6 Bands To Hear At This Weekend's Northside Festival

The Northside Festival , a showcase featuring the best of Brooklyn’s many musicians, filmmakers, and artists (as well as some guest talent from around the globe) kicked off yesterday and continues through the weekend. With a seemingly endless list of bands to check out, just looking at the lineup can give you a unsettling feeling of FOMO. You will have to make some difficult choices (do you go see the electro weirdos in YACHT or the eyeliner-obsessed Diamond Rings?), but don’t lose heart. In order to make sure you get the best out of your badge, I’ve provided a list of six acts you can’t go wrong with this weekend. Included are hometown heroes, as well as bands who have traveled from Denmark and to Dayton, Ohio. You can’t see all these bands, but you can try.
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1. Guided by Voices—Of all the big indie reunions over the last few years (The Pixies, My Bloody Valentine, Pavement), Guided by Voices may be one of the lower profile bands. This is a shame, as these indie rock progenitors have inspired generations of greasy-haired, sweater-clad youths to celebrate their incomparable sound. Be sure to check out their headlining show on Saturday evening.
Saturday, June 18 at 7 p.m. McCarren Park; Brooklyn.
2. Iceage —Danish punks Iceage are playing their first-ever American show this year. Their debut album is a rush of attitude, violence, and technical prowess that has been missing from the punk scene for, well, what seems to be an ice age.
Friday night, June 18 at 12:30 a.m. Public Assembly, 70 North 6th Street (between Kent and Wythe avenues); Brooklyn; 718-384-4586.
3. Light Asylum—Light Asylum are a force to be reckoned with. Lead singer Shannon Funchess has an intensity that seems far too large for the small stage at Public Assembly on Saturday night. This is one of the best Brooklyn bands at the festival, and one of my favorite bands period these days.
Saturday night, June 19 at 12:30 a.m. Public Assembly, 70 North 6th Street (between Kent and Wythe avenues); Brooklyn; 718-384-4586.
4. YACHT—Since moving to DFA a few years ago, the uplifting dance duo YACHT has blossomed into one of the most insanely fun bands out there. They have a new album coming out soon, which is sure to be great, and grunting along to the now-classic “Psychic City” may be the best time you have this whole festival.
Sunday, June 19 at 10:45 p.m. Music Hall of Williamsburg, 66 N 6th Street (between Wyth and Kent streets); Brooklyn.
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5. Diamond Rings / Porcelain Raft—With Diamond Rings and Porcelain Raft playing Europa, you don’t have to roam around to see two excellent, but very different-sounding acts. Diamond Rings combine new romantic gaudiness with angular rock, while Porcelain Raft create sonically complex, emotionally wrenching pop soundscapes.
Sunday, June 19 at 10 p.m. Europa, 98 Meserole Avenue (between Lorimer and Manhattan avenues); Brooklyn, 718-383-5723.
6. Beirut—Beirut’s Zach Condon has taken us across the world with his older-than-his-years story-telling, bringing us from France, to Mexico, to Germany, to East Harlem. Luckily, Beirut is stopping in his adopted home-town of Brooklyn long enough to headline the North Side Festival tonight in McCarren Park. Not to be missed.
Friday, June 17 at 8:30 p.m. McCarren Park; Brooklyn.