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Man, it's like 1995 all over again in New York City this summer, first with Superchunk and Versus playing, and now Polvo, a terribly underrated noise-rock band that came from the Chapel Hill scene back before the Chapel Hill scene didn't really exist anymore. New York City's Obits fit nicely on the bill, featuring Rick Froberg, formerly of Drive Like Jehu and Rocket From the Crypt. July 31, 6pm. FREE.
Casiokids, The Wave Pictures, Slow Club
With their cutesy, spacey dance-pop in tow, Casiokids may have the biggest name recognition, but they're not necessarily the ones you need to see. That's because the Wave Pictures have a song called "Now You Are Pregnant," and it's a bittersweet ballad towing the line between twee and folk and namedrops Johnny Cash multiple times. And then there's Slow Club, a girl-boy duo whose sing-along songs are so endearing and infectious, they could dress up like Care Bears and you probably wouldn't even find it nauseating. August 7, 6pm. FREE.
PROSPECT PARK: CELEBRATE BROOKLYN
Go to briconline.org for more information All shows are FREE, with a suggested $3 donation.
David Rudder and Samantha Thornhill
David Rudder is widely considered one of the top calypsonians of all time. If you were not surprised that, yes, "calysponian" is a legitimate word, perhaps you were already aware. The rest of us could stand to start our further education with a certified legend of the form. June 19, 7:30pm.
Ethel and Gutbucket
Ethel, a rock-driven, post-classical string quartet, joins forces with the avant art-rock crazies of Gutbucket to re-score the vintage Mexican science fiction film, La Nave De Los Monstruous (The Monsters' Ship). Rest assured, aliens are involved. June 20, 7:30pm.
It's as yet unclear whether we'll see a follow up to Blonde Redhead's dreamy 23 this year, but you can bet their Prospect Park set will be peppered with previews. Once upon a time, the band's cold, cerebral tunes might have felt out of place in the fresh park air, but they've chilled out since then. Lay down a blanket, join the mellowing. June 26, 7:30pm.
Dr. Dog, Phosphorescent, These United States
It looks like the Beards of Brooklyn meeting got moved to Prospect Park this month, where Dr. Dog, Phosphorescent and These United States will not only provide a soundtrack of 60s-inspired rock, heartbreaking folk, and foot-stomping country, but give (male) concertgoers a hearty spoonful of facial hair envy. June 27, 7pm.
Seeing as this show sold out quicker than you can figure out how to say "MGMT," it seems people haven't quite gotten over the duo's acid-splattered electro-rock. We worry that it might not translate well in an outdoor environment, but not enough to stop us from wanting to dance to "Kids" on a hot summer night. July 1, 5:30pm. SOLD OUT.
Ezra Jack Keats Family Concert w/ They Might Be Giants
A heartwarming exercise in silly nerd-rock indoctrination for the children of Raffi-averse parents, or a nefarious market-research ruse to gauge interest in a CGI Particle Man movie franchise (starring Bradley Cooper as Triangle Man)? Likely that first one. Don't be so cynical. July 11, 4pm.
Kronos Quartet and Luminescent Orchestrii
The most hipster-friendly string quartet on the planet has played with Björk, remixed Nine Inch Nails, and covered "Marquee Moon." David Harrington's world-renowned chamber act has also performed forward-thinking classical for more than 30 years in the course of over 3,000 performances (lest you think they're just clamoring for blog mentions). July 16, 7:30pm.
Buckwheat Zydeco and The Holmes Brothers
In 1976, Stanley Dural Jr., was just "Buckwheat," in a funk band called Buckwheat & the Hitchhikers, when a near-religious experience brought him to his new surname and master. Or perhaps the accordion just had no place in 70s funk. Man plays it well, so we'll not second-guess. July 24, 7:30pm.