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The Best Shows to Catch, and a Spotify Playlist of the Bands

By Daniel Jumpertz | August 7, 2013 7:32am
 Twelve essential concert experiences in New York City between August 7 and August 13. 
Gigs of the week Wednesday, Aug 7
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Listen to the music while you read — click here for a Spotify playlist featuring my favorite tracks from the artists mentioned in this article.

Wednesday, 7 August 2013    
Even if jazz-funk is not your thing, you'll find it easy to get lost in the heavy grooves of New Orleans- based Galactic. Tonight is the first of four consecutive gigs until Saturday, at Brooklyn Bowl.

Thursday, 8 August 2013    
"Beasts of the Southern Wild" was one of the most extraordinary films of 2012: a small independent movie that went on to win top prizes at Cannes and Sundance, along with Oscar nominations for director Benh Zeitlin and child actor Quvenzhané Wallis, the youngest Best Actress nominee in history.

This week, the Wordless Music Orchestra is performing the world premiere live score to a full screening of "Beasts of the Southern Wild," along with composer Dan Romer and director Benh Zeitlin, who co-wrote and performed on the original film score. It's part of Celebrate Brooklyn! at the Prospect Park Bandshell, and seating will be on a first-come, first-served basis, starting at 7 p.m.

The final chapter of Hudson River Park's free River Rocks festival unfolds this evening from 6 p.m. with indie punks Titus Andronicus, Matthew Mondanile's (Real Estate) Ducktails, and Juan Wauters (The Beets) with Carmelle down at Pier 84 (cross at West 44 St.).

See MoMA's collection, visit the summer exhibitions and enjoy live music from 6.30 p.m. in the Sculpture Garden. MoMA Nights explores sound art this evening with Camille Norment and Stephen Vitiello. Both have associations with "Soundings: A Contemporary Score" — MoMA's first major exhibition of sound art, a current exhibition at MoMA.  

Friday, 9 August 2013
Entrepreneurial underground party promoters Gemini & Scorpio are celebrating the 10th Anniversary of creating merry mischief with their first-ever NYC Steampunk Weekend, a multi-venue series of events and performances starring a mash up of artists bridging both the underground and high-culture spheres.

Amanda Palmer and The Grand Theft Orchestra, Edwardian pagan lounge ensemble Rosin Coven, members of avant-cabaret circus troupe Vau de Vire Society, Brooklyn brass ensemble Hungry March Band, New Orleans "Russian mafia" band Debauche and New York gypsy punk accordion vagabonds Amour Obscur. A weekend pass is $45. Full venue details are on their website.

Pioneering French DJ Étienne de Crécy brings his "Live Beats 'n' Cubes" to Webster Hall. De Crécy was one of the prime movers behind Paris' rise as one of the world's dance music capitals during the 1990s.

Saturday, 10 August 2013    
Early rock ‘n’ roll and rockabilly royalty join forces at Damrosch Park Bandshell, Lincoln Center as part of the excellent Lincoln Center Out Of Doors 30th Annual Roots Of American Music festival. Today's bill includes Elvis Presley's guitarist, James Burton, Philly rock ‘n’ roll pioneer Charlie Gracie, the Arkansas rockin’ musical encyclopaedia Sleepy LaBeef, Johnny Powers, and Texas Rockabilly Hall of Famer Gene Summers. Rounding off the bill are Alabama's Jason Isbell (Drive-By Truckers) and Englishman Nick Lowe, both heavily influenced by early rock ‘n’ roll and rockabilly.

Local favorites They Might Be Giants have been chosen to close out Celebrate Brooklyn's 35th anniversary season. Formed in 1982, the eccentric, melodic and groundbreaking band with a practical DIY ethic and a wide range of influences, have enjoyed periods of commercial success. Their 1990 major label debut "Flood" sold a million copies, propelled by the whimsical and super-catchy singles "Birdhouse In Your Soul" and "Istanbul (Not Constantinople)." The duo released its sixteenth studio album, "Nanobots," earlier this year, a record of “catchy pop heroics mixed with jingle-length songlets.” At Prospect Park Bandshell.

Mad Decent's Block Party hits Brooklyn at Williamsburg Park Saturday and, although sold out, some tickets are available on StubHub for what will be one of the best outdoor parties of the summer. Catch the freshest sounds from Diplo's adventurous crew including Major Lazer, Dillon Francis, Flosstradamus, Rockie Fresh, Keys N Krates, Destructo  as well as the ever energetic Matt & Kim.

Reacquaint yourselves with masterful songwriting of Elliot Smith as his friends, colleagues and collaborators pay tribute with this heartfelt tribute show. “No Name #1: A Celebration of the life and music of Elliott Smith". At The Bowery Ballroom.

Sunday, 11 August    
Shuggie Otis is a gifted, though reclusive, musician who first hit the charts as guitarist in his father's (Johnny Otis) band on the 1969 R&B hit "Country Girl." Signing with CBS records soon after Otis released a string of soulful albums, most notably "Freedom Flight" in 1971. "Freedom Flight" contained the original version of "Strawberry Letter 23" — later a top five pop hit for The Brothers Johnson.  At Central Park's Summer Stage on Sunday, and noon on Wednesday as part of the BAM Rhythm & Blues Festival on the MetroTech concert stage, located at MetroTech Commons between Jay Street and Flatbush Avenue, Brooklyn.

A soulful season closer of the 30th Annual Roots Of American Music festival will be filled with funky blues and intimate sets by New Orleans' and Motown's finest songwriters. Featuring the creator of folk-funk, Bobby Rush, New Orleans blues and R&B legend Allen Toussaint, and Motown's songwriting legends Eddie and Brian Holland (Holland–Dozier–Holland). At Damrosch Park Bandshell, Lincoln Center.

Tuesday, 13 August
Gifted jazz guitarist Mike Stern got his break as a 22-year-old in 1976 as guitarist with jazz rockers Blood, Sweat & Tears. After a stint in Billy Cobham's fusion band, he joined Miles Davis's group, making his public debut in in Boston during 1981, a performance documented on the live album "We Want Miles." His solo debut, "Upside Downside", was released in 1986. At Blue Note.