Highlights From Brooklyn's Northside Festival 2014

The author with Mac DeMarco
I'm a surly bastard, and among the things I hate most are large crowds and what I call "festy cunts " (terrible people who attend festivals like they're following Van Halen on tour). If you also hate music festivals for their attraction to white people who think it's appropriate to wear Native American head dress, long lines, extortionately priced food and drink and general douchebaggery, but still love live music, then Brooklyn's Northside Festival was designed exactly for you. With its music portion (there's also an innovation and film program, similar to SXSW but with less Hollywood red carpet posturing) spread out over four days, there's over 400 bands to choose from, playing at a number of venues around Williamsburg, many shows taking place in the comfort of bars you probably already frequent. Headliners take over the Smorgasburg lot at 50 Kent and play out to a sunset that drops over the Manhattan skyline, and if you're lucky the TGI Fridays food truck will be handing out free sliders. With acts like Talib Kweli, Beirut, The War On Drugs, Fuck Buttons, Sharon Van Etten, Titus Andronicus, and Beach Fossils playing alongside local acts, Northside is as impressive and diverse in it's lineups as it is in it's laid back atmosphere and easy to navigate schedule. That, and you'll have enough room to swing a cat, if that's your jam.

See also: Music Festivals Are Environmental Disasters

More »

Live: Sharon Van Etten Manages Not To Soil Herself At Bowery Ballroom

sharon van etten main.JPG
It's OK if your eyes well up a little. Pics by Mike Benigno, more below.
Sharon Van Etten/Sebastian Blanck/The War on Drugs
Bowery Ballroom
Saturday, January 8

Better Than: Another night of "Love More" on repeat

Around 7 o'clock Saturday night, shortly before I had to catch a D train and head to Bowery Ballroom, I admit that I didn't want to go. I'd been excited for this show before that, but right then, as I lay in bed, preparing myself with another spin through Brooklyn folkie Sharon Van Etten's second album, Epic, my mood began to align with the record's, and the idea of stepping outside my apartment -- or even out of my bed -- started to seem like a drag. I managed to do it, though, and I'm glad I did.

More »