Featured this week, and every week moving forward, hopefully on Monday mornings, but occasionally after that, I'll be bringing you my top five favorite shows coming up this week, with some quick hits at the bottom of things that might have just not made the cut. This week has a nice blend of jazz, hip-hop, afrobeat, and more. Without further adieu:
1. Jay-Z and Justin Timberlake at Yankee Stadium on Friday and Saturday, July 19-20
With this kind of lineup, it would be difficult to Justify (see what I did there) putting anything else in the top spot for this week. After seeing the set list from their London performance (probably spoilers, but you can check it out here, courtesy of Consequence of Sound), this has the potential to be the concert of the summer. Performing at Yankee Stadium, a venue that Jay-Z has shared with the likes of Eminem and before Yankees games, and Timberlake hasn't toured since the FutureSex/LoveShow in 2007, this looks to be amazing. Tickets can be found here through Ticketmaster across a broad spectrum of prices.
2. Odd Future and Schoolboy Q at Williamsburg Park on Saturday, July 20
Arguably more controversial that Kanye West, Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All, or just Odd Future for short, are bringing the party to Williamsburg on a rare East Coast trip for the group. They are being joined by Schoolboy Q, whose album Oxymoron is set to come out at some point in the near future for what proves to be one of the most entertaining nights of hip-hop of the summer. The latest single Schoolboy Q has released, "Collard Greens," featuring none other than Kendrick Lamar, is a sign of great things on the horizon for the album and can be heard here. Tickets for this birthday party for Peter Rosenberg also featuring Meek Mill and a DJ set by Funkmaster Flex can be found here on Ticketmaster for a steal at $20.
3. Music Frees All Festival at Various Venues on Friday-Sunday, July 18-20
Arguably the best lineup one could put together for fans of Afrobeat, once again raising money for the Scotty Hard Trust, Miles Arntzen has put together this festival for each of the past three years with a growing number of hand-picked acts. This year's edition has expanded to three days and four venues with EMEFE and Mokaad playing on Friday, Antibalas on Saturday, and Zongo Junction and the 23-piece (not a mistake, there will actually be 23 people on stage) No Mirrors Orchestra. You will not get a better deal than the $35 it costs for the whole weekend, but tickets are available piecemeal as well. You can buy a festival pass here.
4. The Bad Plus at the Village Vanguard on Tuesday-Sunday, July 16-21
Since 2000, Ethan Iverson, Reid Anderson, and Dave King have come a long way since they played only three shows together in their first year of inception. At one of the coolest rooms in New York, this trio is known for their inventive cover song choices and their incredible talent. A mainstay at the Vanguard, you do not want to miss them during this dozen-show run. Tickets are $25 and can be found here.
5. Titus Andronicus at Maxwell's (Hoboken) on Tuesday, July 16
As has been discussed in this space before, Maxwell's is unfortunately closing at the end of the month. For those of you who still have never made it to this great Hoboken venue, now you have an excellent reason to go. Titus Andronicus has one of the brightest rising stars around and if it weren't for a venue like Maxwell's, who knows where this Glen Rock, New Jersey band would be. Tickets are sold out; however, Craigslist is always your friend.
6. Honorable Mention
Mac Miller and Chance the Rapper - Hammerstein Ballroom - Tuesday, July 16
Omaha Diner - Brooklyn Bowl - Thursday, July 18
Brothers Past - Brooklyn Bowl - Friday, July 19
John Zorn - Alice Tully Hall - Friday-Saturday, July 19-20