Arto Lindsay Noise Quartet, Celestial Shore, Zula
Tuesday February 16, 8 pm at Trans-Pecos: $10
Arto Lindsay, the tireless no-wave guitar legend who’s been called “the perfect New Yorker” (by the New Yorker, no less), is well on his way into his 60s. And it’s true that DNA spent only a brief time on this earth, shredding weirdness at Max’s Kansas City and closing out the B side of Brian Eno’s nothing less than perfect glimpse of that particular scene, No New York (1978). But the dude is still doing all sorts of wonderful and new things in the New York music scene that keep him relevant and has been, pretty much without stopping, since the ’70s. Last fall, Lindsay showed the kids what was up when he played with seminal Brooklyn weirdos PC Worship, and in 2014 he dropped a compilation spanning his career (Encyclopedia of Arto) which, by many accounts, was all too modest and left us drooling for more.
But maybe that’s because Arto’s still got a lot left to do before he says, “Bye, Earth,” and there’s not even a hint of joining some of his contemporaries in the washed-up ranks. Go see Arto do his noisy worst this week when he’ll have the backing of the Noise Quartet, which consists of a pair of drumming Gregs (one is a founding member of Deerhoof, the other Liturgy’s drummer) and Ofir Ganon (the Brooklyn-based composer) joining Lindsay on guitar.
Ghastly City Sleep, Baked, Giant Peach, Cold Sweats
Wednesday February 17, 8 pm at Alphaville: $8
Certain bands these days are skilled at tapping into very particular trendy nostalgic tendencies (oh, say, 80’s dark wave and goth) and mapping them onto a purely pop intuition. Ghastly City Sleep definitely tend toward that trendy tapping, what can at first seem like a transparent attempt to rope in hip audiences, or just a desperate ploy to get rich or something. But give them more than one ear, and you’ll find there’s something bizarrely attractive about their bedroom-eyed, lusty rapture. It’s unabashedly cheesy at times, but strange and disorienting pop music that sticks out from the seemingly endless waves of hollow copycat garbage beating against our eardrums. Oh, and expect plenty of new music from these guys coz technically this is the occasion of their record release for Lulling Skulls.
As equally languid as they may be, Baked are on a totally different tip. By blending garage with a lonely, distant sing-song lead, it’s perfect music for when you’re far from happy, but don’t want miserable company either. Giant Peach, like their leading brethren, are sort of throwback, but they’ve decided to stop at the doorstep of the mid-’90s. Their pop-punk songs are equally influenced by Green Day as a slew of one-hit wonder bands that grunge popped their way through the soundtracks to 90’s teenaged girl power movies. Cold Sweats round out the bill nicely with their slightly grittier sound made of self-deprecating, eye-bulging roars and plenty of cymbal crashes to go around– they’re too clear-cut to earn any Jesus Lizard comparisons, but you can definitely see where they’re headed if they let things unravel a little more.
Field Guides, Flat Mary Road, Ben Seretan, Rose Blanshei
Friday February 19, 7:45 pm at C’mon Everybody: $10
I had the pleasure of seeing Field Guides play a live set in an office space for a hand full of people. It was hard to believe all those florescent lights and white, white walls didn’t drive them to run out of the building screaming. Instead, they played a really charming, folky indie rock set complete with a shruti box— all you gotta know is that it’s a malleable music box. Sure, there are flashes of twee (excuse them, they’re a Brooklyn band last I checked), but stellar musicianship and songwriting abilities place them as standouts. And in the darkest, coldest depths of winter, it’s essential to connect with sounds and sometimes tanning beds that trick you into thinking nature is occasionally hospitable. One of those is definitely healthier than the other.
Flat Mary Road also teeter along that folk edge, but like the former, their twangy vocals that “borrow from Appalachian folk and radio announcers” don’t just stand on their own holding out for novelty value, there’s reliable rock to back it.
The Men, Ora Iso, Cheena, Kyle Keays
Saturday February 20, 8 pm at Trans-Pecos: $8
When The Men take the stage at Trans-Pecos this week, it will be exactly seven years since the date they played their first show. And the band (whose members admit they’re “quickly graying”) have come a long way since their 2009 debut. The noisier beginnings of The Men are a far cry from their almost washed-out, muffled yet melodic rock of now (as heard on their most recent release, the appropriately named Waveless) that’s almost post-punk in its iciness. It’s a career that spans hot and cold, but The Men’s live act remains as stirring as ever.
Judging by the rest of the lineup, The Men will be at their shreddiest. Cheena‘s garagey, 70’s-revival noise rock will be on full display, as will sounds by Ora Iso, a twisted avant-duo that takes the best of Kim Gordon’s vocals over Sonic Youth’s nihilistic noise rot, breaking it down into its constituent parts and peeling back the feedback wash, revealing the rest of what’s hiding underneath to be strikingly deranged. It’s all so very I’m-off-my-meds.