This Week in Music: Mutant Bands, a Rock N’ Roll Funeral, and H.R. of Bad Brains Resurrected

12/03/2014 5:24 PM |


Yeah, we know it’s winter out. But pull yourself together, it’s only December. For the love of God, ditch the onesie and strap on your boots (not the rain galoshes, please don’t embarrass yourself again, we know you have other weather-proof options) because we’ve got a great lineup of ten shows happening this week worth going out in public for, provided of course that you “like” music.

Bring Your Cool Friends and a Flask of Whiskey, Or Maybe The Flask of Whiskey is Your Only Cool Friend. So Be It.
MCFK #39: A Funeral For Rock ’N’ Roll at Aviv (Greenpoint)
Saturday, December 6th at 8 pm, tickets at the door $ TBA

Mama Coco’s Funky Kitchen (recording studio/ DIY record label/ collective of sorts) takes over Aviv this weekend with six bands, some of them perhaps worth a few of your auditory hair cells. God Tiny brings ‘60s bluesy psych rock to the bill, but before you roll your eyes believe me when I promise you it’s a welcome throwback that doesn’t feel worn out. The Brooklyn What will likely shred, but you might also be subjected to lyrics about Bushwick. Less predictable are the Graveyard Kids who will leave you scratching your head. Me, I hear a little bit of Pavement: there’s some deep curtsying to 90’s college rock going on here, and oddly enough some Southern rock. But the eclecticism doesn’t stop there– the Graveyard Kids also claim 2 Chainz and R&B as major influences. I think you get the idea, they’re a pretty freewheeling bunch. But all the better to keep your attention, dearest potential audience members!  Oh right– Pete freaking Stampfel (of the Fugs and Holy Modal Rounders) will be joining the flock of youths. There’s a lot to choose from at this sound buffet.


Most WTF Show
H.R. and The Scotch Bonnets, The Far East, Dead Tenants, Big Neck Police at Palisades (Bushwick)
Saturday, December 6th at 7 pm, tickets on sale in advance (say what?!), $7 

There’s no way this show won’t make for a totally weird scene– take H.R. of Bad Brains, add his new project with improbable reggae band the Scotch Bonnets, and a line up that includes Big Neck Police (out-there punk that can be a little bit melodic but is mostly just weird discordant noise, in a good way), and the Far East, self-described “Brooklyn Reggae and Super Boom” (ugh, I know). I’ll add in the disclaimer that it’s definitely a “North Brooklyn” sort of reggae that goes a little hard on the Wes Anderson, but I can’t fault them for trying. It’s almost as if, when planning this show, someone decided they’d try to recreate the perfect insanity of Banned In D.C.’s confounding but wonderful alternating reggae and hardcore tracks. At least my first impression is that they’re sort of missing the mark by like a million miles by attempting to pull together rough “equivalents.” Ugh. I’ll shut up if someone gives me a Groupon redeemable for being born 15 years earlier. I promise I’d trade it for being dead now. Until then, I’ll probably end up at this show hoping to be transported back to the good ol’ Bad Brains days.


Fight The Power, Go See These Relative Unknowns
Truthers, Scully, Milk Dick, Rips at Union Pool (Williamsburg)
Saturday December 6th at Union Pool, 8 pm, tickets at the door $6

I don’t know if it’s possible to hate a bar more than I hate Union Pool, but the shows there make for a dramatically different scene. And now that DBA’s gone, you really have no reason to go much farther into Williamsburg than this, do you? Saturday night featuresa pretty strong lineup with Truthers, a newish local band that includes members of DIIV and really seems to be onto something with their washed-out garage rock and little hints of Jonathan Richman. Scully will be there to break up the relative calm with West Coast hardcore. Two more bands from Brooklyn offer a chance for you to heal your pit wounds. Milk Dick brings straightforward garage pop with uplifting lyrics about things like contracting HIV from hypodermic needles hiding obscured by sand in “Beach Needles (Coney).” And Rips offers up the other side of chill with shoegazey ‘90s anthems.


You Definitely “Get It”
Kim Gordon & Loren Connors/ Gary War at Issue Project Room (Downtown Brooklyn)
Wednesday December 3rd at 8 pm, tickets $20

Here’s your chance to get cultured and enjoy some avant-garde weirdness. For the first time, experimental musician and guitarist Loren Connors teams up with electronic musician Gary War for what’s definitely going to be an insanely psychedelic performance. Also, Kim Gordon’s going to be there.The show is officially sold out, but you might be able to snag some limited tickets which are still available at Other Music.


If You’re New To The Whole “Music” Thing, Start Here
Blonde Redhead, Luke Temple at Music Hall of Williamsburg
Tuesday December 2nd, doors at 8 pm, tickets $25 advance/ $30 at the door

Hey, I don’t know if you’ve heard of this band called Blonde Redhead, but chances are you have, unless you actually fit the description above. And hey, we we won’t fault you for the latter, but if it’s true, definitely take our advice and go see them. On the off chance you’ve been around the block, you know that Blonde Redhead has been too, nevertheless we encourage you to revisit these guys, because they put out a really good new album recently, Barragán.


The Musical Equivalent of Fine Scotch
Philip Glass at BAM (Downtown Brooklyn)
Friday December 5th and Saturday December 6th at 7:30 pm, tickets $20

Go see Philip Glass join nine other pianists to present his 20 etudes composed over 20 years starting in 1994, when Glass decided he totally sucked at piano and like needed to get better by writing a bunch of brilliant stuff. Anyway, it seems he doesn’t suck so much anymore, so we’re guessing this might be kind of amazing to see. The other pianists bring a variety of approaches to the instrument including jazz and classical virtuoso.


This Could Be Either Super Fun or Completely Horrible
Brooklyn Rock Lottery at Baby’s All Right (Williamsburg)
Saturday, December 6th at 9 pm, tickets $15, all proceeds go to the Harmony Program

This weekend a bunch of musicians from a variety of persuasions including black metal, pop, and punk, will descend on Baby’s All Right and be randomly matched up with one another to form new bands with new songs all totally off the cuff. Artists have one full day to figure their shit out before Saturday night’s show. Participants include Brian Chase (Yeah Yeah Yeah’s), Travis Morrison (formerly of Dismemberment Plan), Sean Yeaton (Parquet Courts), Brandon Welchez (Crocodiles), Bob D’Amico (Fiery Furnaces), and more from bands like Obits and Mutilation Rites. This could end in complete disaster, but there’s even more potential for at least some of the collaborations to be kind of amazing. And better yet all the proceeds go to the Harmony Program, a non-profit organization that helps provide kids in underfunded school districts with access to musical education.


Bring Extra Kleenex Because This One Will Make You Cry Tears (of Blood)
Angel Olsen at Roulette (Boerum Hill)
December 6th, doors at 7 pm, $20

I can’t stop listening to Angel Olsen’s EP Strange Cacti, but I’m told she’s done a lot more that’s worth seeking out since it was released in 2010, including two full-length albums and a 7-inch. Her latest release, Burn Your Fire For No Witness, sees Olsen channeling the Leonard Cohen of Songs of Love and Hate on “White Fire,” so much so that I had to double and then triple check that it wasn’t a cover. But it would be misleading to imply Olsen’s virtues draw from imitation or doing-what’s-been-done. Her power as a musician stems from something much deeper than that. Unlike Cohen, Olsen actually has range, but like Cohen she bears her multifaceted soul. She’s human, not some distant star. There definitely won’t be a pit at this show, but by all accounts Olsen puts on a hell of a show, so the weak need not apply.


Shake Booty
Jamaican Queens at Rough Trade (Williamsburg)
Monday December 8th, doors at 8pm, tickets $10

Hey these guys are FUN! And they’re from Detroit, which also makes them cool. I wouldn’t say their music is an accurate reflection of “what’s going on” in Detroit right now, but that’s part of the fun. Jamaican Queens’ unabashedly sweet and often twisted weirdo pop is totally the exception. And hey if you can’t catch them this coming week, you can see them later when they play Palisades on December 11th.


Music To Take Drugs To Make Music To
1-800 Dinosaurs: James Blake (DJ Set) at Output (Williamsburg), Airhead, Dan Foat, Mr. Assister
Wednesday December 3rd, doors at 10 pm, tickets $15

This should be a pretty ambient and weird dance party, right? I don’t exactly know how to behave at a show for music I usually fall asleep to, but I expect I’d act pretty woozy. I haven’t really found myself at an ambient music event since I was an adolescent wandering through warehouses in Detroit when I should have been at home studying trig, but I’m assuming this will be a similarly trippy experience. Also it’s happening at a “club,” so you know what that means, or maybe you don’t, I don’t know. James Blake’s reputation precedes him at this point, so you really don’t need me to tell you he’s good at whatever he does, which is a bunch of stuff, so expect the unexpected I suppose.