Friday January 15
Just when you think you know what indie rock is, then comes along a band like Drink up Buttercup who take that theory and turn it upside down. They take pop, gorgeous harmonies and melodies and put it on wax, but live they are a whole other story, using garbage cans to bang on along with tin pans and god knows what else to make an unforgettable show thatâ€™s just as much performance art as it is music. Joining them are Ravens & Chimes and Miracles of Modern Science. Keeping the night going, try El Viejo Yayo for dinner. This gorgeous and warm restaurant has an elegant dining room and an affordable menu offering Dominican/Latin cuisine. The outside of Buttermilk Bar may look non-descript, but looks are deceiving . . . just not in this case, as this low-key watering hole is where you can grab a cheap drink in a friendly atmosphere, while playing a board game or two. With a near insane menu of chocolates from coffee and tea to delectable dessert, and even beer, The The Chocolate Room is a great way to end the night on a high note.
Friday January 15
The Binary Marketing Show are one of those bands who have indie rock in their blood but also have experimental tendencies and can put the two together nicely. Also playing are Pocketknife, Noisy Crane, and The Priggs. 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 Hall & Biergarten. 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 Cafe offers up excellent coffee and baked goods, a boho vibe, and big windows to watch the days pass while collecting unemployment!
Saturday January 16
Akira Kurasawaâ€™s first widescreen film, his 1958 classic The Hidden Fortress stars the directors favorite leading man Toshiro Mifune in another classic performance. The film is also acknowleged as the source for Star Wars. For an eclectic menu that mixes upscale and down-home food, Blue Ribbon Downing Street Bar, a wine bar and restaurant, offers lighter fare including foie gras, cheese plates, caviar, and steak tartare. The Village Tavern is a really comfortable neighborhood bar thatâ€™s great for catching sports games or just chilling for a drink, which is what I prefer to do when Iâ€™m in the vicinity. Also in the area is Bleeker Bobâ€™s. Itâ€™s one of the oldest independent record stores in NYC and the selection is deep. The place looks a mess, but the staff is surprisingly friendly and extremely knowledgeable about what they have.
Saturday January 16
Awesome UK indie act The Cribs who have that Strokes sound also have former Smiths guitarist Johnny Marr who turns great bands into gold. Joining them is Moldy Peaches singer Adam Green playing in support of his new album Minor Love. One of the best Japanese restaurants in the city, Yama, serves up some of the hugest and freshest portions of sushi, while not being as expensive as you think. Close to Irving Plaza, 119 Bar is one dive where you can get cheap drinks, play pool, and hang with friends while not standing out or being bothered when youâ€™re a sweaty mess from dancing after seeing Shadow and Chemist perform, and I mean that in a good way! If youâ€™re bored and early for the show, head over to the four floor Barnes & Noble to look through magazines and get a cup of coffee.
Sunday January 17
Location: Park Slope, Brooklyn
Music: ?uestlove Get Tickets Here
Show time: 8 PM
Venue: The Old American Can Factory
Food: Chiles & Chocolate Oaxacan Kitchen
Drink: The Gate
Miscellaneous: Brooklyn Superhero Supply Co.
Celebrating Martin Luther King Jr. on his birthday weekend (King would have been 81), ?uestlove foregoes the drumsticks for the turntables, DJâ€™ing all the great grooves he knows in honor of this civil rights legend. Ever have Oaxacan food? Chiles & Chocolate Oaxacan Kitchen serves up some fantastic, not exactly Mexican food. Try the smoky flavored Mole Negro, one of the best mole sauces Iâ€™ve had in NYC. Before leaving, you must try one of the hot chocolates like the Chiles Y Chocolate. A hint of chipotle without too much heat is a nice kick start for the night. The Gate is a great Park Slope bar with excellent beers on tap and a outdoor courtyard to chill. If time permits, you must, and I mean MUST go to the Brooklyn Superhero Supply Co., a non-profit organization that helps kids with their writing, thatâ€™s fronted by a store selling super powers.