What’s up with avant-garde music
Published: September 11, 2013
Ten or 20 years back, Philadelphia’s Kate Ferencz (pictured) might’ve been an overnight underground sensation. Her 2011 Dumb Hearts Dumb Flowers was an 11-song jolt of irresistible weirdness: part Happy Flowers and Beat Happening beguiling naivete, part Lily Allen-ish knowing insouciance, and a wonderful way of blending obtuse, videogame-tacky noises into nigh perfect pop melodies. That she’s got a lyrical gift for cutesy oblivion only makes her oddly engaging disaster twee even more cheeky—on “Worshipping the Devil” she sings about a shut-in’s depression with a bouncing mirth: “When you decide it’s too dangerous to go outside/ when you decide that everyone who doesn’t care about you is right/ who doesn’t care about you? You, that’s who/ When you decide you don’t care about being alive you are worshipping the devil.” She hits the Windup Space Sept. 22, opening for Height with Friends, and shares the bill with a powerhouse lineup of solo-artist wild childs, including local producer Drew Swinburne, whose easygoing synth melodies feel like the theme from Taxi after huffing nitrous for nine hours, and the incomparable singer/songwriter Lizz King. Visit thewindupspace.com for more info.
If guitars, bass, and drums smeared into a mostly instrumental psychedelic fuzz that flowers into a beating is your idea of a great time, clear out this weekend as a few touring bands stop in town. On Friday, Sept. 13, Portland’s Grails hits the Metro Gallery with its extended, folk-tinted, and sometimes fuzzed-out chthonic jams (Wreckmeister Harmonies and Lilacs and Champagne open; see themetrogallery.net for more details). On Saturday, Sept. 14, Boston’s Ghost Box Orchestra visits the Windup Space with fellow Bostonian Guillermo Sexo (locals Holy Fingers and Old Victrola open). Guillermo Sexo doesn’t do much for Booed’s ears, but Ghost Box Orchestra, a five-piece of slow-moving power, aims and hits that sweet spot of kraut- and psych-rock groove on Vanished from earlier this year that at times recalls Hovercraft, that ’90s Seattle space-rock outfit whose albums didn’t make it to the turntable all that often but whose live show was consistently a must-see. And then on Sunday, Sept. 15, Phoenix, Arizona’s Destruction Unit plays feedbacking psych on its Deep Trip LP from earlier this year that parts hair and makes ears bleed. Visit theottobar.com for more details.
Finally, Coming Apart—the debut album from Body/Head, the guitar duo of Bill Nace and ex-Sonic Youth bassist Kim Gordon—comes out this week, and it builds on the beguiling drone dynamics that the duo displayed on the Glare Luring Yo collaboration with the Dead C/Gate’s Michael Morley earlier this year. Coming Apart is a mammoth statement, a double LP’s worth of abstract, hypnotic noise whipped to emotional peaks. A must.
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