Welcome back to reality. Now that summer’s officially over (the days seem shorter already, don’t they?) you’re going to need a serious hangover remedy for those months of self-abuse. If that sounds painful, it doesn’t have to be. Good shows will help get you back on your feet and distract you from the literal spiral into darkness happening right before our eyes. This week, see what a Kiwi guitar-pop legend is up to these days and don’t miss a certain Tropicália squad’s reunion.
Pop. 1280, Pawns, Wrung, Informant
Saturday, September 12, 8 pm at Palisades: $8
We imagine this show will evoke a feeling not unlike swallowing a bucket of ice cubes. Front and center are Pawns, post-punk purveyors of snow-cone-like frigidity, celebrating their new 7″ record, Eternal Return, dropping from where else but Sacred Bones. The new mini-record– which is already sold out online, but we’re guessing will be available at the show– finds Pawns once again looking deep into the darkest nether-reaches of the early ’80s, channeling Ian Curtis’s Arctic-bound baritone and the Fall’s pummeling drums and hellish guitars.
We’re excited to see Pop. 1280, as always, and it’s pretty much guaranteed they’ll be playing some of their evilest material yet as heard on Penetrate, their new 7″ also from Sacred Bones that’s something of a preview for their forthcoming LP. The band blows power electronics out of the water with rabid vocals and glitchy, discordant instrumentals. And if this lineup isn’t already blowing your mind check out Informant, a one-guy act that sounds like a devilish soundtrack to Knight Rider on morphine.
Tuesday, September 14, 8 pm at Le Poisson Rouge: $30
It’s almost impossible to map how influential Os Mutantes has been. The Brazilian psych band founded in the late ’60s, when Brazil was controlled by a brutal dictatorship, was an important force in the Tropicália movement, melding American psych rock influences with traditional Brazilian guitar music while resisting totalitarian control.
Their sound, aesthetics, and politics have been an inspiration to artists and musicians all around the world and seriously anybody whose worth listening to in rock music counts Os Mutantes as an influence or at least inspiration. I’ve practically worn down my copy of Os Mutantes to the bone. This shit never gets old.
Unfortunately people do get old, but somehow these guys have managed to keep it real. They released their tenth studio album in 2013 and took a seriously long break from writing new material between 1976 and 2009. Can’t say I’ve been compelled to listen to any of their new stuff. But whatever, when it comes to bands like these it seems worth the risk to check them out. The worst that could happen is you won’t ever listen to the new stuff. Believe me, their first four records are impossible to sully.
September 12, 1 pm to 10 pm at 50 Kent: $75 / $150 VIP
I’m not gonna lie, I kind of hate myself for writing this one and the existence of a festival like this is not only proof that ’90s nostalgia has been fully commodified but that it’s pretty much reached the end of its rope. Mark my words, this is the last of a thoroughly enjoyable session of decade worship. The jeans can stay and the good music too, but when something like Smash Mouth emerges for the sake of a throwback celebration, well, then you know we’ve gone a step too far.
So definitely, definitely skip Smash Mouth, unless you are sick enough to want to witness a mole-eyed, frosted-tipped giant goatee perform “All Star.” Vom. But– and this is a huge but– if you can stomach the seriously nauseous prospect of thousands of people singing along to every single song (consider how horrible it is to hear the whole audience sing along to just one hit song), then you’ll get the chance to see the likes of Coolio, Blind Melon, and Salt-N-Pepa.
So bring your barf bags and try not to think about how much cash you just spent getting in the door.
Human Eye, Honey, Cyanide Tooth
Sunday, September 13, 8 pm at Alphaville: $8
Rip-roaring nastiness spews forth from this aptly-named Detroit band, Human Eye, that sound less like anything produced in the last several decades and more like Black Sabbath lost on a dark, street light-less night on the streets of Detroit. Though these guys aren’t all throwback, their sound vibes with some seriously spaced-out effects that place them squarely inside of now. Ozzy-like vocals are belted out by frontman Timmy Vulgar of raucous punk band Timmy’s Organism while the rest of the band’s perfect bowling alley rock on acid.
Phew and get ready for Cyanide Tooth, a soulless noise opener that guarantees your ears will follow out before night’s end.
Hamish Kilgour, Goddess, Ember Schrag
Sunday, September 13, 8 pm at Cake Shop: $10
Speaking of bands you should have been worshiping ages ago, Hamish Kilgour is a founding member of The Clean (along with his brother David Kilgour) the New Zealand-born guitar pop band responsible for some of the most ageless and straight-up lovable indie rock songs of all time ever. They effectively disbanded in the ’80s, reuniting occasionally for world tours while the brothers continued experimental music projects together.
But Hamish didn’t really emerge as a solo artist in his own right until the last couple of years. He’s officially not a young dude anymore, so it’s surprising how young Hamish manages to sound on All of It or Nothing, his 2014 debut as a solo act. The record is all freak-folk, the kind of stuff that seems to be hovering over Philly right now. But Hamish maintains that same sensibleness and economy of The Clean– it’s not clean cut or boring, it’s just pastel instead of neon– and doesn’t seem to care about proving how weird he is with wackiness through song. Apparently there’s a lot to explain that quiet somberness.