This Weekend: The Afro-Punk Festival


This Saturday and Sunday, the annual Afro-Punk Festival will hit Commodore Barry Park.

It’s free to get in, and the line up is pretty jam-packed. It includes Cee Lo Green, Janelle Monae, Fishbone, Santigold, Toro Y Moi, Gym Class Heroes, Das Racist, Ninjasonik, and Cerebral Ballzy (pictured, playing a CMJ gig at Europa last year), so this is definitely a can’t-miss show.

Cee-Lo Green is the biggest name on the bill, and his 2010 hit “Fuck You” ought to be enough to get you over to his headlining set on Sunday. He’s also known for performing in extremely outrageous costumes, like his feathered ensemble from the Grammy Awards. Cee-Lo recently released a new video for his song “Cry Baby” starring Jaleel White, better known as the actor who played Steve Urkel, though he’s a little more Stefan Urquelle in the video. Check it out:

Janelle Monae really endeared herself to a lot of the mainstream music-loving public with her performance at the Grammy Awards. Her sound is a unique combination of modern and vintage pop, soul and jazz, and with her slightly androgynous clothes contrasting against her signature retro updo hair, plus her energetic dance moves mean her live show on Sunday should be a must-see. Check out her performance of “Tightrope” at this year’s Glastonbury festival:

If you’re looking to fulfill the “punk” part of Afro-Punk, Brooklyn’s own Cerebral Ballzy will be playing earlier in the day on Sunday. Their sound is a definite throwback to old-school punk (even though it looks like no one in the band is old enough to have been there when it first happened) and their live shows are frenetic and raw. You may also want to check out Fishbone, who are playing immediately after. They have been around since 1979 and combine punk with ska, funk, reggae and soul. Check out Cerebral Ballzy’s “Drug Myself Dumb” (and stream part of their self-titled debut album here) followed by Fishbone’s “Servitude.”

It might seem like everything is happening on Sunday, but Saturday has some acts worth seeing — Santigold, who recently collaborated with the Beastie Boys for a track on their album “Hot Sauce Committee Part 2” and recently wrapped recording on her own sophomore release, will be closing out the evening. Indie chillwave favorite Toro Y Moi will be playing during the afternoon, and the always entertaining Ninjasonik — who performed last year as well — will open the day.

Santigold released one new song earlier this year, a collaboration with Karen O of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, called “Go,” which is still available for streaming.

The festival also features DJs in between the main acts. The full schedule is below:

One Response

  1. Caroline -

    I just hope that hurricane doesn’t show up on Sunday as well; I’ve been looking forward to this all summer!


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