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Soft Pack Plays Bowery; Panda Bear Alights; Albee: N.Y. Weekend

Soft Pack band members from left, Matty McLaughlin, Brian Hill, David Lantzman and Matt Lamkin. The indie rock band will be performing at the Bowery Ballroom on Friday at 9:30 p.m.  Source: Mexican Summer via Bloomberg
Soft Pack band members from left, Matty McLaughlin, Brian Hill, David Lantzman and Matt Lamkin. The indie rock band will be performing at the Bowery Ballroom on Friday at 9:30 p.m. Source: Mexican Summer via Bloomberg

Sept. 11 (Bloomberg) -- The Soft Pack begins two-night headliner duty at the Bowery Ballroom.

The San Diego natives showcase jangly tight guitar licks, punk beats, and nonchalant vocals courtesy of lead singer Matt Lamkin.

Known in 2008 as the Muslims, they were the major unsigned band of the music festival scene. After a quick name change (the Muslims? Now who would find that offensive?), they released their current eponymous album.

Come early for Brooklyn-based Beach Fossils who play plucky, hazy songs that will convince you summer’s not quite over yet.

The Bowery Ballroom is at 6 Delancey St. Information: +1-212-533-2111;


Gerhard Richter may be one of the best living painters, but his drawings take the spotlight here.

“Lines Which Do Not Exist” at the Drawing Center ranges from a muted, delicate landscape to the lyrical color bursts of abstract watercolors.

This is Richter’s first solo show in New York since the blowout Museum of Modern Art retrospective in 2002 and the first time this group of drawings has been on display in the United States.

The Drawing Center is at 35 Wooster St. Information: +1-212-219-2166;

Proceed to Balthazar, Keith McNally’s homage to the French bistro. Have a bowl of onion soup gratinee, steak tartare or go all out with the special multi-layer explosion of sea food for two or more hungry people.

Balthazar is at 80 Spring St. Information: +1-212-965-1414;

Saturday Night

Head over to Governors Island, where musical wanderer Panda Bear pitches up Saturday night. Best known for his main event band Animal Collective, Panda Bear, aka Noah Lennox, is exposing his solo material under the stars.

It will be trippy. He weaves dreamscapes by looping vocals, chanting melodies, and overlaying percussion into a constantly evolving landscape.

Fellow AnCo bandmate, Avey Tare, throws down a DJ set before the main event. Perhaps Panda can convince Avey to stay on for an impromptu AnCo reunion set.



Literary heavyweights and ambitious newbies converge on Brooklyn for the fifth annual Book Festival. Guests include Nobel Prize winner Paul Krugman, Salman Rushdie and bad-girl Sarah Silverman who will riff on insult comedy.

You can find out about graphic novels, crime fiction, fantasy narratives, kid and teen books, foodie tomes, urban tales, war memoirs, guides to saving the planet and everything else that fits between two covers or on an iPad screen.

There will also be music, films, kiddie theater and literary games.

Starts at 10 a.m at Brooklyn Borough Hall and environs but there are plenty of warm-up activities Friday and Saturday. Information:

Stop for rest and refreshment at Vinegar Hill House. How about English pea ravioli with butter and mint? And something from the extensive cellar of natural, handcrafted wines?

At 72 Hudson Avenue, Brooklyn. Information: +1-718-522-1018;

Sunday Night

Edward Albee’s “Me, Myself & I,” an absurdist exploration of how we know who we are, has its New York premiere.

Elizabeth Ashley stars as the ditsy mom who can’t tell her 28-year-old son OTTO from his identical twin brother, otto. “Are you the one who loves me?” she asks. Probably not.

The play, first seen at Princeton’s McCarter, opens the 40th season of Playwrights Horizons.

At 416 W. 42nd St. Information: +1-212-564-1235;

(With assistance from Lili Rosboch. Zinta Lundborg is an editor for Muse, the arts and leisure section of Bloomberg News. The opinions expressed are her own.)

To contact the reporter on this story: Zinta Lundborg at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Manuela Hoelterhoff at

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