Welcome to the third installment of Gawker Media's Spring Guide. Hear It!, your guide to whimsical music/arts events, is chock-full of pissing in Sani-Cans, Velvet Elvises, art crawls, bowling balls, new releases and events that are cooler than you'll ever be.
Air Out Your Inner Hippie at an Outdoor Music Festival
Outdoor festivals mean sunburns, expensive beer, and possibly receiving Altamont-style knife wounds in a parking lot. Unless of course you follow our handy guide to springtime concerts. We can't promise you'll be safe from mustachioed fauxhemians still lamenting the closing of McCarren Park Pool or sad old men still trying to get a Phil Lesh autograph, but with festivals ranging from classic soirees in Central Park to dirty southern rockabilly parties, you have a pretty good chance of keeping your spleens intact this season. You can try your luck at the big-name-drawing festivals like Tennessee's Bonnaroo [Map] or Washington's Sasquatch! [Map] or wander off the muddy path and check out some of these other happenings.
Long Live the King! And the Beatles
The weekend of June 4 offers not one, but two Elvis-themed festivals (which seems like a suitable tribute to the god-of-(too) many-impersonators). Whether you're at the festival above or below the Mason-Dixon, you are bound to find hip-wiggling, hair grease, and peanut-butter-and-banana sandwiches.
2010 LakeGeorge.com Elvis Festival, Lake George, NY
The King meets the "Queen of America's Lakes" during the LakeGeorge.com Elvis Festival as a host of "Elvis Tribute Artists" take to the stage to compete in a preliminary round of the Memphis Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest. [Map]
Tupelo Elvis Festival, Tupelo, MS
The Tupelo Elvis Festival, held in Elvis's birthplace, features a Gospel concert, Tribute Artist competition, and the coup de grâce: an Elvis Look-A-Like Pet Parade. [Map]
Each spring, New York City streets are filled with music: an orchestral cacophony made from the sounds of taxi horns, rats humping, and Broadway dreams being shattered. Fortunately, this spring also offers some more harmonic options for NYC-dwellers.
Make Music New York
Make Music New York is calling itself "the largest music event to ever grace Gotham," and with simultaneous free concerts happening on June 21 in all five boroughs they're probably right. One of the raddest performances isn't even happening on the street, but in the water. Audiences members are invited to row-row-row their boats around Central Park's lake, to the rhythm of Greek avant-garde composer Iannis Xenakis's "Persephassa." If water-logged esoterica ain't your scene, the 11-hour festival will also be rocking everything from hip-hop to bluegrass. [Map]
If free and classy is too cheap and classy for you, Williamsburg's Northside Festival might be more up your graffiti-covered alley. 50 bucks will get you a 4-day pass to see every single band that ugh, we cant believe you've never heard of. June 24-17. [Map]
For the Artsy Fartsy at Heart. Sy. Or Whatever
Open studios, art crawls, X-rated photography exhibits, and the like are the perfect venues in which to meet-cute with that shaggy-haired, self-important performance artist you've been wanting to date since your investment banker husband left you for a nymphette. So wear your littlest summer dress and prepare for some serious sculpture and serious scamming.
Art Walks & Studio Tours
Every city has a post-industrial "artists enclave" that is bursting to fill you with free cheese and dazzle you with their goods. If you can sort through all the black and white photos of homeless people and recontextualized street art, you might actually discover a few gems on an art walk.
Art Murmur, Oakland, CA
Oakland's Art Murmur happens the first Saturday of each month. In addition to the obvious (art), it includes street performances, one-night-only installations, and activists raising money and awareness for local social service organizations and political initiatives. [Map]
Wynwood Art District Crawl, Miami, FL
Miami's Wynwood Art District crawl happens every second Saturday of the month. The latest one featured a gallery opening party for a Madonna-inspired exhibit called—duh—Sticky & Sweet. [Map]
Bushwick Open Studio Tour, Brooklyn, NY
Less frequent, but just as populated with disaffected youth, is Brooklyn's own Bushwick Open Studio tour. The event generally happens twice a year, and you're in luck because they next one is scheduled for the weekend of June 4. [Map]
Figment NYC, New York, NY
If the urban art scene is bumming you out, but your artist's paycheck is keeping you city bound, head to Figment NYC on Governor's Island. The collaborative art festival runs June 11-13 and will feature exhibits and participatory projects in basically every medium. Hop over on the ferry and practice your best finger painting or performance art, for free! [Map]
Rainy Days Don't Have to Suck
Spring showers are bound to happen, so it's best to give yourself some rainy day alternatives. New Yorkers, if you're into the masters, nudity, vinyl, and/or album art, you're in luck.
Museum Mile Festival
On June 8th, nine New York institutions will be free to the public as part of the Museum Mile Festival. The super family-oriented event will feature a whole series of art-related activities for big and little kids alike. [Map]
RISQUÉ: Exploring the Hidden Face, A Series of Erotic Photographs
If you want to take your rain date to something considerably less PG, check out P.J.S Exhibitions premiere show, RISQUÉ: Exploring the Hidden Face, A Series of Erotic Photographs. Just try to stay dry! [Map]
Collect-i-Bowl Record Show
Come to think of it, nothing invokes the rainy day spirit like sound of rolling thunder or the sound of rolling balls! On June 13, Brooklyn Bowl will be hosting the first ever Collect-i-Bowl Record Show, an entire day full of record collectors, with mountains of rare vinyl. [Map]
Ninjasonik Art Show
Since the record revolution has apparently made a full turn, Brooklyn band Ninjasonik has curated an art show for their newly released 12-inch, Somebody Gonna Get Pregnant. The group got a crew of over 60 artists to create original cover art for the album and all the work will be on display starting June 3. [Map]
Indie Tours and Pop Releases
Keep your earholes happy and your wrists banded this spring by checking out some new music. Your neighbors are so over Bitte Orca. And don't even start with "Empire State of Mind." PLAYED!
Attending well-attended critical-darling indie shows is a springtime staple, and this year, some elusive acts are coming to your neck of the woods. Think of the Foursquare badges alone! Mayorship shall be yours. It's good to have goals. Go get it.
Audiences are already in line for the North American leg of the first LCD Soundsystem tour in three years. Let James Murphy amaze your face before the band heads to Spain on June 17. [Tour dates]
Recorded For Your Pleasure
Some old standbys and some acts from the fresher side of the musical spectrum are set to release albums in the coming weeks. Load up your iPod and stroll down the street with a smug look on your face because you are listening to pure sonic gold.
There you have it, the weird and wonderful guide to Spring 2010 for you artsy-types. If you can somehow combine Judy Collins, nude photography, and peanut-butter-and-banana sandwiches, well, you've won. Bingo!