Brooklyn’s Prospect Park Bandshell is a great place for a summer concert, and it looks like Celebrate Brooklyn! is offering a killer lineup this year.
Festivities kick off at 8 p.m. on Monday, June 8, with a FREE ($3 suggested donation) show featuring David Byrne. That’s just the first of many great free concerts.
The full schedule is out tomorrow, but here’s a taste of what’s to come.The listed times are when the gates open. Go early to claim a good spot and check out the great food. And don’t forget to donate at the gate, or better yet, become a member, and help keep this amazing free program alive:
Saturday, June 20, 6:30 p.m.: LA NAVE DE LOS MONSTRUOS, with live score by ETHEL and GUTBUCKET. In a special Celebrate Brooklyn! commission, the nation’s premier rock-infused, postclassical string quartet, the immensely acclaimed Ethel, teams up with the wild art-rock group Gutbucket to perform a new original score to the vintage Mexican science fiction classic La Nave De Los Monstruos (The Monsters’ Ship, 1959). In the film, the last male on Venus has died, and two Venusian hotties embark on a quest to find men on other planets. The bands premiere the new work this evening after developing the project at a BRIClab residency this spring. Gutbucket will also perform an opening set.
Friday, June 26, 6;30 p.m.: BLONDE REDHEAD. The vaunted NYC underground sensualists Blonde Redhead have shape-shifted from dissonant noise explorations to ethereal, dreamy pop over the course of their career, always inspiring intense devotion from their fans. PopMatters says of them, “It is as if they are pressing on piano keys and each key is a trigger that tugs a wire within the listener. There are keys for longing, possession, despair, and ecstasy—and Blonde Redhead travel fast and skillfully over the whole keyboard.”
Sunday, July 19, 1 p.m.: AFRICAN FESTIVAL with King Sunny Adé and many others! Celebrate Brooklyn!’s annual all-day festival of music, food and crafts features a lineup of music selected to keep dancers moving into the night. Tthe great King Sunny Adé of Nigeria is this year’s headliner, but the bill also includes a rare U.S. appearance by South Africa’s Freshly Ground; The Mandingo Ambassadors, from NYC by way of Guinea, whose music “has been structured to make you feel good” (The New York Times); the wild Senegalese drum troupe Cheikh M’Baye & Sing Sing; the powerful Brooklyn-born, Ghanaian vocalist Abena Koomson; and whirling traditional Egyptian dancer, Yasser Darwish.
Saturday, Aug. 1, 6:30 p.m.: DEAN & BRITTA: 13 Most Beautiful…Songs for Andy Warhol’s Screen Tests with CRYSTAL STILTS. Dean & Britta, who are beloved as one of the sexiest duo’s in rock, in addition to being alumni of the groundbreaking alt-rock band Luna, perform original scores to Warhol’s rarely seen short silent film portraits, which captured Factory superstars, celebrities, and anonymous teenagers in mesmerizing four-minute shots. The New York Times says, “The music unabashedly translates the ominous drone of early Velvet Underground songs like I’m Waiting for the Man and Venus in Furs into a more modern electronic mode reminiscent of Giorgio Moroder’s chic torture-chamber disco.” Commissioned by the Andy Warhol Museum, the project is like an archeological dig unearthing NYC’s 1960s art scene, complete with an unforgettable soundtrack. Brooklyn’s Crystal Stilts, whom Pitchfork describes as “moody-sounding fuckers who make fabulous stripped-down garage-pop,” will set the tone for the night.
Friday, Aug. 7, 6 p.m.: GRACE POTTER & THE NOCTURNALS with DEER TICK. Fronted by the Joplin-like vocals and the Hammond B-3 playing of the group’s fearless frontwoman, Grace Potter & The Nocturnals play “blues-based rock with glorious passion.” The music of Deer Tick is hard to categorize—folk? indie rock? alt-country? Americana?—but easy to love. They “write and play some of the most soulful, inspired music around, littered with lyrics as sharp as a shot of whiskey and rapid-fire guitar solos strong enough to blow the dust off your boots.” (Brooklyn Vegan)