Guess what’s back for another weekend of music, film and art in the northernmost parts of Brooklyn? It’s the Northside Festival, and this time with that hot button word “innovation.” Though the $80 music badge to the festival is sold out and the $285 Innovation Regular badge is – spoiler – also sold out, this doesn’t mean that you and your broke, Tecate-holding hand can’t get your other hand into some of the weekend’s best shows for free though, because we’ve got them all here for you.
Show the SXSW music industry types that you have a better time at free shows with your Instagrams and Tweets and don’t dig out your wallet unless it’s for beer and taco trucks that run a-plenty in Williamsburg. Innovation is defined as the process of introducing new ideas or methods, and we here at Brokelyn think you’re too innovative to pay for anything.
Most of the free shows require you to RSVP online, so make sure you do that to ensure you get in and stay innovative.
Thursday, June 12
Kick off your free weekend at Northside Trade Show and Job Fair in McCarren Park at North 12th Street and Bedford Ave where you can meet, schmooze and beg for a job with technologists, creators, hackers and innovators from 100 NYC tech and start-up companies. And maybe next year you can afford to score a $285 innovation badge!
After you spent all day hustlin’ in the sun for innovation, head over to Pete’s Candy Store (709 Lorimer Street) for a Mexican fiesta with Radio Jarocho and more Tecate (this time with lime!) at 8pm. Opening for Radio Jarocho are Hiromi Suda, Jus Post Bellum and soul singer Lynette Williams.
Your other option, while not official Northside, is heading over to the House of Vans at 7pm (25 Franklin Street) for the first free House Party of the year with soul man Charles Bradley, with support from Mac DeMarco. Northside or no, the House Parties are always a great time, and they’ve got a new beer sponsor this year in Shiner Bock. That bodes well for your free beer options.
Friday, June 13
Unlucky Friday the 13th doesn’t appear to have too many free shows, but what you need is an open attitude to find the undiscovered talent. Remember you’re thinking in terms of innovation here. How will you transform your experience into the best experience at Northside? Maybe by getting a $13 tattoo?
Pete’s Candy Store remains the most valuable Northside venue for those who dislike paying covers. You can choose Pete’s agains, where starting at 8pm they’ll host Beat Radio, Mount Sharp, Sorcha Richardson, and Monica Lionheart.
Or, head over to the Grand Victory (245 Grand Street) for an all-Dutch band showcase at 7pm, with traumahelikopter, MTT, and I Am Oak. You’ll only have two more chances to see the Groningen, Netherlands-bred rockers traumahelikopter and you really have no excuse to miss them.
Late at night you may be faced with a conundrum: will your friends sway you to the Animal Collective DJ set at Brooklyn Bowl (61 Wythe Avenue) or will you follow your money saving incentives to the late night free show? Okay, so Animal Collective is only 10 bucks, but you have to be the one to kindly remind your friends that this is a DJ set here. A DJ set at 11pm on a Friday night + a 600 capacity venue + Williamsburg = bros alert!
On the other hand, the late night free show features X Ambassadors and HOLYCHILD at 11pm at Knitting Factory (361 Metropolitan Avenue). Hip listeners of Little Daylight and tUNE-yARDS better take note of HOLYCHILD, the Los Angeles duo that recently released the indiesweet “MindSpeak” EP. I’m sure by now you’ve already finished Orange is the New Black (and ate delicious “Crazy Pyes” from a special OITNB food truck), but you may remember X Ambassadors from the pumpin’ official trailer for OITNB. With enough bass, X Ambassadors is sure to knock you out of your (prison) boots
When you meet up with your silly friends who went to the DJ set at 3 or 4 in the morning and they are complaining about the crowds and stupid drunks and lord help what could happen at an Animal Collective DJ set, try to keep the brilliant show you just saw for free a secret. You need to be quiet and pick your battles so you can get lots of sleep. Tomorrow is a big day for your broke self.
Saturday, June 14
On Saturday we’ve got 10 – count ‘em 10 – free music showcases happening from noon to midnight that you couldn’t possibly see them all, even in such a small area of Brooklyn. But you can try!
At noon, grab a coffee and drag your hungover booty to Muchmore’s (2 Havemeyer Street) for Shorewavers Records and Greenpointers Present: Cosmonaught, Honey Wild, Such Hounds, What Model Citizens, Haybaby, David Pollack, The Meaning of Life, and Half Moon.
In between bands, you can walk 3 blocks to Spike Hill (186 Bedford Avenue) for Rocker Stalker Presents: Jack Levine, MACH22, Graveyard Lovers, Pussywolf, The Venetia Fair, and The Courtesy Tier starting at 12:30pm.
Beginning at 1pm, there’s yet another awesome showcase presented by Battering Room featuring Traumahelikopter, The Party Faithful, Loose Buttons, and Two Seconds to Midnight at Bar Matchless (557 Manhattan Avenue).
The new Urban Outfitter’s store, Space Ninety 8 (98 North 6th Street) is getting in on the Northside action with shows and record signings. Aren’t you a little curious about the space? Walk 2 blocks to Space Ninety 8 from Spike Hill and satisfy all your curiosities about Space. At 1pm, you’ll hear Teen Girl Scientist Monthly, traumahelikopter, Your Friend, Neighbors, Piers (formerly Gondola) and a “special surprise guest.” A show sponsored by Urban Outfitters could conceivably afford to bring in any musician in the world as a special surprise guest, so let’s assume the best when they say it’s special. Space Ninety 8 is also presenting a “For the Record” Vinyl Signing Series with Eleanor Friedberge at 1pm. In between bands you should probably walk back to either Spike Hill, Muchmore’s or Bar Matchless for drinks because I’m sorry you won’t be drinking at Urban Outfitters.
After all that walking and day drinking and Urban Outfitters excursions, you’re going to need a place to sit and chill. At the Grand Victory, get your folk on with Post Meridian Folk Singer Sessions at 2pm featuring Andy Shernoff, Joshua Garcia, and Diana Chittester.
Folk’s not your thing? Thee Oh Sees are playing a free show at the same time with the Blind Snake and King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard outside at McCarren Park. Thee Oh Sees is about to embark on a European tour so it could be the last chance to see them for free. Get there early if you want to get in, if not, just set up in the tennis courts next door, or even in the park itself.
Wild Honey Pie Presents a showcase at Brooklyn Bowl at 6pm with MisterWives, Body Language, Canon Logic, E-603, Yellerkin and Step Rockets. Especially make sure you RSVP to this one or else it’s 10 dollars at the door!
For your Saturday night finale, Turbotax and Percussion Labs are bringing you an innovative dance party with Brooklyn-based DJ Nooka Jones with Contakt, Braille, and C-Sick at Glasslands (289 Kent Ave) at 11:30pm.
Sunday, June 15
Sunday morning you may be faced with another conundrum: should you wait in line for a boozy brunch or for Space Ninety 8’s “For the Record” Vinyl Signing Series with CHVRCHES at noon? The odds of getting into either are slim, so choose your loyalties carefully.
Of course, you might want to skip both of those so you can get in line for the actual CHVRCHES show at McCarren Park at 3pm, which going on four days of music, booze and no sleep is sure to just be a delightful line full of people with frayed nerves, hangovers and sensitive eardrums.
Make your return to the Muchmore’s-Pete’s-Spike Hill triangle for your afternoon and evening live music fix. At Muchmore’s at 1pm, Frenchkiss Label Group presents Comfy, Johnny Aries, Penicillin Baby, and Dinowalrus.
At Spike Hill starting at 12:30 pm, Paper Garden Records presents ARMS, Sunflower Bean, Mystery Lights, Friend Roulette, Unicycle Loves You and Yellerkin. If you decide to camp out at Spike Hill all day, the music continues into the night with The End Records presenting Ruby the Hatchet, gods, Contact, Golden Grass, and NightBitch at 7:30pm
Monday morning, you won’t have a rock hangover. You’ll have an innovation hangover.
Follow Julia for more rock innovation at @mint_ju_lips