The Best NYC Shows This Week: Aurora Halal, Fern Mayo, Genesis Breyer P-Orridge


New Year’s has come and gone, and the city is still frigid, but that won’t stop New Yorkers from going out to see good music. There’s plenty to be excited about this week, from great young indie rock bands like Long Neck to such boundary-pushing artists as Moor Mother and Dreamcrusher, who will play together. If you’re into techno, there are terrific shows both weekend nights: Local favorite DJ Aurora Halal plays an eight-hour set at Nowadays on Friday; on Saturday, head to Elsewhere for a night of the genre’s brightest underground stars at the Bunker’s fifteen-year anniversary party.

Fern Mayo, Dump Him, Fleabite, Mallrat
8 p.m., $10

Brooklyn’s Fern Mayo could get bogged down in cutesy tweeness: They’re named after a character in a Nineties movie (Jawbreaker), and the titles of their songs often reference Wes Anderson films. But instead, the band delivers straightforward pop punk that’s emotionally direct even as the group indulges in self-aware irony. Their breakdowns and choruses are powerful — and powerfully catchy. They could be the next Speedy Ortiz or Joanna Gruesome — check them out before they’re famous.

Huh, Night Powers, Belle-Skinner, Amy Klein
Mercury Lounge
7 p.m., $10

Huh are one of the many projects of the multitalented Brooklyn artist Carrie-Anne Murphy, who is perhaps best known as the leader of the bombastic punk brass band Bad Credit No Credit, in which her powerful voice and theatricality stole the show. Her solo project, Clapperclaw, which twists jazz in experimental directions with vocal looping, is equally transfixing. Huh are Murphy’s most traditional project: a rock band. On the single “Stockholm,” her dynamic vocals (with lyrics sung in French and English) produce an emo-tinged track that anyone could headbang to.

Yohuna, Emily Yacina, Long Beard
The Glove
8 p.m., $8

The delicate, precise music that Johanne Swanson makes as Yohuna feels transient, which seems right coming from someone who has lived in more than five cities in the last few years. Finally, Swanson has settled in New York, giving her a place to craft her gauzy bedroom folk among like-minded peers. Those include Emily Yacina, the indie pop singer-songwriter whom Yohuna will tour with this January. For their tour launch show, they’ll play with New Jersey’s Long Beard, a singer-songwriter who pens expansive folk-pop ballads.

Moor Mother, Dreamcrusher
Brooklyn Bazaar
8 p.m., $10–$12

Moor Mother was by far one of the most exciting and essential artists of 2017. Treading somewhere in the netherworld between power electronics, noise, spoken word, and performance art, Camae Ayewa’s music is like nothing else out there. Her interweaving of poetry, old gospel songs, references to traumas both historical and modern, and the aesthetics of horror are a visceral glimpse into the Black American experience. She’ll perform with Dreamcrusher, another artist who uses noise and aggressive performance to get at the pain of living under white supremacy.

Aurora Halal
10 p.m., free before midnight with RSVP, $15–$20 after

The DJ and producer Aurora Halal has left an outsize mark on the New York electronic scene through her Mutual Dreaming parties and Sustain-Release, the intimate techno festival she’s helped organize upstate for the last four years. But it’s not just her curation and event production that make Halal remarkable: She is a formidable talent behind the decks, where her moody, psychedelic techno selections light up rooms all over the world. She’ll get the chance to stretch her wings at this eight-hour-long set.

Tyvek, Straw Pipes, Writhing Squares
Zone One at Elsewhere
6 p.m., $10

Tyvek, a Detroit outfit who’ve made off-kilter punk for more than ten years now, will play Elsewhere’s smaller space this Friday. Around two dozen musicians have cycled through the group over the course of its career, each bringing a unique sound and perspective. Tyvek’s most recent album, Origin of What, showcases loud, intense punk music, whether through the dirge-like “Gridlock” or the hyperactive opener, “Tip to Tail.” They’ll appear here with Straw Pipes, a local four-piece who play grungy pop.

Long Neck, Coping Skills, Mallrat, Leia Campbell
Silent Barn
8 p.m., $8

Long Neck are a polished New Jersey indie rock project from singer-songwriter Lily Mastrodimos, formerly of the cheekily named band Jawbreaker Reunion. Her clear, strong voice is reminiscent of Jenny Lewis’s, and when she sings lyrics like “I dig holes in the bellies of men,” she radiates power. The two songs released so far off her upcoming Will This Do? sound ready to be played on festival stages — they’re instantly catchy and well-written. But for now, you can catch Long Neck at your friendly neighborhood community space, Silent Barn.

Granny Takes Another Trip: Benefit for Genesis Breyer P-Orridge
Bambara, Grim Streaker, Genesis Breyer P-Orridge, Infra-men, Sodium Beast
8 p.m., $10

Any fan of Genesis P-Orridge — one of the originators of industrial music, a pioneer of nonbinary gender recognition, and the current frontperson of Psychic TV — would jump to see h/er at a venue as intimate as East Williamsburg’s Sunnyvale. But those who follow h/er should make a special effort to attend this show, which is a benefit for P-Orridge’s medical expenses. If you’re a newcomer to h/er twisted world, this is a great time to get acquainted. The rest of the lineup, which includes the noise-rock outfit Bambara and the furious punk act Grim Streaker, is also worth checking out.  

Courtship Ritual, Keep, True Body, Safe Hex
The Gutter
7 p.m., $TBA

Three years after their debut album, Pith, the Brooklyn duo Courtship Ritual returned in September with a five-song EP that took a left turn from their usual wispy gothpop. Though it still has a certain ominous element, the EP is pure electropop goodness. These danceable tracks are reminiscent of other slightly avant-garde pop outfits like the Blow and Fol Chen. Hang out at Williamsburg’s hippest bowling hall–slash-venue to hear their fun sound live.

The Bunker 15-Year Anniversary
Rrose, Ninos Du Brasil, Antenes, Patrick Russell, Bryan Kasenic, Jane Fitz, Eric Cloutier, Mike Servito, Gunnar Haslam, Justin Cudmore, Ron Like Hell, Ryan Smith
10 p.m., $10–$25

For the last fifteen years, the New York institution the Bunker has served up excellent techno parties for those who take electronic music seriously. Long before the current “techno renaissance” hit the city, the Bunker’s roster of resident DJs were pulling out inventive and technically precise performances in warehouses across the city. An all-star crew of the label’s talent will take over Elsewhere to celebrate a decade and a half of great dance music. From Mike Servito’s Chicago house to Antenes modular experiments, the full range of underground dance music will be covered. Don’t miss out.