“You better buy a ticket and get your ass to Mars,” advises the wise Johnny Loftus. He is, of course, speaking in reference to the latest installment of The Fader‘s “One Step Beyond” series, which takes place in the American Museum of Natural History’s Rose Center for Earth and Space. There, you can embrace the foamy, synth-padded hip-hop of Theophilus London as well as the only band who can’t be accused of “stealing Afropop” these days, the Very Best. Foreign Born, however, is one of the accused — they’re playing the Knitting Factory. Fans of grainy, lo-fi folk will have to miss out on the sold-out Woods/Real Estate show at the Music Hall of Williamsburg; fortunately, the Magnetic Fields are still in town, ready to croon their deadpan romantic tales at Town Hall, while go-to alt.rockers the National, take over the Bell House.
On Saturday, the Sundelles (just picture a blissfully maniacal dude jiving with balloons) will be playing alongside disaffected party-poppers Darlings at the Cake Shop. For those unwilling to sacrifice their ears to SXSW or trek across the border, this event is a small substitution, featuring other such SXSW-bound acts as Total Slacker, Whatever Brains, and Big Troubles. To avoid SXSW all together, head to Cameo Gallery for Oberhofer’s cymbal-splashing, celebratory nostalgia. Or there’s always a night at Shea Stadium, where you can delightfully partake in the doomsday shitgaze of PC Worship. Even better is the Knitting Factory’s 4th Annual Hip-Hop Karaoke Tribute to the Notorious B.I.G.; if you plan to attend, heed the pragmatic Stacey Anderson: “Have techniques drippin’ out your buttcheeks.”
On Sunday, head to Don Pedro to check out Stupid Party, who’ve been praised by the one, the only Christopher R. Weingarten for having “everything that’s beautiful about ugly fucknoise rock — short songs, dollops of feedback, Jesus Lizard yowl, superfuzz bigmuffery — but with big, colorful hooks that belie their disheveled exterior.” It’s that or an evening at Silent Barn with Truman Peyote, a group with all the jubilance of Animal Collective, minus the cortex-crippling noise.