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Panda Bear, Ai Weiwei, ABT’s Swan Lake, Fireworks: N.Y. Weekend

Lower Dens
Lower Dens band members, performing on Friday evening at Pier 17. Source: Force Field PR via Bloomberg

Baltimore foursome Lower Dens play the South Street Seaport on Friday as part of the River to River Festival.

Drone-y melodic washes of sound swirl and crash, held together by propulsive percussion and lead singer Jana Hunter’s dusky vocals.

Their debut album, “Twin-Hand Movement,” is an atmospheric ascent into a slow-growing thunderstorm of overlaid guitar riffs and longing.

Pier 17 at 7 p.m., Fulton St. and the East River. Information:


When international art star and activist Ai Weiwei arrived in New York, he was a lanky, baby-faced 24-year-old. Living in a tiny place on East 3rd Street, he quickly became part of both the avant-garde art scene and the Chinese cultural community.

The Asia Society exhibition “Ai Weiwei: New York Photographs 1983-1993” documents that period with 227 black-and-white images: poetry readings, Tompkins Square Park riots, visits with Allen Ginsberg and a campaigning Bill Clinton.

His crumpled bed and crumbling bathroom appear frequently along with the drag queens, the homeless and, oddly, the dress rehearsal of the Metropolitan Opera’s “Turandot” production.

Through Aug. 14 at 725 Park Ave. Information: +1-212-288-6400;

Saturday Matinee

The American Ballet Theater is winding up its run of the quintessentially romantic “Swan Lake,” so grab this chance to see the whole thing, and not just the excerpts in films like “Black Swan” and “Billy Elliot.”

Lissome Julie Kent is Odette/Odile to Marcelo Gomes’s handsome Prince Siegfried.

With a glorious score by Tchaikovsky, transcendent love that defeats a wicked sorcerer and 32 showy fouette turns from the anti-heroine, “Swan Lake” makes for a poignant and inspiring dance experience.

Metropolitan Opera House, Lincoln Center. Information: +1-212-362-6000;

Saturday Night

Baba Brinkman boogies and raps his way through an explanation of Darwin’s theory of evolution, while thumping creationists and proponents of intelligent design.

He also considers sex, race and hip-hop, among other things, and hands out advice: “Don’t sleep with mean people.”

DJ Jamie Simmonds mixes the music and projection designer Wendall Harrington provides a clever video wall.

“The Rap Guide to Evolution” is at the SoHo Playhouse, 15 Vandam St. Information: +1-212-352-3101;


As a teenager, Lyonel Feininger moved to Berlin from his native New York and played a big role in the German Expressionist movement, as well as the Bauhaus.

When the Nazis consigned his crisply colorful work to the “degenerative art” dustbin, he moved back to the U.S.

The Whitney Museum of American Art has put together a retrospective of his paintings, photographs, wooden carvings and Chicago Tribune cartoon strips.

“Lyonel Feininger: At the Edge of the World” runs through Oct. 16. 945 Madison Ave. Information: +1-212-570-3600;

Grab lunch in the museum at Danny Meyer’s restaurant “Untitled,” where chef Chris Bradley cooks up tasty seasonal comfort food.

Sunday Night

Noah Lennox, aka Panda Bear of Animal Collective, plays the Music Hall of Williamsburg.

A shaman of sound, he creates highly textured, reverb-drenched electronic arrangements using loops, synthesizers, drum machines and guitar.

As the self-harmony of his lovely tenor chants over the melodic mass, you will find yourself completely transfixed.

Opening is Ducktails, the lo-fi psychedelic act from the guitarist in Real Estate. Expect a certain amount of consciousness-expanding clouds.

At 66 N. 6th St., Brooklyn. Information: +1-718-486-5400;

Monday Matinee

Get your patriotic dose of John Philip Sousa in style, as the New York Philharmonic teams up with the United States Marine Drum and Bugle Corps for a “Star Spangled Celebration.”

Also on the program is a salute to Broadway, and Gershwin’s Suite from “Porgy and Bess.” Ah, summertime, and the livin’ is easy!

Concert begins at 3 p.m., Avery Fisher Hall, Lincoln Center. Information: +1-212-875-5656;

Monday Night

Be dazzled as six barges on the Hudson River send up 40,000 shells during this year’s July 4th fireworks display. The theme is American Harmony, and the fun starts at 9:20 p.m.

For a great view of the pyrotechnics, try the 16th floor rooftop Press Lounge in the Ink48 Hotel.

At 653 11th Ave. at 47th St. Information: +1-212-757-0088.

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

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