The Weekender

5) The Soft Pack, Skaters, Sundelles at Union Pool

While San Diego sun-punks The Soft Pack may be in for a rude, northeast-in-the-throes-of-January awakening this weekend (global climate whatever not withstanding) their set is sure to be all beach-bum riffs and good-guacamole lyrics. Someone at the Union Pool booking think-tank likes these guys—as they did a two night stand here in July—and after they melt the mid-winter frost on Saturday night, chances are you will too.

Sunday, doors at 9pm

4) Nude Beach, Fletcher Johnsons, Vivid at Mercury Lounge

Ok people, with the no-pants subway ride mercifully in NYC’s hairy lower back and cellulite-dimpled rear view mirror, lets please resist the free-wheeling urge to take it all off at Nude Beach’s Friday night set in the LES. First of all, Mercury Lounge is a small place, certain—ahem—objects are going to be much closer than they appear. Second of all, to fully appreciate Nude Beach’s fast-lane brand of retro-revivalism you are going to want more than a little air between your ass and the floor. Yes, Levi’s will suffice. Underwear, however, is a personal decision.

Friday, doors at 10pm

3) Talib Kweli at SOB’s

This marks Kweli’s’s first appearance in The Weekender top five which, for followers of Trending and this little slice of embittered life, may come as a bit of a surprise. From atop those Bushwick-based soapboxes I have routinely inferred that the scene vet is one of my all-time MCs and yet he has, time after time, fallen victim to near misses, shoot-around calf strains, and a myriad of other heartbreaks/stagecoach robberies. My journalistic conscience (lol) is finally giving me some digestion problems, however, especially considering Kweli’s own DIY ethos match those of NYC’s biggest live music revolution since, so welcome to the club, man. Once a Skull, always a Skull.

Sunday, doors at 8

2) John Cale at BAM

On the heels of the the weirdest and widest reaching set of the week, Life on the Borderline: A Tribute to Nico assaulted BAM on Wednesday night with enough avant firepower to completely raze Bushwick and cripple the supply network of the entire tri state fine art community. Curated by Velvet Underground founder John Cale, the grab-bag bill featured the likes of Sharon Van Etten, Yeasayer, Peaches (remember her?), and the woman of my wildest nightmares, Allison Mosshart. With stage manager duties thusly behind him, Cale takes to the museum again tonight to present his 1973 cornerstone Paris 1919 with the Wordless Music Orchestra. Freaky Friday, indeed.

Friday, doors at 8pm

1) Neurosis, James Plotkin, Tim Wyskida, Carlos Giffoni at Brooklyn Masonic Temple

Still riding the critical drool-wave of their sludge, crust, doom, thrash, and trash-filled burlap sack of an album, Honor Found in Decay, Oakland loud vets Neurosis are in mid-Brooklyn on Saturday night for what is sure to be an awesome, black denim-heavy show (redundant, I know). Kiss your eardrums goodbye and give your girlfriend a hug at the door because this one is going to be total war.

Saturday, doors at 7pm


Honorable Mentions

ADT Home Security Systems Showcase

Burglar Fucker at Death By Audio

Brave the Birkenstocks

Umphrey’s McGee at Brooklyn Bowl

Westchester Hardcore

Guster at the Portchester Theatre