YES, PLEASE: Big Business, Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Dinosaur Feathers, Mac Demarco, Motor Skills, New Town Drunks, Dismemberment Plan, JKutchma & the Five Fifths, Melvins Lite
VS: Buke and Gase vs. Moon Duo
INTRODUCING: The Infamous Sugar
10.04 BIG BUSINESS @ KINGS
Seattle's Big Business exists in the Pacific Northwest's healthy, hard-and-reckless tradition that has produced the Melvins and Karp—in fact, the band includes members of both. And there's plenty of noisy down-tuning here, but Big Business prefers a more muscled, melodic crunch to Melvins' grimy, rattling dump truck-o'-punk-metal. And there's even a taste of Don Caballero to drummer Coady Willis' asymmetrical approach. This mix of loud-ass caveman-rock and top-shelf musicianship hits its apex in "Guns," the shouted lyrics of which simply read, "Guns are better than everything else!" House of Lightning features members of early and aggressive Florida metal outfit Floor; they take the middle slot. Wilmington's Thunderlip opens. $10–$12/9:30 p.m. —Corbie Hill
10.04 GODSPEED YOU! BLACK EMPEROR @ CAT'S CRADLE
Think for a moment about what has happened in the last decade, or since 2002, when the brooding Montreal post-rock punks of Godspeed You! Black Emperor released their last album, Yanqui U.X.O. (They've just announced a new one, 'Allelujah! Don't Bend! Ascend!, due in two weeks.) From Twitter to the iPhone, from Bush II and his two terms to Obama and his pursuit of a second, from the Arab Spring to worldwide economic turmoil, the previous 10 years have meted out both reward and innovation, challenge and catastrophe. Those changes and their corollaries essentially mean that the world is still safe for Godspeed, or that their music—a radical mix of bitter sounds and implicit politics, sculpted like arches that stretch toward redemption in an unseen infinity—remains necessary and relevant. Their performances have traditionally been thorny, underlining the underground orchestra aspect of their evolution. But in a time when professional orchestras continually re-canonize their own classics and only a fringe of new composers seek to shout about the world in new ways, Godspeed's dependence on grit, and their return to it now, remains reassuring and empowering.
This show is long sold-out, but if you have a passing interest in this band, it's worth sticking near the front door for a $22 ticket. It doesn't appear to be a chance that will repeat itself often. Airstrip opens. 9 p.m. —Grayson Currin
10.05 DINOSAUR FEATHERS @ KINGS
Brooklyn's Dinosaur Feathers fuse fuzzy, rhythmic indie rock with hooks sculpted from the sounds of a few '60s greats, including The Beach Boys. That description paints them as just another group following the leads of the Grizzly and Panda Bears out there. But the Feathers buy into the psychedelic possibilities of pop more than many of their contemporaries, not just in terms of colorfully heady textures but also with their song structures. Tunes shift at odd angles, lending extra drama to the explorations. The results offer an appealing update to current trends. $8–$10/9:30 p.m. —Jordan Lawrence
10.05 MAC DEMARCO @ THE PINHOOK
Mac DeMarco separated hisRock and Roll Night Clubinto two sections with skits mimicking radio DJs of previous decades. The music on the young Canadian's debut follows suit, blending old-school styles under a fuzzy veneer that suggests being stuck between stations. Psych-rock a la The Doors thrums along on New Wave beats; breezy '60s melodies waft in, powered by soft, seductive funk bass lines. All the while, DeMarco warbles a bit like Morrissey. His songs are blurry and wistful, creating an immersive brand of rock nostalgia.Jenny Besetzt opens. $8–$10/ 10 p.m. —Jordan Lawrence
10.05 MOTOR SKILLS @ SLIM'S
Their Manteo schoolmates failed to vote them "most likely friends to grow up and record a hit record," but that hasn't kept buddies Christopher Hutcherson-Riddle and Mike Dillon down. The pair have been writing and recording music together for years, pushing their favorite bits of reverbed punk and electronic bounce into new tunes. Ultimately, they decided to diversify their interests, with Dillon leading the celebrated (and more rock-oriented) Gross Ghost and Riddle taking lead on Motor Skills. As Motor Skills, the two, along with Old Bricks' Andy Holmes, create post-punk influenced electronic pop—dark, danceable and dangerously hooky. Lord Redbyrd offers a DJ set. $3/9 p.m. —Ashley Melzer
10.06 NEW TOWN DRUNKS @ THE CAVE
New Town Drunks offer cozy exotica that overflows with low-brow sophistication and blithe goodwill. The casual mirth with which they greet their song-borne dysfunctions is redemptive, while their charm remains easy and unforced. Their initial releases were strummy and bright with a bubbly country-folk spirit, but increasingly theatrical elements have gained purchase. That development produces a smoky late-night cabaret vibe that suits the sultry croon and siren swoon of frontwoman Diane Koistinen. They're presently readying the follow-up to 2009's grower, The Ballad of Stayed and Gone. The show is a celebration of Mouse Mock, the longtime owner of The Cave who ended his stint underground last week. Lud opens. $5/10 p.m. —Chris Parker
10.07 DISMEMBERMENT PLAN @ CAT'S CRADLE
Given the task of distilling Dismemberment Plan, one of the more influential and inscrutable bands from indie rock's '90s heyday, I'm inclined to evoke one of the group's most famous songs: "What Do You Want Me to Say?" They successfully fused disparate strains of their era into a product both listenable and challenging. The math-inspired progressions and darkly tinged symbolism of bands such as Archers of Loaf meet the avant-garde atmospherics of early Radiohead; the raw, riff-fueled immediacy of grunge grafts onto off-kilter rhythms sourced from reggae and funk. Elevating the sounds of their moment into statements with permanence, Dismemberment Plan became an indie rock hallmark. Reunited since 2010, their stuff still works. With mewithoutYou and Ben Davis & the Jets. $22–$24/8:45 p.m. —Jordan Lawrence
10.09 JKUTCHMA & THE FIVE FIFTHS @ SLIM'S
Leaders of punk rock bands often turn toward stark introspection when they go solo, but Jason Kutchma is the exception. Sharing the heartbeat of Red Collar's workingman's rock 'n' roll, Kutchma still believes in the power of song as a tool for social commentary, though he now envelops his songs in warm, twangy arrangements. That gives his biting lyrics enough heft for support while allowing them room to be heard; the new unit only occasionally resorts to Red Collar's high-volume urgency. The denim-jacket, Southern-style bar rock and graveled, whiskey-soaked vocals of middle act Arliss Nancy make the Colorado quintet quite reminiscent of early Lucero. Durham pop-punk trio Almost People opens. $5/9 p.m. —Spencer Griffith
10.10 MELVINS LITE @ CAT'S CRADLE
Next year, Buzz Osborne and Dale Crover will inevitably find a goofy and incredible way in which to celebrate the 30th year of the Melvins. They deserve the coronation, too; one of the most restless, exploratory and influential bands ever in heavy music, the Melvins are a model for how to turn a very long run into a consistently interesting adventure. Rather than burn out or fade away, Crover and Osborne consistently find new ways to inspire and intrigue. To wit, this North Carolina stop comes after the midpoint of their (hitherto successful) attempt to be the first band ever to play each of the 50 United States and Washington, D.C., in only 51 days. And if being part of history alone doesn't lure you, perhaps the Melvins Lite lineup featuring only Osborne, Crover and upright bassist Trevor Dunn will; for better and worse, their trio record earlier this year rollicked with the usual Melvins esprit of sudden tangents and mercurial successes. With Tweak Bird. $15–$17/9 p.m. —Grayson Currin
TUESDAY, OCT. 9
- Photo courtesy of the band
- Buke and Gase
BUKE AND GASE
CLAIM TO FAME: Invented-instrument pop songs
Buke and Gase is the duo of Arone Dyer and Aron Sanchez. Dyer plays the "Buke," a heavily modified electric baritone ukulele, as Sanchez wields a "Gase," a hybrid guitar and bass. Thankfully, when the duo moves from making instruments to making music, the gear proves a means, not an end. Dyer's voice shares a spectral quality with that of Imogen Heap, proving an able complement to the off-kilter rhythmic prod and melodic pulse that the duo draws from its instruments and its influences. Search for Deerhoof's eccentricity and Ariel Pink's playfulness, and you might stumble across Buke and Gass. With Morgan's End. At LOCAL 506, $8–$10/9 p.m. —Bryan C. Reed.
- Photo courtesy of the band
- Moon Duo
FROM: San Francisco
CLAIMTO FAME: Locked-in psychedelic launch sequence
Another propulsive duo, San Franciscans Erik "Ripley" Johnson and Sanae Yamada make psychedelic voyages from repetitious (but never redundant) grooves and afterburner guitar noise. They've managed to marry Suicide's circulatory throb with Spacemen 3's cosmic sprawl. On their latest, the brand-new Circles, Moon Duo keeps the tune-in-and-drop-out glaze, but they make the trip more inviting by welcoming accessible impulses from The Velvet Underground's wandering and Brian Jonestow's pop. These new refinements make a welcome addition to the Duo's already captivating psych-boogie hypnosis. With Magician's Hand Practice and Noncanon. At KINGS. $8–$10/9:30 p.m. —Bryan C. Reed
10.06 THE INFAMOUS SUGAR @ KINGS
Before moving to Raleigh, David Simmons gazed at the void. "I was doing lots of pills, smoking coke and meth, snorting heroin, and drinking on top of that," he recalls.
Simmons got clean since leaving Portland, Ore., two years ago. Indeed, he's now celebrating his ninth release as The Infamous Sugar, his ridiculous one-man-act of raving lyricism and garage-soul irreverence. The Pink Album, his first for new label Punk Kitty, includes a dozen organ blasts lined with profane irreverence.
"The closest thing to my lyrics is Lenny Bruce," Simmons reckons. "For some reason, I can't write a serious song. Even if I'm talking about a serious issue, it comes out comical."
Back in Portland, he had a proper band. They recorded and mastered an album (never released) before Simmons hit bottom and relocated to Raleigh, where he backed himself with a drum machine before pairing with Kelly Holland (Cry of Love, Crush). He still uses it live where it's nothing but Sugar, but Holland and others do lend their hand to the recording of sublimely decadent odes such as "Caveman Smokin' AK-47" and "Sloppy Drunk."
What can you say? Sugar writes what he knows. The Infamous Sugar plays with the Bleeding Hearts at Kings Saturday, Oct. 6. The free show starts at 10 p.m. —Chris Parker