Thursday January 12 through Sunday January 15 at Knockdown Center: first night free, $10 individual, $20 all access pass
Earlier we told you about Nasty Women, the massive new exhibition bringing a whopping 1,000 pieces of art made by 700 artists (all of them women and female-identifying) to Knockdown Center this Friday. The organizers have lined up a “very diverse” group for the everything’s-for-sale exhibition (if you buy it, you get to drag it out the door with you that day), which pretty much guarantees a feeding frenzy. Sounds scary? Well, suck it up and relish in the competition because, seriously, when’s the last time you truly got excited about anything? Plus, if you can bring yourself to cough up a hundo bill–at the very most, since the art work must be priced at $100 or less (yup, that even applies to the fancy sparkly art stars involved in the show)– you can feel like a somewhat sorta decent half-human because all the proceeds are going to Planned Parenthood.
But wait, there’s one more way to prove that you’ve got a beating lump of muscle tissue buried somewhere under that pile of I’m-too-depressed-to-care winter wear after all. The accompanying music and performance program, Stay Nasty, is equally as impressive and overwhelming as its most nasty partner, though it’s up to you to choose the nastiest of the pair.
Stay Nasty is really upping the competition with some big names they’ve managed to rake in, and each night will be dedicated to raising funds for the pet causes of each respective performer. Friday night will be ruled by a program called “Resonate” led by Aurora Halal, party guru extraordinaire of mainstays like Mutual Dreaming and Sustain Release. If you’re not familiar, the latter is a culty party in the woods for techno dorks who are willing to risk damp socks for days and Lyme disease (or whatever kinda diseases you get out there in the boonies) in order to avoid the fist-pumping bros, candy necklaces, and other invasive species that inevitably take leave of their EDM sinkholes in search of something new and cool they can suck on until there’s nothing left. So, yeah, this is gonna be good.
Halal is bringing some pals with her too, including Ontal, Motiv-A, and Heidi Sabertooth. Also, Bergsonist will be there to perform a live set of haunted, multi-layered, crackling gramophone-filled excursions into some hard-to-place, shape-shifting points in history, interspersed with brief trips to outer space. If that sounds like DMT tripping to you, let me tell you that you’re barking up the wrong tree. I guess if you’re gonna go ahead and name your band after a 19th-century French philosopher, Henri Bergson is definitely the coolest dude you could pick, and we’ll let these guys have it because they’ve managed to create intriguing music that’s actually befitting of its namesake.
Dollar bills raised at this one will go to Brooklyn Solidarity Network, but there are a couple more activist elements to the evening too. The first is an “educational forum” led by Frankie Decaiza Hutchinson (Discwoman), Kunal Gupta (founder of Babycastles), and the New York Immigration Coalition. The second slot goes to Masha Tupitsyn’s film Love Sounds (“an audio history of love in cinema”), which is normally presented as a 24-hour sound installation. Admittedly, we’re having a hard time picturing how this is gonna go down exactly, but rest assured, it’s going down– and seems rather appropriate for our most depressing present: “It’s a struggle over whether love is real. It’s one continuous dialogue on whether love, like God, is dead, and who killed it.”
Dead Tenants, Weeping Icon, Drome, Law$uits
Saturday January 14, 7:30 pm at The Footlight: $8
This show was ostensibly lined up to celebrate a new record from Dead Tenants–a split EP called Ten Dead Ants/Peter Milk, which sounds a whole lot like this “Post-Punk/Noise Rock trio from Queens” smashed open their guitars and took to tearing the insides apart, shredding wires and criss-crossing them until the instruments were completely reshaped, then reborn as instruments of sonic torture. Now, their players wield scalpel-sharp chords that feel like a bombing campaign against post-punk tropes we know and love, pummeling them into smithereens. It’s a mess, for sure, but the switch-up is different enough to keep you guessing, and staging a battle against the old ways actually feels defiant, as opposed to LARP-like nostalgia trips that kind of feel inappropriately escapist at the moment anyway.
But your ears might gravitate toward another direction completely, picking up on stranger wavelengths yet. It’s not every day that you come across a group like Weeping Icon, a five-woman powerhouse that can only be described as an all-star noise band. I’ll be the first one to admit that before I locked ears with these lovelies, I never knew such a thing to exist on Planet Earth. The overwhelming, some might say oppressive presence of Noise Boys have not only alienated a lot of women, but they’ve stunted the growth potential of the genre, or medium, or whatever (for lack of anything close to a decent term), through a monolithic culture of bore. Weeping Icon, on the other hand, look like a crackling of multi-player theatricality (not so much confrontation but something closer to a sight to behold, as their name implies), which is an odd pairing with noise music, but a way cool thing to see and hear.
All of the members–five Sarahs and one Lani (Combier Kapel), as the band’s Facebook page points out–have been making the rounds in this Brooklyn underground DIY scene-thing for years upon years now, as essential moving parts of (or in some cases, all of) acts like Warcries, Lutkie, ADVAETA, and lots more, I assure you.
Add up all those years and hours and busted-up eardrums and fingers all calloused from hitting knobs and gettin’ all poked and sliced by noise contraptions gone berserk, and you’ve got yourself a badass granny. Sure, she might be a distinguished member of the AARP and a proud wielder of the cane whose favorite hobby these days is to “forget” if her eye patch goes on the left or right side which sends the grandkids into a tizzy when they behold her glass eye. Sometimes she’ll even get them screaming bloody murder when that little bugger “accidentally” plops out on to the floor. But that doesn’t mean she’s good at keeping track of super long metaphors.
The point being, Weeping Icon is a bad ass band, and they’re just getting started.
Narcoleptics, Oblivionation, Subversive Rite
Friday January 13, 8 pm at Bar Matchless: $8
Why not take a few days off from the grind to disappear into a black hole somewhere south of oblivion where nothing and no one can bother you with stupid stuff like, “Hey, it’s your turn to clean the bathroom, right?” or “Dude, have you seen my Kashi cereal? I juuuust bought it yesterday.” Escape this passive aggressive world by way of one of the most aggressive (sounding) shows around. Plus! There’s this band playing called Oblivionation, which sorta sounds like your first wish, no?
It’s all happening at Matchless, which is in the midst of a comeback of sorts– after years of reluctant programming and beer pong (?!) tournies, the backroom venue was finally rescued from drowning in an actual pile of trash (aka the perfect spot for punk shows). Enter all these nasty punk and hardcore bands (Narcoleptics and the unofficial house band Subversive Rite) that are gonna poof some of that trademark stank into the walls at Matchless— ew? Not ew, oh contraire! That’s the smell of authenticity my friends. There’s plenty of it to go around right now, as venue after venue continues to evaporate into the ether, vanishing altogether or remaining as a hazy memory lodged precariously into Millennial brains (which are actually, truthfully smaller than Boomer brains, I’ve heard).