This isn’t a big week for shows, but I’m thrilled with this list because most of them are totally, completely, 100% free. If you splurged on a Beyoncé ticket last week, or haven’t gotten you money back yet from D’Angelo’s cancelled show, this week should be kind to your wallet, and, if the weather holds out, your tan.
Calling New Orleans jazz-funk band Galactic energetic is like saying Quentin Tarantino films are a tad violent. The band has been performing in Louisiana’s party capital since 1996, and its tunes are as bright and lively as a Mardi Gras float, with sizzling vocals, thunderous drum lines and a rumbling brass section. Its latest album, 2012′s Carnivale Electricos is full of tightly-packed sonic jewels and world-beat infusions, and pays tuneful homage to New Orleans’ Mardi Gras festivals and the epic carnivals in Brazil and Trinidad, where one day isn’t a lengthy enough celebration. The same can be said about Galactic’s stint at Brooklyn Bowl: the band begins its four-day stay at the venue this Wednesday, Aug. 7. Grab tickets for Wednesday’s show while you can, because the four-day passes are sold out, and the remaining shows offer limited entry at the door.
BEST LUNCHTIME CONCERT
Thursday, Aug. 8
Metrotech Commons (the corner of Flatbush and Myrtle Avenues)
As we creep slowly through the last leg of summer, we’re all looking for an excuse to play hooky from work. Here’s a really good one: 1970s R&B singer and multi-instrumentalist Shuggie Otis brings his soulful groove to a free show at the Metrotech Commons in Downtown Brooklyn this Thursday. The catch? It’s smack dab in the middle of the work day. Touring in support of his recently re-released cult classic Inspiration Information, Otis is a masterful musician who started gigging with his father, R&B legend Johnny Otis, before he was old enough to get into the music clubs he was playing at. This event, which starts at noon, is the last in BAM’s free summer R&B Festival at Metrotech, and with Otis on stage, the series isn’t going out quietly. So go ahead and take a long lunch or use one of those sick days you’ve saved up and settle in for some silky smooth afternoon delight.
BEST ORCHESTRAL SHOW
Live score to Beasts of the Southern Wild with Dan Romer, Benh Zeitlin and the Wordless Music Orchestra at Celebrate Brooklyn! Prospect Park Bandshell
Thursday, Aug. 8 [This show was moved to Aug. 11 due to inclement weather.]
Doors 7pm/Show 8pm
FREE ($3 suggested donation)
Prospect Park Bandshell (9th Street & Prospect Park West)
Beasts of the Southern Wild director Benh Zeitlin also composed the score to the powerful indie flick, along with collaborator Dan Romer, and on Thursday they partner with Wordless Music Orchestra to perform the score to a new, music-free picture. The moving score performed live will make for a powerful experience for fans of the film, and for anyone who hasn’t seen it yet–bring some tissues. The night kicks off with brass-funk band Slavic Soul Party.
Frenchkiss Records presents this week’s Summer Thunder lineup, a series of free shows in Union Pool’s backyard. This week’s collection is loaded with bright, summer-ready pop-rock to accompany an afternoon snack from Union Pool’s El Diablo taco truck and a cold beer: pop-rocker Devin adds some raspy vocals to otherwise grungy pop grooves, while Hints plays arena-leaning guitar chords and Doozies goes for straight up lo-fi fuzz. And Les Savy Fav–always a weird pleasure.