ss.jpgSummerstage Lineup Confirmed
Ah, Spring. The weather feels fresh, the trees start to bloom and the free outdoor music events around the city start trickling out. This week saw the release of the Central Park Summerstage lineups, which is one of the best and longest running summer music series in town. Always a treat, this year is one of the most impressive, with a list of shows that seem too good to be free. The artists span from the indie elite (Vampire Weekend, Santogold and Battles) to the more contemporary selections like Los Lonely Boys, Sharon Jones, Mavis Staples. Check out the entire lineup here, as well as some of the benefit shows announced so far. Go Summer!

Colin Meloy Keeps it Simple
The Decemberists have shot up in popularity over the last several years, playing everywhere from Mercury Lounge to the aforementioned Summerstage. And while the full band offers some thrilling spectacle, often calling on props and crowd participation, these Meloy penned, pointy-headed ballads have always had the ability to stand on their own. This week, Colin played two shows at The Music Hall of Williamsburg in support of his latest solo album. After the band's major label debut, the smaller venue and the indie release were a well-earned step back out of the limelight. Playing shows like these seem to fit right into his comfort zone, and the songs always shine through.

The Feliceing of New York
They treated it as their homecoming show, and after being on the road for weeks, they certainly didn't hold back the celebration. The Felice Brothers are from upstate New York, but this was their home for the night. With a sold-out Bowery packed with friends and family, the Bros tore through a raucous set of folky jams. Many of the songs have an old-school feel to them, but they act on stage more like the post-Newport rockstar Dylan that proceeded. Quiet ballads on record become rowdy ho-down anthems live, and the inebriated stage presence never felt like a gimmick, but more as a genuine release. Let em party! They're young and they've got some great songs. When the house lights come on, and half the crowd is on stage, shouting along with the band -- that's a good thing. And just a few years ago they were performing in the subway for change.