Spotlights — Harley Flanagan’s Cro-Mags, We Banjo 3, “Paint the Point Purple” Epilepsy Awareness Event, Emo Night Brooklyn

Harley Flanagan was born in San Francisco, but he grew up primarily on the rough and tumble streets of Manhattan’s Lower East Side in the 1980s. A regular within the early hardcore scene that revolved around CBGBs and the recording studio known as 171-A, Flanagan’s formative years were spent hanging out with the likes of the Bad Brains, Beastie Boys, and Minor Threat. He would then go on to form the Cro-Mags—the highly-influential band that fused hardcore punk with thrash metal, and released the pioneering LPs The Age of Quarrel in 1986 and Best Wishes in 1989. The Cro-Mags would ultimately enter a state of flux beginning in the ’90s, with several line-up changes, personal grievances, and extended periods of hiatus leaving the group’s status in question. But on March 29, Flanagan will celebrate the 30th anniversary of Best Wishes at Brighton Bar in Long Branch. Billed as “Harley Flanagan’s Cro-Mags,” you don’t want to miss this opportunity to catch a true, authentic hardcore legend in action.


Yeah, We Banjo 3 is a quartet. Go figure. But two sets of brothers—one from Nashville, Tennessee, and one from Galway, Ireland—have come together to create this extraordinary fusion of Irish and American roots music. Raved about in these pages last summer, Haven is the current album and “Roots To Rise” is the name of their American tour, which hits the Schimmel Center For The Arts at Pace University in New York City on March 24. With banjo, fiddle, mandolin, guitar, percussion, and harmonies, there’s a reason why Haven hit #1 on the Billboard bluegrass chart. And live, they turn into the jammiest of jambands with three speeds:  fast, faster and fastest. Except when they go for that high lonesome back porch Appalachian folk aesthetic. Partial proceeds of this tour benefit the Mental Health America Foundation.


The 8th annual “Paint the Pony Purple” event will be taking place on March 23 at the Stone Pony. A benefit for the Epilepsy Services New Jersey organization, the event will feature live music, a 50/50 raffle, as well as a live and silent auction. The event is open to all ages, and attendees are encouraged to wear purple to raise awareness for epilepsy. For tickets, sponsorship, and general information, visit


If your affinity for the ’00s has carried over into the current decade, Brooklyn Bowl has just the event for you on March 22. According to the Brooklyn Bowl website, “Emo Night Brooklyn is an Emo/Pop-Punk DJ event that was founded by two best friends, Ethan and Alex, who grew up listening to music, going to shows, and having some epic parties together.” Recent events have hosted guest DJ sets from Ryan Key of Yellowcard, William Beckett of The Academy Is, and Jordan Pundik of New Found Glory. Doors open at 11:30 p.m. and the DJ sets begin at midnight. There’s also a very limited amount of early bird tickets available for $10, so don’t delay—squeeze into your skinny jeans, apply that mascara, and head to for more info.


The second outrageous Global Mash-Up will take place on March 23 at The Flushing Town Hall in Queens, New York. This one features Brain Cloud (pictured), a dizzying sextet of Western Swing, Ragtime, Bluegrass, Mississippi Delta Blues and Cowboy Yodels. Contrast that with the second act on the bill:  Romashka features folkloric Russian, Balkan and Romanian jumpers in a decidedly gypsy vibe. Both bands fall under the banner of dance music and, to that end, the dance floor will be open. Check this out:  although the show doesn’t start until 8:00, dance lessons commence at 7:00. All teenagers will be let in for free. How cool is that?