Monday, May 17, 2010

Frontier Summer: Northside

[This is part two of our four-part miniseries in which we preview summer music events]

Williamsburg became part of the city of Brooklyn 155 years ago, but only in the last decade or so has it garnered a national profile.  Prior to its 21st century transformation, the most well known Williamsburg in our fair country was the former capital of Virginia, or what has now become known as Colonial Williamsburg.  While it might seem hard to imagine two more diametrically opposed settlements, the two towns Williamsburg have more in common than you might think.  Por ejemplo: both were established in the 17th century; both have a history of rebellion against the government; both are welcoming to the mentally ill; residents of both are frequently seen in costume.

Both towns also feature big-ass summer blowouts from June 24-27.   In Virginia, this blowout takes the form of a reenactment of the British Army's seizure of the town; in Brooklyn, it takes the form of the Second Annual Northside Music & Arts Festival.  Here at FP, we know that your time is precious and you can likely only choose one; we will use this space to try and sway you in favor of Northside.

The premise of the festival is rather simple: it provides a platform for introduction to the hundreds of bands, visual artists, and (this year) filmmakers that populate the WBurg/Greenpoint area.  In an effort to rope in a wider swathe of visitors, L magazine (the festival's primary sponsor) manages to book a number of indie heavyweights to close out festival nights.  Last year's event featured bands such as The Hold Steady, Sunset Rubdown, and Dodos:

This year's extravaganza promises to be bigger and better.  The full list of national and local acts can be found at the festival's website; already tickets are on sale for evening shows.  There is too much to be covered in this space, but two shows in particular interest us.  First, Friday's closer at Music Hall of Williamsburg features five acts including New Jersey psych-poppers Real Estate, whose eponymous debut was released last year to considerable acclaim, and Brooklyn lo-fi folk-rockers Woods, whose most recent LP At Echo Lake has been in heavy rotation here.  Even more spectacular, however, should be the Saturday show at Newton Barge park, featuring indie-electronic act High Places, punk-rockers Fucked Up, and Los Angeles' Liars (pictured), whose most recent record Sisterworld is among the best to be released this year.

Woods - Time Fading Lines

High Places - From Stardust to Sentience

Liars - No Barrier Fun

Of course, this festival is about much more than the pitchfok-erati.  Numerous local acts will be plying their trade.  We recommend you find the time in your busy schedule to fit in the soaring sounds of Milagres (formerly The Secret Life of Sofia),  the post-punk-by-way-of-french-house stylings of The Hundreds in the Hands (pictured), and the exuberant pop of friends-of-FP Miniboone.  Of course, if Brooklyn isn't your thing, spend your time checking out previously-profiled Massachusetts band Dom or exciting Roanoake, VA duo Eternal Summers.  And, if you happen to think your band is better than the lot of these performers, you can still apply

Eternal Summers - Able To

The Hundred In The Hands - Dressed in Dresden

Milagres - Fifty Fourteeners

Of course, there will also be art, and movies, and food, and intoxicated militia members:

So, this June 24th, spend your weekend in Williamsburg; after all, Brooklyn is for lovers.


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