The Weekend Shortlist May 29 to 31
Friday May 29
Back in the day when punk music wasn’t in Target or Best Buy, you had a crop of awesome bands changing the way music was made and one of those leaders was Los Angeles based band X. With punk poet Exene Cervenka on vocals the band was artier than their contemporaries and their music still holds up against the current crop of “punk” bands. 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?
Friday May 29
Folky indie rockers The Rural Alberta Advantage make gorgeous music out of Canada. La Strada make string and accordion led rock music with vocal harmonies that would make an excellent soundtrack to your 1920s dramatic French life. Joining them are Chris Mills and The Black Hollies. The theme at Press 195 is pressed comfort food. A sandwich shop with quite the menu, they offer 30 types of delicious sandwiches like the turkey and fontina cheese sandwich with a cranberry and roasted pear chutney on ciabatta ($7.75). While Union Hall looks like a cabin at a ski resort with a fireplace, stone walls, comfy couches, and inexpensive drinks, you may want to stick around rather than barhop. A low-key bar in this hood, O’Connor’s is a hole in the wall where you can grab a cheap drink and watch the game on their TV, just like your grandpa sitting next to you!
Saturday May 30
Featuring ex-members of Mr. Bungle, the Mike Patton led band that made all this weird music back before it was cool, Secret Chiefs 3 bring psychedelic surf infused world influenced music to life with hints of metal. These guys make very interesting music. Joining them are Kayo Dot a very cool band too. Their ambient psychedelic music sounds like the score to a film where some guy is on a long journey through the desert. If you’re in the zone for Mexican, Bonita is a great place. Serving the standard fare, try the mouth-watering chicken burrito and Mexican corn on the cob, wrapped in cheese with a hint of spice for that extra kick. If you’re looking to dance afterwards, Savalas has both great DJs and drink specials on top of delivering on the fun factor. Fabiane’s is a great little cafe in the heart of Williamsburg that’s great for not too late night people watching. Try one of their fantastic desserts or sip coffee and stare at the passing hipsters.
Saturday May 30
It’s Hip Hop Appreciation Week and what better way to celebrate than with two of its originators. Herc invented the breakbeat and as a DJ helped create the genres of Hip Hop and rap. As for KRS One, he’s been spitting classic rhymes since he could speak and influenced almost every MC today, making this show a must see. Joining them are NY Oil, the So Fresh Band, Espinoza, Why G, and much more. Nearby, Pakistan Tea House is a buffet style Indian restaurant where you can choose between chicken, meat, fish and vegetables. It’s affordable and very good. For drinks, check out Mocca Lounge. With a funky interior and a menu of Italian inspired fare, it’s also a bar with a large list of coffees with or without alcohol, beers, and frozen shots. Smack dab in the heart of Chinatown, the Chinatown Ice Cream Factory makes gourmet ice cream flavors like Black Sesame, Ginger, Durian, and more exotic flavors like Taro and Wasabi. Don’t worry, they have the go-to’s like Vanilla, fruits, and chocolate flavors too.
Sunday May 31
Location: Williamsburg, Brooklyn
Bands: Grizzly Bear + Here We Go Magic Get Tickets Here
Show time: 8 PM
Venue: Music Hall of Williamsburg
Food: Dumont Burger
Drink: Radegast Hall & Biergarten
Miscellaneous: Verb Cafe
Any time you can get the chance to see Grizzly Bear live, I say go see them. All the members are equally amazing musicians who make some of the best pop folk music around. Their newest album Veckatimest, which was just released this past week, is just as beautiful as anything they’ve put out already. Joining them is Here We Go Magic who write gorgeous indie pop gems well-worth the trip. With one of the best burgers in Williamsburg, Dumont Burger offers theirs with gourmet toppings, sandwiches, salads, and their amazing mac & cheese. So you consider yourself a beer connoisseur and like to party. You can do all that and eat at Radegast. The Austrian/German menu perfectly compliments the 12 beers on tap and more than 30 German and Austrian bottles at this large beer hall. One of the oldest and best hipster hangout coffee shops, The Verb offers up excellent coffee and baked goods, a boho vibe, and big windows to watch the days pass while collecting unemployment!