Odwalla 1221, SADAF, Chicklet, Half Pet
Friday May 19, 8 pm at Alphaville: $10
There’s this weird feature on Soundcloud, ostensibly an interactive one, that allows users to leave a “comment” by clicking anywhere on the wavelength as the song progresses. It seems kind of pointless until you come across a remark like the one left on an Odwalla1221 song that reads: “The world isn’t ready for your genius abilities!”
At first, it came across as a snide remark from a troll, until I considered it more, and suddenly Odwalla’s music– hard-edged, cacophonous, minimal bedroom- beat-backed weirdness that’s avant-garde to the core– made perfect sense to me. These girls are not just the type of people who would name their band after a mass-market bottled juice brand responsible for at least one death (plus the company’s street number address– just in case you need to find them I, guess). Odwalla is the future, man.
In a noise scene dominated by dudes, the Odwalla girls )Chloé Maratta and Flannery Silva) stand out not just because they have Virginias (well, who knows actually). It has a lot more to do with the fact that their music defies just about every trend, rule, or wave happening in noise (or anywhere else in popular music) right now. On the surface, their lightning-fast songs (if you even wanna call them that) are monotone spoken word meanderings over simple beats that clip by at the speed of hardcore– around a minute, often less– but they’re packed with meaning. Like jagged little poems, Odwalla’s creations slice and dice away any familiar rhythms you’re likely searching for.
A bit deeper, their cutting blend of poetry is laid out less like leatherbound literary lingo and more like badasss word-association games. On Cool Beat–which you should follow with another jarring track Crow Jam (voiced by a single, unwavering seagull screeching as if it it had just swooped down into the nearest meth lab for snacks) – Odwalla take turns ticking off evocative single-word lists: “mosh, flirt, photo, diary.” That might make their music seem overly simple, even jokey, but on third listen, I decided this: Odwalla’s stuff is embedded with a powerful message of disdain for patriarchal oppression (“sunbonnet suicide”/”don’t touch my back”). There’s an implicit quashing of gender norms, but more importantly a refusal to assign any specific traits to “feminists”– for example, if you think something like not shaving your armpit hair means hating on makeup, think again dum dum (“I’m the only girl I know who wears blush”). For Odwalla, really anything that holds women back from being their true selves is fair game for destruction. Sounds like the future indeed.
Sacred Bones 10 Year Anniversary
Saturday May 20, 4 pm to midnight at Greenpoint Terminal Warehouse: $40
Despite the double whammy of Super Offish™ Buh-randing® delivered by this Red Bull Music Academy showcase, attending would hardly be an assault on your DIY authenticity. That’s because Sacred Bones–arriving at its 10th year of record releasing– is a totally legit, homegrown operation that has managed to keep it real even after all these years. The means a steady stream of “music that affirms the dual implications of their name – music that is both luminous and haunting, divine and macabre.”
You can tell that they are the loyal type, too– instead of throwing their anniversary party in some other, much trendier neighborhood, or doing what I’d do and hoofing it out to some gnarly New Jersey strip club (going abroad, for some broads), they’re sticking around Greenpoint–strollers and the grumpy old Polish people be damned.
The lineup, of course, is killer: featuring relatively newer additions to the fam like Blanck Mass, Zola Jesus, The Men, Psychic Ills, and Genesis P-Orridge (always megaprolific, s/he’s especially so right now) Yep, all on one bill. Which is… kinda crazy, and something that you’re unlikely to see again until Coachella 2052, when the festival takes place across the entire State of California, by then a sparsely populated desert plagued by toxic dust storms and cholera.
The better choice is obvious, but don’t worry if you can’t make this one. There’s actually another 10th anniversary party happening Saturday, June 10 at Brooklyn Bazaar. That one will have a completely different lineup, including Pharmakon, Destruction Unit, Institute, and Pop 1280.
Red Bull Music Academy Festival
Now through May 21, see a full schedule here.
Speaking of the RBMA festival, it’s already in full swing and has been so since April 29. Try not to throw up all over your midmorning granola bar BUT the one and only–and recently FREE, free at last– Gucci Mane is playing an intimate show Piano Nights with Zaytoven tonight, at The Box (the Lower East Side burlesque establishment that, trust, you need to hit up during regular hours). Obviously, that event sold out, like, immediately.
So what’s a procrastinator to do? Well, you could make your way to The Box tonight, and just hope that someone clutching a Gucci Mane ticket drops dead before they get to the door guy. But that seems like a lot of work. Instead, you can sit at home, wearing nothing but your ugliest pair of underwear whilst sipping martinis and declaring “laundry day!” in your best British accent, and watch the show on YouTube. The live stream starts at 8 pm this eve and it’s, you know, live which is an especially great thing since this is The Box, meaning someone is bound to get naked.
If you’re still itching to see live music, though, we suggest you act fast. It seems that tickets are still up for grabs for Solange, appearing Thursday afternoon at the Guggenheim (and again, at a sold out show that night).
There’s also an Alice Coltrane tribute at Knockdown Center this weekend, 10 years after her death. The psychedelic sister survived her husband, jazz legend John Coltrane, for 40 years after his own death in 1967, and went on to make some of the greatest ever psychedelic jazz albums– and just some the best psych, jazz, and let’s be real music records out there, period. True to Alice’s style, the event is a long one, from 6 pm to midnight with both a “sunset set” and evening lineup. Even the venue itself–the sprawling former door factory flooded with natural light during the day, that transforms at night into a shadowy cathedral with nooks and crannies that may or may not be haunted. (That crooked staircase by the front gallery? I mean, c’mon.) Tickets are still available for the nighttime-only performance.
Another weekend happening is going down Friday night with Brazilian singer Elza Soares who, at 80 years old, is another incredibly prolific artist with an illustrious career and a reputation for mind blowing live performances.
Soares got her start in Rio’s samba scene when she was just a teenager, but was “discovered,” if you even want to call it, when she appeared on a TV talent show/non-horrifying Brazilian precursor to American Idol. As Pitchfork recounts, the priggish host looked Soares–”the daughter of a washerwoman and a laborer”– up and down, seemingly set on making her feel even more out of place in her awkwardly pinned, way-too-big second hand dress. Then he asked her, as the audience giggled in the background: “What planet are you from?” Her answer was brilliant and made the host look like the toe-licking, dipstick bourgeois pig he truly was–”Soares didn’t bat an eye: ‘Planet Hunger.'”
She seems to have only shot up since then, ascending to international stardom, and still releasing fabulous albums today, like her 2016 The Woman at the End of the World, which the same article declared “a searing, surging fusion that combines Afro-Brazilian styles with wiry, dissonant strands of punk and noise-rock.” A boss lady awaits you, but hop to it.