Wednesday, July 29
Two shoegaze-y shows worth checking out - and the ambitious gazer might be able to swing both, since they are not more than a fifteen minute walk apart...
Screen Vinyl Image + Violet Hour @ Annex | LES, Manhattan
The Annex can be a little creepy and pricey, but Screen Vinyl Image are worth the trouble. An extremely loud, extremely dark electro-shoegaze outfit, SVI hail from Virginia. I haven't been quite as fond of them with their new drummer, but that may just be a matter of time and adjustment. Either way, the sheer volume and density of the music is exceptional. Violet Hour are a similarly-minded duo, less dark and less heavy, with a definite arty bent. They band frequently invites guests to join for sets, making each show a new experience. Bring earplugs!!! [SVI MySpace] [VH MySpace]
Soundpool, Me You Us Them @ Webster Studio | E Village, Manhattan | $10 adv. / $12 dos.
Soundpool's rich dreampop has been an NYC favorite for years, with swirling guitars, sweet melodies and warm distortion-fuzz. Me You Us Them makes a more post-punk form of noise pop, with more focus on vocals and the occasional open space than shoegaze proper. [SP MySpace] [MYUT MySpace]
Thursday, July 30
Method Man, Ghostface Killah @ Nokia Theater | Midtown, Manhattan | $35-$40
Every time I think of specific members of the Wu-Tang Clan, I start to say, "oh, that's one of my favorites," but then I realize they are all favorites. Bring da ruckus.
Iran @ Bowery Ballroom | LES, Manhattan | $15
Destroyer is actually headlining this show, but I don't really give two shitzus about that dude. I only recently got around to seriously listening to Iran's 2009 release, and I like it a lot. The band has the guitarist from TV on the Radio and while I recognize TVOTR has made greater strides in terms of originality, on a personal level, I prefer Iran, whose indie rock is more down-to-earth and satisfyingly cynical. [MySpace]
Friday, July 31
July goes out with a bang...
River to River: Polvo, Obits @ the Seaport | Downtown, Manhattan | FREE
Polvo were one of the original Chapel Hill math rock bands of the early 90's. Labelmates of Slint, Don Caballero and the rest of the best (on Touch & Go), Polvo rock loud and hard, arty, noisy and way better than the mathy post rockers of recent years (DD/MM/YYYY, I'm looking at you!). The Obits are far more recent, and play punk that's a bit easier to digest, but similarly hardhitting and similarly intelligent. [Polvo MySpace] [Obits MySpace]
Blacklist, Ringo Deathstarr, Vandelles @ Cameo | Williamsburg, Brooklyn
WOW. WOW. WOW. Three amazing bands, goth-tinted new wavers Blacklist, shoegaze masters Ringo Deathstarr and noise-surf rockers the Vandelles. Whoever selected this lineup is positively brilliant - it has plenty of variety, but enough common ground (post-punk/Jesus & Mary Chain influences) to appeal to the same audience. Ringo Deathstarr, I firmly believe, are the best shoegaze band of the present generation, and since they live in Austin, TX, you shouldn't miss the chance to hear them whenever they pass through town. [BL MySpace] [RDS MySpace] [Vandelles MySpace]
Mekons (acoustic) @ Bell House | Gowanus, Brooklyn | $15
I would be remiss not to mention the Mekons playing in town. Seminal punk/post-punks from the late 70's UK, the Mekons are known for the artistic daring and their ability to occasionally have a sense of humor. I don't think I'm trekking to Gowanus for an acoustic set, especially when so much else amazing is happening on Friday, but they are living legends and certainly merit a mention.
Saturday, August 1
Dean & Britta, Crystal Stilts @ Prospect Park | FREE
Dean & Britta are ex-Luna, and Dean ex-Galaxie 500. The two have been known to occasionally perform songs from their old bands, but their newer material together is equally excellent. British-inflected noise-pop so charming I dare you not to love it. And the Crystal Stilts...what to even say anymore? I don't like their attitude but I sure love their music. They sound like a C-86 version of Joy Division, or for those of you who have lives and don't spend your time reading about the indie rock scene in the 1980's UK, they have awkwardly jaunty but dark baritone vocal lines, melodies frequently coming from the bass, minimalist drumming and a certain noisy, unpolished guitar sound that's subtle but beautiful. [D&B MySpace] [CS MySpace]
So So Glos, Lovvers, Sundelles, Babies @ Death By Audio | Williamsburg, Brooklyn
So So Glos are punks with bad attitudes. Who doesn't love that? Lovvers are a really excellent UK punk band I just recently reviewed. Sundelles do a good job combining old-school rock'n'roll songwriting smarts with a noise-punk sensibility. I haven't heard Babies, but it features members of Woods and Vivian Girls. Which means it could go either way - painfully boring or amazing. I don't have high hopes, but we'll see. [SSG MySpace] [Lovvers MySpace] [Sundelles MySpace]
Sunday, August 2
Deerhunter, No Age, Dan Deacon @ Williamsburg Waterfront | Williamsburg, Brooklyn | FREE
In what will probably be the best "pool party" of the summer, experimental noise rockers Deerhunter and enthusiastic noise punks No Age will share the stage. They are joined by Dan Deacon, whom I've never listened to because I find his name uninspiring (no, I don't think that's a good reason, just being honest here). What am I carrying on about? You'll be there. [DH MySpace] [NA MySpace]