ER doctor fronts legendary punk band
There’s good news and just plain bizarre news about the Germs
“reunion” show. The good news is that three-fourths of the legendary L.A. punk band’s original members, Pat Smear, Lorna Doom, and Don Bolles, will be taking the stage. Now the bizarre: The band’s original lead singer, Darby Crash, committed suicide on the same day that John Lennon was killed, so he can’t make it. Instead, it will be ER‘s Dr. Ray Barnett (Shane West), who is also playing Crash in the upcoming film What We Do Is Secret. West already has a replica of Darby’s panther tattoo and now wears a prosthetic pair of chipped front teeth, but will he go so far as to sing “Circle One,” whose opening line is “I’m Darby Crash”? At 6:45, B.B. King Blues Club & Grill, 237 West 42nd Street, 212-997-4144, $17–$19 KEN SWITZER
Inside the life of Daniel Johnston
Cult legend Daniel Johnston often gets cast into the “outsider artist” category, and in some ways that’s fitting—he’s suffered from mental illness most of his life, had no formal musical training, and has a passion for songwriting that far outweighs his technical skills. But really he’s just a beautiful man with an enormous heart, and he writes music as though his life depends on it—because it does. For the most part, Johnston’s songs have given him the strength to battle his demons, and they’veinfluenced the likes of Kurt Cobain, Sonic Youth, and Matt Groening, to name just a few. But Johnston’s fight hasn’t been easy. Jeff Feuerzeig’s remarkable documentary The Devil and Daniel Johnston(2005), screening tonight, traces the difficult but inspiring life of the artist, from his early days passing out self-recorded cassettes to customers at the McDonald’s where he worked, to his present life in Wexler, Texas, where the 45-year-old Johnston still writes music while living in his parents’ basement. If you’re not a fan already, you will be after watching this film. At 9, Makor, 35 West 67th Street, 212-601-1000, $9 KEN SWITZER
Puerto Rican pride rocks New York City otra vez
If you missed the 2 million-plus Boricua nation on Fifth Avenue during the National Puerto Rican Day Parade in June, then make your way to Celebrate Brooklyn’s Boricua Festival for a revival. The day-long event celebrates Puerto Rico’s dynamic musical landscape, from the island to the mainland satellite villages of the Bronx and El Barrio. Fifty years in the making, Ponce’s legendary salsa band La Sonora Ponceña brings its trumpet-laced melodies to the stage alongside East Harlem’s vintage Latin-funk master Joe Bataan. The Afro-Filipino “King of Latin Soul” promises to make you bugalú, while Puerto Rico’s smooth soneros bring classic dance hits like their popular reinterpretation of Arsenio Rodriguez’s classic “Fuego en el 23.”Grupo Latin Vibe’s vibraphone-infused blend of salsa and jazz will inspire even the most timid dancers, and if you aren’t ready to move by then, Tato Torres’s Yerbabuena will enforce their strict two-dance minimum. The self-proclaimed “urban jíbaros” will bring their brand of New York–flavored Boricua roots music—cuatros, barriles, and all. The Camacho Brothers and Starlite Studio Youth Dancers add the finishing touches, so pack your picnic baskets and dancing shoes (or bomba skirts), and join el pari. That’s Puerto Rican for party, so vente tú! From 2 to 9, 9th Street and Prospect Park West, Brooklyn, 718-855-7882, ext. 45, celebratebrooklyn.org MARINIEVES ALBA
We Must Say
Martin Short stands tall in new musical
Martin Short’s career has improved dramatically since his first acting gig—playing
a life-size Visa card. But perhaps we can credit Short’s plasticity for his very successful career as a character actor and sketch comedian, transforming himself into the inflatable Jiminy Glick, the inflexible Troy Soren, and the indescribable Ed Grimley. But Short, who won a Tony for 1999’s Little Me, now returns to the New York stage as himself—starring in this autobiographical musical featuring the delightfully self- aggrandizing title Martin Short: Fame Becomes Me. Short, with his youthful mien and staring eyes, is an engaging and impish performer, but as his life has been pleasantly free of tabloid fodder (“Sober Actor Happily Married” wouldn’t sell many copies), it should be interesting to see what material he mines. The four-member cast should provide additional interest as they promise to impersonate celebrities such as Judy Garland and Britney Spears. Glick and Grimley threaten to make appearances too. Previews begin today, opens August 17, Jacobs Theatre, 242 West 45th Street, 212-239-6200, $56–$111 ALEXIS SOLOSKI
Sexy rebel: Goapele bares her soul at Summer-Stage.
Neo-soul has evolved over the years, with innovative artists’ songs occasionally eclipsing the increasingly generic tracks coming out of the rest of r&b’s mainstream community. (John Legend’s select neo-soul tracks are a prime example of this evolution.) Alice Smith takes on the genre, inflecting it with rock and pop sounds. Smith will woo the SummerStage audience with her silky and sultry style. Check her new album For Lovers, Dreamers & Me, which will be street-side in September. In the same class, Goapele, whose name means “to move forward” in South African Tswana, belts out politically conscious grooves that make you think as well as two-step. She’s touring for her latest release, Change It All.
And blending it all together are the Ladies of Ubiquita: DJs Reborn, Monica, and Selly—all talented turntablists known on the local scene for their choice of Afrobeat, alternative hip-hop, and deep-house mixes. At 3, Central Park SummerStage, Rumsey Playfield, midpark at 72nd Street , 212-307-7171, free KEISHA FRANKLIN