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Sounds of summer: The best summer concerts in Brooklyn

Mo’ Monae: One of the best Brooklyn concerts this summer will be Janelle Monae’s headlining appearance Afropunk Fest, on Aug. 26 in Fort Greene.
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The music scene is hot this summer! Brooklyn’s brutal winter is finally over, so it is time to get outside and hear some music! We have pored over the many offerings and distilled a dozen must-see concerts happening in the borough this summer.

Easy does it

Eight-piece brass ensemble the Soul Rebels will bring its brand of New Orleans soul to Brooklyn for a high-energy outdoor show at Industry City. Make a plan to check out the horn-heavy band’s soulful conglomeration of jazz, funk, rock, and more.

The Soul Rebels at Industry City Courtyard 1-2 (Second Avenue between 36th and 37th streets in Sunset Park, (718) 865–3740, www.industrycity.com). June 1 at 8 pm. $15.

Primus sucks!

The alternative rock band Primus will play its bizarre, bass-heavy tunes for a cult following at this Coney Island show, who will no doubt chant the self-deprecating slogan mentioned above. Heavy metal icons Mastodon will open the show.

Primus and Mastodon at the Ford Amphitheater (3052 W. 21st St. at the Boardwalk in Coney Island, (718) 954–9933, www.fordamphitheaterconeyisland.com). June 3 at 7 pm. $24–$399.

Musica rock

Famed Latin rock artists Los Lobos will fly in from Los Angeles to play an afternoon show in Prospect Park as part of the Bric Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival — the first of several Celebrate Brooklyn shows on this list! The band, which has recorded many, many more songs since “La Bamba” became the first Spanish-language hit to top the American pop charts in 1987, will play tunes from throughout its 43-year career.

Los Lobos at the Prospect Park Bandshell [enter at Ninth Street and Prospect Park West in Park Slope, (718) 683–5600, www.bricartsmedia.org/cb]. June 10 at 3 pm. Free.

Country in the city

Alt-country stars the Jayhawks will join the mandolin and violin-heavy band Mandolin Orange in Prospect Park, where its music will match the green, natural surroundings.

The Jayhawks at Bric Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival [Prospect Park Bandshell, enter at Ninth Street and Prospect Park West in Park Slope, (718) 683–5600, www.bricartsmedia.org/cb]. June 16 at 7 pm. Free.

Local boy

Park Slope’s own Jonathan Coulton, who records delightfully nerdy songs about monkeys, robots, and the power of the Internet, will open the Celebrate Brooklyn stage for pop punkers Superchunk and for famed singer-songwriter Aimee Mann, who worked with Coulton on several songs from her latest, Grammy-winning album “Mental Illness.”

Aimee Mann at Bric Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival [Prospect Park Bandshell, enter at Ninth Street and Prospect Park West in Park Slope, (718) 683–5600, www.bricartsmedia.org/cb]. June 21 at 7:30 pm. Free.

The naked truth

Flash back to your college years with ’90s rockers Barenaked Ladies, coming down from Canada to enjoy the Brooklyn summer and bust out tunes about Kraft dinner and Chickity China, the Chinese chicken. The band will play near the waves with another blast from the past: Better Than Ezra.

Barenaked Ladies at the Ford Amphitheater (3052 W. 21st St. at the Boardwalk in Coney Island, (718) 954–9933, www.fordamphitheaterconeyisland.com). June 27 at 7 pm. $22–$155.

Rap in the park

Rapper, lyricist, and Brooklyn native Talib Kweli may be as much known for his tweets as his songs nowadays, but he will spit his best rhymes in a Brownsville park on June 30. The socially concious rapper will be joined by rising soul duo Oshun.

Talib Kweli at Betsy Head Park (Bristol Street between Dumont and Blake avenues in Brownsville, (212) 360–1399, www.cityparksfoundation.org). June 30 at 6 pm. Free.

Desert blues

This summer, pass some time in the heat with the blues group Songhoy Blues. The group from Mali blends its native West African tunes with good ole blues music, making a beautiful and unique mix of sounds.

Songhoy Blues at Union Pool (484 Union Ave. at Meeker Avenue in Williamsburg, (718) 609–0484, www.union-pool.com). July 7 at 2 pm. Free.

Emo lives

Emotional hardcore bands Taking Back Sunday and Coheed and Cambria will bring a night of angst-filled, heart-wrenching lyrics and overdriven guitars to the sun-drenched shore of Coney Island. Bust out the eyeliner and relive the sad punk sounds of your teenage years!

Taking Back Sunday and Coheed and Cambria at the Ford Amphitheater [3052 W. 21st St. at the Boardwalk in Coney Island, (718) 954–9933, www.fordamphitheaterconeyisland.com]. July 21 at 6:30 pm. $39–$289.

Island music

The office workers of Downtown’s Metrotech center will get a free visit to the Gullah region of South Carolina when the band Ranky Tanky takes the stage. The group mixes the traditional music of African-American inhabitants from the coastal islands of South Carolina and Georgia with modern soul and R&B.

Ranky Tanky at MetroTech Commons (304 Bridge St. between Myrtle Avenue and Tech Place Downtown, (718) 636–4100, www.bam.org). Aug. 2 at noon. Free.

Time machine

You couldn’t get away! ’80s New Wave gods A Flock of Seagulls, best known for the synth hit “I Ran” and the lead singer’s amazing swoosh of hair, will play the Coney Boardwalk as part of the nationwide nostalgia tour “The Lost ’80s Live!” which will also feature Reagan-era rockers Wang Chung, Naked Eyes, the Romantics, and more.

The Lost ’80s Live! at the Ford Amphitheater [3052 W. 21st St. at the Boardwalk in Coney Island, (718) 954–9933, www.fordamphitheaterconeyisland.com]. Aug. 3 at 7 pm. $19–$299.

Dirty work

The annual Afropunk Fest usually has a good lineup, but this year’s addition of Janelle Monae, the multi-Grammy nominated singer whose latest, funky album “Dirty Computer” blasted her out of the closet on a wave of funky guitars and rap tracks, has pushed it over the top. Monae will headline the second day of the festival, but also performing that weekend will be legends Erykah Badu, Tyler the Creator, Fantastic Negrito and a plethora of other artists.

Afropunk Fest at Commodore Barry Park (Flushing Avenue between Navy Street and North Elliott Place in Fort Greene, www.afropunkfest.com/brooklyn). Aug. 25–26. $60–$160.

Reach reporter Adam Lucente at alucente@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260–2511. Follow him on Twitter @Adam_Lucente.
Posted 12:00 am, May 18, 2018
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