We're hoping that this week's shows fare a little bit better than last week's, since our previous subject, the Afro-Punk Festival, had to be canceled due to Irene and the city revoking permits for outdoor activities. The organizers have not yet announced when or if they will reschedule the concert.
Looking forward, however, this weekend will bring a few good shows. The English Beat will be playing at The Bell House on Friday. The British ska band formed in 1978 as The Beat and released a string of classics like "Mirror in the Bathroom" before the original members splintered in 1983. It's since evolved into two incarnations. There's currently the UK version known as The Beat and the US version known as The English Beat (named so they wouldn't be confused with a Phil Collins band of the same name). Both tour pretty frequently, though they haven't recorded a studio album since the 1980s. Sipping some drinks to their melodic, soul and pop-infused ska could be a great way to spend your Friday night. It's a 21 and over show, and tickets are $25.
On Sunday, celebrate Labor Day with some local bands over at the Knitting Factory. You can see different acts from various sides of the rock genre, including punk act Up For Nothing, whose influences include the Bouncing Souls, Against Me! and Hot Water Music. L Train are a fairly new group--they formed in January of this year--but are already on a roll, with their screaming, female-fronted funky sound. (Below is a video of the band performing "Bipolar.") Other groups playing on Sunday include Ritz Riot!, Saturn Unleashed, Jellybean, Snu Snu, Outskirts, Neutra, Nova, Turn Down The Sun, The Rejects and Jump for the Sails, so there's plenty of variety if you want to support some local rock. The show starts at 2 p.m. and it's $10 to get in.