The 10 Best Concerts in New York This Weekend, 8/8/14


For more shows throughout the weekend, check out our New York Concert Calendar, which we update daily.

Friday, 8/8:

Cassandra Wilson + Campbell Brothers
Damrosch Bandshell
7:00 p.m., free
Jazz digs roots as Lincoln Center Out of Doors’ ambitious inaugural Americanafest NYC continues with “A Sacred Steel Love Supreme,” wherein the Campbell Brothers apply their superb gospel-steel-guitar skills to John Coltrane’s most exalted opus. And expect jazz singer Cassandra Wilson to lean toward the blues and folk standards heard on 2012’s Another Country. — By Richard Gehr

‘Latino Punk Fest’
The Acheron (and multiple other locations)
Friday through Sunday, 2:00 p.m., $15
The first (and hopefully annual) Latino Punk Fest will hit New York City this weekend, kicking off at the Acheron on Friday evening. Fans of spanish-language hardcore and d-beat will be able to check out local latino acts including NYC’s own Rebuschaos and Anasazi (of Sacred Bones fame) as well as New Jersey’s Gusano. The ferocious Eske hail from Chicago and Pura Mania are traveling all the way from Vancouver. LA’s Generacion Suicida headline and you might remember them from the April festival Burnouts En Baja Volume One, Coachella’s much more talented and angry sister. Latino Punk fest is for those who are sick of the heteronormative, sexist, fascist and racist themes that can sometimes rear its ugly head into heavy music. Fuck that, go to this. — By Maria Sherman

Amanda X + Two Inch Astronaut + Wing Dam + Cousin Brian
Death by Audio
8:00 p.m., $8
An ascending wave of Riot Grrl-y fresh blood and vet action is currently ruling the indie milieu, led by coed outfits and gals alike as Speedy Ortiz, Hospitality, Frankie Cosmos, Ex Hex and A Sunny Day In Glasgow prove crucial underground favorites. With its grungy, yet sweet as pie, melodic cruncher Amnesia (via the legendary Siltbreeze label), Philly post-punk trio Amanda X joins that impressive list as next big thing. From the get-go, Amnesia busts out with beefy and striking hooks, lo-fi goodness and husky vocals that melt the pogoing energy of Sleater-Kinney and Beat Happening’s playful simplicity with The Raincoats’ poppy experimentalism and make it Amanda X’s own. Rounding out this stacked bill of popcentrics are fellow Philadelphians Cousin Brian, Baltimore’s Wing Dam and DC’s Two Inch Astronaut. — By Brad Cohan

‘Full Moon Fest’
Governors Island
8:00 p.m., $30-$50
A full moon occurs every 29 days, but the Full Moon Festival on Governors Island only happens once a year. Inspired by monthly, all-night full-moon parties in Thailand, the NYC version is an annual end-of-summer celebration featuring a diverse line-up of artists of all varieties celebrating the cosmic qualities of the new moon. This year’s headliners include Delorean, the Knocks, Claptone, Son Lux and many more. Produced by Matte Projects, Full Moon Fest is now in its fourth year as the must-attend August beach party, selling out each go-around. This year is no different thanks to the great collection of fun and dance-y artists soundtracking the evening, so act fast and come ready to howl. — By Brittany Spanos

Saturday, 8/9:

St. Vincent + San Fermin
Prospect Park Bandshell
8:00 p.m., free
The brilliantly utilitarian video for “Digital Witness,” taking place in either North Korea or on another planet, is eerily dance-less, unless you count ultra-expressive eyebrow movement. And in “Cruel,” no current pop star more convincingly vilifies children. It’s all evidence that the comparisons between St. Vincent and David Bowie, while premature, are well on their way to becoming justified. Who knew an Oklahoman named Annie would become hip Brooklyn’s bastion of the technological age, blanched mop bobbing with all due apathy? Tonight St. Vincent will serve as the finale of Celebrate Brooklyn in one of this summer’s most buzzed-about shows. Ellis Ludwig-Leone’s San Fermin will open with their operatic folk pop. — By Heather Baysa

‘Mad Decent Block Party’
MCU Park
3:00 p.m., $44
Diplo is kind of everywhere these days. From rumors of romancin’ Katy Perry to a cameo in 22 Jump Street, he’s become the most immediately recognizable DJ since DJ AM. Yet it’s easy to forget how it all started: a collaboration with M.I.A. on her gargantuan hit “Paper Planes” and the success of his independent label Mad Decent. The label has hosted some of the hottest acts of the past few years, including Dip’s dancehall project Major Lazer, viral “Harlem Shake” producer Baauer, “Turn Down for What” producer DJ Snake, and Snoop Dogg’s reggae alter ego Snoop Lion. Its growth has been helped in part by the expansion of the Mad Decent Block Party, the once Philly-based showcase that has become a formidable traveling festival featuring artists from the label alongside some guest acts. This year’s NYC show takes place at Coney Island’s MCU Park and features DJ Snake, Dillon Francis and Diplo alongside Chicago’s Chance the Rapper. — By Brittany Spanos

Modest Mouse + Brand New
Forest Hills Stadium
6:30 p.m., $49.50-$59.50
Known in the mainstream for their 2004 YOLO anthem, “Float On,” Modest Mouse has churned out six albums in the last 12 years whose only constants are frontman Isaac Brock’s anguished yowl, abundant metaphors for disillusionment, lanky guitar lines, and the occasional sleazy brass hiccup. Joining them onstage is pop punk-cum-emo-cum-straight up indie rock foursome Brand New, whose similarly long career has launched albums ranging in style and gravitas from the kind of music a tween would LiveJournal about, to the kind that makes one ponder universal truths–if they can hear their thoughts over Jesse Lacey’s screams. — By Sarah Madges

Sunday, 8/10:

‘Americanafest NYC’
Damrosch Bandshell
5:00 p.m., free
Capping a week of live performances, including last night’s Roseanne Cash bash with Buddy Miller & Jim Lauderdale, this afternoon’s Roots Symposium and documentary screenings make up the finale to Americanafest NYC’s inaugural shindig devoted to the power of soul. Daptone recording artist Charles Bradley, a former James Brown impersonator with an impressive comeback story, shares the bill with fellow survivor Bobby Patterson, whose recent sophomore release arrives four decades after a debut featuring “This Whole Funky World Is a Ghetto.” And “revivalist” doesn’t begin to cover the feel and appeal of powerful young Alabamans St. Paul & the Broken Bones nor apply at all to the Music Maker Blues Revue featuring Carolina Chocolate Drop Dom Flemons, Beverly “Guitar” Watkins, and Ironing Board Sam. — By Richard Gehr

Nels Cline
The Stone
Friday through Sunday, 8:00 p.m. daily, $15
Don’t expect “Jesus, Etc” or “Handshake Drugs” during the Wilco guitarist’s residency this week – he has two or three other lives he wants to show you. Each involves some of the most intrepid improv maneuvers around, from pin-drop subtleties to balls-out skronk. BBC lets him rampage with fellow travelers Tim Berne and Jim Black. There will also be duos with other string players; the sets with Elliott Sharp and Mary Halvorson offer plenty of promise. But the kickoff show by the Nels Cline Singers is the must-see event. Long story short, their new Macroscope is a masterpiece of free-flowing interplay. — By Jim Macnie

Giant Peach
Death by Audio
8:00 p.m., $7
You’ve gotta love how New York’s Giant Peach attack their guitars, as though they’re electrified whisks blurring the egg yolks of creation. It helps, of course, that co-vocalists/guitarists Mike Naideau and Fran Chang have hooks for days and neither over- nor under-sell them, and that drummer Davey Shotwell is so innately responsive to their impulses. Compounding the fact that Giant Peach are yet another in a long line of modern bands that would have set the zine circuit ablaze during the Clinton years, Chang’s strident quaver is a dead ringer for that of Cinder Block, front woman for the invigorating, now-forgotten punk band Tilt. The coincidence seems, sadly, instructive. — By Raymond Cummings

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