Happy Monday, friendos. Anybody planning on hitting Ben Folds' rally this morning? Is that a thing you're into? Anyway, on the p.m. side of things, there is a trifecta of pretty intriguing shows going down today. Follow me after the jump to read more about 'em.
Michael Gira-led noise rockers Swans will play with fellow post-punks Xiu Xiu tonight at Exit/In, and contributor Ryan Burleson wrote a Critic's Pick on that one for us. Goes like this:
Depending on your perspective, the web’s facilitation of our ability to access All Everything All the Time has either been a boon or a scourge to what once was more clearly known as “underground music.” The lines have blurred, forging an increasingly normal status quo wherein mainstream brahs and art-kid types share (begrudgingly at times) more favorite records than in prior eras. Fortunately for the latter, however, there are bands like Swans and Xiu Xiu to keep the torch lit for more adventurous-minded listeners who prefer their rock and pop music untainted by the Urban Outfitters-ization of the underground. Since 1982, Swans’ Michael Gira has, with a rotating cast, created some of the most challenging, brooding, hypnotic and damn frightening music ever to be meted out from six strings and a distortion pedal. Now in his 60s, Gira and the updated Swans continue to release albums that dwarf the intensity of efforts released by acts that have directly or indirectly been influenced by the band in the past two decades. The Jamie Stewart-led Xiu Xiu, which has previously toured with Swans and collaborated with Gira on a cover of “Under Pressure,” is far less aggro than Gira’s posse, but no less truculent. Rising in the early Aughts from California’s experimental/art rock-y scene alongside acts like Deerhoof, Xiu Xiu has been relentless in its explorations of sound and visual theatrics, which as recent as 2010 involved band member Angela Seo vomiting over the course of the song “Dear God, I Hate Myself” three minutes before finishing by retching on Stewart. Somehow I think this band is safe from the Vampire Weekend set. RYAN BURLESON
Starts at 9 p.m., costs $20. Now on over to The Stone Fox, where Baltimore's Ed Schrader's Music Beat will headline a show also featuring two Cream faves, Jawws and Music Band. Stephen "Goose" Trageser picked that one for us. Check it out:
By now, we’ve spilled enough ink on Music Band and Jawws that you probably don’t need much encouragement to catch their sets, but let’s review. Music Band is a tight trio of caps-lock-talkin’ rockers with a country-blues streak, whose Can I Live is the first installment in Infinity Cat’s new cassette subscription series. The title track reflects on the daily grind: Can I just call bullshit on this struggle? “Can I live again?” moans frontman Harry Kagan before chipping away at a solo that might appeal to Canned Heat and Thin Lizzy fans alike. Jawws is the latest outfit to feature Cortney Tidwell’s young sons Eli and Hunter. With three of their friends filling out the ranks, the Tidwells make a dense wall of trad metal and hardcore punk that’s as ferocious and gnarly as anything in the Black Sabbath or Black Flag catalogs. But make plans to hang in there with headliner Ed Schrader’s Music Beat, which is Schrader on drums and vocals and cohort Devlin Rice on bass. On their new LP Party Jail, the recent Infinity Cat signees swing in a wide arc from a dark and loping croon to a hardcore tantrum, often as not within the same song. It’s all part of finding the right setting for Schrader’s Beat-inspired poems, the most “hipster-in-its-original-sense” thing happening at the moment. STEPHEN TRAGESER
Costs $7, starts at 9 p.m. And finally, over on the East Side, Colorado's Arliss Nancy will do the country-punk thing alongside openers Kent Goolsby and the Gold Standard and Todd Farrell Jr. Goose wrote a pick on that one too:
The Replacements blazed a trail, Uncle Tupelo’s short run made it a highway, and now the natural intersections of country and punk are well-mapped. Fort Collins, Colo., natives Arliss Nancy are out to prove there’s still plenty of heart to be found in dirty vans, along dusty roads and deep in the cracks between squealing guitars. Local Todd Farrell Jr. usually appears with his amped-up backing group The Dirty Birds; he’s going solo acoustic tonight, but still expect plenty of Zippo-raising anthems, especially the working musicians’ mission statement “Pawnshops.” Make sure to get there in time for Kent Goolsby, late of The Only Sons, who’s never been afraid of exploring some new directions. Working with inventive guitarist Steve Daly and Glossary’s Joey Kneiser and Bingham Barnes in the rhythm section, Goolsby’s newest tunes are more open and airy than most of TOS’ work, while the lyrics use wry humor to throw the heartfelt expressions into sharp relief. STEPHEN TRAGESER
Costs $5, starts at 9 p.m. If you're looking to go out but still haven't spotted something you like, peruse our listings right here.