The Weekend Shortlist August 10 to 12
Friday August 10
One of my favorite bands to make poetry cool, Cake are influenced by the likes of country music, Mariachi, rock, funk, Iranian folk music and hip-hop and all of their albums are good, which is a great reason to catch them live. Just as much fun as any show and just as big a venue, SEA is one BIG Thai restaurant. Big enough to have a pool surrounded by tables as a giant Buddha stands above it. Luckily, the food is really great. Offering traditional Pad Thai ($7) to more involved dishes like the Mummy Fish ($14). On N6th, a street full of bars and restaurants, Zablozki’s is the local bar of the bunch, with a pool table and a friendly atmosphere and 12 beers on tap. Cafe, bar, restaurant and music venue (Cameo) in the back, Lovin Cup Cafe is an all-in-one that offers up some incredible stoner food like nutella and banana on grilled sourdough ($9), making this a fave joint if you’re in the mood for comfort food with a twist.
Friday August 10
Experiemntal rock act, Fergus & Geronimo, take psychedelic pop and marry it with soul and garage rock amongst other things to make some fun and interesting music. Also joining them are Family Curse, Mannequin Pussy, Habibi (DJ set) For vegetarians and those not in the mood for meat, Wild Ginger Pan-Asian Vegan Café offers Pan-Asian cuisine in a relaxed earth-toned environment with a menu featuring veggies, tofu, seitan, and soy. The best thing about Teddy’s Bar & Grill is that it’s just got this great neighborhood vibe that’s warm and friendly, while also having a great menu of drinks and American bar food favorites like burgers, salads, sandwiches, and steak. A great place to get good coffee, take a seat, and watch the passing hipsters stroll by, Verb Café even has excellent sandwiches and baked goods to snack on before the show.
Saturday August 11
Lyle Lovett’s wry wit and omnivorous musical pallet embraces everything from country and folk to big-band swing and traditional pop, and his live performances feel “like the best kind of soul-stirring church service, full of joy, solemnity, reverence, and contemplation. (Boston Globe) Transplanted Brooklynite AOIFE O’DONOVAN, well known as the leader of the revered bluegrass band Crooked Still and an indemand collaborator with the likes of Chris Thile and Yo-Yo Ma, shakes things up with her country-folk leaning new solo project. 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 August 11
Location: Midtown West, NYC
Photo: Christer Strömholm: Les Amies de Place Blanche
Show time: See website for schedule; Through September 2, 2012
Venue: International Center of Photography
Food: Zip Burger
Drink: Subway Inn
Miscellaneous: Kinokuniya Bookstore
Christer Strömholm (1918–2002) was one of the great photographers of the 20th century, but he is little known outside of his native Sweden. The exhibition Christer Strömholm: Les Amies de Place Blanche presents his most powerful and acclaimed body of work: Les Amies de Place Blanche, a documentation of transsexual “ladies of the night” in Paris in the 1960s. 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 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.
Sunday August 12
Nova Scotia trio Kestrels delivers a dynamic blend of jangly, melodic alt rock and early 90’s effect-pedal shoegaze on their new album A Ghost History to great effect. Catch them live! Before that, a great restaurant on the same block is SEA. Asian inspired from the décor to the food, this huge and gorgeous space serves up a mostly Thai menu from massaman curries to house specialties like Red SEA Duck (Half duck in red vinaigrette-tomato gravy sauce served with stir-fried mixed veggies), SEA is inexpensive and visually impressive for Brooklyn. With an increasing amount of new bars on the block, Zablozki’s is a standout that’s cozy, mostly mahogany, and has great drinks specials. A great stop off if you’re early is Academy Records. One of the biggest vinyl shops in NYC, if you are a vinyl fan, you will be blown away.