Music

The Best NYC Shows This Week: Phoebe Bridgers, Tyler, the Creator, “mother!”

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This week, celebrate the past and future of experimental music in New York. At the Museum of Modern Art’s exhibition on the legendary post-punk hotspot Club 57, Brooklyn’s best no-wave act, Pill, will perform. Meanwhile, the Interference A/V festival takes over a Times Square movie theater for three nights of avant-garde artists, usurping the venue from its more crowd-friendly spectacle. New York has changed, but its artists still manage to find the welcoming spaces in which they can survive.

2/20
Interference AV
Lightning Bolt, Irreversible Entanglements
AMC Empire 25
7 p.m., free

Night two of the free-of-charge Interference AV festival will bring Rhode Island noise rockers Lightning Bolt to one of the places at which you’re least likely to find avant-garde music: a Times Square movie theater. The three-day event, which also features concerts from DJ Jlin and the Sun Ra Arkestra, is culture-jamming of the best variety. In addition to the live music, there will also be tables of zine sellers and scrappy craft beers to infiltrate the theater chain’s usually-corporate atmosphere. If Lightning Bolt shows are generally anarchic, this one is flat-out subversive.

2/21
Remember Sports, Human People, Thanks for Coming, Sidney Gish
Silent Barn
8 p.m., $10–$12

Sports, a college band from Ohio, were a victim of timing. Just as they released their album of jangly indie rock, All of Something, to widespread acclaim in 2015, the group’s members were on the verge of going their separate ways. Luckily, that’s not how the story ended. The band kept collaborating and touring, and last year changed their name to Remember Sports. All that backstory aside, the music itself is plainly worth paying attention to: easily likeable, sophisticated songs about the trials and tribulations of being young and aimless. Sonically, they land somewhere between Speedy Ortiz and P.S. Eliot. You can catch the newly renamed group at Silent Barn with some excellent local openers this week.

2/22
Pill, Lizzi Bougatsos (DJ)
MoMA
7 p.m., $20

Club 57 was an uncategorizable, wildly creative venue on St. Marks Place that helped birth the genre known as no-wave. During its existence, from 1978 to 1983, the tiny theater was home to all kinds of experimental performance and events that pushed partying into the realm of performance art. The Museum of Modern Art is hosting the first major exhibition on the space, on view through April 1. To celebrate, Brooklyn no-wave act Pill will perform at the midtown museum. If any group is a descendent of the chaos that Club 57 birthed, it’s Pill, whose combination of noise, jazz, spoken word, and rock is both political and authentically bohemian.

Phoebe Bridgers, Soccer Mommy
Music Hall of Williamsburg
8 p.m., $15

It makes sense that Julien Baker is a big fan of Los Angeles–based singer-songwriter Phoebe Bridgers. Like Baker, Bridgers makes quiet, personal, wrenchingly sad songs that document intimate feelings and disappointments. Though she’s played music for years, it wasn’t until 2017 that she released her debut album, Stranger in the Alps. Where Bridgers diverges from influences like Baker and Conor Oberst, who also appears on the album, is in her willingness to tread into pop territory, as on the break-up single “Motion Sickness.” If her voice were slightly louder, and the tempo slightly faster, this could be a killer pop punk tune. As it is, it’s a lovely and bitter remembrance of a failed romance. Also 2/23.

2/23
Monogold, New Myths, Patio, Painted Zeros
Alphaville
8 p.m., $8–$10

Monogold are a Brooklyn group who play dreamy pop with a tinge of psychedelia. The band has referred to their own music as “strange-wave,” but to us, it just sounds fun and catchy. They’ll headline a bill stacked with other great local bands, including New Myths, who play grooving dance pop with icy vocals, and Patio, a confident post-punk band with an appealing strain of apathy. Just another solid, cheap show at your favorite neighborhood venue/bar, Alphaville.

Beverly, Wildhoney, Fits, Blush
Saint Vitus
7 p.m., $10–$12

Beverly are a dream pop band with a shoegazy edge. The group is the brainchild of New York musician Frankie Rose, whose past acts include the great Vivian Girls and Dum Dum Girls. Beverly is a different beast, less focused on vocals or aping a specific aesthetic and more on the low-concept fun of a pure pop song. They’ll play with shoegaze sweethearts Wildhoney, a group whose music transcends their genre and possesses a warmth that many similar-on-paper groups can only aspire to.

Tyler, the Creator; Vince Staples
Madison Square Garden
7 p.m., $44.50–$55.50

In 2017, after years of being known as the outsider sticking up his middle finger at mainstream rap (and common decency), Tyler, the Creator redefined himself with the release of Flower Boy. Sonically, the album was more cohesive and lush than anything he had made previously, with string arrangements, harmonized backing vocals, and all sorts of flourishes that never made it into his earlier work. The subject matter was elevated as well: Not only did we learn that Tyler, often accused of homophobia, is probably queer himself; we also got a much more nuanced peek into a psyche that’s usually been reduced to Tyler’s trolling pranks. The new Tyler will perform at Madison Square Garden this week with one of the best rappers alive, Vince Staples. Also 2/24.

The Long Count 5-Year Anniversary
Sleeparchive, Henning Baer, Soramimi, AOS, R Gamble, The Long Count Cycle DJs
Good Room
10 p.m., $15

For five years, the Long Count Cycle’s parties have infused experimentation into Brooklyn’s underground techno scene. At their events, you’re as likely to hear a noise set as you are to hear a 4/4 beat. And yet the DJs,, including founder DJ Scallywag (who will play at this celebration), manage to keep the crowd engrossed and moving. Sleeparchive, a resident at the punishing Berlin techno club Tresor, is another name to watch out for. As long as you’re willing to experience something out of the usual, you can’t go wrong here.

mother! As Interpreted and Rescored by Macy Rodman
Dreamhouse
9 p.m., $10

Ridgewood’s queer paradise Dreamhouse hosts another “resoundtracking” by the electronic artist Gooddroid, this time in collaboration with the underground pop diva Macy Rodman. The duo will turn their talents to the recent Darren Aronofsky film mother!, a veritable petri dish of pathos that divided critics and fans. Rodman’s winking take on the movie’s emotional and physical hysteria will certainly be worth checking out.

2/24
Kate Ferencz, Gun Tit, Miserable People, Bernard Herman
The Glove
9 p.m., $8

Another solid lineup at Bushwick DIY space the Glove, this one starring Kate Ferencz, a solo performer who records charmingly lo-fi Casio-pop. Ferencz is unpredictable but reliable, delving into folk and even gospel on some of her experimental pop songs. Her looped schoolyard-style chants and cheap drum-machine beats are reminiscent of Aughts acts like the Go! Team, but her music feels fresh and all her own.

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