T-Rextasy, Band Practice, Doubles
Friday January 8, 8 pm at Aviv: $7
Picture a femme Parquet Courts fronted by Ellen Page all hopped up on candy and you’re sort of getting at what T-Rextasy are all about. Their sound defies what might first be taken for twee, instead invoking an array of complexity of sweet, sassy, sour, sad, and snappy feelings delivered in a way that’s interchangeably manic, then replete with earnest babbling from the front, supported by plucky punk guitars and primitive, clap-clap drums from the rear.
According to their internet presence, Band Practice have a fondness for Welsh corgis and Taylor Swift, (only one of which is actually easy on the eyes). But since the emotive indie rock music of Jeanette (vocals) and Ben (“some other shit”) is actually tolerable, dare we say great, something tells us that Band Practice worship Taylor Swift in the same way that I “worship” Scott Stapp (American singer, songwriter, and lead dude of Creed, of course). Although the term “bedroom pop” gets thrown around a lot these days, it’s safe to say that recording with a karaoke machine certainly moves one to qualify as a practitioner of the genre. And beyond Band Practice’s tools, their self-conscious, self-effacing lyrics are indicative of time spent alone, stewing– and if that’s not the definition of bedroom pop, then I don’t care to know what is.
Opening band Doubles formed at Bard and drifted to Philly, where they dropped their original name O-Face, embarked on some new song writing, and started generating some buzz for their emo-laced rock and not just for their naughty name.
NYC’s Hardest Working Bands 2015: Pill, Future Punx, Acid Dad, Dreamcrusher, + more Saturday January 9, 4 pm at Baby’s All Right: $12 in advance/ $15 at the door
The thing about this show is that there’s a good a chance you’ve seen every one of these bands in the lineup at least once. I mean, none of these guys have been included on the list of “NYC’s Hardest Working Bands” of the year for just nothin’. And there’s a good reason these bands land so many shows in the first place: they’re all very, very good at what they do, which is play live music, an important distinction from simply having a Bandcamp or utilizing celebrity connections that immediately launch them into interstellar orbit– things a few too many local bands rely on it seems.
Pill are deservedly at the top, as a sax-wielding space-punk outfit that sometimes sounds transported straight from the late-’70s-through-mid-’80s downtown punk and no wave scenes, they’re a regular gaggle of show stealers. Even as openers, they’ve been liable to immediately make everyone in the audience forget that any other bands are playing.
Right up there with them are Future Punx, a perfect amalgamation of Devo and MIDI post-punk crossed with digi-funk. Once again, they’re a great example of a band whose stellar and charming recordings are stellar and charming (and, at least in my personal playlist, on repeat all the damn time) and yet their live presence is blow-you-away better. Though their influences are clear, Future Punx are innocent of the rather frustrating crime committed by a lot of ’80s nostalgia/post-punk bands we see around town these days: carbon-copy derivativeness.
Vomitface is an interesting addition, as a band that’s always struck me as sounding like a Kurt Cobain-fronted pop-punk version of the Birthday Party, as are Gingerlys (totally irresistible dream pop), and Dreamcrusher (haunting death noise insanity).
Mommy, Urochromes, Nandas, Lackluster, Worse
Saturday January 16, 8 pm at Alphaville: $8
I can’t say enough bad (good) things about Mommy. They’re a rotten buncha noisemakers whose songs are concerned with mental decay, suicide threats, nicotine-stained fingers, and convulsing under hospital gowns– none of which seem to be put-on: their EP taps recordings of a conversation between a strained hospital employee and a patient recounting how he ended up here in the first place.
Another local outfit, Nandas, has perfected a certain marvel-inducing snot punk wine mapped over simplistic, yet wheel-shattering overdriven guitar/drum battles. Worse might surprise you at first, what with their startlingly clear vocal leanings, you’d think they were sourced straight from Western Mass or something. But no, the internet tell us they’re from our very own stomping grounds. Stare at this anomaly in wonder. We promise that you won’t be bored in the process.
Uninvited: Dominant Life, Machine Girl, Dreamcrusher, Deli Girls, Blackie
Saturday January 9, 8 pm at Trans-Pecos: $15 at the door
Prepare yourself for sensory overload– this one’s gonna be a real doozy. Each act in this tightly curated lineup ventures to the darker side of noise and electronics. It’s all dirges and doom here. Ruminate on the bleak future of our planet and the music that contemplates it.
Dominant Life (harsh no wave-ish noise) sound just like the brutal suffering their name implies, and the sounds of Machine Girl follow similarly from the outlet’s name. The band consists of an electronically-inclined mini-woman emitting a torrent of speedy blips and beats washed over with a gentle, vapor-like vocal drivel. We welcome back Deli Girls, who released a second demo this fall which showed a continuation of their commitment to netty noise (listen for those telltale Apple clicks).
Instead of hiding behind layers upon layers of distortion, Blackie feels notably intimate compared to the rest of the lineup, which almost makes what they’re selling spookier. Without anywhere to run, the experience might just be all the more rattling– and after all that forced grinning of the holidays, some serious melancholy is supremely welcome.