Another thing I don’t understand here is the enduring popularity of DIRE STRAITS. Strangely, their singer MARK KNOPFLER (April 27, Olimpisky, 19:00) can still sell out stadiums when he comes here.
The Berlin scene strikes me as odd and – oftentimes – more interesting in concept than in practice. However, you never really know until you check it out, so I’m willing to give grime-dub-electro-whatever combo JAHCOOZI (April 27, 16 Tons, 22:00) a chance.
Speaking of being willing to give things a chance, British post-hardcore band SECONDSMILE (April 29, Gogol, 20:00) have a silly name, and claim to "write original passionate music that is true to us as people." But I won’t hold it against them.
What do you get when you put a bunch of strippers on stage and have them lip synch pop songs? The PUSSYCAT DOLLS (April 29, Olimpisky, 19:00), of course! Family-friendly stadium entertainment for all ages.
I finally got around to seeing MANICURE (May 1, Gogol, 20:00), and am quite glad to have finally done so. Their sound is very reminiscent of JOY DIVISION, although they probably find more reference in a newer band like THE HORRORS. But they’re all good, so it’s alright by me. They’ll be playing with local indie leaders LOST WEEKEND and Samara’s BAJINDA BEHIND THE ENEMY LINES, who at least have an original name going for them.
Back when I was in college, I oh-so-wanted to get into all the weird shit coming out on Canada’s Alien8 label. But I never could. So I will probably avoid Montreal producer TIM HECKER (May 3, Aktovy Zal, 20:00) when he comes to town to ply his ambient wares.
Strangely, I’ll be more likely to see New Orleans ambient duo TELEFON TEL AVIV (May 3, Ikra, 21:00), although I seem to remember them as being somewhat boring when I saw them open for GODSPEED YOU BLACK EMPEROR years ago. I gues there’s only so much interest you can have in a couple of guys and their PowerBooks.
After the ambient bliss-out, a real party is in order, something that only Chicago DJ duo FLOSSTRADAMUS (May 3, Solyanka, 23:00) can bring. They’re very close to the Hollertronix guys, so you know this’ll be fun. Explicit Polish electro act DICK4DICK opens.
Finally, although I much prefer the melodic hardcore of AVAIL, they’re not coming anytime soon, and A WILHELM SCREAM (May 4, Plan B, 18:00) was pretty good that one time I saw them at a festival in Europe a couple years ago. So, um, yeah.
B1 Maximum. April 22, 20:00
Over nearly thirty years, Germany’s Einsturzende Neubaten have taken avant-garde industrial music to new frontiers with pretty much every record. You can be almost certain that everyone who listens to underground music has heard a record, or at least knows someone who has, and will hold that intangible piece of cred above you like a life preserver to a drowning victim. The band has outgrown the blasé "industrial" tag applied to them initially, and are much more into experimenting with whatever the fuck they can get their hands on. The only thing one can expect for certain from this gig is a bunch of dudes in ratty sweaters and beards, who have saved up two months’ pay to buy a ticket. And, for them at least, it will probably be worth it.
Rai. April 26, 23:00