B Boys (Photo via Baby's All Right)

B Boys and who? (Photo via Baby’s All Right/ Photoshop trix by Nicole Disser)

Secret Show 
Wednesday, Jan. 27, 10 pm at Baby’s All Right: $15 at the door

We’re not really all that into surprises. The chances of looking your birthday best after busting open your apartment door to find a surprise party are pretty low, especially considering it’s the one day each year that you leave your pants unbuttoned all the way from the dollar slice place back home. And let’s be real, those grab-bag things are usually filled with plastic dinosaurs, expired condoms, and airplane bottles, anyway– things only a child could love. But when Baby’s All Right threw another one of these secret shows back in December, they gifted us Blood Orange. And even though it would be kind of a not-surprise surprise, we’d be totally cool with another Blood Orange show.

Besides the presence of B Boys, who jam out to a pleasant blend of early ’80s Tom Verlaine and a slightly grittier interpretation of New Wave pluckiness

Call us crazy, but another hunch is gnawing at us: Scott Stapp of Creed is officially on tour– chest bumpin‘, gun flexing, eliciting tongue lolls, and growling his way to heaven– he already hit up Webster Hall last week as part of his #ProofOfLifeTour. In light of the 40 feet of snow that god pooped on us, it’s highly likely that the Christian rocker is still stuck in the Tri-State area. No? Well, we do know for sure that Scott Stapp played a show in Hartford, Connecticut on Saturday. But is it possible he’s looping back to take us higher? Take the grab bag challenge and find out.

(Flyer via the Silent Barn/ photo: Richard Lenz)

(Flyer via the Silent Barn/ photo: Richard Lenz)

Richard Papiercuts, Rathaus, Rodenticide, Talibam

Wednesday January 27, 8 pm at the Silent Barn: $8

Richard Papiercuts (who dropped a new album If this past fall) is comfortable working in a several disparate register– an even more vaudevillian take on Nick Cave, a less winey Morrissey, and early aughts falsetto-ized indie rocks (are just a few). If the guy can channel this much energy through recordings, and if he’s maintained anything of that fuzzy dirt punk sound from his old band, The Chinese Restaurants (circa 2010), then we’re confident this set alone will be worth a stop by (especially if you’re not having any of that surprise show).

Speaking of ratty punk, Rathaus brings the pain. If you can get past the red herring that is their neon album cover look (that sort of reminds us of a poor man’s take on “Dooo It!”– but whatever, cheers to anything that goes against the grain of the typical punk aesthetic).

We don’t have very much at all to go on for Rodenticide (a relatively new band that had their first show almost a year ago exactly) but what we can see looks like some perfectly rotten, sax-fueled No Wave.

(Flyer via Palisades / Facebook)

(Flyer via Palisades / Facebook)

Baked, Bueno, Very Fresh, Trickstar
Thursday, Jan. 28, 8 pm at Palisades: $5

The headliners at this one are, like, just what anyone with serious Vitamin D and drug money deficiencies needs right now. Because the staff at Baked are a groovy blend of liquid sunshine and gooey, metaphorical THC (hence their name, guys…). You don’t have to use much of your brain to enjoy their surfy vibes and faded sadness but if you do feel like flexing your ears, go ahead– you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

Bueno, a qt burb band from Staten Island, contributed a charming Talking Heads-esque ripper to a comp benefitting Planned Parenthood and dropped a 7″ (Assed Out) featuring a wilted George Costanza, which means we like them already. Very Fresh will deliver on their brand of pop rock while the opening act, Trickstar, will ration out quirky folk nibbles to the early birds.

(Flyer via Alphaville / by Sara Abruña of JJ Doll)

(Flyer via Alphaville / by Sara Abruña of JJ Doll)

Cheena, Latishia’s Skull Drawing, JJ Doll, Ursula, Haram
Friday January 29, 8 pm at Alphaville: $10

The part of this lineup that’s really tuggin’ at our coattails is Haram, an Arabic-speaking punk band from NYC. The band, whose name translates to “forbidden,” dropped some classic growly punk demos this fall. Now, of course punk-in-any-language-other-than-English has a certain novelty value to it– but in this case, not only is Haram’s sound right on, but given the oppression and gross misunderstanding faced by many an Arabic speaker these days (in this country and all over the damn West and anywhere the West reaches its imperialist tentacles) we’re really curious about what they’re saying. Probz the easiest way for us non-Arabic-speaking ignoramusi to find out, is to get to this show and ask around.

Yay, JJ Doll finally has some demos out– lap em up here. A warning for the soft-of-heart– they’re raw as hell. But damn, would we have it any other way? Streaked with maniacal cackles and menacing squeals emitted from the band’s central forced, frontsman Sara Abruña.

We’re already familiar and smitten with local bluesy-punk outfit Cheena. But looking super forward to two visiting acts: Montreal punk band Ursula brings speedy, chitter-chatter vocals that are unabashedly weird; Latishia’s Skull Drawing, the rotten-to-the-core, put-that-rabid-dog-on-a-damn-leash  bi-city band from Philly & Providence).