The xx, Bloc Party and Lucinda Williams Play New York

By Ben Fractenberg on August 1, 2012 8:21am 

Wednesday August 1

Starlight Girls are saved from sounding too twee by the dark surf-rock organ looming over each track, adding just the right amount of menace to their near-cutesy singing.

Check them out with some of the city's best comics — Janeane Garofalo, Todd Barry and Wyatt Cenac — at The Bell House in Gowanus, Brooklyn.

Thursday August 2nd

One of the better post-punk/new wave influenced indie groups of the past decade, The xx have been able to create their own down-tempo, atmospheric sound.  They have a new album coming out on Sept. 11, so you'll be sure to hear some of the new tracks when they play Terminal 5.

Friday August 3rd

RJD2 is one of the master trip-hop samplers, creating brilliant multi-layered, genre fusing sounds. In 2007 he tried his hand at more traditional pop music, singing and playing live instruments. It should also be noted that the Mad Men theme is from his song "A Beautiful Mine."

Check him out at Webster Hall for what's sure to be a wide array of sounds.

Also playing on Aug. 3 at the Prospect Park Bandshell: Wild Flag, which is fronted by former Sleater-Kinney guitarist and current "Portlandia" co-star Carrie Brownstein. The band also features fellow female guitar hero Mary Timony, earning it a "super group" moniker.

See if they live up to the hype with post-punk legends Mission of Burma and Ted Leo.

Saturday August 4th

Fusing disparate elements like hip-hop, post-punk and '80s R&B, Brooklyn's Theophilus London defies easy categorization. He's already rubbing elbows with people like Jay-Z at Cannes, so why not check him out at Central Park SummerStage Saturday afternoon for free so you can brag about seeing him before he became a household name?

Sunday August 5th

The Internet is not only that magical universe through which you are reading this, it's also a side project by Syd tha Kyd and Matt Martians of LA's hip-hop enfant terribles Odd Future.

The sound is more electro R&B than hip-hop and definitely worth checking out at The Bowery Ballroom.

Monday August 6

Urban cowboys can check out alt-country pioneer Lucinda Williams at The Bowery Ballroom. She'll be sure to play songs from her 2011's Grammy nominated album "Blessed."

Tuesday August 7

Bloc Party's first album since 2008's "Intimacy" is set to drop on August 20. They posted a preview video of the album "Four" on YouTube. The snippets on there vacillate between dreamy and anthemic — in other words, it sounds very promising. Their first of three shows at Terminal 5 will be a hot ticket.

Also playing that night at the Prospect Park Bandshell: Indie rock stalwarts Yo La Tengo, who formed in Hoboken in the mid-80s and are still going strong, will be with singer-songwriter M. Ward.

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