NY's Alright Festival
New York’s Alright Festival

A few decades ago, if I wanted to buy a Gorilla Biscuits or Dead Kennedys t-shirt, it meant dragging my scared, skinny fifteen-year-old self to St. Mark’s Place to find it. Nowadays, kids can buy subversive band t-shirts at any neighborhood Hot Topic. Punk music is not just a more convenient affiliation than in past years, it is more rewarding too, as can be witnessed in some fine bands playing in Bushwick at the New York’s Alright Festival.

The festival takes place in a number of venues around the city, and highlights both national and international acts that rarely perform here. Featured acts include Isterismo, the Nandas, and Glue.

Listening to Isterismo is like being slammed by a truck driver high on amphetamines: their sound will plow into you and drag you through the streets with relentless fury.  They perform as the last act in a four-band lineup that begins Friday at 11 pm. While the show is listed as sold out, Heaven Street Records, located at 184  Noll Street, was still selling tickets as of press time. It could be worth it just to go to The Acheron and take your chances with the doorman, since you are likely to stumble upon one of many unofficial shows taking place in the immediate area.

On Sunday, The Wick closes out the festival by honoring the memory of CBGB’s all-ages afternoon show that starts at 4 pm, with Glue taking the stage as the second act.

trey frey_unknown_pyoerg_greenpointersWe also like the non-festival electronica lineup playing at Palisades on Friday night at 8 pm. The headliner, Trey Frey, is often characterized as playing chip music: what you would hear accompanying a video game. However, there is a very human, acoustic kindness in his synth sounds, arrangements, and beats. His mixes have the soul of a Middle Tea party on Fire Island Pines, and they can bring you to ocean breezes and the sun-soaked sensation of summer.

In case you are worried about making any of these Bushwick shows with L train repairs happening this weekend, remember that it is still running east into Brooklyn from the Lorimer stop. And hey, lazybones, you can also take advantage of the warm weather and bike there. The venues are about ten minutes from Enid’s, and fifteen if you live closer to the Creek. You can find a map to all the venues here.

Typical Greenpoint bike commute (c) Montecruz Foto
Typical Greenpoint bike commute (c) Montecruz Foto

Having the L train not run from Manhattan could be a nice breather. It means that you can walk around all day in whatever clothes were at the top of the pile on your bed, without some Lower East Sider admiringly categorizing you as “normcore.” But don’t forget that it is also important to counter any attendance effect on North Brooklyn music venues and record stores by frequenting them this weekend. It will be both rewarding and convenient!

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *