Music

The Best NYC Shows This Week: Redd Kross, Moodymann, A Bed-Stuy Function

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Two heroes of early punk, from very different backgrounds but each celebrating their fortieth anniversaries, will play in New York this week. Redd Kross are a Los Angeles group of the late Seventies, whose grungy DIY music often referenced the films their city produced. The Damned, founded in 1976, were one of the first punk groups to emerge in the U.K., introducing a gothic vibe into the emerging genre. If punk isn’t your thing, there’s plenty of cutting-edge dance music in store as well, from the U.K. techno collaborators Demdike Stare to the German techno DJ Dasha Rush. And if all that fails, you can always head to see the performatively obscene garage rockers Black Lips.

5/4

Redd Kross, Roya

Bowery Ballroom

9 p.m., $15

When they were founded in 1978 by brothers Jeff and Steven McDonald, the Southern California group Redd Kross sounded a lot like the hundreds of other DIY punk bands that were springing up at the time. But their willingness to combine punk aesthetics and pop-culture camp made Redd Kross stand out from their peers and linger in the scene’s memories. Their first album, 1982’s Born Innocent, was a catalog of their cultural obsessions, referencing everything from The Exorcist to Beyond the Valley of the Dolls. The group went on to have a major influence on some of the era’s most legendary groups; members who left the band ending up playing in Black Flag, Circle Jerks, and Bad Religion. Over the years, punk has often taken itself too seriously — that’s not a concern with Redd Kross, who always seem to be having a great time.

5/5

Demdike Stare, Regis, Abby Echiverri, Maria Chavez, Covert Joy

Good Room

10 p.m., $20–$25

U.K. friends Sean Canty and Miles Whittaker have collaborated as Demdike Stare for nearly ten years now, DJing and playing live sets that draw from many of electronic music’s most interesting niches. Their 2016 album, Wonderland, contained snippets of ambient, breakbeats, techno, jungle, and grime, sometimes all on the same track. Demdike Stare will play live at the Good Room, alongside the Downwards Records label boss Regis and Brooklyn artists Abby Ecchiverri and Maria Chavez.

The Damned

Warsaw

7 p.m., $141 (for the Fan Club Package, including a meet and greet with the band and merch)

The U.K. group the Damned have gone through many lineup changes since they first got together in 1976, but the punk pioneers can still rock it live. Their first-wave goth punk was hugely influential on a litany of bands in the hardcore, punk, and goth rock scenes. Last year, incredibly, the band celebrated its fortieth anniversary and announced a new album and tour. They’ll play songs new and old at Brooklyn’s Warsaw.

Sustain-Release Campers Reunion

Dasha Rush, Voiski, Umfang, LNS, DJ Wey b2b DJ Xanax b2b Luis, NK Badtz Maru

Brooklyn Bazaar

Midnight, $20–$25

Sustain-Release is a two-day, members-only underground techno festival that has taken place for the last three years at a Boy Scout camp in the Catskills. The festival, curated by Brooklyn producer Aurora Halal, has inspired a fierce devotion from its attendees. A less expansive Sustain-Release event, open to the public, will take over two floors of Greenpoint’s Brooklyn Bazaar, bringing some festival favorites out to party until dawn. These include Discwoman’s techno übermensch Umfang and the Germany-based experimental techno star Dasha Rush.

New Jack Swing: The Hype Dance

Just Blaze, Kid Capri, Brucie B

Louie and Chan

10 p.m., Tickets TBA at door

In late-Eighties New York, hip-hop, R&B, and dance pop came together into a new style called New Jack Swing, a genre that seeped into the mainstream and influenced artists like Janet Jackson. Red Bull Music Academy will revive the early days of New Jack Swing for one night this week. After a conversation with genre progenitor Teddy Riley, some of the original DJs of the era, including Brucie B and Kid Capri, will play sets at the lower Manhattan venue Louie and Chan. If you didn’t have the chance to experience this scene-defining cultural moment the first time around, this is an unmissable opportunity.

Black Lips, Surfbort, the Brooklyn Bluebirds

Webster Hall

7:30 p.m., $20

“It doesn’t seem all that crazy to me,” Black Lips bassist Jared Swilley said in a 2010 interview about the band’s notorious stage antics. “It’s not like we have ever done a human sacrifice on stage or anything like that.” Much of the attention around the Atlanta band has centered around its extreme performances, which, especially early on, often included urination, vomiting, and nudity. Inspired by Viennese Actionism and GG Allin, the Black Lips performance is certainly hard to ignore. But they also craft delightful, catchy garage rock tunes, which these days often carry their shows perfectly well on their own — no human sacrifice needed.

5/6

Moodymann

637 West 50th Street

10 p.m., $30

Detroit DJ Moodymann is known for his distinctly black take on today’s house music. His mixes are deeply soulful and funky, often incorporating traditional African-American musical styles like jazz and samples from Seventies blaxploitation films. The DJ-producer’s efforts are a true continuation of the work done by the inventors of house and techno, who were themselves all black and from the Midwest cities of Chicago and Detroit. Aside from his own music, Moodymann is known for his endless love of Prince. In Detroit, the DJ has a house that stands as a living monument to the Minneapolis star, entirely cloaked in purple and full of Prince memorabilia. For the Red Bull Music Academy festival, Moodymann will indulge in his love of the pop icon a year after his death, spinning a set of his favorite Prince songs. There’s no one better qualified to help us celebrate the life of one of America’s musical heroes.

Bang on a Can Marathon 30th Anniversary
Bang on a Can All Stars, Asphalt Orchestra, Pan in Motion, Laraaji, Oliver Lake, Innov Gnawa, Kaki King, more

Brooklyn Museum

2 p.m., $16 donation before 5 p.m., free after

The New York experimental ensemble Bang on a Can have spent the last three decades playing innovative, boundary-pushing music that ranges from free jazz to rock, while curating fantastic lineups and collaborating with the likes of Steve Reich and DJ Spooky. Their Bang on a Can Marathon is a yearly chance for the ensemble to assemble some of their favorite musicians for a day of challenging and beguiling performances. This year, for their thirtieth anniversary, some of the highlights include the street marching band Asphalt Orchestra, a group of highly skilled musicians that cover artists like Björk and Frank Zappa; Laraaji, an ambient artist who makes use of instruments like zither and mbira; and Kaki King, the guitar prodigy whose mind-bending compositions are as emotional as they are technically impressive. If none of this convinces you that this show is worth attending, get this — after 5 p.m., the concert is free.

Vagabon, Nnamdi Ogbonnaya, So Much Light
Brooklyn Bazaar

8 p.m., $12

Laetitia Tamko, who goes by the moniker Vagabon, is a refreshing voice in the indie rock scene. On her new album, Infinite Words, she sometimes sings her contemplative tunes softly over guitar-picking, while other times she yelps as a full band crashes in. Many of these emotionally charged songs explore feelings of displacement and alienation — Tamko grew up in Cameroon before moving to New York as a teenager. “I’ve been hiding in the smallest space/I am dying to go/this is not my home,” she sings on “Fear & Force.” But her backstory is merely an interesting sidenote — the music Tamko makes as Vagabon expresses the universal fears, insecurities, and joys of growing up.

5/7

A Bed-Stuy Function

Juliana Huxtable, Tygapaw, Bearcat, Papi Juice, FXWRK, Stud1nt

Sugar Hill Disco

2 p.m., $10

Some of Brooklyn’s most radical artists and promoters will come together at this Red Bull Music Academy festival event, taking over the historic Sugar Hill Disco in Bed-Stuy. Sugar Hill is a legendary spot — it’s functioned as a nightclub and soul-food eatery for decades — and almost any event there is worth attending. The lineup on this event is as stellar as the location. Multimedia artist Juliana Huxtable, who has showed pieces at MoMA and the New Museum, will play her avant-garde take on party music, while DJ Tygapaw will bring her amped-up mix of hip-hop and electronic music. The queer Latinx party Papi Juice is also participating, as is Discwoman DJ Bearcat and the experimental producer Stud1nt. This is without a doubt the most fun you will have dancing on a mid-spring Sunday afternoon.

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