Thursday, May 7, 2009

Upcoming Shows: Glenn Branca, Mike Watt and more

TONIGHT!!! Thursday, May 7
Whatever you do tonight, you'll be kickin' it old-school.

Glenn Branca @ Issue Project Room | Gowanus, Brooklyn | $15
Glenn Branca. If you don't know who that is or why he's awesome, you need to go out and do some reading. Starting (but not ending) with this little paragraph. Glenn Branca is an avant-garde composer, a punk rocker, a minimalist innovator and one of the biggest of the big names in the legendary "no wave" movement. Branca reinvented the electric guitar, using alternate tunings and extreme volume to generate completely new tonalities. Some of the most innovative guitar players of the 80's and 90's first cut their teeth with Branca, a list that includes Sonic Youth's Thurston Moore and Lee Renaldo and Helmet's Page Hamilton. He'll be playing one of his classic compositions, "Lesson No. 3," at IPR. Really, you should go.

Eddie & the Hot Rods @ Southpaw | Park Slope, Brooklyn | $14
Eddie and the Hot Rods were once upon a time the Sex Pistols' biggest competitors. As it turned out, Eddie was just a pub rock band while the Sex Pistols invented British punk, but then there couldn't have been a British punk scene if it hadn't been for aggressive pub rockers like these, who pushed the boundaries of British rock in rawer, wilder directions. And for that, we all owe them at least $14 and two ears for a night.

Fear @ Europa | Greenpoint, Brooklyn | $25
Twenty-five bucks is a lot, too much for me to strongly recommend this show. But if money is no object, then you better check it out. Fear are a classic West Coast punk outfit, one of the first and one of the most aggressive. They make most hardcore punks look like fluffy kittens.

TOMORROW!!! Friday, May 8
Seriously, how to choose?!?

Mike Watt & the Missingmen @ Mercury Lounge | LES, Manhattan | $15
Mike Watt was one of the first and most important players in the West Coast hardcore scene. Unlike Fear (see above), however, Watt didn't amp up the machismo of hardcore, he amped up its brains. As a member of the revolutionary trio the Minutemen, Watt broadened the musical and intellectual horizons of punk by making music that was lyrically thought-provoking and political and sonically challenging and diverse. Since then, he's continued to push the boundaries in fIREHOSE and
this, his new project, the Missingmen. [MySpace]

**CANCELLED** The Antlers @ Cameo | Williamsburg, Brooklyn
The Antlers' lo-fi, ambient electronica is the saddest music around. They are one of the few truly innovative bands in the New York scene and their recent album Hospice is one of the most profound contributions to indie rock in the last decade. [MySpace]

Coyote Eyes, Pow Wow, My Teenage Stride @ Lit Lounge | $6*
Good cheap fun! It's worth the six bucks despite being in one of the worst venues in town. Coyote Eyes sound like Sonic Youth but with prettier singing. They are minimalist, they are loud and they are very worth checking out, since they could take off any day now. Pow Wow just got named one of L Magazine's "Eight Bands You Need To Hear," which is frankly kind of silly because they are entirely typical. But that doesn't mean their lo-fi pop isn't great. It's actually lovely! (Just not "top eight" lovely.) And My Teenage Stride, officially the first band I reviewed on this site, are an indie pop mainstay in New York, with some of the best songwriting and best melodies around. If you catch all three bands, that's only $2 a pop. Not too shabby. [CE MySpace] [PW MySpace] [MTS MySpace]
**UPDATE: Apparently, Coyote Eyes and MTS aren't playing. In a typically irresponsible gesture, Lit Lounge has just forgotten to update their calendar. Bummer.**

R. Stevie Moore @ Cake Shop | LES, Manhattan | $8
Good ol' R. Stevie is the punk rock Santa Claus. He's been making lo-fi pop music since he was a kid, putting out his first recordings in the 1960's. Phenomenally gifted and perpetually overlooked, Moore is justifiably pissed off, and his bitterness is especially justified when it comes out in his kick-ass punk-rock power-pop performances. His last show at Cake Shop was one of the best shows I've ever seen ever. A true forgotten pioneer, Moore is well worth checking out. [MySpace]

Saturday, May 9

Real Estate, So So Glos @ Santos Party House | Chinatown, Manhattan | $10 *
Real Estate are the latest buzz-band out of the no-fi/neo-punk crowd that brought us the likes of Wavves, Woods and Blank Dogs. Real Estate fall at the slow, hushed end of that spectrum and while their recorded material can be rather boring at times, the very little I've seen of this band live makes me think they're good on stage. The So So Glos, on the other hand, take a more direct route to punk rock - fast, loud and rude. [RE MySpace] [SSG MySpace]

Monday, May 10

Woods, Times New Viking @ Market Hotel | Bushwick, Brooklyn*
I'm not a huge fan of TNV, to be quite honest. The constant comparisons to Guided By Voices are just not accurate; see, GBV were great because they wrote great pop songs, and TNV, for all their cool sound, just don't write great songs. So the real reason to go by this show is psychedelic folk-pop quartet Woods. In my last live review of them, I called them "one of the most outstanding and original bands of our time" and I'll stand by that statement. [TNV MySpace] [Woods MySpace]

Wednesday, May 12

The Pains of Being Pure at Heart @ Bowery Ballroom | LES, Manhattan | SOLD OUT
You should track down some tickets to this show. Tweegaze heartthrobs the Pains will be celebrating their (brief) homecoming after an extensive national tour - and right before an extensive international tour. Their songs are way too cute, but so well written that they're hard to hate. And a seamless wall of distorted guitar noise covers everything - bring earplugs. [MySpace]

*This is seems to be a week of bands and venues not working in tandem, and there is some conflicting information about these shows, so you may want to try to confirm they are happening as scheduled before you make a trek to the venue.

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