Music

The Best NYC Shows This Week: Perfume Genius, A Deer A Horse, Ty Segall

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There are so many talented local musicians living in this town — from up-and-coming open-mic performers to bands that headline festivals — that it’s sometimes hard to remember it’s worth stopping by their hometown gigs. A few of the smaller shows this week feature such bands. A Deer A Horse, a grungy, seductive rock band, headline a show chock full of local favorites, as does the singer-songwriter Infinity Crush, who makes beautifully intimate, quiet work. But as always, some of the best acts are those who are visiting: Toronto’s dance punk prodigies Holy Fuck and San Francisco’s reigning garage-rock god Ty Segall are both notable.

5/16
Perfume Genius, Serpentwithfeet
Brooklyn Steel
7 p.m., $23–$26

On Mike Hadreas’s fourth album as Perfume Genius, No Shape, his sound is more varied and bigger than ever. Far from the gentle lo-fi of his earlier efforts, No Shape sees Hadreas backed by strings, drums, sparkling synths, and singers who buoy his delicate voice. Hadreas’s music is always an emotional gut punch — something he has in common with opener Serpentwithfeet, a collaboration between singer Josiah Wise and producer Haxan Cloak that’s a sensually minimalist take on alt-r&b. Don’t forget your tissues for this one.

5/17
Infinity Crush, Emily Reo, Emily Yacina
Baby’s All Right
8 p.m., $10–$12

Infinity Crush, begun as a solo project by the Maryland artist Caroline White, makes soft, quiet, and potently intimate songs that leaked out as demos on White’s Tumblr for years before coalescing into an album, Warmth Equation, released last year. White’s music has much in common with her friends Elvis Depressedly’s and Teen Suicide’s raw vulnerability and sincerity. She’ll play alongside Brooklyn singer-songwriter Emily Reo, whose songs are gorgeously personal electropop with vocoder-filtered vocals, and Emily Yacina, another local artist who plays with lo-fi aesthetics on warm, distorted recordings.

A Deer A Horse, Us Weekly, Jackal Onasis, Dead Tenants
Silent Barn
8 p.m, $8

A Deer A Horse are a grungy, loud Brooklyn rock band who incorporate giant hooks swathed in distortion into their gloomy yet energizing songs, propelled by their singer’s deeply resonant, dramatic voice. Their latest EP, Backswimmer, released this year, was apparently inspired by the Netflix true-crime documentary Making a Murderer. “It’s that idea of taking two steps forward and one step back, unable to escape a system designed to work against you,” the band said in an interview with the A.V. Club. They’ll be joined by local post-punkers Jackal Onasis, another band inspired by a TV show — they’re named after the fictional rock star who appears in a particularly hilarious episode of the sadly canceled cult favorite Party Down.

5/18
Holy Fuck, Odonis Odonis
Bowery Ballroom
8 p.m., $15

The instrumental dance-punk band Holy Fuck lie outside of most traditional ideas of genre. Are their tight, pummeling beats math rock? Are they a dance act who just happen to play acoustic instruments? Or are they noise pop in the vein of HEALTH? On their most recent album, last year’s Congrats, they seemed to be leaning toward the latter, with superfast, rhythmically challenging songs that feel like a racing heart. In a new move for Holy Fuck, many of these songs contain vocals, though they’re so distorted it’s impossible to understand them. Ultimately, it doesn’t matter how you categorize Holy Fuck: They make fascinating music that’s fun to dance to.

Ty Segall, Purling Hiss, Shannon Lay
Warsaw
8 p.m., $25–$28

Last year, to promote a few shows in Chicago, Ty Segall and his band performed on a local morning show. Segall crawled out onstage wearing a rubber baby-head mask to the sound of prerecorded cries, before standing up and expertly blasting his way through “Squealer,” off of last year’s Emotional Mugger. Segall has always had at least two sides to himself — he’s the art punk who lives to freak out normies, and the prolific and technically impressive singer-songwriter who has released dozens of albums that competently and surprisingly update genres like garage rock, psych, and Britpop. His latest release, a two-song EP called Sentimental Goblin, is just a taste of Segall’s oeuvre, but even in these two compact tunes you can hear influences from late-era Beatles to the Kinks. And the songs are damn good.

5/19
Felix Da Housecat, Eagles & Butterflies, Lauren Lane
Output
10 p.m., $20–$30

Felix Da Housecat made his name as part of the second wave of Chicago house DJs, but ever since, the 45-year-old has continually tried to reinvent himself, for better or worse. One of his best turns was in 2001, when he released the album Kittenz and Thee Glitz, featuring his smash-hit party track with electroclash maven Miss Kittin, “Silver Screen.” Several ill-conceived attempts to capitalize on that success followed, but thankfully, Felix is still at his best spinning his signature mix of acid, house, and electrodisco. Wear your dancing shoes.

5/20
Sacred Bones 10 Year Anniversary
Jenny Hval, Zola Jesus, Rose McDowall, Blanck Mass, the Men, Moon Duo (with Jim Jarmusch), Marissa Nadler, Psychic Ills, Uniform
Greenpoint Terminal Warehouse
4 p.m., $40

Sacred Bones is an indie label with such a strong brand that you can guarantee any artist it signs will be worth listening to. And you also wouldn’t have too hard a time guessing what that artist sounded like. The label has crafted an exacting aesthetic, both visually and sonically. Though its artists range from the goth pop of Zola Jesus to the sludge punk of the Men to the psych rock of Psychic Ills, all its artists possess a dark, arty sensibility. To celebrate the label’s ten-year anniversary, these and others of Sacred Bones’ biggest draws will perform at this Red Bull Music Academy festival showcase. The night includes Jenny Hval, a Norwegian avant-garde rocker whose shows feature beguiling feminist performance art, and Moon Duo, an occult psychpop group from Portland, Oregon, who will perform with the famed filmmaker Jim Jarmusch — what that will look like, we have no idea. The show goes from 4 p.m. to midnight, and you’re going to want to stay the whole time.

Mumdance, Mr. Mitch, Shy Eyez
Sunnyvale
Midnight, $12–$15

Sometimes Mumdance’s music sounds like a power saw. Sometimes it sounds like a complex machine running out of fuel. Sometimes it sounds like an approaching subway car. Other times, you might mistake it for dance music. Mumdance is a project by the U.K. producer Jack Adams. He’s part of a group of artists, including collaborator Logos, Arca, and Rabit, who are deconstructing and rebuilding what we think of as dance music, accentuating all the harshest, strangest, and most difficult aspects of the genre and leaving four on the floor beats — and sometimes all beats — behind. His music, like his peers’, is inherently political, twisting the überpleasurable dance genre into something alien and uncomfortable, refusing to let audiences sink into zoned-out complicity. “If something confuses the shit out of you on the dance floor — that’s a beautiful thing,” he told Pitchfork in 2015. Go see Mumdance, and take a dance into the unknown.

Vulture Festival
Cat Power, Frankie Cosmos
Webster Hall
6 p.m., $40

No one would have predicted that Chan Marshall, the singer-songwriter known as Cat Power, whose bleakly sad songs propelled her to fame, would one day be guesting on EDM songs. But that’s apparently where we are in 2017. Marshall has contributed guest vocals to multiple tracks on the new album Ibifornia by the French electro duo Cassius. What this means for the future of Marshall’s emotionally affecting music is hard to know — she hasn’t released an album since 2012’s Sun. But live, Marshall is only ever herself — unpredictable, shy, and brilliant. She’ll perform as part of the Vulture Festival, curated by New York magazine’s culture vertical.

5/21
Deerhunter, Eleanor Friedberger, Jock Gang
Warsaw
7 p.m., $25

Deerhunter have managed to achieve a fairly standard indie rock career making very unstandard music. Fronted by Bradford Cox — a brilliant provocateur who never met a controversy he didn’t like — the group has put out album after album of tangled guitar rock that sometimes veers into noise or dreampop. On its most recent effort, 2015’s Fading Frontier, the group is more likable than ever — these songs wouldn’t sound out of place in your favorite coffee shop or bookstore. But that doesn’t mean Deerhunter have gotten boring. On the contrary, the album’s high production values and songs with semi-normal structure draw out what makes the band truly unique: Cox’s voice, his elliptical sense of melody, and his ear for strange sound combinations that somehow always seem to work.

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