Friday, July 8, 8 pm at the Acheron: $15.
In honor of the Acheron and the punk scene it has put up with, fed/clothed, and sated for the last six years, the East Williamsburg venue (which is closing due to a struggle with their insurance company) is gathering up its biddies and besties to bid farewell to its hallowed walls. As the venue’s co-owner Bill Dozer promised, they’re filling up the last stretch with a bunch of benefits, including their very last night of business which is dedicated to the family of Brandon Ferrell (former drummer for Municipal Waste), a local musician and friend of everyone, apparently. All profits and bar sales from the show are going to the family, so you can feel good about getting super, super sloshed at the Acheron’s last hurrah.
You won’t feel bad about shelling out 15 big ones for the show either because, hey, we repeat– this is the last punk show at the Acheron, featuring four sick bands. If experience tells you that the best way to say goodbye to a show-spot closing due to interventions by corporate-piggy filth is by ripping out the drywall and destroying everything, including those little plastic thingies that make the soap dispenser dispense usually nothing at all, just keep in mind you *probably* don’t wanna engage in such behavior here, seeing that the Anchored Inn is holding on to the Acheron’s space. But Aspects of War will serve as a similar sort of psychological outlet with their speedy, ratchet-as-all-hell ball-pit style mayhem that they claim is “music.”
Of course the last show at the Acheron wouldn’t feel right without Warthog, the totally bonkers hardcore outfit that’s sorta defining the NYC punk sound right now. We’ll also hear from Indignation, a brand new punk assemblage. Word on the street is that the band plucks from some beloved outfits, near and far, Nomad and Infernoh (Swedish D-beat) among them. It’s all kinda perfect, especially for a show bringing the old (if “old” means having to remind people you’re of legal drinking age now) and new together under a certain roof for the very last time.
You are Here Festival: Trouble Maze
Thursday, June 30 through Monday, July 4, 7 pm to 12 am at Knockdown Center: $10 in advance, $15 at the door.
Knockdown Center recently obtained their liquor license (!!!), so happenings inside the ol’ door factory just got a whole lot more fun. Knock em dead you booze hounds, you! And that’s not to say that you need to get liquored up to have fun or anything, but art shows and music events are certainly not less fun with booze! Unless of course you’re one of the approximately 10 million other doggonit millennials who reportedly prefer juice crawls to actual crawling toward the toilet, in which case, sure, bemoan the loss of another place to sober day-rave. But hey, if it’s any consolation, we’re guessing there’s gonna be Club Mate there too. (That’s pronounced K-a Lube Mayday for all you non-native German speakers out there.) This is, after all, a Trans-Pecos supported event.
As such, Sam Hillmer is gonna be there, and everywhere apparently this summer (be sure to check out his hand-picked music series at the SculptureCenter in Long Island City while there’s still some month-of-June dangling left in you), under his collaborative moniker with sculptor Laura Paris, Trouble. Once every couple of years, Trouble organizes You are Here, aka “The Maze,” in NYC (it’s traveled around elsewhere too– Berlin, Chicago), and this time they have a sprawling space
Because this is a Sam Hillmer affair we’re talking about, You are Here isn’t just any old festival thing where you pay $150 to sludge around a puddle of mud and hope to god you’re not the next person that overdoses in the porta-potty. (Yep, I’ve heard that it’s possible to OD on fun.) Laura Paris has designed a maze to be erected inside the Knockdown Center, and the organizers say that the structure is going to be bigger and crazier than in years prior. In this case, the incentive isn’t actually cheese (we don’t think), but live music “accompanied by light, projections, sound, sculpture, and of course, a myriad of performance and time-based arts events” scattered throughout the space. Which, we guess is the next best thing.
And the week-long lineup that changes on a daily basis, as you might have guessed, is pretty insane. The first iteration kicks off Thursday, June 30 (7 pm to 12 am) with Venus X, DJ and founder of Ghe20Goth1k, the legendary underground party/ personal brand/way of life, which has somehow managed to maintain its all-the-rage-ness for the better part of a decade now. Even if she did say fuck it at one point (after some dumbs wrongly declared Rihanna the originator of “ghetto gothic”), it’s clear Venus X isn’t going nowhere.
In fact, Ghe20Goth1k is expanding, having recently launched a record label with their inaugural release, Fuck Marry Kill (which premiered on June 17), and by taking their showboat on the road to LA n such. All of which just goes to show that Venus X is still one of the people working hardest to make the dance music scene interesting again.
The bill also makes room for Unstoppable Death Machines, whose harsh noise rock sounds exactly like what their name implies– which should give you a pretty representative taste of what the rest of the fest entails (i.e. totally unpredictable, yet complimentary acts, Hillmer’s baguette-and-butter). UDM, if we had to make a comparison, are like Lightning Bolt, if that band were playing with blown-out speakers, making for a constant drone of feedback and rawwwk noise– a purgatorial wash experienced otherwise only in some state of afterlife bliss.
There’s more to come from You Are Here continuing on through the first week in July, including Arto Lindsay (July 1), Horselover Fats (July 2), and Princevalie (7/3). See the full lineup over yonder.
Summer Scum 5
Saturday, July 9 and Sunday, July 10, 2 pm to 11 pm at Trans-Pecos: $25 one-day passes, $40 two-day passes.
It’s hard to imagine how this show, logistically anyway, would even be permissible under the laws of physics. We’re talking two days, 52 bands squeezed into the wee confines of Trans-Pecos, and sets lasting no more than 15 minutes a pop. The sheer weight of the bands alone, including all their equipment (plus at least a few underground-sized egos), could easily lead to the buckling of some support beams and the venue’s collapsing in on itself. Inevitably, a black hole would form at the center of this writhing, spark-spurting, drum-pummeling rubble pit of angst and macabre tendencies, and swallow up everyone in the vicinity. Only a few dusty artifacts would remain, only to be dug up in the Sonoran desert a century later.
Since this is the fifth and apparently very last iteration of Summer Scum, this could very well be the organizers’ wicked intention.
Then again, Ascetic House– the label/art collective/death cult behind Summer Scum, the recurring seasonal celebration of bleak rock and noise varietals that culminates in a limited-run compilation tape– is sort of known for having supernatural abilities. As a record company, they’ve managed to remain somewhat mysterious– er, insofar as a tape label/publishing unit under the tutelage of some pretty well-known musicians (to name a few: Christopher Hansell of Warthog, J.S. Aurelius, and Ryan Sawyer— drummer for Thurston Moore Band, constant collaborator, and formerly of At The Drive In) can actually qualify as underground. But what does “underground” even really mean these days, in our extensively internetted world? Shrugs abound. Basically, Ascetic eschews the worst of all that “branding” mumbo-jumbo in favor of focusing on the art– which in the end alway trumps horn-tootin’ anyway.
Ascetic might be more than a little enigmatic, but their roster includes bands that are immediately recognizable to those of us who are partial to post-punk-leaning, minimal/dark techno, and doom-filled, gritty noise– Marshstepper (leather-loving techno-crats), Iceage, and Destruction Unit (a band known for their ability to send showgoers home in body bags). Or, simply put, they focus on artists making interesting music with an anti-rock philosophy. The result is the spiritual opposite of indie, an assassin sworn to kill twee’s spirit animal dead in its tracks.
Bands at this show include Ligature, Pharmakon, Human Beast, Lettera 22 (brought to us from Italy), Secret Boyfriend, Puce Mary, uh and literally 46 more. So either get ready to rumble, or face your fate and welcome your inevitable transformation to dust. Don’t worry about the mess, we’re sure someone will send in a Roomba or something to tidy things up when the shrapnel finally settles.
Tags: and Beyond, Art + Culture, Ascetic House, bands, Bushwick, east williamsburg, ghe20goth1k, knockdown center, live music, lydia lunch, maspeth, music, Pharmakon, Pissed Jeans, Puce Mary, ridgewood, Sam Hillmer, shows, Summer Scum, the acheron, the maze, trans-pecos, Trouble, unstoppable death machines, venus x, You Are Here Festival