Our cold and wintry nights have put me in a philosophical mood.
There are hundreds of bands and DJ’s playing in Brooklyn this weekend. How to listen to them all and find only the best for you. It sounds impossible.
What To Do?
There is a branch of philosophy called Epistemology that could help out here.
It asks the question, What do we really know?
For instance, when you see a bird in a tree, how do you know it’s not just some conspiratorial government optical projection of a bird in a tree?
You see, with Philosophy, normally you can impress your stoner friends by saying something like:
You need to climb the ladder of logic to realize you don’t need a ladder at all.
(Friends: “Whoa!” [cough cough])
Epistemology ruins the magic by interrupting with: You’re an idiot, you have no ladder, show it to us tough guy! Stop lying to America. It’s like the Donald Trump of academicians.
But Epistemology helps me here, because it means that even if I did listen to every song from every band playing this weekend, it would only represent my opinion about the best bands, not the actual best bands.
So all I really have to do is give you some bands that are not droning on and perfectly horrible, and it will have made the world just a little bit better.
In other words, I just have to find bands that match a standard you haven’t found in your last ten dates.
But seriously, all the bands below exceed that standard, and put on an excellent show.
Let’s start tonight (2/18) in Greenpoint, which sees No One and the Somebodies capping off a six-band lineup starting at 8 PM at Aviv. They released a joint album with Palberta last year. No One’s carefree, crooked-corner melodies will be a hit with Phish fans.
For Phish fans, there is also Jazz is Phish playing nearby at The Hall at MP at 9 pm, with time enough after the show to get to Aviv before No One is likely to take the stage.
For Friday (2/19) I’d go with Emperor X at Silent Barn in Bushwick. Doors open at 8 and you can see a band that meets the promise of their song titles (ex. “At a Rave with Nicholas Sarkozy”) with lyrically everything that “hey, listen to me!” anti-folk bands promise, but rarely deliver. Then, on top of that, you also get crowd-stirring energy and pop accessibility.
But I’m also a sucker for Rhett Miller so if you’re up for the G train Friday night, he’s playing at Bell House in Gowanus. Here’s from his Old 97’s days:
This is the story of Victoria’s heart
You might think it’s stupid but I still think it’s art
She lost her lover to an accident at sea
She pushed him overboard and ended up with me
Sorry, had some favorite lyrics there.
OK finally now for Sunday (2/20). If you’ve already gone out for a couple of nights as recommended above, I’ll be easy on you and offer a bluegrass brunch, courtesy of Brooklyn Bowl and the Abby Hollander Band.
Ms. Hollander plays her own compositions, not just the standards. And, instead of joining the recent exodus of Brooklyn musicians to Woodstock, NY, she went the opposite way and lives in Brooklyn now! So let’s show our appreciation. Here’s a sample of her sound. And here, for Spotify people.