While the majority of their peers are content to perform in jeans and tees surrounded by little more than effects pedals, Apes and Androids would rather dish out their manic glam rock wearing wife-beaters, bandanas and full-color face paint while a giant papier-mâché monster looms overhead and the band’s friends—all clad in zombie makeup—do their best “Thriller” impression. In other words, Brooklyn’s Apes are all about the spectacle. “With the death of CDs, it’s even more important that bands do something new onstage,” singer and guitarist David Tobias told Spin last summer. “The live show is the new album cover.” Fortunately, their music—a heady blend of MGMT, Midnight Vultures–era Beck, and classic Bowie—is just as gloriously excessive.
While their show at the Music Hall of Williamsburg isn’t until January 30, we have a feeling this thing will sell out soon. It’s the only show the Apes have scheduled at the moment. [Tickets on sale now]
With roles opposite Jack Black in Be Kind Rewind and as Chuck Berry in Cadillac Records, Mos Def’s recent film career has overshadowed his musical prowess—a talent which, according to some fans and critics, has been in decline ever since 1999’s Black on Both Sides. Still, our man Dante Smith is not about to pass the mic anytime soon. He’s got a new single, “Life in Marvelous Times,” and a new record, The Ecstatic, due out “soon” on Downtown Records. Until then, you can catch him at the Highline Ballroom on Friday, January 9. [Tickets on sale now]
In other hip-hop news, Afrika Bambaataa is coming to Le Poisson Rouge this Saturday with Low B and Million Dollar Mano. Bam—who many believe first coined the term “hip-hop”—is one of the genre’s godfathers. But he’s also credited with jump-starting everything from Miami bass to Latin freestyle to house music. His most famous track, 1982’s “Planet Rock,” marked the first time a synthesizer landed on a hip-hop track, and single-handedly gave birth to electro-funk. Head to the West Village to pay your respects to a Bronx-born legend. [Tickets on sale now]
The idea behind the Bridge Project—a classic repertory theater company created by a British director (Sam Mendes), an American actor (Kevin Spacey), and the executive director of the Brooklyn Academy of Music (Joseph Melillo)—is to create a truly international theater, a place where British and American actors can settle in for intensive, long-term collaborations. The Project pairs three Brits—Simon Russell Beale, Sinéad Cusack, and Rebecca Hall—with three Americans—Richard Easton, Josh Hamilton, and Ethan Hawke. The cross-cultural experiment kicks off tomorrow night with the opening of Chekhov’s The Cherry Orchard at BAM’s Harvey Theater. The same cast takes on The Winter’s Tale beginning February 10, also at BAM, before heading to Singapore on March 8. [Tickets on sale now]