If you’re looking for something fun to do with your mom this Mother’s Day weekend and she’s a fan of live music you’re in luck, cause there are plenty of shows to see through Sunday.
Tonight Television performs at Metro and Mastodon and Gojira hit the Riviera. Tomorrow night you can see Jessica Lea Mayfield at Empty Bottle or the Both at Metro. On Saturday Slint plays Bottom Lounge, and on Sunday night there’s Floor at Double Door and Ice Balloons at Beat Kitchen.
Be sure to check out Soundboard for all the Reader‘s concert listings and read on for some picks from our critics.
“When Off! debuted in 2009, they were the most exciting band on the planet: the greatest front man in the history of Los Angeles hardcore, channeling the glory days of 80s west-coast DIY punk-house culture with three of the sharpest rock musicians around,” writes Luca Cimarusti. “By the time Off! dropped their self-titled full-length debut in 2012, they’d gotten almost too good. They were so tight and proficient that there was no room left for the heart-racing raggedness of their first seven-inches, and all the songs kind of sounded the same—was it possible that the band had already overstayed their welcome? With this spring’s Wasted Years (Vice), Off! answers that question definitively with 16 tracks that breathe fresh air into their sound, even as they could still pass for vintage Black Flag or Circle Jerks—the tweaks to their formula (noisy guitar solos, hard-as-nails bridge riffs, the occasional midtempo stomp) are small enough to keep the purists happy.”
I’ve recently been taken with Edinburgh hip-hop group Young Fathers: “On their recent studio debut, Dead (Anticon), Young Fathers use beats and rhymes as building blocks, but the songs have more in common with spacious, unearthly experimental pop than they do with most hip-hop—and that’s including the diversity of eccentric rap styles their labelmates have been trafficking in for more than a decade. Some of the album sounds like it was recorded in the bowels of a cave with a xylophone, a synthesizer, a modest collection of cymbals, and a small choir; the earthy soulfulness of ‘Mmmh Mmmh,’ ‘Hangman,’ and ‘Am I Not Your Boy’ doesn’t dull their sound’s dark, sinister punch.”
“New York combo Teen construct their music around the sublime vocal harmonies of three sisters, led by Kristina ‘Teeny’ Lieberson (who used to play keyboards in Here We Go Magic), and on the terrific new The Way and Color (Carpark) they move from elaborate indie pop and Brill Building tunefulness toward an art-rock take on contemporary R&B,” writes Peter Margasak. “The quartet’s keyboard-driven arrangements, characterized by tightly coiled, dizzying counterpoint, stay in constant motion, recalling the proggy shifts and complicated nonpop shapes of Dirty Projectors—but the Liebersons’ singing borrows more from Erykah Badu or Georgia Anne Muldrow. The music is dense and rich in detail, and the elegant vocal harmonies complement its matrix of criss-crossing analog synthesizer lines and deep, snaking bass.”
“Chief among the many virtues of Chicago drummer Mike Weis is his sensitivity to balance and proportion,” writes Bill Meyer. “This ensures that no matter how blown-out he gets in the music he plays with Zelienople, Kwaidan, and Scott Tuma (which is just as often hushed instead), he serves the ensemble’s sound rather than dominates it. These priorities persist in his solo work, where tone, atmosphere, and a sense of ceremony take precedence over displays of chops. On Weis’s upcoming LP, Don’t Know, Just Walk (Type), field recordings of midwestern wildlife, a Korean monk’s chanting, and the Norman Conquest’s ARP 2600 synthesizer coexist with galloping rhythms and cymbal washes in continuous surges of layered sound. At this concert, which celebrates the album’s release, he’ll create a similar equilibrium with a solo acoustic performance, switching between a trap kit and an array of percussion from around the world.”