Top reggae parties
Sultry rhythms for scorching weather.
Mon Aug 8 2011
Coney Island Reggae Beach Party
Lets face it: If you're looking for the realest of real-deal reggae, you're gonna have to book a flight to Kingston, Jamaica. But New York City has had a long infatuation with the sound, dating back to the sound's beginnings; two of the genre's seminal labels, Wackies and VP Records, were based right here in Gotham. You'll probably hear a few cuts from both of those famed imprints on the Coney Island boardwalk when Carter Van Pelt and Vaughn All Star, both of WKCR's Eastern Standard Time show, are joined by a stellar group of selectors (including Tony Screw, Clive Chin, Sir Tommy and Digital English) for a session of roots reggae, rocksteady and more at this day-into-night session. Coney Island Boardwalk, Boardwalk at 15th St, Coney Island, Brooklyn (wkcrjamaica.blogspot.com). Sunday 14 at 2pm; free.
It's kind of hard for anyone to beat Deadly Dragon Sound System's Scratch Famous, Selector JD, Queen Majesty, and Mr. K when it comes to the sheer depth of vinyl they have access to. After all, After all, their epynomous LES record shop (102 Forsyth St between Broome and Grand Sts), is one of the country's best spots for everything from dub and dancehall to ska and calypso. And they love showing off those tunes; the gang has been one of the city's premiere reggae-party-tossing crews since the late '90s. The latest Deadly Dragon venture, the Downtown Top-Ranking shindig at Happy Ending, has only been in effect for a year or so, but it's already played host to such notables as Shinehead, Johnny Osbourne, Downbeat the Ruler Sound System, Mighty Crown Sound System and Million Stylez. Top that! Happy Ending, 302 Broome St between Eldridge and Forsyth Sts (deadlydragonsound.com).Thursdays at 10pm; free.
Black Starliner Boat Ride
Sunday 14 marks the fourth edition of this cruise in honor of Marcus Garvey, the Jamaican activist and entrepreneur who (among many other accomplishments) was the founder of the Black Star Line, promoting the return of the African diaspora to their ancestral lands. Though you won't be traveling that far tonight, the party, held aboard the Harbor Lights, is packed with selectors, including DJ Gringo, Stateside Revolution, Natural Mystic Soldier, DJ Sirak and Soul Selector. It should be noted that this won't be a strictly reggae affair—you'll likely hear plenty of African rhythms in the mix as well, seeing as Sirak is from Ethiopia and Soul Selector is Ghanaian. But it's all good, especially since the crew is thoughtfully providing free Jamaican and African vittles. Skyport Marina, E 23rd St at the East River (212-822-8573, nyboat.com/departures/skyport-marina). Sunday 14 at 7pm; $40. Advance tickets available through consciousnyc.com.
Addictive Reggae Sundays
If, like us, you're of the opinion that simple pleasures are the best, we recommend you stop by the Lower East Side's Sapphire on a Sunday night. The intimate spot (it's officially a dance club, but in reality is about the size of adecent-size studio apartment) is one of the most unpretentious joints the 'hood has to offer nowadays, and every weekend you can hear the sultry sounds of Jamaican rhythms wafting through its speakers, with DJ Gringo and Stateside Revolution on the mix. Sapphire, 249 Eldridge St between E Houston and Stanton Sts (212-777-5153, consciousnyc.com). Subway: F to Lower East Side--Second Ave. Sundays at 10pm; $TBA. women free before midnight.