It’s been a rough summer for the Brooklyn venue scene. Palisades has left a hole in our heart so big that we couldn’t help but dream up some (nightmarish) replacement tenants for the Broadway-Myrtle space. Lucky for the owners of The Acheron– the unofficial home for Brooklyn-made punk and metal that closed last month in a flurry of sweaty thrashing and loud-as-hell sets– they don’t have to see their former digs overtaken by some slick newcomer.
Good Shows: Get Lost in a Trippy Maze of Sonic Delights; Mosh on a Fresh Grave
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.
The Acheron is Drying Up, Returning to the Darkness Whence It Came
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.
Five Upcoming Shows That Should Be On Your Radar
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.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.“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.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.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 KHF will 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 the Spreaders set, which is best described as an onslaught of relentless wire-crackling, fuse-busting, and conductor-harnessing power electronics. Sick stuff.
Four Epic Music Gigs to Hit on the Horizon
Uniform, Shredded Nerve, Super Secret Special Guests
Thursday March 3, 8 pm at The Acheron: $10 – $12
Next week Uniform returns to the stage following a show with the Soft Moon earlier this month at Market Hotel. This time, they’ll take their rip-roaring noise punk act to the Acheron where the band will be joined by some super mysterious, ultra top-secret special guests plus one ear-splitting noise set by an act most beloved. Expect speedy, metallic guitar monologues, speaker-quashing feedback, and vocal chord shredding screams.
Shows: Your Cyberpunk Future and Women of the Katy Perry Research Institute
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.
Week in Shows: DIY Venue Loses the Diapers and Ohio Punks ‘Pissed Off For a Reason’
Wow guys, big week for the DIY scene: Aviv turns a whole one year old. And actually, that’s kinda getting up there in DIY years. Though, of course, we wish them many more. The Greenpoint venue has wasted no time in becoming pretty much the (true) DIY spot in North Brooklyn. To celebrate, Aviv is hosting a b-day party on Saturday featuring Bambara, Parlor Walls, and word on the street (er, on Facebook) is that an appearance is inevitable by one Ronnie Stone— quite possibly Brooklyn’s only leather-licking, “Moldovan” ’80s-fetish band fronted by a keytar-wielding, struttin’ mustache. Definitely don’t miss this banger. Details on that show and more to preoccupy you in all that might-as-well-be-dead time from now till then.
Justin Frye of PC Worship Used a ‘Shitar’ On the New EP, Basement Hysteria
Despite the relentless output of records, save for some piecemeal rumors, there’s not a ton to go on when it comes to PC Worship, a Bushwick-based band that spans several rotating members (but is always led by Justin Frye) as well as influences of punk, drone, even free jazz. They’re known for wild improvisation but also their success in collaborations with Parquet Courts (a popular band that is in many ways their opposite). But most critics and music bloggers have agreed: PC Worship is nothing if not inexplicable. And their new EP, Basement Hysteria, set to drop November 13 when they return from a month-long European tour, sees the band containing the tradition of drone-clouded noise worship.
Shows: Noise Rock Savagery and a Beloved Venue’s Punkerversary
It’s that time of the week again. Scrambling to see what’s happening this weekend? Well, we don’t blame you for allowing yourself to check out of existence for the majority of the work week — attention spans are getting shorter and shorter as we hurtle toward holiday. Just kidding, we don’t get months off work to enjoy what little nice weather we’re blessed with each year, this isn’t freaking Europe. But at least you can pretend like something as blissful is on the horizon. We need something to keep us going and frequently lying to yourself works just as well as actual hope, for a brief time anyway. But you know what else helps to keep this awful world seem less so? live musical acts. So consider our weekly offerings after the jump.
Shows: Slackgaze Sounds and Welcoming The Return of Urine Soaked Pants
I don’t know about you, but I’m feeling like I’ve come down with a fever of sorts– SPRING FEVER that is. But truly, there’s something in the air as the seasons change. Remember that first warm weekend back in April? The really violent one? Well, according to some studies violent crime is more common in the summer months, meaning as the temperature boils, so do tempers. Strange, coz we’re feeling nothing but bliss right now. At one point all this hullabaloo about “the L train set” packing up and leaving to live under the sunny skies of LA might have made us feel left out. Hell, if I’d read such slander back when I was still hoofing it through the graffitied garbage-snow, perhaps I too would have resorted to green-eyed violence. But now that it’s beautiful out, I can scoff at all those stylists, tattooers, and Jemima Kirke wannabes who moved to LA LA Land because no matter what the Times says, in terms of culture, we still got it. Right kids? Our weekly show report is proof of that if nothing else.