No beating around the bush this week, here are the best shows of the weekend!
5) JEFF The Brotherhood, Roya, Laughing God at Elsewhere
In a now 16 year career from DIY startups to being signed to a major label, then being dropped, JEFF the Brotherhood have had their ups and downs, but latest album Magick Songs might be their best and most fresh album in many years. Currently a five-piece, you can see for yourselves at Elsewhere alongside Roya and Laughing God. Thursday 8pm
4) Alvvays, Snail Mail, Hatchie at Warsaw
Selling out three nights at Warsaw is no mean feat, but Alvvays have done just that. It has been a year since the Canadian quintet’s second record, Antisocialites was released and doesn’t seem like it will ever run out of charm. Worthy of headlining this show in their own right, Snail Mail are no strangers to the venue, having opened for Waxahatchee last summer, it has been quite the year for Lindsey Jordan since then, having released debut LP Lush via Matador Records. Don’t miss opener Hatchie whose delightful 4AD-influenced pop tunes deserve your attention. As previously mentioned, both Thursday and Friday (they also played on Wednesday this week) are all sold out at the time of writing.
3) Flip These Houses at Knockdown Center
Net proceeds from this show go to Power to the Polls, trying to help win congress back from the Republicans. If that wasn’t a reason to attend this show, the list of performers should do the trick with the likes of Ted Leo, Michael Shannon, Nicole Atkins, Liza Colby and members of Spoon, Sonic Youth, The Hold Steady, Patti Smith Group, Guster, Walkmen, Guided By Voices, Superchunk, Urge Overkill, The Wrens and more, most importantly, Matthew Caws of Nada Surf. Friday 7pm
2) Big Ups, Nine of Swords, Decisions at Market Hotel
Big Ups are one of our favourite bands and they released their third excellent album, Two Parts Together, back in May on Exploding In Sound Records. Stylistically it’s a continuation of 2016’s Before a Million Universes but adds depth with some extra layers and instruments in the studio; the sound of a band truly accomplishing their goals. In the absence of Shea Stadium (RIP), Market Hotel seems like the most natural venue to see them. Saturday 8pm
1) LVL UP’s Final shows at Bowery Ballroom and Baby’s All Right
LVL UP are calling it a day, sadly, but they are playing three shows in New York this weekend as a final send-off. At the time of writing, the Bowery show on Friday is sold out, as is the late show at Baby’s on Thursday, but there are still some tickets for the early show that night. 2016’s Return To Love was our #1 album that year and Coleman’s review really did hit the nail on the head two years later, I’ll just reproduce it here: In the sea of cynicism, sarcasm, and post-whatever irony that is New York City, LVL UP’s Return to Love possesses an endangered quality: Earnestness. A neo-biblical tale of finding a reason to wake up in Brooklyn circa 2016, the band’s third LP provides the focused indie-pop answer to their previously sprawling rock n’ roll rabble, capturing in its 10 hook-packed tracks the true bleary-eyed spirit of both LVL UP and the borough’s dwindling DIY resistance. As the story goes, the SUNY Purchase-reared rockers made a pact to either get good enough for a label that could pay them or get the hell out, and now—however many months later—here we are with a Sub Pop-backed gem gleaming from the top of our list. If that’s the end of it, it’s a fitting conclusion. If not, then all the better. For now, however, let’s just call it mission accomplished. Thanks for the music, LVL UP! Thursday at 6:30pm & 9:30pm at Baby’s All Right, Friday at 8pm at Bowery Ballroom