If you were even a slightly sentient being in the ’90s, it’s pretty much guaranteed that you can sing along with most or maybe even all of Fiona Apple’s “Criminal”– it’s the kind of song that sticks with you forever, with its piano bang-bangs, a sing-along ready chorus that swings from shrill highs to lowest lows. The song even shares its opening line (“I’ve been a bad, bad girl”) with an old prison blues song. We’re a long way from 1996, when “Criminal,” Apple’s hit single and award-winning music video dropped (20 years ago, almost to the date), but it still vibrates with the same fiery angst, tight-fisted rebellion and, yes, youthful sexual energy the day that it premiered.
Monday July 25, 8 pm at The Glove: $7.
If you’re the proud owner of even half a heart, chances are that you’ve been feeling pretty sympathetic for those back-broken rust belters living in Cleveland, a population that’s shown more than a bit of plucky resilience in the face of economic desertification and industrial decline and governor who briefly campaigned for Pres on a platform that can only be characterized as LOL WTF. But the arrival of the Republican National Convention today just piles on the suffering– thanks to the blonde ambition of everyone’s favorite giant-human-mouth with its own reality TV show.
Brace yourself, it’s gonna be a hot one. With temperatures wavering in the ’90s this weekend, some people might not want to leave the sacred space of their air conditioning, despite how many of these very same people’s fashion choices reflect that they actually love the ’90s. But for those who want to be so occupied you forget about your melting and/or boiling flesh, here are four music and art festivals this weekend to spend your day and/or night at.
The name says it all– at Rainbow Hugs and Kisses: a Doomsday Celebration, Secret Project Robot will start saying their goodbyes to the neighborhood they’ve called home for the last five years. On Wednesday, July 13 (7 pm to 10 pm) the DIY venue will open the final art show at its current location with festivities and hopefully some booty-shaking to coronate what the SPR community’s calling a “magical realm.”
Now that it’s officially summer, we’re in for three-plus months of beach reads, beach bods and, of course, beach bands. After that explosion of nautically themed band names in the ’00s (think Beach House, Beech Creep, Surfer Blood, Shark?, etc.), “beach” band is a confusingly crowded field of surf rockers and lo-fi experimenters and everything in between. Don’t panic, though, we’re here to help. To keep you from looking like a shoobie when the conversation turns to music at the next bonfire singalong, we’ve broken down two Beach bands with upcoming shows that you definitely don’t want to get confused: Beach Slang and Beach Fossils.
In less than two weeks, Rainbow Hugs and Kisses: a Doomsday Celebration, the final closing ceremony/bye-bye art show at Secret Project Robot, will open as a “greatest hits” celebration of the last five years at their current space, 389 Melrose Street in Bushwick. Rachel Nelson, who co-directs the long-running DIY art and music venue with her partner Erik Zajaceskowski are moving on to their fourth (to be determined) location since the couple started an underground party place in Williamsburg known as Mighty Robot way, way back in 1998.
It all sounds pretty grand, especially as a follow-up to Glasslands, which closed just as 2015 began, and in the course of its existence traded in and out some classic DIY features: homemade art installations (those clouds, tho), labyrinthine lofting, and swinging saloon doors between your bathroom break and the impatient line waiting behind you.
It’s only been about a year and a half since the closure of Glasslands Gallery, the other DIY venue on the Williamsburg waterfront– the one that was the button-down oxford (second-hand, but you couldn’t tell) to Death By Audio’s torn-up band tee. It wasn’t so surprising– after 8 years of hosting indie rock, R&B, techno, you-name-it shows in their cavernous, blackened industrial confines, their neighborhood along Kent Avenue no longer felt like the “forgotten backwater” it did when they opened in 2006. Today the Glasslands team announced that it’s returning with a new venue in East Williamsburg, Elsewhere, set to open this fall– and it’s not just any old ramshackle DIY establishment, but a 24,000-square-foot affair in a former warehouse. It’ll be #blessed with $3 million worth of pure sparkle, including a sprawling roof, food and drink service, and an adjacent art space.
Friday, July 8, 8 pm at the Acheron: $15.
In honor of the Acheron and the punk scene it has put up with, fed/clothed, and sated for the last six years, the East Williamsburg venue (which is closing due to a struggle with their insurance company) is gathering up its biddies and besties to bid farewell to its hallowed walls. As the venue’s co-owner Bill Dozer promised, they’re filling up the last stretch with a bunch of benefits, including their very last night of business which is dedicated to the family of Brandon Ferrell (former drummer for Municipal Waste), a local musician and friend of everyone, apparently. All profits and bar sales from the show are going to the family, so you can feel good about getting super, super sloshed at the Acheron’s last hurrah.
Before the Acheron opened on a quiet block in heavily-industrial East Williamsburg back in 2010, the building was little more than a “black box” housing a barebones ska venue, as owner Bill Dozer remembers it. Within two weeks of signing the lease and taking over the place, it was transformed into a punk and metal show space, a speakeasy-style DIY operation with cheap cans of beer, the occasional “plastic handle of liquor,” and a remarkable sound system with a bar next door. “We were able to get off the ground with basically nothing— just a bunch of sweat and, like, four people working there,” Dozer recalled.
Over the years, the Acheron has grown into the de facto homebase of Brooklyn punk, which has made something of a comeback itself as the venue expanded and went legit, welcoming in local acts and touring bands from across the country to play everything from straightedge punk to psych metal. But as of July 9, the East Williamsburg venue is putting all that to rest when they close their doors for good.