Fat White Family
Tuesday September 6, 11:59 pm at Saint Vitus: $10
If you left town this weekend, chances are your brain’s feelin’ a little fried right about now. Depending on where you went, your gait might might be a little sluggish on top of that. Understandably so, there’s always that reverse culture shock when you come back to the Big City after spending time abroad where strangers are always trying to cramp your speedy style by attempting to engage you in something called a “chat,” and where time in general seems to pass at the speed of rock formation. The quickest way to jumpstart your recovery is to get to an IRL event that throttles you back to life and reminds you why you live in this rat-infested city in the first place.
Fat White Family may not be, like, a New York City band or anything (they’re from London, actually) but their particularly off-kilter brand of rock music fits our humble city like a sorta dirty, charm-b’dangled ornamental glove. There’s an opening band TBA– which will be a pleasant surprise, to be sure–but really it doesn’t matter who’s preceding FWF because their psyched-out, occasionally garage, experimental rock is entertainment plenty.
Even if you’re not super familiar, FWF will get anybody with good taste a’grooving, with a variety of influences sputtering forth from their full-length debut, Champagne Holocaust. They’re a perfect antidote for the boring, bloated, overly pepped-up West Coast garage that’s dominating straightforward-ish rock music right now. Instead, they prefer to add a lotta bit Country Teasers, a little bit of kraut, coat it in some seriously thick Frank Zappa influences, and stinking of Captain Beefheart– whatever it is, they’re guaranteed to send 100-percent wild weirdness coursing through your veins. Welcome back, kids.
Wooden Indian Burial Ground, Zipper Club, Mustardmind
Wednesday September 7, 8 pm at Berlin: $10
But hey, maybe straight-up garage psych sounds is kinda your thing. No judgement. We’ve got just the show for you. Straight outta Portland is Wooden Indian Burial Ground, which might sound an awful lot like another John Dwyer project. They’re not, but we’ll take it– Thee Oh Sees-type spirit is all there: psycho-psych guitar riffs, yip-yipping acid-surf vocals. But WIBG have the addition of stoned-out instrumental meditations and whimsical explorations that demonstrate they’re out for much more than a cute pop ditty.
Zipper Club, on the other hand, are unabashedly in pursuit of alt-pop idolatry. The bicoastal group straddle the LA/NYC space continuum with a little flashback vibe too– their songs could have easily made the cut for the Cruel Intentions soundtrack had they been penned pre-Y2k. It’s a ‘tude that portends a whole new sort of ’90s tripping, edging toward the harsh highlight-streaks rendered through a glittery, soft-lensed instant-camera effect, and the tentative, light lavender and silver-hued AOL Instant Messenger fantasy land of the deeply confused early-aughts.
Bstfrnd, Koncept Jack$on, Ozark, Pink Siifu
Thursday September 9, 9:30 pm at the Silent Barn: $8
The bi-coastal lineup at this Thursday-night show promises to bring some “next-level slaps” from a slew of ambient, R&B, and hip-hop acts. We’re not exactly sure what said slap fest will entail– some band-on-audience spank-play doled out by a drum kit outfitted with giant Mickey Mouse gloves? Will someone unleash a swarm of flies on the venue, inspiring showgoers to flail around like so many angry horse tails whipping at the air? Hard to know. But given the high caliber of sounds on deck, we’re willing to take a chance.
Earlier this year, the LA-based rapper/producer Pink Siifu put out twothousandnine, a collab record with another artist, Swarvy, which at least one critic dubbed “one of, if not the, best albums of 2016.” The hip-hop/R&B album combines original live instrumentals and samples ranging from the groovy to downright spacey but it’s Siifu’s vocals– ranging from self-reflective raps to lovelorn crooning– that lend twothousandnine its memorably futuristic aura. The album’s stylistic features also serve as a reminder that the most interesting music right now (and art in general) ignores the self-imposed is/isn’t boundaries of the past. Sure, the products of these free-flowing endeavors might be a little bit harder to define, but that’s sort of the point.
The headliner, producer Bstfrnd, is just as equal-opportunity when it comes to the array of sampling influences– smooth jazz, soul, funk– that make their way into a sonic tableau that’s perfectly suited for your next “astral journey.” But hold up, he’s from Richmond? Yep, apparently there’s a “flourishing rap scene” in Virginia’s capital. And Koncept Jack$on is just one of the artists who’s dedicated to “old-school vibes remixed with new-school spirit.”
The Crack Rock Steady 7, Miscegenator, Joey Steel & the Attitude Adjusters
Saturday September 10, 8 pm at Aviv: probably $8
Chances are you’re as depressed as we are to hear about the loss of Aviv, the Greenpoint DIY venue that opened less than two years ago.
Certainly, DIY venues are part of an ever-changing and rather fast moving cycle– the places that we spend every weekend at and that come to define the Brooklyn music scene and serve as the informal home bases for whole cultural movements can disappear overnight, sometimes without warning, even when they seem more legit than most (as was the case with Palisades). We should be used to this by now, but when Aviv announced they’d be closing their current location at the end of October, it was still a little tough to swallow.
On the brighter side, the venue partners have promised that “a ton of amazing farewell shows” are on the way. It’s a little early to call this Aviv’s final stretch, but the venue’s regular lineups are testament to how important Aviv has become to the city’s live music scene. This show features The Crack Rock Steady 7— a crust punk band descended from Choking Victim (one of the NYC scene originals that got together in the early ’90s), it includes half of Leftover Crack’s present lineup (Alec Baillie on bass and Scott Sturgeon on lead vocals) plus one ex-member, Ezra Crack.
Chances are you’re familiar with the music by way of the Kanye/Leftover Crack mashup– no? Then perhaps you recall the band from their numerous run-ins with the NYPD in the early aughts, when the police were allegedly doing everything they could to shut down the band’s shows. That might have had something to do with the fact that one of the band’s classics, “One Dead Cop,” repeatedly beckons people to help in the effort to “Kill Cops” and that in 2008 Sturgeon was arrested for throwing doughnuts at the cops during a protest. So even if this kind of aging crust isn’t really music to your ears, there’s no doubt the show’s going to be entertaining on some level.
Miscegenator offers a more current approach to d-beat/crust, which has (thankfully) long shed its NOFX-y ska vibes in favor of a rawer, more ground-down thrash that’s more likely to end in black eyes and bruises than sing-along acoustic sets.
A rather unusual punk band, Joey Steel & the Attitude Adjusters, on the other hand, headed in the completely opposite direction and elaborated further on the whole ska thing, going for what they call “hardcore soul” and “Motown punk”– but to the untrained ear it might sound more like a brutal downpour of drums anchoring an eardrum-bursting onslaught of discordant brass. There’s one more band TBA, so stay tuned.