The Weekend Shortlist April 3 to 5
Thought up by a performance and media group based out of Boston, Kaiju Big Battel combines video installations, monster movie props, a crushable miniature cityscape and tournament style performances that see monsters square off against each other in a wrestling ring. Music act Bryan Scary and the Shredding Tears will perform, being the soundtrack to this awesome spectacle. There’s a lot of restaurants popping up in Greenpoint nowadays. The Japanese restaurant Wasabi has been there before many of them and serves up some of the best sushi in that hood. A good local bar, Bar Matchless is that low-key place where you can chill, get a drink and not have to scream at the top of your lungs to make conversation. He’s been called “The Soup Nazi” on Seinfeld, but Al Yeganeh knows how to make soup. Try the Lobster bisque, it’s the best I’ve ever had, and don’t forget to follow his rules or “No Soup for You!”
Friday April 3
With their sophomore album Apocalypso, The Presets blend pop with techno and house music to create some dancefloor music that sounds both retro and futuristic. Their single “If I Know You” is a fun and addictive listen that shows the originality and creativity that these guys are capable of. For eats, check out Thai Me Up Sandwich Bar, a sandwich shop offering Thai sandwiches with 7 Steamed Fried Vegetables and a choice of chicken, veggie, tofu or beef on a baguette with 3 types of sauces for $7. One of the city’s oldest bars, you can feel the history when you enter as memorabilia, since its beginnings in 1854, are all over the walls. Aside from it being a frat hangout nowadays, it’s worth the trip. You’ve seen that orange Mudd coffee truck parked on Astor Place and on various other streets, but check out their café on East 9th for coffee and a healthy, vegan, and vegetarian menu.
Location: Park Slope, Brooklyn
Event: The Ganesh Experiment: Live Music Naked Art
Show time: 8 PM
Venue: The Brooklyn Artists Gym
Food: El Viejo Yayo
Drink: Buttermilk Bar
Miscellaneous: The Chocolate Room
Inspired by the art happenings of the 60’s and the Indian God of art and music, The Ganesh Experiment features 30 visual artists, 10 musicians including Joe Tomino from Dub Trio, Hektor Fontanez from Twi the Humble Feather, and Marco Benevento from The Benevento Russo Duo, who will be improvising with each other. There will also be 3 installation artists, 1 performance artist, nude painted models, and more. Keeping the night going, try El Viejo Yayo for dinner. This gorgeous and warm Latin restaurant has an elegant dining room and an affordable menu offering Dominican/Latin cuisine. The outside of Buttermilk Bar may look non-descript, but looks are deceiving . . . just not in this case, as this low-key watering hole is where you can grab a cheap drink in a friendly atmosphere, while playing a board game or two. With a near insane menu of chocolates from coffee and tea to delectable dessert, and even beer, The Chocolate Room is a great way to end the night on a high note.
Saturday April 4
Blending rock with West African sounds, Toubab Krewe represent the best of both the East and West. Featuring mostly instrumental music, they have collaborated with vocalists like Umar Bin Hassan of The Last Poets. One of the best affordable Vietnamese restaurants in the city, Nha Trang is right near the downtown courthouse, making it a high volume place. Despite that, the food is great and the Pho (rice noodle soup) dishes are $5 and under. Named after William S. Burroughs novel, Naked Lunch is a cool and comfortable bar where local artists usually gather. No shooting up though! One of the best taqueria’s in the city, the Mexican food at La Esquina is authentic and to die for. While tacos will set you back $3, plates are in the $6 to $7.25 range.
Sunday April 5
Location: Midtown West, NYC
Bands: John Scofield & the Piety Street Band Get Tickets Here
Show time: 8 PM
Venue: B.B. King Blues Club & Grill
Food: Burger Joint
Drink: Bill’s Gay Nineties
Jazz guitarist John Scofield has been experimenting with all kinds of genres for years now, working with greats from Herbie Hancock to Medeski, Martin & Wood to Governemnt Mule and many more in between. With his new band featuring greats playing with him like John Cleary, George Porter Jr., and Ricky Fataar on his new album Piety Street, he boldly goes into gospel territory. Located in The Parker Meridian, Burger Joint serves up excellent burgers and milkshakes in its curtained off space inside the hotel. The theme at Bill’s Gay Nineties surprisingly is an ode to the speakeasies of the roaring twenties. With a second floor dedicated to the history of entertainment, it even has an autographed poster of Buffalo Bill. The history’s deep here and the drinks are stiff. If you want to get some sort of sanity back after this night, stop by Tafu for some premium Japanese teas and desserts.