The Weekend Shortlist July 18 to 20
Friday July 18
Part of Lincoln Center’s Midsummer Night Swing series, The Budos Band play what sound like old old-school soul from the 50s and 60s, but it’s actually original music that is heavily influenced by funk and Afrobeat. Dairy free, organic, and free-range are things that come up often on the menu at Josie’s, that include several tofu and seitan specialty dishes and the Freshly Ground Char-Grilled Brandt Natural Beef Cheeseburger ($15.75), so everyone here will walk away happy. Comfortable and dimly lit, the Candle Bar has a pool table in the back and drink specials daily. For some of the best and most interesting ice cream in the city, Emack & Bolio’s offers some eclectic flavors like Deep Purple Cow (Black Raspberry ice cream with white and dark chocolate chips and blueberries). This place takes their ice cream serious.
Friday July 18
Location: Williamsburg, Brooklyn
Band: Blktop Project + Bing Ji Ling + DJ Orb
Show time: 8:00 PM
Venue: Union Pool
Food: Wild Ginger Pan-Asian Vegan Café
Drink: Teddy’s Bar & Grill
Miscellaneous: Verb Café
When you think of a bunch of skateboarders getting together to play soul music in a band, what do you think happens? I don’t know what your answer is, but when Tommy Guerrero, Ray Barbee, Matt Rodriguez and Chuck Treece get together, they actually make pretty sweet music. Who knew! For vegetarians and those not in the mood for meat, Wild Ginger offers Pan-Asian cuisine in a relaxed earth-toned environment with a menu featuring veggies, tofu, seitan, and soy. The best thing about Teddy’s Bar is that it’s just got this great neighborhood vibe that’s warm and friendly, while also having a great menu of drinks and American bar food favorites like burgers, salads, sandwiches, and steak. A great place to get good coffee, take a seat, and watch the passing hipsters stroll by, Verb Café even has excellent sandwiches and baked goods to snack on before the show.
Saturday July 19
The Village Voice’s Siren Festival takes place at Coney Island again. Wasn’t last year supposedly the last year? Who cares! This year’s performers include Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks, Broken Social Scene, Islands, The Helio Sequence, Beach House, Ra Ra Riot, Times New Viking, Jaguar Love, The Dodos, Annuals, Film School, Parts & Labor, and more. While you may not be Kobayashi, eating a hot dog, a corn dog, or even cheese fries at Nathan’s Famous goes back several generations. Expect long lines, but it’ll be worth it! Not just a tradition but an institution on the boardwalk, Ruby’s is a great dive bar for cheap drinks and watching local drunks belt out Rat Pack songs. Even if this minor league Mets team isn’t playing a baseball game, The Brooklyn Cyclones stadium is worth the short walk over on the boardwalk to check out it’s size and beauty.
Saturday July 19
Location: Park Slope, Brooklyn
Band: Enter the Dragon with Karsh Kale + Soh Daiko
Show time: 7:30 PM FREE
Venue: Celebrate Brooklyn at the Prospect Park Bandshell
Food: Press 195
Drink: The Gate
Miscellaneous: The Chocolate Room
Blending traditional Indian music with electronic sounds, Karsh Kale brings his talent to the silver screen, well sort of, as he scores Bruce Lee’s biggest kung fu flick, Enter the Dragon, live! Opening for him is Japanese taiko drummer Soh Daiko. Taking the pressed sandwich to the gourmet level, Press 195 offers 30 kinds of hot pressed sandwiches that make this place hard to get tired of. One of the more social bars in Park Slope, The Gate is a great bar with a wide selection of local beers on tap and an outdoor patio overlooking the park. A great little dessert and coffee shop, The Chocolate Room has a menu filled with everything made with some form of chocolate. Try the hot chocolate, you won’t regret it.
Sunday July 20
While there’s several amazing free shows around town today (Santogold, Diplo, and A-trak at Summerstage and The Liars at McCarren Pool), one worth going to is Marshall Allen at Zebulon. Having backed up Sun Ra and now leading his Arkestra from the beginning, getting the chance to see a jazz legend FREE is something that don’t come around too often. For veggie lover’s, Bliss Café is an excellent place for tempeh, tofu, and vegetables, with all menu items $10 and under. Right off the L train at Bedford, Spike Hill is a really nice Irish pub with a great selection of draft beers on tap and booths in the back to sit, drink, and even order off an Irish menu of food. While several new coffee shops have popped up in Williamsburg recently, Ella Café is not just the best designed, with it’s blond wood interior but the coffee is pretty good too.