Free Flowing Hydrants and Tunes: A Week or so of Free Shows in NYC


I know it’s already August and it has officially been summer in New York City for at least a month, but the summer is so full of stuff to do in this town that “summer” still seems to be on the tip of everyone’s tongue. If you don’t mind humidity that would make even a stoker blush, then you can find your way to tons of free and cheep happenings in all 5 of the Burroughs. Even on Staten Island.

As I sat with friends from California and a bunch of other equally broke New Yorkers, just outside the gates of Central Park’s SummerStage series the other night, I was taken for a while with all the sounds and people, of course with the setting sun. SummerStage is usually free, but this show, featuring Canada’s Plants and Animals, Brooklyn’s Yeasayer (my personal favorite of the bunch) and The National(from who knows where) was not free. Normally this kind of thing would be frustrating, but when you realize that the tickets they were selling helped keep free stuff – GOOD free stuff – happening all summer, it goes down a bit more smoothly.

Rather than giving some kind of strange review about a concert heard and did not see, I’m just gonna give you the heads up on a few upcoming events that have the potential to equal or exceed the awesomeness of the Yeasayer show.

1. Thursday, August 14th (same day as Cabaret – alas!)
Blonde Redhead @ Pier 54
Blonde Redhead have yet to let me down, and this show is especially special due to the fact that Eric Copeland is kicking it off (you may know him from Black Dice…)!

2. Friday, August 15th The Dirty Projectors @ Seaport. Opening that night is White Williams.
Though I’m new to The Dirty Projectors and their rapidly expanding bandwagon, they take the cake as the #1 band that people seem to think I’ll really like. That’s not meant to undermine the dirty worth at all, because it’s clear that they’ve got a lot going on. So I think I’ll be at the show on Thursday to find out what all the fuss is REALLY about.

Pick up their latest record, “Rise Above” – is a total re-imagining of the Black Flag classic, Damaged.

(I know: on paper, computer screen, and in the hearts of aging punk rockers everywhere, this sounds like an awful idea. But I promise that if you keep your mind open you’ll be surprised and impressed by the variety of results they project.)

Yeasayer – 2080

Blonde Redhead – Silently
The Dirty Projectors – No More
Yeasayer – Final path


Now go play in a fire hydrant damn it!

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