Surfbort, Promise Land, Casey Hopkins, Flasher Tuesday July 11, 8 pm at Elvis Guesthouse: FREE
It appears that live rock/other non-laptop-fronted music bands have returned to Elvis Guesthouse, which is definitely something we can get behind. Coz let’s be real, as far as cool, newer venus go, it’s slim pickins’ in the East Village. Plus, other than being the hipper more underground bar to the owners’ other venture, Baby’s All Right, (literally– at the end of an unsuspecting staircase to conceivably nowhere, Elvis is subterranean), the place was designed by that dude who does the Boob Pots. Which, if they don’t ring familiar, a liable to sound like a holdout from the days when being “King of the Road” actually meant an embroidered jacket and livin’ coast-to-coast on PBs-and-just-sometime-Js. But throw some fried bananas and bacon on that bish and you’re actually not too far from what the designer guy was going for.
Whether you know it as International Workers Day or as spring-inflected May Day, this year’s May 1 falls on a weekend, which means two days packed to the brim with events ranging from the revolutionary to the ridiculous. With a hat tip to Conor Tomás Reed from the Free University of NYC, here’s a roundup of events taking place in lower Manhattan and North Brooklyn.
Sediment Club, New England Patriots, Guardian Alien, Bugs & Rats, Worse Friday April 22, 8 pm at Aviv: $8
It’s true that I inevitably run into some semantic obstacles when I try to enlighten people about the New England Patriots. Yeah, not the football team or whatever, but the weirdo punk band. But trust, the Pats are worth the hassle. OK, so they’re from Boston, but hear me out– these guys are ratchet as all hell, and know how to whip even the blandest room into a professional-grade brain-screw. Expect spineless (in a good way) noise without seeming end or beginning, interspersed with small grasps at reality or familiarity– try and hold on to them and within a blink’s time they’re gone. This is the attention-shattered ecstatic floundering of a band truly unhinged.
The Pats recently dropped some new tunes on the net for the first time in two long years (along with some heady new artwork depicting their googly-eyed Steal Your Face skull), which bodes well for a new record release. But all you need worry about right now is the Pats’ impending appearance in NYC, and since they’re about halfway through their April tour– the point where, deep into the bender, everyone begins to lose their mind, but still manages to have some semblance of fun– there’s a good chance it’s gonna be a real banger.
(Image via Silent Barn/ Raw Pony)
Raw Pony, Shop Talk, Anna Banana, Shockwaves Wednesday April 20, 8 pm at the Silent Barn: $8
The frontwoman of this Columbus, Ohio garage punk outfit has a bellowing range of vocal talents, from quivering falsettos to dips and whirs and extends and holds, all of which she utilizes at her whim, without paying any attention to the laws of physics, which can feel something like the worst roller coaster ride you can imagine. And that’s awesome stuff for punk. It’s all so worthy of our girl Kathleen Hanna (who’s back not only performing but landing perfect splits) and the same unbridled energy, and combined with the Raw Pony‘s bare-bones slacker psych, makes for a real interesting and, uh, real raw rock n’ rolling. Pairing nicely with the old-school vibes are the actual Ramones incarnate, Shockwaves.
Did we mention that you’re not likely to get even one second to breathe at this show? Shop Talk keep the waves a flowin’, with their frenzied take on clunky, bass-whopped folk punk. The band occasionally veer close to the edge of wide-eyed Mountain Goats earnest storytelling garble, but something manages to pull them back. Maybe it’s the snappy guitar and bass interplay that won’t take a backseat to no one. But for now (considering their relative newness and bitty online catalogue of just two songs) it’s hard to say for sure.
(Flyer via Trans-Pecos)
“Becoming New Objects”: Genesis Breyer P-Orridge & Edley O’Dowd, Victoria Keddie, Sam Vernon & Abby Dobson, Bonnie Baxter, Deli Girls, Maria Chavez (DJ) Friday, April 22, 7 pm at Trans-Pecos: $12.
It’s part II of the Queens International Concert Series’ Trans-Pecos iteration, and duh, the fact that industrial music legend Genesis Breyer P-Orridge of Throbbing Gristle is headlining with h/er Psychic TV drummer Eddie “Edley” O’Dowd– the guy who encouraged P-Orridge to start the band up again– is reason enough to get to this show. (And if you haven’t seen P-Orridge’s ongoing exhibition at the Rubin Museum, get to it already.)
But obvi the rest of the lineup is pretty stellar too, what with the Deli Girls (who’ve recently been mixing iconic reggaeton beats and other dance items into their fourth-dimension dischord deluge). And then there’s noise magician Bonnie Baxter (Kill Alters, Shadow Box) as we rarely see her– unadulterated by neither her ambient project nor her avant-noise moniker. Whatever that means, we’re looking forward to it.
Interestingly, a slew of visual artists are on the lineup as well. There’s Victoria Keddie of E.S.P. TV, the psychedelic cable access show and roving analogue video collaboration/ live broadcast experiment, as well as Sam Vernon, who works mainly with collage.
(Flyer via The Acheron)
Hank Wood and the Hammerheads, Porvenir Oscuro Tuesday April 26, 9 pm at the Acheron: $10
You’d think we were SOL when it comes to party punk done right, given the enormous wave of saccharine garage rock flooding the interwebs and venues around these parts. But a hometown outfit, Hank Wood and the Hammerheads– a band you’ve probably seen paired up with the Dawn of Humans crowd– prove that you can wriggle to an organ and potentially get the wind throttled right out of you. Performances are usually a sweaty affair but as far as the tunes are concerned, think of The Cramps, with an acid-soaked guitar or two thrown in there plus a hefty dose of hardcore spittle screaming, all fronted by a corn-pipe smoking hillbilly pirate.
Speaking of hardcore, Porvenir Oscuro (that’s “dark future” en español for those of you who don’t speak Google translate) does a rather excellent job of it– slippery slide guitars, chanty lyrics about exorcisms, calls for “no more” and other things that are beyond the realm of the aforementioned Spanish cheat sheet.
(Flyer via Palisades)
KHF, Compactor, Madame Deficit, Spreaders, Fetishes (DJ) Tuesday April 26, 8 pm at Palisades: $8
You know what Tuesdays are great for? Disappearing from the dang world. And while it’ll be far too early in the week to do something really escapist, this lineup at Palisades might do the trick without pulling you too far out to sea. It’s all about compromise, people.
Spooky noise from KHFwill cap off the night with some seriously spaced-out, extended meditations on being and nothingness. Madame Deficit is back again to introduce some actual ghosts into the space with her horror show of a set (read more about LC von Hessen’s project here here.) And if you have ears when you walk into this thing, you certainly won’t have them after staying for theSpreaders set, which is best described as an onslaught of relentless wire-crackling, fuse-busting, and conductor-harnessing power electronics. Sick stuff.
While you still have a staggering amount of Manhattan performance festival shows going on this week, don’t be afraid to take a break from sifting through show schedules in order to check out some of these other options.
The first email I received about the new video for The Adventures of the Silver Spaceman (TAOTSS) from frontman Zachary James Ellis said something about a “yurt” with no cell service. When I caught up with Ellis via phone, he told me he was on a retreat, writing songs in Paonia, in western Colorado. With the Rockefeller tree about to be lit, tourist crowds reaching saturation levels, the L train acting like a jilted lover, and a drizzle erasing what few hours of daylight exist at this longitude, we could all be a little jealous. More →
Negative Approach, Night Birds, Child Bite, Outskirts Sunday, Nov. 29th, 8 pm at The Acheron: $15
Years back, I was day drinking at an unassuming deep-fryer dive in Detroit. A surly looking guy with a grease-stained apron and hangover slouch from hell emerged out of a kitchen. My friend seated at the bar next to me guffawed and nudged me discreetly. “Look, it’s John Brannon.” And so it was. The hardcore legend could have been beer-sweating over my tater tots for all I know– and deep down, I sort of hope that was the case.
This week, as I’m sure you’ll be surprised to hear, there are plenty of shows worth blowing your ears out for. Our picks include a brand new project from a longtime blues punk devotee, The Dark Prince of Garage, and sugar-sweet disco that’s not afraid to hit sour notes. All that and more below this here line.
Stephanie Griffin, collective member and spokesperson for the Silent Barn (Photo: Nicole Disser)
The Silent Barn wasn’t about to wait for CMJ to do its thing before reopening. On October 14, while the music exec’s wet dream (and everyone else’s headache-inducing cluster fuck) raged on, the DIY venue welcomed show-comers back into its space, closed since a fire ripped through one of the upstairs residencies, and left behind an expensive mess a large chunk of the building. It had been less than three weeks since the fire, and after a slew of benefit shows, volunteer efforts, small gestures of support, and around $25,000 in donations, the show-space reconstruction efforts were complete.
Still, the reopening was “bittersweet,” according to Stephanie Griffin, Silent Barn’s spokesperson. “It’s kind of hard to get people to understand that even though we’re open downstairs, everything upstairs is still a mess. It isn’t a public space, so people don’t really see it and don’t really understand the extent of our need to keep fundraising.”
The Silent Barn in Bushwick after a fire destroyed an apartment upstairs (Photo: Nicole Disser)
Last Friday was a typical one at the Silent Barn— Bushwick’s beloved multi-faceted DIY music venue, art gallery, studio space, and artist residency is teeming with activity almost every day and night of the week– Freak Out Fest raged downstairs while a band practiced upstairs. And one resident was in their room when a fire broke out, one that the artist collective believes was caused by an “electrical malfunction.” Thankfully, spokesperson and longtime Silent Barn member Stephanie Griffin told us that no one was hurt. Of the 60 or so people at the show, “everyone got out within two minutes,” she said. But the damage is significant and threatens to upend Silent Barn’s delicate financial situation.
Gigawatts Fest is happening this weekend, which is great and all — I need my pop fix as much as the next guy. But sometimes I want to be surrounded by sounds that whinge, “I’mmmmmmm differentttttt.” If that’s you, too, get thee to these smaller shows where you’ll find acts that don’t exactly qualify as festival material, if you catch my drift.