The Best Shows in NYC This Week: American Football + Jane's Addiction + James Murphy + Cloud Nothings + Foxygen + King Tuff + Iceage + lots more goodness
Written by Patrick McNamara
With a name like Whoa My Blobness it’s gotta be good!
How about we talk about good shows and good bands and agree to agree to have a nice agreeable time?
Great! Ladies and Gentlemen. Let’s procrastinate.
This rising up-and-coming buzzy alt band Fleetwood Mac play a small intimate DIY co-op art space called Madison Square Garden (and tomorrow too - and Saturday at the Prudential Center - whew). Many leading alt music blobs are reserving lots of digital buzz space to proclaim their buzz love for this band’s buzzy album “Rumours” (sic) and Whoa My Blobness is proud to have the exclusive on a song from that album. This song has never before been heard until right now. Enjoy the first listen.
The Bangles play City Winery (and tomorrow too). I hear good things. But I wonder if the world is really ready for the Paisley Underground sound? They might have to gloss things up a bit to have any chance of being taken seriously as an emerging alt band. Whoa My Blobness was also able to obtain an exclusive song (aka "cut" if you're a Music Industry Insider) for this band. This song has never before been heard until right now. Enjoy the first listen.
Mike Birbiglia is "Working It Out" at Union Hall tonight. Because that venue has the best bathroom in Brooklyn to do that. Hint. It's the private individual stalls that may even be slightly soundproofed. It's just a delight. Anywho, here’s a humorous story in which Dennis Eckersley acts like a dick to a blind man.
Holy shit. There are a lot of good shows tonight. I have no idea why.
SANDY Alex G opens for Gardens and Villa at Bowery Ballroom. This lo-fi pop wunderkind will blow you mind. SANDY Alex G. Remember the name, folks. When he gets really popular I’ll probably brag about how I was there almost kind of sort of near the beginning.
DJ James Murphy and DJ Pete Tong play nothing but the hits at Hammerstein Ballroom tonight for the launch of something or another. There’s really no reason to get into it here. BTW, have you ever seen the film “It’s All Gone Pete Tong?” If you haven’t, I encourage you to do so. Might I be so bold as to suggest watching the trailer for it below?
Cloud Nothings play Irving Plaza (with Tyvek - wow, that's an old profile). This band keeps getting better and they started out pretty damn good. I don’t know how they do it. Maybe practice and persistence. Maybe they’re just born with it. Maybe it’s Maybelline.
The poet Mike Hadreas, also known as Perfume Genius, plays Music Hall of Williamsburg tonight. He will surely sing the excellent songs from his recently released album “Too Bright.” Get ready to be haunted by the heartbreaking sublime sparseness of it all..this life.
Jackson Browne play Beacon Theater (and tomorrow too). Quick story. I don’t know Jackson Browne’s catalog at all. But I was recently in line at my shitty supermarket to buy some spaghetti sauce (I felt like dining big that night) and his song “Here Comes My Baby” came on the Muzak (I Shazam’ed it) and right then, right there, I proclaimed it the best pop song every written. I may have backed off that a little bit since then but not by much. Listen for yourself. Works best if you blast it.
Other notable shows = Julianna Barwick at Knockdown Center + The Airborne Toxic Event at Terminal 5 + Charli XCX at Webster Hall + Vulture Shit/Big Ups/Flagland/Lost Boy?/Washer at Palisades + Prince Rama and Puro Instinct and Leverage Models at Glasslands
Julianna Barwick makes celestial music befitting her angelic voice. So it’s pretty strange she’s playing a place called Knockdown Center since I thought heaven was supposed to lift you up. She’s just one of the many talented people collaborating on the three night “Debut” production that merges music, contemporary dance, and large scale art installation. Also. Did you know Knockdown Center is 60,000 sq. feet? Damn. That’s almost as big as the offices of Oh My Rockness (which is also my bedroom).
Foxygen play Music Hall of Williamsburg (and tomorrow at Webster Hall). These hippies have been around for a second now and people seemed to have formed strong opinions about them. You either love this band or your hate this band or you feel indifferent towards this band or you don’t even know this band exists. I’m not sure where I really fall in the spectrum but I figure with a name like Foxygen it’s gotta be good! This band is foxy. But this band is also also oxygen. Sex + Life < Foxygen.
Dev Hynes (of Blood Orange - but remember Test Icicles?) performs the score to the film “Palo Alto” at BRIC House (twice). The 2013 movie was based off the famous short story collection of American author James Franco. I didn’t see it or read it. But I’m sure the music is outstanding. Dev writes the hits.
Owen (aka Mike Kinsella aka Cap’n Jazz aka American Football - more on them in a minute - aka Joan of Arc aka Owls aka Make Believe aka Their/They’re/There aka who did I miss?) plays The Studio at Webster Hall. It should be a tender good time. Owen. Such a nice name.
Jacksonville’s Black Kids play Cameo Gallery (with Psychic Twin). You might remember this band if you were a veracious leading alt music blob reader circa 2007. The alt blobs just loved this song I've conveniently posted for you below. It still holds up, too. As for their newer stuff? Not sure. Maybe it all rules. I don't know. I stopped paying attention 7 years ago. Tell me not my faults for I already know them.
Other notable shows = Julianna Barwick at The Knockdown Center + The Teen Age at Death by Audio + Pete Tong at Output + Aziz Ansari at Madison Square Garden (twice) + Dragons of Zynth at Mercury Lounge + Heeney at The Bowery Electric + The Kooks at The Paramount + Foxygen at Webster Hall
Champaign’s American Football reunited (after barely existing as a band circa 1998), announced these three shows at Webster Hall months ago, and I have been looking forward to seeing them since. Well, sir. The big opening night is finally here, ma'am. Go see them play all the hits from that full-length and EP. Do you think they’re going to open their set with the song below? You bet-et-et.*
(*echoing the vocals in “Never Meant” that want to forget everything that was said-ed-ed)
If a hard punker rocker free situation is more your cup of tea consider seeing Crime in Stereo + Sorority Noise + Mannequin Pussy (please check this very important page) + more loud and exciting alts play Brooklyn Night Bazaar. You won’t pay a dime to have a nice time.
Australia’s Lace Curtain has come over all the way from the OTHER SIDE OF THE WORLD to play for you at Silent Barn. No pressure or anything. This dark disco-psych-punk “band” is David West of Total Control (live) and his chilly sounds are really good. But if you instead choose to sit on your couch and relax the evenings away that’s totally cool too. It’s your journey, man.
L.A.’s Upset is a new band featuring current and former members of Best Coast + La Sera + Vivian Girls + Hole. Together, these three ladies make pop that really crunches and punks. Go see them play at The Bell House if you’re into seeing a good time.
Other notable shows = Marketa Irglova at (le) poisson rouge + Buke and Gase at Music Hall of Williamsburg + Lemonade at Irving Plaza + Allo Darlin at Glasslands + Mighty Mouse at Glasslands (late) + Low Fat Getting High and Kal Marks at Death by Audio
New 8-bit-ish dance pop hero Porter Robinson plays Terminal 5 (and tomorrow too). Guess who’s I’m blasting right now as I type these dynamic words? Porter Robinson. I shit you not. If you don’t like the opening riff on the following song, well, I just don’t know what to do. Maybe I’ve lost it all.
The 2-day Escape Music Festival starts today on Governors Island. If you go, you’ll see DJ Moby + Placebo + Yeasayer + The Crystal Method + Ra Ra Riot + DJ Neon Indian + many more. Let’s table the lineup for Day #2 until tomorrow, cool?
Tim and Eric and Dr. Steve Brule have come to Best Buy Theater to warp your mind and destroy your soul and it’s going to be hu-lair-eeee-us.
However, forget all I’ve just told you because The Karate Kid is 30 years old (!) and let’s go celebrate that mind fuck fact by going to a screening of the movie at 92Y. But wait. There’s more! Daniel (with an L) Larusso + Johnny (you just broke my radio) Lawrence + John (I don’t want him beat) Creese are all going to be there! This could very well be the best night of my life. Or, the most depressing. It’s a fine line sometimes.
*the following Karate Kid rehearsal movie is amazing
Other notable shows = American Football at Webster Hall + PC Worship at Death by Audio + Lifetime at the Stone Pony + Fleetwood Mac at Prudential Center + Dinowalrus at Friends and Lovers + Mirah at (le) poisson rouge + Splashh at Baby’s All Right
All the leading alt blobs love Iceage. The Danish band play Bowery Ballroom tonight but this time they’ll be experimenting with a new sound. They just got too darn big for chilly punk rock’s parameters and decided to freak out. Consider this tour "Ice Age 2: The Meltdown."
Escape Music Festival: Day #2 (of 2) is today at Governors Island. Bands playing include Girl Talk + The Joy Formidable + Anoraak + ASTR + boatloads more. Because it’s an island. Bring your dancing shoes, an outer layer in case it gets chilly later, and at least $80 dollars.
Jane’s Addiction + We Are Scientists + Devo + Robert DeLong + Surfer Blood play a free show somewhere tba but maybe Times Square as part of the CBGB Festival (which, by the way, started on Thursday and goes until Sunday - I guess I underplayed that this week - oh well - I’m making up for it now). This show shouldn’t be jammed at all.
Other notable shows = American Football at Webster Hall + Porter Robinson at Terminal 5 + Adult Dude at Union Pool + Jukebox the Ghost (free) at Rough Trade + JEFF the Brotherhood and Diarrhea Planet at Death by Audio - remember "this is Diarrhea Planet's world, we're all just pooping uncontrollably in it."
Thanks for procrastinating with me. Thanks for being agreeable. You know what? You 13 regular readers are just the best. Forever and Ever. Amen.
*this Karate Kid rehearshal movie, tho