Music

The Best NYC Shows This Week: Juana Molina, Land of Talk, “Twin Peaks”

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This week, the emo originators Cap’n Jazz will take the stage at Brooklyn Steel for their first reunion tour in seven years, fulfilling the dreams of Gen X–ers in every borough. But the younger crowd can also get excited about a reunion of some of their faves — the psychpop dance outfit Gang Gang Dance will play one of its first shows in eons, at Baby’s All Right. If you’re more into nostalgia for the Seventies, there’s always the disco/house rave taking place in an impromptu roller rink in Bed-Stuy to set you straight.

9/18
Juana Molina
Le Poisson Rouge
8 p.m., $20–$25

Listening to the Argentinian actress and musician Juana Molina’s newest album, Halo, you’d never know she’d been playing music since the Sixties, when she was under the age of ten. On Halo, Molina’s rhythmic, trance-like folk pop is more out-there than ever and, as a result, sounds incredibly modern. Over the last decade, she’s slowly dispensed with pop tendencies like traditional song structure to reveal a intuitive, mood-based approach to making music. The album’s name is based on the legend of “luz mala,” an evil, halo-like light that, according to myth, can be seen above graves. Molina’s songs here often sound like incantations to raise those sleeping spirits, arousing an eerie discomfort even as they sink into satisfying grooves.

9/19
Land of Talk
Baby’s All Right
10:30 p.m., $17.50

Montreal’s Land of Talk just released their first album after a seven-year break, returning to a very different musical landscape than existed in 2010. On Life After Youth, we hear bandleader Elizabeth Powell coming to terms with the responsibilities that accumulate as we age. This music, though still firmly in the tradition of Canadian indie pop like Feist, is suffused with a gentle grief and world-weariness. One of the major reasons for Powell’s break from music was her father’s stroke, which put her in the position of caretaker for much of the last decade. Though Powell’s lyrics have never been explicit, the emotion on the slow-burning track “Inner Lover” is palpable. As she repeats the refrain “You light it slowly/Your light is lonely,” over a slow drum beat and mournful synth melodies, her pain is present and relatable.

The Horrors, Weeping Icon
Rough Trade
9 p.m., $25

The Horrors are a band for record nerds, the ones who obsessively catalog the minute differences between subgenres of the Seventies and Eighties; who have stacks upon stacks of musician memoirs and oral histories; who possess an encyclopedic knowledge of the Nineties U.K. dance scene. Across their many albums, the Horrors have drawn from bands that music nerds love — from Can to the Cure — but their most recent album, Luminous, sounds more like something you’d have heard from Factory Records while blissed out on some extremely potent ecstasy. Ensconce yourself in their shimmery pop nostalgia this week at Rough Trade.

9/20
Bing & Ruth, Arone Dyer
Le Poisson Rouge
7 p.m., $15–$20

As we struggle through our days in the ever-accelerating absurdity of life under late capitalism, it’s rare to find a moment of real tranquility. That’s exactly what No Home of the Mind, the latest album by David Moore’s electro-acoustic project Bing & Ruth, provides. On these patient tracks, Moore’s fluttering piano arpeggios are undercut by warm drones and wispy woodwinds. It’s not hard to infer from the album’s title that Moore can relate to the constant mental struggle that is imposed by merely existing today; we are grateful for work like his that provides at least a momentary refuge. Bing & Ruth will appear with Arone Dyer, one half of the experimental folk duo Buke and Gase, performing his durational choral composition Dronechoir.

The Tallest Man on Earth & yMusic
Pioneer Works
8 p.m., $40

If you’re only listening to his songs as the Tallest Man on Earth, it’s hard to infer that Kristian Matsson is Swedish. On his four excellent albums under that name, he has channeled the Americana of artists like Neil Young and Bob Dylan into songs full of sentimentality, romance, and heartache. This year, Matsson teamed up with yMusic, a classical sextet, to reanimate some of the best tracks from his catalog with totally new, beautiful orchestral arrangements. This week at Pioneer Works’ gorgeous space, he’ll play some of the songs off his EP with yMusic. The sextet will also play some of its own work, and Matsson will debut unreleased material. Also 9/21

9/23
Cap’n Jazz, the Van Pelt
Brooklyn Steel
8 p.m., $27

Earlier in 2017, after years of the so-called emo revival bringing us updated versions of classic groups, one of those outfits, Cap’n Jazz, announced a reunion, their first in seven years. In the wake of playing FYF Fest in July, the Chicago band, formed in 1989, will play Brooklyn Steel this week. Cap’n Jazz’s sound, a mix of impassioned vocals and noisy, punk-inspired rock, along with the band’s sentimental and intellectual lyrics, formed the basis of what would become early emo, setting the inspirational groundwork for current bands like The World Is a Beautiful Place & I Am No Longer Afraid to Die. Cap’n Jazz are emo’s Rosetta Stone — this show is unmissable if you care at all about the genre.

Love Theme, Bernardino Femminielli
The Park Church Co-op
7 p.m., $12–$15

Twin Peaks: The Return was a remarkable television event in nearly every way, but its soundtrack stood out as one of the show’s most memorable and inventive elements. In addition to a score by the genius and longtime David Lynch collaborator Angelo Badalamenti, nearly every episode featured a modern performer (including the likes of Sharon Van Etten and Nine Inch Nails) playing the show’s iconic Roadhouse. In one particularly affecting segment, David Lynch’s son Riley teamed up with Alex Zhang Hungtai of the moody, dissonant outfit Dirty Beaches for a song with a band called Trouble. Just weeks removed from the finale, Hungtai is debuting yet another project, this time a group named Love Theme, an experimental drone trio in which he plays saxophone. Just try to listen to these noir-ish, ominous sounds and not conjure a vision of Laura Palmer’s face.

OP 003: Roller Dome with Kyle Hall & Anthony Naples
Salvation Army
10 p.m., $25–$30

Anyone living in the city has at some point dreamed of what New York was like in the bad old days, when Manhattan wasn’t a theme park for rich people and nightclubs downtown were packed with artists instead of finance bros. This party, at a Bed-Stuy community center that once housed a Salvation Army day care, is a chance to experience a slice of that fantasy. According to the party planners, the event will feature “a 4900 sq ft roller rink in the gym & dance floor in the cafeteria — all fit out with sweeping projections, spatial and lighting design,” and soundtracked by the techno stylings of Detroit’s Kyle Hall and the inventive house music of Anthony Naples. Some roller skates will be available for rent, but it’s suggested that you bring your own. Start brushing up on your tricks now.

9/24
Gang Gang Dance, Alexis Taylor, Moses Archuleta
Baby’s All Right
8 p.m., $15

It’s been six years since Gang Gang Dance released their excellent psychedelic dance record Eye Contact, and little has been heard from them since. So it’s with great excitement that we recommend you go see the group live at Baby’s this week. So far there’s no word on new material, but more announced tour dates instill hope. The unconventional group was known for sprawling, psyched-out dancepop that wouldn’t sound amiss blasting out of a Burning Man temple. We’re glad to have them back.

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