Concert for Immigration Rights: Glasser, Underground System, Tigue, Elena Moon Park & Friends, Ashley Bathgate, and Ljova
Wednesday March 22, doors 7 pm at Le Poisson Rouge: $25
Le Poisson Rouge is hosting a benefit this week for the New York Immigration Coalition, which is cool. As you might expect, they’ve put together an eclectic lineup to help rake in the cash for a chill cause: defending immigrants rights. Funds are going directly to the New York Immigration Coalition (NYIC) which provides services that LPR says are “particularly crucial in the wake of the recent presidential executive actions.” Hear, hear.
LPR writes that the lineup “reflects the diversity of the city itself,” with sounds that span the great divide between whatever-the-hipsters-are-doing-now (e.g. super vibey indie rock from Tigue) and “world music”–aka totally alien stuff if you’ve been stuck in an exclusively Western rock/pop rut. (I’m leaving hip-hop out of this since samples offer a collage of everything, everything from all over the globe).
It’s high time that you open your ears to a bunch of new things, from “folk music in Spanish” by Elena Moon Park and her pals, to violinist Lev Zhurbin’s project Ljova, a fusion of old-thyme Eastern European sounds and Western classical traditions.
Cameron Mesirow of Glasser is doing something unusual with electro-pop by making pretty, but not at all delicate music. Instead of confining itself to dreaminess through ethereal femme vocals, it taps into a whole range of otherworldliness that I guess you just need to hear in order to fully grasp. Just make sure you do so in a sauna or something– let go of this world, my friends.
Underground System might be the only “feminist Afrobeat” band making something called #mushroomfreedom music– then again, it took me actual years to believe that psytrance even existed in NYC, let alone concede that a very small group of people actually met from time to time to dance to the stuff and, like, paint each other’s faces and stuff. The major difference being that Underground System makes music that you actually want to believe exists.
Big Huge, The Meltaways, Crusher, Coco Mamba
Wednesday March 22, 8 pm at The Silent Barn: $10
It doesn’t seem like it could possibly be a coincidence that rock n’ roll’s own personal Jesus bid farewell to this world just as the bloated corporate orgy partly responsible for the downfall of rock n’ roll, SXSW, closed the books on yet another non-stop, heart-pumping week of Vitamin Water-sponsored afterparties. (You know, the ones that never seem to have enough port-a-potties to handle the dramatic uptick in cases of The Alamo’s Revenge, aka what happens to Austin first-timers when they indulge in too much Lone Star.) Where were we? Oh yeah, I was already wondering how things were going down at SXSW and if rock n’ roll was confirmed DOA or not. And then Chuck Berry died.
If your heart’s hurting, and your seeking a sign, any sort of sign, to indicate that rock n’ roll rolls on, make time this evening to go see Big Huge. Sure, they’re a little bit upbeat for the gritty, sad-face kind of rock music we’ve become accustomed to over the last 20 years or so, but that’s kind of the point. These guys make the sort of uber-catchy, hook-packed rock that originated with Berry’s genius. Big Huge doesn’t sound a whole lot like Berry at all, really, but this band’s very existence is a testament to just how crazy influential Berry’s music has been. Beneath decades worth of egregious anthemy guitar solos and quirky, cute-as-a-button emo intonation, you’ll find Berry, the ultimate angsty teen. You could probably even move to Big Huge with some wholesome, old-fashioned hip-shaking, which I’ve heard is great for when you’re trying not to sob. RIP Chuck.
And because rock n’ roll is probably done for–let’s be real–be sure to catch the opener, Coco Mamba, who calls herself a “singer, songwriter, and activist”– which definitely sounds like the future to me. Mamba will grace the room with her infectiously chill bedroom-tinged hip-hop. She might lay it on like butter with vocals that never seem to rise above a whisper, and beats that carry a pastel-hued aura, but Mamba is not about to let you drift off to sleep– there’s a strange power in her voice that will surely grip you if you slip.
Ladies First Fest: Part I
Saturday March 25, 2 pm to 6 pm at ABC No Rio in Exile at The Silent Barn: $7 to $12, sliding scale
Pretty much everything cool going on right now seems to qualify as long overdue and yet perfectly timed, and Ladies First Fest is no exception. Organized by ABC No Rio in Exile, the two-part fest is in honor of lady-fronted, femme-centric, and gender-fluid punk bands and opens this weekend with a daytime show at the Silent Barn. Proceeds are going to a good cause, too– bucks will support RAINN (the Rape Abuse and Incest National Network).
The lineup is full of proud maneaters to keep your dirty little paws far away from unless consensually invited to come closer, thank you very much. There’s one particularly deliciously-named outfit called Bleeders that knows how to lay down the law with “I Hate Men” (off of their latest release, Twelve Month Drip), which Sesame Street should really consider picking up as a replacement for their existing theme song. It goes something like this:
Yeah I hate men, yeah it’s true,
You would hate men if it happened to you,
Yeah I hate men, yeah it’s true,
I hate men, and you should too.
If this is totally your jam, mark your calendar because the fest continues with Part II on April 1.
Flatland by Nitemind: a Sound + Light Immersion
Saturday March 25, 8 pm at Knockdown Center: $15 to $25
Knockdown Center has a lot going for it, no doubt, but they’ve carved out a very niche kind of niche that makes the sprawling former door factory even more worth the trip to far-flung enclave that you probably know as “Where the ever-loving frick is Maspeth?” Actually, it’s just Maspeth, a place in Queens with an unusually high incidence of lisping.
But you’ll never know one way or the other if you go out for Flatland, another crazy-huge installation-driven music show. This time around, the captains driving the ship are the cool nerds at Nitemind, “a group of artists using technology and physical space to create immersive and interactive installations.” And according to their website, they like to call these projects “case studies.” That may or may not make the whole thing suddenly sound really creepy. Or maybe you’ve always wanted to be a rat caught in a giant light maze.
Vermin fetish or no vermin fet life, the show will have some dope tunes to go with your “case study.” From true techno to experimental techno, the show’s definitely staying true to its techy theme. Get ready for the classics from both Lawrence English and DJ Richard, as well as more out-there adventures from Earthen Sea, and Soramimi.