Friday, May 31 at Rockefeller Center, New Kids On The Block, 98°, Boyz II Men, Free
We could make lots of jokes about this show, but there are plenty of people who are going to start lining up right now to make sure they catch every minute of Donnie and the boys. And that's fine. Everybody deserves music that makes them happy, and making fun of grown men singing songs like "Right Stuff" is just low hanging fruit. But if you must go to this, make sure to get there early for Boyz II Men. "Motown Philly" totally holds up.
Sunday, June 2 at Best Buy Theater, Tomahawk, Buke and Gase, $32.50
Tomahawk counts among its members Mike Patton of Faith No More and Mr. Bungle, Duane Denison of The Jesus Lizard and John Stanier of Helmet. These are all musicians that specialize in making artful racket, goosing traditional hard rock with odd time signatures, avant-garde informed arrangements and lots and lots of noise. Oddly, Tomahawk's new album Oddfellows is one of the most straight ahead albums any of these gentlemen has ever put their name to. Which is fine. Sometimes you just want to hear Mike Patton knock out a giant chorus over a swinging beat. Tomahawk is a band that doesn't have to try too hard to be great, and are perhaps at their best when doing less.
Saturday, June 1 at Spike Hill, The Ballet, The Smittens, Making Marks, Silkies, Free
This bill is part of NYC Popfest, which will ensnarl the city next week in a sweater-clad hug. Jangle pop legends like The Bats and Close Lobsters will headline shows during the event, but we wanted to point out this bill because a) it's free and b) these are some of the most adorable band names we've encountered in some time. The Smittens AND Silkies on one bill? They're practically daring you to scoff or swoon, depending on your twee toleration levels.