It’s an epic battle of two shows this Wednesday, vying for your favors in a Austenian struggle of awesomeness. Bowery Ballroom is seductively batting its eyes at you with DOM, MINKS, Fergus & Geronimo, and Total Slacker. A total babe! How could a show get better than that? It seems like the obvious choice. But then Cake Shop comes around writing you love letters with Davila 666, Hunx & His Punx, and Shannon and The Clams, and it’s suddenly clear that Cake Shop is actually Mr. Darcy. Sure, they’re playing again on Saturday at Glasslands (and with K-Holes, too, but sans Davila 666), but the more intimate venue will make for a much snugglier setting. And trust me, proximity during a Hunx show is always a good thing.
I can’t let an opportunity to talk about how great Shannon and The Clams are slip away, either. Girl has serious, serious presence and should be a role-model to young rock and rolling ladies everywhere. I love her last album so, so, so, so much- demented 50s prom night to the max. Either night you go, make sure you don’t just show up for the incredible Hunx, but for Shannon, too.
MP3: “Troublemaker” – Shannon and The Clams
Drawing by Meredith Leich
Record Store day is fantastic in theory. There’s all these bands playing for free and you can go see them and buy new exclusive records and hang out all day and then record stores live forever. In reality, it’s more like, “Man. I really want to buy all these records. What’s that? Oh right, I work a crappy day job and have no money for food or rent, so I probably shouldn’t buy these records and support bands and record stores, even though I really want to.” But I say, throw caution to the wind this Record Store Day! Cake Shop is hosting a fantastic all-day event. Cape Shok Record Mart will be up and running (so maybe you can get some good deals and save some dough) and there’s even going to be a contest for a $100 bar tab. That will save you money and get you drunk! And wait- you haven’t even heard the best part: Eternal Summers, Natural Child, McDonalds, and Widowspeak are all playing! It’s gonna be a fun day on Ludlow tomorrow.
MP3: “Able To” – Eternal Summers
It’s not too often you get a chance to see fantastic bands above 14th street, or really above Houston for that matter, but this Friday WBAR at Barnard College is putting on their annual WBAR-B-Q. I went last year- it was cold and rainy and so inside their somewhat gloomy gym, but it was still worth the trek to see Blues Control and observe real stressed-out college scenester wannabes in their natural environment. A good show AND a good anthropological experiment. This year, the weather is supposed to be nice and the lineup is even better. What wouldn’t I do to see Real Estate outside in nice weather? That’s seriously the best kickoff to spring I can imagine. Plus, you get Julianna Barwick, Grooms, and Big Troubles. Well done, WBAR!
MP3: “Suburban Beverage” – Real Estate
The last few days have been all basement bro rock, so here’s something a little different. Check out Brooklyn-via-South Florida’s Helado Negro aka Roberto Carlos Lange. He’s on Asthmatic Kitty, the same label as Sufjan. So if you like that kind of thing, it’s worth checking this show out. If you like anything a little different, it’s worth checking out, too. It’s cool stuff. The record label calls it Latin psyche-funk-folk epic. Listen below and see him at Union Pool on Thursday.
MP3: “Playas” – Helado Negro
This Wednesday’s show is a real sloppy guitar party at Silent Barn. I really like all of the Turbosleaze songs I’ve heard- all angular guitars. That’s pretty much it. Angular guitars. Really upbeat songs, too. Take a listen below; they’re cool. And they seem like fun live. I’m not sure if this is your idea of fun, but it looks fun to me. White Fang are from Oregon, and they play sloppy, gross punk rock and roll. Think of The Beets except from the West Coast and a little more drunk and with just a slightly smaller amount of humour. I’m unfamiliar with Jesse Carsten, but his MySpace reveals really lo-fi, occasionally experimental bedroom ditties. Check it out if you’re not too interested in songs sounding good but are really interested in songs sounding interesting. I think this show is a fantastic occasion to bro out, and that you should definitely go.
MP3: Untitled – Turbosleaze
Darlings have a new EP out! That’s good news, especially for anyone who’s ever listened to Yeah I Know. There are truly some puzzling things about this whole indie rock game, and one of life’s biggest mysteries is how terrible, terrible Brooklyn bands keep blowing up and Darlings haven’t yet. This is one of the best bands in the borough, period. New song below. Surf City, from New Zealand, are also worth checking out. Lots of fast, pop-ish guitar that’s got enough drive to keep it interesting. I’d never heard of Little Racer before, but their Bandcamp reveals three songs with some interesting guitar parts, if too many childhood-instrument-type musical ideas. This will be the kind of show you’ll go to, and all the bands will be surprisingly good, and you’ll leave way more satisfied than you thought you would. You should go.
MP3: “Spit It Out” – Darlings
It’s springtime! Pretty much! This means that for the next six months, we’ll want to sit around all afternoon drinking beers and listening to bands. Right? That’s what I want to do anyways, as soon as the weather is remotely warmish. Shea Stadium is kicking off the season of warm weather band fun with the Brain Cave (Brainwave?) fest this Saturday from 2PM-2AM. The lineup is your standard Brooklyn cast of characters, with some of my favorite likes Mr. Dream, Dinowalrus, and Shark?. More than that, I think it’s going to be a pretty cool place to hang out, whether for the afternoon or the evening or the entire day.
MP3: “Knuckle Sandwich” – Mr. Dream
I think I’m starting to lose my touch. I look at all the show listings with the new bands, and none of them interest me very much. Maybe we’re in a lull. Does anyone feel like we’re in a musical lull, for the past several months or so? I sure do. Luckily, FINALLY, a band I could get on board with tomorrow, though! MV & EE have been around for awhile. If you’re unfamiliar, I would classify them solidly in the New Weird America camp- messing around with Americana and acid rock guitar solos. I saw them at the Abrons Art Center last year with Woods for the Joshua Light Show, and they were pretty incredible. Of course, any band would be incredible with those lights swirling behind them, but I bet they’ll fill up Death By Audio in a pretty major way. Spectre Folk is opening, and Microphone Memory Emotion has a really great write-up of them, if you’re interested. Definitely more freak folk.
MP3: “Anyway” – MV & EE
Wire is the real deal. They were part of the original British punk movement, forming in London in 1976. They weren’t as sweet or as snotty as some of their peers, they were darker and more driving in the places they took punk rock and made it their own. They were active right up through the early nineties. Then again, in the last decade, where they’ve released three albums. These guys are legends, big time. If you can’t make it to the show, I recommend taking a little time to familiarize yourself with their catalog. The below MP3 is an excellent and famous start. You should still probably go to the show, though. Weekend is opening, and they had one of my favorite albums of last year (not to be confused with the recently hyped Weeknd). Definitely worth it to go out on a Tuesday for this one.
MP3: “I 2 X U” – Wire
Mmmhhmmm, this is one of those reliably excellent rock-your-face-off shows. JTB is supposed to be the “secret guest,” but the cat is all the way out of the bag at this point. JEFF has been playing places like Bowery and MHOW lately, so this show is going to be packed, sweaty, and an absurd amount of fun. All of the openers are excellent, as well. If you haven’t listened to JEFF’s new album, We Are The Champions, you’re sorely missing out. It’s excellent drum/guitar duo punk rock, but they do it better than anyone else out there right now. Not sure how, but they do. I think that they have a strong commitment to playing DIY shows, but their time for that may be coming to a close. I suggest you make it out this Saturday to see them.
MP3: “Diamond Way” – JEFF the Brotherhood