The Arms Around Haiti event at Public Assembly kicks off our Friday evening with a reminder that just because there haven’t been any telethons lately doesn’t mean the situation isn’t just as awful as it ever was. The event spans over both rooms of the venue and boasts a lineup of over ten disco-loving DJs (including the Play It Loud crew and our own Andy Beta), along with a handful of live performances. Doors are at 8, and we recommend you get there then — Arthur Russell collaborators Arthur’s Landing (some of whom made up Loose Joints) and post-minimalist composer Elodie Lauten open the night’s events. I saw members of Arthur’s Landing at Santos last week — they’re worth the $10 cover alone. All proceeds go to Doctors Without Borders.
If you’re looking for disco in the city, try Secret Rendezvous’ Love Rescue at Von. The little-known basement soiree hosts the NYC debut for Chicago-based Grimy Edits DJ Zernell alongside resident Love on the Run. You can look forward to disco, soul, boogie, and Afro/Caribbean grooves at this free basement lovefest.
Uptown, The Fader brings back their much-loved One Step Beyond event at the Natural History Museum: The Very Best, a dance-y pop collab between Swedish electronic producers Radioclit and Malawaian vocalist Esau Mwamwaya (say that five times fast) headline the fete, which will take over the museum’s Rose Center. Brooklyn-based rapper Theophilus London, whose This Charming Mixtape vaulted him into indie-hip-hop circles, is also scheduled to perform, as is everyone’s favorite tight-pants rappers (and mildly intimidating forces of destruction), Ninjasonik. Tickets are $25 at the door and guarantee a return entry to the museum. In other hip-hop events, SOB’s Hip Hop for Haiti benefit hosts so many rappers that we’re sure one or three won’t make it: As of now, Styles P, Immortal Technique, Joe Budden, Cormega and “many, many more” are scheduled to appear with DITC’s Lord Finesse on the turntables. Tickets are $25 in advance, more at the door. And though it’s a rough night for those of you who want to see your favorite bands – Magnetic Fields, the National, and Woods are sold out – you can still catch Dim Mak’s Foreign Born and lovable, catchy dance outfit Free Energy play the Knitting Factory for $10.
On Saturday, gypsy-folk hip-hoppers Balkan Beat Box take over Webster Hall in preparation for their Blue Eyed Black Boy album release next month. The Isreal-born Brooklynites provide a mash of Middle Eastern instrumental stylings, electronic undertones, and the occasional sound of a rooster crowing or horse neighing for your dancing pleasure. Yeah. A little more up our alley — and the highlight of the event for us — are Sierra Leone jam band Bajah and the Dry Eye Crew. We could go on, but you’ve heard it before. Doors are at 7:30, tickets are $20 online and more at the door.
We haven’t seen much of Q-Tip since he quietly left OPEN at Santos a few months ago. Luckily for you, he makes a reappearance at Nokia Theater tonight. We expect he’ll be there as an MC and not a DJ, though the event is certainly not lacking there: DJ/producer (turned DJ Hero character) Jazzy Jeff and Stones Throw co-founder Peanut Butter Wolf are on the turntables all night. The last time we saw PBW he was live-mixing music videos, a feat that’s less obnoxious and more fun than it sounds. Tickets are $30 online, but we think it’s worth it for this mix of talent.
The night in electronic music is a showcase of the regulars. Chicago house DJ Derrick Carter makes a stealthy return to Sullivan Room with a disco, soul, and jazz-influenced dance set. Jellybean Benitez takes over the top floor of Santos; downstairs, the Discover party hosts Fool’s Gold’s Treasure Fingers (he’s the guy who made “Cross the Dancefloor”). Lastly, Alex from Tokyo — whose “Black Ships” was recently released on Innerversions — plays at Cielo’s Paradizo with resident Nicolas Matas.