Thursday January 19, 8 pm at The Gateway:$5 in advance/ $8 at the door
Well, there’s a super compressor of shows happening this week between now and, as The Gateway calls it “the inevitable.” And we can’t think of a better way to keep your spirits up and get the ol’ body machine moving than a Retail show. You’ve probably seen retail, since they’re one of the hardest working bands in Brooklyn, a borough full of musicians who churn out records, shows and, in Retail’s case, self-replication by way of march, at a grind-till-death pace.
The question is whether that has been in the form of a sticker stuck to a dive bar bathroom door, or at an actual show— but if you know, then you know. If you don’t, you gotta go. The band’s new record Dead cranks it up by nearly every measure, with face-blasting screams that have the kind of sharpness shaped only by scar tissue. It’s majorly fast, unadulterated hardcore. In other words, total catharsis.
White Rope‘s sound is not too far from what the name implies: knife play and bondage are certainly part of the scenery. But there’s the added hilarity of a teenaged-eye view of the world. The wonderfully titled “Yank,” for example, goes a little something like this:
kissing my teachers under the bleachers
shopping with my mom and buying new sneakers
walking at the mall and talking with friends
pointing the barrel straight at my head
biting your lips until they turn red
tear down the poster and rip it to shreds
lying in the bathroom, wishing you were dead
With bare-bones drums and the ever-present super giddy, sort of wonky organ backing the inner monologue of a teenaged fet freak, you can’t go wrong even a little bit.
Friday January 20, 8 pm at Bar Matchless: $8
The headliners at this show are doing something that for so long seemed impossible, Super Natural Psycho have found a way to make ’90s radio-ready alterna-grunge sound cool again. Wailing guitar solos flicker through the thick opium-den haze, and a languid psych-paced stoner anthem vibe ensures that you’re not going anywhere fast.
Weed Hounds have a similar ethos of blasting everything through a thick, fuzzy screen, but what comes out the other end is decidedly different: an ethereal, dream-dwelling newgaze that feels like waking up after a Sunday afternoon nap with clean sheets and nowhere to be.
Friday January 20, 8 pm at Babycastles: $8 suggested donation
Now here’s a show you can really find pleasure in attending on a week such as this– at “Queer underground New Worlding amidst inaugural endings” you are guaranteed to be amongst your people. And if smooth-sailing is the anxiety-free way you’d prefer to float off into this menacing sunset, your boat has arrived.
Headlining this gaggle of ambient, cyber-artsy soundscape painters is Mothertongue, with lingering tracks that could easily pass for field recordings from a digitally-bound heaven, an alternative dimension where leftover radio waves go to die, and transform into angelic creatures that delicately drift around like humming jelly fish.
An active member of the Silent Barn collective, Yatta Zoker is a Sierra-Leonean American self-described “digipoet. That might seem like a label that’s just a bit over the top for someone who’s mixing samples and beats and whatnot, which last I checked was just called a DJ, right? But the second you click the play button, it’s immediately clear why digipoet is really the only way to accurately describe what Yatta is up to.
Unlike most DJ-made music, Yatta leans heavily on vocals, and we’re not talking some ethereal, anonymous voice repeating a clubby one-liner over and over. Instead, you’re more likely to hear “shamanic chants” and “jazz vocals” Like a true poet, she is deeply considerate of both words and sounds, and has a left-brain understanding of phonemes. She applies all of these things to music as well, and the result is a truly mystical approach to sonic alchemy, or what Yatta calls “music to lie down in.”
Saturday January 21, 8 pm at The Glove: $8
DIY lives at The Glove, and so do art-and-music fusion shows like this one. And with a title like “DIY + Art” you can be sure that no one’s going to show up looking lost.
Sounds will be provided by a trio that includes Phat Rabbit a super-sweet indie rock band from Connecticut with heartfelt songs about being seventeen and “spitting up in the Taco Bell parking lot.” So it doesn’t seem at all like a coincidence that even more aw-shucks pop rock will be provided by a band called Spit. Another one, Slush will be there too, just to round out the adolescent imagery but acting as a stand-in for when you first discovered Black Sabbath and kissed all that puppy love BS goodbye.
Also tunes by Yazan, who looks a bit like Frank Zappa but sounds like a drink-drivin’ rancher on a whiskey bender barreling down a two-lane highway with one headlight burned out and the other hanging on for dear life.