Lots of great local bands perform this week, including scene veterans Dinowalrus, who play psychpop, and the post-hardcore group Big Ups. A host of promising newer outfits will perform, too, at the Hardest Working NYC Bands showcase, put on by beloved local show-listings site Oh My Rockness. As ever, it’s a pleasure to be reminded how much talent we have right here on our doorsteps.
The Nude Party, Las Rosas, Glove
Baby’s All Right
8 p.m., $10–$12
North Carolina’s the Nude Party are a garage rock band with a soulful swagger that will perk up the ears of early White Stripes fans. A six-piece with a personal mythology of hedonism and excess, the Nude Party wrest inspiration from groups like the Kinks and the Velvet Underground. Their lo-fi take on this lineage suggests additional kinship with peers who have similarly grungy fixations, like Ty Segall and White Fence. Their most recent single, “Water on Mars,” is a bit cleaned up but doesn’t lose any of their rollicking, good-time energy — something that comes through brilliantly live.
Anna Meredith, Vorhees
Le Poisson Rouge
8 p.m., $15
Anna Meredith is a composer and performer whose music manages to exist in the netherworld between classical and modern. While audiences in the former category struggled to understand her, Meredith found a home among other category-defying acts who’ve made their way in the indie world, like Owen Pallett and Sigur Rós. Her slightly hallucinogenic tracks sound like classical that’s been twisted and released with unfamiliar kaleidoscopic patterns. The Guardian calls her innovative songs “majestic bangers”; it’s not hard to imagine one of them sampled on a hit rap song.
Dinowalrus, Heaven, It’s Over
8 p.m., $10
Dinowalrus are one of those local acts who play seemingly constantly, which, ironically, makes it easy to miss out on them — after all, there’s always another show. But there’s never been a better time to see this admittedly sillily named group, whose last LP, 2016’s Fairweather, took their far-out psychpop sound to new heights. Classic psychedelic groups like Apples in Stereo come to mind as their well-crafted pop songs twist and turn into groovy, dazzlingly woozy jams. Their show is a perfect excuse to head to the great Ridgewood venue Trans-Pecos, which just reopened its full bar after a period of liquor-license difficulty.
Big Ups, Sharkmuffin, the Royal They, Maneka
8 p.m., $8–$10
Big Ups are the rare band to justify the existence of the genre post-hardcore, a term denoting music that encompasses the aggressive traits of hardcore but that also makes room for meditative, pretty moments. Their 2016 album, Before a Million Universes, operates in this zone, using the less-intense passages to emphasize just how fierce the group can get. Their shows usually involve a fun and chaotic pit, and Silent Barn is known for its kind crowd and attentive staff — a great combo for those new to moshing.
Oh My Rockness Hardest Working NYC Bands of 2017
Big Bliss, Fruit & Flowers, Darkwing, Sic Tic, Grim Streaker, Thick
Baby’s All Right
8 p.m., $10–$12
Anyone who regularly attends shows in New York knows about Oh My Rockness, the independently run, homegrown show-listings site that is a bible for local music fans. One thing that makes it so great is that, unlike bot-run listings pages like Songkick, it has a real personality — that of its founder, Patrick McNamara, who has been running the site with his wife since 2004. One of its traditions, now three years old, is a show celebrating the bands it has listed most frequently the previous year. This “Hardest Working Bands” showcase is a chance to see some of our favorite local groups — including shoegaze act Big Bliss, gothpop band Fruit & Flowers, and stoner rockers Darkwing — while also supporting a valuable local resource. Don’t miss out.
Kitten, Evolfo, Asukal, Thick
9 p.m., free with RSVP
Los Angeles–based synthpop band Kitten have arena-sized ambitions, something that’s immediately apparent when listening to their airtight pop songs and lead singer Chloe Chaidez’s precise vocals. Their 2016 EP, Heaven or Somewhere in Between, is perfect Eighties-referencing pop that feels both nostalgic and perfectly of-the-moment alongside the work of artists like Carly Rae Jepsen and Charli XCX. This all makes it seem particularly nuts that Kitten are headlining this show at Sunnyvale, a venue that’s run by, and for, the local scene — not to mention the fact that the show is free and sponsored by a liquor brand. Score.
10 p.m., $15–$20
One of the best things about the new indoor space at Nowadays, a spot located on the edge of Bushwick that was opened as a beer garden in 2015, is the place’s curatorial eye for electronic music. The venue’s willingness to give underground artists headlining slots inspires sets that wouldn’t happen elsewhere in the city, and also allows these artists room to really show off their abilities. David Kennedy, the producer who goes by the name Pearson Sound, will do just that on Friday, taking over the space for an eight-hour set. Kennedy, a founder of the techno label Hessle Audio, plays rhythmic techno that will easily carry dancers into the wee hours.
Maria Chavez, Matt McDermott, Unscented (DJ)
10 p.m., $10
A new Brooklyn dance party at a private venue, and the music isn’t techno? No, you’re not dreaming. The inaugural Badness event will feature music from hip-hop producer Matt McDermott and avant turntablist Maria Chavez, whose DJ sets are high art. We have no idea who the producers are, but Resident Advisor does, and it says to expect “a wide range of styles” and a “killer soundsystem.” Sounds good to us.
The Radio Dept., Psychic Twin, Surf Rock Is Dead
8 p.m., $25
The Radio Dept.’s 2016 album, Running Out of Love, was a quiet protest record full of chilled-out synthpop that delved into two phenomenons in the group’s native Sweden: the emergence of an arms trade, and the rise of the far-right. One of the best tracks is “Occupied,” a song that offers a scathing critique of government repression and wishes for those responsible to go to hell, all over an ominous sample of Angelo Badalamenti’s iconic Twin Peaks score. Even if you aren’t listening to the lyrics, with those creepy synths floating underneath, there’s no way to avoid the feeling that something isn’t right.
Sunday Sessions: home school Field Day
Rafia, Abdu Ali, Fuck U Pay Us
2 p.m., $15
The Portland pop-up art happening home school (yes, it’s intentionally uncapitalized) comes to Long Island City this week for Field Day, an event put on by MOMA PS1 that brings together music, workshops, poetry, karaoke, and more. The day features performances by local internet-damaged multimedia artist Rafia, left-field producer Abdu Ali, who recently collaborated on a track with Dan Deacon, and Fuck U Pay Us, a radical, black, queer punk group whose bio calls its music “the war for reparations incarnate,” and who will be performing in New York for the first time.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on January 30, 2018