The Weekend Shortlist December 5 to 7


Mercury Rev

Friday December 5

Location: Fort Greene, Brooklyn
Bands: Red Hot + Rio 2: The Next Generation of Samba Soul
Show time: 8 PM
Venue: BAM
Food: Junior’s
Drink: O’Connor’s
Miscellaneous: Thomas Beisl

For fans of world music and the sounds of Brazil, then Red Hot + Rio 2 is for you. Featuring the next generation of samba-soul influenced artists, performers include CéU, Curumin, Bebel Gilberto, José González, Otto, João Parahyba (from Trio Mocoto) with a backing band of Kassin +2, Moreno, Domenico, Money Mark, Janja Gomes, Jorge Continentino, Carlos Darci, Zé Luis. Known more for its cheesecake than anything else on its menu, Junior’s also offers fantastic diner and deli style eats from steak burgers to deli sandwiches. If you can make it through dinner, the cheesecake will be worth the wait! One of Brooklyn’s most interesting dive bars, O’Connor’s offers cheap drinks in a place where Park Slope hipsters meet old-time drinkers, making for one of the oddest pairings that works. An excellent place to get schnitzel and goulash and other Austrian delights, Thomas Beisl is right across the street from BAM.

Friday December 5

Location: Park Slope, Brooklyn
Bands: The Squirrel Nut Zippers
Show time: 9 PM
Venue: Southpaw
Food: Los Pollitos II
Drink: Pacific Standard
Miscellaneous: Gorilla Coffee

Remember Squirrel Nut Zippers hit song from 1996 called “Hell”? Well the band, who recently got back together after taking some years off, are on the road again blending 1940s era swing, blues, jazz, and klezmer. This show should be fun! Joining them is The Old Ceremony. While Mexican restaurants may be everywhere, not all are created equal. One that stands out, in that hood, is Los Pollitos II. Having gone several times, what makes me come back for more are the Chilaquiles for brunch and the gorditas for dinner. The guacamole is damn good too. Did you say you like beer? I like beer! Hooray for puppies! At Pacific Standard, the front bar has 16 beers on tap and the back room looks like a high school library. I think this is my new favorite bar. Don’t forget to ask about the frequent drinker card program! I’m totally serious. If you like your coffee black, Gorilla Coffee specializes in deep roasted flavors and provides it through fair-trade.

Saturday December 6

Location: Lower East Side, NYC
Bands: Nada Surf + Delta Spirit + Gramercy Arms Get Tickets Here
Show time: 8 PM
Venue: Music Hall of Williamsburg
Food: Three of Cups
Drink: Whiskey Ward
Miscellaneous: Sugar Sweet Sunshine

Nada Surf, though not a huge band, have steadily gathered a following for years full of fans who love their alternative, folky and melodic pop songs. California band Delta Spirit also fall into that folk category crafting beautiful songs that would fit snug somewhere in the 1960s music scene. Gramercy Arms, a collective of NYC musicians has so many top notch collaborators, including members of Nada Surf, that you may see a familiar face or two in the band you know and love. What I like about Three of Cups the most is that the food is classic Italian fare like Pizza made in a wood-fired oven, risotto, pasta, while also offering more exciting dishes like lamb stew in a barolo wine reduction, served with potato gnocchi. The atmosphere is relaxing, bordering on romantic. With a name like Whiskey Ward, it’s expected that they deliver the goods, which lucky for this bar, they do. Whether it’s Scotch, Bourbon, Whiskey, or Single Malts, they got em’ along with a pool table and a damn good jukebox. Who doesn’t like cupcakes? Sugar Sweet Sunshine has one of the best in the city. With 10 different kinds, it’s hard to beat.

Saturday December 6

Location: Williamsburg, Brooklyn
Bands: Yeasayer + Suckers Get Tickets Here
Show time: 9 PM
Venue: Music Hall of Williamsburg
Food: SEA
Drink: Zablozki’s
Accessory: Academy Records

You couldn’t really deny the eclectic originality of Yeasayers album All Hour Cymbals last year as they effortlessly blended pop, rock, world music and anything else they could find into gorgeous songs that sounded happy though had darker underlying meaning. And that’s exactly why you should be seeing them live. 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.

Saturday December 6

Location: Meat Packing District, NYC
Event: Details Block Party
Show time: 12 – 6 PM
Venue: Multiple venues throughout the Meat Packing District
Food: Spice Market
Drink: Plunge
Miscellaneous: Little Pie Company (located at 407 W14th St.)

It’s that holiday time of year to buy presents for loved ones and friends and instead of getting them some gift certificate from Target, why not get them something from one of the Meat Packing District’s amazing shop’s during the Details Block Party which will feature sample sales and great deals of up to 30% off on big names like Hugo Boss, Massimo Bizzocchi, Equinox, Los Dados, Spice Market, Ed Hardy, Theory, Puma, Helmut Lang, Bijou, Tracy Reese and more. There will also be free food and liquor tastings as well as. For dinner, if you can get a table, check out Spice Market. Chef and owner Jean-Georges Vongerichten converted this HUGE space into one of the sexiest Asian restaurants in NYC. Serving up exquisite dishes like the onion and chili crusted short ribs with egg noodles and pea shoots ($22), Spice Market impresses. If you choose not to stay at APT for drinks, close by is Plunge. Located at the top of the Hotel Gansevoort, this rooftop lounge offers stunning views of the city. If dessert is your thing, stop over at Little Pie Company, where pies are baked on premises. Whether you’re in the mood for sour cream apple, southern pecan, or Mississippi mud pie, you can’t go wrong here.

Sunday December 7

Location: Union Square, NYC
Bands: Mercury Rev + Dean & Britta Get Tickets Here
Show time: 6:30 to 9:30 PM
Venue: Highline Ballroom
Food: Maritime’s Matsuri
Drink: Hiro
Accessory: Cha An Japanese Tea House

Start off the evening at Matsuri*, with Chef Tadashi Ono’s highly acclaimed Japanese food (*make a reservations). At Matsuri the fish is so fresh it’s flown in from Japan daily. I highly recommend the sushi with one of over 200 kinds of sake they stock. After dinner, head to the Japanese-themed bar Hiro for a dimly lit cocktail to lubricate your mind for the music to come. If you’ve never heard Mercury Rev before you’re totally missing out on some great music. What the Flaming Lips are doing now, the Rev have been doing for years, creating songs filled with cinematic swoops and using eclectic sounds to do it. With the release of two albums this year in Snowflake Midnight and Strange Attractor, this band proves that they’ve grown and that they can still keep it interesting. Former Luna members, Dean & Britta, who have been creating beautiful folky and sexy songs together will be joining the Rev. After a show like this you might want to head down to Cha An Japanese Tea House to sip some Matcha tea and calm yourself down.

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