The Weekend Shortlist March 6 to 8
Friday March 6
With a new album coming out called Face Control on March 10, Montreal’s Handsome Furs are gunning to make 2009 their year. With electronic beats on top of great vocals and songs, that goal should be more than attainable. Joining them are Iran featuring Kyp Malone from TV on the Radio and The Hundred in the Hands. San Loco serves inexpensive Mexican food. You can get a heaping amount of nachos under $4, and telling by the heavy traffic, the place is doing just fine. What I like about Max Fish is that it’s a local bar for local artists. It’s walls play host monthly for art exhibitions, there’s a pool table in the back, and drinks aren’t pricey, like many new bars springing up in this neighborhood. For one of the best cupcakes in the city, Sugar Sweet Sunshine has 10 varieties, on top of cakes. Try the Sexy Red Velvet or the Bob, a yellow cupcake with chocolate almond buttercream.
Friday March 6
Blending Latin rhythms, disco, and electronic sounds, Los Amigos Invisibles were signed by David Byrne’s label Luaka Bop back in 1998. Amazing live, this Venezuelan act brings a heavy dose of funk. At Sammy’s Roumanian Steakhouse, expect an atmosphere involving some sort of scene, dancing, and plenty of vodka. The eastern European menu comes down to steaks and chops, and Jewish delicacies like Kasha Varniskes and Kreplach. One of the hipper bars in Nolita, Sweet & Vicious has an all-wood interior featuring big round circular fixtures with lights that make Johnny Cash’s “Ring of Fire” come to mind, and the prices won’t burn a hole in your wallet! Want a $12 martini that’s worth more? Pravda has an extensive selection of Russian vodkas, and who knows vodka better than the Russians?
Saturday March 5
Featuring two small New York underground orchestra’s who’s musicians will be sitting in on each other’s sets, the night features Hazmat Modine, an eight-piece band offering up Romanian brass and vintage blues, while Steven Bernstein’s Millenial Territory Orchestra, a nine-piece orchestra fronted by trumpeter, composer, and arranger Steven Bernstein, along with some great improvisers makes some great American music. One of the six Italian eateries of celebrity chef Mario Battali, Babbo takes Italian American cooking to another level. While the food can be expensive and reservations would be the best way to get a table, this place is highly regarded among food connoisseurs. Disguised as a lounge The Dove is really a neighborhood bar dressed up in red, white, and gold décor with a nice selection of beers on tap and a very good mixed drink menu featuring delicious martini’s. One of my favorite coffee houses, Café Reggio has the most literate and West Village atmosphere I have been to. A real slice of New York, it was also in the movie Superfly. Go there or be square!
Saturday March 5
Sex metal band The Giraffes take the stage and blow your minds at Union Pool where they will also be debuting a video for the song “Prime Motivator” off their new album of the same name. Joining them are I’m in You, and Moon Rabbits. If you’re hungry, head to Chimu. This Peruvian steakhouse has some of the most delicious food this side of Peru! Standout dishes include the ceviches and the chicken breast served in a creamy aji Amarillo sauce and peanuts, served over boiled potatoes with rice. Sweet Ups is a bar with décor that makes you feel like you’re in some romance novel. Red velvet wallpaper and black leather couches set the scene here, while happy hour buy-one-get-one free drink specials run from 5:30-8. Still hungry and thirsty? Head to the Alligator Lounge, where you get a free pizza with every drink. If that isn’t heaven, then I don’t know what is!
Sunday March 6
Listening to Bettye LaVette wail on a mic is only half the joy of this soul music legend. Live she’s a sight to behold and has so much energy and love for the crowd that she’s an addictive force that makes dancing a necessity. 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!