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CULTURE ARCHIVES MUSIC ARCHIVES

The Best NYC Shows This Week: Sammus, Lorde, Brooklyn Folk Festival

Two very different festivals will take place over the weekend in Brooklyn. Ende Tymes, at Silent Barn, features some of the strangest, most challenging noise and experimental music out there, while the Brooklyn Folk Festival brings bluegrass, Americana, and more to St. Ann & the Holy Trinity Church in Brooklyn Heights. If you only have room for one show, Lorde’s headlining gig on Wednesday with Run the Jewels and Mitski is probably the highest-quality set you can find in the shortest amount of time.

4/4
Lorde, Run the Jewels, Mitski
Barclays Center
7 p.m., $77+

Lorde’s most recent album, Melodrama, cemented her place as an international pop star with critical-darling credentials. The record finds the Kiwi singer upping her game from her debut, with bold, emotionally direct songwriting and transcendent hooks on songs like breakout single “Green Light.” This show should be excellent from top to bottom, with the indie rock powerhouse Mitski and hip-hop team Run the Jewels opening.

4/5
Swearin’, Weed Hounds, Big Eyes, Dark Thoughts
Market Hotel
9 p.m., $13

Swearin’, a DIY indie rock band led by Allison Crutchfield, hasn’t released anything since 2013, and announced they were breaking up in 2015. But at the end of last year, Crutchfield revealed that the group would get back together to play shows with Superchunk in 2018. Crutchfield has also been busy recently with her solo work; her album Tourist in This Town is lightened up with fuller indie pop instrumentation and production, including electronic elements. But her writing remains as sharp and emotional as ever. We can’t wait to see what Swearin’ will do now that the crew has reunited.

Sammus, Dog, Old Maybe, Joanna Sternberg
Hart Bar
9:30 p.m., $10

The upstate New York rapper Sammus combines nerdcore with hyper-literate rap in a way that brings to mind Das Racist if they had a video game addiction. A unique and provocative artist who deserves more attention, Sammus addresses an impressive range of topics in her music, from internet harassment on the excellent “Comments Disabled” to sexual violence on the startlingly blunt “Song About Sex.”

4/6
Screaming Females, Thou, +HIRS+
Market Hotel
8 p.m., $16

Screaming Females, a punk band from New Brunswick, New Jersey, couldn’t exist without the exceptional guitar playing of band leader Marissa Paternoster. The group has so far released seven albums that send its raw energy spiraling in different directions, but throughout it all, Paternoster just shreds. That’s enough of a reason to see Screaming Females live, where they always deliver. Their captivating new album, All at One, sees their sound evolving toward pop punk, with help from guest-contributor Brendan Canty, of Fugazi, on drums.

Ought, Mal Devisa, Katie Von Schleicher
Music Hall of Williamsburg
9 p.m., $16–$18

The Montreal band Ought are known for their angular post-punk songs that climax frantically as lead singer Tim Darcy spits out poetically oblique lyrics. On their new Room Inside the World they change tack, with more sedate tunes strongly reminiscent of Eighties bands like Gang of Four. Darcy’s lyrics continue to stand out, though: On “Desire,” he sings about a lost love who was like “the moon in a basket of weeds,” with a passion that evokes Bruce Springsteen. Get to Ought’s Music Hall of Williamsburg show early to see Mal Devisa, a hyper-talented musician with an incredibly versatile voice and repertoire.

Ende Tymes 9: Festival of Noise and Experimentation
ENDE, Latrines, Negation, Slow Owls, SOOT, Jeremy Toussaint-Baptiste, Buffalo MRI, Fritz Welch, Lars Akerlund, Eva Aguila, LoVid + Produce Consume Robot, Guillermo Pizarro, Hoor-paar-Kraat, Eames & Cory, Compactor, Calambre, more
Silent Barn
7:30 p.m., $15 per night, $40 weekend pass 

The ninth edition of the Ende Tymes noise and experimental music festival will come to Silent Barn this weekend for three nights of strange, abrasive, difficult artists. For noise aficionados, there’s nothing better than a gathering like this, and, with Silent Barn preparing to shut down, it’s a good time to appreciate a space that provides a platform for artists on the fringes. Plus, the group possessing one of our all-time favorite band names, the New York Review of Cocksucking — an experimental saxophone project — is scheduled to play on Sunday. Who could say no to that? Also 4/7 and 4/8

10th Annual Brooklyn Folk Festival
Spirit Family Reunion, R. Crumb, East River String Band With R. Crumb, Elizabeth Mitchell, Suni Paz, Innov Gnawa, Women’s Raga Massive, more
St. Ann & the Holy Trinity
7:30 p.m., $25–$85

The Brooklyn Folk Festival returns this year to St. Ann & the Holy Trinity, a beautiful cathedral that’s an appropriate setting for this largely acoustic lineup. Much of the fare on offer is traditional bluegrass, jug bands, and other American folk varieties. All these acts are supremely talented, and fans of folk shouldn’t miss out. Also 4/7 and 4/8

Discwoman Night
Tama Sumo, Ciel, Barbie Bertisch, Ariel Zetina, DJ Haram, Bearcat, stud1nt
Elsewhere
10 p.m., $15–$25

Brooklyn’s best techno collective takes over Elsewhere on Friday for a night of sets from a diverse roster of DJs. Tama Sumo, a resident at Berlin’s legendary club Berghain, plays techno that incorporates Afrobeat and disco, while the Toronto-based Ciel plays emotional electro that veers into the realm of progressive house. Discwoman regulars DJ Haram, Bearcat, and stud1nt will back up these touring acts. Wear your dancing shoes.

4/7
Cigarettes After Sex
Brooklyn Steel
9 p.m., $25–$30

Just when you thought you couldn’t hear a song by the xx one more time without screaming, Cigarettes After Sex have swooped in to fill that sultry downtempo void. The project headed by Greg Gonzalez released a self-titled album last year that’s filled with melancholy — a dreamy, 21st-century collection of love songs about distance and disenchantment. As in the xx’s music, mood is paramount here, and it stays steady and seductive throughout the LP. Groove to it at Brooklyn Steel this weekend.

Yaeji & Friends
Yaeji, No Intimate, Jennifer Vanilla, Novelty Daughter, Abbi Press, Sleep 300, Enayet, Malory, False Witness, more
Elsewhere
10 p.m., $12–$20

The producer and DJ Yaeji came out of nowhere last year to become one of the most beloved new acts in the electronic scene. Yaeji blends techno and electropop into endearing bangers like “Raingurl” that beg to be played on repeat. This show at Elsewhere is her first New York gig in a while, and she’s joined by fellow local heroes Malory, False Witness, and others. In all likelihood, Yaeji’s journey is just getting started — see her in a small venue while you still can.

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CULTURE ARCHIVES MUSIC ARCHIVES

The Best NYC Shows This Week: Daddy Issues, Lil Xan, Mike Servito

Several shows this week announce the future of hip-hop. Lil Xan, part of the coterie of brooding, stoned rappers who have emerged out of the SoundCloud ranks, plays at Brooklyn Steel, while the aggressively raw Brooklyn native Young M.A. takes Music Hall of Williamsburg. For something completely different, head to Knockdown Center to see the pop maximalists Of Montreal, who have just released one of their best albums in years.

3/27
Of Montreal, Mega Bog, Potted Plant
Knockdown Center
7 p.m., $25

On his newly released fifteenth studio album, Kevin Barnes, the auteur behind Of Montreal, continues to explore new avenues for his explosive creativity. On the heels of albums that drew on inspirations like EDM and Prince, White Is Relic/Irrealis Mood turns to the influence of DJ Screw, whose woozy hip-hop infuses Barnes’s maximalist pop opuses with a haunted quality. The record largely centers on a feeling of unreality and simulation in the post-Trump world, and the result is some of Barnes’s best work in years. The band’s live shows are always unpredictable and fantastic, and Knockdown Center should give them plenty of room to stretch their wings.

Bing & Ruth, Alice Boman
Murmrr Theatre
7 p.m., $15

David Moore’s electro-acoustic project Bing & Ruth’s most recent album, No Home of the Mind, employs fluttering piano arpeggios undercut by warm drones and wispy woodwinds to create a mood of gorgeous tranquility. Despite the lack of vocals, Moore’s fundamental emotionality comes through loud and clear in these languid tracks. Bing & Ruth are a great starting point for anyone curious about the world of ambient music, but heads will enjoy it just as much.

3/28
Daddy Issues, Thick, Blush
Alphaville
8 p.m., $10

Don’t ask us why the new hip-band-name trend is so paternal (Adult Mom, Soccer Mommy, and Acid Dad are just a sample), but whatever draws groups toward these familial labels seems to also help them make compelling music. Nashville’s Daddy Issues is no exception: The group plays ingratiatingly simple lo-fi grunge pop, but their music is anything but shallow. Their lyrics address sexual assault, abuse, and trauma in a direct and confrontational style. They’ll play alongside two of Brooklyn’s best up-and-coming bands: Thick and Blush.

3/29
Laurel Halo With Eli Keszler, Embaci
Public Arts
8 p.m., $20

On her many original productions, the electronic musician Laurel Halo combines warped vocals, synths, and drum beats to stretch and bend shards of dance music into something altogether stranger. On her last album, Dust, this approach birthed a masterpiece of fragmented sound. Laurel Halo will play live at this show with accompanying percussion from Eli Keszler, an artist who creates wildly inventive sound-based installations when he isn’t dazzling on the drums.

3/30
The Bunker LTD
Mike Servito
Nowadays
10 p.m., $15–$25

The still-relatively-new indoor space at Nowadays has provided an incredible platform for some of the underground scene’s best DJs to play extended sets they’d rarely be allowed to perform elsewhere. They’ll continue the trend this weekend with an eight-hour set by Chicago house DJ Mike Servito, presented by The Bunker LTD. Servito’s technical expertise is as precise as his song selection, and his deep knowledge of techno and house should more than fill this extended format.

Lil Xan, $teven Cannon, Lil Gnar
Brooklyn Steel
7 p.m., $30

The 21-year-old rapper Lil Xan is part of a new school of zoned-out, tatted-up young performers like Lil Uzi Vert and the late Lil Peep who augment their rap with a desperation that is impossible to ignore. “I wake up/I throw up/I feel like I’m dead,” Xan raps listlessly on his song “Wake Up.” This music connects to a generation of kids who have grown up in the post-recession world, plagued by pervasive war and doomed by the threat of global warming. Why not take a few Xanax and let it all pass you by?

DJ Manny, Boylan, DJ Hank, Mel G
H0L0
11 p.m., $15

Over the last few years, footwork has made its way out of the basements and warehouses of Chicago and onto the international stage. Footwork is both an electronic music style — known for its frenetic high-BPM beats, wild samples, and jungle and hip-hop influence — and a form of dance focused (as the name suggests) on hyper-speed foot movements. The genre is most associated with the Chicago label Teklife and its founder, producer DJ Rashad, a leader of the footwork movement who sadly passed away in 2014. At this party, up-and-coming Teklife acts like DJ Manny will take the stage, spinning their zealous productions.

Young M.A., Creek Boyz, Yerr Eli, Korleone
Music Hall of Williamsburg
8 p.m., $20

The Brooklyn rapper Young M.A. is a fascinating presence on the scene, a queer woman of color who has fully appropriated the persona of a hardened young-male rapper, boasting about pussy, violence, drugs, and more. She pulls it off, putting a new spin on well-worn material and playing with gender identity to boot as she does so. Her single, “Ooouuu,” is a dark club hit that’s been remixed by Nicki Minaj and others. Empire fans: The Freda Gatz character (one of the best rappers on the show) was originally based on Young M.A., but she turned down the part. She wanted to meet the world on her own stage.

Laraaji, Dallas Acid
National Sawdust
10:30 p.m., $13

Laraaji, one of the pioneers of ambient and new-age music, is known for his early collaborations with Brian Eno. Laraaji is an initiated swami and has spent most of his career fascinated by Eastern mysticism, something that is deeply intertwined with his music. On his many albums, the artist makes use of instruments like zither and mbira. His newest, Vision Songs Vol. 1, is a departure for him — he rarely uses vocals — and it’s one of his best efforts in years.

4/1
Bad History Month, Shell of a Shell, No One & the Somebodies
Elsewhere
7:30 p.m., $10

Bad History Month (formerly Fat History Month) is a band that expands the purview of emo into expressive, post-rock territory. On their new album, Dead and Loving It: An Introductory Exploration of Pessimysticism, bandleader Sean Bean explores the edges of nihilism and, against expectations, finds comfort there. “Now that I know what it means to be nothing, I can finally imagine what it is to be free,” he exclaims on the single “Being Nothing.” Entering the void has never felt so good.

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CULTURE ARCHIVES MUSIC ARCHIVES

The Best NYC Shows This Week: Son Lux, Mount Eerie, Zombelle

Spring is almost upon us, but much of the best music in New York this week is as dark and deep as a winter night. Mount Eerie returns to New York to support his brilliant and crushing new EP, while noise acolytes like GENG play a benefit for Puerto Rico (a topic we’re also covering this week). If you’re in search of something uplifting, check out Long Island punks Iron Chic at Brooklyn Bazaar — after a few cheap beers and a jump into the pit, the warmth will seem just a little closer.

3/19
A Gear Drive for Puerto Rico
GENG, D0uze, Yatta, Copout, Violence, Soft Circle, DJ Lady Lane, Dis Fig, L’Rain, the Dance Pit, Animah, Amad, Kidpsychic, Khalila
Secret Project Robot
8 p.m., $12–$25

The music technology educators Sonic Arts for All host this motley group of experimental artists to collect donations of gear like drum machines, synthesizers, and laptops for their branch in Puerto Rico. There’s a huge amount of diversity among these artists, but some of our favorites include GENG, who infuse left-field dance music with the attitude of black metal, and Berlin-based Chinese-American artist Dis Fig, who DJs genres like Jersey Club, techno, grime, and ballroom. Head out with your extra gear and prepare to hear something weird.

3/21
Four Tet
National Sawdust
9 p.m.

Kieran Hebden, the U.K. producer known as Four Tet, has spent his career exploring the contemplative side of dance music, experimenting with genres as diverse as post-rock and jungle. On his last few releases, the artist has flitted among New Age, Indian inspirations, and classic dance-music structure. Hebden will debut his new live set during a four-night residency at National Sawdust; anticipation is high, but there are still individual tickets available for some nights.

Zombelle, A Place Both Wonderful and Strange, Meviu§, knifesex
The Footlight
8 p.m., $8

It’s been six years now since the internet joke–cum–dance genre #seapunk emerged from the depths of cyberspace to claim its brief moment in the spotlight. Zombelle, a music producer originally from Chicago, was one of the leading voices of the movement that few took seriously, yet went on to influence mainstream artists like Rihanna and Azealia Banks. But Zombelle was making music long before that brush with fame, and survived the trend to continue crafting synth-laden dance music in her new home of Detroit. This is a rare live performance for her in New York — go see what all the fuss is about.

3/22
Son Lux, Sinkane, Hanna Benn
Brooklyn Steel
7 p.m., $18–$20

Son Lux, a synth-based indie rock project, combines implausibly tight playing and unconventional song structures to create a suspenseful, simmering energy that keeps audiences hanging on every lilt of lead singer Ryan Lott’s voice. Even more impressive is drummer Ian Chang, whose incredible precision is a joy to watch. Son Lux’s latest album, Brighter Wounds, focuses on serious themes like fatherhood and the dark turn of our global politics, but the group’s brilliant energy makes these well-worn topics feel revelatory.

Mount Eerie
Knockdown Center
8 p.m., $22–$25

Phil Elverum, the creative force behind Mount Eerie, just released a new EP, following up on his devastating 2017 album A Crow Looked at Me, which focused on the death of his wife from cancer. His new release, Now Only, continues in a similar vein, speaking to and about his late wife and his struggle to move through life after the tragedy. Elverum’s music here is simple, mostly making use of finger-picked guitar, and his lyrics are starkly intimate and poetic. Watching him in Knockdown Center’s cavernous space will be a spiritual experience.

Iron Chic, Bigwig, Teenage Halloween, Ellen and the Degenerates
Brooklyn Bazaar
8 p.m., $12–$15

Iron Chic, a bombastic punk band from Long Island, are longtime local heroes, and their new material finds the group with a chance to reach a wider audience. Their triumphant riffs and sing-along choruses are reminiscent of groups like Fang Island, Japandroids, and the So So Glos — this is a band to get drunk on and mosh to. “This band is my religion,” reads one comment on Bandcamp. Go get converted.

Angels in America, Halflings, DJ Dog Dick, Kizu
Secret Project Robot
9 p.m., $9

This intense night at Secret Project Robot includes a performance by the experimental art project Angels in America (don’t try searching them on Google unless you want Broadway tickets); a set by the hardcore noise artist Halflings; and another from the avant-rapper DJ Dog Dick. If you’re looking to experience the extreme edges of music, we recommend checking this out.

3/23
Shame, B Boys, Suburban Living
Market Hotel
9 p.m., $12

The U.K. band Shame sounds genuinely angry. Their debut album Songs of Praise pulses and seethes with the pointlessness and indignity of the modern world, railing against consumerism, greed, and fame with self-awareness and deep conviction. The band plays loud, inventive rock music in the tradition of groups like the Fall and Gang of Four. Shame’s sexual politics may leave a bit to be desired — it’s easy to imagine this music appealing to young men who feel entitled to a level of success they can’t attain. But it sure is fun to lose yourself in their righteous rage.

3/24
Tyvek, Straw Pipes, Writhing Squares
Elsewhere
6 p.m., $10

Tyvek, a Detroit outfit who’ve made off-kilter punk for ten years now, will play Elsewhere’s smaller space this week, in a show rescheduled from January. Over the course of their career, more than twenty musicians have cycled through the group, each bringing a unique sound and perspective. Tyvek’s most recent album, Origin of What, showcases loud, intense punk music, whether through the dirge-like “Gridlock” or the hyperactive opener “Tip to Tail.” They’ll play with Straw Pipes, a local four-piece who play grungy pop.

Paul de Jong, Jessica Pavone Ensemble
Issue Project Room
8 p.m., $20

Cellist Paul de Jong was one half of the thoughtful, unique project the Books, a band that used snippets of audio found in thrift-store toys and the depths of the internet to weave together string-based contemporary music that often felt profound. On his own, Jong operates in a comparable register, with acoustic and electronic instruments blended with odd vocal samples in nontraditional song structures. He’ll play new work at Issue Project Room with the violist and composer Jessica Pavone.

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NEW YORK CITY ARCHIVES NYC ARCHIVES

Silent Barn’s Demise Is a Cautionary Tale for DIY Spaces

Those in the DIY community can fall back into the nostalgia of delirious nights spent in packed, sweaty rooms, lost in a set by a favorite band. But within these fond memories it’s easy to forget the reality that DIY spaces close for the same reason that longtime Bushwick residents get pushed out of their homes — eventually, gentrification comes for everyone. To build a sustainable future for community art spaces, clearly defined activism should be part of the equation, say residents of some of these gentrifying neighborhoods.

For twelve years, Silent Barn in Bushwick — which relocated to Bushwick in 2012 after its original space in Ridgewood was shut down, and which was known for its mischievous, anarchic, and intimate atmosphere, with hidden microphones for a participatory art project and avant-garde arcade games lurking in the basement — provided transformative experiences for thousands of visitors. The collective made mistakes but grew from them and adapted. Yet it did so too late. This week, Silent Barn announced it will shut its doors on April 30. In its wake, Silent Barn’s fate leaves lessons for the DIY community.

“I don’t think that when Silent Barn first started they knew it was going to turn into this,” said Olithea Anglin, an assistant director of Educated Little Monsters (ELM), a Bushwick organization that hosts arts classes for native area kids in Silent Barn’s space. “I think it was like an experiment, which is what people in gentrified spaces do. They do incubators and think tanks. But you’re already in a community! Look at the community around you, get involved in the community. And they did it too little, too late. It’s a cautionary tale.”

Silent Barn’s history is fraught with chaos. It began in a converted warehouse in Ridgewood in 2006 as a freewheeling venue, arts space, and home to artists. When that space was shut down and vandalized in 2011, a new, more socially conscious and ambitious version of Silent Barn took shape. After relocating in 2012 to a huge, three-story building in Bushwick, the collective expanded their purview to include artist studios, apartments for residencies, and businesses such as a synth shop and recording studio. Shows could take the form of anything from standard sets by bands like Screaming Females to donation-based fundraisers for movements like the Dakota Access Pipeline protests. Not long after opening the space in Bushwick, the Barn experienced further setbacks, including a fire that damaged the building, in 2015, and trouble with their liquor license last year.

As a result, the collective launched a fundraising effort in December with a goal of $25,000. They succeeded in raising more than $30,000, according to the collective. But that only kept them afloat for a few months. This time, it appears Silent Barn did not believe that an ongoing fundraising effort was sustainable for long-term survival.  

“The leaseholders have decided that the most responsible option left is to end operations at 603 Bushwick as of April 30,” the collective said in a statement they indicated would be their only communication with the press on the subject.

They added: “Over the years, we’ve seen the role that DIY music venues play within the greater machine of gentrification, and how often the communities who would most benefit from these resources — the neighborhood’s native communities — are excluded from them entirely.”

The choice for the statement to steer away from discussing Silent Barn’s quest for survival and to instead focus on what impact they may be having on the wider community underscores a wider shift in perspective among Brooklyn’s progressive arts community.

Silent Barn’s closing is a huge loss for collective members and the Bushwick arts community, but also for New York as a whole. As strict enforcement of regulations and rising rent prices continue to push out formerly vital venues like Shea Stadium and Palisades, collectively run, community-oriented spaces are harder and harder to sustain. Only now are we starting to see how that impacts local residents, victims of a gentrification that the arrival of these spaces often portends.

Educated Little Monsters began using the Silent Barn space in 2013.

Jazo Brooklyn, a native Brooklynite and the founder of ELM, says that the psychological impact of gentrification on her community was what spurred her to start the program in 2013. “I started talking to [the kids] about what it is that makes them angry in their neighborhood, and when it came down to it, they were really mad about gentrification. Displacement. This new era of colonialism,” she said while sitting in ELM’s colorfully jumbled space in Silent Barn’s garage annex on the day of the announcement. “The kids couldn’t verbalize the changes that were happening in their community, they could only express it through anger. I was like, these kids are going to get in trouble.”

Brooklyn remembers feeling out of place when she first visited Silent Barn to suggest that her program use the space during the venue’s daytime dead hours. “I was the only Latina in the room and the only person in the collective from my class, from the struggle, from this community. It was the first time I’d been around so many white people,” she says.

Silent Barn’s non-hierarchical structure — decisions are made as a collective rather than by appointed leaders — was also challenging for Brooklyn, who says she didn’t have the same knowledge base or understanding of norms as the other collective members. Over time, she learned how to navigate the cultural divide. “I started to find my voice. I started kicking in the doors and saying you guys have a social responsibility to this community…. At the end of the day, whatever happens to this space, we need it the most.”

***

Spaces like Silent Barn, which have an explicitly progressive mission, often grapple with whether the art they present is enough to speak for those values. Even while booking experimental and diverse shows and running trainings on Narcan administration or bystander intervention, if your space is perpetuating gentrification in a surrounding community, can you really consider yourself progressive?

It’s a difficult question to answer, and places approach it in different ways. The owners of the venue Elsewhere, a gigantic, sleek new space off the Jefferson L stop, decided to get serious about their business in order to make it sustainable. As a result, the owners, the group behind the much-loved, defunct Williamsburg DIY venue Glasslands Gallery, took on funding from young investors and secured a loan from the city to raise $3 million to remodel a 24,000-square-foot warehouse space from the ground up.

While Elsewhere is better funded than most DIY spaces, it’s also one of the few venues in Brooklyn run entirely by people of color. Co-founder Jake Rosenthal says that the founders’ backgrounds inform the way they book the space. “[Co-founders] Rami [Haykal] and Dhruv [Chopra] are both immigrants, Dhruv from India, Rami from Lebanon by way of Italy, and I was born and raised in New York, but my mom was Jamaican and came to New York when she was 20,” he says. “On one level or another that influences the breadth of our music programming.”

With a massive space and budget, Elsewhere is able to give smaller parties and acts from marginalized groups a huge platform. For example, the party Papi Juice, an event that caters to queer people of color, will use their main space this weekend.

Rosenthal says there’s much more he’d like to do to reach out to the local community in the future, but he and his co-founders will need to test out what programming will be profitable enough for them to stay open.

***

Despite their good intentions, businesses like Elsewhere can’t help but contribute to the cycle of gentrification by merely existing as for-profit ventures. But there are options for those who want to maintain a community space that is truly for the community. Mayday Space, run by activists in a three-story building on St. Nicholas Avenue and Himrod Street in Bushwick, was created specifically to combat displacement in the surrounding community through political engagement. Mayday’s online bio describes their mission as “work[ing] with longtime community organizers to amplify neighborhood issues such as immigrant rights, food justice, tenants protections, gentrification, and displacement, as well as broader global issues.”

But there’s more than activism at Mayday, which also hosts concerts, discussions, and movie screenings. Recently, Mayday held a screening of the Lizzie Borden film Born in Flames by the North Brooklyn Democratic Socialists of America, and a fundraiser party thrown by the Brooklyn Community Bail Fund, which featured rappers, live acts, and DJs.

Nancy Torres, a native Bushwick resident and project coordinator at Mayday — one of only two paid staff members — says the organization is able to thrive while maintaining their integrity because of the foresight of its founders.

“When creating a space, the leadership has to be folks that are directly affected by gentrification and displacement,” she says. “Those people need to be part of the decision-making. If leadership is not as diverse as it should be, it’s really hard to insert that afterward. You’re already setting up a foundation for the project.”

Despite Silent Barn’s imminent demise, ELM are determined to use the knowledge they’ve gained working with the collective to open their own space — a permanent home for their movement. Brooklyn says she would be happy to work with Silent Barn collective members on that project. “People can say ‘Silent Barn has closed,’ but the best parts of Silent Barn are going to continue,” Brooklyn says. “It doesn’t end here.”

To support Educated Little Monsters’ search for a new home, donate to their fundraiser here.

This article has been updated to clarify that Silent Barn’s original location was in Ridgewood, and that the hidden microphones were part of an art project.

Categories
CULTURE ARCHIVES MUSIC ARCHIVES

The Best NYC Shows This Week: Beth Ditto, Kristin Hersh, Charli XCX

Several fascinating boundary-crossing electronic artists perform here over the next few days, including the ethereal Kelly Lee Owens, the intellectual and sensual Norwegian artist Jenny Hval, and the poppy and clever duo the Blow. But perhaps most excitingly, this week previews the Iranian New Year, celebrated on the vernal equinox; at Silent Barn, a crew of techno DJs will mark the upcoming occasion with both traditional and nontraditional Persian delights.

3/12
Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Liberty, Tashi Dorji Duo
Brooklyn Steel
8 p.m., $35

Godspeed You! Black Emperor are one of the most beloved bands in the droning post-rock niche, and for good reason — their songs, which often run for ten minutes or longer, take the listener on epic journeys through sound. As with all good post-rock, these instrumental tracks tell a story with quiet strings, explosive drums, and ominous drones instead of words. And the story Godspeed are telling is one about global inequality, radical politics, and social change. The press release for their last album, Luciferian Towers, included the demands: “An end to foreign invasions. An end to borders. The total dismantling of the prison-industrial complex.” Let the revolution begin.

3/13
Kristin Hersh, Grant-Lee Phillips
Rough Trade
8:30 p.m., $22

Kristin Hersh, the lead singer of the Eighties alt-rock band Throwing Muses, has — unlike many artists with long careers — continued to release essential music. Her eccentric and cutting insights into love, loss, and living with mental illness ring as true today as they did in her former band’s prime. On her most recent album, 2016’s Wyatt at the Coyote Palace, she channels the pain of her recent divorce into songs as bracing and elliptical as any she’s ever written. Hersh has always been a phenomenal and intimate performer, and this show at Rough Trade should be the perfect space to experience her charms.

3/14
Beth Ditto, SSION
Brooklyn Steel
8 p.m., $25

When singer Beth Ditto released her first solo album last year, the main question on fans’ minds was how different it might sound from the Gossip, the band she fronted for years, and whose brash neo-soul won a cult following. Ditto doesn’t stray too far from her roots on Fake Sugar, although it has fewer electronic effects and a little more country twang. But the appeal of Ditto and the Gossip was always her unbelievable voice, which could bowl over anything in the singer’s path. On that front, nothing has changed, and this show at Brooklyn Steel is as good a chance as any to see for yourself.

3/15
Nils Frahm
Knockdown Center
9 p.m., $35–$45

The experimental pianist Nils Frahm isn’t afraid to commit to things: He made an entire album on which he dampened his piano’s strings with felt, and another while his thumb was broken. On this January’s All Melody, the electro-acoustic performer completed his most impressive musical feat yet, with an LP encompassing a wide range of instruments and styles, while remaining within a post-techno, minimalist, neoclassical framework. Frahm will perform the album in its entirety in the grandiose Knockdown Center space.

3/16
Papi Juice
Bambii, LSDXOXO, Riobamba, Marcelline, Bubble T
The Hall at Elsewhere
11 p.m., $10–$20

“We would go to certain bars in the city and Brooklyn and feel invisible,” DJ Adam R told Paste Magazine in 2014. He’s one of the founders of Papi Juice, a Brooklyn party started that same year to provide a space for queer and trans people of color to dance and celebrate in a safe space. Since then, the exuberant undertaking has only grown. Now, it’ll take over Elsewhere’s main stage for the first time, with artists including the glitchy, high-octane producer/DJ LSDXOXO and Bambii, the tour DJ for queer icon Mykki Blanco, who pumps out killer club tracks that are deliciously danceable.

Kelly Lee Owens, Ela Minus, Carmen Villain
Zone One at Elsewhere
7 p.m., $12–$15

Kelly Lee Owens used to play fairly standard indie rock (including with the band the History of Apple Pie), but no longer. Her debut solo album released last year presented her as a fully formed artist, whose dreamy songs take elements from ambient techno, folk, experimental electronic music, synth pop, and more. She’s particularly great at creating a mood — slightly psychedelic and spacey — in which to place her light, breathy vocals. “Anxi.,” her song with fellow electronic genre-hopper Jenny Hval, has a dark, unsettling quality to it that breaks through the placidity of much of the album, and shows how far Owens’s range extends. (Since Hval — see below — plays in Queens the next day, it’s possible she’ll make an appearance here.) We can’t wait to see what she does next.

3/17
Jenny Hval
MOMA PS1
6:30, $15

MOMA PS1’s great winter concert series “VW Sunday Sessions” brings the multitalented musician and performance artist Jenny Hval to the venue’s geodesic dome this weekend — confusingly, on a Saturday. Hval’s music deals with the intersection of heady themes like philosophy, romance, capitalism, feminism, and the female body, and her shows always have a performative element aside from her simply playing her songs. At PS1, she’ll perform a site-specific piece that’s described as a “meditation on the sensuality of our everyday movements.”

TechNowruz II: Iranian New Year Party
Sadaf, Aria Rostami, Googoosh Dolls, Kamron Saniee
Silent Barn
7 p.m., $8

If you’ve never celebrated the Iranian New Year, or Nowruz, before, this party at Silent Barn is a hell of a way to start. Nowruz is celebrated on the vernal equinox, and traditionally includes a Haft-Seen table, with items beginning with the Persian letter sin (s) such as apples (seeb) and garlic (seer) that all represent grand ideas like beauty and renewal. This tradition, and others, will be on display at this techno-infused celebration, where appearances from artists like the abrasive electronic performer Sadaf will soundtrack egg decorating, Islamic geometric pattern coloring, and, of course, dancing. Come ring in 1397 amid thumping beats and the smell of burning esphand.

3/18
Charli XCX
The Hall at Elsewhere
8 p.m., $25–$31

Around 2012, the avant-pop singer Charli XCX began making waves within the online ether, thanks to singles like “Nuclear Seasons” that contained just enough experimentation to separate her from mainstream acts. That didn’t last: Charli is now a bona fide pop star, with hits like the playful “Boys” racking up 75 million views on YouTube. But the singer has retained her edginess, as is apparent on such tracks as “Femmebot,” off her 2017 album, Pop 2, which features a wildly pitch-shifting verse from the often confrontational queer rapper Mykki Blanco. And this week, she’s playing at the comparably tiny Elsewhere instead of a stadium, which she could surely fill. It’s going to be a special night.

The Blow, Olivia Neutron-John
Zone One at Elsewhere
8 p.m., $15

Electropop duo the Blow released an album last year called Brand New Abyss. The songs are fun, sly, and catchy, backed by modular synth beats, but if you haven’t seen the group live recently, listening to the album alone is only a fraction of full Blow experience. Brand New Abyss was conceived as part of a multimedia art piece that incorporates spoken-word performance and discusses topics like modern alienation, emotional intimacy, and surviving on a decaying planet. It’s the rare live-music experience that feels totally fresh, unexpected, incredibly vulnerable, and real. If you can’t get tickets to Charli XCX in the next room, we highly recommend checking out this show.

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CULTURE ARCHIVES MUSIC ARCHIVES

The Best NYC Shows This Week: Pantha Du Prince, Anthony Naples, John Darnielle

The diversity of New York nightlife is sometimes staggering, and this week is no exception. There’s really something for everyone: an installation by subversive power electronics genius Moor Mother; a show from a punk legend’s new and exciting venture; Eighties pop–inspired Australian groups; and innovative house music. Go out and take advantage of the variety.

3/6
Moor Mother
The Kitchen
8 p.m., $20–$25

The artist Camae Ayewa will take over Manhattan experimental arts institution the Kitchen for two nights this week to showcase an installation around her upcoming second album as Moor Mother, Analog Fluids of Sonic Black Holes. Ayewa is one of today’s most exciting and promising artists. With noise, spoken word, power electronics, gospel, and goth aesthetics, she tells stories about the past, present, and future of Black America unlike anyone else. Her performances are always art, but at this show she’ll expand her medium to include soundscape installation, film, collage, and poetry. Everything Ayewa does is fascinating and affecting — don’t miss out. Also 3/7.

3/7
Secret Circle
Market Hotel
8 p.m., $25+

Secret Circle is a hip-hop supergroup made up of an unlikely cadre of collaborators: Antwon, a vibed-out rapper from the Bay Area; Wiki, the underground New York hip-hop artist who heads the project Ratking; and Lil Ugly Mane, a noise-turned-trap artist from Richmond, Virginia. These creators bring their diverse influences to Secret Circle, where they merge in fascinating ways, often over lo-fi beats. The group’s strongest feature is their distinct rapping styles, which are at times even more interesting playing off each other than they are on their own. See how these ingredients mix live at Market Hotel.

3/8
Parlor Walls, Fruit & Flowers, Sodium Beast, Toyzanne
Rose Gold
7 p.m., $10

Brooklyn’s Parlor Walls straddles a hazy line between indie rock, jazz, and no wave, and the results surpass most other straight indie rock acts working today. Like their Brooklynite peers Pill, Parlor Walls mixes noise with repetitive phrases, saxophone riffs, and alternatingly sung and spoken vocals. But in place of Pill’s ragged rage and minimalist tendencies, Parlor Walls pads out their songs with full arrangements that bloom and wither into real jazz. One of the best things you can say about a band is that they’re unpredictable — Parlor Walls fit that bill.

Pantha Du Prince, Logan Takahashi, Aria Rostami
The Hall at Elsewhere
8 p.m., $20–$30

Pantha Du Prince is one of the few techno producers who has been able, with his creative, melodic, and intricate songs, to make the leap from the dance-music realm into indie-music consciousness. Translation: Whether you’re a techno nerd or someone who can’t tell the difference between a 303 and an 808, you’ll find something to enjoy in his detailed and moody compositions. Logan Takahashi, of the electro-pop group Teengirl Fantasy, will back him up with a DJ set in Elsewhere’s main room.

3/9
Wesley Stace’s Cabinet of Wonders
Eszter Balint, David Cross, John Darnielle, James Gleick, Nellie McKay, David Nagler, S.J. Roza
City Winery
6 p.m., $25–$35

Wesley Stace is a British folk singer who, under the name John Wesley Harding, has recorded an absurd amount of laid-back-Americana material over his thirty-year career. But Stace won’t be center stage for his showcase at City Winery. Instead, he brings his many gifted friends together for a fascinating combination of performances. Most excitingly, John Darnielle, the lead singer of the profound and literary indie band the Mountain Goats, is slated to play. For his fans, Darnielle’s presence on a bill is enough of a reason to come out. But if you aren’t a convert, there’s plenty of other talent here. The hilarious comedian and actor David Cross, known for Mr. Show and Arrested Development, will make an appearance, alongside a menagerie of assorted folk and pop artists.

3/10
Alex Cameron, Molly Burch
Music Hall of Williamsburg
8 p.m., $15–$18

On his records, the Australian singer-songwriter Alex Cameron takes on the persona of a sleazy, washed-up lounge singer. His dedication to this role is deep — he’s even been known to put on fake wrinkles to perform. But the music on his second album, Forced Witness, doesn’t need that context to work. It’s wonderfully schmaltzy Eighties pop that stands on its own, and works as a satire of the alpha-male caricature associated with leading men in pop music, as well as in Australian culture. Also 3/12.

ESCAPE-ISM, Chorizo
Berlin
8 p.m., $12

With such bands as Chain and the Gang and Nation of Ulysses, Ian Svenonius has contributed a great deal to the evolution of punk music. With his new project, Escape-ism, Svenonius takes a different approach, playing minimalist, sexy post-punk on vintage-sounding drum machines. His elastic, growling, breathy voice shines over these simple and sometimes industrial productions. Svenonius will be joined by Brooklyn band Chorizo, who play exuberant, brash, and political punk.

Anthony Naples, HUERCO S.
Nowadays
10 p.m., $15–$20

If you like dancing to satisfying and innovative house music, not much can beat a night of sets by Anthony Naples and Huerco S. Naples is a longtime house producer and DJ who regularly plays Brooklyn parties like Mister Saturday Night. Huerco S. is a producer who creates beguiling ambient techno soundscapes, but is no stranger to dance-floor grooves, either. Together they’ll keep the good vibes and great beats going all night long.

The New Colossus Inaugural Day Party
Casper Skulls, Motherhood, Wooing, Big White, Blush, PONY, Ricky Lewis, Sur Back, RALPH, Twiga, Gingerlys, Doe
Pianos
1 p.m., free

Somehow, it’s March, and that means South by Southwest is almost upon us. For New Yorkers, the annual Texan music frenzy is a chance to see bands that pass through the city on their way to Austin. That’s the entire purpose of this free daytime show, which features many international bands alongside a few local favorites. Of note are Canadian group Casper Skulls, who make friendly, catchy indie pop; the dreamy NYC grunge act Blush; and Australian surf pop band Big White.

Wild Yaks
El Cortez
7 p.m., $10

Brooklyn’s Wild Yaks play the kind of messy yet anthemic rock music that sounds like a sweaty room and a lukewarm cheap beer — in the best possible way. Something about their driving, pop-infused songs, with their sing-along choruses and horn flourishes, reminds us of a simpler time in Brooklyn music culture, before we lost great venues like Shea Stadium and Palisades. East Williamsburg tiki bar El Cortez is nothing like those magical, communal spaces, but they do have some damn good frozen mojitos.

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CULTURE ARCHIVES MUSIC ARCHIVES

The Best NYC Shows This Week: Africa Now!, Terry Riley, Kal Marks

Two of this week’s most exciting shows are yearly traditions. The Apollo Theater’s Africa Now! concert highlights electronic dance music talent from around the world, including Drake collaborator Black Coffee. Meanwhile, downtown at Le Poisson Rouge, the Darmstadt Ensemble celebrates the anniversary of legendary minimalist composer Terry Riley’s masterpiece In C for the fourteenth year running. With annual events this reliable, you can’t go wrong.

2/26
Natural Velvet, Weeping Icon, the Rizzos, Sludge Judy
Secret Project Robot
8 p.m., $10

This night at Secret Project Robot is filled mostly with righteous female-fronted punk bands, and will provide catharsis for anyone who’s having a tough week. Baltimore group Natural Velvet headline with their retro punk style, reminiscent of pioneers like Poly Styrene or the Slits, but with a psych-rock edge. Their ethos is summed up in a quote from guitarist Kim Te from an interview with the Baltimore Sun: “You don’t have to be a white boy from the suburbs to play rock ’n’ roll.” Natural Velvet will play alongside homegrown Brooklyn noise punks Weeping Icon.

2/28
Death Panel Night: Live Electronic Music
FBI Warning, Greem Jellyfish, A Pleasure, Solpara, X Harlow
H0L0
10 p.m., $8

This night at H0L0 hosts a slew of live electronic producers churning out raw, unpredictable music. The most exciting act on the roster is FBI Warning, a duo composed of Beto Cravioto and Rogelio Ramos, both highly respected New York house and disco DJs. Together, they stray from the warmth of house and veer into spooky live techno. Another performer to look out for is the New York–based Korean DJ Greem Jellyfish, who weaves psychedelic, intricate house tracks.

Rann, pronoun, Sulene, Charles Fauna
Pianos
7 p.m., $8

Brooklyn’s pronoun play classic pure indie pop that would sound right at home on a playlist next to tracks by the Pains of Being Pure at Heart and Stars. The band is a project of Alyse Vellturo, whose whispered vocals float above melancholy guitar riffs and delicate synth lines. Her 2016 debut EP, There’s no one new around you, was inspired by heartbreak, and named after a dispiriting notification on Tinder. This intimate show at Pianos will be a perfect way to experience her work.

3/1
Diet Cig, Great Grandpa, the Spook School
The Hall at Elsewhere
8 p.m., $17–$20

Brooklyn pop punk group Diet Cig are the main draw on this lineup, but their jangly guitars, LiveJournal-style lyrics, and giant hooks are far from all concertgoers will get. Seattle’s Great Grandpa are another young band on the rise, making bubblegum punk in the vein of peers like Tacocat. Another standout: the Spook School, a queer Scottish indie pop group who will appeal to fans of Los Campesinos! and American groups like Making Friendz.

Terry Riley’s In C presented by Darmstadt Ensemble
Le Poisson Rouge
7:30 p.m., $20–$30

Terry Riley sits alongside artists like John Cage and Philip Glass as one of the most influential experimental composers of the twentieth century. His 1964 composition, In C, is known as one of the earliest works of minimalist music. The piece is made up of repeating parts and can be played by any number of musicians, so how it sounds depends greatly on its interpretation by whomever is playing it. Brooklyn’s avant-garde Darmstadt Ensemble mount a version every year to celebrate the anniversary of the piece’s creation. This year, to enhance the music’s rhythmic elements, they’ll be joined by drummer Andrya Ambro, a former Talk Normal member currently of Gold Dime. If you’re curious about minimalist music, this is a great place to start.

3/2
Drawing Boards, Wild Pink, the Fluids, Cheekface
Alphaville
8 p.m., Price TBA

If you like melodic indie rock with catchy pop hooks and dissonant guitars, you’ll like Drawing Boards, a Brooklyn band made up of past members of many other much-loved local groups (TEEN, Darlings, Sisters). Fans of classic acts like Built to Spill should also enjoy these tunes. They’ll play a record-release show for their self-titled debut album at Alphaville. Backing them up are Wild Pink, another jam-friendly Brooklyn indie rock group whose moody songs build to epic climaxes.

High Waisted, Kitten, Suburban Living, Cold Fronts
Bowery Ballroom
8 p.m., $12

The local band High Waisted play buoyant surf pop that will remind you of groups like Tennis, whose wistful tunes sail atop glistening guitar riffs, and Shannon and the Clams, who turn Sixties girl-group aesthetics into high camp. They’ll be backed up by the excellent pop group Kitten, a Los Angeles synthpop band who are angling for a place beside newly minted superstars like Charli XCX.

3/3
Africa Now!
Black Coffee, Tony Allen & Jeff Mills, Ayo, Pierre Kwenders
Apollo Theater
8 p.m., $28–$59

The Apollo’s annual showcase of African music focuses this year on electronic work. To that end, the South African producer Black Coffee, whose illustrious career in dance music was elevated into the mainstream by his collaboration with Drake last year, will perform a set of his house jams and remixes. Jeff Mills, a legendary techno DJ and technical genius on the decks, will play with frequent collaborator Tony Allen, an Afrobeat drummer. It’s not often that electronic music comes to the Apollo — this is going to be a special night.

Kal Marks, A Deer a Horse, Baked, Maneka
Brooklyn Bazaar
8 p.m., $8–$10

Call Kal Marks sludge rock, post-hardcore, or, simply, “Boston’s loudest band” — whatever the label, the group makes an impression. With its latest album, Universal Care, the three-piece expands its palette of emotions from the anger and longing that dominated its past work, and its music benefits from it. Here, Kal Marks headline a show of local stalwarts, including gloomy grunge rockers A Deer a Horse and reverb-soaked garage rock group Baked.

Shopping, French Vanilla, Future Punx, Pickled Onion
Market Hotel
9 p.m., $13–$15

Last year, U.K. trio Shopping released their dazzling third album, The Official Body, on which the band manages to evoke post-punk pioneers while remaining innovative and experimental. These songs seriously groove, combining minimalist instrumentation with impressive writing and performance. Despite its protests to the contrary, the group is subtly political, addressing media bias, racism, and sexism without ever getting pedantic. But even without their lyrical content, these songs are mesmerizing jams that will get you moving.

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CULTURE ARCHIVES MUSIC ARCHIVES

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

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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CULTURE ARCHIVES MUSIC ARCHIVES

The Best NYC Shows This Week: Justin Vivian Bond, John Maus, Superchunk

It’s Valentine’s Day, but there aren’t any traditionally romantic acts on our list this week. Instead, for the big night, we recommend seeing John Maus, a brilliant eccentric who turns new wave into performance art. The rest of the schedule is packed with fantastic bands like Superchunk, amazing dance parties from NAAFI, and DIY punk shows. Save the money you’d spend on roses and check out some music that will last a lifetime.

2/13
Homeshake, Greatest Champion Alive
Market Hotel
8 p.m., $18+

Slacker rock star Mac DeMarco’s cult is growing, and, as it does, some of his magic is rubbing off on his associates. That may go part of the way towards explaining why Peter Sagar, a former guitarist in DeMarco’s band who now makes music as Homeshake, has sold out four nights at Market Hotel. He went solo in 2013, and last year released Fresh Air, a breezy, lo-fi synth pop album that borrows from r&b and hip-hop as much as it does from melancholy bedroom pop artists like Alex G (and, of course, his ex-bandmate). It’s an intriguing mix, and it has won Sagar a following with the same kinds of young people who see DeMarco as a messiah figure. It’s your chance to be among them on one of these nights — if you can find a ticket.

2/14
John Maus, Gary War
The Hall at Elsewhere
8 p.m., $18–$22

One of John Maus’s early albums was titled Love Is Real, and it’s exactly the kind of grand yet banal statement one has come to expect from the enigmatic synth-pop performer. In interviews, Maus speaks like a mad professor — half the time, he makes no sense. But you still get the feeling that he understands some underlying truth that’s beyond our reach. In addition to his eerie, sparkling pop songs and deep, monotone voice, Maus is best known for his stage antics, which often include beating himself with a microphone or just straight up punching himself in the face. If you’re looking for a Valentine’s Day activity that will really make you understand the cheap vulgarity of consumer culture, go see John Maus. You won’t be disappointed.

2/15
NAAFI
Fausto Bahía, Debit, Lao, Mexican Jihad
Elsewhere
Midnight, $10–$12

The boundary-pushing Mexico City electronic music collective NAAFI will put on their first party at Elsewhere this Thursday. NAAFI is known for DJs and producers who mix dance music with politics and aren’t afraid to experiment. But that doesn’t mean you won’t dance your ass off. Headliner Fausto Bahía, in particular, plays an irresistible mix of reggaeton, dancehall, and more that would make anyone want to get down. The label’s founder, Alberto Bustamante, who goes by the artist name Mexican Jihad, will also play a set of his music, which often verges into sound-art territory with abrasive samples and industrial flourishes. Whether you want to be challenged or entertained, there’s something for you here.

Justin Vivian Bond (sings the Carpenters)
The Appel Room
8:30 p.m., price not available

The storied trans cabaret singer Justin Vivian Bond is known for their long history in New York’s Downtown experimental theater and music scenes. They have been called the “the best cabaret artist of their generation.” This week, Bond is taking on the catalog of the Carpenters, the tragic pop group who brought body dysmorphia into the public conversation following singer Karen Carpenter’s death from anorexia. Bond’s performances in tribute to fallen idols are consistently beloved. This one should be another stunner.

Festival of the Glove
The Dreebs, Video Daughters, Dog, Outside World, Xharlow, Dean Cercone, Crawlspace, Straw Pipes, Robot Death Cult
The Glove
8 p.m., $10–$20

The Glove is a charming, scrappy venue located on the second story of a building off the J train in Bushwick. It’s one of an ever-decreasing number of authentically DIY spaces that have survived years of crackdowns by NYPD task forces like MARCH. This festival, the first of what will hopefully be a yearly tradition, will raise money to keep the space open with performances from many friends of the space, including garage pop group Outside World, art rockers the Dreebs, and experimental synth pop artist (and venue owner) Dean Cercone. The party will go all night and the door cost is a sliding scale. Ask your coolest friend for the address and help keep Brooklyn DIY alive.

2/16
Superchunk
Rough Trade
6:30 p.m., free entry with purchase of new album

Over the years, beloved ’90s indie-rock group Superchunk has lost none of their trademark energy, nor their ability to craft catchy, fun, cathartic pop songs. Superchunk’s newly announced album, What a Time to Be Alive, is almost out, and fans will be able to score a copy on vinyl at this Rough Trade record-release party. The single “Erasure” features vocals from Waxahatchee and Stephen Merritt, and sounds fantastic. Three decades on, Superchunk has still got it.

Wye Oak, William Brittelle, Metropolis Ensemble
Symphony Space
8 p.m., $25+

The Baltimore group Wye Oak made the transition from gothy folk to synth pop on their 2014 album, Shriek, and they continue to innovate. At this unique performance, Wye Oak will perform songs off Shriek with totally new arrangements by composer William Brittelle, performed by the Metropolis Ensemble. Brittelle, who writes intricate, interlocking compositions filled with a sweeping energy, will also perform some songs off his album Spiritual America, which Symphony Space calls “an epic post-genre mix of orchestra, children’s chorus, electronics, and rock band.”

Chaos in the CBD, Jayda G, Jacky Sommer, Huerco S, Olin, John Barera, Will Martin
Elsewhere
11 p.m., $15–$25

DJs who play house, disco, techno, and everything in between will take over Elsewhere’s entire space this Friday. The brothers Chaos in the CBD, originally from New Zealand, are one of the big draws. They play house music featuring underused percussion sounds like congas and claves, which gives their music a lightness that’s rare in dance music. Jayda G, an expert selector who pulls out soul and disco as often as house, is another name to get excited about. Her Dekmantel Boiler Room set is now the stuff of legend. This will be a special night.

2/17
American Nightmare, Pissed Jeans, Protester, Spiritual Cramp
Market Hotel
7 p.m., $22.50+

Amazingly, last year, male-led punk band Pissed Jeans released a feminist album that didn’t suck. On the forceful, Lydia Lunch–produced record, lead singer Matt Korvette excoriated the American male psyche. With his growling yell, he sings about the unfair advantages men have in the workplace and self-flagellates over paying cam girls to ignore him. Pissed Jeans play on this stacked lineup of heavy bands at Market Hotel, which also features American Nightmare, the hardcore project of Cold Cave’s Wes Eisold, who just announced their first album since 2003.

L.O.T.I.O.N., Witchtrial, Pobreza Mental, Twisted Thing
Secret Project Robot
9 p.m., $10

L.O.T.I.O.N. use their dense, angry music to explain how injustice and technology rule our lives. Their sound is a mix of industrial clamor, chaotic noise, hardcore motifs, and heavily distorted vocals. From earlier tracks (“Torture Report,” “Fukushima Fallout”) to this year’s new split with Scumputer, Xenophobia, L.O.T.I.O.N. has investigated complex political issues with a ferocious intensity. The band is known for incredible live shows — catch them headlining this Saturday at Secret Project Robot.

Categories
CULTURE ARCHIVES MUSIC ARCHIVES

The Best NYC Shows This Week: Mal Devisa, Alice Coltrane, Ava Luna

Some of our favorite underappreciated New York acts perform this week, including Ice Balloons, the off-kilter punk rock side project by TV on the Radio’s Kyp Malone, and Mal Devisa, an incredible rising talent whose music skirts the edges of hip-hop, punk, jazz, and many other genres. Meanwhile, on Sunday, you have two options for art-based afternoon entertainment: Sunday Sessions at MOMA PS1 presents a day dedicated to the spiritual jazz legend Alice Coltrane, while Pioneer Works opens its doors for visitors to experience a wide range of installations and multimedia pieces.

2/7
Ice Balloons, Honduras, Chorizo, Blood Cultures
Union Pool
8 p.m., $10–$12

Last week, the internet was deluged with nostalgia when New York published a piece detailing the lovably sleazy hookup culture that prevailed at Williamsburg bar Union Pool in the mid-Aughts. That time is now long gone, but the bar still knows how to host a good show. At this benefit for Puerto Rico hurricane relief, some of Brooklyn’s most underrated bands will play, including Kyp Malone’s dissonant rock act Ice Balloons, surf rockers Honduras, and the radical Latinx punk group Chorizo.

2/8
Girlpool, Land of Talk, Forth Wanderers
Brooklyn Steel
8 p.m., $18–$20

On last year’s Powerplantthe most recent album from Los Angeles’ Girlpool, the things we’ve always loved about the indie rock act remained at the forefront: their unassuming vocals, lo-fi production value, slacker-punk ethos, and accessibly angsty lyrics. Their charm has expanded as they experimented with new additions to their sound, while sections of their tracks became heavier and bigger, counterbalancing the twee whimsy elsewhere. For a certain type of indie fan, this is heaven. The rest of the Thursday lineup at Brooklyn Steel is stacked with similarly lovely talent — get there early.

2/9
Palehound, Weaves
Brooklyn Bazaar
8 p.m., $14–$16

Boston’s Palehound are part of a crew of indie rock formations that play around with the standard guitar-band formula, never delivering exactly what you’d expect. The group was started by musician Ellen Kempner, who is good friends with Sadie Dupuis of Speedy Ortiz fame. Both outfits make music that feels homegrown and intimate, drawing on vocals both direct and urgent. Palehound will play here with Weaves, a Toronto group whose leader, Jasmyn Burke, has cited Bruce Springsteen as an inspiration for her expansive rock tunes, which are also reminiscent of fellow Canadians Broken Social Scene.

Sound of Ceres, Hnry Flwr, Stranger Cat
The Park Church Co-Op
8 p.m., $10–$13

Sound of Ceres, a supergroup that includes members of Candy Claws, Apples in Stereo, and the Drums, stretch out across genres, from electropop to shoegaze. But lead singer Karen Hover’s ghostly vocals, paired with the band’s slightly eerie synths, sound most like something you’d hear at the Roadhouse in Twin Peaks. The group’s last album, 2017’s The Twin, was produced by Alex Somers, who is known for his work with Sigur Rós and Julianna Barwick. The mystical ambiance of those groups shines through on The Twin. Unlike efforts from most shoegaze-adjacent groups, this album has hardly any guitar, and that absence makes the gauzy ethereality of the songs even more striking.

Leaving New York
Shanti Celeste, Working Women, Emil Bergh
Nowadays
10 p.m., $15–$20

The long-running soulful dance music party Leaving New York will take over the new Nowadays indoor space this week for a night featuring house, techno, and more from a variety of high-level DJs. Breezy U.K. house DJ Shanti Celeste, who wowed crowds at Dekmantel, will headline. Working Women, a four-person back-to-back team of female techno DJs, and New Yorker Emil Bergh, who plays Nineties-style techno, fill out the rest of the night. It all amounts to a reason, as if you need another one, to dance until sunrise.

2/10
The Lot Radio Two Year Anniversary
Acemo, Analog Soul, Barbie Bertisch & Paul Raffaele, Darker Than Wax, Epic B & Uninamise, Katie Rex, R Gamble, Riobamba, Tygapaw, Working Women, X-Coast, more
Brooklyn Bazaar
7 p.m., $20–$30

The Lot Radio is an all-electronic-music internet broadcast station, based out of a remodeled shipping container located in Williamsburg. Its shows are hosted by many of New York’s finest DJs, as well as occasional visiting guests. At this anniversary smash, many of the station’s brightest talents will take over the entire Brooklyn Bazaar space, including the mutable hip-hop and dance music DJ Tygapaw, techno DJ Katie Rex, and many others. The party starts with a happy hour at 7 p.m. and goes all the way until 5 a.m. — plenty of time for both the early birds and the after-hours crowd.

Ava Luna (playing Serge Gainsbourg’s Histoire de Melody Nelson)
Joe’s Pub
9:30 p.m., $20

New York art-rock band Ava Luna are known for their eclectic sound and adventurous performances. Their music incorporates pop, world, post-punk, and other diffuse genres into a wild and whimsical sound all its own. On this night, the band will perform French pop legend Serge Gainsbourg’s notorious and influential 1971 concept album, Histoire de Melody Nelson, which spins the tale of a man who crashes his car into a bicycle-riding teenage girl, whom he then seduces. The album has been cited as one of Portishead’s major influences in creating the genre that became known as trip-hop. In Ava Luna’s version, Gainsbourg’s part will be played by Becca Kauffman, a gender flip that lends the performance an element of feminist critique.

Mal Devisa
Trans-Pecos
8 p.m., $10–$12

Mal Devisa is the artist name of Deja Carr, a singer, songwriter, and instrumentalist from the Bronx whose voice is as flexible as an Olympic gymnast. Carr showcased her staggering talent on her 2016 debut album, Kiid, where she tore through r&b, punk, hip-hop, jazz, and gospel, sometimes all on the same song. Her singing is both seductive and precise, even as her technical roughness and lyrical intimacy lend her work a rawness that makes listening to her an intensely personal experience. Of all the emerging young artists in this city, Mal Devisa seems on the cusp of seizing one of the brightest possible futures.

2/11
Monastic and Ecstatic: A Glimpse Into the Life and Legacy of Alice Coltrane
Kelsey Lu, Laaraji
MOMA PS1
1 p.m., $15

This afternoon, VW Sunday Sessions at PS1 will honor the life and work of the jazz composer, pianist, and spiritual leader Alice Coltrane, who died eleven years ago at the age of 69. (In 1965, she married the saxophonist John Coltrane, who passed two years later.) Ravi Coltrane, Alice’s son, put together this afternoon of tributes, which will include panel discussions; rare film and audio recordings from the family’s archive; and performances by Kelsey Lu, the avant-garde cellist, and Laaraji, the acclaimed ambient artist. Whether you’re already a devotee or are new to all things Alice, this is a celebration you won’t want to miss.

Second Sundays
Superhuman Happiness
Pioneer Works
4 p.m., $10 suggested donation 

If you live close to Red Hook, Pioneer Works’ version of a Sunday-afternoon art event might be just the weekend activity for you. With a $10 suggested donation, you’ll get access to art installations, open studios, and participatory events like the Pioneer Works tech labs. There will also be a performance from Superhuman Happiness, an indie pop band that “incorporate[s] elements of improvisation, surreal comedy, performance art, and strong melodies and danceable rhythms expressed through an ecstatic audience/performer embrace.”