Yes, the Royal Trux reunion show is happening on Saturday at Webster Hall — which we trust you’ve had tickets for since the second it was announced (or at least since we ran this interview with Jennifer Herrema) — but there’s a ton of other shows going down this week that are worth staying awake for too. Lap em up and thank us later.
The Symptoms with Laurie Anderson, Kid Millions, and Tony Diodore
Thursday Dec. 17, 9:30 – 11 pm at Secret Project Robot: $15 – $20
Laurie Anderson is nothing short of a renaissance woman. This was never more clear than when I had the chance to see (and write about) the premiere of her new film, Heart of a Dog. As a filmmaker, Anderson’s intuitive — she allows herself to be guided by a stream of consciousness, flowing in and out of future, memory, and deep, meditative thought. Much of the film relies on unique camera perspectives, filters. But most of all, it’s the soundscape, compelled along by Anderson’s soothing voice and her own compositions, that brings everything together.
The Heart of a Dog original soundtrack is available online, but it’s not like any other you’ve ever heard. While some OSTs cheezily insert bits of dialogues from the scenes to the corresponding track, Anderson’s narration is inseparable from the music and listening to it sans film, you can experience the movie as a poetry-book-on-tape sort of way, which we highly recommend.
There’s no telling what Anderson will be presenting at this performance. The press release highlights her album Homeland released in 2010 as the artist’s “new work,” but we’re looking forward to perhaps hearing some brand new material. A girl can dream!
Joining Anderson is Tony Diodore, a Brooklyn-based musician who played violin and guitar for Lou Reed’s live band. For his solo work, Diodore blends electronic beats and even a hint of hip-hop with classical strings, guided by whispery vocals. It recalls Enigma, and at times feels a little outdated, but the violin’s presence (when it does show up) is undeniably supreme.
Kid Millions (from twanky Brooklyn rock band Oneida) has been a constant collaborator over the years, having worked with J. Spaceman (Spiritualized) and avant-garde jazz saxophonist Jim Suater (see video of a live set below).
Update: Hold up, we do have an idea of what will be going down at this show– the Symptoms is a trio comprised of these three experimental talents (not the name of this show, as we had been led to believe) one that apparently has performed before (they debuted the power trio last year at Le Poisson Rouge, in fact) and not to be confused with the fresh-faced indie rock group, The Symptoms. So perhaps our hope for “brand new material” is not so dreamy after all.
Etheric: Person of Interest, Ciarra Black, Jock Club, R Gamble
Thursday Dec. 17, 10 pm – 4 am at Trans-Pecos: $8
The night I first discovered there was a downstairs at Trans-Pecos, was the same night the dance party happening under the Wolf Eyes show bubbled overground as soon as the bands finished their sets. It was almost comical how dramatic the change was — from weirdo-rock show to raucous dance party. Though ultimately it’s not surprising these things are starting to pick up, given Trans-Pecos’ serious commitment to hosting a diversity of interesting sounds.
Enter a new era of dance parties at Trans-Pecos. While the DIY-ish venue kept things real chill until their legitimacy (and liquor license, for that matter) was approved by the powers-that-be — in the early days, the place had the feel of a coffee shop at times — now Trans-Pecos can finally embrace a wilder side. Though, obviously it goes without saying, the venue hasn’t gotten rid of any of their community programming and heady shows like Sam Hillmer’s weekly (free) experimental showcase, Practice.
Shimmy over to Etheric, this week’s late night dance party in the basement. Think the same kind of electronic music embraced by Bossa Nova: far from EDM, with darker vibes and an underground edge. Actually being underground just adds to the sense of a clandestine party. Person of Interest is a fun producer to wrap your headphones around — capturing a mosaic of noise, ambient, even house sounds and transporting them to chill, hip-shaking party music.
Whereas Ciarra Black, on the other hand, isn’t afraid to hurt you. Harsh sounds are backed by throbbing beats. Her sound recalls the stuff I was hearing in abandoned warehouse parties in Detroit back in the early aughts.
And from Ascetic House, the hippest electronic label around (cross your fingers they make their way from the depths of Arizona back to Brooklyn for another takeover sometime soon), comes Jock Club. As the name might imply, this producer has no problem utilizing the banal to hone in an almost primitive-sounding plethora of sonic tricks and treats. Think ’80s beats and snares for a retrofitted take on dance music. Is it ironic? Or is it post-ironic? You be the judge.
Contessa Stuto & Special Guest, Quay Dash, Nani Castle, DJ Mike Q, Ricci Steez, Egyptian Lovher, Serena Jara, and More
Friday Dec. 18, 11 pm to 4 am at Black Bear Bar
Contessa Stuto (aka Cuntmafia and queen of underground trap raves) is having her birthday party this weekend, and needless to say it’s gonna be an absolute shit show, in the best way possible of course.
Hot on the heels of her new video, “Mistress of Ceremony,” check it out below, we’re sure Stuto will be in an ultra-celebratory mood. Dress for the occasion.
A host of other Cuntmafia crew members will be on hand for performances, including Quay Dash, a rapper from the Bronx who switches seamlessly between syrupy serenades (“You Make Me Cray”) and trappy, all out declarations of power (“Aint Gon’ Stop”). Honestly though, we didn’t even make a dent in this badass lineup. Guess you just gotta go to see.