Friday July 16
Location: Williamsburg, Brooklyn
Band: Weezer Get Tickets Here
Show time: 5:30 PM
Venue: East River State Park
Drink: Radegast Hall & Biergarten
Weezer are one of those rare bands that have consistently written one great album after the next full of pop and riff heavy songs, plus live they dork out just like you’d think they would. Though Relish looks like a 50s diner, 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 Hall & Biergarten, 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.
Friday July 16
Location: Midtown West, NYC
Band: Jennifer Logue
Show time: 6 PM; FREE
Venue: American Folk Art Museum
Food: Zip Burger
Drink: Subway Inn
Miscellaneous: Kinokuniya Bookstore
Check out indie singer/songwriter Jennifer Logue when she performs for free at The American Folk Art Museum. Also performing is Bill Albatross and Andi Rae Healy. 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 July 17
Location: Coney Island, Brooklyn
Event: Village Voice Siren Festival
Show time: 12 PM; FREE
Venue: Town Hall
Food: Nathan’s Famous
Drink: Ruby’s Old Tyme Bar and Grill
Miscellaneous: New York Aquarium
You can’t miss the Village Voice Siren Festival this year with a list of bands performing for FREE including Matt and Kim, Ted Leo and the Pharmacists, The Pains of Being Pure at Heart, Holy Fuck, Night Marchers, Surfer Blood, Harlem, Cymbals Eat Guitars, Earl Greyhound, and more. While you may not be a competitive hot dog eater, eating a hot dog, a corn dog, or even cheese fries at Nathan’s Famous goes back several generations. Expect long lines, but it’ll be worth it! Not just a tradition but an institution on the boardwalk, Ruby’s Old Tyme Bar and Grill is a great dive bar for cheap drinks and watching local drunks belt out Rat Pack songs. It’s been open since 1896 and is the only one in the city, so if you’re going to be on Surf Avenue or nearby, check out the New York Aquarium where you can hang with sea otters, penguins, and seals, take a class, see an exhibition or a show at the Aquatheater.
Saturday July 17
Location: Prospect Park, Brooklyn
Band: Celebrate Brooklyn! Presents African Festival with Konono No. 1
Show time: 2-9 PM
Venue: Prospect Park Bandshell
Food: Press 195
Drink: Union Hall
Dig the way out sounds of Africa at Celebrate Brooklyn! Presents African Festival with Konono No. 1 who make psychedelic thumb piano music. Also on the bill are Omar Pene & Super Diamono, Chiwoniso, Meta & the Cornerstones and Djarara. 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!
Sunday July 18
Location: Bushwick, Brooklyn
Bands: 3rd Ward’s 3rd Annual Pig Out
Show time: 8 PM
Venue: 3rd Ward
Food: Potion Café
Drink: Life Café Nine 83
Join Chef Alex McCrery and his team from 3rd Ward’s new food joint Goods as they take 200 lbs. of hog and turn it into delicious eats. There will be cheap beer and cocktails all afternoon and night along with live music from The Fieros, In Cadeo, Le Mood, The Ramblers, Cletus & the Barnburners, and more. For food in this neighborhood, Potion Café offers organically grown and traded food that’s part of the “slow food” movement and make delicious and creative food like the poached eggs in white wine sauce. For drinks, check out Life Café Nine 83. While it’s THE same Life Café that the RENT musical features in the play, it’s not the same location. This new Bushwick locale also possesses a boho vibe, an Americanized menu of ethnic food, and a fun selection of mixed drinks including martini’s and lemonade cocktails. A HUGE space decked out in old couches, Stain is an artsy bar that looks like an old-school coffeehouse yet serves local wines and beers.