Xiu Xiu, Dreamcrusher, Gold Dime
Thursday April 6, 8 pm at Brooklyn Bazaar: $13
If you’re wondering what Xiu Xiu is all about, take Morrissey’s whinny, combine with scratchy dance music and pop presence, and dump the resulting liquid on the ground, because Xiu Xiu is anything but rut-stuck. If there’s one habit that the depresso-electro outfit can’t quit, it’s danceability. Leading vocal dude Jamie Stewart might sound like he’s violently ripping his hair out at the moment, and so sad that he might tip over a newspaper stand if he comes across one, but he’ll never get in the way of you and your shimmy.
Dreamcrusher is kind of a perfect pairing for this show, since Bushwick’s own Luwayne Glass and their “nihilist queer revolt musik” will ensure that things won’t cross too far over into nice-nice territory. I mean, with this confrontational brain-rattling hardcore scream fest, restrained only by the limits of a punishing dystopian soundspace, how could they? (Hear Dreamcrusher’s latest, “Sick World” below.)
Tuesday April 11, 8 pm at Brooklyn Bazaar: $15
Ok, so this show is going down next week at Brooklyn Bazaar, but I think it’s really important that you hear about it now because I’m certain this will sell out, like any minute–because Princess Nokia is onto something great. She’s one of many hip-hop artists pushing the boundaries of the genre and making the art form more inclusive to LGBTQ artists and women, but Nokia’s style is remarkably raw– especially as an androgynous young person flouting gender binaries and passionately denouncing haters not to vindicate an enormous ego but because she’s fighting the good fight. And guess what? She’s doing it all as an unsigned artist.
The 24-year-old Afro-Nuyorican and self-declared “New York aficionado”, whose given name is Destiny Frasqueri, is famously elusive, so for a long time there was not much out there about her life beyond what’s refracted through her “hard as hell” stage persona. Last year, Destiny began releasing snippets of video from her documentary and appeared in some limited interviews, in which she brutally assailed the patriarchy, “machismo,” and the persistence of sexism and misogyny in the rap world, confirming that the distance between Nokia and Destiny is even smaller than we’d hoped.
Pile, Mannequin Pussy, Fern Mayo, Gnarwhal
Thursday April 6 and Friday April 7, 8 pm at Baby’s All Right: $13 to $15
The ’80s-college-radio-ish music of Pile reminds us of a time when bands like Mannequin Pussy, which calls itself an “aggressive punk band with dynamic range,” would have probably been referred to as a “girl band” on a lineup like this. Ew. We are #blessed in so far as things are different now– or at least we’d like to think that it’s easier to call people out for sexism, even in the form of linguistic micro-aggressions because nobody’s got time for such nonsense these days. Right? Somewhat.
Whatever progress that’s been made in the music world is thanks in large part to the fact that bands like Mannequin Pussy have continued pushing back against what are still grossly male-dominated punk scenes along the Eastern Seaboard (and probably everywhere else, ever). It’s annoying, but deliciously ironic, considering that punks usually consider themselves to be far more accepting of “outsiders” and “weirdos” than workaday basics, and vehemently opposed to intolerance. But boys’ clubs will be boys’ clubs, am I right? Of course, there’s never a shortage of surprising cement-brain BS to deal with– if you check out the URL for Mannequin Pussy’s Facebook page, it reads “mannequinpword.”