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Who to See at Northside Festival, According to Folks in the Know

Northside Music is going down this June 7-11 with headliners including Dirty Projectors, Kamasi Washington, Miguel, and so many more. With all this talent, we wanted to find out who to see from folks in the know. Read on for all their recommendations below.

By / May 31, 2017

The Pains of Being Pure At Heart at Music Hall of Williamsburg // June 9

Says Who: Charlotte Zoller, Editor + Director of Community Outreach, The Creative Independent

Why: I’ve always had a soft spot for The Pains of Being Pure at Heart. Their lineup has shifted a bit since they began in 2007, but founding member/lead singer/principal songwriter Kip Berman has always been a welcome constant. A POBPAH live show is something to behold—people of all ages swaying, dancing, and singing along. Catch me there on June 9 shouting all the lyrics while I attempt to start the biggest twee mosh pit of all time.

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Mary Timony Plays Helium at Rough Trade // June 8

Says Who: Amy Rose Spiegel, Editor-in-Chief, Talkhouse Music

Why: As a guitarist, singer, and songwriter, Mary Timony’s back catalog is so storied and accomplished—we’ve heard her shred with Wild Flag, Ex Hex, and Autoclave since she began recording in the early 1990s. I’d be full of hot air, however, if I said I loved any of that (remarkable!) output as much as I do her work with Helium, the band she fronted from 1992-1998. Her sour-cherry voice and guitar lines were especially matter-of-fact and sharp in that context, and the lyrics on songs like “Pat’s Trick” and “XXX” perfectly encapsulate, for me, how it feels to be a young person who wants to threaten, sweet-talk, and otherwise respond tartly to the world around her, on exactly her own terms. Timony is always a bulldozer of a life performer, and I’m so excited to hear her plow through Helium at Northside.


Lower Dens covering Abba’s Gold: Greatest Hits at Rough Trade // June 10

Says Who: Natalie Rinn, Executive Editor, Brooklyn Magazine

Why: Recently, I listened to Lower Dens’s “Ondine”, from their 2015 album, Escape from Evil, approximately 25 times in a row. It’s one of those songs that lures you in instantly, and gets you to stay, regardless of what the rest of the song sounds like. Luckily, all of it is pretty enjoyable: broody, mellow, dark-ish. It’s the sound this band from Baltimore is generally very good at producing–except on rare occasions, such as in “To Die in LA,” off the same album, which, despite the title, is actually very upbeat. When listening to it I want to sprint to LA to live out the rest of my days. With this song as my soundtrack, I even believe my expiration there will meaningful and fun. Lower Dens has a talent for making the dark stuff addictive, and the ostensibly dark, hopeful and bright.

At Rough Trade, I am excited to see them apply this gift for melancholy to Abba’s own straight-forward happiness. If they can add depth and interest to that—if they can make me enjoy Abba, even (which I don’t)—I’m a fan forever. I’ll be there to watch them succeed, I hope.

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William Basinski at National Sawdust // June 9

Says Who: Geoff Rickly, Lead singer of Thursday

Why: I’m dying to see William Basinski at National Sawdust.  I peeked in and got a tour of the venue the other night and it’s so beautiful and designed with sound and setting in mind.  I have wanted to see something there since but I also wanted to wait for something immersive and delicate that I also know intimately. Basinski is one of my favorite artists and his shows are all too rare. Disintegration Loops is his best known work but he has put out consistently great records since.

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Big Thief at The Park Church Co-op // June 10

Says Who: Rami Haykal, Co-founder & Talent Buyer, PopGun Presents

Why: Have really enjoyed listening to their new album out on Saddle Creek in June. Haven’t had a chance yet to see them play those live!


Flock of Dimes at Baby’s All Right // June 9

Says Who: Rachael Pazdan, Music Director, (le) poisson rouge

Why: Basically, I’m a huge fan of Jenn Wasner. I’ve been hooked on her other band Wye Oak since their gorgeous record Cilivian came out. Jenn has one of those soothing, airy voices that punches you in the face at the right time, reminding you that she is a force. With Flock of Dimes, she gets funkier and more synth oriented, even reminding me of Genesis at times. The track Birthplace off the record If You See Me Say Yes is a little, delicious golden nugget that moves me every time I hear it. 


Sacred Bones 10th Anniversary Showcase at Brooklyn Bazaar // June 10

Says Who: Tyler Kane, Booker, Brooklyn Night Bazaar

Why: On June 10 we’re hosting the Sacred Bones 10th Anniversary showcase at BK Bazaar. I’m looking forward to seeing Destruction Unit–haven’t had a chance to catch them since they played Shea in 2013 with Nu Sensae and Big Ups. After the bands played that night, Joe Galarraga from Big Ups looked at me and said, “Wow, I guess we need to be louder.” 


Jlin, Container & Foodman (aka 食品まつり) at Brooklyn Bazaar // June 9

Says Who: Jeff Klingman, Programming Manager, Northside Festival

Why: Every new song that Indiana producer Jerrilyn Patton, aka Jlin, releases feels like the future of dance music. Her new record, Black Origami, is a total triumph—dense and disorienting, but also beautiful in bits and exhilarating throughout. But, that’s not all! Foodman, in from Tokyo for a rare U.S. show, makes some of the most deeply, sincerely strange and mesmerizing music of the last few years. Container is as basement punk as techno gets. This whole show will be insane.


For more information about Northside’s lineup, shows, and all kinds of tickets, click right here.



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