Other People Residency
Tuesday Dec. 8th through Friday Dec. 11th at Trans-Pecos
Our favorite no wave loudmouth Lydia Lunch will play at Trans-Pecos on Friday with her band, Teenage Jesus and the Jerks, part of a full week of music curated by Other People. The “serial label,” founded by Nicholas Jarr drops a new rotation of new and nostalgic music each week, and they’ve just put out a stellar collection of the band’s live recordings, Live 1977 – 1979 (which you can stream for free right now over yonder). It’s pretty much the best thing happening this week, and it’s happening all week. Truly, it’s one of those events that helps us justify paying astronomical rents to live in this city.
Until now, those of us who were little more than tadpole daydreams when the Downtown punk scene was fomenting a radically gritty music tradition, had little to go on when it came to Teenage Jesus. Save for a few singles and a handful of live recordings, plus the band’s appearance on Brian Eno’s seminal comp No New York– which chronicled the late-’70s no wave scene built around bands like D.N.A., Contortions, and Mars– there wasn’t much out there. But now thanks to Other People we have 27 tracks to drool over, most of them recorded during performances at CBGB’s and Max’s Kansas City, where the band made regular appearances.
It’s exciting, raw as hell stuff, exactly the caliber of releases that we’ve come to expect from Other People. Which brings us to our dilemma: how are any of us supposed to decide which night of this Trans-Pecos takeover to choose?
Throughout the week expect even more no wave legends to blast through Trans-Pecos, their mission: to help bring you to that special dark place of hopelessness and rage. Arto Lindsay of D.N.A. (who played with PC Worship at Palisades last week for the latter’s EP release party) is among them. He’ll be performing a set on Tuesday night (show starts at 8 pm), and sharing the bill with William Basinski— he’s the guy who made The Disintegration Loops, a haunting, minimalist piece that gently throbs with crackles, vibrations, and a delicate, faded beauty achieved by re-recording old tapes whose magnetic strips had begun to decay.
Bladerunner, the sax-heavy project of the avant-garde composer, John Zorn, Dave Harrington (Darkside), and others. Most of the night will be dictated by the will of improvisation, so expect some truly out-there stuff, while electronic noise producer, Okokon will ground the evening in total chaos. Throughout the week, look for performances by Nicholas Jaar himself, A Pleasure, and more updated acts whose roots can be traced back to the dark reign of no wave.
MPHO, Sexy Neighbors, Retail, No Ice, Drome
Friday Dec. 11th at The Gateway, 8 pm: FREE
In this age of beat machines and push-the-envelope experimentalism, sometimes you just want some straight-up rock n’ roll and bless us because Sexy Neighbors delivers. We’d classify this Bushwick band as direct descendants of Television– there’s that special Tom Verlaine balance between snarl and soaring vocals, a gnarly ripping and tearing at instruments, and cutesy moments brought to you by a dribbling organ. Apparently they haven’t played together in “2.6 years,” so here’s to hoping you haven’t forgotten them just yet.
A band you’re certainly familiar with by now is Retail, a brutal bass-driven hardcore unit. But perhaps you missed Die, the band’s aptly-named tape with cover art that resembles freshly opened self-mutilation cuts, released at the end of October. That might be because the track “French People Suck,” found itself at what most people would say is a somewhat awkward time to be screaming, “They can stick the Eiffel Tower straight up their butt.” But, sick as we may be, we’re actually looking forward to seeing how Retail tackles this awkward situation, we’re guessing with all manner of level-headedness and poise. Also on the bill are No Ice (from the Mama Coco’s Funky Kitchen crew) and mystery act Drome, a band playing their very first live show. Cute!
Nothing Changes: Pleasure Island, Inferior Passions, Ligature
Wednesday Dec. 9th, 10 pm at Home Sweet Home: $8
The minimal industrial punishment of Pleasure Island could easily make a creepy sci-fi movie’s soundtrack. A song would start as a whisper and slowly creep upward toward teeth-gritting levels, in preparation for the villain’s first entrance into his sex-dungeon / torture chamber. You know, fun stuff for dancing.
Speaking of minimal, Inferior Passions is more akin to a violent thunderstorm, collapsing power lines, or what your head might feel like if you pressed it to the pavement, just feet away from heavy truck traffic on a freeway. It’s all very apocalyptic and after an Inferior Passions show, you’re guaranteed to feel as though you’ve been through a rather harrowing experience– we’re not talking torture or anything, but definitely like a white-knuckled drive through a snow storm. (Hey, that can be stressful!) If you come out of this feeling centered and calm, congratulations you’re a reptilian built for the new world order.
But the only thing that can really prepare you for such an experience is a set like Ligature‘s, a veritable collage of grate all against the backdrop of face-destroying static walls. Who knew industrial noise could be so arty?