Where has the sun gone? It’s cool, we needed a break anyway. Thankfully mood-appropriate bands are scooting into town reminding us of our impending doom. This week, scoop up sounds by the dominatrixes of noise, the best of just-above-underground electronic music, and gothy post-punk devotees.
Pharmakon, Damien Dubrovnik, Puce Mary, Varg
Wednesday, August 12, 8:30 pm at Palisades: $10
Last year Pharmakon aka Margaret Chardiet was absolutely everywhere, scaring the piss out of audience members and turning grown men into wobbly little cry babies. Needless to say, her live set is flawless. So count your lucky stars, for the noise maven will deliver us Brooklynites one last set before she takes off for all over the damn world.
If you caught Pharmakon last year at Palisades, you were definitely in for a treat. By many accounts, that was the best of her NYC shows. Puce Mary, another force to be reckoned with in the noise scene, also delivered an incredible performance that night, proving that women are freaking dominating a scene that I always knew to be a total sausage fest.
But the girls are being nice and letting a couple of dudes play with them, including this so-called “Varg.” At first we were all, WTF? Varg? As in Varg Vikernes of Burzum? The founder of the Norwegian black metal band and the dude who murdered his metal-man rival Euronymous and burned a couple of churches down for good measure? Well, no. I mean, Varg is out of prison, but “VARG” is the experimental electronics project of Jonas Rönnberg (a Swede who apparently gives few shits about laying claim to a notorious Nordic name like that).
Cut Hands, Container, Ligature
Saturday, August 15, 11:59 pm at Palisades: $12
If EDM isn’t your thing, this is the show for you. See what electronic music can really do for you if you give it the chance. Deep, dark vibes abound at this late-night Palisades party featuring Container, whose 2015 LP is both brutal and hyper. It’s all spindly electronics and whip-like crackles that are less about dancing and more about self-induced seizures. Reminds me of some nasty Detroit warehouse raves from a while back.
The industrial electronic music of Cut Hands is informed less by recent technology and more by a just-post-industrial-revolution past. These sounds could easily makeup the soundtrack to a Sergei Eisenstein film– there’s something both sinister and socialist realism to Cut Hands. And of course Ligature will be providing the solid backbone of nightmarish power electronics.
Pop. 1280, Vowws, Bambara, Lubrication
Friday, August 14, 8:30 pm at Aviv: $10
You don’t have to trade those filthy electronic beats for anything less rotten. Pop. 1280 will fulfill all your post-punk dreams, though instead of a cold aloofness, the leadsman really delivers on his impassioned, horribly upset presentation. A little ra-ra-I’m-a-big-mean-man, but it’s good stuff nonetheless, balanced out by killer synth whirrs and equally catchy and feedback-heavy guitars.
Few things in life make me happier than Australian bands gracing us with their presence. Foster’s Island is legit one of the coolest places on Earth for underground music right now, let me tell you what. And they’re no fools, these guys are also going full-force on the whole goth revival. (Or did goth ever really die?) But Vowws are doing it with a touch of cheese and a thin coat of icing. It’s all so very ’90s.
Warcries, MPHO, Polio Club, Four Visions
Sunday, August 16, 7 pm at Alphaville
And now for something completely different. Put all those garage rockers on a heavy, daily dose of LSD and let them only listen to Brian Jonestown Massacre records playing in the next room and you’ll get a feel for what BK band Warcries sounds like. Needless to say, me like.
Uh, did I already say something was gonna be wildly different from the rest of our lineup? Oh, right. Well, things get even wackier with MPHO, a Brooklyn-based group doing a perfect interpretation of some forlorn girl pop: imagine if Kate Bush spent more time taking molly and floating through clubs.
Polio Club brings jangle, actually lo-fi folk-informed garage country Western blues from Austin. We’ve been sick to death of slick, so-called “garage” for quite some time, and Polio Club brings us back to better times, shittier tapes, bitter-er song-scapes. Please, please keep doing what you’re doing. I hear early Joy Division demos if those boys had called a warm terrain close to the desert or Mexico or renegade, pistol-ensured freedom home.