We’ve got quite a week in music ahead of us, with no shortage of neuron-twisting, brain ‘sploding variety. A week in shows wouldn’t be the same without that post-punk sound that’s so very now. This time around, two (very different) bands of this persuasion are sharing a bill as well as a genre, demonstrating these constraints are as fluid as their riffs. But best of all, a legendary psych band that perhaps you took for extinct will light up the stage at one of our favorite lil’ DIY venues. Hope that’s enough flavor to get you scrolling.
Silver Apples, Bookworms, Giant Claw
Thursday, July 30, 8 pm at Trans-Pecos: $13
I had to do a double take when this one popped up on my radar. Silver Apples? And turns out yes, indeed, the Silver Apples are performing at Trans-Pecos this week. In case it’s slipped your mind, Simeon (who generally goes by first name only like the true freak he is) invented not only a synthesizer of his own back in the late ’60s (“The Simeon”), but he also pioneered a form of a kind of sound that countless performers are infinitely indebted to.
It’s difficult to imagine a time before synthesizer music, a world without Brian Eno, and “firsts” are notoriously hard to pin down, but Silver Apples (which originally consisted of Simeon plus drummer Danny Taylor, who passed away back in 2005) was certainly among the very first American bands to incorporate electronically made sounds into rock music (coinciding of course with the brilliant stuff of Krautrock coming out of Deutschland at the time).
But beyond that, Silver Apples also made a great contribution to the notion that we take for granted now, that feedback, noise, and general cacophony as made by electronic blips, buzzes, and gurgles are as salient to rock music as guitars n’ drums.
Total Control, Crazy Spirit, Nandas
Friday, July 31, 8:3o pm at Palisades: $10
Australia’s exporting a crazy amount of synth-centric punk these days and Total Control are probably the best example of what Convict Island has to offer. The band shamelessly embraces a hyper-nostalgic post-punk, new wave sound, but one that isn’t tired or wholly imitative. And in many ways, Total Control surpasses their predecessors. I hate to ever harp on just one song as evidence of a band’s prowess but, really, “Carpet Rash” is an unbelievably sticky song. (Sticky as in it will stick in your ears, your head, your entire life, I promise.) I dare you to listen to it once and forget it. And by that I mean you won’t, you won’t forget it.
Lucky for me and you, it seems like it’s about time for some new material from these guys and the fact that they’re in the States right now hints that maybe they’re here to record and if not they’re probably at least available to record, right?! That’s how things like this work, I assume. Not trying to overstep my bounds here or anything but, Sacred Bones are you listening?
Local punk squad Nandas will open and their straightforward piss-punk presence makes for a nice contrast to Total Control’s show number two happening the following night. Read on.
Related show: Total Control, Lust for Youth, Sannhet, Flesh World
Saturday, August 1, 8 pm at Music Hall of Williamsburg: $13 in advance / $15 day of
Oh, hi again. Yes, Total Control is playing another show, and yes please be advised it’s also worth attending, depending on your level of fandom, either in lieu of the previous night or in addition to it. Blah, blah same band, same band. I hear you. But whereas night number one will probably have Total Control at their punkest, night deux is gonna be a little slicker, more on the side of post-punk.
Flesh World has that slightly haunting but garage-guitar rock thing down pat. And according to their tour schedule, it looks like Lust for Youth, the Brooklyn post-punk band that appears to be following in the very same arc as post-Ian Curtis new wave, is popping back over to America for a quick break before heading back to Europe for the fall. TBH, we’re impressed with their touring stamina. International came out more than a year ago to much fanfare and they’ve been hauling ass all over the world it seems since then. But who knows maybe they’ll have some new material for us? Or not. Either way we’re happy, really.
Sannhet are purveyors of a strangely softer sort of metal, one with the soaring, classically attuned lift-offs to be expected of the genre and the requisite shredding, but it’s all done in a manner that might be confused for gentle at times. Gaze at these dudes and wonder how they achieve a muted delicacy still backed by a sense of anticipation, that feeling of looking over the edge of a cliff, or something similar.
Nothing Changes: Appetite, Breathing Problem, How I Quit Crack
Wednesday, July 29, 10 pm at Home Sweet Home: $8 at the door
If Appetite‘s beats don’t launch you into a full-on hair-whip and frantic pony-hop, there’s no hope for you at all in this world. The pair of ladies have got just enough of a dark edge to get them in the door at Nothing Changes (oh, and all the street cred that comes with being a member of one Ascetic House) but more than enough fire to get even the most cynical of your strictly-black-clothing and sunglasses 24/7 pals moving to the beat.
But personally, I’m most looking forward to Breathing Problem– the noisier, industrial power electronics project of Rusty Kelley, member of Total Abuse, the Austin-based hardcore band featuring Dustin Pilkington of Burnt Skull. Basically, Kelley’s connected to a whole constellation of mega-dark noise makers that are doin’ the exact opposite of that relentless, gleeful garage thing that dominated Austin’s sound waves for awhile. Bless you, Mr. Kelley.
And hold up, don’t roll your eyes all the way back into your head when you hear this one: admittedly, How I Quit Crack is some sensual, witchy hell-bound Enya shit (that first emerged back at the height of Witch House, when Zola Jesus was fresh). And yes, Tina F. (also based in Texas) reportedly performed in “neon lingerie.” Sigh.
But consider that Tina F.’s stage name is literally something that weighed heavily on her mind at one point because Tina actually did have a nasty crack habit according to this interview with Vice. In short, Tina’s got some demons, and they come wailing through her music, which sounds something like a ghost ship lost in the Arabian Sea, captained by one really weepy but nonetheless magnetic siren.
Chimes, Pollen Rx, Side A Side B, Crazy Pills, Granny
Thursday, July 30, 8 pm at Aviv: $8 at the door
For the price of a can of Genny plus one measly paper Lincoln you can get your foot in the door at this Thursday night show, not only will you be amongst other sweaty, band-hungry bodies, but you’ll be fed five full sets of sonic pleasure. Talk about buck-banging good times.
The bill’s mostly familiar plus one touring act, but the sounds are complimentary in that they’re all essentially made up of that ooey gooey good stuff, a garage-pop-indie happiness-inducing rock n’ roll plasma, the stuff that keeps you hydrated this time of year when otherwise you might find yourself listening to nothing but chill wave and New Age. Stay awake sheeple!
Pollen Rx are joining us from Austin, with that penchant for wide-eyed bright strings that could only be plucked with such fervor by someone living under bright sun rays all year round. The three piece is unbelievably energetic, almost to snot-nosed teenage proportions, and can be as peppy as a cheer squad pumped full of Adderall, but their parodic lyrics about late-late capitalism save them from naiveté.
Also get excited for Chimes‘ brand of burnt-out, blasé, sun-blistered psych-rock. When I took these mouth-pukers on a spin for a fourth or so listen, I realized why they fit squarely in my skull like a familiar log to the rest of my lincoln log cabin of musical knowledge: They sound a hell of a lot like Sonic Youth with a lead foot on the wah pedal.