While the rest of world lumbers off down constipated highways to flesh-choked cultural landfills like Myrtle Beach and others of equal or greater disgustingness, you, Mr. or Ms. Independence, have chosen to throw a wrench into the gears of the infernal machine–to say fuck, the tzaztiki and turn your back on the pneumatic bolt gun-destined sheep herd–and stay in NYC this July 4th. And while I’ve picked the divergent path, I applaud the decision, and must say, despite the sarcasm, I’m genuinely jealous, but not of the cheap beer, rocket pops, or sparklers–which I can put out my soon-to-be diabetic eye on anywhere–but instead the killer array of shows hitting the city this weekend; holiday, and my personal travel plans, be damned. So without further ado, check out five of our favorites from the comfort of your underwear while I give myself a pre-frontal lobotomy on the steering wheel. Happy fuckin’ 4th everyone.
5) Au Revoir Simone at MOMA
Sometimes the band makes the venue, and other times the venue makes the band. I won’t tell you which way I’m leaning on this one, but I will say that part of the reason this one ranks so high is as much for the opportunity to see some art and drink in some air conditioning, as it is for Au Revoir Simone’s hooky prowess, which will also be on full display in MOMA’s Sculpture Garden tomorrow night.
Thursday, doors at 5:30pm
4) Summer Thunder feat. Widowspeak, Zacahry Cale at Union Pool
Despite these first two picks, I swear I’m not much of an indie apologist, but there’s always been something about Widowspeak’s rustic charm that has registered to me as, if not true, then at least an authentic restoration of pop-craft past. What we are really talking about here, however, isn’t so much the music, but Union Pool’s Summer Thunder setting, which is free, outdoors, and teeming with more than enough tacos to keep even the most unstoppable Carnitas Hoover stuffed to his/her filters. If that doesn’t sound like the best way to nurse your post-4th hangover, then you are probably just a lot more hungover than I realized.
Saturday, doors at 5pm
3) Thou, The Body at ABC No Rio
Nothing says “America, fuck yeah” like some heavy-ass metal, and thus there is absolutely no excuse not to get out catch southern sludge lords Thou, with fellow sultans of slow, The Body, at ABC No Rio the night after our national celebration of day drinking and mayonnaise. Let’s put Toby Keith’s head on fucking pike, people.
Saturday, doors at 8pm
2) Destruction Unit, Drew Mcdowall (of Coil, Psychic TV), Alberich, Uniform at The Studio at Webster Hall
Further evidence that the Ad Hoc age of Webster Hall is going to be a good—if not altogether eardrum obliterating—one, Arizona dust-punks Destruction Unit are blowing into the still-dingy Studio at Webster Hall for what is sure to be one of the sweatiest, nastiest, and loudest punk shows of the summer. Local noise acts like Alberich and UNIFORM offer support in the form of equally absurd decibel levels, so make mom happy and remember your earplugs.
Thursday, doors at 8pm
1) The Black Lips, Night Birds, Special Guests
Although The Black Lips once buzz-worthy stage show (pissing in each others mouths, et. al) has mellowed with time, age, and a major label contract, this House of Vans-hosted rager on Thursday night is still more than worth a wait in that dreaded RSVP line. Whatever you do, however, just make sure you don’t get caught waiting for a Heineken Light when local Jersey punks The Night Birds—who are still quite real and quite raw by comparison—take the stage for what is sure to be the best set of the night.
Thursday, doors at 9pm
Brought To You By Fubu Sportswear
Thugfucker at Output
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Warthog at Saint Vitus