Downtown NYC Festival Adds New Acts

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With just under a month to go till the Downtown NYC Festival kicks off on May 10, two-day passes are already sold out, but $75 one-day tickets are still on sale. The event spans great venues including Mercury Lounge, Bowery Ballroom, Angel Orensanz, Pianos, Cake Shop, Tammany Hall, Element, Capitale, and Rockwood Music Hall—and features some of the hottest emerging bands.

New additions include Andrew Wyatt (of Miike Snow) and hipster-fried R&B pioneer Autre Ne Veut, as well as Mr. Muthafuckin eXquire, who is likely worth seeing for the name alone. They will join such performers as Purity Ring, Earl Sweatshirt, d’Eon, Sky Ferreira, Ducktails, Beach Fossils, and the endlessly funky Teengirl Fantasy.

The festival will be hitting some other cities with modified lineups, but you know they won’t be as good. Though who knows? Some magnificent crooner might come aboard in the Vegas leg of the tour.

The Top NYC Bars To Hook Up With Hipsters

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How does it feel to tear off someone’s skin-tight lycra shorts and mismatched striped socks? Are coffee-guzzling, liberal arts majors better at talking dirty? What’s a hipster’s morning-after go-to spot ? If you cannot answer any of the above questions, it’s time you consult our list of the Top NYC Bars To Hook Up With Hipsters. This is a species that travels in packs, and where there’s one, there’s many. We are confident you will find lots of single, attractive, and nimble hipsters here.

Follow Bonnie on Twitter here.

Lessons Learned From CMJ Music Marathon

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Ah, the CMJ Music Marathon. Ahead of the circus of buzzbands, open bars, and impractical swag that took over NYC last week, I made a list of goals for myself that included things like “no puking,” “no crying,” and “no professions of love or hate.” (I like planning on having dramatic public meltdowns so that I Murphy’s Law my way out of them actually happening.) I’m proud to announce that I did not do any of these things, despite the stress induced by three different good bands playing at the same time in far-flung locations and having only consumed caffeinated beverages all day (#musicbloggerproblems). In between hating Pianos and mourning the closure of Brooklyn DIY venue Delinquency, I saw everything from Philadelphia rockers Free Energy to British YouTube comedians the Midnight Beast.

Five days spent away from being hunched over my laptop and interacting with the music industry in real life meant putting a microscope on what it is, exactly, that I do. I finally met a band that I’ve written about after seeing them for the fifth time in three months, and one of them said that he was aware of me “as an internet presence.” Several days later, I still have absolutely no idea of what this means, but if I’m memorable on the internet, that theoretically means I have some distinct viability as a blogger, right? For both of our sakes, let’s hope so.

In meeting so many new people, there’s also the pressure to qualify what you like and why you like it. I’ve taken to boiling my taste down to “French dance music and internet rappers,” though obviously I listen to music that goes beyond that. I’m trying to pin down why I’m so excited about Team Spirit when I thought my garage rock phase ended years ago; they have a higher production value and stronger pop sensibilities than some of their peers, and nothing can replace genuine good energy. That being said, it was also a pleasure to catch Gallic electro-poppers like Yan Wagner, Owlle, and Housse de Racket.

Other highlights included Citizens!, Avan Lava, We Were Evergreen, Conveyor, and the amount of grievously unhealthy food that I justified consuming. Gold Fields must be a very special band, because I stayed conscious for their 2:30 a.m. set on the last night of the festival. As much fun as CMJ is, it’s also pretty exhausting, so I’m going to keep working on recovering.

Anyways, here’s to the pursuit of vibes. Maybe you’ll catch me vomiting on Ludlow Street next year.

Miscellaneous other notes:

– Why did so many people ask me if I saw Skaters? (I wasn’t able to, though they were one of my picks for the week.)
– I also did not see Foxygen, one of the more hotly tipped acts of the festival. Based on their name, I’m going to keep assuming that they’re sort of glam rock and wear a lot of neon.
– Seeing Le1f at The Westway while it was packed with drunk bros was the second most uncomfortable I have ever been at a rap show.
– If someone figures out how I can join Icona Pop if I’m not Swedish and can’t sing, please let me know.
– Spotted so many dudes with great eyebrows. Keep up the good work, boys!

 

Follow Katie Chow on Twitter and Tumblr.

Hot Tub’s Kurt Braunohler & Kristen Schaal Deliver Laughs to Gowanus

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This week, we’re bringing you video interviews with some of the most respected names in New York comedy. While many think of comedy shows as cheesy affairs featuring lame stand-up comics and two-drink minimums, a new crowd of performers are changing the game by hosting their own shows to showcase their own talents as well as those of their friends, colleagues, and heroes. Today, we check in with Kristen Schaal and Kurt Braunohler, hosts of Hot Tub. 

Comedians Kristen Schaal (Flight of the Conchords, The Daily Show, and 30 Rock) and Kurt Braunohler (IFC’s Bunk and known Wikipedia vandal) have been hosting their popular Hot Tub variety show since 2005. After runs in Manhattan at The PIT, Pianos, and Comix, they have settled in at Littlefield, located in the booming comedy mecca of Gowanus, Brooklyn. What brings these best friends together every Monday at 8 PM? Watch our interview and find out, and then check out their show tonight

All Hail Monarchs, Austin’s Reigning Indie-Soul Outfit

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Of the unofficial but widely-accepted perks that come with an editing job, plugging friends’ work is the most gratifying. (Not so the grade-school chum who resurfaces as a really successful shell collagist in the Outer Banks, and won’t you write something nice about his gallery show?) Doubly gratifying – and bordering on humbling – is championing an artist-friend who blows your socks off, and leads you to occasionally fantasize about quitting said editing job to join her band as a berserk hype-man/kazoo player. So: this Friday at Pianos, Austin-based Celeste Griffin and Monarchs.

The Rise and Fall, Monarchs’ first full-length record, was produced by Mike McCarthy of Spoon (yup, he’s a fan) and is being released on July 12. A shifting constellation of some of Birmingham (Griffin’s home town) and Austin’s best musicians make up the genre-bending band, equal parts soul, folk, and indie rock, but it’s Griffin’s voice – so assured, soulful, and thick – that lifts Monarchs to day-job-ditching levels of good.

Yes, Griffin is a comely blonde with a Southern twang and guitar strap, but as the Austinist says, “Can’t brush off Monarchs as another ‘pretty-girl-with-achingly-satisfying-vocals-fronting-tight-indie-outfit’ no matter how hard you try.” Furthermore, comparisons to Cat Power’s Chan Marshall and Janis Joplin – and there are plenty – will only get you so far, as Griffin seems to draw her formidable vocal and emotional energies from an altogether more light-filled well then her cigarette-scrabbled predecessors.

Griffin says music is her family. Maybe that’s why listening to Monarchs feels like both a revelation and a homecoming.

Monarchs – “Date Night” (music video) from Monarchs on Vimeo.

Gig Guide 2/15 – 2/21: NYC’s Top Indie Rock Shows

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Lady Gaga is coming to town, but before you participate in that HBO-documented debauchery, catch Ween and the Walkmen, new indie darling Darwin Deez, Interpol, and Crystal Stilts make their way to a music hall near you. Les Savy Fav, Lou Reed, and the Church round out this week’s Gig Guide.

Tuesday, February 15th

Who: Wild Nothing, Abe Vigoda @: 285 Kent Avenue, 8:00 PM Tickets: $10

Who: Drive-By Truckers @: Bowery Ballroom, 8:00 PM Tickets: $25 Details: DBT hits the road in honor of their new country/soul album, Go-Go Boots, (Feb. 15th) which the Wall Street Journal says is “awash with the primordial soul sounds of the Muscle Shoals, Alabama region—home to a majority of the band—which rose to fame in the 1960s when musicians such as Aretha Franklin, Bob Dylan, Paul Simon and The Rolling Stones recorded in the area’s studios.”

Who: Lou Reed, Laurie Anderson, Buke and Gass @: The Stone, 10:00 PM Tickets: $40 Details: Not only have they been curating the February performance line up at The Stone, they’ll also be playing the venue tonight. Prior to, get in the Lou mood by catching MoMA exhibit Andy Warhol: Motion Pictures, and think back to the days when Andy used to boss Reed around as the manager of The Velvet Underground. The show runs until March 21, 2011.

Wednesday, February 16th

Who: Les Savy Fav, 1,2,3, Big Troubles @: Bowery Ballroom, 8:00 PM Tickets: $15 Details: New York City based indie/art rockers Les Savy Fav have a post-hardcore edge that is awesome to see unfold live. Here they are at Solar One: A softer track, “What Would Wolves Do?” has been their calling card:

Who: The Church @: Highline Ballroom, 8:00 PM Tickets: $39.50 Details: If you don’t know The Church, here’s a crash course: Australian rock circa 1980. Early influence was New Wave, morphed into psych-rock, and now sounds more like progressive rock—with extended jams that sound like all of the above (The Psychedelic Furs and Echo & The Bunnymen are contemporaries). Because of a special edition reissue of four albums—Starfish, Gold Afternoon Fix, Priest = Aura, and Sometime Anywhere—the Sydney band will be playing three of the four albums in full.

Who: Fitz and the Tantrums, Devin Therriault @: Music Hall of Williamsburg, 8:00PM Tickets: $12 advance, $14 door Details: Think Maroon 5 (whom they’ve opened for) with a little more funk/soul.

Who: The Silent League, ARMS, Inlets, Your Youth, Thunder and Lightning @: Pianos, 6:00PM Tickets: $6 Details: The Brooklyn charmers are so “awww.” See?

Thursday, February 17th

Who: The Beets, German Measles, Big Troubles, The Beach Arabs @: 285 Kent Avenue, 8:00PM Tickets: $8

Who: Dream Diary, Gypsy Death & You, Telenovelas, Young Boys, Dutch Treat @: Death by Audio, 8:00PM Tickets: Free!

Who: Tamaryn, Religious To Damn @: Don Hill’s, 8:00PM Tickets: It’s Don Hill’s! Pay for your booze and listen to the smooth crooning of this San Fran chick, Tamaryn.

Who: Interpol, School of Seven Bells @: Radio City Music Hall, 7:00PM Tickets: $29.50 Details: Paul Banks and company didn’t get the best reviews for their recent self-titled offering, but their live show reviews have been stellar.

Friday, February 18th

Who: Crystal Stilts, Beach Fossils, Widowspeak @: 285 Kent Avenue, 8:00PM Tickets: $10 Details: “Converging in Quiet” is the track by Crystal Stilts that best describes their sound: rolling lazily along in a tempered tone until it suddenly becomes buoyant with energy. Does that make sense? If anything, enjoy their drummer’s stylings: he prefers to stand-up, taking after The Velvet Underground’s drummer Maureen “Moe” Tucker. We’ve already waxed poetic about Beach Fossils, so go to see them both.

Who: Le Mood, Des Roar @: Santos Party House, 7:00PM Tickets: $10 Details: Florida natives Le Mood have been on the New York City scene for years—and their following proves it. Their debut full-length LP “Adventures In Stereo” has been described by Outright Rock as “a perfectly crafted indie pop record – upbeat, insightful, infectious, retro, and even a bit psychedelic. The songs are deeply melodic, full of energy and feeling, and showcase the band’s superb songwriting skills.” We agree!

Saturday, February 19th

Who: Darwin Deez, Friends @: Bowery Ballroom, 8:00PM Tickets: $13 advance, $15 door Details: If you’re into that whole “next big thing in music” scene, you do not to miss Darwin’s show. Same goes for folks into dancing around in a hippy-clappy, fell-good way.

Who: Peaches, Creep @: Good Units, 10:00PM Tickets: $15 advance, $20 door.

Who: Celebration http://www.myspace.com/celebrationcelebration, Microkingdom, High Life @: Death by Audio, 8:00PM Tickets: $10 Details: Celebration, a Baltimore-based band, claims it’s significantly influenced by cabaret culture, but sounds a bit more like a cross between soul and psych rock.

Who: Yann Tiersen, Breathe Owl Breathe @: Highline Ballroom, 7:00 PM Tickets: $25 advance, $30 door Details: Yann Tiersen plays pretty music, and conducts a sort of indie symphony that huge crowds go wild for. Fans of the film Amélie already know his arrangements:

Sunday, February 20th

Who: Air Waves, Easter Vomit, The Sanctuaries @: Bruar Falls, 8:00 PM Tickets: $7

Who: Gene Ween (of Ween!), Hamilton Leithauser (of The Walkmen!), David Dondero (formerly of Sunbrain!) @: Cameo Gallery, 8:00PM Tickets: $21.78 Details: Noncerts (a charity showcase with all proceeds going to Brooklyn’s public schools) brings together the awesomeness of Ween with the awesomeness of The Walkmen. Legends, I tell you! And let’s not forget David Dondero, whom NPR‘s All Songs Considered once named as one of the “best living songwriters” alongside Bob Dylan, Paul McCartney and Tom Waits.

Who: My Teenage Stride, Widowspeak, The Poison Control Center, Crinkles @: Mercury Lounge, 7:00PM Tickets: $10 Details: However ironic it is that My Teenage Stride calls themselves both “glam” and “minimalist,” the characterization works for them. They’re both twee, and fake English, which sort of gives them a posturing persona akin to Joy Division, The Smiths, and Jesus & the Mary Chain.

Monday, February 21st

Who: Lady Gaga @: Madison Square Garden, 8:00 PM Tickets: $54 Details: Perhaps the only show you’ll see this week since you’ll have to save up $54 bucks, but isn’t it worth it?

Exclusive: The 28 Best Bands of CMJ, Gallery & Interviews

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Over three days during the musical marathon that is CMJ, photographer Jeff Fasano and reporter Matthew Shepatin lured 28 of the very best acts to private club Norwood for exclusive photo shoots and one-on-ones (“CMJ is a clusterfudge. Your sets are short, they’ re rushing you, the Man is giving you a hard time…But, seriously, it’s been exciting,” says Eric Schwortz of Milagres) before the bands were out the door and running to their next show, roadies in tow. What resulted is a whirlwind snapshot of the most exhilarating, exhaustive, and exhausting musical showcase of the year. Check out the best of CMJ after the jump.

Brahms (Pictured above- Brooklyn, New York) “The highlight of CMJ was the vegan Indian food cart outside the registration building. They’ve got this great crepe-like lentil pancake and don’t get me started about what goes on. When I grabbed that and some mango lassi after I picked up my badge, I knew it’d be a good week.”

image Cyndi Harvell (Bay Area, California) “I was walking up the street and I met some guy who asked me if I knew where to pick up CMJ badges. And then he said, ‘I’m in this band. It’s pop punk. We’re playing tomorrow.’ And I said, ‘Well, maybe I’ll check that out.’ Why not? Jump in and see what happens.” – Cyndi Harvell

image Dan Mangan (Vancouver, BC, Canada) “We played this amazing loft party for BrooklynVegan on Friday night and the vibe was incredible. Lots of wonderful people and great bands. Then on Saturday I told the audience that they had given me an erection. So. Sorry about that. How rude.” — Dan Mangan

image Deadbeat Darling (Brooklyn, New York) “In years past, I think we got caught up in trying to make something happen at CMJ. It’s the same with an event like SXSW. Everything is happening that week, everybody is shooting off fireworks. You’ve got to make a lot of noise to make any noise at all. So this year, we’re more relaxed. We’re going to play some great shows that just happen to be the week of CMJ.” – Joseph King of Deadbeat Darling

image Down With Webster (Toronto, ON, Canada) “As an artist there is something just a little extra special about performing in NY; it has been a dream of ours for such a long time, that we still can’t believe it’s happening.” – Pat Gillett of Down with Webster

image Eliza Blue (Twin Cities, Minnesota) “This is my first CMJ – and I lost my voice. So I’m experiencing it through a veil of silence. Standing in an elevator, hearing all these different accents, people from all over the world, it was neat. Maybe it will be my new thing, not talking.” – Eliza Blue

image Harper Blynn (New York City) “So far as the idea of ‘selling out’ because your song is on a TV show or in a commercial. These days there are so few access points for bands to make money that if you find one of them, congratulations to you. And anybody who thinks that’s selling out doesn’t make art for a living. Because if you did, you would understand that all you’re doing is trying to make a living so you can keep making art.” – Peter Harper of Harper Blynn

image Kaiser Cartel (Brooklyn, New York) “We had been a couple when we made our first album. We’re not in a relationship making this record. So we were on tour for a year and a half – breaking up. All the music we wrote is us dealing with that, and having to be together, stuck together in this little car, constantly in motion. We’d be bickering and then go on stage and the crowd has had no idea. People at the shows would be, like, ‘Man, you guys are going to do it tonight.’ And I’d be thinking, ‘Yeah, right.’” – Courtney Kaiser of Kaiser Cartel

image Lady Danville (Los Angeles, California) “We have three shows at CMJ – the Bowery, Rockwood Music Hall and the Panelist Show in this very room. I’m excited. I see this as a great opportunity, but I don’t feel any pressure to come out of this with a trophy.” – Michael Garner

image Left on Red (New York City) “We were psyched to play our CMJ show at The Bitter End, where our heroes once came to tread. You know who I mean, artist like Stephan Grappeli, Bob Dylan and umm…Lady Gaga” – Liah Alonso of Left on Red

image Loomis & the Lust (Santa Barbara, California) “There isn’t a lot of good Chinese food where we’re from in Santa Barbara. So I’ll probably go to Chinatown this week and grub.” – Will Loomis of Loomis & the Lust

image Men (New York City) “We have a single coming out November 1st called ‘Off Our Backs.’ We talk about it a lot – tops and bottoms.” – JD Samson of Men “But not strictly in a sexual position way.” – Michael O’ Neill of Men “More about how they operate in the world, how they interact with people.” – Ginger Brooks Takahashi of Men “For example, we often call ourselves a bunch of tops.” – JDS “Too many differing opinions.” – GB “Do we wish we had a bottom? Yes.” – JDS “Then there’ s the classification of a ‘bossy bottom.’” – GB “A bossy bottom wants to be on the bottom but have it their way.” – MO “There, like, ‘do it like this, no, do it like this.’” – JDS “Who is topping America, that’ s the question?” – GB “China is totally topping America.” – JDS Wait. America is a bossy bottom? “That’ s true.” – JDS

image Milagres (Brooklyn, New York) “CMJ is a clusterfudge. Your sets are short, they’re rushing you, the Man is giving you a hard time, you can’t get enough keyboard in your monitor, or too much. But, seriously, it’s been exciting for us.” – Eric Schwortz of Milagres

image My Dear Disco (Ann Arbor, Michigan) “The vibe I get with CMJ is that people hope to see something amazing but don’t expect to. When something does cut through it’ s potent because people – especially the New York-based music industry veterans – have written of the experience in their brain” – Robert Lester of My Dear Disco

image Murder Mystery (New York City) “I don’ t think there’ s a direct correlation between the number of CMJ shows a band plays and destiny to become the biggest band on earth. Phoenix is only playing one show, same as us. It’s safe to say that we are just as popular as Phoenix.” – Jeremy Coleman of Murder Mystery image The Narrative (New York City) “CMJ is not the Super Bowl. Opening for Radiohead in Madison Square Garden is the Super Bowl. It’s more like a really good tailgate.” – Suzie Zeldin of The Narrative

image New Collisions (Worcester, Massachusetts) “The panels are worthless for musicians. It may not be worthless for industry professionals or people who value networking. We don’t. I’ve heard stories of these A&R panels when bands rush them at the end with their demo disc. Ah, that’s disgusting. This isn’t how you want to live your life. I’d rather have a job than rush a panel. You want a record deal that badly? What’s wrong with you? Besides, everything is changing so quickly. What if six months from now the idea of being on a label is stupid? We’re constantly reevaluating based on our circumstances. Down the road, we might have to find some third-party financing, whatever that means in 2011.” – Alex Stern of New Collisions

“And that’s all a label is at this point. So little at labels are actually in-house. You hire out for your publicity. You hire out for your artistic development, your branding. Labels have become kind of product managers of all these third-party groups. So as a band you can get in there and start hiring those third-party groups yourself. The problem is, let’s say you hire a publicist, if you’re not on a label, most journalist don’t take you seriously. Bands have this buzz cycle. Surfer Blood is having this buzz cycle. West Coast is having this buzz cycle. They’re both recent signing to major labels which alerts the industry and press that they need to start taking this band seriously. So labels can give you clout but not all labels have the same cache.” – Scott Guild of New Collisions

image New Madrid (Brooklyn, New York) “The highlight of our CMJ was definitely playing on the Big Noyes CMJ Showcase at Parkside Lounge on Saturday night. The turnout was great, and the enthusiasm contagious. We also had a blast this week watching other bands like The Shake and Hank & Cupcakes.” – Erik Barragan of New Madrid

image Pepper Rabbit (Los Angeles, California) “We got a parking ticket here. I put money into that thing that spits out a receipt. I threw it on the dash — but upside down. Besides that, our CMJ experience has been cool. Where else can you see Surfer Blood and Local Natives both in 100-person capacity rooms? That was amazing.” – Luc Laurent of Pepper Rabbit

image The Shake (New York City) “I think bands are conflicted these days. On one hand, it’s popular for bands to say we can do it on our own and we don’ t need labels. We can do it like Arcade Fire. On the other hand, labels can open up doors. Yes, they might demand money from record sales, which could suck. At the same time, they can get you on bills and put you in front of people that you flat out wouldn’t have had the chance to get in front of. So this anti-label movement can be misplaced. If you have too much ego, you can end up playing the same bars for a year without advancing.” – Jon Merkin of The Shake

image Sydney Wayser (Brooklyn, New York) “When I try to write fast songs it doesn’t feel right. Then I slow it down and somehow the tempo of the music ends up the tempo I walk at. And it works.” – Sydney Wayser

image The Traveling Band (Manchester, England) “The second CMJ show we played was upstairs at Pianos, so it had a bit of a house party feel. At the end we did an acoustic number. We got rid of the PA system, went out into the crowd, and stood on some chairs. There was a group of people in the back of the room who were a bit noisy so halfway through the song we just went right over and got in their faces and sang it to them. It seemed to shut them up. They were all blushing.” – Joe Dudderidge of The Traveling Band

image Two Door Cinema Club (Bangor, North Ireland) “It’s the first CMJ we’ve ever been to. It’s always a bit weird when people say you’re a new British indie band. For one, being from Northern Ireland, we’re separate from the UK in that we’re really not part of England. And I’ve never really loved British indie music that much. A lot of our music, TV, and film actually comes from New York and America.” – Sam Halliday of Two Door Cinema Club

“I don’t think the Irish really get BritPop. We were more into American bands like At the Drive-In and Death Cab for Cutie. Bands like that are what really influenced us.” – Kevin Baird of Two Door Cinema Club

image Unicycle Loves You (Chicago, Illinois) “This was by far the best CMJ for us yet. The highlight would have to be meeting and talking with Cory McAbee, mastermind behind The American Astronaut, Stingray Sam, and The Billy Nayer Show. It’s not every day you get to meet a living cult hero, and come to find that he’s a great guy too.” – Jim Carroll of Unicycle Loves You

image Vanaprasta (Los Angeles, California) “On Friday night of CMJ we were walking all our gear about half a mile from one venue to the next and then playing an hour later. You’re constantly moving and shoulder to shoulder with perfect strangers and nothing ever stops, which is perfect for us because that’s exactly how our live show is.” Taylor Brown of Vanaprasta

image The Winterlings (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) “Being two singing fish in the luminescent reef of New York City as the music festival echoed through the dark, starry tide was exhilarating. It was like a chord strummed not only on our guitars but on our lives.” – Wolff Bowden of The Winterlings

image Xylos (Brooklyn, New York) “We played a CMJ showcase on Tuesday night at Spike Hill in Williamsburg. This awesome band Yost also played and we share a bass player with them. So he got twice as many drink tickets as everybody else. That means two.” – Eric Zeiler of Xylos

image Zowie (Auckland, New Zealand) “It’s my first trip to New York. Everybody is so cool. They kind of stick to themselves but they don’ t seem super judgmental, which I’ve noticed in a few other cities. I don’ t want to leave. The whole band doesn’t want to leave. We love it here!” – Zoe Fleury of Zowie

All artists photographed by Jeff Fasano at the Norwood during CMJ.

The Ultimate CMJ Neighborhood Guide: Our Top Recommendations

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Mapping out a schedule for the CMJ Music Marathon and Film Festival is an overwhelming logistical nightmare. Over five days, bands and DJs all over Manhattan and Brooklyn perform for 20 to 60 minutes a pop, and the marathon keeps going. Un, deux, trois, bang, bang, bang. So if you are at a loss for where to begin, here’s a proverbial play-list that includes recommendations on what to see, and where to unwind, wind-up, and grab a bite between sets. We had to restrain ourselves a little, so check under Williamsburg, the East Village, and the Lower East Side for the best this weekend has to offer (starting tonight).

Lower East Side

Acts to Catch: Thursday: Sun Airway, 10:45 PM at Piano’s Light Pollution, 9:00 PM at Cake Shop The Feens, 10:00 PM at Crash Mansion Friday: K Flay, 9:00PM at Fat Baby Saturday: Neon Indian, 8:00 PM at Bowery Ballroom Miracles of Modern Science, 11:00 PM at Fat Baby BRAHMS, 12:00 AM at Piano’s

Where to Hide Between Sets: The Back Room Gallery Bar Painkiller

Where to Find Nourishment: Antibes Bistro Freeman’s Frankie’s Sputino Les Enfants Terribles Schiller’s Georgia’s East Side BBQ

If You Need to Trash a Hotel Room: The Hotel On Rivington Thompson LES

THE EAST VILLAGE/ALPHABET CITY

Tune-Age: Thursday: Two Door Cinema Club, 9:00 PM at Webster Hall Caveman, 10:15 PM at Lit Lounge Lawrence Arabia, 10:50 PM at Bowery Electric Friday: Hall of Justus, Kosha Dillz, Rebelmatics + special guests, 12:00 AM–3:00 AM at Bowery Poetry Club Designer Drugs, 1:30 AM at Webster Hall Saturday: Care Bears on Fire, 7PM at Bowery Poetry Club

Where to Sip: Heathers The Cabin Down Below Holiday Cocktail Lounge Where to Fill-Up: Artichoke Basille Pizza & Brewery The Bourgeois Pig Crif Dogs Hummus Place Whitmans Veselka

Where to Crash: Cooper Square Hotel

WILLIAMSBURG

The Music: Thursday: Soft Black, 10:00 PM at Union Pool The Blow, 10:30 PM at Music Hall of Williamsburg Friday: Priestess, 10:30 PM at Union Pool Kids of 88, 11:00 PM at Trash Bar Everything Everything, 11:30PM at the Music Hall of Williamsburg Saturday: The Class Machine, 11:45 at Trash Bar

Grub: El Diablo Taco Truck Zenkichi Walter Foods Kenny’s Trattoria

A (Maybe) Low Key Drink: Hotel Delmano Royal Oak Fresh Kills Clem’s

Sleep it Off: Hotel Le Jolie

Nightlife Try Outs: Amanda Leigh Dunn’s Week of Parties

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It’s 10:30 on a Wednesday night and I’m in gym clothes crossing Union Square wondering if I’ve anything good left on TiVo when I first hear them. “Let’s just get drinks here,” a California blond squeals to her fellow interns, a group of smiley, freshly implanted college girls. “This part of the city is amazing—there are so many places to go!” Suddenly I feel refreshed, the soggy, angry heat evaporating around me. I immediately recall those same, remarkable feelings of excitement when I was new to this city: every step was one outside my comfort zone, and the possibilities were endless—the night was a mystery. Now, since I’ve settled into the groove of actually living in this city, the knee-jerk reaction toward their enthusiasm is a swift eye-roll at their naïveté and a silent recitation of the latest snarky blog post about this exact area going to hell in TGI Friday’s hand basket. These days, the trend is to speak about nightlife as you were attending its funeral. I’ve grown bored with the idea that there’s nothing new or provocative happening in this metropolis. Nightlife isn’t dead, it’s just different, and it’s different for everyone. It’s been a while since I first started covering nightlife as “Holly GoNightly,” but my interest is once again piqued to seek out new ways to look at New York after dark. While some longingly wish for their days at Studio 54, Tunnel, or the Beatrice Inn, there are many more seeking out the new. The internet has given everyone a certain kind of access, diversifying trends and experiences. There’s something for everyone, and the only way to find out what works is to step out and try it on for size.

So this is what I’m hoping to do: like those transplanted interns weighing their options with gimlet eyes, I’m going to set my sights on stepping out of my own comfort zone, on noticing, trying, and doing more, on venturing out to see nightlife through other people’s eyes. To start, I’ve asked Amanda Leigh Dunn, a quintessential ‘Girl About Town’ who’s always at the “It” place with a band of cooler-than-cool kids, to fill me in on her own little black book of go-tos. Her’s is an agenda not for the faint of heart—a week of non-stop partying with an array of eclectic and truly hip characters.

image Amanda Dunn

Professional Resume: I own a company called Cross Street Productions Inc, a Manhattan based firm specializing in brand integrated events, artist management as well as fashion, beauty, and lifestyle public relations. I also run an event space on Greene Street. One Word to Describe Nightlife in New York City: Endless.

City Loves:Favorite lunch spot: Cipriani Downtown, I pretty much live there. • Favorite dinner spot: Fig and Olive, Ilili, Hotel GriffouFavorite nightlife trend: Le Bain, the new spot at the top of the standard. Naked girls, water beds, and the best view of the city—what more could you want? • Drink of choice: I’m mostly a champagne kinda girl. • Meal of choice: Tuna Tar Tar • Favorite group of people to bump into: My night kiddies: Becka Diamond, Stef Skinner, Carol Han, Sami Swetra, Paul Johnson Calderon, Timo Weiland, Jane Bang, Matt Kays. You know, the cool kids.

image Le Bain

City Gripes:Nightlife trend you loathe: I hate Juliet Supper Club, the Empire Hotel roof is a clusterfuck of ugly people. I hate places that anyone and their mother gets let into • Drink: Cafe Patron, sick. • Meal: fried food, ick. • Group of people to bump into: Hipsters, teens, and coke fiends—and the usual uninvited crowd, you know who you are.

Her Hotspots: Monday: Dinner with my closest, plotting the week. Tuesday: Lit Lounge Wednesday: Soho Yard, the “Everything’s Ridiculous” party with Spencer Product and Becka Diamond. Thursday: Avenue, BEast for Main Man Thursdays, Norwood with Timo & Alan. Friday: Le Bain, Tribeca Grand Salon with Matt&Maia and Andrew Saturday: Pianos for the Mile High party with Jane Bang, Easthampton Boathouse, hosted by the Eldridge Sunday: Sway, Goldbar

image Kenmare

Every night: Kenmare, we call it Kenitis, or La Bain. Wouldn’t be caught dead here: Greenhouse, Tenjune. For special occasions: Depending on the season, every drink occasion with my closests is a special occasion. But if I had to say, it would prob be the Plaza Hotel (the have the best bloodies in NY). Brunch is usually: Cafe Cluny, Schiller’s, Serafina, Soho House (Essex House is the Greenhouse of brunch).