The dog days of summer are around the corner. If you're going to sweat, you deserve to be entertained while doing so. These free outdoor shows in New York City this month should distract you from the rising temperatures.
1. Raekwon + Smif-n-Wessun
WHAT One of Wu-Tang Clan's most critically acclaimed MCs, Raekwon has a storytelling style that's Hitchcockian in its ability to put listeners on edge. Released Tuesday, Smif-N-Wessun's new album, "Monumental," was one of the year's most-anticipated releases. Expect throngs of hip-hop die-hards to come out of the woodwork. With Joell Ortiz
WHEN | WHERE Saturday, July 9 at 7:30 p.m. Prospect Park Bandshell, Prospect Park West and Ninth Street, Brooklyn
2. Patti Smith
WHAT Smith merged poetry and music onstage at CBGB before the word punk existed, but she's hardly tired of telling stories, as her recent award-winning book, "Just Kids," made clear. A riveting performer with an ace sense of humor, Smith still delights in bringing power to the people. Free, but tickets are required (available online or two per person at the entrance the day of show).
3. 4Knots Music Festival
WHAT The Siren Fest at Coney Island is no longer, but the Village Voice is still providing plenty of free music with the 4Knots Festival. The inaugural event features dark psych rockers the Black Angels, local anthemic punks Titus Andronicus, and Davila 666, a Puerto Rican six-piece that plays fuzzy, '60s-influenced garage rock. With: Oberhofer + Eleanor Friedberger.
WHEN | WHERE Saturday, July 16 at 1 p.m. Pier 17, South Street Seaport, 89 South St.
WHAT With the current crop of '80s-inspired acts liberally layering synths and effects pedals, this English electro-pop band stands out with minimal, tidy arrangements that give off a chic, über-cool air. Leave your Day-Glo clothes at home, and remember to iron your shirt. With: Class Actress
WHEN | WHERE Thursday, July 28 at 6 p.m. Pier 54, West Street and 13th Street
5. Ponderosa Stomp: She's Got the Power!
WHAT The years between Elvis and the British invasion belonged to girl groups, who played a major role in crafting what would become the definitive sound of rock and roll and youth culture. Lesley Gore, La La Brooks (the Crystals), Arlene Smith (the Chantels) and many more will revisit the songs of that sensational era.
WHEN | WHERE Saturday, July 30 at 5 p.m. Damrosch Park Bandshell, 70 W. 65 St.