Wolf Eyes, Eartheater, Twig Harper
Saturday April 22, 8 pm at Brooklyn Bazaar: $13
Wow, what a whirlwind couple of years these must have been for Wolf Eyes– and this #blessed bestowance is well deserved for the band, which started out making noise, then moved toward not-noise-at-all noise that really was noise, until they transcended noise altogether. The comeuppance has meant, among other things, a new record label to call their own, a music festival in their honor (Trip Metal Fest will be back this year for a second go-round), a stream of sold-out shows in places that are just slightly above the underground and well beyond the borders of Metro Detroit, and now Undertow, a new album hot on the pup paws of 2015’s I Am A Problem: Mind In Pieces.
And if you were all like, “Wait a minute, what’s this new record label…what? Where? How do I…unnnngh?”–like, seriously chill. Because Undertow = the first release for Lower Floor Records.
If you want a little background, well, the band has been blowing up heads for too many years to accurately count here, but if you’re willing to trust my in-depth research (i.e. some rando on Discogs) the earliest surviving cassette tape dates back to 1998, which means that feasibly somewhere out there in the muddy swaps, between I-94 and US Route 2, some Michigander kid preparing for his 20th birthday party has been listening to Wolf Eyes since he was just a helpless baby swaddled in a Negative Approach tee. Which is insane, y’all.
Unfortunately I can’t really help you out if this Trip Metal is unfamiliar to you– alls I can say is that it’s a phenomenon that most obviously manifests itself as music, but it’s also an enigmatic pseudo-movement, a crypto-cool cult for the damned, and above all, excellent billboard material for trolls. Of course, you must see it to believe it, and hear it to know it. If this is your path so be it, but act quickly– time is of the essence, my friends.
Giantology, Hot Curl, Wolf Diamond
Monday April 17, 8 pm at Alphaville: $8
I couldn’t imagine that I should have to tell you this even once but, don’t ever be deceived by a modest cassette tape or some barely-holding-it-together 7″– otherwise, you might write off Giantology and their Tour Tape tape as just another rock band in a world of full of who-cares-about-rock-music-anymore bands playing anything but rock music. But that wouldn’t be right, because Giantology, though they might not be breaking any ground with this one, are committed to a kind of rock n’ roll that you might have lost touch with. In case you need a reintroduction, it’s the good, honest stuff: catchy but not peppy, lo-fi not hipster-fi, angsty and not poseurly so. Give your ears a break from being so cutting edge all the time and spend the evening with an old friend while you’re at it.
As for the rest of the lineup, ready your ears for a thrashing. Actually, I’m just playin’– it’s gonna be smooth sailing from the start at this show. Even at high tide, you won’t see Hot Curl gunning for jet skis and babes– instead, their exceedingly gentle surf pop lingers in the shallow section of the lagoon you could say. Likewise, space-pop flâneur Wolf Diamond, who specializes in soothing digital blips and drifty space pop–song titles include “Lucky charms” and “Peach Schnapps”–is better suited to Lazy River floats.
If you manage to stay above water for the whole show, it’s worth wading around for an after-band karaoke session. (Not gonna lie, though, I’m still mad that Giantology didn’t just name their band GNTology. Serious oversight, guys.)
Truncate, Young Male, Motiv-A
Saturday April 22, 11:59 pm to 5 am at Brooklyn Bazaar: $15 to $20
Stick around at Brooklyn Bazaar after the Wolf Eyes show on Saturday night and you’ll be treated to a slick dance party turnaround. And, hey, if you’re sly enough, consider wearing a giant cape to the show, so come transition time you can squat down in the darkness and do your best to look like a lumpy, heavy-breathing amp or something. I’d never encourage anyone to steal anything, I just think that you’d make some super sweet friends by doing this, and heck you’re gonna look like a gnt loser (see Giantology above) if you don’t have a dance partner for Truncate‘s booty-shakers.
Worst-case scenario: The bouncer starts poking you, at first gently, with his foot to determine whether you’re the kind of body that leaves hogtied out the front door, or out the back en LeSportsac á la garbage. Don’t worry, wherever you end up you’ll at least get to hear the sick techno beats emanating from this banger.
Tonstartssbandht, Dougie Poole, Turnip King
Sunday April 23, 7 pm at The Park Church Co-Op:$12 to $15
I swear, something weird is going on in the Brooklyn music scene right now. More than a few people have told me that they’re “going to bed early” on Saturday night and left a party at some ungodly hour like midnight. Their excuse? “I have to go to church tomorrow.” They usually smile, and wait for me to say something like, “What on god’s holiest earth do you mean by that?” (By now I’ve learned to restrain myself in these moments.) And then inevitably they’ll be like, “Why don’t you join me?” And I’ll squirm, and yearn for someone to pull the great fire alarm in the sky somewhere so I can just disappear– because one day, I’m telling you, your friend or my friend, or whoever, isn’t going to be talking about The– by all accounts perfectly lovely– Park Church Co-Op, a beacon of tolerance and chillness in this wicked world of fireballs and brimstoners.
Next thing you know, you’ll be tied to a chair and locked in a church basement somewhere in Nevada, terrified for your life. Eventually you’ll realize that you’ve been kidnapped by a cultish brood of Rapunzel-haired women attempting to play the ukulele in unison, but just doing a really, really bad job of it instead. So bad, in fact, that you will just have to focus on something else to stay alive–something shallow, and meaningless. Perhaps their hair? (Like, seriously, how many vitamin supplements do you need to take a day to grow a horse mane out of your forehead? IDGI.) Until that day comes, enjoy a live set at the chill church by experimental rock band Tonstartssbandht and think deep, happy thoughts.
Dougie Poole, on the other hand and somewhat amazingly, is easy to picture seated behind a church organ, belting out the gospel-tinged soul searchers and wide-open-range country tracks he knows best. Get your mind outta the gutter– someone making tunes this holy couldn’t possibly have realized that “Dougie Poole” sounds more like a kiddy pool full of doogies than a respectable preacher man. Look no further than a piece of Dougie’s Don’t You Think I’m Funny Anymore for enlightening sermon material: “I don’t want to lie to you, so I’ll try not to speak.”