This Week’s Music Picks

Here are musician Ken Beasley’s top music picks on the Lower East Side this week:

NINJASONIK – Thursday, August 26 at 730pm

NinjaSonik.

NinjaSonik is not your average hip hop group. First of all, they dance the line between punk and dance just as much as delivering good old fashioned rap. They’ve got thought-out, goofy lyrics ala Wutang, inventive beats overlaid with catchy melodies in the vein of Outkast, a charismatic nerdy vibe like the Beastie Boys, and a clear “if it’s not fun, we don’t want it” Brooklyn mentality. Their songs are filled with cheeky rhymes about wearing tight pants, loving art school girls, and drinking PBRs, so sure, you could call them ‘hipster’, but I think they’re better than that. The tunes are infectious, and the live shows are high energy and unpredictable. If you haven’t caught them this summer, don’t let the fall pass without taking in one of their sets. $10 – Mercury Lounge – 217 East Houston.

WILD NOTHING – Saturday, August 28 at 8:30pm

Wild Nothing is the solo project of Virginia songwriter Jack Tatum. Upon first listen of Tatum’s tracks, you’re swept instantly into a sense of comfort. Maybe it’s because it simply sounds so authentically 80’s. The perfect mix of synthesizer, single string electric guitar riffs, and echoey vocals, the overall effect is impressive. Tatum has described himself as a “product of an unhealthy obsession with nostalgia”, which as groaningly art-speaky as that may sound, is probably a fairly apt appraisal. Although our generation might probably call it healthy, as surely some of us still paint our kitchens in a tattered ‘Frankie says Relax’ t-shirt. $13 advance, $15 at the door – Bowery Ballroom – 6 Delancey.


BAnana Bag & Bodice does Beowolf.

BANANA BAG & BODICE does BEOWULF – A Thousand Years of Baggage – Saturday, August 28 at 11:30pm

The epic poem of legendary monster slayer Beowulf gets served up by Banana Bag & Bodice in a way that only they can. For one thing, in this version, a steampunk Beowulf struts around the forest with his own backup singers, who wail like rock-goddesses about his warrior skills, as he flexes his guns as if in a medieval photo shoot. As the story is unfolds on stage, a 2nd layer of the cast, in the form of an ‘expert literary panel’, dissect and analyze the action. This is a fresh and creative way to present this classic, and to cap it off, the music really Rocks. $14 advance, $17 at the door – Joe’s Pub – 425 Lafayette Street

Splitting his time between performing and producing, contributor Ken Beasley primarily plays with his own roots/rock band, Ken Beasley & Co., as well as the power punk outfit, Missy Sport, while also curating the Underground at the Abrons music series on the Lower East Side.