The Weekend Shortlist September 18 to 20
Friday September 18
Long Island duo Small Black make lo-fi casio keyboard driven synth-pop. Joining them are Ramona Falls featuring Mems from Menomeno, Wildbirds & Peacedrums, and Apothacary Hymns. For dinner, The Lodge, with décor reminiscent of a log cabin and a menu coming from the same forest, serves comfort food in a warm and inviting setting. For drinks, Hope Lounge is a great stop. Exposed brick and earth tones mingle and the outdoor patio is big. The drink list is deep with beers from all over the world and tonight, expect a DJ to spin classic party jams. You may or may not have noticed The City Reliquary, a small storefront museum that shows artifacts of NYC, including a flashlight collection, but this place is definitely interesting to check out.
Friday September 18
Indie rock act Of Montreal have been experimenting wirth sound for a while now and have a new album coming out soon called False Priest that will most likely see their awesome music develop further. Joining them is fellow Georgian Janelle Monae who’s also great at taking chances with vocals over electronic dance beats. At Zip Burger they offer farm-raised, organic, and grass-fed meat and poultry, letting you build your own burger with plenty of gourmet toppings. The first time I went to Subway Inn I thought it was completely strange that there was a dive bar off Lexington Avenue, especially in this neck of the woods, but somehow it works. Born in the 30s, this bar has somehow remained, and thank god, as it’s easily the cheapest and most colorful place in the area for a drink. For fans of Japanese pop-culture, Kinokuniya Bookstore has a large selection of Japanese themed books, videos, CDs, magazines, comics, and stationary.
Saturday September 19
With influences gathered from American folk, eastern European and Balkan traditions, A Hawk and a Hacksaw whose two main members are Jeremy Barnes (former drummer for Neutral Milk Hotel and Bablicon) and violinist Heather Trost make music that takes chances. Joining them are Damon and Naomi, formerly of Galaxie 500 who have put out albums through Sup Pop and other labels together since 1992. They celebrate the release of their album The Sub Pop Years and their DVD 1001 Nights. A little known sushi joint, Koo Sushi offers affordable and fantastic fish with an impressive number of specialty rolls. For a bar that looks like any other, Blind Tiger Ale House offers an impressive number of beers including draught, bottled, cask and one called Louise’s Bloody Beer. Try it if you dare! If you’re in the mood for some comfort food, Peanut Butter & Co., offers some PB heavy hitters like the Elvis, a PB, banana, and bacon sandwich that tastes better than it sounds.
Saturday September 19
Shakespeare’s tragic play Othello gets a redo with John Ortiz and Philip Seymour Hoffman playing Othello and Iago. For dinner, check out Tortilla Flats. The food is Mexican and delicious, but it’s the insanity within (bingo and hula-hoop nights) that is the real calling for this place. For drinks afterwards, hit the White Horse Tavern , a great bar and the old haunting grounds for Dylan Thomas. If you somehow have time before all of this, stop by Magnolia Bakery for some of the best tasting cupcakes in the city.
Sunday September 20
New Brunswick, New Jersey natives Thursday are post hardcore and screamo pioneers with five albums under their belt. Their newest album Common Existence on Epitaph blends their past with electronic elements that really take their hardcore roots to a more melodic destination. Joining them are Fall of Troy, Young Widows, Moving Mountains, and Kiss Kiss. For dinner, The Stanton Social has earned a reputation for being a beautifully designed restaurant/lounge while serving up some delicious multi-ethnic cuisine. For drinks, a favorite of mine is The Magician, this bar’s chill atmosphere just may be the cure for a well-earned night of rocking. A great way to end the night? Stop by The Pink Pony. This boho café has been serving French food and coffee since the 80s and has a relaxing vibe. It’s as punk as that neighborhood gets nowadays.