The Weekend Shortlist March 27 to 29

Friendly Fires make electro rock that will blow your mind and make your booty shake! Photo by Catherine Losing

Friday March 27

Location: Lower East Side, NYC
Bands: Friendly Fires + White Lies Get Tickets Here
Show time: 8 PM
Venue: Bowery Ballroom
Food: Social
Drink: 151
Miscellaneous: Bereket

Two smoking hot bands: The Friendly Fires who sound like DEVO on crack and White Lies, a synth heavy rock act join forces to rock the Bowery Ballroom. If you haven’t caught the buzz on either one, they both put out really great music! Joining them is The Soft Pack. To start a night that will no doubt rock, you may want to go straight to the bar, and that bar would be 151, where happy hour is 7 days a week from 6pm till 10pm and includes 2 for 1 drinks. For those that don’t want a liquid dinner first, check Social for comfort food including the Mac & Cheese (Macaroni covered in Three Cheese Truffled Mornay Sauce & topped w/Seasoned Bread Crumbs). For a late night eat, a favorite spot of mine is Bereket for falafels and to watch drunks succeed at spilling their food all over themselves and failing at picking up chicks. Not for the faint of heart!

Friday March 27

Location: Williamsburg, Brooklyn
Bands: New York Tropical
Show time: 10 PM
Venue: Glasslands Gallery
Food: Relish
Drink: Radegast Hall & Biergarten
Miscellaneous: Zebulon

Hosted by Durty Artz, this Tropicalia party sees plenty of tropical, dancehall, house, and cumbia being spun by Matt Shadetek, Kingdom, Uproot Andy, and Geko Jones, with a special appearance by Argentineans La Yegros! Though Relish looks like a 50s diner or an even larger version of an L train car, this restaurant offers up some gourmet treats for dinner. With influences from all over the globe, Relish features diner classics like burgers and onion rings, and step it up with the likes of Blackened Yellow Fin Tuna ($21). Williamsburg’s first beer garden, Radegast, has a beautiful all-wood interior, an enclosed outdoor backyard, and 12 German/Austrian beers on tap and more than 30 bottles. Another great bar in the area, Zebulon offers free live jazz and afrobeat. The drinks here are inexpensive, and I’ve never seen a bad show here before.

Saturday March 28

Location: Midtown West, NYC
Band: Juan De Marcos & the Afro-Cuban All Stars Get Tickets Here
Show time: 8 PM
Venue: Town Hall
Food: Empanada Mama
Drink: Circus
Miscellaneous: Vintage

Join Juan De Marcos, who was one of the architects of the Buena Vista Social Club, and some of the top Cuban musicians who combine the sound of old Cuban rhythms with the new sound coming from the countries top performers. Though small, Empanada Mama packs a hefty punch with more than 40 kinds of empanadas. Choose from a wheat or corn flour shell to start as ingredients include basic rice and beans to what they have dubbed “Viagra,” a wheat flour empanada stuffed with shrimp, scallop, and crab ($3). Appropriately, at Circus, you’ll get free hot dogs, peanuts, and popcorn without the animals, screaming babies, and clowns at this Rudy’s Bar spin-off that has beer just as cheap and a neighborhood feel. If cheap beer ain’t your thing, Vintage has a wine list with over 200 wines by the glass or bottle from most of the boutique wineries in Long Island and Upstate New York.

Saturday March 28

Location: Lower East Side, NYC
Band: Oscartienealas
Show time: 11 PM
Venue: Fontana’s
Food: Katz’s Deli
Drink: Nurse Bettie
Miscellaneous: Ludlow Guitars

Making their first appearance in NYC, Spanish indie rockers Oscartienealas bring the party mixing Latin and rock to make some great music that’s more than easy to get your dance on to. They will be performing at Fontana’s alt-Latin dance party Nacotheque and best of all there will be open bar from 11 to 12 courtesy of Svedka and gift bags for the first 130 people. If you’re starving, I mean really starving, head over to Katz’s Deli. This old school deli packs on the pastrami a mile high. The portions are huge and the place is classic NY. For drinks, Nurse Bettie is a chic looking bar with exposed brick walls, paintings of 50s pinups, and offers an excellent cocktail menu. Stop by Ludlow Guitars if there’s time and peruse through some magnificent rare and new music equipment from inexpensive to guitars that you will have to save dearly to afford.

Sunday March 29

Location: Long Island City, NYC
Film: Kenneth Anger
Show time: 9 PM; Through September 14, 2009
Venue: P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center
Food: Sripraphai
Drink: Saints and Sinners
Miscellaneous: Baruirs

P.S. 1 presents the first major survey of avant-garde filmmaker Kenneth Anger’s work in more than a decade, focusing on his early films which critique Hollywood, reference pop icons in occult settings, and depict the violent and erotic counterculture. Anger’s work has inspired fellow filmmakers including Martin Scorsese, Gus Van Sant, and Guy Maddin. Being that you’re in Queens anyways, you HAVE to take the 7 train to Sripraphai, one of New York’s top Thai restaurants. What makes it better than most is the fact that the ingredients are fresh, and instead of choosing your entree with a choice of meat, they offer a novel sized menu with pics of every dish, most under $10. Once a heavily Irish neighborhood, Saints and Sinners is one of the best looking Irish bars left. Grab a Guinness at the bar or traditional Irish food. If you can, head over to Baruir’s in Sunnyside for one of the best cups of coffee in Queens.

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