This Week in New York Insider's Guide to Arts & Culture in New York City Since 2001



AMC Empire 25
234 West 42nd St. between Seventh & Eighth Aves.
July 3, 4, 5, $18, 8:00

Following a brief flirtation with Bob, I became a Jerry man, tried and true. I had never seen RatDog or Bobby and the Midnites, two of Bob Weir’s solo projects away from the Grateful Dead, but seeing the Jerry Garcia Band on Broadway at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre in 1987 was phenomenal, even as promoter Bill Graham was running up and down the aisles, yelling at people to put out their joints. When Jerry died in 1995 shortly after his fifty-third birthday, I gave the reconfigured Dead a chance, as well as Phil Lesh & Friends, but I just couldn’t get into it. No Jerry, No Dead became my motto, much to the dismay of many of my friends, who continued to go to various shows during the past twenty years. But now that the Dead is saying farewell forever with a three-night stand at Soldier Field in Chicago, I’ve finally relented; I’m not going to the Windy City, but I will be at the AMC Empire in Times Square, which is broadcasting each show live. (You can also watch the concerts at home via pay-per-view and live streaming, with packages running from $29.95 to $109.95.) Mickey Hart, Bill Kreutzmann, Phil Lesh, and Bob Weir will be joined by such special guests as Trey Anastasio, Jeff Chimenti, and Bruce Hornsby as they play for upwards of five hours each night at Soldier Field, where the Grateful Dead performed with Jerry for the very last time on July 8-9, 1995. As always, every show will be very different; to get you in the mood, below are the two setlists from the Santa Clara shows this past weekend. (Yes that’s right; the second night featured “Dark Star” into “St. Stephen.”) Perhaps all that’s left to say is “Fare you well, fare you well / I love you more than words can tell / Listen to the river sing sweet songs / to rock my soul.”

June 27
Set One: Feel Like A Stranger, New Minglewood Blues, Brown-Eyed Women, Loose Lucy, Loser, Row Jimmy, Alabama Getaway, Black Peter, Hell in a Bucket
Set Two: Mississippi Half-Step Uptown Toodleloo -> Wharf Rat -> Eyes of the World -> He’s Gone -> *Drums/Space -> I Need a Miracle -> Death Don’t Have No Mercy -> Sugar Magnolia
Encore: Brokedown Palace

June 28
Set One: Jam -> Truckin’, Uncle John’s Band, Alligator -> Cumberland Blues, Born Cross-Eyed > Cream Puff War, Viola Lee Blues
Set Two: Cryptical Envelopment -> Dark Star -> St. Stephen -> The Eleven -> Turn on Your Love Light -> Drums/Space -> What’s Become of the Baby -> The Other One - > Morning Dew
Encore: Casey Jones


4knots final

Pier 84, Hudson River Park
West 44th St. at Twelfth Ave.
Saturday, July 11, general admission $25 (buy 3 GA tickets, get one free), VIP $50, 12 noon - 10:00

For the first time in its five-year history, the Village Voice 4Knots Music Festival, which grew out of the beloved Siren Festival in Coney Island, is charging admission, and the music will be held on one stage instead of two. The event, which is moving to Pier 84 in Hudson River Park, is reaching into its past, as two Siren veterans will be taking part in 4Knots this year, Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks (2008) and Screaming Females (2010). General admission tickets are $25, but for a limited time you can get one free with every three you buy, which essentially reduces the cost of each ticket to $18.75. VIP tickets ($50) give you access to the Hornblower Cruise Ship on the dock. (Proceeds benefit the Friends of Hudson River Park.) There will also be a food court on the pier, with such booths and trucks as Dos Toros, Papaya King, Crafty ’Cue BBQ, Harlem Public, Luzzo’s Pizza, and Ti Amo Gelato. The final lineup and set times have been announced and are as follows:

Surfbort — 12:00
Heaven — 12:40
Heaters — 1:25
Meatbodies — 2:05
Happyness — 2:45
Screaming Females — 3:45
Mikal Cronin — 4:45
Twin Peaks — 5:45
Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks — 6:45
Super Furry Animals — 8:30


Macy’s Fourth of July Fireworks return to the East Side this year (photo by twi-ny/mdr)

America turns 239 this year, and you can celebrate Independence Day in New York City with live music, storytelling, baseball, comedy, dancing, and plenty of fireworks all over town. Below are only some of the highlights.

Festival of Tall Ships: Voyage of L’Hermione, New York Harbor, free, 9:00 am - 3:00 pm

Nathan’s Famous Fourth of July International Hot Dog Eating Contest, Sweikert Alley, 1310 Surf Ave. at Stillwell Ave., 212-627-5766, free, 10:00 am

Stories at the Statue of Hans Christian Andersen, with Therese Plair telling “The Pumpkin Rider,” Dovie Thomasen telling “Iktomi Saves the People,” and Laura Simms telling “The Empress of Fairies,” Central Park, near Seventy-Fourth St. & Fifth Ave., free, 11:00 am

Warm Up, with Nicky Siano, Virgo Four, Cut Copy DJs, Galcher Lustwerk b2b DJ Richard, and Bobbito Garcia a.k.a. Kool Bob Love, MoMA PS1 courtyard, $18-$20, 3:00 – 9:00

Country Music Night: Brooklyn Cyclones vs. Williamsport Crosscutters, MCU Park, with postgame fireworks display, $10-$17, 6:00

Freedom Fest, with open bar, BBQ buffet, VIP viewing of fireworks, and dance party with live DJs, Pier 15, 78 South St., $109-$179, 6:30

Midsummer Night Swing: Dr. K’s Motown Revue, Lincoln Center, $17-$25, 7:30 & 9:00

Festival of Independence: Prince Rama and Salt Cathedral, Fulton Stall Market, 207A Front St., South Street Seaport, free, 8:00

Rob Stapleton’s July 4th Weekend Takeover, Carolines on Broadway, 1626 Broadway, $35-$105.75, 8:00 & 11:00

Hot Summer Nights: The George Gee Swing Orchestra, featuring vocalists Hilary Gardner and John Dokes, with special guest Lindy Hoppers, Lighthouse Bandshell, Kingsborough Community College, 8:00

Macy’s Fourth of July Fireworks: Brave, East River, free, 9:20



Televised live on NBC-TV beginning at 8:00 pm
Broadcast live on WINS 1010
Saturday, July 4, free, 9:20 pm (approx.)

Macy’s July Fourth extravaganza will honor the U.S. military this year with a fireworks show titled “Brave.” The thirty-ninth annual event consists of four barges between Twenty-Third and Thirty-Seventh Sts. on the East River, along with a fifth barge downtown by the South Street Seaport, setting off fifty thousand shells in twenty-two colors. The show, broadcast live on NBC and WINS 1010, will include live performances by Dierks Bentley, Kelly Clarkson, Flo Rida, Brad Paisley, Ed Sheeran, and Meghan Trainor, with Willie Geist and Tamron Hall sharing hosting duties. The twenty-five-minute fireworks explosion will combine patriotic favorites with original songs written for the Independence Day display; the soundtrack features Rodney Atkins, Cece Winans, the United States Air Force Band, and the debut of Gloria Estefan’s “America” with Brooklyn’s Park Place Community Middle School Choir. Among the best viewing points are along the elevated portions of the FDR Drive, with access at Houston, Twenty-Third, Thirty-Fourth, and Forty-Second Sts. as well as Broad St. Ground Level, Old Slip Upper Level, and Pearl & Frankfort, but you’ll need to get to some of those spots early because they fill up quickly and then will close to further visitors.


Who: Kat Edmonson
What: Mad. Sq. Music Oval Lawn Series
When: Wednesday, July 1, free, 7:00
Where: Madison Square Park, 23rd to 26th Sts. between Madison Ave. & Broadway
Why: Houston-born, Brooklyn-based singer-songwriter Kat Edmonson brings her unique, old-fashioned jazzy stylings with a modern edge to Madison Square Park on July 1, playing a free show highlighting songs from her latest album, The Big Picture (Sony Masterworks, September 2014), which features such tracks as “Rainy Day Woman,” “You Said Enough,” “Oh My Love,” and “You Can’t Break My Heart.” The free Mad. Sq. Music Oval Lawn Series continues Wednesdays through July with the Stepkids, the Family Crest and Arc Iris, Kiran Ahluwalia, and the New York Night Train Soul Clap & Dance-Off featuring DJ Jonathan Toubin with the Suffers.


me and mr jones

Treehouse Theater (Treehouse154)
154 West 29th St. between Sixth & Seventh Aves.
Monday, June 29, $15, 7:00

In a 2012 twi-ny talk, sexy cabaret chanteuse Raquel Cion gushed about David Bowie, telling us, “I’m a ridiculously huge Bowie fan. His voice, his music, his presence in the world, just immediately comfort me on such a deep level. So, when I’m feeling lonely or pretty much any feeling, Bowie both sends me and grounds me.” In her show Gilding the Lonely, Cion sang a stirring version of the Thin White Duke’s “Sweet Thing / Candidate,” while she tore up “Moonage Daydream” with Michael T & the Vanities at (le) poisson rouge in 2013. She will now reach even deeper into her Bowie fixation with her latest glittery spectacle, Me & Mr. Jones: My Intimate Relationship with David Bowie. Cion explores the nature of fandom and superstar worship in the piece, considering herself a “psychodelicate” girl who finds her “soul love” in the music and madness of the English singer and actor born David Jones in Brixton in 1947. On June 29 at the Treehouse Theater, Cion will mix intimate stories and Bowie covers with Jeremy Bass on guitar, Bill Gerstel on drums, Keith Hartel on bass, Karl Saint Lucy on piano, and Matthew Cleaver and DM Salsberg on background vocals. The show is directed by Joseph Hayward, with gowns, so much a part of Cion’s sparkling style, by David Quinn. It should be quite a glam evening.


Times Square
Friday, June 26, 12 noon - 10:00, and Saturday, June 27, 11:50 am - 8:00 pm, free admission

The second annual Taste of Asia festival in Times Square celebrates the culture and cuisine of China, Japan, Korea, India, Thailand, and other Southeast Asian nations with live music and dance, cooking and martial arts demonstrations, and lots of food. Performers on Friday include Sounds of Korea, Sirasdance, the Masayo Ishigure & Miyabi Koto Shamisen Ensemble, Saung Budaya, the Golden Rooster, Samurai Sword Soul, Behri, and Sharon Cheng, while cooking demonstrations will be led by chef ambassadors Zizhao Luo, Pitipong Bowornneeranart, Esther Choi, Brian Tsao, David Bouley, Yuji Wakiya, and many more. There will also be awards ceremonies for best restaurants, fashion shows, a dumpling making workshop, and, even better, a dumpling eating contest. On Saturday, the seventh NTD International Chinese Culinary Competition will honor the best in Cantonese, Northeastern, Shandong, Sichuan, and Huaiyang cuisines, with plenty to eat for everyone.