Video Daughters, Quin Galavis, 2;Frail, Drome
Wednesday November 16, 8 pm at Alphaville: $8
The good people at Alphaville haven’t been mincing words about their views on the election, that’s for sure. Actions, of course, scream louder than words, but music, also, is technically much louder than chatter. Thankfully, there’s the grinding, cathartic freakout music of Video Daughters to help bridge the gap. See them in person and it might just be the energy jolt that so many of us so badly need to pull ourselves out of this Trump Slump before we’re sucked down further than our current near-hopeless position of in-chin-deep.
Quin Galavis, a music man out of Austin, fulfills similar urges, but with his doom-filled words. If uplifting is what you’re after, you can show yourself to the door, because Galavis spares no bit of spiteful reality with his dark-folk songs that dwell somewhere between endless pain and “crushing darkness.” Sounds about right, unfortunately.
On top of that, showgoers will be blessed with 2;Frail‘s “darkgaze,” which the artist clarifies sounds like “post-punk x shoe gaze.” The only way to precisely describe the music of Drome, on the other hand, is to open up your cabinets and, one by one, methodically extract every dish, pan, pot, and salad spinner you own and make a bonfire of metallic racket by bashing everything to bits. I’m only sorta close in saying that their music is off-kilter, ear-bashing, wave-less anarchy, all smushy and smashed to its core, with electrical wires pulled out and scattered everywhere.
Plain Dog, Hellbirds, The Wants
Wednesday November 16, 8 pm at Elvis Guest House: FREE
Brand new is what you want? Then brand new is what you’ll get, as long as you make your way to Elvis Guest House tomorrow evening. (As in, new bands– not Brand New, those emos from Long Island.) Look out for The Wants, a fresh-faced band debuting that which they’ve found wanting. Though they have declined yet to call attention to their recordings (though we are confident they do, in fact, exist) we do know that they share at least one member with Total Slacker. But their Soundcloud page is full of hints as to what– or should I say, want– kind of new sounds they’re going to be sharing with their very first audience ever tomorrow evening. Their picks include the Birthday Party, Suburban Lawns, Arthur Russell, the Slits, Future Punx, James Chance, and the Au Paris, among others. As far as mood boards go, we’re into it.
We’ll go ahead and count Hellbirds as brand new-ish too, since the band is very likely playing some new material (i.e. stuff that’s not on the internet yet). And hey, if not, you’ll be treated to a set’s worth of their “mashup of the Beatles’ Strawberry Fields and Beach Boys Good Vibrations” (listen below, if you dare).
The headliners, a group called Plain Dog, have been chomping their way around the Brooklyn DIY scene for a hot minute now, but we’re gonna go ahead and squeeze them into this brand new category too, because their “Cherry Cola” video will no doubt give you a new lease on life. Yeah, there’s a stoner girl in a backwards hat dumping jelly beans on her face– it’s that precious.
The Big Moon, Terribly Yours
Thursday November 17, 7 pm at Elvis Guest House: $10
If you’re in the mood for some slicked-down psych pop from London Town, the Big Moon is it. Really, though, how could you go wrong with a band named for the OG troll move that involves dropping your pants and surprising someone not with your big, beautiful eyes, but with the blobby dead-gaze of your rear end? The answer is, there’s no way possible way you can.
Terribly Yours will be there playing for the home team in the opening slot. Their singer-centric, synth-powered pop tunes are a little bit heartfelt and a lotta bit dreary, with tracks ranging from the more down-beat varietals deserving of whispery snow drifts, to pop-top, get-outta-bed, sing-a-long ready ditties that are sticky enough to stay with you.
Best of all, there’s a chance that the headliners will play their perfect cover of Madonna’s “Beautiful Stranger.” This notched-up, rock-n-rollier version from the Moon girls is so good that it almost makes you forget it’s a Madge original. Whatever your taste, there’s no arguing with the fact that it’s the very same song that made the Austin Powers soundtrack, which somehow seems wildly appropriate given the band’s booty-centric name, and therefore begs the question: Does the Big Moon make you you randy?
The Britanys, Navy Gangs
Friday November 18, 10:30 pm at Rough Trade: $12
There’s something about the Britanys–who describe themselves rather simply as just “a band from Bushwick”–that feels straight out of another era. And by “something,” I mean absolutely everything. Take a listen, and it’s immediately apparent that these guys grew up idolizing the downtown indie rock movement of the early aughts, probably starry-eyed for stylishly lo-fi bands like the Strokes, and very likely drooling over post-punk revivalists like Interpol. NME really wasn’t far off in declaring them “New York’s New Strokes” recently (and, yes, the Britanys have really nice hair, too).
It’s clearer to me hat these Britanys boys straight-up worshipped the scene that was thriving in London around the same time. When I first heard them, I was all: “Huh, this is just some Libertines track I’ve never heard, yes?” Nope, as it turns out. Maybe that mic effect just makes everyone sound like they have a Cockney accent?
No doubt that Strokesy sound still holds up after all these years, but the problem of listening to the Strokes per se, in public (or around any other humans, let’s be real), is having to stomach the same kind of smirks and smug remarks that are deserving of dudes still wearing off-kilter fedoras with wrinkly blazers and dress shoes. Ok, so it’s not exactly what the cool 18-year-olds in fuzzy sweaters and iridescent platform sneakers with built-in wifi hotspots are doing, but what do those kids know about real life anyway? By the time all of us are gone– I mean those of us who can actually remember when Is This It came out– there will be no petroleum left to pump into all those synthetic fabrics anyway. And, like, Donald Trump Jr. will be awaiting coronation as Supreme American Man King or something.
Certainly not everyone looks back on that period with such fondness, so for those of us who do, there’s now a way to revel in nostalgia without feeling too embarrassed about it. The Navy Gangs, a band that’s a bit on the punkier side of too-cool/don’t-care, will be there to help quell that dizzying feeling that comes with knowing time is slipping away from you faster and faster. Cheers to the end, blokes.