Ok, give me your hands and I’ll read your mind. Hmmm. Interesting. You don’t know the difference between Psychic Twin and Psychic TV? That’s understandable, really—their names are pretty close, and they both have new material out and upcoming shows. I don’t know why you put this shortcoming in the “deepest shame box” in your subconscious, but I do know that the latest installment of Bands Apart can help you get it out of there.
Chain of Flowers, Bootblacks, Ritual Humor
Wednesday August 31, 8 pm at Saint Vitus: $10
With a band name like Chain of Flowers, you might be thinking, “What have you signed me up for? Some hippie girl shit?” Well, not to ruffle any feathers but this band ain’t nearly as tough as all that. Rather, imagine a pale, gothy frontdude with perfectly applied pallor and lavender lipstick about to embark on the craziest acid trip of his short little life, and you’d be somewhere close to what screams out from this Welsh post-punk outfit’s cotton-candy-pink cassette tape.
“It’s like that dream you had where you’re at your high school dance but it’s not your high school, your ex is there but it’s not really your ex, your mom’s in the corner…”
This isn’t a retelling of a long-winded and elaborate joke, but a description of folk group Prairie Empire‘s dreamy new music video for their song “Circles,” off their impressive new record The Salt. In it, Prairie Empire’s leader Brittain Ashford finds herself quite literally dancing circles around and with people of all sorts as the innocent goings-on of a dance hall unfold in slow motion around her and Ashford’s melancholy vocals soar.
There’s a singular, surreal, and very memorable moment invoked by Carlos Dengler in his new solo stage production Homo Sapiens Interruptus (the last performance, part of the FringeNYC festival is tonight, 9:30 pm at 64E4 Underground in the East Village).
America is replete with music festivals (especially this summer, New York). There are so many it could make your head spin, causing you to momentarily lose sanity and fall into a killing spree.
That’s not exactly what happens in Jared Saltiel and Toby Singer‘s new musical South By South Death, but it’s close—the show is about a group of friends who head south to attend the infamous “Didgeridoo Music Festival,” conveniently set on a remote island. At the festival, pop star “Ciley Myrus” is headlining, but there’s something darker afoot. Someone in a Myrus mask begins killing everyone and documenting the carnage. Through selfies, of course. As more and more people die, there’s another disaster looming, this one of the natural variety: Hurricane Beyoncé.
OMG You’re a Girl Drummer?!
w/ Milk Dick, Desert Sharks, Prima, Fraidycat, Rizzos
Saturday August 27, 8 pm at Sunnyvale: $8
“Girl bands.” You know the term. In fact, you’ve probably even used it a few times– I know I have. It’s easy to do, and sometimes difficult to avoid, even for people who identify as feminists. But we should really stop saying it. All of us.
It happens because the image of an “ideal” rock n’ roll band has been hammered into us from day one, starting at the moment your crazy, mustachioed Uncle Frank threw on Exile on Main Street and started whirling his tubby hips around and around, sloshing beer onto your thin, porous baby skull for the first time (whether it dripped down your tufts of hair or just sat there on top determined how the rest of your life plays out– slumped over in a dark dive bar or squatting on an exercise-ball, bushy-tailed and bright-eyed at Generic Tech Startup X).
Wednesday August 24, 7 pm at City Reliquary; $7.
Now, I know that my excellent Photoshop skills have no doubt tricked you into believing that this (see above) is simply your average, un-doctored photo, but— and you’ll have to just take my word on this— it’s actually a composite of two promotional photos. The image on the right was used in ads for indie band Porches’ latest album, Pool, whereas the hotdog’d one on the left was used by performance artist/electronic musician Peaches.
If watching this dub-step blasting, Benzedrine-fueled trailer moves you toward a migraine, you might assume that you’re too old for Low-Level Festival. I mean, isn’t this the sort of thing you’d find on Snapchat, anyway? What’s it doing on a slow-load medium like YouTube? In a way, you’re right– Low-Level is incredibly future-oriented and nearly everyone involved is so now, in mind and body, that they make Tavi Gevinson look like the Cryptkeeper. They’re hyper-concerned with the latest existing technologies and the kind of people who can actually understand what the last wave of Millennials, or kids born after the year 2000 (i.e. literally cyborgs) are thinking. Of course, that’s not the whole story.
There are three things that are really difficult to do in Manhattan (in ascending order): maintaining a bar, maintaining a music venue, and maintaining your weirdo energy. Impressively, Berlin, the Avenue A booze/music bunker, has been doing all three for a year now.
To celebrate, the literally underground spot— known for its musically inclined clientele— is throwing a two-night-long party complete with performances by Berlin’s owner and glammy garage rocker Jesse Malin and his friends.
Monday August 15, 7:30 pm at Terminal 5: $55
We can’t guarantee that the rest of your week won’t be filled with dehydrated-soup-cup lunches and Whole Foods samples (based on our experience, you can totally get away with sampling from the salad bar and bulk sections as long as you can channel a French accent at-will, so that if you’re caught in the act you can declare with the utmost innocence: “C’est magnifique! Whole Foods ist trayyy generositay!”)
Just close your eyes, click that “BUY” button, and sign yourself up for one extremely pricey ticket, not to mention the supremely expensive crappy beer you have to suffer, because it’s PJ Harvey who you’ll be shelling out the big bucks for (i.e. worth it).
It’s been a rough summer for the Brooklyn venue scene. Palisades has left a hole in our heart so big that we couldn’t help but dream up some (nightmarish) replacement tenants for the Broadway-Myrtle space. Lucky for the owners of The Acheron– the unofficial home for Brooklyn-made punk and metal that closed last month in a flurry of sweaty thrashing and loud-as-hell sets– they don’t have to see their former digs overtaken by some slick newcomer.