FRIDAY | 5.30
Remembering a nightlife legend
It was hard to miss Dean Johnson: The bald, six-foot-six nightlife star and rocker commanded any space with his presence, whether it was the dim back room of an '80s-era hustler bar or the stage of CBGB's. Sadly, missing him is still hard: Johnson died under mysterious circumstances last September, and on what would have been his 47th birthday, the throngs of queer performers he worked with, advised, and inspired will pay him tribute at Rock 'n' Roll Fag Bar 2008: The Benefit Concert. Johnson's bands, the Weenies and the Velvet Mafia, will play classics like "The Girl From Planet Muff" and "This Stud's for You," with special guests filling in as frontman, such as Justin Bond, Kevin Aviance, and Joey Arias. Big shoes to fill. At 10:30, Don Hill's, 511 Greenwich Street, velvet mafiatheband.com, $10–$15 SHARYN JACKSON
Wire hoist their pink flag
The season of the outdoor festival is upon us, which generally means the demand for modestly famous, sturdily veteran, and generally non-threatening bands should perk up. All six of the upcoming shows listed on Wire's MySpace page are festival gigs, and who could blame them? The London-based band, who last year celebrated the 30-year anniversary of their abrupt art-punk document Pink Flag, are poised to release Object 47 in July—by their count, the latest prime-numbered release in a discography soon to be a half-century deep. As yet, the album's only teaser is a song cheekily titled "Want to Ex You," which, when pronounced out loud (preferably in an English accent), sounds suspiciously like "12XU." So, don't worry: They know what's expected of them. Tonight, the band leads off both the Seaport Music Festival and River to River, the city's post-9/11 initiative against the June, July, and August heat. At 7, South Street Seaport, 207 Front Street, 212-732-7678, free ZACH BARON
The Raconteurs get even more chaotic
Unlike the White Stripes, who have been refining their blues-punk blasts for the past six or seven years, the Raconteurs (with frontmen Jack White and Brendan Benson and the rhythm section from the Greenhornes) are getting wilier and more chaotic the more they play together: Their recently released sophomore disc, Consolers of the Lonely, is a much more eclectic, haphazard affair than the band's 2006 debut, a creative progression reflected in their decision to rush-release the album into stores in March, only about a month after it was recorded. Don't like what you hear? Wait a few minutes. The Black Lips, from Atlanta, make a big show of embracing chaos, especially onstage, where they've been known to incite violence and spew bodily fluids upon (presumably unwilling) audience members. The band's music, though, is an exceedingly crafty blend of garage-punk throttle and soul-rock shake. At 7, also Saturday and Sunday, Terminal 5, 610 West 56th Street, terminal 5nyc.com, $40 MIKAEL WOOD
Theater folks take on the cinema
The folks over at the Brick, who have given us such hilariously themed theater festivals as the Baby Jesus One-Act Jubilee and the Pretentious Festival, have cooked up a real brain teaser this time with The Film Festival: A Theater Festival. "So which one is it?" you ask. It's both! Kind of. The month-long program features short films created by some of Off- and Off-Off-Broadway's best-loved performers, playwrights, and directors, including Mike Daisey, Clay McLeod Chapman, and T. Ryder Smith. Works not to be missed include the murder mystery Death at Film Forum, and the documentary Walkouts . . . Henry IV at BAM, in which an interviewer caught up with theatergoers as they were leaving the controversial 2003 production. There will also be live performances for your entertainment, beginning with tonight's free preview party and cabaret show. Starts today, through June 29, the Brick Theater, 575 Metropolitan Avenue, Brooklyn, check bricktheater.com for ticket information ANGELA ASHMAN
Lights, Camera, Brooklyn!
The BK gets competitive
Film festivals are popping up like popcorn these days, so we can understand if you've got a little fest fatigue at this point. But before you go entirely numb, consider the Brooklyn International Film Festival, a cinematic competition that brings directorial talent from all over the world to New York. The opening-night film, Able Danger, is from Brooklyn native Paul Krik and was shot at the café bookstore Vox Pop. A tale of conspiracy, intrigue, and star-crossed romance, the film adds a new twist to an old formula by wedding the 9/11 Truth movement to classic film noir. An after-party and concert follow. At 8, through June 8, Brooklyn Lyceum, 227 Fourth Avenue, Brooklyn, check for full schedule, venues, and pricing, $25 for opening night EUDIE PAK
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