There’s a new (Night) Mayor in town, or at least there will be soon. On August 24, City Council member Rafael Espinal’s bill to establish an Office of Nightlife and Nightlife Advisory Board was passed by the council, then signed into law on September 19, in a ceremony that included even Marky Ramone. In light of this, some wondered about what this “night mayor” would actually do. Last night, the soon-to-reopen venue Market Hotel was flooded with artists, partiers, community members, and politicians for a town hall on what the people want from the Office of Nightlife.
Dream Crusher, NAH, Girlpusher, Tony Seltzer, Hounds
Wednesday September 21, 8 pm at Aviv: $10
It’s just about time to start gathering your crew for the last stretch at Aviv as we know it. The venue is closing at the end of October and fingers crossed they find a new space, but until then me and you and everyone else who does the Brooklyn DIY thing should get it in while we still can.
Chain of Flowers, Bootblacks, Ritual Humor
Wednesday August 31, 8 pm at Saint Vitus: $10
With a band name like Chain of Flowers, you might be thinking, “What have you signed me up for? Some hippie girl shit?” Well, not to ruffle any feathers but this band ain’t nearly as tough as all that. Rather, imagine a pale, gothy frontdude with perfectly applied pallor and lavender lipstick about to embark on the craziest acid trip of his short little life, and you’d be somewhere close to what screams out from this Welsh post-punk outfit’s cotton-candy-pink cassette tape.
After a fitful start back in January 2013, the official zine for the roving “independent events collective” AdHoc went digital. In doing so, it joined countless more mini-publications that had chosen, either by design or by circumstance, to be available online only. But being relegated to an online existence wasn’t a great fit for the zine, especially considering that AdHoc already has a yin-yang sort of balance going on with a blog that feeds off the live music and in-person experiences they organize. “More and more I find myself experiencing life through a screen and it’s a terrible way to interact with the world,” AdHoc’s co-founder Ric Leichtung wrote to us in an email. “So much gets lost there.”
Thursday, June 23, 8 pm at House of Vans: FREE with RSVP
I always devote at least a few minutes of my bike ride home to a scene from Gummo– you know, the fantastically twisted Harmony Korine film starring that kid with the ears. I like to fan out my elbows, toss off my helmet, and fantasize that some people describe me, too, as “downright evil.” But that scene wouldn’t have been the same without the addition of “Dragonaut,” the stoner metal classic from Sleep‘s 1992 album, Holy Mountain.
Diamanda Galas: Death Will Come and Will Have Your Eyes
Thursday May 12 and Saturday May 14 at Red Bull Music Academy at 258 W 118th Street
Believe me when I tell you that this one is worth the trip uptown. The Red Bull Music Academy Festival is back, and as usual their title isn’t the only thing that’s a bit of a mouth full. They always seem to be asking a lot of their guests, most of whom probably don’t wanna take some class on the anatomy of so-and-so and would just like to please hear some dang music. If you count among the purists, here’s at least one show on the month-long list of festival happenings (through May 22) that qualifies as required listening.
SUUNS, Eaters, John Congolton and the Nighty Nite
Thursday April 28, 7 pm at the Marlin Room at Webster Hall: $15
The Marlin Room inspires a sense of foreboding in me: visions of an antechamber filled with clamoring sea beasts who’d like nothing more than to pierce my and your flesh with their Samurai snouts, then placidly inspect our writhing, tortured remains with their lifeless, black membranes-for-eyes. But I’m sure that people have made it in and out of shows at this Marlin Room before. Right? Could be a trap, or it could be worth it. If you can get past all this, then by all means go see Suuns and friends.
James Chance and the Contortions, Gary Wilson with Tredici Bacci, Horse Lords, Eartheater
Friday, April 29, 8 pm at Market Hotel: $13
Excuse me while I have a fangirl moment here, but when I found out that James Chance and the Contortions were playing Market Hotel I just about had an aneurysm. One of the weirder musicians out of the New York City no wave scene, James Chance, of course, fronted the outfit with his freakaleak saxophone skills, super-hyper screetching, and bleeding-throat acrobatics– a spirit reminiscent of James Brown. Chance’s devotion to jazz seeps through his music, and for that reason his live tracks, as documents of funky improvisational exercises, noisy meltdowns, and legitimate, Dr. Jekyll-worthy freakouts, are a new listener’s best bet.
“Have you been to one of our shows lately?” Reverend Billy asked me. The answer was– no, I have not. Not ever. In my chat with the eco-activist, author, and radical preacher who “prays to life on earth,” I was curious to know what in heaven’s name a Reverend was doing on the calendar at a Bushwick DIY venue like Market Hotel. But Billy’s explanation brought everything together for me. “They’re a little like mosh pits,” he explained. “It’s a punk gospel for life. It’s a laboratory for getting going again.”
A teaser like that is hard to turn your back on, and so is the Reverend’s larger environmental message: consumerism and “nation-state allegiances” stand in the way of our relationship with the Earth. As the effects of climate change become increasingly apparent, there’s a new kind of urgency to changing our ways, and Reverend Billy believes that calls for physical, direct action are the only way to foment radical change. But when he’s not putting his body on the line to preach against the further slaughter of the earth, the Reverend is hosting shows like the one happening this weekend at the Market Hotel. “I’m trying to preach here,” he said, exasperated. “And along with the choir, we’re trying to inspire activism in our audience.”
Hiroshi Hasegawa, Dromez, Dessicant, Dead Wolf
Friday, Feb. 12, 8 pm at The Silent Barn: $8
When it comes to power electronics, Japanese musician Hiroshi Hasegawa has been around the block a few thousand times– busting ears and forgetting names. Way back in 1990, he started the prolific group C.C.C.C. (Cosmic Coincidence Control Center), whose members counted a porn star and weirdos like Hasegawa amongst their ranks. Besides improvising and recording all kinds of brain-shattering noise music, the group was known for throttling their audience with aggressive stunts like throwing plastic bags full of pee out into the crowd. The guy may be pushing 60, but he’s still down as hell to make incredibly belligerent music. And hey, maybe you’ll be graced with the honor of a urine splash for old times’ sake.