If you’re trying to find a high-octane soundtrack for your backyard barbeque this 4th of July, take a listen to this summer playlist NPR compiled with all of the biggest summer hits from 1962 to present. If nothing else, it’s a kick to hear Neil Sedaka follow Sir-Mix-A-Lot. For a taste of live music, check out these three shows–it’s a light week, thanks to the holiday.
BEST ACOUSTIC SHOW
Science! at The Rock Shop
Wednesday, July 3
Tickets $8 in advance/$10 day of show
The Rock Shop (249 4th Ave.)
The term acoustic evokes images of somber, steady guitar strumming, airy vocals and perhaps a half-empty (or half-full, depending on your perspective) soy latte, but that’s not the breed of acoustic guitar Seattle duo Science! specializes in. The pair play their old six strings furiously and with precision, and Jim Elenteny’s nimble finger picking and Justin Stang’s raspy vocals will get your feet a stompin’. The exclamation point is well-earned.
BEST ANTI-FIREWORKS SHOW
Rachelle Garniez at Barbès
Thursday, July 4
$10 suggested at door
Barbès (376 9th St. at the corner of 6th Ave.)
If you’re sticking around the city for the Fourth of July and watching the fireworks from your friend’s rooftop–again–sounds about as exciting as mosquito bites, swing through Barbès and check out Rachelle Garniez, a one-woman band who can go from deep bravado to soaring falsetto faster than a sparkler burns out. She accompanies herself with accordian, bells and piano.
If you didn’t turn it up to 11 on the Fourth, head over to the two-day Gigawatts Festival at Silent Barn and check out Team Spirit crank up the decibels. With their anthemic choruses, cymbal-heavy percussion and nineties guitar riffs, this Brooklyn band will have you throwing your arms around your friends and belting along at the top of your lungs. $20 will get you access to 20 bands over two days.
BEST FREE SHOW
Theophilus London with Les Nubians and AABARAKI at Celebrate Brooklyn! Prospect Park Bandshell
Saturday, July 6
Doors 6pm/Show starts at 7pm
FREE ($3 suggested donation)
Prospect Park Bandshell (9th Street & Prospect Park West)
Theophilus London might have the coolest name in music–and style to match. This Trinidadian-born, Brooklyn-raised MC blends club-friendly, electro beats with catchy pop choruses and grabbed attention with a few heavily circulated mixtapes before releasing 2011’s full-length album, Timez Are Weird These Days. Catch him with Les Nubians and AABARAKI on Saturday at Prospect Park.