PC Worship‘s EP release show is coming up this week at Palisades, as we trust you know from last week’s interview with Justin Frye. But there’s plenty else to get your hips poppin’ till then. Scroll your roll and see what’s in store.
An Evening with M Lamar
Monday, Nov. 30, 7 pm at Cooper Union: FREE
M Lamar is the “negro gothic devil-worshipping free black man in the blues tradition” you’ve undoubtedly been dying to see perform since we wrote about him back in September. The multi-talented, epically outspoken musician, composer, opera singer, and visual artist’s shows are enthralling not simply because M Lamar is a magnetic force all his own (just try being in a room alone with him, you’ve never feel so gazed-at in all your life, I promise), but because his operatic compositions wrestle with the deeply troubling history and harsh, continuing reality of racial injustice in this country. Lamar’s central aims are agitation and awakening, so prepare to be moved.
Ideas spill out of M Lamar’s work like a blood out of a stab wound– and actually, the artist speaks with a similar manic urgency– so needless to say the experience can be one that’s difficult to reflect on during the event itself, and usually requires some parsing through in the immediate aftermath. Lucky for you, this show offers a unique opportunity to see M Lamar perform and then discuss his work immediately after the show in the company of smart people and Lamar himself. (We’re not sure which of his pieces he’ll be focusing on, but there are vague hints he’ll be sampling various bits from his “most poignant material.”) The event is free, one night only, and open to the public, so we suggest you arrive early to lock down a good seat.
The Spookfish, Marital Dispute, The Neu Avant-Garde Project, Victims, DJ Lord Gator
Tuesday, Dec. 1, 8 pm at the Living Gallery: $5
The Spookfish, or some guy known as Dan Goldberg, shifts inexplicably from gentle, singer/songwriter acoustic meanderings to warm, electronic bedroom beats that, come to think of it, exude the feeling of floating all by your lonesome in a fish bowl. There’s a resigning sadness to it all, an unmistakable gentleness and even passiveness– things that are impressive for a resident of this crazy-inducing city to maintain. (Legit– anyone here who’s not at least a little bit aggro defies all reason.) It’s not surprising, then, to learn that Goldberg is fond of getting the hell outta the city and traveling alone. A few years back, he embarked on one of these adventures when he traversed the expansive mountains of Korea by train, which for eons have inspired worship and, more recently, a certain totalitarian dictator’s incredibly wacky creation myth. Listen closely to Spookfish tracks and you’ll find there’s a hint of this mountain mysticism throughout.
Admittedly, “lo-fi” doesn’t mean much these days. It seems that ever since The Strokes brought that tape crackle-and-pop back into the mainstream milieu, it can often feel ever-so contrived in the context of anything that’s not filthy punk. However, Marital Dispute offers a refreshing counter example to all this. The band makes use of what’s clearly a shitty recording situation, molding it to their advantage. The muffles and hisses and whirrs feel not on-purpose (and maybe they are, who knows) but what matters is that we believe them, and that the sound underneath doesn’t lean on the lo-fi “effect” so much, lest it reveal itself to be just another pop song.
From what we can tell through the haze, Lindsee Lonesome has a classic, full-bodied if not quavering singing voice that crashes over her plucky, upbeat grinning guitar riffs (the latter reminds us of early Interpol). She’s backed up by her drummer Johnny Noxin, who’s rather skilled at the ol’ back-and-forth, making for duet-like sing songs.
Kate Mohanty’s saxophone skills are the kind that inspire jealousy, or more accurately feelings of inadequacy and doom. What have I been doing for the last 19 years? Not achieving virtuosity, that’s for sure. But that’s what truly makes Mohanty– who has played with EULA, Bodega Bay, Parlor Walls, and various other Brooklyn indie bands– so entertaining to watch. She’s truly a rare bird. When Mohanty appears solo as The Neue Avant-Garde Project, she exercises her impressive powers of improvisation (which she also records to 60 minutes of one-of-a-kind tapes to send out to her listeners) that evoke smoky jazz clubs of the previous century.
And what else could tie this show together better than Victims, the experimental ambient noise outfit of Alex Norelli? Demonstrating that, when it doubt, go for weirder.
Best Available Technology, Odd Rumblings, Litüus, Via App
Thursday, Dec. 3, 8 pm at Trans-Pecos: $10 advance/ $15 at the door
For an evening of weird sounds, it’d be hard to beat out this Styles Upon Styles lineup. One of the great questions of the last decade has got to be, “Where did trip hop go?” Well, turns out it hasn’t gone very far and, in fact, its progeny is right here, in the form of Best Available Technology, a producer of irresistible, darkness-driven beats.
The Portland-based musician has apparently never played on the East Coast, meaning here’s your chance at fresh, innocent meat and an unadulterated taste of what’s happening on the Other Coast. BAT has mastered spooky, forlorn, vaguely hip-hop influenced space noise that sounds like it’s emerging from a couple of turntables whose belts are hanging on by mere threads. These are sounds loaded with all kinds of skips and drips, executed at a grandma-on-codeine slow pace.
Dylan Scheer is Via App, the young-buck Brooklyn newcomer who crafts some downright sinister dance music. Though Scheer’s approach hints toward a past in noise– there’s an unmistakable darkness to it all, indicating that (in body form at least) Via App is no human at all, but a giant Rick D. James grin. Thankfully, this doesn’t preclude him from delivering on the party vibes.
Another gnawing question of our times is: “Where did witch house go?” To tell you the truth, we’ve been witness to recent sightings that prove the sub-genre is unfortunately still alive and well. But there’s hope. Odd Rumblings suggests that some musicians are successfully adopting the same trappings and aesthetic considerations of witch house while managing to make actually-good music. While this two-piecer is certainly interested in those telltale sacred sounds, they maintain a penchant for the magical without veering too much into Renaissance territory. And apparently delicate balances are Odd Rumblings’ thing, as they’ve also found a way to embrace ’80s-synth sounds without being wholly derivative.
Gag, Narcoleptics, Pleasure Industry, JJ Doll, Barbed Wire
Thursday, Dec. 3, 8 pm at Alphaville: $8
What’s the week after Thanksgiving without a punk show to prove you’re not Momma’s Little Girl anymore? Forget all of the ways in which you were infantilized by your family over the weekend and embrace your undying rebellious side instead. You’ll be treated to “creepy crawlycore” from Gag, the Olympia, Washington-based band with a penchant for gurgles, growls, and cackles over primitive, angry-toddler drums, plus actual shredding (and a lot of it, too).
If you came here caring, Brooklyn’s own Pleasure Industry will ensure you’re a nihilistic black hole by the time you leave here. The band are seasoned practitioners of the high-quality hard core we’ve come to expect from Katorga Works, with the added bonus of some post-punk flavor.
And your desire for complete aural depravity is sure to be sated by one Narcoleptics and their noxious blend of hardcore and death metal. Expect some surprises from relative newcomers JJ Doll, and freshest outta their diapers, Barbed Wire an outfit described as “new Brooklyn hard rock somewhere in between MC5 and AC/DC, members of Hank Wood and the Hammerheads, Ajax, etc.”