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 two 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!
Sunday May 25
For those that don’t know of Sun Ra, he put the cool in avant-garde jazz and made sense of the ununiformed honks and beeps that free jazz was stuck in. Longtime original Arkestra member Marshall Allen leads this amazing group, showing audiences why some jazz is still great. A little known sushi joint, Koo Sushi offers affordable and fantastic fish with an impressive number of specialty rolls. For a bar that looks like any other, Blind Tiger Ale House offers an impressive number of beers including draught, bottled, cask and one called Louise’s Bloody Beer. Try it if you dare! If you’re in the mood for some comfort food, Peanut Butter & Co., offers some PB heavy hitters like the Elvis, a PB, banana, and bacon sandwich that tastes better than it sounds.