Outsiders are always yammering about how many options music fans in NYC have on any given day of the week. But unless you consider going to see whatever shitbox bands are playing at Arlene’s Grocery an actual option, it’s usually not true. Unless, of course, you’re talking about Thursday 11/17, and Friday 11/18, when music listeners far and wide will be forced to choose between a straight-up ridiculous amount of good shows.
First, Thursday 11/17: Perhaps you’ll go to Irving Plaza to see the Dead Kennedys. But honestly? I kinda hope not. Do you check out Neko Case at Joe’s Pub, wondering if this might be the night you get up the courage to ask her out? Or do you hit up the Knitting Factory where not only will you get to see Elephant 6 trailblazers Elf Power (Main Stage), but also the perennially underrated prog/psych act, the Impossible Shapes (Tap Bar)? Then again, you could always swing over to the Mercury Lounge to check out Philly transplants Matt Pond PA, whose original material is far better than the cringe-worthy cover of ‘Champagne Supernova’ that’s made them a hit with the O.C. crowd.
Friday 11/18: You probably didn’t act fast enough to grab free tickets to see Ryan Adams at Wall Street Rising, so that’s out of the question. But you’ll still have to decide between American Analog Set’s last ever NYC performance at Southpaw, Clem Snide ’s always impressive Eef Barzalay solo at Tonic, and the endlessly promising newcomers Amandine, the alt-country loving Swedes who will be playing NorthSix.
Now, I’m not going to help you make up your mind about Thursday night. It’s my birthday, and I’ll probably just go out to dinner with my wife. But Friday the 18th? Here’s what you should do: skip all that shit and come to Commonwealth (497 Fifth Ave, Park Slope), my favorite music nerd bar in all of Brooklyn, to share some birthday drinks. The owner has been kind enough to grant me 100 free songs on their stellar, stellar jukebox, which I will no doubt be too drunk on $3 Yuenglings to operate. Seriously, you should come.