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ACL Festival 2018, Weekend 1 - Friday
The National at ACL 2018 (more by Andy Sawyer)

You can browse our full NYC show calendar for all of tonight’s shows, but here are some highlights…

The National, Courtney Barnett @ Prospect Park
For fans of indie rock, The National and Courtney Barnett is a pretty unbelievable double bill and it’ll be cool to see them in Prospect Park, a venue that both have headlined separately in the past. They’re there tonight and tomorrow, and The National are supporting the great, just-released I Am Easy To Find while Courtney is still riding high off last year’s great Tell Me How You Really Feel.

Craig Finn, Laura Stevenson @ Joe’s Pub
The Hold Steady frontman Craig Finn just released his very good new solo album I Need A War, which is a prettier-sounding album than usual for Craig and features a big backing band including backup singers, a horn section, and more. He’s supporting it tonight at Joe’s Pub, which is a cool place to see him, and opening is Laura Stevenson, who released her own very good new album this year, The Big Freeze.

Honey Harper, Hideout @ Mercury Lounge
William Fussell, who used to front dreampop band Mood Rings, now makes lush, dreamy pop as Honey Harper that owes more to ’70s light country than Cocteau Twins, but is equally bewitching.

Halo Maud, Dead Editor @ Coney Island Baby
French psych pop musician Halo Maud, who used to be a member of Melody’s Echo Chamber and Moodoïd, released her very impressive, lush debut LP Je Suis Une île last year. Alongside the spot-on, modern-but-classic production, Maud’s voice is the real star, somewhere between Bjork and Birkin, always selling the emotion even when you can’t understand the words. This is her first U.S. show.

Jeanines, BEX, Charm, Bushies @ Trans-Pecos
If you’re a fan of classic indie pop, be it C-86, Flying Nun or Slumberland Records, Queens duo Jeanines should tick all your boxes. Alicia Jeanine, who writes the songs, and drummer/producer/bassist Jed Smith (My Teenage Stride, Mick Trouble) make what sound like classics: simple, instantly catchy songs informed by ’60s pop and R&B, with ethereal harmonies, minor key melodies, great basslines, jangly guitars and a rough-around-the-edges production that is twee but not too twee. This is the release show for their great debut album.

Griselda (Westside Gunn, Conway, Benny the Butcher) @ Sony Hall
If you’re into hard-edged, ’90s-style East Coast rap, there’s a good chance you’re into the Griselda Records crew — Westside Gunn, Conway, and Benny the Butcher — all of whom do a lot of justice to that style. They’re on tour together now and hitting NYC tonight.

Phil Lesh & Friends featuring Jorma Kaukonen @ The Capitol Theatre
The Grateful Dead’s Phil Lesh’s Phil Lesh & Friends shows are some of the best shows that Deadheads can currently see, and for this two-night stand at the Cap, Phil’s band will include another legend of the Haight-Ashbury scene, Jefferson Airplane/Hot Tuna guitarist Jorma Kaukonen. Seeing these two together should be a real treat. This is night two of two.

Flor de Toloache @ Le Poisson Rouge
NYC’s Flor De Toloache put a unique, modern twist on mariachi music, and they’ve also toured and collaborated with Dan Auerbach. Tonight, their tour hits Le Poisson Rouge for a hometown show.

Kiana Ledé, BLACKWAY @ Music Hall of Williamsburg
R&B singer Kiana Ledé just released her new EP Myself (featuring Offset and Jennifer Lewis), and she was also just announced for the H.E.R.-curated Lights On Festival, alongside Jhene Aiko, Daniel Caesar, and others. If you dig that kinda R&B, you’ll probably like Kiana and her new EP too.

TOBi, Nanabcool @ Rough Trade
Canadian rapper TOBi has been on the rise since releasing his new album STILL last month. He was recently announced for some big festivals like ACL, but first he’s playing NYC and LA shows this month.

Spirit Adrift, High Command @ Monty Hall
Once pegged strictly as a “doom” band, Spirit Adrift’s third album Divided By Darkness sees them embracing Metallica-sized arena metal, Pink Floyd-ish prog, and more, without losing sight of their roots.

Moon King, The Gloomies @ Elsewhere
Moon King, aka Toronto-born artist Daniel Benjamin who has played in Grimes’ band as well as his brother Airick’s group, Doldrums, pivoted from shoegaze to dancepop with this year’s Voice of Lovers.

For all of tonight’s shows, and tomorrow’s, check out our NYC concert calendar.

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