(Flyer via Saint Vitus Bar/ Facebook)

Hank Wood & the Hammer Heads, La Misma, Mommy, Conspiracy, Shimmer, Fur Helmet
Friday May 5, 8 pm at Saint Vitus: $15

This lineup reads like a who’s-doo of Toxic State records. Arriving straight from the “institutional abyss” is Mommy. Then you have the Portuguese spittlin’ piss punks of La Misma, and scene stalwarts like Fur Helmet and Conspiracy. I mean, Saint Vitus has been called “one of the best-booked bars in New York”– even so, you’re rarely gonna find so many excellent punk/hardcore bands in one place outside of a funeral or, like, a festival (shudder).

There might not be any special corpse to speak of (I kid! all corpses are special– there are just too many of em!) but boy oh boy, things feel so bleak at the moment that a funeral actually sounds kinda fun. Though I’ve heard from certain people in the know that wallowing in depression isn’t the most productive thing in the world. So just how do we go about getting un-depressed about “the way things are going” and “the current political climate”? First and foremost, get out there and actually do something besides picking fights with a Pepe avatar– go get punched in the face at a punk show if you want, or just thrash around and pretend like that’s what you’re into. Be sure to balance all those negi vibes out with some post ones, though– perhaps consider volunteering your time, or better yet (as we learned at Council Member Stephen Levin’s anti-hate meeting), cough up some cash for a good cause. (No, seriously, it’s like easier on existing organizations if you just fork over the dough.)

Trust, that last one works even if you’re just throwing some soggy dollar bills at a door girl– just as long as the money flow isn’t going to make a detour through the Taco Bell drive-thru on its way to the non-profit/charitable cause. Thankfully, that seems to be a less-than-likely scenario for this particular benefit show, since the organization cashing in on the do-good dough is located right here in NYC.

If you can manage to squeeze out $15 for entry, you’ll be helping the homeless (however inadvertently that may be– but hey, “karma is karma” some guy once said). Proceeds will benefit the Grand Central Food Program, a project of Coalition for the Homeless,  aimed at providing some basic needs for homeless New Yorkers. “Each night, our three vans deliver healthy meals of hot stew, bread, fresh fruit, and juice or milk,” their website explains. “As well as coats, hats, gloves and blankets in the colder weather.”

Sounds really nice, right?

(Flyer via Silent Barn)f

Ava Luna, Sammus, Mallrat, Mr. Twin Sister (DJ set)
Friday May 5, 8 pm at The Silent Barn: $10

In case a punk show sounds like it’s going to pan fry what few precious synapses you’ve got left rattling around in the ol’ gourd, consider heading over to The Silent Barn for a much gentler Friday night show.

The smarty pants among you know that just because a certain band is a bit, shall we say, subtler than most, that doesn’t mean they’re any less stimulating than some neuron-smashing set– just think of the crew behind Ava Luna as the kind of kids who (at one time, anyway) weren’t so much into banging on pots and pans and smashing mud pies into other kids’ faces as they were the nerdy, quiet kids who sat alone at lunch, quiet and seemingly innocent. Turns out they were listening attentively to their parents’ records–oh, say, “eclectic” ’80s bands like the Talking Heads and some pop-psych holdovers like the later Beach Boys– while at the same time soaking up catchy ’90s indie rock, and secretly remaining true to ethereal female rock giantesses like Stevie Nicks. Years later these kids would meet and combine their respective pet influences, for a truly weird but always interesting fusion of influences and forbears too myriad to count– from old-school R&B to Stephen Malkmus to TLC to gospel and the popified “world” sounds popularized by David Byrne.

Speaking of contending with the remnants of childhood, the instantly charming threesome behind Mallrat really, really bring me back, man. To that brief mom-charming bunch of “gay angels making songs about living in a racialized, gendered, traumatized body.” Yes, please.

(Flyer via Perfect Wave)

Overnight Sleep Concert With Mikronesia
Friday May 5 through Saturday May 6, 9 pm to 8 am at Magick City: $20

Have you ever been to a show and thought to yourself, “Wow, it would be nice if the bouncers would just let me sleep here”? I mean, congratulations if you have, but outside of being brown-out wasted, I’ve never willfully chosen to, or even really wanted to sprawl out on a pool table with a stack of bar napkins for a pillow and nothing more than the memory of what little toilet paper was once stocked in the WC for a blanket. Something tells me that the gainfully employed among you haven’t had the impulse either.

So what in Satan’s great Hell is going on here with this “Overnight Sleep Concert” happening at Magick City next weekend?

Well, for one, I can assure you that the relatively under-the-radar, but super vibey and picture-perfect Greenpoint venue has a fully stocked and delicious-smelling bathroom (complete with mood lighting, yes mood lighting). Also, it’s very likely the only party place that you’d ever consider, firstly, remotely sanitary enough to unfurl your sleep sac within, and, secondly, in possession of sufficiently comfy places where cuddling (or, more likely, curling up alone) and getting some rest are even conceivable. Because sleep is definitely what happens at these things, right? Unclear. So we encourage you to arrive fully prepared to this “eight hour dream concert” fronted by Mikronesia for both an all-nighter and actual shut-eye– and if that means getting your deviated septum fixed, then I’m lookin’ at you, kid.

The music, in case you were wondering/even had to ask is ambient electronic– if that’s not enough hippie for you, perhaps you’ll be sold knowing that Mikronesia “integrates a daily practice of meditation, Deep Listening and textured sound worlds through a process he calls ‘sonic photography’.” (That’s literally the most CBD thing I’ve ever read, ever.)

On top of all that veritable yoga for the ears, the bill includes two opening “AV sets” (that’s a combined audio/visual experience, for those who dunno). The first is brought to you by Curved Lightwhose button-touching expertise smartly combine sounds vaguely reminiscent of ’80s romance films, a certain talking-car action thriller, and corporate VHS relics– a unique cocktail indeed.

Also on deck is Ivy Meadows, which is not, I repeat, not Blue Ivy’s solo career debut. Cry all you want, but Camilla Padgitt-Coles’s sound and light performance will be equally excellent in its own way. That’s because Ivy Meadows is making a superb contribution to the inevitable neo-New Age craze (which hasn’t hit quite yet, but just you wait). Her drifty, bell ting-laden soundscapes lull you into a half-dreamy, half-lucid state of limbo that should be a joyous, and oh-so-welcome braincay (as in, vacay for your brains) for any resident of Rat City. And her album Zodiac has something for everyone, with a special song for each sign– yes, even boring-ass Libras. So cheers, Ivy Meadows, from one “Áries” to another.

Even if you don’t “believe” in “drugs” be prepared for a mind-altering experience– the tripped-out performances alone will be enough to transport you, and since Magick City is actually a freaky psychedelic spaceship from another planet that just so happens to be docked in Greenpoint, you can rest assured that your trip is gonna be far… out. Ha.

So you can trust that Magick City is gonna be the chillest place to put your feet up and get your live music fix this weekend. Just pretty please, if you’re in possession of toe shoes (and, yes, those are the same as “ninja shoes”), keep your feet inside those hideous nylon-and-plastic containers where they belong for all of eternity.