It’s a big week for the old practice of live music get-togethers. No? Never heard of it? Well, it’s when people gather in small to very large rooms and watch people actually sing (or scream) into a microphone and play (or bash) instruments. Yeah, weird right? There are usually no screens involved, and while many bands enjoy using synthesizers, most of the sounds are actually being made right in front of your eyes. Strange concepts I know.
Perhaps the most surprising thing of all is that even in this post-post-Internet, post-ISIS, post-Facebook world, punk is still alive and well, and that a primal urge to kick and scream and thrash about is still widely regarded as worthy of peeling off a few bucks from your big wad to go and see. And that’s exactly what you should be doing with at least a part of your week (going to New York’s Alright 2015 that is). Punk or no punk this is gonna be a glorious, rotten scene that should be cherished by any true music fan. And who knows, you might wake up tomorrow and find that you’re 70 years old. Then what? Well then you get to throw your cane at people. But the point being, stop lolling, get out there and whip your hair back and forth while you still got it.
Punk Fest, Get It!
New York’s Alright 2015
April 17th through April 19th at various venues: $10-$25
Hell yeah this punk fest is going to rule. So what if you’re paying two, maybe three times the price of what you’d normally pay to see these local punk and hardcore bands? You’ll be seeing them in fancy venues like Le Poisson Rouge (ooooo) and The Wick (complete with ultra-shnazzy BBQ) along with touring bands. So, you know, maybe that luxury price tag is worth it in this case. The only problem being there’s no twofer deal here to speak of, so you gotta pick with this in mind. Thankfully each show seems to present a pretty diverse line up. Say you’re into Midwest punk like Bad Noids, well you can see those rather crude dudes alongside the likes of Sheer Mag (weird psych punks from Philly), the melodic garagey sounding hardcore of Tapehead, and the piss-all whatever punks behind the Gowanus Mutant Kommandos.
Strange Psych Night
Dead Tenants, Ego, Vamos, Melt, Flopwash Blues Band
Tuesday April 14th, 8 pm at Silent Barn: $8
We’ve got a coupla acts rollings in from Chicago here, including Vamos, a rather hyper power-pop punk act, and Ego, a refreshingly weird psych band breaking that lost-in-fuzz-forever mold and bringing frighteningly lucid clarity into their act. They are unafraid of horns, crisp-as-day-dew vocals, and even bongo drums. Don’t think they won’t turn off the distortion. You’re damn straight they will.
The familiar local proggy post-punk band Dead Tenants have probably the most socially relevant name ever and they’re also a treat to see shred live and up-close. We’re also looking forward to some shoegaze-alt thanks to the glum Jersey boys and girls of Melt.
Big Neck Police, 3D Cosby, Turbosleaze, Gavin Riley Smoke Machine, Lucas Brode
Wednesday April 15th, 8 pm at Palisades: $8
Really I haven’t thought about the band Primus (starring Les Claypool’s slap bass) in, like, more than a decade. But that particularly wicked brand of funk metal (Lord, I know it hurts) finds a friend in the tunes of 3D Cosby, a band with the same predilection for those twisted, grinding guitars and bass and side-mouthed lyrical quack.
On the other hand we’ve got Turbosleaze, an adolescent potty humor-loving band from the Bronx. Track names off their album balls balls balls vagina include “ASSING” and “Big Frank’s Big Tits.” Even though we’re pretty sure the band is full of uncontrollable screaming hyperactive children wearing 20-something-year-old suits, we’re down with their tunes, all of which sound like the last 15 seconds of every wacky Pavement track, when thing start to fly off the rails.
Big Neck Police share like a cousin or something with these above bands, but their sound is bursting with a bit more energy released in sporadic bursts via psychotic sludge dirges.
Protomartyr, The Gotobeds, Grooms
Wednesday April 15th, 7 pm at the Wick: $12
Oh hey, it’s a post-punk band full of really, really rad dudes from Detroit called Protomartyr. I dunno maybe you’ve heard of them. Each year when I go home for the holidays I see their Xmas show at Jumbo’s and each year it gets awesomer and awesomer. I’m sure they’re still awesomer yet, it’s been a good few moons since. This month they’re embarking on a wee East Coast tour stopping only one night in Brooklyn along with their fellow Sub-Poppers the Gotobeds, a lovable feel-good indie rock band from Pittsburgh. Grooms, sad indie rock-smiths from Brooklyn, are holding down the opening slot.
Trans Am, Zombi, Jonas Reinhardt
Thursday April 16th, 8 pm at Baby’s All Right: $13 advance/ $15 at the door
The self-styled rock gods of Trans Am write some seriously bleak rippers that bring in elements of grunge that are somehow reconciled with post-punk and stripped-down Kraut synth. Their sound is as dry as it is mystical (but like, LOL mystical not actually transcendental stuff).
Speaking of mystical, Zombi is like maybe the real thing. This spacey duo recently toured with Goblin, and while that band provided the soundtrack for a bunch of Dario Argento’s horror films, you’d be more likely to find Zombi writing soundtracks for ’80s sci-fi films. Close your eyes and you’ll be hurdling through time/space. Maybe Stephen Hawking will consider rapping over these tunes next.
Skate or Die
Borts Minorts, Weird Womb, Big Bitch, Nail Polish, Dinner
Thursday April 16th, 8 pm at Black Bear Bar: $10
Whoa the indoor skatepark slash bar, Black Bear Bar (i.e. the ultimate indicator that we’ve entered late-late capitalism in William$burg) is having shows now?! Either catchy garage riffs or Bad Brains are the perfect soundtrack to a skate video, and Weird Womb are definitely not Bad Brains but they’re just as fun.
This being hot Williamsburg real estate, there’s a distinct lack of transparency, which also translates to the mystery surrounding the remaining bands on the lineup. Big Bitch? We’re guessing that’s a euphemism for something, but whatever could that be, we are lost at sea. And with a band name like Dinner, clearly you don’t wanna be found out via the ol’ Google probe, which is fine, we’ll just assume you’re a bunch of bank robbers. #Respect