Gigawatts Fest is happening this weekend, which is great and all — I need my pop fix as much as the next guy. But sometimes I want to be surrounded by sounds that whinge, “I’mmmmmmm differentttttt.” If that’s you, too, get thee to these smaller shows where you’ll find acts that don’t exactly qualify as festival material, if you catch my drift.
To jog your noggin’, people were totally freaking out about Boyd Rice being on the bill at 285 Kent. But despite all the negative opinions about Boyd (including their own), the good people at Adhoc decided to keep the guy on the bill. Why? Well, in deference to free speech and in an effort to avoid contributing to Boyd’s notoriety by canceling a hotly anticipated show. Which hey, was a pretty cool move actually– offering up their own selves as a sacrificial lamb instead of giving Boyd maybe what he wanted after all.
Cold Cave, Genesis P-Orridge, Black Rain
July 21, 8 pm at the Wick, Bushwick: $15+
Remember all that 285 Kent controversy surrounding one particular headliner, Cold Cave, and the band’s chosen opener, Boyd Rice? I do. Well, it’s been a minute since the poppy cold-wave band fronted by the misanthropic Wesley Eisold (who once referred to human relationships as “excess“) has graced NYC. That might have something to do with Eisold’s tacit support of notorious Nazi co-mingler Boyd Rice (of Death in June)– a guy who Todd P described back in 2013 as an “asshole” who “completely sucks as a human being and as an artist he employs abuse imagery and hate rhetoric for shock” and furthermore “a washed-up 80s-era troll,” which is, um, pretty dead on.
It’s interesting then to see Cold Cave now paired up with Genesis P-Orridge, another figure bound and determined to freak out the norms but, you know, in ways that are actually pretty freakin’ cool. And since Cold Cave owes a lot to Throbbing Gristle, the lineup makes all the sense in the world. Speaking of which, enter Black Rain a UK-based outfit bringing even more gothy electronic vibes to the eve. We’re guessing things are gonna get hairy at The Wick. Just watch out for those security guards. Yeesh.
Good Willsmith, John Atkinson, Dreamcrusher, JelloWood / Meth Biker
July 22, 8 pm at Silent Barn: $8
If you didn’t get enough experimental weirdness at Trans-Pecos’ Practice series last night– and trust, Aki Onda freakin’ killed it, sorry if you missed it– then here’s your chance to fill up the avant-gas tank. It’s Avant-Fun Night at the Silent Barn! Tomorrow night, expect a massive output of noise, drone, and spaced-out psych sounds from a gaggle of cacophony loving freaks. If you’ve never heard of Good Willsmith, then consider this fair warning. This set is all vile discord and complex drone. Swoon.
John Atkinson of Aa (read it like, “Big A, little a” instead of the 12-step program) will be engaging in Lord knows what types of sorcery, but judging by his output with aforementioned experimental band– which is pretty impossible to describe as any one thing, given that they occupy the realms of chip-tune core and Animal Collective-like bro-psych simultaneously– it’s going to be rather glitchy. JelloWood / Meth Biker, a group you’ve maybe never heard of is pulling through in the ranks for best band name in Brooklyn, consists of members of PC Worship and Guerrilla Toss (experimental punk from Boston). Our crystal ball indicates their set will be heavy on the punk-induced feedback worship.
Brooklyn-based act Dreamcrusher, and their experimental electronics, manages to take familiar feelings and rearrange them into a whole new universe of sound. Dreamcrusher taps harsh noise, vaguely danceable beats, and barely-above-a-whisper vocals for a sound that’s out there while maintaing a pop sensibility, meaning you’re not going to have to do much begging to get people to escort you to this show if you cite this band first. Almost everyone worth talking to will recognize this feeling, it’s exactly the noise your head is buzzing with when the sun starts to rise at the tail end of an all-night bender, in that moment when you realize there’s no hope of getting sleep any time soon.
July 24 and Saturday July 25 beginning at 6 pm at Saint Vitus: Two-day pass, $70; Friday or Saturday only pass, $38
I can’t say for sure how your ears will fair this “congregation of perpetual torment” happening this weekend at Saint Vitus, but I can tell you that however many years of hearing you’re willing to sacrifice for what’s guaranteed to be an onslaught of black metal will probably be worth it. Only if you’re into that sort of thing, of course.
And I know I said earlier we wouldn’t be talking much festival material, and then I go ahead and talk about a festival, but riddle me this: is this really much like any festival you’ve ever been to? Didn’t think so. There’s a ton to choose from here, and really you can’t go wrong if it comes down to choosing between Friday and Saturday. Hey, we’re not all multi-millionaires.
If you grip a Friday pass, you’ll be treated to Sortilegia. The Canadian black metal band has particularly blood-curdling vocal stylings. Sure, there’s the requisite black metal moan-scream, but they’ve pinned down an infinitely cold beyond-the-grave-like echo, a very slight deviation but a deviation nonetheless in a genre that’s strictly adherent to its trappings. If Saturday’s more your speed, don’t miss Predatory Light‘s set. These New Mexican desert-dwellers invoke equal parts screetchy and melodic dirges. They’re one of those metal bands that make a great case for the existence of commonalities between black metal (and really most genres of metal) and classical music.
Woodsman, TONSTARTSSBANDHT, Jovontaes, Herbcraft
July 25, 8 pm at Palisades: $10 at the door
If you’ve been pining away for that brand of psych rock that’s less garage and more Kraut, your day has come. Woodsman are headlining. Get lost in their endless soundscapes.
Also count yourself #blessed, coz equally the psyched-out cosmonauts TONSTARTSSBANDHT, who are equally Can-indebted, are making an appearance as well. These son-of-Florida-Man brothers have in incredible output that on sight will make even the most productive of us feel like laziness good-for-nothings. Funny, given where they come from. But no matter, they’ve moved to New York, so we’re likely to be seeing them more and more.