The Range, Glass Gang, Sarah Kinlaw, IMAGIST, Kathleen Dycaico
Tuesday November 29, 8 pm at Elvis Guest House: $10 minimum donation
Prepare for some straightforward, vaguely uplifting dance music from the The Range aka James Hinton, a Brooklyn-based producer/ electronic musician with a penchant for sped-up, Chipmunks-style vocal samples and dreamy soundscapes. Glass Gang sounds like TV on the Radio shed any remaining remnants of rock n’ roll music and fully embraced their electronic pop music side.
Sounds… ok, eh? But consider that proceeds from door sales ($10 or more per head) are going to Planned Parenthood and the Callen Lorde Community Health Center in Chelsea, which provides healthcare services specifically catered toward LGBTQ patients.
It’s the beneficiaries and Sarah Kinlaw of Softspot by her lonesome that are definitely the biggest draws. Something tells us that her set in particular is gonna be the brightest-burning part of the show. Since Kinlaw’s work spans several media and styles, there’s no telling what we’ll get from this supremely talented choreographer/dancer/composer of ethereal weirdness. No big deal or anything, but she wrote and executed one of the creepiest operas ever, “O Mother of All Joy.”
Retail, the Dirty Blondes, Squad Car, the Yin Yangs
Wednesday November 30, 8 pm at Alphaville: $8 in advance/ $10 at the door
We couldn’t have dreamed up a better name for the new EP from a little local punk band called Retail if we’d tried. Get ready for the November 30 release of Dead, naturally a followup to their 2015 record, Die. Retail are perhaps best known around town for their relentless live show schedule, and adrenal-shriveling performances.
Retail’s recordings are certified spleen-smushers in their own right, but soaking up their stage presence is essential for experiencing the full force of their raucous energy. Retail may have declared themselves “Dead,” but the band proves that, in spite of overwhelming evidence to the contrary, New York City punk is far from it.
Planned Parenthood Benefit: Big Huge, Nathan Ma & the International Electric Lovers Club, Weeping Icon, Zodiac, Dark Tea
Friday December 4, 8 pm at Alphaville: $10 suggested donation
Big Huge manage to strike a cord (or pluck at several) between delightfully danceable garage rock and high-spirited pop: just the pick-me-up all of us need right now. Since a ticket to get in the door ($10 suggested donation) also happens to raise bucks for Planned Parenthood (the second show doing that this week!), the lineup’s many mood-boosting powers should be in full effect.
What sets this banger apart, perhaps, is that the donation will be made in “Vice President-elect Mike Pence’s name,” according to Alphaville. Sweet. Well, the truth is that a whole lotta people have had the same excellent idea: according to The Cut, a whopping “25 percent of the donations Planned Parenthood has received since the election have come from ‘Mike Pence.'” And Lord knows you can’t go wrong by trolling a dude who’s actually just Pepe the Frog wearing a mask that looks like a man who pray-cries every time he masturbates. (In case you’re unawares: as governor of Indiana, Pence, an evangelical Christian, not only signed legislation that enacted the most extensive anti-abortion laws in the country and “openly clashed with legal precedent,” he also sponsored one of the very first bills that sought to cut Planned Parenthood off from federal funding.)
The latests release from Nathan Ma, Lonesome Heartland, is a continuation of the Omaha musician’s tradition of faded bedroom pop that’s so languid, so depleted, it sounds like the recordings themselves might have undergone some Disintegration Tapes-style decomposition. Either that or they were captured through mics stuffed under a stack of frozen mattresses and then buried between snow and soil in the middle of the Nebraskan prairie. In a word, Ma’s sound is desolate.
The radically lo-fi, barebones-style isn’t so surprising, given that Ma has roots in the Omaha punk scene (right now he’s playing in a band called Bib, too), but there’s something even more aggressive pushing against the paper-thin silence holding his solo tracks together. They channel a strange feeling that the smallest breach would give way to the kind of burning, pent-up mania that teddy-bear soft, bedroom-made music usually mutes out.
Get real excited for uber-nasty feedback freak-outs from Weeping Icon a Brooklyn supergroup of sorts. Brand new sounds are coming your way from Zodiac, a fresh-off-the-presses band featuring “members of Ajax, Barbed Wire, Splat, Pleasure Industry.” Plus Dark Tea‘s trademark dark country-tinged, cute-as-pie duet ditty rock.