LA is invading Brooklyn with an installment of School Night!, a weekday showcase featuring cool bands and presumably some awkward schoolgirl attire, put on by Chris Douridas of LA’s coolest college radio station KCRW.
RSVP and get in the door free before 9:30 pm. After that you’re on your own– even so, the show will only put you out $5. Brooklyn Brewery has volunteered to play the coolest lunch lady ever and hand out free beer, which you too can partake in as long as you can get your butt in the door between 7 pm and 8 pm.
The main attraction here, duh, is Mannequin Pussy, a righteous noise punk band out of Philly. If you’re feeling all “Ugh Monday, seriously? Why would I leave my home?” keep in mind that their set is bound to jolt you outta your La-Z-Boy mood.
One might assume that Active Bird Community–judging by a certain band photo anyway, in which four strapping young men with unique hairstyles pose with a grim, wintery lake-scape scene at their backs– are from somewhere super bleak like, I dunno, Idaho. Or, perhaps– if you’re even willing to imagine such horror–Kansas. Their emo-tinged indie rock might feel quaint at first too, what with ABC’s taste for sweet-but-not-twee songs written from the perspective of “a boy” (as opposed to “a dude” or “a monster) with a capacity for wistful meanderings and a wispy sort of gentleness. All of which indicates a musical upbringing that feels very Flyover State– with whiffs of Modest Mouse, Pavement, and mediocre alternative radio rock lurking somewhere in ABC’s collective songwriting psyche. Which, you know, is what it is– but ABC has tons of pop intelligence to go around, and that’s saying something for a band that’s still making their own tapes. Spoiler alert: they’re actually from Brooklyn.
Speaking of catchy tunes, QTY are dropping a new EP, Dress/Undress, that’s presumably full of them. It seems like a good time to tell you that, yes indeed, QTY are a boy/girl, duet-loving couple band, and as their name indicates the two seem quite smitten. But don’t take a knife to your ears just yet– these two don’t fall into the boring, depressing trap of the gender binary and mirror hideous stereotypes– see: Serge Gainsbourg and Jane Birkin– in a manner that’s filthy and yet totally irresistible. These kids are true millennials with their more fluid take on the musical couplet tradition. Let’s just hope that it’s later rather than sooner that they find out that love is like a pretty flower– no matter how much you preen it, inevitably the thing’s gonna either a) die and get thrown out with yesterday’s trash, b) dry out and become a much less appealing, totally un-fun and somewhat musty, dust-prone version of its former self, and/or c) even if you plant it in a garden, some rando rat lurking around your house will eat it whole.
Come Down to Us, Spoilground, Blood Club, The Center & Cal Fish
Wednesday March 1, 8 pm at The Silent Barn: $8
Spooky, meditative, ethereal are the kind of words that pop into your brain when listening to Blood Club. Calling Liana Hell Lean’s music “bedroom pop” would be downplaying the array of weirdness that goes into these tracks, but it definitely seems like an appropriate setting– somewhere dark and hermetic, but above all cozy, where experimentation flows free without catching on pesky things like self-consciousness or anxiety. It’s not as if it sounds like Lean made this stuff just for their own private listening purposes, but instead managed to swallow up the boundless comfort and freedom contained in each of our rooms, and spittle it up in graceful sonic form. Try Blood Club on– it’s a bit like wrapping yourself in a fuzzy blanket and doing whatever it is you wanna do.
A Place to Bury Strangers, Oneida, Yvette
Friday March 3, 8 pm at Villain: $15
Our dearly departed Death By Audio may be gone, but the late DIY venue’s band-in-residence A Place to Bury Strangers is still going strong. Right after DBA shuttered, which in many ways marked an end to any remaining and all underground flavor Williamsburg had left, APTBS took a sort of break. Understandably, they needed some room to breathe after an intense three-month-long marathon of near nightly shows featuring packed lineups and a packed house full of art installations, regulars and newbies alike, all of it and everyone bubbling over with ferocious bitterness, tenacity, and a weird kind of end-times joy. No wonder that when the band finally got back together their next album, Transfixiation, was maybe their best.
That was back in 2015– since then, they’ve released a track for the social justice fundraising project Our First Hundred Days but aside from live shows and, now, Death March– their spring tour with the Black Angels– we haven’t heard much in the way of new material. So something must be cooking, right? And the fact that this Friday night show is going down at Villain, a slick Williamsburg venue and event space situated just a few blocks north of DBA’s resting place (aka the new VICE offices), seems somehow prophetic.
The Girls Room 3.0
Saturday March 4, 9 pm to 2 am at Knockdown Center: $10
Bronx-based rapper Quay Dash made quite the splash last summer with her track “Willin” which she called “a big fuck you to transphobia.” That might sound hard to top, but Dash ran with the theme and in September dropped a full EP dedicated to the theme of trans oppression titled, Transphobic.
The Girls Room, a cyclical party put on by a slew of talented women and queer musicians who occupy the spectrum between hardcore avant/out-there electronic music and underground trap-tinged dance, embodies that same fierceness. The organizers promise 3.0 is “our nastiest lineup yet”- with Dash herself as the headliner (she’s got a new mixtape on the way too), and a whole lot of party from Detroit techno compliments of DJ Abby to C4L0R3 another NYC rapper/producer who describes her style as “jet-set dipset eye of the tiger, speed of the puma.”
Translation: this is gonna be ratchet, for sure. The obvious choice for a venue was Knockdown Center. With its sprawling, near-campus sized grounds, there’s plenty of room to get your freak on. But it’s all the more satisfying knowing that a party such as this is going down right in the middle of uber-conservative Maspeth, Queens.