It’s kind of a somber week (already) for show goers– mainly because one of the most reliable spots for an awesome underground/indie/neo-folk/punk/experimental/whatever show, the Silent Barn, suffered a fire late last week. Everybody’s OK, but the building itself is damaged (more on that later) to the point where shows have been suspended for at least the next month. They’re no dummies, they have insurance. But in order to act fast and get repairs done right-freakin’-now, Silent Barn is asking for donations. If charitable bitcoining isn’t your bag, there are other ways you can help.
O+O+, Body Horror, Lea Bertucci, Muscular
8 pm, Tuesday Sept. 29 at Bohemian Grove: $ donation
Here’s a chill way to help out the fire repair effort, by attending a benefit show at Bohemian Grove. These four local bands teamed up to organize a show, and proceeds from donations (in place of ticket costs) will go directly to the Silent Barn. O+O+ is Aaron Novik, deliverer of free jazz and lingering lounge performances that often take on a sort of folk-stomp, fiddle and guitar rock vibe.
The closest comparison I can come up with is Beirut (save for the fact that Novik isn’t completely derivative) and not for the actual sound produced here, but for a similar philosophy of creating music in the way that a traveler collects souvenirs. But instead of amassing stereotypical trinkets, Novik gathers esoteric objects and mysterious talismans.
I caught Lea Bertucci at Trans-Pecos’ highly-recommended experimental music series, Practice, doing things with a wind instrument I didn’t think were possible. Take, for example, her bionic “bass clarinet preparation,” which outfits the instrument with two mics connected to a mixer. Strange things result. Bertucci doesn’t stop with reeds, though — most recently she’s morphed a double bass into a very unfamiliar instrument that emanates strangely whale-like moans.
Cuntz, Foster Care, Wilful Boys
8 pm, Thursday Oct. 1 at Cake Shop: $8
A Term Bo favorite, this rotten-ass punk band from Melbourne has arrived on US soil to show us how it’s done down under, which is to say much better than we do it up here at the center of the universe. Cuntz, as the name implies, give very few fucks about what anyone thinks, but in as playful a way as possible (hence the ‘z’– they’re not trying to be total jerks here). There’s the slightest hint of Jesus Lizard in their guitar sound, crossed with some impressive blues playing. Yes, this is piss punk that borders on brutish at times, but underneath all that scum there’s some real talent. They have a new release, Force the Zone, due out from Melbourne’s own Homeless Records— if you’re not familiar with the label, definitely check out their lineup. What else but a guy in a smiling panda balaklava graces the cover.
Repping the home team is Foster Care. They exhibit the same commitment to fuck-it-all, with an added dose of Oi. Wear your kickin’ shoes for this one or you’re bound to get stampeded. The Wilful Boys are leading the pack with their meandering, heartfelt (if boozy) dirge music. Punk is the overriding theme here but there’s quite a bit of grunge sludge too.
Toro y Moi
Thursday, Oct. 1 (9 pm) and Friday, Oct. 2 (9 pm) at Music Hall of Williamsburg: $30
And now for something completely different. Toro y Moi, aka Chaz Bundick, dabbles in chill wave, disco revival, and autotune worship. A relentless producer, the guy’s much more than a dabbling experimentalist, he’s solidly an alt-pop auteur (and apparently also a talented filmmaker, see above). His penchant for making incredible things happen with collaborators is all just part of the process. Thankfully his new release, Samantha is a mosaic of ft. fill-in-the-blanks and music influences, from R&B and Psych to Trap, and invocations of everyone from Elton John to Big Star. Speaking of Sharon, Toro y Moi recorded an amazing cover of “Rocket Man,” click play below.
Lodro, Second Still, Exocomet, Winkie
Saturday, Oct. 3, 5pm at Aviv: $8
While Portishead is pretty difficult to listen to these days, at least for this girl (I wore that record out years ago) Lodro seems like a worthy replacement until I become un-sick of Portishead. There’s a similar dark, sexy mid-tempo rock that’s actually quite danceable, a fill in for the “trip hop” of Portishead (here referred to as “neo noir punk”) and a deep, gravely female vocalist.
Second Still is carrying the post punk torch, which I’m praying won’t be totally burnt out by imitators. But thankfully, these guys have brought something of their own to the table– giving Ian Curtis a chance to stop seizing in his grave. First, they’ve allowed a female into the ranks, which I feel like is sorely lacking in the genre, particularly when it comes to vocalists. We appreciate her haunting harmonies, quavering in much high altitudes than the usual baritone mumble we’re punished with over and over again.