We’re buzzing with excitement for the 2015 Northside Festival on our home turf in Brooklyn. There’s no better way to kick off the New York summer than a celebratory week of art, film, innovation and, of course, music. This year’s festival features a unique selection acts — you’ll have the opportunity to groove to some of music’s biggest names and discover promising up-and-comers back to back.
With over 400 musical acts in over a dozen local venues, it can be hard to know where to start. Here are our picks, so you can fill your entire weekend with musical goodness.
Kick off your weekend at Shea Stadium with Charly Bliss, an emerging local band with a driving, upbeat, power pop sound. Their lyrics are catchy and bright, and they put on a super fun show.
Then head to Brooklyn Bowl for EMEFE. Following the success of their new album, EMEFE is a listening experience like noting you’ve ever heard. Funk-pop, brassy grooves that you’ll dance the night away to. — Riley Teahan
You definitely don’t want to miss The Wild Honey Pie’s very own Northside showcase, The Beehive, powered by Eventbrite, at the Polish National Church. Our lineup includes Cosmonaut, Little Racer, Canon Logic, Gabriel Mayers, Walking Shapes, Conveyor, Fort Lean, an acoustic set by The Eastern Sea and a full band DJ set by SKATERS. We always throw a wild party, and we’d hate for you to miss out!
When you’re not partying with us, you’ll definitely want to catch rapper Heems and The Very Best at McCarren Park . We’re expecting a super danceable show with an eclectic sound and a distinctive exploration of cultural paradigms.
Two exciting up-coming artists are playing Rough Trade, too. Frankie Cosmos will win you over with sweet low-fi tunes, while Jerry Paper, is a one man synth-pop god. — Riley Teahan
Start off your day with Hey Anna at The Knitting Factory. If you’ve never seen this staple of the New York indie pop scene play before, you’re in for a real treat.
We can hardly express our excitement for the Saturday show at 50 Kent Avenue. On the bill is Best Coast and Built to Spill as co-headliners, Alvvays and Bully. Seriously, can you think of a better lineup?
Get your dose of post-punk at Palisades with Xiu Xiu.
And don’t miss the low-fi psychedelia of Sunflower Bean at the UO Live Stage at Williamsburg Walks (check out the art while you’re at it). — Riley Teahan
The Run the Jewels and Vince Staples show at 50 Kent Ave is, of course, a no brainer.
If you’d rather rock out, Girl Band and Viet Cong at Music Hall of Williamsburg is sure to be wild.
For an innovating indie band with an awesome sound, check out Future Punx at Cameo Gallery.
And you definitely don’t want to miss the synth goddess, Emily Reo at Baby’s All Right. — Riley Teahan
“Impersonator” is one of the most brilliant, touching, and original records in years, and the Majical Cloudz live experience is its own wondrous thing. With lots of indie types playing at authenticity, here’s a guy who completely embodies the notion, self-effacing until all that’s left is a shaved head, a white t-shirt, minimal electronics, a heartfelt voice, and some of the most no-frills, even-rhyming-would-be-too-contrived, honest lyrics you can hope to hear nowadays — be it in a tiny club or a big outdoor park like McCarren. — Matthew Solarski
Having been thwarted in their last couple attempts to play the U.S., Ecuador-via-Barcelona band Sexores will finally (fingers crossed, knock on wood, etc.) be back here Thursday for Northside. If you’re looking for rich, spacey, atmospheric shoegaze to get lost in, look no further than this international trio. — Matthew Solarski
Here’s another exciting international act on the Northside bill: Belgian combo Amatorski weave guitars, electronics, and hushed vocals into a subtle sonic tapestry that’s been variously described as post-rock and dream pop but isn’t quite either. It is, though, music that creeps up on you and lingers long after other flavors-of-the-month have faded. We’ll drink to that. — Matthew Solarski
NYC’s own bleeding heart new romantics — who give Morrissey a run for his money in the high-drama sincerity department — have returned after a long hiatus to offer starry-eyed kids and star-crossed lovers alike the very musical manna they need to get by in this dispassionate digital age. They’re like a teenage diary come to life in brilliant technicolor. — Matthew Solarski