The next four days bring roughly a bajillion good shows to the area. I have spent the better part of the summer figuring out what shows to attend. I think I've got it sussed out. Time for you to do some sussing:
First there's the Drive By Truckers at Castle Clinton (or, if the forecast holds, an undisclosed indoor location...probably Pace University's Schimmel Center) at 7 p.m. It's free, but you have to line up to get tickets, which will be given out at 5 p.m. Then you have to continue waiting on line to get inside at 6 p.m.. And all that line waiting will be worth it when you see the mighty power of the Drive By Truckers. I am currently recovering from last night's acoustic "Dirt Underneath" DBT show in Philly (home at 3:10 a.m.), and as much as that kicked ass, Thursday's show will be all rock, so it will kick that much more ass.
And when it's all over, you can hightail it up to the Mercury Lounge, where former Trucker Jason Isbell does a show with his new band (and with Justin Townes Earle opening...note the last name). Will Jason reunite with the Truckers? Will the Truckers join Jason? Will Steve Earle check out his son's show? All these questions and more can only be answered by attending the shows tomorrow. Do it.
In a tragic turn of events, the DBT show falls on the same day as the free '80s show of the year in Brooklyn. Yes, not only do you get a set from Air Supply, but you also can rock out to the sweet soul stylings of the one and only, Mr. Billy Ocean. It is a testament to my love of the Drive By Truckers that I am passing up a rare chance to hear "Get Out of My Dreams, Get Into My Car" to see them. But I will understand if (hey! hey!) you (you!) have to go to the Billy Ocean show. Get in the backseat, baby!
OK, so there's The everybodyfields and Robinella at the Knitting Factory, Neko Case at Summerstage, Bobby "Blue" Bland at Celebrate Brooklyn, Will Hoge and the Deadstring Brothers at Southpaw, and Nick Lowe at the Housing Works Used Book Cafe. If you can't find something you like among all those people, I'm gonna have to ask you to leave the blog. Only excuse for not going to at least one of the above shows is that you need to see the new episode of Degrassi. And even still, you can probably catch it and make one of the concerts.
I hope to be able to go to the Bobby "Blue" Bland show and the Will Hoge/Deadstring Brothers show. Or maybe the everybodyfields/Robinella show and the Hoge/Deadstring show. Or...
Good weekend for a roadtrip, as this is apparently the unofficial Cool Festival Weekend. So I'm headed (I think) to the Grassroots Festival in Trumansburg, NY to see Slo Mo and whoever else I have time to catch on Saturday and the Duhks and the Avett Brothers on Sunday. Also, I plan to punch a hippie. OK, not really. But if one steps to me...
Other fine festivals include the Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival in Ancramdale, NY (Marty Stuart, the Greencards, Biscuit Burners, the Kruger Brothers, Crooked Still, Sam Bush), Artscape in Baltimore (Avett Brothers, Old 97s, Greencards, Sam Bush), Green River Festival in Greenfield, MA (Buddy Guy, Neko Case, James Hunter, Erin McKeown), and the WXPN All About the Music Festival in Camden, NJ (Will Hoge, Kim Richey, Fountains of Wayne, Hoots and Hellmouth). There's also an all-day show at the Stone Pony in Asbury Park, NJ on Saturday with Fountains of Wayne and the Drive By Truckers. Or if you don't want to travel far on Saturday, there's Hal Willner's Doc Pomus Project at Celebrate Brooklyn in Prospect Park, headlined by Captain Excitement, Lou Reed.
Seriously, get in the car (or on the train or the bus) this weekend and go somewhere. No excuses.