Right in your backyard: Music to make the summer swing

The Brooklyn Paper
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Fireworks. Capture the flag. Dance parties.

Those are just some of the festivities lined up at The Yard this July, a backyard venue along the Gowanus Canal that's been bringing music to the industrial neighborhood for the past couple of summers.

“It’s in the middle of an industrial mecca that’s in the middle of transition,” said Jen Lyon, owner of Meanred Productions, which puts on events at The Yard. “There’s something about it that just feels really comfortable to hang out there. It’s nice to be in the city, but not in the city.”

For those looking for that comfortable, lazy summer feel to celebrate the Fourth of July this year, The Yard will host MyOpenBar's “Stimulus Package,” an all-day event with performances by Double Dagger, Power Douglas, Ponytail, The Apes, Indian Jewelry, Marnie Stern, and DJ Dirty Fingers, as well as special guest 80s Hardcore, among other surprises. Promised are also fireworks, BBQ and free PBR and ice cream to help you, of course, celebrate your independence.

The next day, you can act like a kid again and participate in the summer ritual that is camp. Brought to you by the same people who secretively organize the similarly raucous Idiotarod each year, on July 5, bring your kerchief, compass and friends to The Yard to compete in camp classics like Capture the Flag, Red Rover, sack races and tug of war, as well as canoe along the Gowanus (yes, you can do that) and sing “Kumbaya” and “Peanut Butter and Jelly.”

Once you've tired of hearing yourselves sing/speak out of key, Ultra Dolphins, experimental rockers from Richmond, Va., and the Bed-Stuy-based two-piece noise rock band USAISAMONSTER (pronounced USA is a Monster) and other special guests will play. And at dusk, Bike Shorts will screen fresh work, with the audience's favorite winning $100, as well as premiere Bootleg Sessions 2.

Another music blowout takes place on July 12, with a mid-summer party featuring Brooklyn-based nu-jazz group Oneida, as well as High Places, Titus Andronicus, Shy Child, Chinese Stars, Ponytail, Telepathe, Vivian Girls, Abe Vigoda, Knyfe Hyts, Soft Circle, Soiled Mattress and The Springs and Brooklyn psychedelic pop rockers Chairlift.

Turntables on the Hudson, regular DJs at Water Taxi Beach in Long Island City, Queens, come to Brooklyn on July 19 for Turntables on the Gowanus, a funky dance party with DJs Nickodemus, Mariano and Cato on the turntables and Nappy G and Christian Rogers on percussion. The Williamsburg-based Pimps of Joytime and John Doe from The Getback will also be featured performers.

In addition to themed parties, all summer long at The Yard, MeanRed presents Sunday Best, late afternoon dance parties with established electronic acts from around the world, along with Sunday Best residents Justin Carter, Eamon Harkin and Doug Singer.

British DJ Riton kicks off Sunday Best this month on July 6, followed by Brooklyn native-turned-Detroit resident Kevin Saunderson spinning on July 13. Germany's Move D comes to the Gowanus on July 20, and Runaway, Lee Douglas and My Cousin Roy round out the month on July 27.

The Yard is located at 388-400 Carroll Street. For more information, go to

Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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