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Burning Spear, Naomi Shelton and the Gospel Queens
The good people at Celebrate Brooklyn! always exceed at spreading positive vibes. Keeping with the theme is Burning Spear, reggae's elder statesman who works an optimistic message into his jams. Naomi Shelton & the Gospel Queens kick off the feel-good train with a barrage of church-like soul. July 30, 7:30pm.
Dean and Britta, Crystal Stilts
Longtime music-makers Dean and Britta present original scores to Andy Warhol's silent film portrait series, one of his rarely seen projects capturing stars of NYC's 60s art scene in four-minute shots. It's not surprising that the press release for this show mentions the Velvet Underground when describing how Dean & Britta interepeted the soundtrack, is it? August 1, 7:30pm.
African Festival with King Sunny Ade, Freshly Ground, The
Mandingo Ambassadors, Cheikh Mial
With performers representing Nigeria, South Africa, Guinea, Senegal, and Egypt, the impressive Brooklyn-based African Festival will present you with slightly more diversity of culture than another Park Slope indie-rock gig. Yes, even one that added a Philly band for exotic flavor. August 8, 7pm.
TV on the Radio
Though they haven't been gone long enough for us to miss them, exactly, any sort of homecoming for the borough's most epic sons is reason enough to Celebrate Brooklyn! Let us draft a correspondence to the labs of the world requestin on-demand clear-weather technology in advance. If only we had a suitably broad heading for that letter... August 11, 5:30pm.
Hopefully those readers who coughed up exorbitant Craigslist sums to see Animal Collective a few weeks back saved a little cash for this two-night, open-air stand, at a Prospect Park locale that's unquestionably more ideal than the odious Terminal 5. If not, maybe you can find someone who just wants to walk around with you (just you, just you, just you, just you.) August 14, 5:30pm, SOLD OUT.
EAST RIVER PARK
516 E River Dr.
We read on Wikipedia that if you sweat profusely for one hour a day, you're more likely to win the lottery. We just made that up, but you will very likely sweat buckets when you see Man Man, whose madcap rock crosses early Modest Mouse with the Black Lips (sorta), and we were trying to get you excited about it. Thursday, July 16.
Remember a few years back when Rick the Ruler was supposed to be deported? No? Well, it's true, this founding member of American rap's royalty is actually British and not completely legal. In a rare act of mercy, the State of New York pardoned Rick, which is how we get the rare treat of seeing him perform bejeweled with crown, scepter and gold rope, like a true Brit. Thursday, July 23.
41 Ave., Bridge Plaza, Queens
Sugar Hill Gang
The makers of hip-hop's first radio hit ("Rapper's Delight") weren't actually from the Harlem 'hood of their name, but from risibly lame Englewood, New Jersey. They also weren't a gang so much as a prototypical boy band assembled hastily by a record label producer to cash in on the burgeoning block party scene of the late 70s. And that last part is what we hope their show will feel like. Tuesday, July 14.
MAHONEY PLAYGROUND (Staten Island)
Go to cityparksfoundation.org for more information
Alongside Method Man, RZA and GZA, Raek has always looked tiny (he's apparently 5"8', which ain't so small), but whatever he lacks in height he over-compensates for in verbal stamina and onstage energy. Also, with his first solo album since 2003 and a new Wu-Tang record scheduled for summer releases, there's a lot to be excited about. (No word on surprise Wu cameos because then they wouldn't be surprises.) Wednesday, August 12.