The last thing you want to hear right now is another person kvetching about the shit weather. Yeah it’s horrible out–venues are freezing right now, beers turn to slushies before you can sip em, and everyone can see you’ve been crying because your tears turn to icicles before you even have a chance to wipe them off your face. Woe is everyone, y’all!
Best way to stop feeling terrible in this final stretch of winter–seriously, just blink and when you open your eyes, you’ll be paper bagging it at Prospect Park, eating tacos on the curb, and frolicking out at Fort Tilden–is to warm yourself by the fire of these rad performances. I don’t know if you’ve heard of live music or remember what life was like before Spotify, but we’re here to inform you of one of the few real joys earned from subjecting yourself to the painful daily drudgery of living in money city: the long list of great shows happening in your own backyard.
Fwends From Motor City
The Intended, In School, Honey Radar
Saturday February 21st, 8 pm at Aviv, tickets $8 at the door, tickets available online too wow
Hey it’s cold as fuck outside and there’s snow everywhere holy ugh, but that’s certainly not keeping Detroit bands at bay. They’re used to this awful garbage but definitely have it worse. Not just because Midwest weather is infinitely more brutal but because Detroiters are counted among the lucky few if, after a snow dump, their street actually gets plowed. To make matters worse, meter maids in Detroit are like mailmen– no rain, snow, shine, or budgetary constraints will prevent them from flopping tickets on cars parked legally and illegally. Even more reason to go see Detroit punks from Tyvek play as the The Intended– these dudes probably have more than a few parking tickets to pay off. Oh right, they’re also a really fun live show. I promise.
Throw in some hardcore (In School) and garage from the unimaginably dark hellhole that is Indiana (Honey Radar).
Update: In School will no longer be in attendance.
Double Trouble Record Banger
A Place To Bury Strangers Record Release Show, with Grooms, Ed Shrader’s Music Beat
Tuesday February 17th, 8 pm at Music Hall of Williamsburg, tickets $14 advance, $16 at the door
The headliners of this double record release showcase, A Place To Bury Strangers, guarantee a seriously visceral show-sperience. Don’t let the blasé rock vibes and garage fuzz fool you, these guys won’t be standing still, eyes down on their pedals the whole time. Were you at the last Death By Audio show? Of course you were, so I’m confident you remember the fog machine situation. This show might prove to be even wilder, judging by their new record Transfixiation, which sees the band at their most shredtacular.
Also on deck are Grooms, a band that brings in a completely different sensibility: pure, unadulterated indie pop. If you thought the lineup couldn’t be more disparate, consider the presence of Ed Schrader’s Music Beat, a bizarro two-piece minimal rock outfit–the Tim and Eric of weird punk.
Come Nasty, Leave Filthy
Anasazi, L.O.T.I.O.N., Sadist, Nandas
Saturday February 21st, 8 pm at Palisades, tickets $7
Sup punks? NYC hardcore mainstays Anasazi are releasing their first full-length LP on Toxic State Records. I can think of a few places you might be able to find it, but why go to a store when you can snag one at a live music event? Am I right or am I right? Put the L.O.T.I.O.N. on the skin– er, sorry just L.O.T.I.O.N.–infuse, like, 500 more ppm of testosterone into this show. Shrugs. But hey their release on Burn Books seriously rips. Then we’ve got Nandas (straight nasty brat punk) and Sadist (Boston hardcore replete with deathly howls).
Cakes Da Killa, UniiQu3, Rizzla, Tigga, LA Tr!ck$
Friday February 20th, 11:55 pm at Baby’s All Right, tickets $10 in advance/ $12 at the door
Pitchfork called Cakes Da Killa a “raunchy ass bitch” and rightfully so, NYC’s own lays hilariously nasty rhymes over hyperactive techno / New Orleans bounce: “bitch I wanna fuck your boyfriend.” Yeah, you may have heard bye now that Cakes is gay, something that is thankfully becoming less and less of a novelty in the rap world. And you know what? It’s about time. The badittude of voguing maps comfortably onto ripping and rhyming, so it all just makes sense. It’s been more than year since the release of The Eulogy, and though we were sated with a couple of Cakes’ mixtapes since, we’ve finally gotten the EP we were waiting for, #IMF . A bunch of special guests are joining the show, which should be a long and wild one. Come prepared for a party.
Gym Shorts, Great Western Plains, Advertising, Nonsense, DJ TJ Richards (of Trabajo)
Tuesday February 17th, 8 pm at Silent Barn, tickets $7 at the door
Great Western Plains are sort of onomatopoetic– stripped-down, garage rock from Maine, a mix of muted energy and earnest outbursts that recall Pavement. Joining them will be Gym Shorts (local slice gobbling pop punkers), Nonsense (no nonsense, lo-fi noise noise), and Advertising (proggy local outfit). Should make for a perfect Tuesday evening. Nothing too crazy that might inspire you to rip your Canada Goose Down coat into shreds (OMG but that cost $800! I know right?!) but just enough energy and musical prowess to keep you nodding while you throw back a can of beer.
Puggettabout Skipping This One
Palberta, Dead Wives, Flagland, The Gradients, Big Neck Police
Saturday February 21st, 8 pm at Shea Stadium, tickets $8 at the door
The clever ladies of Palberta are a joyous bundle of awkward, playful noise punk. They’ve bottled that feeling of goofing off with your besties, but somehow manage to keep their audience in on the inside joke. Dead Wives can sometimes sound like a grungy Nirvana tribute band, see “Beekeeper” off their cassette Buzzy Fuzzy. But that sensibility doesn’t account for all of Dead Wives, they’re actually kind of all over the map: pop punk and Ween covers are also in their repertoire. The deconstructed scuzz jams of Big Neck Police will infuse the night with another side of unhinged.
The One, The Only
Tuesday February 17th, 8 pm at Rough Trade, tickets $125
Ultimate boss lady Ms. Lauryn Hill has a few performances happening this week in the city. Most of them are sold out (duh) but if you’ve got deep pockets and are willing to empty them, consider yourself seriously #blessed because there are still tickets available for her Rough Trade show happening tonight. I don’t think I have to remind you that Lauryn Hill is the proud owner of a one of the most powerful singer songwriter vocal tracts in the universe.
But her 1998 masterpiece The Miseducaiton of Lauryn Hill remains her only studio album. Following the critical praise, numerous grammies, and attention she received, Hill withdrew from public view and abandoned the music industry out of frustration. She continued to perform, though sometimes the shows were lackluster or rife with controversy. Small Axe, Hill’s two week tour featuring “intimate, acoustic sets” could prove to be a comeback of sorts. Have faith, this is Lauryn Hill we’re talking about.
Hieroglyphic Being, Beau Wanzer, Further Reductions, and Alex From Queens
Friday February 20th, 10 pm at Palisades, tickets: $12 in advance/ $15 at the door
If EDM is your thing, get your fix of psychedelic “art noise” at this weekend’s techno takeover at Palisades. The lineup Featuring Further Reductions, Alex From Queens, Hieroglyphic Being, and Beau Wanzer will put on a show highlighting the intersection of noise and electronic music. The vibe is too chaotic and you know “arty” to be just EDM, but let’s be real–if it’s on Boiler Room, it’s party music, which means it’s too booty shaking to be noise.