Into the Great Wide Open 

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7/7 My Brightest Diamond, yMusic
My Brightest Diamond and sexy hipster chamber music sextety Music played one show together at Lincoln Center earlier this year that was at times tearfully poignant, at times mind-blowing. Shara Worden (My Brightest Diamond) happens to be one of those people whose live performance takes her music to a whole new level, and she’s also got some fairly decent stage banter. So, expect some punk, expect some puns and expect to revel in the poetry.
Castle Clinton, 7pm, FREE.

7/11 They Might Be Giants
We’d have bet any amount of money that this would be one of the children’s shows They Might Be Giants have been known to play from time to time, but it’s not, actually—it’s a full-fledged adult show, which, admittedly, when you’re talking about They Might Be Giants, isn’t really all that adult. Regardless, it’ll be nice to see them down there at the Waterfront, in a neighborhood they’ve been associated since, long, long before it is what it is today. Gotta know your history, kids. Don’t miss this.
Williamsburg Waterfront, 5:30pm, FREE.

7/12 Animal Collective
There’s not going to be a bigger show anywhere in the city all summer, and if you haven’t already swiped up your $30 ticket, you’re probably out of luck, unless you’re willing to brave Craigslist with all the other crazies and cough up about a week’s salary. We don’t really recommend that, but hell, it’s summertime, so we guess anything goes—especially when there’s transcendent, vaguely trippy, highly melodic ambient pop music from one of the most iconic bands in all of indie rock on the line.
Prospect Park Bandshell, 5:30pm, SOLD OUT.

7/14 tUnE-yArDs, Austra
Listening to tUnE-yArDs already kind of feels like running through a sprinkler naked in the middle of July with orange ice pop juice dribbling down your chin. It just channels that child-like joy. And a live, outdoor summertime show with tUnE-yArDs seems like a perfect opportunity to break out the tribal dancing and washable face paint. Cheek butterfly, anyone? Yes, yes, on your face.
Hudson River Park, 6pm, FREE.

7/14 Patti Smith
On any given day, in any given L train car, at least one passenger is bound to be nose-deep in Patti Smith’s best-selling memoir Just Kids. But that’s not why you should go see her show. What other justification do you need? It’s Patti Smith, goddammit, the godmother of punk! The L train thing was just an observation.
Castle Clinton, 7pm, FREE.

8/1 M. Ward
We’ve been passingly fond of most of the work that’s been occupying M. Ward’s time over the past few years. Those She and Him records—She and Him being his 60s pop-leaning collab with Zoey Deschanel—have been pretty enjoyable, and that one record he put out with Monsters of Folk was alright as well. But we’re pleased to no end to have him back as a solo artist, reportedly working on new material. He’s one of our best.
Central Park Summerstage, FREE.

8/2 Death Cab for Cutie
As of this writing, we’re still a month or so away from the release of Death Cab for Cutie’s new album, Codes and Keys. It’s supposedly their least guitar-heavy work to date, with more of a focus on, you guessed it, electronic stuff. We’ll reserve judgment for now, aside from a few brief eye-rolls, of course, because these guys have always boasted strong enough melodies that you assume they’d fare well in any number of genres. Anyway, we’ll see. And they’re a pretty good live band too.
Williamsburg Waterfront, 5:30pm, $40.

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