The Weekend Shortlist August 29 to 31
Friday August 29
NYC rockers, The Giraffes are notorious for two things: members with a revolving variety of mustaches and putting on great live shows with plenty of hairpulling and beer throwing. Catch this sex metal band along with the Stalkers on the high seas. For dinner, Kelley & Ping offers a taste of the food stalls from all over Asia including noodles, curries, and of course street food like pad Thai. The food is delish! Though honky-tonk doesn’t spell R-O-C-K, the Rodeo Bar offers both. With the bar itself being an old horse trailer and the bartender offering up 10 kinds of margarita’s, this place is white trash awesome! For some of the best bakery goods and hot chocolate in the city, indulge in City Bakery’s delectable morsels. Expect to pay for every delicious cent of em’ cause they ain’t cheap, but they’re worth it!
Friday August 29
If you think some bands lately are innovative because they’re using noises that aren’t typically rock-related, think again. You might then want to check out one of the greats of avant-garde jazz piano, Cecil Taylor. He practically started that trend decades ago. If French cuisine is what you’re after, Pastis, a French bistro run by Keith McNally, offers some of the best classic French food and bistro fare in the city. Usually crowded, it’s not known for its intimacy. Also not known for being quiet, Red Rock West Saloon is a biker and blue collar bar where you can throw back a beer and listen to some Southern rock. What’s a night in NYC without a great cup of coffee in a low-key café? Ninth Street Espresso offers that kind of setting and a well-chosen selection of coffees.
Saturday August 30
Looks like this is the last show at McCarren Park Pool before it becomes an actual pool. Going out with a bang, join Sonic Youth, Wolf Eyes, Times New Viking, and Vivian Girls for some serious rock action. One of the last vestige’s of real Brooklyn in this hipster neighborhood, La Locanda serves simple Italian dishes like Chicken Parmigiana and pasta, but don’t be fooled, the food here is excellent, affordable and the vibe is homey. A good place to drink and talk nearby, Enid’s has cheap beer, a friendly atmosphere, and even food. Another good place for drinks if you feel like bar-hopping, Royal Oak offers a dark and sexy vibe, where excellent DJs play old-school R&B and 80s metal all mixed up like Britney Spears!
Saturday August 30
Location: Long Island City, Queens
Bands: Warm Up 2008 with James Chance and the Contortions + Matthew Dear and Ryan Elliot + Jason Evans + Jonathan Kane’s February
Show time: 3:00 PM
Venue: P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center
Drink: Saints and Sinners
James Chance and the Contortions have been around since the No Wave scene in the early 80s blending funk, Punk, and jazz with spazz. One of my favorite bands of all time, this is the first time they will be playing in over a decade with several original members. Joining them are Matthew Dear and Ryan Elliot, Jason Evans, and Jonathan Kane’s February. Being that you’re in Queens anyways, you HAVE to take the 7 train to Sripraphai, one of New York’s top Thai restaurants. What makes it better than most is the fact that the ingredients are fresh, and instead of choosing your entree with a choice of meat, they offer a novel sized menu with pics of every dish, with most under $10. Once a heavily Irish neighborhood, Saints and Sinners is one of the best looking Irish bars left. Grab a Guinness at the bar or traditional Irish food. If you can, head over to Baruir’s in Sunnyside for one of the best cups of coffee in Queens.
Sunday August 31
This benefit for Black August, a project that celebrates hip hop, brings together an amazing lineup of some great hip hop pioneers and newer acts including EPMD, Bilal, Immortal Technique, Smif N Wessun, Das Efx, Blitz the Ambassador, DJ Scratch, DJ Marley Marl, DJ K-Salaam, DJ Evil Dee, and more. Though small, Empanada Mama packs a hefty punch with more than 40 kinds of empanadas. Choose from a wheat or corn flour shell to start as ingredients include basic rice and beans to what they have dubbed “Viagra,” a wheat flour empanada stuffed with shrimp, scallop, and crab ($3). Appropriately, at Circus, you’ll get free hot dogs, peanuts, and popcorn without the animals, screaming babies, and clowns at this Rudy’s Bar spin-off that has beer just as cheap and a neighborhood feel. If cheap beer ain’t your thing, Vintage has a wine list with over 200 wines by the glass or bottle from most of the boutique wineries in Long Island and Upstate New York.