Big gigantic music festivals featuring people with names that even those living deep in the Amazon forests or on the wild, wild plains of New Zealand have heard of tend to suck up most of the cultural airspace when they come to town–All Points West being no exception here. But this is an exceptionally good summer weekend for music that’s entirely free and outdoors, too, no ferry and/or New Jersey required. Including: tonight’s Polvo/Obits show at the South Street Seaport, at which an absurd amount of classic ’90s guitar playing will reunite–Polvo, gearing up for their first album since ’97, apparently playing mostly beloved back catalogue stuff, although surely “Beggars Bowl,” the band’s startlingly good new song, will make a cameo; Obits, well, enough about Obits. Just go see Obits.
Also tonight are the Vivian Girls and the newly global These Are Powers, paying homage to Dan Graham at the Whitney Museum, which is of course pay what you wish. And although All Points West costs a fair bit of money, the afterparty with Crystal Castles, Maggie Horn, and Kingdom at the mysterious Red Bull Space on Thompson Street is totally free, as long as you RSVP here.
There’s another one of those afterparties on Saturday night, too, with Tokyo Police Club DJing, LA Riots, and Alex English. Same deal, RSVP-wise. And, earlier on, Central Park Summerstage has M. Ward, Mike Watt, Nels Cline, and Yuka Honda, the concept being “songwriting innovators,” or something to that effect. But Saturday’s real highlight is this dreamy sounding Dean & Britta soundtracking Andy Warhol screen tests thing at Celebrate Brooklyn in Prospect Park, which will utilize what is allegedly “NYC’s largest outdoor film screen.” Crystal Stilts open.
And on Sunday, the Jelly NYC Pool Party people avenge themselves against last week’s thunder and lightning and Trail of Dead cancellation with a bonkers round robin show featuring Dan Deacon, Deerhunter, and the perennially great No Age, with apparent cameos from Ed Schrader, White Rainbow, and Infinite Body. In other words, out of control. Piece enough of these shows together and you’ve got a kind of recession-man’s music festival that many people would be happy to charge you lots of money for in other circumstances. Plus: no Tool!