The Hold Steady, our favorite group of “wizened and wistful” meta-rock daddies (or “lowbrow bar rockers,” your pick), perform tonight as part of WNYC’s “Soundcheck” program” at the Greene Space. Then, abruptly setting aside all wisdom/wistfulness, the night plunges into a DJ-set orgy: Neon Indian spins chilled-out, reverb-besotted records at Shea Stadium, and later on at Webster Hall for a $1 show with Sir Moby. Meanwhile, Passion Pit bros out among the Bro-Magnon Men during a gushy round of DJing at the Museum of Natural History. The Joshua Light Show returns to the Abrons Arts Center to conjure up another kaleidoscopic barf of colors with fellow late-’60s survivors Silver Apples, one of the first groups to rock out with synthesizers and oscillators. Over at Monster Island, Golden Triangles (a former Yes in My Backyard pick specializing in “trashy music to get naked by“) take the stage with the Babies (the Woods/Vivian Girls fuzz-folk supergroup), while shitty-McShitgaze all-stars PC Worship vanquish Zebulon.
Saturday has shows up the wazoo and around the corner: Current Voice cover boys and grandiose orchestral-pop stars the National unleash their cool awkwardness and hilarious despair for the benefit of Red Hot at BAM. At Pianos, new Yes in My Backyard celebs ArpLine work their synthesizers, “blurting out rainbow squiggles that somehow temper their quirky pop with an easygoing, always fashionable New York cool.” Tri-harmonic, instrumental traffic-jammers Dinosaur Feathers are opening. Or, catch Crystal Stilts’ unfazed drone-pop at Glasslands, witness the cathartic post-punk of Parts & Labor at the Knitting Factory, or wallow in the curdling, electronic mudbath of Black Dice’s Eric Copeland at Silent Barn. Also in the neighborhood are psych-rock junkies Spectrum with Joshua Light Show at the Abrons Arts Center, intense sampler-ravers These Are Powers at Secret Project Robot, or retro-rockers Dr. Dog and penis-twirling Americana outfit Deer Tick at Terminal 5. Finally, the Cake Shop is hosting a lo-fi pop show of escalating degrees of intensity: Girls at Dawn < X-Ray Eyeballs < The Fresh & Onlys < Darlings < Liquor Store.
On to Sunday. With the beginning of the annual “Taste of Williamsburg” food festival comes the afterparty at Brooklyn Bowl, featuring Motown pop from the Postelles and electro-grind from Internal Devices. At Terminal 5, indie-pop pinup girl Emily Haines leads Metric alongside the gurgling, echo-rock bash of Bear in Heaven, while the East Coast’s largest punk record fair resumes at Southpaw.