No doubt you’ve already got your Northside Festival favorites penciled in, but what about the hordes of sound artistes whom you’ve never heard of and whose band names are befuddlingly similar? Lest you plaster on the Goth face paint for what you think is a black-metal screamfest only to stumble into a cute indie-pop sing-along, here’s how to tell Whalebelly from Dinowalrus, and Pussywolf from the Perfect Pussy.
THE BEASTIE BOYS (AND GIRLS)
There are more animal-themed bands than there are cat videos on YouTube. Here’s how to manage the menagerie.
Eagulls – This post-punk band — hailing all the way from Leeds, England — has some obvious Misfits and Cure influences. They’ve been gaining a lot of positive attention since the release of their latest self-titled album. This show will sell out; get tickets fast. Thursday, June 12 at Warsaw, 7 p.m. Tickets $20-$23
King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard – If Iggy Pop had time-travelled and hung out with the Beatles while they were recording Sergeant Pepper, this might have been the result. They’re an Aussie psychedelic band with lots of scorching, feedback-heavy guitar solos. Thursday, June 12 at Baby’s All Right, 7:30 p.m. Tickets $10. Also Saturday, June 14, at McCarren Park, 2 p.m. Tickets free
Such Hounds – This Brooklyn-based outfit doesn’t have to travel far to perform at Northside. They describe themselves as “Tom Petty snorkeling in bong water,” but we’d put them closer to the Strokes huffing paint thinner in a garage. In a good way. Friday, June 13 at Spike Hill, 6:30 p.m. Tickets $7. Also Saturday, June 14 at Muchmore’s, 12 p.m. Tickets free
Shark? – It’s pronounced “Shark Question Mark,” lest you embarrass yourself. They’ve got tight guitars and vocals, but make it feel effortless enough to headbang. We dare you to go and not rock out. Friday, June 13 at Pet Rescue, 9 p.m. Tickets $7. Also Sunday, June 14 at Silent Barn, 2 p.m. Tickets $10
Animal Collective – The animal band everyone and their dog has heard of. The experimental psychedelic band put on a helluva show; they’ll be playing a DJ set this time around, meaning there are going to be more electro jams at this show than you’re used to hearing, but it’ll definitely be the same amount of weird. Friday, June 13 at Brooklyn Bowl, 11 p.m. Tickets $10-$12.
Catfox – The first thing you notice about Brooklyn-based psychedelic-folk singer-songwriter Catrin Lloyd-Bollard is her voice: it’s sort of like a deadpan inside joke that you won’t get, but is somehow still funny. Saturday, June 14 at Pete’s Candy Store, 4 p.m. Tickets free.
Wolvves – Not to be confused with Wavves. A mosh pit is guaranteed when they unleash their hip-hop, punk rock, surf pop — if you’re lucky, you’ll get smashed drum kits and kicked-over mic stands. Bottom line: Wolvves doesn’t give a fuck, and thus puts on a wild show. Saturday, June 14 at Spike Hill, 6:30 p.m. Tickets $7.
Whale Belly – This Brooklyn band has been getting a lot of attention lately, and for good reason: even the New Yorker praised its “sophisticated folk rock.” That’s not to say they’re pretentious; they just play smart, fun songs, simple as that. Saturday, June 14 at The Gutter Spare Room, 7:30 p.m. Tickets $5.
Dinowalrus – This three-piece puts on a high-energy show, especially for a band billed as psychedelic synth-punk. Sunday, June 15 at Muchmore’s, 1 p.m. Tickets free.
White Rabbits – The six-piece indie-rock band is the type whose songs you don’t think you’ll know but recognize anyway. And they’re notoriously great live. If you need more convincing, the band has toured with the likes of Muse, Interpol, and Spoon. Sunday, June 15 at Cameo Gallery, 5:30 p.m. Tickets $15.
Riot Fox – These self-proclaimed “loud, dirty and in-your-face” New York rockers offer some good old-fashioned punk rock for those purists out there. Sunday, June 15 at The Trash Bar, 8:15 p.m. Tickets $10.
A barrage of band names riff off the “teen” theme and show a, um, Lust for Youth.
My Teenage Stride – This Brooklyn-based indie pop band cites ’80s favorites like the Smiths and the Go-Betweeners among their influences. They combine cheery tunes with cheekily dark lyrics and the melancholic warbles of Jedediah Smith (no, not the trapper/Rocky Mountain explorer, sadly). Songs veer from catchy-jangly to obnoxiously insistent. Friday, June 13 at Pet Rescue, 10:15 p.m.
TEEN – Rather than gesturing towards the glorious years of life between childhood and adulthood, Brooklyn band TEEN takes their name from that of frontwoman Teeny Lieberson. Lieberson’s two sisters and a friend flesh out the team. Drawing on varied inspiration (’90s R&B, psychedelic rock), the girls produce dreamy experimental pop. Teeny’s voice alternates between eerily whispy to steely strong in these pulsating compositions. Thursday June 12 at Cameo Gallery, 11:30 p.m.
The Teen Age – This self-described “doo wop garage” act is comprised of Digo, Micah, Bill and John—who seem fully invested in capturing the spirited youthfulness implied by the name. These surname-less Brooklyn kids have been jamming around Bushwick etc. for just over a year and have recently released their debut EP “Ways to Adapt.” If fuzzy jams and shoutability are your vibe and you like raccoon hats, then this one’s for you. Friday June 13 at Pet Rescue, 9:30pm; Friday, June 13 at Black Bear, 12:40 a.m.; Saturday, June 14 at The Grand Victory, 9:45 p.m.
Teen Girl Scientist Monthly – Recently hailed by L Magazine as one of their annual “8 Bands You Need to Hear,” this sextet revels in a fun-saturated world of indie pop. Their songs are like exuberant headlong dashes through a cheery paint-spattered universe, and I like it. Their jaunty songs are unapologetically adorable with enough grit and native talent to deliver them from sentimental cutesiness (mostly). Saturday, June 14 at Space Ninety 8 Stage, 1 to 6 p.m.
Tweens – This “trash pop” outfit mixes up the Brooklyn teen pool by hailing from Cincinnati, Ohio, and ramps up the youthful campiness by drawing on a bratty ’70s/’80s tween aesthetic (amplified in the above prom-inspired video). Drawing on Blondie’s early sugary punk-rock-dance fusion, the trio—led by the awesomely named Bridget Battle—make caterwalling, nasal music for the hormone-addled masses and those yearning to return to those exhilarating days.Friday, June 13 at Rough Trade, 10 p.m.
A hell of a lot of band names reference the dirty deed in one way or another.
BOYTOY – Sugar pop vocals, easy rhymes laid atop over-produced psych-pop which has the side effect of coating the fuzz in Dandy Warhols-esque blandness. Maybe they’re better in person. Thursday, June 12 at The Silent Barn, 6:30 p.m.; Saturday, June 14 at The Grand Victory, 6:30 p.m.
Couch Slut – Black Metal sans makeup, with a raw punk edge. Girl can scream. Thursday, June 12 at Trash Bar, 7:30 p.m.; Saturday, June 14 at Saint Vitus, 8 p.m.
Dead Sexy Sheila – Mix Nick Cave’s theatricality with slightly twangy surf vibes and you’ve got yourself some Dead Sexy Sheila. Slippery guitars and plenty of wah to go around.
Graveyard Lovers – Self-described “blues-inspired grunge band,” but it’s hard to glean either of those influences from their recordings. Sounds more like listless, slightly above radio-quality “alternative rock” to me. If your grandmother caught you listening to these guys you’d die from humiliation. Saturday, June 14 at Spike Hill, 5:30 p.m.
Lust for Youth – Darkwave minimal beats from Sweden. Ice cold vocals. God bless drum machines. Saturday, June 14 at Baby’s All Right, 10 p.m.
Mannequin Pussy – Melodic power punk. The nice-girl pussy of the bunch. Thursday, June 12 at Shea Stadium, 8 p.m.
Perfect Pussy – Fans of distortion and feedback, this is the pussy pick for you. Friday, June 13 at The Knitting Factory, 7pm & Saint Vitus, same day, 11:30 p.m.
Pussywolf – If “Ass, Tits, & Riffs” are what you look for in a musical experience, then by all means go see this band. The Staten Island Advance, leading the borough’s way in quality music journalism, hailed them as “ferocious,” and their music as “blistering.” Saturday, June 14 at Spike Hill, 4:45 p.m.
Montreal Sex Machine – I had a feeling electro disco rock or whatever was on its way back in. I guess if you were really getting sick of the whole goth thing, this might be a welcome return for you. But c’mon, does the world really need another Franz Ferdinand? Sunday, June 15 at Muchmore’s, 6 p.m.
Syphilitic Lust – Wow, definitely a band you’re going to want to take a long shower after you see. Blood curdling filthy black metal. The frontman sounds like a chirruping vulture in desperate need of some Chloraseptic. Highly recommended. Friday, June 14 at The Gutter, 8:45 p.m.
Weird Womb – A garage-y good time with a hint of Kurt circa Bleach. You know which Kurt. Might be why their 7” is titled “Ruined By the 90’s.” Thursday, June 12 at The Silent Barn, 6:30 p.m.
By Kate Beaudoin, Nicole Disser, Kirsten O’Regan