Entries tagged with: Pharmakon
Sondre Lerche @ MHOW, 2011 (more by Dana [distortion] Yavin)
The CMJ Music Marathon starts today and runs through Saturday (10/19) and NYC, which has no shortage of worthy shows on any given night, and explodes into an overload of options. Browse our full NYC show calendar for all of tonight's shows. We've got tonight's highlights here and more CMJ (and non-CMJ) options further down.
Geoffrey O'Connor, City Riots, Ball Park Music, Cub Sports, Gossling @ Cake Shop (DAY SHOW, FREE)
It's an entire afternoon of Australian artists, highlighted by Crayon Fields singer Geoffrey O'Connor.
Ghost Wave, Streets of Laredo, Electric Wire Hustle, Black City Lights, Tiny Ruins @ Le Poisson Rouge (FREE)
Tonight's the now-annual New Zealand showcase at LPR, with a disparate group of performers. We like the folk-y Tiny Ruins and the more VU-ish (if badly-named) Ghost Wave. This show is free and always a good way to start your CMJ.
Mark Lanegan, Sean Wheeler, Zander Schloss @ Gramercy Theatre
Mark Lanegan spent the mid-'80s up to the turn of the millennium fronting pioneering grunge band Screaming Trees, and has since done notable collaborations with Queens of the Stone Age, Greg Dulli (Afghan Whigs), Isobel Campbell (Belle and Sebastian), and more. He's also a solo artist, and his newest record is a covers album that features his interpretations of John Cale, Nick Cave, Chelsea Wolfe, and many others.
Joanna Gruesome, The History of Apple Pie, Free Time, Celestial Shore, Body Parts, Weaves, Geoffrey O'Connor @ Ran Tea House
This will be the first CMJ shows for UK bands Joanna Gruesome (indiepop with fangs) and The History of Apple Pie (twee shoegaze) and the whole evening is pretty good. Moved from Baby's All Right (which won't open till Friday).
Brian Wilson, Jeff Beck @ Beacon Theater
The band who currently tours as The Beach Boys may not include their main songwriter Brian Wilson as a member, but Brian's on the road with fellow ex-Beach Boys Al Jardine and Dave Marks, plus guitar maestro Jeff Beck, playing a ton of favorites from The Beach Boys' career. Tonight's show is also special, because it's one of the few dates on the tour that also includes Blondie Chaplan, lead singer of Beach Boys tune "Sail On Sailor."
Hunters, Kirin J Callinan, PUP, Ovlov, Greys, Big Ups @ Cameo Gallery
In terms of younger, upcoming bands, this is one of the more stacked early-CMJ shows. Both NYC's Hunters and Australia's Kirin J Callinan have live shows that you won't forget, plus two killer punk bands are in from Toronto -- PUP and Greys -- and there's the Dinosaur Jr/Sonic Youth-y rockers Ovlov and Brooklyn punky post-hardcore kids Big Ups.
Glasser, Kelela, Empress Of, Kirin J Callinan, Lil' Jabba @ Music Hall of Williamsburg
Glasser took three years to follow up her debut LP, but that sophomore record is finally out now, and she's celebrating with some appearances at CMJ. Openers here are great too, including promising R&B singer Kelela, art pop musician Empress Of, one-man looping machine Kirin J Callinan, and DJ Rashad associate Lil Jabba.
Placebo, Jesca Hoop @ Terminal 5
Glammy, gothy, androgenous, and more than a little melodramatic, Placebo know how to work all that to their advantage.
Milagres, Ghost Wave, Beach Day, The Box Tiger, CONJJJECTURE, Traumahelikopter, Owel @ Pianos
Lots of good bands on this Pianos bill, but one in particular worth highlighting is Owel, who make the kind of pretty, somewhat-technical emo that some people call "twinklecore," mixed with pretty epic alt-rock. They're on at 1 PM.
Tropic of Pisces, Ace Reporter, Courtney Barnett, Saint Rich, Spires, Total Slacker, COIN, Echo Friendly, Dream Shake @ Pianos
Also lots of good people on this Pianos bill, and the one we really think you shouldn't miss is Australia's Courtney Barnett, who mixes '60s-style psychedelic rock with witty songwriting. And actually if you're into that kind of psychedelia, don't miss Brooklyn's Spires either.
Sondre Lerche, TEEN, Wet, Saint Rich @ Bowery Ballroom
The Talkhouse, the website started by noted journalist Michael Azerrad which features musicians reviewing other musicians' CDs, is presenting tonight's solid showcase headlined by Norway's charming Sondre Lerche.
Cults, Lucius, Conway, Yup Deceiver (DJ) @ Brooklyn Bowl
Cults' new album, Static, is out today and this is a record release show of sorts, which is free with RSVP (or your CMJ badge).
Nine Inch Nails, Godspeed You! Black Emperor @ Prudential Center
Trent Reznor and crew released their first NiN record in five years and their tour with equally intense openers Godspeed are in the NY area for two shows, this being the second.
Hippy, Caged Animals, Norwegian Arms, Radical Dads, Spirit Plate @ Muchmore's
If you're coming to CMJ from out of town and want to catch some of Brooklyn's local indie rock talent, this unofficial showscase with Hippy, Radical Dads and Caged Animals is a very good option.
Main Attrakionz, Davinci C, Hefna Gwap, Good Kids @ Santos Party House (FREE)
There's not too much rap at CMJ, and this show isn't actually an official CMJ show anyway, but it's a good warm up for the week, and totally free.
Low Fat Getting High, Big Ups, Vulture Shit, Flagland, Hive Bent, A Guide to Rational Living @ Shea Stadium
These local punk bands team up together a lot, but if you're into intense, rowdy DIY shows, it's one hell of a team.
Pharmakon, Believer/Law, Cold Ones @ The Acheron
Danish punks Iceage have hit NYC a few times this year, and this two-night stand at Acheron will be their last one before the year ends. Even when they play a bigger place like Bowery Ballroom, Iceage act like they're in a tiny punk joint, so they should feel right at home here. If you're going, don't miss
industrial noise artist Pharmakon and Cult of Youth-related EBM band Believer/Law. UPDATE: Due to unforeseen circumstances, Pharmakon dropped off the show.
Lovelife, Alec Benjamin, Kirin J Callinan @ The Standard
Aussie artist Kirin J. Callinan, intense and gothy, highlights this free show at The Standard, one of many shows he's playing this week. You do need to RSVP by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Story Pirates, Valley Lodge, Marcellus Hall, Tragedy @ Union Pool
This month's edition of variety show The Moon features The Story Pirates, who create an entire sketch comedy based on ideas from children; and Dave Hill's band Valley Lodge; and the tri-state area's finest metal Bee Gees tribute act, Tragedy.
More notable Tuesday options are listed below, but for all of tonight's shows, and tomorrow's, check out our full NYC show calendar.
For laughs, check out the NYC Comedy calendar too.
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Iceage in Portland in March (more by Autumn Andel)
Copenhagen punks Iceage are still out supporting this year's You're Nothing and before the year ends, they'll follow it with a 7" on Matador, due out November 19. The 7" features covers of Sinead O'Connor's "Jackie" and the Bahumutsi Drama Group's "To the Comrades." You can listen to streams of both covers below.
As discussed, Iceage bring their current tour back to NYC for shows at Acheron on 10/15 with Pharmakon, Believer/Law, and Cold Ones (tickets); and again at the same venue the next night (10/16) with Survival (not the Hunter Hunt-Hendrix one), Ivy and Nuklear Blast Suntan (tickets). Updated dates are listed below.
Meanwhile, speaking of Sinead O'Connor, she just wrote an open letter to notorious pop star of the moment, Miley Cyrus. The letter begins:
Dear Miley,Read the rest of the letter, along with the Iceage song streams and list of tour dates, below...
I wasn't going to write this letter, but today i've been dodging phone calls from various newspapers who wished me to remark upon your having said in Rolling Stone your "Wrecking Ball" video was designed to be similar to the one for "Nothing Compares" ... So this is what I need to say ... And it is said in the spirit of motherliness and with love.
I am extremely concerned for you that those around you have led you to believe, or encouraged you in your own belief, that it is in any way "cool" to be naked and licking sledgehammers in your videos. It is in fact the case that you will obscure your talent by allowing yourself to be pimped, whether it's the music business or yourself doing the pimping.
(and, update: a SECOND LETTER)
by Wyatt Marshall
Pharmakon at Mercury Lounge - 9/11/13 (via @idieisaiahdavid)
Pharmakon recently wrapped up a tour with Swans and even more recently played Mercury Lounge with Destruction Unit and Ukiah Drag on Wednesday (9/11). We missed that show, but we didn't miss Destruction Unit during Northside or Pharmakon with Hoax last month. Did you go to Wednesday's show? How was it?
She plays another NYC-area show a bit north of here tonight (9/13) for the first day of Hudson, NY's two-day Basilica Sound Scape. Joining her on tonight's diverse lineup is Pig Destroyer, Julianna Barwick, Evian Christ, Richard Hell (reading), and more. Tickets for tonight will be available at the door, and advance tickets for Saturday are still available.
Pharmakon also announced that she is expanding her European tour and adding west coast shows before she crosses the pond to play a number of dates including several festivals and a secret show in London in support of her recent album Abandon. Pharmakon's club shows include dates with Deafheaven, Savages, Kim Gordon and more. All tour dates are listed below.
Pharmakon's show with Destruction Unit at Mercury Lounge earned a mention in this week's New Yorker in the Goings On About Town section, marking what has to be one of the few times (I'm looking at you, Prurient) the words "power electronics" have made it into the mag. Check out an insane photo of Destruction Unit from that show and continue reading for complete Pharmakon tour dates below...
Hoax @ 538 Johnson, 8/21/2013
Raw punk indebted to early hardcore met with industrial noise at 538 Johnson last night (8/21), when Hoax headlined a set with Crazy Spirit, Warthog, and Pharmakon. Hoax is readying the release of an undoubtedly primitive and vicious LP, and recently dropped a pair of tracks off from the record. Check out those tracks, not to mention video of full, sweat-drenched sets from all four bands in this post, courtesy of UN:ART:IG.
Negative hardcore/raw punk band Hoax are gearing up for the release of their debut LP, featuring what will surely be a grip of all-new favorites for fans of the genre. No release date yet for the album, but you can stream "Anesthetize" and "Hide" from it below. Recommended.
UPDATE: Stream the LP in full now below
Hoax will lead off a positively stacked lineup of Crazy Spirit, Warthog and Pharmakon at 538 Johnson Wednesday night (Aug 21, more info here). Unmissable and all ages.
Destruction Unit at 285 Kent, June 2013 (more by Lukas Hodge)
With Deep Trip due right around the corner (8/20), the Southwestern crew with the oh-so-appropriate moniker, Destruction Unit, have let loose another track from the effort. Dig on "Bumpy Road" streaming below and order your copy via Sacred Bones. Highly recommended.
As discussed, Destruction Unit have a gang of dates on the way including Goner Fest and a stop in NYC to bless (damn?) Mercury Lounge on 9/11 with Pharmakon and Ukiah Drag (tickets). The band recently announced a set of shows in the EU, dates of which are listed below.
Meanwhile, members of DU performed at Nothing Changes last night, teaming with Foreplay and Jock Club at Home Sweet Home as Marshstepper. Did you go? How was it?
All tour dates are listed, along with song streams and video, below.
by Bill Pearis
No Joy @ Chicago's Lincoln Hall, May 2013 (more by James Richards IV)
We didn't figure No Joy would come down from Canada for Pitchfork's Basilica Sound Scape festival in September and not play at least a NYC show. It turns out, however, they've plotted a whole tour. That does indeed include an NYC show: Mercury Lounge on September 17. Tickets to that show go on sale Friday (8/2) at noon. All dates are listed below.
If you haven't checked out No Joy's latest album, Wait to Pleasure, yet it does a great job of blending the heavy and ethereal. You can stream it via Spotify.
Meanwhile, Basilica Festival (September 13-14) has announced it's full line-up which includes additions like Julianna Barwick, Teengirl Fantasy, Malang Djobateh, artist Genevieve White, and a reading from Peter Sotos. Tickets are still available and you can check out the full line-up below.
No Joy tour dates are listed, along with Basilica Sound Scape flyer and line-up, below...
by Andrew Sacher
Destruction Unit at 285 Kent in June (more by Lukas Hodge)
Destruction Unit are one of the best live bands around right now, and if my memory serves me right, I first thought this when I saw them on a bridge at SXSW about 30 seconds into "The World on Drugs," which is thankfully the first single off of their forthcoming full length, Deep Trip (due out 8/20 via Sacred Bones). Destruction Unit balance the punk and the psych pretty well at their shows and on their albums, but for all the noise and walls of sound this band can build, I tend to remember them for their full-on attack mode, which is crushing as can be in this song. Listen to it below while you look at Deep Trip's optical illusion cover art.
Destruction Unit also just announced a tour which brings them back to NYC on September 11 at Mercury Lounge. That show and a few others on the tour are with Ukiah Drag. DU's also killer Sacred Bones labelmate Pharmakon is on that Merc show too. Tickets for the Mercury Lounge show are not on sale yet, but you can keep checking TIcketmaster for updates.
All dates are listed, along with the new song, below...
Pharmakon at Drone Activity in Progress in May (more by Fred Pessaro)
The Friday (9/13) of the festival now includes sets by Brooklyn noise artist Pharmakon and UK producer Evian Christ (whose career has been seeing a boost lately thanks to his contributions to Kanye's Yeezus), in addition to the previously announced Pig Destroyer set. It also includes NYC punk icon Richard Hell reading from his I Dreamed I Was a Very Clean Tramp autobiography.
The Saturday of the festival now also includes No Joy and Pure X, in addition to previously announced sets by DIIV and Cass McCombs.
Tickets for the festival are on sale now.
Though tickets are still available for Wolf Eyes' appearance at Saint Vitus on Saturday (7/6), the Motor City noise gang aren't hesitating at releasing details on their next NYC appearance. Wolf Eyes have announced an August 24 date at Issue Project Room with support TBA. Tickets are on sale.
In related news, Pharmakon will join another noise band, Hair Police, as part of a show at 285 Kent on July 12, which is a Sacred Bones event. Tickets for the show, which also features appearances from Alberich and Hollow Seed, are still available. Hair Police will ALSO perform at Issue Project Room the next day (7/13) with Chris Goudreau, White Suns, Guerilla Toss and Bob Bellerue + Tamio Shiraishi. It's an all-day affiair (3 PM - 8 p PM) and tickets for that are still available too. The shows are in celebration of the band's new LP Mercurial Rites, out now and streaming in full below.
Last but not least, if you can't wait until July 12 to get your Alberich fix, head out to Nothing Changes at Home Sweet Home Wednesday night (7/3). The noise artist will join Lussuria as part of the weekly late-night party. DJ sets from Ning Nong & Tamaryn help sweeten the deal.
Stream that Hair Police LP below.
James Murphy aboard SS Coachella 2012 (more by Greg Cristman)
Staying in NYC this weekend? There's actually no shortage of things to do here, even though the weather forecast is less than ideal. Head below for our top 10 list of events going on this Memorial Day Weekend.
Pharmakon at Drone Activity in Progress (more by PSquared Photography)
Pharmakon's tour schedule has increased a bit recently, including adding a string of dates with Swans (!), though not at the NYC appearance. However, Pharmakon is scheduled to play this weekend (5/25) at The Rink with Var and in middle June as part of a late night show during Northside Festival on 6/15 with Lust for Youth.
Pharmakon has released the new track "Ache" from the Abandon LP on Sacred Bones. Stream that along with a list of all tour dates, below.
Elias of Var with Iceage at Bowery Ballroom last month (more by Fred Pessaro)
Iceage offshoot Var have released a second single from their forthcoming LP No One Dances Quite Like My Brothers. Stream both "Into Distance" (the new one) and "The World Fell" below.
Lust for Youth at Saint Vitus, 2012 (more by Fred Pessaro)
Swedish producer Hannes Norrvide, better known as Lust for Youth, has announced the new LP Perfect View, due via Sacred Bones on June 11. Stream the new track "Breaking Silence" below.
With the announcement of the new LP comes a string of US dates that kick off at Chaos in Tejas and include play a pair of NYC shows during Northside. Catch LFY on June 14 at Saint Vitus (details soon) and a late show Public Assembly on June 15 with Marshstepper, Foreplay, Pharmakon (who recently played in Queens and has a show with Var) and Body of Light.
All tour dates are listed below
photos by PSquared Photography, words and additional photos by Fred Pessaro
Pharmakon / Prurient / Kid Millions / Kim Gordon
Sixteen bands that deal in ambient, drone, noise and power electronics converged on Knockdown Center in Queens last night (5/2) as part of the Drone Activity in Progress show. The multi-stage event, part of a massive May NYC takeover by Red Bull Music Academy, was housed in a giant warehouse/factory building somewhat-shaped like an "F," with three stages (Red Room, Grand Hall, and West Wing) located in separate areas. Most of the sets had minimal crossover to the other stages, set time staggering was well executed, but those that did overlap were obvious in reasons why: guitar drones vs thumping bass lines, etc. Soundbleed was shockingly minimal in each individual room.
That many bands is a lot to take in general, but personal highlights all seemed to come from the "Red Room" where I caught sets by Prurient, Pharmakon, Alberich and others, who each used keys, effects pedals, vocals, patch bays, and samples to create their versions of industrial-noise terror. Other highlights from the other stages (Grand Hall and West Wing) included guitar-noise from Body/Head (with Kim Gordon), guitar/ambient from KTL (with Stephen O'Malley), guitar qizardry from Mick Barr, Noveller and the spazzy/jawdropping Jim Sauter/Kid Millions.
Tonight's Red Bull Music Academy events are: Brian Eno's "77 Million Paintings" at 45 W. 32nd (sold out); Masters At Work w/ special guest and vibraphone legend Roy Ayers at Le Bain (which is free); and Knox, QuietDust, August Rosenbaum, and Jimi Nxir at Le Poisson Rouge which is also free.
In addition to this set, check out another set of pictures at InvisibleOranges. More photos from Drone Activity are below.
Elias of Var on stage with Iceage (more by Fred Pessaro)
Iceage related project Var will head to the US to play a one-off show with Pharmakon (who plays NYC tonight) and DJ Anthony Naples on May 25 at The Rink (67 West Street, 5th FL in Greenpoint). Tickets are on sale. The show is ten days after the release of the band's new LP, No One Dances Quite Like My Brothers, which hits via Sacred Bones on May 15.
Pharmakon at Saint Vitus earlier this year(more by Fred Pessaro)
Set times for the Red Bull Music Academy's noise/drone extravaganza tonight (May 2) at the Knockdown Center in Queens have been announced. Drone Activity in Progress, which will feature sets from KTL, Vatican Shadow, Body/Head (Kim Gordon of Sonic Youth, who also performed last night), Prurient, Grassmas, Mick Barr, Pharmakon, Alberich and many others, will bring the noise to this show (which appears sold out). UPDATE: Tickets BACK on sale. You can snag a shuttle bus from the Jefferson L if you don't feel like making the walk, though it promises to be a lovely evening.
Flyer and set times are below.
One of the most eclectic lineups in the US, Hopscotch Festival in Raleigh, NC, will be back for 2013 on September 5 -7. Pulling from all genres, this year's line-up includes names like Big Boi (who plays NYC tonight), Spiritualized, Sleep, Wolf Eyes (who have a new video), The Breeders (performing Last Splash), John Cale, Kurt Vile & the Violators, Gorguts, Inter Arma (who play NYC on Saturday), Double Negative (who played NYC this past weekend), Swearin' (them too), Pissed Jeans, Dan Friel, Waxahatchee and many many others. Three-day wristbands are on sale now with individual day tickets going on sale in June. Full lineup is below.
As mentioned, White Fence's new album, Cyclops Reap, is out this week on John Dwyer's Castle Face label. Tim Presley doesn't seem to be running out of songs and this is another quality batch of paisley-scented psychedelia. You can stream "To The Boy I Jumped In The Hemlock Alley" below and hear the whole record over at Pitchfork.
White Fence will be in Brooklyn for the Northside Festival in June, playing two shows: the Panache showcase at Brooklyn Bowl on June 13 and then a late show at Knitting Factory on June 14. Tickets to the Knitting Factory show are on sale now; no word on Brooklyn Bowl tickets just yet.
The whole Panache showcase line-up is still forthcoming but we do know its being headlined by Mac DeMarco and we have updated dates for him below as well.
These are just a couple of the additions to the 2013 Northside line-up that includes that free Walkmen show in McCarren Park. Other new additions, Kylesa, Torche, Sonny & the Sunsets, Nü Sensae, Kisses, The Luyas and more. Northside line-up as it stands now is below.
Pharmakon will release Abandon, Margaret Chardiet's debut effort with Sacred Bones and first long-player overall. Look for it on May 14th via the label, but first check out the new track "Crawling On Bruised Knees" available for streaming below..
Chardiet's noisy, confrontational and abrasive live show is a must see, and you can catch her at a trio of upcoming NYC shows including, most imminently, the previously discussed April 7th date at 285 Kent with Jason Lescalleet and Spencer Yeh Trio (tickets) and at another show at 285 Kent on June 15th with Marshstepper, Body of Light, Lust For Youth and Foreplay as part of the Northside Festival. Ticketing info for that one is on the way, or get in with your Northside Festival badge.
Pharmakon also has one other NYC date, as part of the upcoming Red Bull Music Academy series of events, and it's a whopper:
On May 2, the Red Bull Music Academy will turn the spectacular Knockdown Center into a temple of thundering noise with some of today's most daring sound artists for Drone Activity In Progress. The night will see performances from sixteen solo artists and duos on three stages, where the sound bleed between stages is entirely intentional.Joining Chardiet will be performances from Stephen O'Malley, KTL (Stephen O'Malley & Peter Rehberg), Body/Head (Kim Gordon & Bill Nace), Prurient, Hunter Hunt-Hendrix of Liturgy, Oren Ambrachi, Alan Licht, Vatican Shadow, Pete Swanson, Mick Barr, Kid Millions/Jim Sauter Duo, Alberich, Noveller, grassmass and Hiram Martinez, and $8 tickets for the show, which is one night after the big "Round Robin Duet" show at Brooklyn Masonic Temple, are on sale and will include shuttle bus service from the Jefferson L train.
All other dates and that stream is below.
by Andrew Sacher
Hands down, the most intriguingly difficult album I encountered last year was Jason Lescalleet's massive double album, Songs About Nothing. The title and album cover was an obvious riff on Big Black's Songs About Fucking, as were some of the song titles (Big Black's "The Power of Independent Trucking" gave us Jason's "The Power of Pussy" and "The Beauty of Independent Music"). But while Big Black gave us abrasive in-your-face noise, Jason withheld, creating noise that slowly built up into one of those feedback sounds a singer's mic makes at a show and causes the whole crowd to yell "ahh!" and plug their ears. If it doesn't sound like a nice thing to listen, that's because it isn't. But there's something alluring about the record that after successfully scaring you away, eventually pulls you back in. You can stream three of its tracks below.
Jason will be in NYC for a show with a great lineup of fellow experimentalists, Wolf Eyes main man Nate Young, and two regulars on the NYC noise scene, Spencer Yeh Trio and Pharmakon. Tickets for that show are on sale now.
The 285 Kent is Jason Lescalleet's only show that we're currently aware of. Song streams below...
Left for Dead at A389 in Baltimore, Jan 2013
Chaos In Tejas have announced the latest batch of bands for the Austin, Texas festival set for late May/early June. New additions include announced reunions for Left for Dead and the Rats (pre Dead Moon/Pierced Arrows), with other appearances including Mobb Deep will perform all of their classic The Infamous LP, No Statik, Parquet Courts, Pharmakon, Pinkish Black, Grouper, Lust For Youth, Waxahatchee, Benediction, Jessica Pratt, True Widow, Vassafor, Violent End, Speedwolf, Waxahatchee, Who Killed Spikey Jacket?, Replica, Lotus Fucker, Cold World, Jessica Pratt, Joyce Manor, Marshstepper and much more. Head below for the current Chaos in Tejas lineup. Tickets are on sale.
Full lineup and a multi-camera video from their Baltimore reunion at A389 is below.
Iceage at 285 Kent, Saturday (more by Fred Pessaro // BBG)
In addition to the decidedly punk show that went down at 285 Kent the night before, Iceage also played a cramped and swaying Home Sweet Home on Saturday (1/26). There the Danish foursome were joined by sets from Pharmakon and Dream Affair. Video from all three bands' sets is below.
words by Phillip Pantuso, photos by Fred Pessaro // BBG
Iceage @ 285 Kent
Iceage blew into 285 Kent last night (1/25) in the wake of an actual snowstorm, but if the inclement weather deterred any from venturing out to see the Danish post-punk band, you couldn't tell by the room. 285 Kent was overpacked, the usual cigarette-and-sweat melange augmented by dirty slush tracked all over the floor. Anticipation was high, and you couldn't move for being thrown to the ground.
Deformity got things started with a raw-as-fuck set of scalding punk, the drums hitting like a combo move. Raspberry Bulbs were next. Over a 25-minute set of fuzzy, blackened punk--cut one song short by a malfunctioning amp--the band destroyed eardrums. The bass, distorted and aggressive, was louder than on their record, choking the low end while corrosive twin guitars squalled above it. Faint intimations of melody ghosted beneath the noise and frontman He Who Crushes Teeth's abrasive vocals.
Nomad upped the ante and left the room broken and bleeding, no mean feat given that they played a ten minute set. There is nothing that can really prepare you for Nomad, and it seemed that many in the crowd, having come for Iceage, where not prepared for the hardcore audial assault of the NYC three-piece, nor for, say, a dude in a helmet cannonballing helmet-first off the stage, which happened about thirty seconds into their set. Their songs are holocaustic rippers that sound like your brain being cleaved through the corpus callosum; all you can feel is the hot blade.
Then, ah: Iceage. They crawled out from somewhere looking like beautiful enfants terribles, buttoned all the way up, babyfaces touched by no razor. The heraldic manumitters of the angry and disenchanted youth of today. When their debut album, New Brigade, blew up eighteen months ago, it was as if the music media machine had turned over a new log and voila, Iceage were the brightest beetle. After that came the flood: Iceage were nebulously connected to an underground Copenhagen scene centered around the Youth House, a music venue and rendezvous point for various leftist groups before it was demolished following a police-enforced eviction in 2007. The swirl of hype crested with questions like, "Are Iceage the Saviors of Punk?" and write-ups in outlets like The New Yorker, the New York Times and the Guardian. And there's been controversy, too, primarily about racially-loaded imagery in the band's music videos and a fanzine called "Dogmeat", illustrated and published by frontman Elias Rønnenfelt. Defenders and detractors came out swinging on both sides of the debate. Now they're signed to Matador and readying the release of the second record, You're Nothing.
But you know all that. You're also angry and confused at the state of things, or you used to be, or you're just curious about this band. In the presence of the storm, the crowd at 285 Kent last night immediately bifurcated into those who throw firecrackers and spin-kick in the middle of the pit, and those who press to the sides with an admixture of fear and awe.
Iceage pummeled through a set culled almost entirely from You're Nothing, two exceptions being "New Brigade" and "You're Blessed" from the first record. During the latter cut, a burly figure leapt on stage and then tackled Rønnenfelt into the crowd, kicking the heads of the unsuspecting on the way down, thereby collapsing the opposing punk rock impulses to both terrorize and protect the stage into a single meaningful move. Rønnenfelt seemed unfazed, though. He might have been rendered insensate by drink or just the tumultuous noise; it seemed as though he might pass out at any moment, and I'd guess that little more than half of his barked vocals actually made it to the mic. He wailed on the platform like a pipsqueak Henry Rollins, incautious of his own safety. A stagehand wisely removed the mic stand after two songs.
Iceage played loose and brazenly apathetic, often turning their songs into chaotic barrages of masochistic squall. They're too musical to be called punk, too clangorous to be called post-punk. When it cohered, as it sometimes did, you experienced an ecstatic fever dream of power. Dan Kjaer Nielsen's furious drumming had the same effect on the guitar and bass as a blender has on whatever you put in it. The crowd responded in kind, or some of them did anyway, meeting violence with violence. Firecrackers, flying beer cans, etc. I have a jacket that might forever smell like whatever hot, cinnamon-y drink the tiny girl next to me was drinking when it was body-slammed from her hands.
The set was assaulting, furious, sloppy and aggressive. When it unceremoniously ended after thirty or so minutes (a long set by Iceage's standards), the audience filed out to the Williamsburg waterfront, bruised and vertiginous. At the eye of the hypestorm Iceage have generated is the blackthroated, hook-laden punk of New Brigade that's still irrepressible. The glimpse we got of album number two suggests we're in for more of the same.
Catch Iceage again tonight (1/26) at Home Sweet Home with Pharmakon and Dream Affair. More pictures (unfortunately none of Nomad) and Iceage's setlist, below.
Raspberry Bulbs at Saint Vitus, 1/13/2013 (more by Fred Pessaro //BBG)
Raspberry Bulbs concluded a set of dates with Salvation and Pharmakon last night at Saint Vitus (1/13), bringing their stomping and unique brand of punk-laced black metal to a ravenous, moshing audience. Check out more pictures at Invisible Oranges.
Raspberry Bulbs (mems Bone Awl, Rorschach, Violent Bullshit) recently recorded a new LP at Heaven Street studios, though no word as to when we'll see the LP.