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FiPS Presents "Rocktober": A Round-Up Of Musical Acts To Catch in BK This Month


Say it with me folks..."Rocktober!" It's the most fun month because of A) candy, B) slutty cat/nurse/devil/anything costumes, and C) "Rocktober" is the only good phrase radio DJs ever invented. This Rocktober, FiPS would like to ensure that you rock(tober) out sufficiently, so we've provided a massive list of tons of shows that will rock all over so many Brooklyn faces this month. The most loved/hated venue, The Barclays Center, gives us the large arena shows, while the smaller, neighborhood spots still remain un-engulfed. Therefore we're treated to an amazing range of musical possibilities here in the Slope. This also happens to be CMJ month, so make this the most musical 31 days of your Park Slope existence -- check out the options by venue and 'hood. 



 * Friday, Oct. 5: Los Straitjackets, Bell House: The Lucha Libre-bemasked instrumental rockers  keep things pretty energetic and interesting for being lyricless. Songs come packed with surf-rock licks and other quotes from rock's teenage years, propulsive drums, and weird mugging from behind those weird masks. 8pm, $15.

* Saturday, Oct. 13: Dig Deeper w/Green Berets, Bell House: The Dig Deeper series scours record stacks for old-school crooners and showmen/women, flies them to Park Slope, and sets them loose to pleasures your ears. This time out, Chicago soul group the Green Berets, limited in their heyday due to the Vietnam draft, play only their second NYC show ever. It's a rare-vinyl lover's wet dream. 9pm, $20.

 Bell House (via


* Thursday, Oct. 4: Communion w/Trixie Whitely, Union Hall: The British Communion series developed into a staging ground for up-and-coming UK bands. NY's version happens to grace the comfy little stage at Union Hall. Check out this variety show of hungry, new acts, including the "junkyard country" of Pony Boy and the old-school folksie Elijah and the Moon. 8pm, $12.

* Saturday, Oct. 6: Whistling Wolves: World-champion whistler Emily Eagan will do things onstage with her lips that will absolutely astound you -- wholesome things! Seriously, "world-champion whistler" might sound like a made-up title, like assistant to the regional manager or doctor of osteopathy, but you will be amazed. She's backed by a tight, old time fiddle, jug, and guitar band.  9pm, $10.

* Wednesday, Oct. 10: Six60 (New Zealand), Union Hall: One of my favorite things about Union Hall is how they'll bring in these small bands from overseas to play a NYC show. Six60 is basically a New Zealand college band, named for their campus house's address (though they're graduated now, of course). So, you can check out what house parties sound like in Middle Earth. Turns out, it's kind of chimey and atmospheric. 8pm, $10. 

* Wednesday, Oct. 17: blondfire, Union Hall: October is CMJ month, and Union Hall hosts a slew of the indie/college band showcases. Blondfire, as the name might imply, is fronted by a golden-locked songstress. They play sorta poppy indie rock with heavier drums than you might expect. So, basically, they're Metric. But slower. As with all CMJ shows, there are a host of other acts to catch opening up. 7:30pm, $10. 


* Thursday, Oct. 11: Army Navy, Rock Shop: The Rock Shop had better be a good music venue, considering it basically ate Southpaw's lunch and took it's place. And it is a cool spot to see a show, despite the faux-diveyness. Army Navy, despite the mighty-sounding name, play nice-guy pop. 8pm, $10.

* Wednesday, Oct. 24: NY Funk Exchange, Rock Shop: When your ears need something, NY will always find a way to satisfy 'em. That's how the city works. So, obviously, we've got a local, full-band funk collective, complete with R&B vocals, horns, and bouncy bass. Check out their videos to understand how you will be made to dance. 8pm, $10.




* Thursday, Oct. 4-Sunday, Oct. 7: Americana Pie, Littlefield: CMJ ain't the only music festival in Brooklyn this month. Swerve country-ward with Americana Pie, four nights of bluegrass, country, and folk. Starting times vary between 7:30 and 8:30, $10 per night. 

* Wednesday, Oct. 10: Martha Wainwright: Yes, that last name should sound familiar. Martha is part of songwriting royalty (father Loudon, brother Rufus). She's clearly got the same genes for authentic folk singing. 8pm, $25. 


* Thursday, Oct. 11, 18, 25: Barbez, Barbes: Confused yet? "Old-world cabaret" band Barbez serves a residency (they call it an "occupation") at fairly old-wold Park Slope venue Barbes, every Thursday in October. 10pm, FREE (donations welcomed).


* Sunday, Oct. 7/21: Out of Your Head Collective, Freddy's: Fifty-plus NYC musicians make up this improvisational commonwealth. The Freddy's event (1st and 3rd Sundays) features two sets of improvised music. Much like snowflakes and unhappy families, no two sets are alike. 9:30pm, FREE.

* Thursday, Oct. 25: Donna Singer (+ Ukuladies): Donna Singer, local jazz vocalist, makes a nice counterpoint to the huge voice of Babs at the huge arena of Barclays up the way. Freddy's is about smaller settings, and artists you can actually meet. The Ukuladies, catering to the Brooklyn fetish for adorable musicianating, join the set.  7:30pm, FREE.

BAR 4:

* Tuesday, Oct. 9, 16, 23, 30: Bar 4's Open Mic: A well-regarded open mic, at least among the singer-songwriters I've met, Bar 4 showcases come-as-you-are talent every Tuesday. 7:30 pm sign up, 8pm show, FREE.




* Thursday Oct. 11 and Sunday, Oct. 13: Babs, Barclays: The Brooklyn native lays down some pipes in the new Barclays Center. But, seriously, what am I gonna say here? Either you worship her or you don't care. It's Streisand. 8pm, $90-$650 (before fees). 

* HALLOWEEN: Smashing Pumpkins, Barclay's Center: The Smashing PUMPKINS, people. On HALLOWEEN. Get it?? Plus, Billy Corgan is Nosferatu. Not "looks like." IS.. Kismet. Anyway, this is the biggest '90's nostalgia act (so far) to hit Brooklyn, so obviously I'm going. And, honestly, their latest album is not bad. It's got the texture of the classic Pumpkins sound, without all the angst. Because, really, it would be embarrassing for a 45-year-old man to pen, "The world is a vampire" unironically. (It was embarrassing enough when a 25-year-old man did.) 8pm, $50-$75 (before fees).

** RED HOOK **


* Friday, Oct. 12-Sunday, Oct. 14: BK Country Music Festival: What's that? "Americana Pie" weren't enough for you? You can keep the roots going with Jalopy's country fest, which incorporates jams, performances, and workshops, all in the multi-purpose theatre, school, instrument shop, and time machine crouched in the armpit of the BQE. $12-$15 per day, $30 three-day pass. Starting times between 5:45pm and 7:45pm.



* Saturday, Oct. 13: Heloise & The Savoir Faire, BAM: Disco-esque punk loosens things up at the BAMcafe Live series. 9pm, FREE.

* Saturday, Oct. 27: Otello in HD, BAM:Get some culture, fools! BAM streams the Met's opera performances in HD. This time out, it's Otello. So, that's Shakespearean source material AND the opera. Attending this event will hereby absolve you from watching up to five episodes of Jersey Shore when St. Peter is tallying things up. 12pm, 1pm, $30 (screening + discussion). 



* Friday, Oct. 5: Animal Collective, Williamsburg Park: Williamsburg's newest summer concert venue, carrying the flag of defunct (at least for music) sites like the Waterfront and McCarren Park Pool, hosts its final show of the season. It's Animal Collective, hipsters. You know you want to. 5:30pm, $35.




* Sunday, Oct. 14: Fela Bowl, BK Bowl: NYC Afrobeat orchestra celebrate the birthday of Fela Kuti, the Nigerian pioneer of the genre. 3pm (FREE) and 8pm ($5).   


* Thursday, Oct. 18: Sub Pop CMJ Showcase, Knitting Factory: Sub Pop, the label who originally brought you Kurt Cobain back in the day, host a CMJ night of their own up in Billyburg. 8pm, $13.

* Tuesday, Oct. 30: Wintersleep, Knitting Factory: Wintersleep is a Canadian band. They do mellow, introspective indie rock that would nicely accompany scenes of Liam Neeson sledding through the tundra or something. 8:30pm, $12.


* Tuesday, Oct. 16: GWAR, Music Hall of W'burg: Whoa, yes. It's true: Beavis and Butthead's favorite band is playing Brooklyn. Wear the shirt you'd most like bespattered with "blood." 7:30pm, $30. 

* Tuesday, Oct. 30: Aimee Mann, Music Hall W'burg: And, then, GWAR's greatest inspiration: Ah, Aimee Mann, author of the prettiest sad songs from the early 2000's this side of Elliott Smith. Let's all be glad her real-life story turned out happier than his. You're still gonna cry when she sings "Save Me," though. But it'll hurt so good. NYC punk-vet Ted Leo starts the show, and that is one hell of an opener. 8:30 pm, $35. 

* Wednesday, Oct. 24: Old 97s, Music Hall W'burg: The veteran alt-country Texans make twang acceptable to the cool kids. If the Americana populating Park Slope whets your appetite, these guys'll sassify that rootsy yearning with a meal so good. 9pm, $25.



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