Don’t miss out! NewYork.com picks the five best things to do in New York City each and every day. Read on for May 21’s best events, from a talk by D’Angelo at the Brooklyn Museum to the 100% Robot Party at Silent Barn.
1. TALK: A Conversation With D’Angelo at The Brooklyn Museum
Since the early ’90s, the artist known as D’Angelo has played a key role in the neo-soul movement, keeping the traditions of ’70s R&B alive while adding his own contemporary spin. Join him tonight for a lecture moderated by author, filmmaker and critic Nelson George that will cover the multi-talented singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer’s thoughts on music, life, and who knows what else? It’s sold out, but you’re resourceful.
DETAILS: 6pm; from $15, sold out but tickets may be available on resale sites; 200 Eastern Pkwy., Brooklyn; redbullmusicacademy.com
2. FILM: 4th Annual Ride-In Movie: Breaking Away
Free outdoor movie season is finally here! Walk, ride, skate, or swim to Matthews Palmer Park for the fourth annual “ride-in” movie, an outdoor screening of the 1979 coming-of-age dramedy Breaking Away. Be sure to get there on time or (early) for a free performance from synchronized dance troupe New York Bike Dance, who are like the Rockettes, only on bicycles. Then let a young Dennis Quaid transport you to late-’70s Indiana.
DETAILS: 7:30pm; free; 439 W. 45th St.; bikenyc.org
3. PARTY: 100% Robot Party at Silent Barn
As we approach “the Singularity,” why not take some time out of your busy schedule to pay tribute to your incoming robot overlords? Following the great success of the 100% Dino Party, Silent Barn is taking a great leap into the future to celebrate all things robotic with a jam-packed, multimedia party. There’ll be Robot Erotica with Pepper Laramie, a robot costume competition, a sexy robot drag performance by Fil Vocasek, and something called “Sister Cyborg: the cyborg manifesto manifested through pop music videos.” A “robot bartender” will keep you hydrated.
DETAILS: 8pm-2am; $10; 603 Bushwick Ave., Brooklyn; facebook.com
4. MUSIC: Built to Spill at Bowery Ballroom
Fans of ’90s college rock, rejoice! If you found something to love in Doug Martsch’s nasal, pensive vocals and noisy-but-catchy hooks, you’ll be pleased to know his influential alt-rock act is still truckin’ along, and they’re playing at Bowery Ballroom tonight. Go to bop along to fun tunes like “The Plan,” to cry along with emo ones like “I Would Hurt A Fly,” or simply to gaze into Doug’s face and wonder why they don’t make mild mannered beardos like they used to. With The Warm Hair.
DETAILS: 8pm; from $30, sold out but tickets may be available on resale sites; 6 Delancey St.; boweryballroom.com
5. THEATER: Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill at Circle in the Square Theatre
With her deep understanding of love and loss and her priceless jazz instrument of a voice, Billie Holiday was, and remains, a true American icon. Watch five-time Tony Award winner Audra McDonald take on her catalog of classics in this one-woman (plus musicians) production. Set in a Philadelphia nightclub in 1959, the play depicts an actual performance of Holiday’s that took place just a few months before her untimely death from cirrhosis of the liver at age 44. In between songs, Holiday will discuss her troubled relationships, her struggles with addiction, her clashes with racism and her ever-resilient spirit.
DETAILS: 2pm; $132 (get tickets!); 235 W. 50th St.