If there’s a clear sign that dance music is passé, it’s that the genre’s preeminent critic, Simon Reynolds, has moved on to something else—at least temporarily. It turns out that post-punk was Reynolds’s first love. In his latest book—another exhaustively researched tome (with the best title since, like, ever) Rip It Up and Start Again—Reynolds tracks the genre’s rise and demise—from PiL to the Talking Heads and the Art of Noise. The release party features a live show from local band Kudu, who sort of remind me, of yes, a post-punk Shangri Las; DJs Dan Selzer and Roy Dank spin. Sat @ 8, Nublu, 62 Avenue C, 212-979-9925.
Matthew Herbert is a producer’s producer who other electronic musicians (as well as fans) revere for his eclectic, experimental albums that combine unusual sampling techniques (his last release, concept record Plat du Jour, cribbed sounds from the food industry) and political overtones (during the initial invasion of Iraq he refused to play in America). His newest record, Scale, which also features his longtime vocal collaborator Dani Siciliano, is less overtly experimental, and features lush strings and jazz-like compositions, but is still challenging. However, Herbert’s great care to include everything sometimes leaves a song without a center. The sonic result is like a technically mesmerizing painting of a homely girl. Wed @ Canal Room, 285 West Broadway, 212-941-8100.
In lieu of waiting for a new Metro Area record, you can experience Environ labelmate Kelley Polar, who satisfies the urge to hear deep house that pays homage to New York house and disco’s rich past, but uses fresh production instead of dated beats. Polar plays live with Metro Area’s Morgan Geist and Italo-disco don Dan Selzer on the decks. Wed @ 7:30, Knitting Factory, 74 Leonard, 212-219-3006.