The Best NYC Shows This Week: Jenny Hval, Grass Is Green, Tygapaw


It’s the week before Christmas, and though most of the indie rock bands seem to have absconded to their holidays, the electronic scene stops for nothing. From ambient legend GAS to techno veterans Octave One and a lineup of Chicago house mainstays, there’s something for every kind of dance-music fan this week. But if you’re more comfortable in the realm of guitar music, we’ve got you covered, too — head to Brooklyn Bazaar to celebrate with Shea Stadium’s displaced family, or to the Footlight to ring in the holidays with Colleen Green and Cassie Ramone.

Jenny Hval
National Sawdust
8 p.m., $20

The Norwegian experimental singer-songwriter Jenny Hval seems to speak more directly than almost anyone else to this time of violence, uncertainty, and rebirth for women. On last year’s Blood Bitch, Hval delved into biology, romance, capitalism, and revolutionary self-knowledge, on tracks that veer among pop, harsh noise, and spoken-word sound art. Her live performances often involve visual and dance elements that add another layer of mystique and meaning to her fascinating and vital work.

GAS, Justin Walter, Ricardo Romaneiro, Heathered Pearls
The Hall at Elsewhere
8 p.m., $25–$30

The German electronic producer Wolfgang Voigt spent the ’90s releasing albums of dark, unsettling techno, a legacy that was upended by his 2000 album, Pop, a gorgeous and strange ambient work that swelled with psychedelic nature-sounds; it turned out to be Voigt’s last work as GAS for seventeen years. This spring, he released Narkopop, an record that’s even more sumptuous and consuming than his previous efforts. Voigt was famously quoted in a German interview saying that his aim with GAS was to bring “the forest to the disco, or vice versa.” Close your eyes during his set in Elsewhere’s main space, and there’s a good chance you’ll be transported.

Xeno & Oaklander, Tiers, Public Memory
Zone One at Elsewhere
8 p.m., $12–$15

Xeno & Oaklander are a synth duo known for their love of genres like minimal wave and synth-pop, and for the gloomy, ominous aura that surrounds their music and performances. This year, the group broke from their usual pop stylings to release the second part of an instrumental series called Movements. Originally released on cassette, the project could be the soundtrack to a cheesy horror movie or a goth video game — it’s full of dramatic synths rising over drones and unsettling, echoing rattles. They’ll play here with Public Memory, a local producer who finds his inspiration in similarly murky, textural realms.

Speaker Peoples II
DJ Dog Dick, Juliana Huxtable, IUD
Secret Project Robot
9 p.m., $9

Head to Secret Project Robot this Wednesday for a night of left-field music from some of New York’s strangest talents. Artist Max Eisenberg has performed his industrial avant-rap as DJ Dog Dick for over a decade. Watching him is fascinating and exciting — it’s often hard to process what you’re seeing, and that’s exactly why it’s so thrilling. “I’ve never been afraid to play the part of the fool,” Eisenberg said in a 2012 interview. “You need to show the awkward, stupid parts of existence as much as you need to show the brilliant, austere parts.” He’ll be backed up by the performance artist Juliana Huxtable, who approaches the challenging subjects of race and sexuality in a constantly changing, innovative fashion.

Shea Holiday Happening
Yucky Duster, Bueno, Fits, Emmerson & Her Clammy Hands
Brooklyn Bazaar
8 p.m., $8

We’re heading into 2018 without a physical home for Shea Stadium, the venue that graced a sweaty second-floor room in an industrial stretch of East Williamsburg for most of the last decade. Shea is still searching for a new place to throw its blend of rock, pop, and experimental shows, but while we wait, we can enjoy some of Brooklyn’s premier DIY talent — including the indie-pop group Yucky Duster, the ’90s-alt-inspired Bueno, and the hook-heavy punk group Fits — in Brooklyn Bazaar’s basement space.

Cassie & Colleen Holiday Spectacular
Colleen Green, Cassie Ramone, Leya, Spirit Crush
The Footlight
8 p.m., $10

DIY pop punk queens Colleen Green and Cassie Ramone bring their Christmas show to Brooklyn this week, backed up by dreamy shoegaze act Spirit Crush. The Footlight, located off the DeKalb L stop on the border of Ridgewood and Brooklyn, is a perfectly cozy place to celebrate the last week before Christmas with friends. Ramone will play selections from her lo-fi holiday covers album, Christmas in Reno. We hear there will also be pie.

Grass Is Green, Ovlov, Anna Altman, Littlefoot
8 p.m., $10

Boston’s Grass Is Green play a brand of Malkmus-inspired post-punk that isn’t trying too hard to be liked. Their angular guitar parts and elliptical lyrics never quite form into something you can settle into, and that’s the point. For a certain kind of rock fan, this grimy, lo-fi, anguished vibe is heaven. They’ll be joined by Ovlov, a punk-emo group who have broken up and gotten back together several times over the years, but who always kill it live.

Octave One (Live), Kevin Saunderson, Basic Soul Unit, Turtle Bugg, J-UL
The Hall at Elsewhere
11 p.m., $15–$25

An incredible lineup of Detroit techno veterans comes to Elsewhere’s main space this holiday weekend, featuring Octave One, a duo who have laid the groundwork for decades of electronic music. Their productions are some of the most-used tracks by techno legends like Richie Hawtin. They’ll play alongside Kevin Saunderson, one of techno’s originators, and Turtle Bugg, a more recent, New York–based disciple.

Tygapaw, Abdu Ali, Habibiboi, Gooddroid
Zone One at Elsewhere
11 p.m., $5–$12

Tygapaw is a Brooklyn-based, Jamaica-born DJ who weaves hip-hop, pop, techno, house, dancehall, and more into her electric live sets. She’s the founder of the party Fake Accent, a event, she says, that attempts to “make a new space to be among like-minded people, regardless of race, gender, [or] sexuality.” This won’t be a straightforward electronic music night — come prepared to be entertained.

All I Want for Christmas Is Acid
Mike Dunn, Mike Servito, Elle Dee, Haruka
Good Room
10 p.m., $15

The origins of the genre known as “acid house” are debatable, but it’s a consensus that Phuture’s twelve-minute 1987 song “Acid Tracks” is one of the earliest and most influential examples. Acid is known for its 4/4 beats and squelchy bass courtesy of the Roland TB-303 synthesizer, which came to define the genre. Like house itself, acid came out of the Chicago party scene before spreading to the U.K. and the world at large. A celebration of the genre and its history will take over Good Room this weekend, featuring appearances by Chicago house DJs Mike Dunn and Mike Servito. Go and get schooled.