SUMMER PREVIEW: Music 

Central Park Summer Stage
For information, go to summerstage.org

Vampire Weekend • Kid Sister

June 14, 4pm
Who cares about how incredible ‘Walcott’ will sound while you bask in the afternoon sun? The real question at hand is: What will Vampire Weekend be wearing?! Do they even make short-sleeved yellow v-neck sweaters embroidered with dogs? We certainly hope so.

Santogold • Diplo • Plastic Little • A-Trak • Kid Cudi

July 20, 3pm
Half the time you wouldn’t know that Santogold is a postpunk banshee siren with a Karen O purr, half the time you wouldn’t know she’s a world-party rhyme-spitter; pretty much all the time you’re aware of her dub, ska and New Wave influences. Diplo, meanwhile, gave the world a Soulja Boy/Eddie Money mash-up for which we, speaking on behalf of the world, have gratitude eternal.

Mark Knopfler
July 23, 7pm
We have all sorts of respect for Mark Knopfler, who’s gone from showy rock guitarist to grizzly bluesman and aching country singer. His voice is stellar, and his demeanor is always cool. And, also, he played the guitar solo on ‘Sultans of Swing’, which is right up there as one of our favorites solos ever, possibly by virtue of the fact that he played it without a pick. Without a pick!

Crosby, Stills & Nash

July 29, 7pm
While CSN’s harmony-laden 70s rock has always suited us fine, we’ve been bigger fans of their individual bands — the Byrds, the Hollies and Buffalo Springfield — but that’s neither here nor there. What we can say about this show in particular is that it’s probably the only one of the summer that our dads and us will find equally enjoyable. Well, also the Knopfler.

Los Lonely Boys • Los Lobos

August 14, 7pm
When we were about 18, we found out that Los Lobos was actually a real band with real achievements and a real fanbase, and not just the dudes who performed ‘La Bamba’ for the movie of the same name. Also, whenever we picture Los Lobos, we picture them being fronted by Lou Diamond Phillips, much in the same way we’re reasonably certain Val Kilmer did actually front the Doors.

Battles • Black Dice • Gang Gang Dance

August 16, 3pm
Because we hate using the word “math” in conjunction with “summer,” we’re going to dodge describing Battles in such a way. Instead, we’ll say that people are generally gaga over their disjointed, angular rock. It doesn’t exactly scream “carefree summer,” but whatevs, maybe Rachael Ray will be there.

Battery Park
For information, go to rivertorivernyc.com


Sonic Youth, with The Feelies

July 4, 3:30pm
Finally, they didn’t fuck this up. For the past two years, the big Fourth of July shows were played by Belle and Sebastian, from Scotland, and the New Pornographers, from Canada. We don’t care, really, and we went to both shows, but it always struck us as a bit odd that they’d have imports playing on America’s birthday or whatever. But now, Sonic Youth, who are more American than apple pie — or at least more American than Belle and Sebastian and the New Pornographers. Free (tickets required, space limited).

Castle Clinton
For information, go to rivertorivernyc.com


St. Vincent
July 10, 7pm
Annie Clark (aka St. Vincent) may look like a porcelain doll, with her wide eyes, ruby lips and flawless skin, but her layered, unpredictable, downtrodden pop is all about very human heartbreak, sadness and angst.

Ted Leo and The Pharmacists

July 17, 7pm
Since the turn of the century, Ted Leo and The Pharmacists have been fusing the spirit of British punk’s “Class of ‘77” with the sensibilities of northeast indie rock. Since way back before the turn of the century — in the 90s — he was doing the same shit, only with his awesomely underrated band Chisel.

Akron/Family

July 24, 7pm
In all honesty, we used to find Akron/Family’s folksy psychedelia kind of boring. We admit our mistake, though, having recently realized that they’re just one of those bands that you really have to listen to — alone, with headphones, in the dark — in order to fully appreciate the stripped-down beauty of it all. 

The Long Winters

July 31, 7pm
Seattle’s Long Winters have the witty lyrical thing down pat. John Roderick and the boys sing songs covering every conceivable topic, from how much it sucks being a pushover to meeting a girl with cinnamon skin. Best of all, every lyrical nugget is poured over well-crafted melodies and unhurried orchestration.

Seaport Music Festival
For information, go to seaportmusicfestival.com

Wire • Die! Die! Die!
May 30, time TBA
Frankly, we’re not much for reunion tours around here. We didn’t even go see New Kids on the Block on the Today Show last week, believe it or not. We do like Wire quite a bit, though, to whom we were first exposed upon realizing that the song ‘I2XU’ on the Minor Threat record was actually written by Wire. 

A Place To Bury Strangers • King Khan & the Shrines • Black Acid
June 27, 7pm
APTBS, with their tension-wracked, Joy Division-meets-Ministry, tinnitus-inducing noise-pop, start the summer off on the pier.  Joining them will be the super bad ass 10-piece soul inferno known as King Kahn & the Shrines and new Richard Fearless project, Black Acid.

No Age • Telepathe • Abe Vigoda

July 11, 7pm
The fuzz on No Age’s Nouns is about as thick as the morning fog at South Seaport. (Granted, we’ve never gotten up that early to actually see for ourselves, but we’re assuming that it’s very thick.) There are also tons of moments throughout that catch you completely off guard, like when they play what could best be described as aggressive folk with electric guitars. Hopefully these slices of unconvention work their way into a live setting. 

Atlas Sound • El Guincho
July 25, 7pm
With Atlas Sound, Bradford Cox strips away the punk of his mainstay band, Deerhunter, but thankfully opts to keep the ambient swirls and wishy-washy vocals.

Brother Ali

August 1, 7pm
“Could Minneapolis’s Muslim albino be the reigning king of indie rap?” asks the press release for this year’s Seaport Music Festival. Possibly, and we don’t really see why that would be such a big deal. If the reigning king of mainstream rap was an albino Muslim, it might be a different story, but...

Dirty Projectors • White Williams
August 15, 7pm
The entire point of summer is to dance in flip-flops (and eat ice cream), is it not? Between the Dirty Projectors’ R&B-infused electro-pop and White Williams’ attempt to make David Bowie sound like a surfer, the people behind the Seaport Festival are making it very easy for you to do so.

McCarren Park Pool
For more on the Williamsburg outdoor venue’s supposedly final summer, go to mccarrenpark.com

M.I.A., with Holy Fuck

June 6, 7pm
We kind of hope that M.I.A. becomes her generation’s Bono, and just starts popping up at the G-8 Summit advocating for Third World democracy. You know, if Bono hung out outside the G-8 Summit, mixing samples. And Molotov cocktails.

Death Cab For Cutie • Rogue Wave

June 10, 7pm
Dear Ben Gibbard: You are playing an awful lot of shows this summer, presumably in support of Narrow Stairs. While that is all fine and good, we ask that you don’t forget about your other gazillion albums. Sing some of those songs too, please.

Gogol Bordello
June 20, 6pm
So, you think regular old punk-rock has reached a bit of a dead end, right? We know, we sort of agree, but Gypsy Punk? That’s a whole other story, and Gogol Bordello is here to tell you all about it.

Devo • Dan Deacon • Tom Tom Club
June 26, 6pm
A few years ago, we almost threw away a pair of hot pink plastic sunglasses that we got in the third grade. Something in the pit of our stomach told us, “Hold on to these.” We now officially refer to them as our “Dan Deacon sunglasses,” and you better believe we’ll be wearing them at the show/losing them on the Slip ‘N’ Slide.  

Armin van Buuren
July 5, 4:30pm
Critically acclaimed DJ Armin van Buuren makes his way down from the Netherlands to bring us melodious house music. That’s nice of him, right?

DJ Shadow • Cut Chemist
July 17, 6:30pm
We recently wondered about DJ Shadow’s age, seeing as he’s been around for what seems like 700 years. Turns out he’s only 36, which doesn’t matter at all, obviously, but we thought you might like to know. What does matter: he’s one of the most influential figures in all of DJ-based hip-hop.

Ween
July 25, 7pm
If you’ll allow us to be brutally honest for a moment, Ween just released one of the worst records of their career, and we were pretty bummed about it. But still, they’ve never been the kind of band that focuses too heavily on their new material in a live setting, so you’ll be in for a night of (mostly) old favorites.

The Black Keys • Tapes ‘n Tapes
August 7, 6:30pm
With their rugged, weary, bluesy rock, it’s apparent that the Black Keys are old souls. 

Wilco
August 13, 5pm
We’ve been wanting to see Wilco at an outdoor venue since approximately the first time we ever heard them, but because we a) hate festivals and b) don’t live in Chicago, we’ve never had the chance. Until now, obvs, when we’ll be pleased as punch to hear selections from last year’s Sky Blue Sky, which, by the way, keeps getting better.

Prospect Park
For information, go to briconline.org/celebrate

Cold War Kids • Elvis Perkins in Dearland • Sam Champion
June 27, 7pm
We overheard two girls on the subway in a heated debate about whether or not they should attend the Cold War Kids’ concert at Prospect Park. The best point the pro-CWK girl made: Since lead singer Nathan Willett sounds drunk when he sings, it will be completely acceptable to also sound/be drunk when they sing along in the crowd. Smart girl, that one.

Crooklyn Dodgers Reunion
Jeru The Damaja • EMC • Masta Ace • DJ Premier • Ali Shaheed Muhammad • Buckshot • Special Ed
June 28, 7pm
Brooklyn hip-hop legends work from home.

Feist
July 9, 7:30pm
You remember last summer when Feist’s The Reminder was all the rage? Fall in love with her all over again.

Brazilian Girls • Miranda! • Ticklah

July 11, 7pm
Myth: The Brazilian Girls are an all-female outfit hailing from Brazil.
Fact: They’re a NYC-based electro-smut ensemble consisting of three dudes and one girl, who, by the sound of her icy vocals on songs like ‘Sexy Asshole’, is pretty pissed off at the male gender. They also sound like they’re from the future.

Spoon • Jay Reatard

July 15, time TBA
Spoon isn’t the kind of band that immediately seems like they’d thrive in an outdoor setting, with their cool, tight grooves and constant rhythmic tension, but they do, very much so. And we’re thinking the material from Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga will fare even better than their older stuff.


Deerhoof • Metropolis Ensemble 
July 18, 7pm
The weirdly wonderful, bouncing-off-the-wall indie rock of Deerhoof pairs up with the forward-thinking orchestration of the Metropolis Ensemble (who will be performing Stravinsky’s ‘Rite of Spring’). It’s all part of the Wordless Music series, a collaborative effort that matches popular artists with classical musicians in hopes of undermining the boundaries between genres.

The Philip Glass Ensemble, with the Brooklyn Youth Orchestra, Marta Topferova

July 24, 8pm
Legendary composer and his ensemble perform his score for 1988 avant-garde film Powaqqatsi.

Ghostland Observatory • Bear Hands
July 26, 7pm
You’ll be able to stand there, calm, cool and collected, nodding knowingly at Bear Hands’ infectiously intricate post-rock, and then you’ll be able to lose all inhibitions and move your body around wildly to Ghostland Observatory’s dance-rock.

Jelly NYC at McCarren Park Pool
For information, go to jellynyc.com

The Hold Steady, with The Loved Ones, J Roddy, The Business
June 29, 12pm
Do you think they can actually fill the pool with beer for this one? Maybe? Worth a shot? This one is not to be missed.

Rocks Off Concert Cruise Series

For info, go to rocksoffnyc.com

Fastball
May 31, 7pm
In the late 90s, you heard Fastball sing ‘The Way’ everywhere — on commercials, the radio, MTV and the mix CD your friend made you. Now hear them sing it on a boat.

The Budos Band

June 10, 8pm
Nothing sets the vibe like slow-burning soul, jazz and 70s-style Afrobeat.

The Queers
June 24, 7pm
For the better part of the past two decades, the Queers have sung about one thing:  “yummy, yummy punk rock girls.” With Kepi Ghoulie and the Colytons.

Japanther
June 27, 12am
Underneath a racket of fuzzed-out bass, fierce drumming and samples recorded on cassettes, Ian Vanek and Matt Reilly, two former Pratt kids, tuck away surf-punk-dance hooks so addictive it’s almost too much to handle. Especially at midnight. With Ninjasonik.

Keyspan Park at Coney Island
For information, go to bowerypresents.com

Snoop Dogg • 311

July 16, 7pm
Spend the day with roller coasters, the lingering smell of weed, and a group of sorta-wannabe white rappers. With Fiction Plane.

Rockefeller Park
For information, go to rivertorivernyc.com 

The Avett Brothers
July 9, time TBA
Nowadays it seems that every other band is doing some sort of throwback to old-time country, usually resulting in way too much hokiness. Not true with the Avett Brothers, whose Southern rock seamlessly blends with bluegrass, making for a sound that’s as pleasant as a day in the park.

Village Voice Siren Festival

For information, go to villagevoice.com/siren
July 19, 12pm
The summer’s second most important alt-publication-sponsored musical event. Elbow your way to the front of the stage for: Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks, Broken Social Scene, the Helio Sequence, Beach House, Times New Viking, Jaguar Love, the Dodos, Annuals, Film School, Parts & Labor, Dragons of Zynth and These Are Powers. At Coney Island.

All Points West Music & Arts Festival
For info go to apwfestival.com
August 8-10
The people who brought you Coachella move things closer to our neck of the woods. With Radiohead, Jack Johnson, Underworld, Kings of Leon, Rodrigo y Gabriela, Cat Power, the Roots, the New Pornographers, Animal Collective, Andrew Bird, the Secret Machines, Michael Franti & Spearhead, Metric, CSS, Girl Talk, Chromeo, The Go! Team, Amadou & Mariam, the Black Angels, Sia, the Felice Brothers, K’Naan, Jason Isbell, Grace Potter & the Nocturnals, Grizzly Bear, Alberta Cross, the Virgins, Mates of State, Duffy, Forro in the Dark, Nicole Atkins, Earl Greyhound, Juana Molina, Little Brother, Rogue Wave, Neil Halstead, Your Vegas and De Novo Dahl. Oh, All Points West, you had us at Radiohead. At Liberty State Park, NJ, just across the Hudson River from Lower Manhattan.

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