The Five Most Valuable Resources for Great Live Music in Brooklyn


Photo by Neil Sanchala
Photo by Neil Sanchala

With so much music coming out of every corner of Brooklyn, every single day of the week (it seems), it can be tough to figure out where to go on a weekend. What to watch? Who to see? Where to go? The options can be overwhelming. Luckily, there are a few key middleman in the fight for Friday night that can help point you in the right direction. After the jump, some of our favorite go-to folks for where to find the best music in all five boroughs, any time you want it.

Go to: Oh My Rockness

For bands like: Cherry Glazer, Big Ups, and (if they ever played anywhere, everCap’n Jazz

“Let’s talk about good music — not bad. Because life is too short to harangue about the poop.” Thus begins Oh My Rockness‘s shortlist of great shows to catch this weekend in New York City. The snark is characteristically funny, but don’t let it distract you from the fact that the shows are always (always) good. And with a focus on independent acts vs the big name headliners, OMR is way more likely to help you find your new favorite band than to goad you into dropping a G on front row Beyonce (not that we’re against that). Check their Recommend Show List and don’t forget the Top 5 Summer Shows from co-founder Patrick McNamara.

Go to:  Todd P.

For bands like: Dan Melchior, Crystal Stilts, Preggy Peggy & The Lazy Babymakers, literally everything

Todd P.’s website is rudimentary by design and jam-packed with the best shows from the five borough’s underground as a rule. With a tendency toward the truly weird and off-the-wall, mixed in with a fair share of about-to-be-big-names, Mr. P. has been instrumental in keeping a small corner of Brooklyn’s DIY steadily churning (and crowdsurfing, and passing out on couches, and … etc.) His cascading-text-stack show line-up email aesthetic has never changed — and we hope it never does — but if analog is more your style, you can also pick up a copy of Showpaper. It’s a non-profit publication dedicated to this enigmatic nexus of the Brooklyn underground.

Go to: Panache

For bands like: Mac DeMarco, Ty Segall, Marnie Stern, Thee Oh Sees

The best up-and-comers, the about-to-be-breakouts, more than a few established acts — all can be found on the roster at Panache Booking. Scroll their upcoming tours for bands to generally check out, but sign up for their newsletter to make sure you don’t miss good shows right in your own ‘hood.

Go to: Silent Barn

For bands like: Matmos, Chimes, Advlts,

Silent Barn, oft-associated with the aforementioned Todd P., has been around as long as Brooklyn has played home to a burgeoning DIY music movement (so — forever), but it’s been steadily evolving over the last few years into a slicker, more organized, even more community-orientated artist’s space. After overcoming a few hiccups, the space now boasts an array of volunteer “Chefs” that book shows, make art, and keep the creative energy flowing through their borough. Check their upcoming calendar for — to put it in the parlance of our times — good s@%! to check out.

Go to: Baby’s All Right

For bands like: White Fence, Brian DeGraw, Xeno & Oaklander

Everybody who is anybody has been regularly citing Baby’s All Right as the go-to Brooklyn bar to see good shows. Co-founded by former Pianos-bookers Billy Jones and Zachary Mexico, it’s no wonder the tunes are good. From late night DJ sets by boutique reissue label Dark Entries to local label signees like Sacred Bones’ Pharmakon, their Show Calendar is a veritable who’s who of Brooklyn bands, labels, and DJs. In fact, don’t even check the calendar. Just show up. It’s gonna be good. Trust us.


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