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Check It Out

Check It Out: March 8, 2013

The Pogues – The Very Best Of the Pogues (Shout! Factory) For young’uns who think the most authentic blending of punk and traditional Celtic music begins and ends with the Dropkick Murphys and its Beantown anthem “Shipping Up to Boston,” they are well advised to drink deeply of The Pogues. Although in the pre-TMZ world this Irish outfit was oftentimes best known for the various degrees of intoxication and/or inappropriate behavior offered up by frontman/founding member Shane MacGowan, as evidenced by this collection of 18 songs, the Pogues can be defined by far more than MacGowan’s antics. The band’s ability to wield instruments normally associated with Irish folk (tin whistle, accordion, bodhrán) while delivering it all with a punk swagger is what’s made them such a beloved group. And it doesn’t matter if it was while covering other people’s songs (Ewan MacColl’s “Dirty Old Town”; The Dubliners’ “The Irish Rover”) or originals like the immigrant anthem “Thousands Are Sailing” and “The Sunnyside of the Street,” a jangly ode to rambunctiousness, the Pogues always delivered music that begged for communal sing-a-longs and the kind of camaraderie you’d find in a pub. Likewise is the case with “Fairytale of New York,” the MacGowan/Jem Finer-penned MacGowan/Kirsty MacColl duet that’s become a much-loved Christmas classic. Suffice it to say, the Pogues are the touchstone with which the Murphys and Flogging Molly should tip a pint to every time they take the stage.

Fri. 3.8

Wantagh

Seanchai & the Unity Squad @ Mulcahy’s

3232 Railroad Ave. 6 p.m. $10. 516-783-7500 www.muls.com

The Irish have always been known for having a rich culture steeped in folklore, so when you say that Seanchai & the Unity Squad is Celtic hip-hop, it’s more like Emerald Isle storytelling with an edge. Far from being a second-rate House of Pain, this quintet instead is a fusion of old and new music soaked in Celtic culture. Fronted by Uillean pipes/bodhrán-playing ex-cop Chris Byrne (who also does double-duty in Black 47 alongside Larry Kirwan), the group is rounded out by Rachel Fitzgerald (vocals, DJ), Andrew Harkin (bass), Terry Wetmore (drums) and Jason Goodrow (guitar, vocals). With the Boston Burglars.


Sat. 3.9

Uniondale

Seventh Annual Spring Craft Beer Fest @ Nassau Coliseum

Nassau Coliseum, 1255 Hempstead Tpke., 12:30-4 p.m.; 5:30-9 p.m. $45 (attendees); $12

(designated drivers) 631-940-7290 www.SpringCraftBeerFestival.com

The weekend of St. Patrick’s Day may be most associated with the likes of Guinness and Murphy’s Irish Stout but it’s at the Annual Spring Craft Beer Fest that serious connoisseurs of malt and hops come to slake their thirst. This year more than 50 craft breweries will be in attendance pouring samples of more than 100 different types of beer. Among the more notable national craft breweries that will be making their festival debut are Montauk Brewing Company (NY), Victory Brewing Company (PA), Bayou Teche Biere (LA), Newburgh Brewing Company (NY) and Steadfast Beer Co. (NY) who will be bringing their gluten-free Sorghum Pale Ale. The event will help raise funds for The Beer For Brains Foundation and the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. All attendees, including designated drivers, must be over 21 and present valid photo ID.


Sat.3.9

Old Bethpage

Second Annual St. Patrick’s Day Celebration

Old Bethpage Village Restoration, 1303 Round Swamp Rd., noon to 5 p.m. Free. 516-572-0200 www.nassaucountyny.gov/parks

There may be plenty of St. Patrick’s Day celebrations going on up to the actual holiday, but none will be taking place in as rustic a place as the Old Bethpage Village Restoration. Now in its second year, this gratis event has plenty to offer the whole family. Aside from serving traditional Irish food and beverages, the hosts will have music provided by rock bands The Legendary Murphys and Sporting Paddies while the Donny Golden School of Irish Dance will be kicking up their collective heels as bagpipes play. And if you’re so inclined, there’s even a horse-drawn wagon that’ll be available to give rides to any and all attendees.