Synthetic Love Dream, David First, and Systematic Distortion Orchestra
Tuesday May 24, 9 pm at Poppers Locarno: free
Not gonna lie– and I’m really hoping that by admitting this, I’m not digging myself a grave in the cemetery for people who once-upon-a-time knew about cool shit– but I’ve never been to Poppers Locarno, and to be completely honest, I’ve never even heard of Poppers Locarno. Until now. According to the bar’s page, it’s the patron, drunken saint of Decatur Studios (a Ridgewood-based studio complex), and is known for its “drinks, chatter, edible bits and excess,” which sounds like an establishment I can totally get behind. No word on whether or not they’re keeping any actual poppers behind the bar, but there’s only one way to find out!
And come Tuesday this week, you have a pretty good darn excuse to go and investigate for yourself– a night of experimental sounds and the smooth/gut-wrenching sounds of new-wave inspired avant-garde jazz.
Synthetic Love Dream, for one, will be there, and they promise to bring you on a journey through their self-described exploration of “long forms and tuning systems.” Their sound may at first lull you into an eerie trance– the same kind that might overtake someone who wakes up from a soothing dream to find that they’re lost at sea, but realizing that they can’t do much of anything about it, decide to partake of the opium pipe next to them and resign themselves to hoping they float back to dry land at some point.
SLD’s sax-centric jazz meanderings are led by David Lackner, who moved through Philly’s noise and experimental- music scenes before settling down in Brooklyn, where he managed to convince Lydia Lunch to write and perform on some excellent vocal tracks (take a listen below). Lackner also runs a record label, Galtta Media, that focuses on everything from psych to weird jazz.
Look out also for David First (maker of wacky ambient sounds), he’ll be manning the Vong-Co style guitar, along with harmonica, transistor radio, and theremin (uh, we hope all at once). Two more artists will be playing along with him Jeanann Dara on viola and Ka Baird on harmonium and vocals.
An outfit called Systematic Distortion Orchestra will be joining as well, led by “violinist, improviser, composer” Frantz Loriot on the bass-ier version of his usual instrument, the viola, plus a regular orchestra of musicians on the trumpet, trombone, tenor and alto sax, double bass, cello, percussion, and more.
PC Worship, Martin Bisi, Dead Waves, Parlor Walls, Prima, Ritual Humor
Thursday May 26, 8 pm at Shea Stadium: $10
You might either be dazzled or dead tired after this show happening Thursday night at Shea Stadium– I suppose it depends on how many poppers you did at our first recommended show of the week. But the lesson to be learned here isn’t about self-control or even moderation– it’s about doing all the wicked things you possibly can and waking up, acknowledging that you feel terrible, and then contending with the fact that, maybe just maybe, you’re not entitled to feel great all the time. Just like that dead guy (RIP) from The Crow said, “It can’t rain all the time”– though maybe he should have said something closer to, “You can’t feel top-o-your-game all the time.”
Perhaps you and I, reader, disagree on this point, but at least we share in one thing– anyone who makes it through at least a few years in this city has some heightened level of tenacity (either that, or a talent for numbing oneself to the horror of daily schlepping). Right? So apply that to your show-going strategy and do all the poppers, drink all the beer, and hear all the music. You’ll be better off for it. And anyway, you won’t end up missing a show like this because you went too hard in the pants earlier in the week, but nor will you be held back from going too hard in said pants. Plus, there will be trippy visual-happenings at this show, so it won’t be too hard on your weathered, pickled brain.
First up is a guy who know what I’m talkin’ about, Justin Frye and his noise rock band, PC Worship, are headlining– never mind that Frye spent last week going at it with a slew of other guitarists at Glenn Branca’s Symphonies (which, by the way was pure insanity).
They’re trailed closely by Martin Bisi (yes, that Martin Bisi– the Swans, Sonic Youth, John Zorn producer) whose own recordings, Bisi writes, continue a “history of sonic excess and layering, which can be ambient and disorienting.” I’d prefer to describe his sound as a prog-psych fusion headed by a chimera that’s one part Phish, two parts Zappa. Bisi’s also had a hand in producing Dead Waves, who will bestow their tortured industrial noise upon willing ears in attendance at the show.
Alyse Lamb’s (Eula) newer, more experimental band (complete with sax!), Parlor Walls, are freakin’ relentless in their bill appearances right now– and if you haven’t had a chance to check em out just yet, get to it. If that wasn’t enough B+B band worship for you, our pals in Prima (who’s track, “Samba” off their forthcoming EP we premiered back in April) will also make an appearance.
So by now, your music lobe might be pummeled into the next century, but there’s more, a hell of a lot more in fact. Ritual Humor is set to open following the release of their new album, In the Forests of the Night, which legit just dropped on Saturday and combines sci-fi soundscapes with bluesy guitars backed by counterintuitively mathy drums and almost new wave vocals. We’re gonna have to ruminate on this new one a bit, but seeing them live is the perfect chance to do it. Get there early– these guys are the openers.
Murder Junkies, Spewing Cum, Vandalizer
Wednesday May 25, 7 pm at the Grand Victory: $12
I can’t promise that this show will be redeeming musically, but I can promise that it’ll at least be an interesting people-watching session, if not an all-out cultural extravaganza (depending on what your idea of “culture” is).
The Murder Junkies, of course, were GG Allin’s final band (following The Scumfucs, The AIDS Brigade, and a trail of others), and probably the most lionized of the bunch, seeing as they starred alongside GG in the documentary, Hated–which serves as the introduction to the most-rotten of all punk figures for most people who can’t remember 1993 at all (the year of GG’s last show), and for those of us who wouldn’t have been allowed anywhere near a GG Allin show at the tender age of 5 anyway.
GG may have earned his angels’ wings and left this life soaring on the back of a white pegasus straight toward heaven (oof, I can hear him rolling around in his grave, smashing poop on his face, thanks to this image), but the Murder Junkies have remained on earth, lurking somewhere in cigarette-ash littered apartments throughout the East Village. And while 1993 may have been the last time that “the band” (which might be better described as a buncha heathens who were especially adept at play-slapping instruments around to the worst of their abilities and making plenty of room for GG to writhe around, puke on the floor, and piss himself) played with GG, they’ve continued to play shows wherever they can manage since.
However– and I get the feeling that this has happened more than once– the Murder Junkies claim they’re embarking on their “last tour ever,” aka the “25th Year Anniversary Fuck Off & Die 2016 Farewell Tour” and are calling it quits as soon as it wraps. And their show at the Grand Victory is apparently their last in all of New York City. Could it be? You know where I’ll be this Wednesday.