• Ex Hex

Lorde’s Aragon Ballroom performance is all sold out, but fortunately there are plenty of other concerts to see during the next few days. Tonight there’s Islands at SPACE and MT Coast at Empty Bottle. Tomorrow night you can see California X at Township or Psalm Zero at Cobra Lounge. Wednesday night there’s Jason Adasiewicz at the Hideout.

There are plenty of other shows to see this week—head to Soundboard to dig through all our listings and read on for a few picks from Reader critics.

Mon 3/17: Indian at Subterranean

“Many metal bands traffic in unpleasant vibes, but few wallow in them as deeply or put them across as forcefully as Chicago four-piece Indian,” writes Miles Raymer. “Guitarist-vocalist Dylan O’Toole and bassist Ron Defries have spent more than a decade refining the nastiest, most hateful elements of black metal and doom—shrieking berserker misanthropy from the former, mind-crushing heaviness from the latter—into one of the purest sonic distillations of negative energy that I’ve ever been exposed to. Their latest album, From All Purity (released in January on Relapse), is borderline physically punishing, thanks in part to the unbelievably dense production by local metal guru Sanford Parker—but it can also provide the kind of ego obliteration that feels strangely peaceful and meditative.”

Tue 3/18: Ex Hex at Schubas

“I was sorry to learn that Wild Flag broke up after only one album, but being in that band seems to have brought something out in Mary Timony,” writes Peter Margasak. “Last year the veteran multi-instrumentalist formed a new trio called Ex Hex—a name taken from an earlier solo album—and it’s grittier and louder than every other group she’s been in since beginning her career in the early 90s (when she played guitar in the great Autoclave). Ex Hex’s Chicago debut coincides with the release of a killer three-track single, ‘Hot and Cold’ b/w ‘Waterfall’ and ‘Everywhere’ (Merge), which drops today. The two B-side songs are straight-up, old-school bubblegum punk, while the title track is infectious glam—and all three got stuck in my brain right away.”

Wed 3/19: Marijuana Deathsquads at Subterranean

“Loose, shape-shifting electro/noise/punk collective Marijuana Deathsquads is one of many nexus points in an incestuous and somewhat insular Minneapolis scene that also includes Doomtree, Gayngs, and Polica,” writes Kevin Warwick. “The collective consists of Ryan Olson (who seems to have a hand in every innovative project in the city), Stefon ‘P.O.S.’ Alexander, Isaac Gale, and probably whoever else shows up at the studio; its music is much too out-there and experimentally peculiar to let the Twin Cities keep it to themselves. Marijuana Deathsquads’ recent Oh My Sexy Lord (Totally Gross National Product) is a wild confluence of dark electro, digital hardcore, chiptune, and blown-out noise that borders on free-form knob twisting, topped by warped vocals from a rotating selection of front people. The album is super schizophrenic at times—tracks don’t really blend into one another as much as tumble, and its fierce punk energy jostles up against its liberal use of Auto-Tune and halfway nods to Genesis. But when the band hits a hypnotic, repetitive groove—frenetic beats, live drums, and sampled percussion all pulling in the same direction—Oh My Sexy Lord is absolutely undeniable.”