Music

The Best NYC Shows This Week: Olivia Neutron-John, Royal Trux, Physical Therapy

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It used to be hard to find more than a handful of serious underground techno parties to attend in any given month in New York. Now, it’s a challenge just to decide on the best party of the night. This Saturday is a nail-biter in that regard, featuring Aurora Halal’s excellent Mutual Dreaming party at H0L0, as well as a stacked lineup at Ridgewood’s Nowadays. If you’re a fan of rock music, your options are a bit more limited, but you’d do well to catch local ’50s-garage-pop act Big Eyes at Silent Barn, or ’90s-grunge group Royal Trux at Market Hotel.

1/16
Hamilton Leithauser
Café Carlyle
8:45 p.m., $45+

Few things evoke the early ’00s more than the Walkmen lead singer Hamilton Leithauser’s gravelly wail over distorted guitars. Leithauser’s band was a much-loved participant in the scene documented in the new book Meet Me in the Bathroom, an evaluation of the cocaine-and-leather-fueled Lower East Side indie rock of the ’00s. The band broke up in 2014, but Leithauser quickly embarked on a solo career that’s produced music more adventurous than his original project, featuring collaborations with diverse artists like Angel Olsen and Rostam Batmanglij. This Tuesday, he begins a residency at the Café Carlyle, a ritzy cabaret that couldn’t be farther from his grungy dive-bar roots.

Olivia Neutron-John, PILL, Deli Girls
Zone One at Elsewhere
8 p.m., $10

Olivia Neutron-John is an intriguing project from musician Anna Nasty, who usually plays bass for the DC punk band Chain and the Gang. The few singles they have released under this name feature primitive Casio keyboard sounds layered with heavily filtered vocals and instruments like squealing saxophone. The effect is something like Casiotone for the Painfully Alone meets John Maus. They will play alongside local experimental rockers PILL and avant-noise performance artists Deli Girls.

1/18
Yams Day
A$AP MOB, A$AP ROCKY, A$AP FERG, A$AP Twelvyy, A$AP NAST, A$AP ANT, Lil Yachty, Nav, G Perico, Aston Matthews, Da$h
New York Expo Center
6:30 p.m., $79.50

This week, the chart-dominating collective A$AP Mob will come together for the third Yams Day, a commemoration of the late producer A$AP Yams, whose unique productions pushed the group into the spotlight. For this celebration, most of the Mob’s stars will be in the room, including A$AP Ferg, whose recent hit “Plain Jane” is inescapable, and Lil Yachty, the ebullient rapper with a singsong cadence and off-kilter productions. The money raised at the event will go to the Always Strive and Prosper Foundation, a charity founded by Yams’s mother, Tatianna Paulino, to “[provide] young people with accessible and realistic education about substance use and abuse.”

Big Eyes, Ricky Hell and the Voidboys, 1-800-BAND, Fleaspoon
Silent Barn
8 p.m., $8

Big Eyes began in 2009, as then-21-year-old New Yorker Kait Eldridge began channeling her young-adult rages, hopes, and fears into songs that were sometimes punk, sometimes pop, and often in between. Nearly ten years later, Eldridge and her three bandmates are still releasing garage-pop songs that are often reminiscent of Dum Dum Girls or their inspiration, the Ramones, in their balance of sweetness and a harder rock edge.

Bound 1-Year Anniversary
A Village Raid, Andi Synthicide, Auspex, BEARCAT, Cry Baby, Dischetto, False Witness, Fatherhood, FBI Warning, Haruka, Hunter Lombard, Jaqi Sparro, Katie Rex, Nick Bazzano, Night Doll, Shyboi, Star Eyes
Tilt NYC
10 p.m., $10

Many of New York’s finest dance-music DJs will play at the subterranean Bushwick club Tilt this Thursday to celebrate the first anniversary of Bound, a queer, kink-centric party founded by Brooklyn techno DJ Katie Rex. The DJs span electronic genres from dancehall to house to disco; the Facebook event description announces that “fetish attire & queerness” will be enforced at the door, so if you have no interest in the kink scene, this probably isn’t the party for you. But for queer techno fans, this is by far the best option for your Thursday night.

1/19
Derrick May, Jeff Derringer, DatKat, nthng, Layaway, Eddie Leader, Evan Michael
Elsewhere
11 p.m., $20–$25

This lineup of serious techno producers and DJs at Elsewhere combines longtime favorites with lesser-known talents. The roster leads with the heavyweights, among them the originator of techno, Detroit DJ Derrick May, alongside Jeff Derringer, a resident at Chicago’s Smart Bar and founder of the underground party Oktave, who plays crisp, big room tunes. They’re backed up by artists like the mysterious Dutch ambient techno performer nthng and Analog Soul veteran DatKat. The event will take over all of Elsewhere’s space, so make sure to wander the rooms and hear everything on offer.

Royal Trux, Acid Dad
Market Hotel
8 p.m., $25+

In a recent NPR piece, writer Steve Knopper reports that in the mid-’90s, major labels were so desperate to replicate Nirvana’s success by landing grunge bands that the young group Royal Trux were signed to Virgin Records for $1 million without the label realizing they were only a duo. This led to a mad dash to recruit new band members. For the group, it paid off: Despite their ups and downs with major-label success, Royal Trux’s raw, swaggering experimental rock music has staying power, enough so that their reunion in 2015 generated huge excitement. They play two nights at Market Hotel this week with locals Shilpa Ray and Acid Dad. Expect quite a few graying indie fans in attendance.

Closer, Nine of Swords, Hundreds of AU, Remain
Silent Barn
8 p.m., $8

The band Nine of Swords opens this week at hardcore group Closer’s album-release party. Though they’re not the headliner, Nine of Swords sticks out due to their unconventional sound — their constantly invigorating music slides among hardcore, post-hardcore, sludge metal, and more. Lead singer Rachel Gordon swings from full-throated screaming to more delicate musing about underwear and social expectations, lending this music an intimacy and a femininity that feels rare in this scene.

1/20
Physical Therapy, Umfang
Nowadays
10 p.m., free before midnight with RSVP

The producer and DJ Daniel Fisher, who goes by the name Physical Therapy, is a dance-music omnivore, spitting out his own renditions of house, jungle, and pop. His eclectic DJ sets tend to reflect his desire to reach outside the obvious, and the results are captivating — and a lot of fun. He’ll play at the newly opened Nowadays indoor space with Discwoman’s Umfang, who likewise isn’t satisfied to stick within the accepted bounds of the form. With these two, you can expect the unexpected — but if you need a hint, Fisher said on his Instagram that the pair will be playing “fast techno.”

Mutual Dreaming
Xosar (live), Relaxer (live), Shyboi
H0L0
10 p.m., $20

Three up-and-coming dance-music producers and DJs will play Ridgewood’s intimate H0L0 for Brooklyn techno prodigy Aurora Hala’s renowned Mutual Dreaming party. The event describes Berlin-based Xosar’s set as “daemonic conjuring and headbanging mysticism” with “labyrinthian percussive structures.” Meanwhile, Relaxer will delve into tense and taut techno, and Discwoman’s Shyboi will close out the lineup. Xosar describes her work as an aim to “harness the energy of emotion and convey it through music to resonate within the depths of human existence.” Let’s hope she brings us all with her.

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