Saturday March 12, 8 pm at Torus Porta: $6
Trust this one’s going to be a, shall we say, intimate show– for one, it’s going down at the tiny Torus Porta space in Bushwick, and secondly, it’s going down at Torus Porta. It’s a place where weird, nudey, slimey, I guess you could call it “intimate” happenings are throbbing constantly upward toward some more enlightened psychedelic digi-future thanks to bizarro performance art collective Wild Torus. They also host music shows, but judging by experience, these are likely to be unlike any old Saturday-night thing at a dingy venue with cheap beer and even cheaper philosophies on toilet paper.
Madame Deficit, the power electronics maven outfit of one LC von Hessen, hasn’t played a show for the better part of a year, something that’s at least partially owed to the fact that she’s just released a new album, Obscure Lesions in the Unmarried. Whatever the case, we’re pleased to have the opportunity to hear once again in all her IRL glory the Madame and her “occult noise” compositions concerning “bodily abjection and psychosexual horror” as well as syphilis and sigils. (I know all about that now thanks to Genesis P-Orridge; read the B+B interview with the Psychic TV/ Throbbing Gristle frontperson here.)
And you better believe the headliner bodes well for a night chock full of dark noise channeled from the most depraved depths of hell. Spiteful Womb uses sound collage and what I can only guess is the practice of necromancy to piece together pulses of ghostly energy and heretic whirrs. While both Spreaders and Astral Knife offer varying degrees of nihilistic, live sonic crushing. Transient in Barcelona, the opener will be the splash of cold, weird mystery liquid to your face to get you fired up– they dabble in non-linear, anti-everything soundscapes that are equal parts creaking door, mushroom-tongued spoken word, stargazey guitar, and a chorus of barnyard animals.
In short, if you’re looking to get weird, then stay away. But if you’re looking to travel to the edge of sanity and possibly lose your grip on everything, you’ve found your show.
Crazy Spirit, Sadist, Warthog, Savages, Mommy, Nandas, Murderer, Spitehouse
Saturday March 12, 6 pm at Palisades: $12
Dubbed the “Punk Alley Two Year Anniversary Show,” this lineup brings together a number of derelicts from one of the local punk scenes (namely, the one that coagulates around Dawn of Humans, Toxic State Records, etc.) many of whom are either proprietors or patrons of the only flea market worth going to in Bushwick. There’s no better place to support cool people– like, we’re talking real people, not soul-cycling, boutique-owning lizard people– selling everything from band pins, used books (I recently saw at copy of Larry Clark’s Tulsa at Better Read Than Dead), junkshop trinkets, and even the occasional leather jacket. And if you’re a fan of the nasty sounds spewing forth from the torchbearers of hardcore, punk, and post-punk what-have-you who for some reason call North Brooklyn home, the Alley can help meet all your tape and vinyl record needs. Also, get to Palisades (the Alley’s neighbor venue) for the show.
The last time I saw Crazy Spirit it was a total wash, at least for the people who were so squished against the back wall in a room pushing 250 degrees they had no chance of experiencing anything beyond muffled squelching and the band’s ampheta-metal drum pace. Whatever. The point is, the band have accumulated a pretty hefty following for a group of their kind, so plan ahead. Here’s your chance (and mine) to actually have a shot at hearing Crazy Spirit’s ratchet, ricocheting style and vocal straining reminiscent of a certain special Bad Brains cadence, all hurtling speedily toward chaos.
The rest of the lineup is without a spot of meh or a bore-band in sight. Get there early, stay late, leave happy and partially but hopefully temporarily deaf. Bands include the rotten head cases of Mommy (a perfect blend of loose-screwed lead blabber, menacing bass whips, and primitive percussion pummels), Nandas (Dead Moon means Midwesty filthy punk), Savageheads (if Lemmy had gone punk), and many more. As the event page promises: “The staff bands will showcase their slight degree of competence at simple, repetitive ‘music.'” We couldn’t ask for anything better in the world.
Dust, Young Male
Wednesday March 2, 10 pm to 4 am at Nothing Changes/ Home Sweet Home: $10
Did someone say anniversary? Nothing Changes, the weekly dark sounds/noise/industrial/post-punk party at Home Sweet Home, has been around for three whole years, which in New York City time is practically well-worn. If you’ve spent much of the last few months wrapped in a number of old sweaters, and hiding from the bitter glow of the winter moon in what’s becoming a very smelly cocoon fort indeed, here’s motivation to break out those beautiful butterfly wings you’ve been marinating in stale pizza crusts and lukewarm malt liquor.
Per usual, brace yourself for Nothing Changes’ curatorial mastery of underworld sounds and hard-won places as duke at the top of the city’s post-apocalyptic dance party pile. Dust, a Brooklyn-based techno trio that includes John Barclay (owner of Bossa Nova and, more recently, restauranteur behind “date spot” Juno), will crown the night with a dark halo of danceable toxic future, grim-reaper-cyborg sounds. (The group’s January release, Agony Planet, won some kind words from critics– one noted that the new album “fit nicely” with Barclay’s “nostalgia for a time when dance music was still dangerous.”)
Young Male, a Euro-trekking, techno-bearing prince and founder of White Material records (which has an enormous cult following and has been selling out releases from the very start) promises to bring his signature subterranean electronic, industrial wasteland vibes. (If you can’t get enough, White Material is taking over Market Hotel on April 16.) You can bet the Young Male set will have an edge– the guy traces his lineage to the Providence noise scene. DJ sets by Alex from Queens and Worshippers will keep the energetic/melancholic mood afloatin’ till the wee hours of the morning.
Shilpa Ray, One Prayer One Sin, Cut Worms
Thursday March 3, 8 pm at Palisades: $10
Shilpa Ray (the BK-based singer/songwriter) presents a refreshing, eclectic take on rock music, thanks to her expansive tastes and soulful intonation. Rather than signing up to be restricted by genre or attempting to be particularly cool or of-the-moment, she’s more concerned with conveying her inner storms through bare-boned, raw as hell, sometimes razor-sharp delivery backed by whimsical takes on everything from moody blues rock to Age-of-Aquarius-revival garage and bubbly surf rock. Her songs tip toward roary anthems; Ray even recalls Joan Jett on “Johnny Thunders Fantasy Space Camp.” The stories Ray prefers to tell are done so charmingly, but they remain poignant, infused with gallows humor rather than fluffy isms. We all know exactly how Ray’s feeling when she beckons: “Let’s hang ourselves from the traffic lights.”
Ray must be pals with the good people of One Prayer One Sin, judging by her contribution of backup vocals on the band’s new track “Serpent”– a crawling, epic track featuring saxophone and flute and multiple synths in addition to traditional rock elements. The frontman belts it out like the long-expired rock stars of yesteryear (convincingly so, too), but the band manages to avoid feeling outdated, instead they’re treading ghostly waters. Which makes us wonder, what happened?