The Best NYC Shows This Week: Kitty, Lil Yachty, Afropunk


As the summer closes out, one of New York’s best festivals will come to Brooklyn this weekend: Afropunk, which for more than ten years has been a platform for black artists who don’t fit into traditional ideas of what “black music” sounds like. This year’s a doozy, with stars like Solange and up-and-comers like Princess Nokia performing for the always incredibly decked-out audience. If you’re looking for some more low-key weekend plans, the Detroit rockers Tyvek play a free show at Union Pool on Saturday. Grab a drink and put your feet up.


Grizzly Bear
Public Arts
9 p.m., $30

It’s been eleven years since Grizzly Bear entered the public eye with Yellow House, a beautifully diffuse collection of impressionistic pop songs. With this aesthetic, the then-Brooklyn-based group set the tone for a segment of the indie universe that focuses on even-tempered, tasteful tunes, fueled by Beach Boys harmonies and elusive melodies that reveal themselves slowly to patient listeners. Last Friday, the group released Painted Ruins, its first album in five years. All the components that make Grizzly Bear fans swoon are still present. But an emotional maturity that wasn’t as obvious in their earlier work is also emerging — several songs coalesce into intelligible odes to marriage, divorce, and fatherhood. The indie kids have finally grown up.


Patrick Higgins (Zs), Brian Degraw (Gang Gang Dance), Tyondai Braxton (DJ), Qasim Naqvi (Dawn of Midi) & Erin Ellen Kelly
Knockdown Center
7 p.m., $15-$20

Even as multimedia art has infiltrated the most mainstream of music spaces, some disciplines have been left behind. Serious dance performances are still mostly the purview of Manhattan theater shows with high ticket prices. This show, presented by Le Poisson Rouge, is an attempt to change that. Music by artists like Patrick Higgins of experimental Brooklyn group Zs, Brian Degraw of the electro psychpop band Gang Gang Dance, circuit bender Tyondai Braxton, and Qasim Naqvi of intricate electro-acoustic project Dawn of Midi will soundtrack performances by dancers from the Loni Landon Dance Project and M/motions. With a space as grand as Knockdown Center at their disposal, these diverse artists should have space to breathe.

Sannhet, Miserable, Planning for Burial
The Park Church Co-Op
8 p.m., $15

Brooklyn instrumental metal trio Sannhet are known for contemplative, surging songs featuring grungy distortion and huge, soaring riffs. Their 2015 album, Revisionist, bristled with heavy layers of droning noise, frantic yet precise percussion, and intricate riffs. The band’s newest track, “Way Out,” feels spacious and relaxed by comparison, giving the three musicians more room to flex their skills without playing over one another. But thankfully, the music’s overwhelming air of doom and melodrama hasn’t receded. This night at the stately Park Church Co-Op should provide some solid headbanging material.

re:ni, Funafuji, Shy Eyez, Lovatron
Bossa Nova Civic Club
10 p.m., free

This monthly party at Brooklyn’s techno clubhouse features beats from across the U.K. dance music spectrum, from drum’n’bass to dub and jungle. It’s a chance for regular Bossa DJs to break out of their usual tech-house groove, and for patrons to enjoy guests from around the world. This month, the London DJ re:ni, of the soundsystem collective SIREN, will make her New York debut, while the South African DJ Funafuji, known as Cape Town’s “first lady of bass,” will bring her dub-heavy tunes to the floor. Local Bossa Nova resident Shy Eyez will back them up with one of her always-solid jungle and bass sets.


Kitty, Teen Suicide, Effie Liu
Baby’s All Right
8 p.m., $10-$12

It’s been five long years sing the release of “Okay Cupid,” the breakthrough single from Kitty (then Kitty Pryde), which set the young artist on a collision course with the highs and lows of online microcelebrity. After a few years of near-silence, a successful Kickstarter campaign, a laptop theft, and a whole lot of waiting, Kitty is finally releasing her debut album, Miami Garden Club. The title track, released as a single with a video, shows how Kitty has grown over this period of time. Replacing the spaced-out irony of her earlier work is a song that reflects the deep longings and disappointments of adult life, with her breathy vocals floating over dreamy synths. But judging from the lineup on her album-release show, which includes the Twitter personality Brandon Wardell, Kitty is as Extremely Online as ever. We’re happy to tread through these meme-infested waters alongside her.

Lil Yachty
Terminal 5
8 p.m., $29-$150

Lil Yachty, a rapidly rising teenage rapper, is most well-known for his guest verse on Big Baby D.R.A.M.’s stoner anthem “Broccoli.” Like D.R.A.M., Yachty has made a name for himself eschewing the conventional indicators of seriousness in hip-hop, instead focusing on silly party songs that trade in pure enthusiasm. Yachty, with his lo-fi, video game-referencing production and sing-song autotune, has more in common with the meme-rap of artists like Lil B than the hyper-professionalism of hip-hop pillars like Kendrick or Jay-Z. This iconoclasm makes Lil Yachty a target for those who feel his music is just a bunch of fluff. But that’s just why it’s so much fun — he doesn’t care.


808 On the Roof
Omar S, Norm Talley, Turtle Bugg
Output Roof
2 p.m., $15-$20

If you’re a techno fan who struggles to stay up all night to see your favorite DJ spin, this daytime roof-deck party at Output is your salvation. The hyper-proficient Detroit tech-house DJ Omar S will headline this end-of-summer party bill, joined by another Detroit house legend, Norm Talley. Turtle Bugg, an up-and-coming New York selector who runs the notorious weekly after-hours party Sublimate, will round out this solid bill.

Afropunk Festival
Solange, Anderson .Paak, SZA, Kaytranada, Thundercat, Princess Nokia, more
Commodore Barry Park
12 p.m., $55-$150

One of New York’s yearly summer highlights is coming up this weekend, with the two-day Afropunk Festival taking over Commodore Barry Park in Fort Greene. There’s so much to love about Afropunk — just marveling at the incredible looks attendees put together for the event could take up your whole day. But the music is also fantastic this year, with headlining performances from reigning queen of alt-r&b Solange, dance genius Kaytranada, and older favorites like Macy Gray. Some newer artists to look out for: Serpentwithfeet, who puts on an astonishing show with his slithering, sexy avant-soul tunes, and Princess Nokia, a quickly rising feminist rapper from the Bronx.

Surf Curse, Lala Lala, Navy Gangs
8 p.m., $12-$14

Surf Curse, a two-piece band formed in Reno, Nevada, play, you guessed it, surf rock. The duo, which now lives in Los Angeles, makes jangly rock that’s along the lines of bands like Beach Fossils and the Drums, though at times its pared-down punk-rock fury is reminiscent of Japandroids’ friendlier moments. Surf Curse’s tunes also have a lightness that pairs well with their friends the feminist pop-punk group Tacocat. They’ll play Ridgewood’s DIY outpost Trans-Pecos with Chicago’s Lala Lala and Brooklyn’s Navy Gangs.

Tyvek, Foster Care, Stallone The Reducer
Union Pool
2 p.m., free

Another great free afternoon show at Union Pool features punk rockers Tyvek, a Detroit outfit who’ve been chugging away making wild-eyed, lyric-stuffed, off-kilter punk for more than ten years now. In that time, more than 22 musicians have cycled through the group, each bringing a unique sound and perspective. Unsurprisingly, that means Tyvek’s sound is a bit hard to pin down. On their most recent album, Origin of What, this is a strength. The record showcases many different ways to attack loud, intense punk music, whether through the dirge-like “Gridlock” or the hyperactive opener “Tip to Tail.” Tyvek, whatever they are, are far from the many punk bands rolling out Ramones rip-offs with the same three chords. What they’re doing is more interesting, and worth watching.