Wednesday, April 23 at Brooklyn Bowl, Big Boi, Killer Mike $30
Before Killer Mike hooked up with Brooklyn noise-hop king EL-P for last year's killer R.A.P. Music album, he spent several years in the orbit of Outkast poobah Big Boi. Despite the high quality of his PLEDGE mixtape series, Mike never quite landed the right album or song while working with Boi to properly break through, but if this bill is any indication there's no hard feelings between the pair. It's easy to see why these two get along; both guys have one foot in rap traditionalism (boasts about being awesome, turntable scratches, tough guy narratives) and the other in the future (avant-garde beats, deeply introspective lyrics.) And both know how to rock a Brooklyn Bowl crowd on their own, so together that bowling alley might just explode from too much future rap greatness.
Thursday, April 25-Saturday, April 27 at Brooklyn Academy of Music, The Roots, Solange, TV On The Radio and a whole lot more, $50
When Aaron and Brynce Dessner of The National presented the Crossing Brooklyn Ferry festival at Brooklyn Academy of Music last year, they largely pulled from within their own wheelhouse of brooding balladeers and ornate orchestral seethers. Now, there's nothing wrong with getting St. Vincent and The Walkmen to headline your festival, but it's not exactly a shock either. So kudos to them for really mixing it up this year by pulling from hip-hop (one can never go wrong with The Roots) R&B (it's finally warm enough to properly enjoy Solange) and, well, third night headliner TV On The Radio are another weird art rock band, but they're also The National's closest competition for the title of Best Band in all of Brooklyn, so it's no hard feelings. And with an under-card stacked with woozy art-country (Phosphorescent) abstract soundscapes (Julia Holter), blistering punk (Japanther) and more modern classical types than you can shake an Ornette Coleman record at, you can't knock the breadth or depth this time around at all.
Saturday, April 27 at Music Hall of Williamsburg, The Dillinger Escape Plan, The Faceless, Royal Thunder, Primitive Weapons, Free with RSVP
In the category of the craziest thing I've ever seen The Dillinger Escape Plan Do Live, we have a tie between the time I saw singer Greg Puciato spit fireballs just a few inches above the crowds heads in a tiny, tiny club and the time I saw them do a flawless, note for note cover of Justin Timberlake's "Like I Love You." You never know what to expect when you see Jersey's finest math-thrash-punk cyborgs, other than some complicated song structures, barnacle blasting screams and lots and lots of mayhem, both onstage and off. And this Saturday you can see all this unexpected mayhem for free with an RSVP here, though I suspect you would find the memories to be priceless no matter how much you paid.