Duchess Says is the ’80s freak-wave/post-punk band you never knew you were dying for. Hailing from Montreal, they’re out to prove that Montreal’s really gaining on NYC right now in every way. And who can resist a band that sounds a whole like like what would happen if the Cars and the Slits had two babies, both born under the darkest of stars, then those babies mated with Halloween incarnate, then all the resulting offspring started a band. Yup. Picture that one.
If that’s more family tree-ing than you care to handle, then consider that Duchess’s bass lines are literally making me rip my hair out right now, that’s how fantastic they are. “You cut me in two, but I will die for more”– indeed.
Take yer pick for how best to see them when they roll into town later this week. Catch em on Friday night and you’ll be treated with Duchess Says’s official album party and two Brooklyn favs, Future Punx and Operator Music Band, plus another Canadian band (this one from Ontario), Peeling. The alternative is Saturday night at Elvis Guesthouse, which will be more of a wild card since accompanying acts are still TBA. But, hey, if surprises are your thing, you know which way to steer this party train.
Power, Honey, Barbed Wire
Thursday October 13, 8:30 pm at Alphaville: $10
This Melbourne band called Power (don’t fear their somewhat sketchy title) are the perfect ode to that big, Sons-of-the-Stooges sound coming outta the late-’70s/’80s (think: Motörhead). Trust, they’re the musical sludgesickle that I guarantee we’re all gonna be sucking on come Thursday night.
It’s hard to imagine a more perfect hometown backup for Power than Honey and Barbed Wire. The former have a similar devotion to mucky rock, proto-punk filth, and the same such bravery that inspires one to spread dollops of psych over top their muscle-rock whenever they so please.
Barbed Wire, on the other hand dwell in a post-hair metal/proto-cock-rock nether region that you’re only likely to find in the dark, dusty corners of up-North-somewhere bowling alleys and forever stuck inside a pickup-truck tape player.
B L A C K I E, Juiceboxxx, Negashi Armada
Saturday October 15, 11:59 pm at the Silent Barn: $8
Complete and utter catharsis is what a body craves right now– I mean, need we even mention the collapsing Republic? The crumbling divide between evil and decency? B L A C K I E is the no-holds-bar experimental, all-out human meltdown that such cruddy circumstances call for.
“A vulture rises it turns itself into a fist,
A vulture rises it told me it’s name was injustice”
Skin Lies, Byron Westbrook, Matt Nelson, Masma Dream World
Monday October 24, 8 pm at Trans-Pecos: $8
Hypnotic, trance-inducing, otherworldly– all these things are descriptors befitting the music of Masma Dream World. Their unconventional blend of stripped-down drum beats– everything from gongs to orchestral strings, warped and unpredictable rhythms, and ghostly vocals– might remind you of an earlier obsession with something called “trip-hop.” But don’t be fooled by a label as simplistic as that one, there’s something a lot stranger and dare we say haunted about these Masma newcomers.
Hey, I know this dude. Skin Lies is just the latest effort that hyper-productive music man Dustin Krcatovich can add to his dangly necklace full of sonic doodads, shrunken heads, and power crystals. He was raised on the mean streets of Michigan, and possibly even Detroit (or at least near Detroit, I can’t remember exactly)– that’s Detroit before Detroit was, you know, a cool place for LA people to take off to for six months to a year of shutup-mom-and-dad-I’m-just-finding-myself-as-an-artist (depending on their tolerance for snow shoveling). Krcatovich is now taking it easy in a city that can actually provide essential services to its residents: Portland, Oregon.
The only way I can accurately describe Krcatovich’s output without expending too much of my own precious energy is to tell you that it’s multifarious, cross-genre’d and all that. Basically he’s a record-collecting music dork of the first order, and has flourished in everything from punk bands to psych outfits, forays into deconstructed pop, and now, with Skin Lies, he’s venturing toward that great floating orb in the sky which we know as Eno. And that’s not just in the dreamy ambience of each track, replete with synthesizer sounds that vibrate with the same ethereal beauty as really friggin’ huge jellyfish. But Krcatovich says that he’s taken this devotion a step further and has used Eno’s Oblique Strategies to produce each and every track.