Joan Jett, Grimes and Cake Play New York City

By Ben Fractenberg on August 8, 2012 7:20am 

Wednesday, Aug. 8

Wu-Block is a collaboration between Wu-Tang Clan's Ghostface Killah and Sheek Louch. A great show for hip-hop heads at the Highline Ballroom.

Also playing: If you have pent-up aggression you need to release, may we suggest the Summer Slaughter Tour at Irving Plaza? After battling it out in the mosh pit while Cannibal Corpse plays some death metal, you'll be so happy you made it out alive all your other worries start to feel trivial.

If you're interested in lighter fare, French electronic act M83 (a.k.a. Anthony Gonzalez) is playing a sold-out show at Central Park's Rumsey Playfield for its SummerStage series.

Thursday, Aug. 9

Joan Jett still loves rock 'n' roll and so can you, at Coney Island, for free. Just bring a couple dimes for the jukebox, baby. West 21st Street and Surf Avenue.

Also playing: Grimes brings her experimental electro-pop sound to Pier 84 for a free River Rocks show. Her latest album "Visions" has been getting all sorts of praise. Check out what all the fuss is about. With Wild Nothing and DIIV.

Friday, Aug. 10

One of the best of the '90s "alternative" wave, Cake is still going strong. The band, like Pavement, symbolized Gen-X slackers' ironic detachment with their sarcastic lyrics and talk-singing of John McCrea. And they have that great trumpet sound. The band is playing on the Williamsburg Waterfront with amazing views of the Manhattan skyline.

Saturday, Aug. 11

Lyle Lovett is touring behind his latest album "Release Me." The album has his usual mix of country twang, bluegrass, jazz, blues and pop melodies. Check him out in the open air of Prospect Park.

Also playing: Mardi Gras is still months away, but you can get a little Cajun feel by checking out Buckwheat Zydeco at Central Park SummerStage. It may be some of the best accordian playing you've ever heard.

Even more: St. Lucia has enjoyed breakout success this year with their sing-along, smooth electronic sound perfect for lounging on lazy summer days or throwing a dance party. Check them out at Brooklyn Bowl while you can still catch them at such a relatively small venue.

Sunday, Aug. 12

New York City hardcore progenitors Murphy's Law are still going strong. Check them out on a boat — with booze — as part of the Rocks Off Concert Cruise.

Also playing: If you're looking for some music the kids will enjoy, check out the Hip Tot Music Fest in Brooklyn at Littlefield in Gowanus. There's going to be music, face painting, crafts and some fine local food.

Monday, Aug. 13

White Denim sounds like they should be a 1980s hair-metal band. Instead, they produce complex indie pop and open up for bands like Wilco. This is also your second opportunity to check out Brooklyn Bowl this week, in case you missed hitting the lanes the last time around.

Tuesday, Aug. 14

Lawrence Arabia is great indie pop for a lazy summer day. There's violins, piano and three-part harmonies with some "ooohs" and "aaahs." But there's enough underlying edge to pull it off without sounding too saccharine. 

Check out the band play songs from their latest album "The Sparrow"  at the intimate Mercury Lounge.

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