Written by Arjun Ray
This show promises a mix of performers dressed in three-piece suit jacket combos or one-piece leopard spotted underpants. Keep your ears open and invite in a strange soup of counterculture imagery; like bad ass kids in parked convertibles getting acid-spiked milkshakes from drag queens on roller blades. Expect jumping, clapping, rolling on the floor, sweat, sex, and bad manners. Don’t go if you are easily offended.
Let me go ahead and break the 4th wall: I am not partial to the lo-fi trend playing out in certain uber-hip circles these days. Bad recording quality, and lots of tape machines alone do not make for good music. Only a few bands can take on this sound with the right combination of talent and hormones to make it substantial. Here are some of those bands:
Chain and the Gang is the latest ensemble from Ian Svenonius, formerly of seminal post-punk band Nation of Ulysses. Historically, Ian has served up a pureé of hyper-leftist ideals and sarcastic tongue-in-cheek posturing baked in bombastic funk. Chain and the Gang features Ian and Katie Alice Greer on dual lead vocals dressed to the nines, dancing it out to soulful grooves. This is 70s protest funk via aging punks. There is something politically subversive about this music, but they manage to withhold pretension and insert raucous fun.
Seth Bogart and his mustache (Hunx), (and his) bevy of more-to-love grrls (Punx) recently put out a new album Street Punk. The album is hopelessly trapped in a malfunctioning time machine fluxing out between the late seventies and early eighties. Stylistically, this a band straight out of John Waters Pink Flamingos. Trashy, salacious, queer, and offensive. You’re gonna have a good time. Sonically, Street Punk promises aggressive old-school-hardcore and punk-and-roll chopped up, rolled in the Sunday comics, smoked….can you dig it?
Juan Wauters is the songwriter for New York’s very own The Beets. The Beets play jangle pop with high pitched teenage-y vocals over driving garage rhythms. Juan’s solo venture sounds very much like the Beets, which is undoubtedly a good thing. There is some solid pop songwriting here created with the stripped down set of musical language used by The Sonics and Jonathan Richman. The beauty is in the hooks, the feeling and the attitude, not guitar solos, and pristine digital production. Juan Water’s recently released solo tracks, “Sanity” and “Nena”, would sound right at home on a John Water’s soundtrack (surprise surprise), or on a Bossa Nova compilation (surprise?), respectively.