The Best NYC Shows This Week: Open Mike Eagle, A$AP Mob, “Cruising”


In recent years, far too many beloved independent venues in Brooklyn have either been shut down or relocated. Silent Barn, which moved from its original, scrappy Ridgewood home to its current location in Bushwick in 2012, is one of the few survivors. At its new space, the collective has taken the ethos that made its original location so special and grown it into something sustainable and legal. But in this economic climate, the countless hours of volunteer work that make Silent Barn possible aren’t enough to keep it going. To that end, the venue has announced an excellent week of fundraising shows featuring some of its favorite artists, from Shamir to Xenia Rubinos. With a sliding scale of admission ranging from $8 to $20 (or $50 for the whole week), these shows are still highly affordable, and totally worth your time.

A$AP Mob, Playboi Carti, Key!, Cozy Boys
Central Park Summerstage
6:30 p.m., $45–$50

Two years after the death of A$AP Yams — the mastermind behind A$AP Mob’s sound who helped rocket the Harlem rappers from the gritty underground into the diamond-encrusted mainstream — the group is still struggling to find its identity. The Mob’s most recent album, Cozy Tapes, Vol. 2: Too Cozy, is ridiculously star-studded, with appearances from Gucci Mane, Frank Ocean, and many more of rap’s brightest lights. Still, they sometimes fall short of the originality and breeziness that made their previous work stand out. But songs like “Get the Bag” and, especially, “What Happens” allow the group’s primary talents — A$AP Rocky and A$AP Ferg — to shine. They’ll play this summer-closeout show in Central Park with rising rap star Playboi Carti.

Open Mike Eagle, Scallops Hotel, Sammus
Knitting Factory
8 p.m., $12–$15

In a hip-hop landscape in which seemingly half of the most popular rappers sing more than they spit, Open Mike Eagle feels like a breath of fresh air. His clear lyrics, easy flow, and airy production give the genre a much-needed dose of sunshine. But that’s not to say his music shies away from darkness: His new album, Brick Body Kids Still Daydream, is an ode to the Chicago housing project where he visited relatives growing up, which was demolished by the city in the 2000s. These loopy, surreal, Dilla-inspired beats and soft-spoken rhymes tap into one vein of the deep pain that plagues America’s black communities. By dealing directly with the structural racism that stunts the lives of black people in America, Eagle has made a protest album that hits harder than most of the many attempted anti-Trump anthems.

Shamir, gobbinjr, Zenizen, Hypoluxo
Silent Barn
8 p.m., $8–$20

One of the best fundraiser shows at Silent Barn this week features Shamir, the Las Vegas–born indie r&b star whose excellent 2014 single “On the Regular” put him on the map. After his slick, highly enjoyable disco-pop debut Ratchet in 2015, Shamir returned this April with an album he recorded in one weekend; it took the young artist in the direction of lo-fi pop preferred by some of his favorite artists, like fellow Philly resident Alex G. Shamir will headline a show that includes local favorites gobbinjr, who play charming, poison-tongued lo-fi indie pop.

Charly Bliss, Sad13, Bellows
Music Hall of Williamsburg
9 p.m., $15

Poptimism may have jumped the shark, but its gift to us is groups like Charly Biss, who revel in their bubblegum aura without shame. The New York band sounds like your favorite Nineties group slightly pitched up and sweetened, like if Liz Phair was completely unabashed about her love of Paramore. It’s not hard to love Charly Bliss’s debut, Guppy — every song is doused in sing-along choruses and sick guitar riffs. Their show should be pure fun.

Container, Pelada, Young Male (DJ), Motiv-A, VIA APP (DJ)
8 p.m., $12–$15

Ren Schofield, the producer and performer known as Container, trades in harsh, industrial noises that he blends into more traditional techno. His last full-length album, 2015’s LP, was not exactly easy listening — most of the tracks are so distorted and noisy that it’s hard to call them dance music. Schofield came back last year with the Vegetation EP, which showed a different side to his sound — tripped-out tracks like “Soak” are not far from standard techno fare. He’ll play alongside Montreal duo Pelada, whose electro floats near the border of post-punk, with intense vocals and new wave drum beats.

Lydia Lunch, Jesse Lynch, Michael Foster, Matt Nelson, Mostly Other People Do the Killing
The Park Church Co-Op
8 p.m., $12–$15

The infamous punk veteran Lydia Lunch will curate this night of out-there experimental jazz and performance in Greenpoint. The show features piano from Jesse Lynch, Matt Nelson on tenor sax, and a headlining collaboration put together by Lunch herself. The night is a benefit for a public art project that will honor Greenpoint’s Polish heritage. The piece, Ziemia (Polish for “Earth”), will be a ceramic orb formed out of clay taken from the ground nearby and glazed with soil from places around the world that are meaningful to the community.

Dave Harrington, Jeremy Black & Trevor Brooks, Sam Cohen, Jeremy Gustin, Shore (1), Clebs
8 p.m., $10

The multi-instrumentalist Dave Harrington is best known as one half of Darkside, his moody, atmospheric collaboration with composer Nicholas Jaar. On this special night in Ridgewood, Harrington will perform a one-time-only collaboration with DJs Jeremy Black and Trevor Brooks and many other musician friends. The newly formed ensemble will record an EP in the days leading up to the show, and, according to Resident Advisor, the music will blend “live drum programming, modular synthesizer, electric guitars, keyboards, and live drum kit.” There’s only one way to find out what’s going to happen — show up.

Cruising rescored by False Witness, Gooddroid
The Spectrum
9 p.m., $10

In 1980, William Friedkin, director of The Exorcist, released his most controversial movie ever. Cruising, an adaptation of a blatantly homophobic novel, depicted an undercover cop (played by Al Pacino) who must infiltrate New York’s gay s&m underground to find a murderer. Gay advocates at the time hurled verbal and even physical insults at the production — activists attempted to stop the making of the movie by throwing bottles and blasting stereos. But in the decades since the film was released, it has become a cult hit and has even been embraced by parts of the queer community. The abrasive, brazen DJ False Witness will rescore the film at the Spectrum’s fabulous Ridgewood venue, giving a sonic critique based in queer theory and the music of the era. Whatever you think of the film, this performance should make you see it anew.

St*rbucks Ombre, Xenia Rubinos, Emily Reo, Vexxed, Anna Altman
Silent Barn
8 p.m., $8–$20

We’re not sure what “St*rbucks Ombre” is, other than a reference to a questionable pink beverage, but they’re headlining this great show during Silent Barn’s week of fundraising. Based on the rest of the lineup, it’s likely that whoever they are, they’ll be worth seeing. The endlessly surprising and inventive Xenia Rubinos — whose 2016 album, Black Terry Cat, mixed soul, jazz, pop, and r&b, and deserved far more attention than it received — is the main attraction. Emily Reo, a friend of Silent Barn and excellent electropop composer, will also play.

Princess Nokia, Suzi Analogue
8 p.m., $20–$25

Since the release of her old-school-inspired mixtape 1992 last year, the androgynous Bronx rapper Princess Nokia has become a staple of the New York underground scene, bringing a queer perspective to her autobiographical rhymes. She’ll play Williamsburg’s Villain with the adventurous producer Suzi Analogue, who has provided beats for forward-thinking rappers like DJ Earl and Nappa Nappa. Her two-tape series ZONEZ is strongly based in an audiovisual experience, so watching her live should provide a more complete picture of her work.