Remember back when THE PRODIGY and their ilk were supposed to take over the world? That didn't happen, but of that graduating class, THE CHEMICAL BROTHERS (October 10-11, B1 Maximum, 20:00) have enjoyed the longest run and taken their sound the farthest. Although everyone knows them best for their Block Rockin' Beats, reliable sources tell me they've made some great other records since then.
Did anyone go to Afisha's annual picnic earlier this year? No? Well, in preparation for it, they asked local bands to submit demos. Almost certainly, 95 percent of those tapes sucked, but there were enough good bands that Afisha is putting out a compilation CD of the ones they liked. The AFISHA DEMO FEST (October 11, Ikra, 21:00) features some of the best-of-the-best, at least to Afisha's world-weary ears. Headlining will be Canadian ad-industry expat BENOIT FISET, while eXile faves DOT DASH will warm up the crowd for him. Some psychedelic band called DREAM MECHANICS fills out the lineup.
Missing from the compilation is promising local band ADLER (October 11, 16 Tons, 22:00), who are in labor about to drop their second album. The band's two members graduated from Moscow's Linguistic University and actually write lyrics in English that are comprehensible as opposed to the complete gibberish many Russian bands produce (I'm looking directly at you, DIMA BILAN, and I'm not blinking). How could you not like a band whose press kit opens with the declaration that the "Russian music scene is destined to suck forever"? It helps that their music is actually good -- soft-key indie electro is always in style.
Readers know I'm not much of a death metal head, but I do know a thing or two about the dark side. For example, Finland's AMORPHIS (October 12, Tochka, 19:00) is one of the better bands out there shredding souls in drop D tuning. If you're in the mood to dye your adrenaline black, this is the show of the fortnight.
A lot of bands visiting Moscow are way over the hill, so it's nice to find a relatively young one visiting at their peak. VERMILLION LIES (October 12, Gogol, 21:00; October 13, Zhest, 22:00) are a cabaret duet, formed by a pair of American sisters. I've read that their live shows are crazy in early Ween and young Beck-with-a-leaf-blower kind of way; the girls are known for using unusual instruments such as typewriters, lobsters and broken pipes.
Anyone holding any paper? Shrooms? DMT? Time to get it out of the freezer. Brit Goa god SIMON POSFORD (October 13, B1 Maximum, 21:00) is magic carpeting into town with his various projects: SHPONGLE, HALLUCINOGEN, PROMETHEUS and YOUNG BROTHER, to name a few. Posford is the founder of Twisted Records, which is basically the trance equivalent of the just deceased Tony Wilson's Factory label. He's that big, but if you haven't heard of him, you probably don't care.
Another notable dance act this fortnight is the UK house act SWAYZAK (October 13, Ikra, 23:59). The collective first gained attention a decade ago, and even had their debut named album of the year by the dance music kingmaker mag Mixer.
I never really saw the point in metal-core. I mean, metal is OK, and hardcore is OK, but why merge the two? In any case, one of the more popular bands in that scene is America's KILLSWITCH ENGAGE (October 13, Ten, 19:00), who formed just before the y2k bug failed to emerge. In the last seven years the band has come to a good level of fame by supporting IN FLAMES and SLAYER, and also playing quite a few Ozzfests. Their latest album is more melodic, but still features lots of "soul crunching" double bass.
If you're not yet tired of instrumental post-rock bands, Italy's PORT-ROYAL (October 13, 16 Tons, 23:00) at least try to put something interesting into the mix. While seeing a post-rock band compared to MOGWAI or DO MAKE SAY THINK is no big whoop, these guys have also been name-dropped in the same sentence as BOARDS OF CANADA and BRIAN ENO, which makes things a bit more interesting. Moscow's SVET POD VODOI, a new project combining the talent behind BOSCH S TOBOI and AMBIDEXTROUS, opens.