• The cover of DJ Dog Dick’s The Life Stains

Gossip Wolf first reported that Empty Bottle owner Bruce Finkelman closed a deal on Pilsen’s Thalia Hall back in July, and tonight the four-story landmark hosts its first public concert—Animal Collective’s Panda Bear headlines and eccentric NYC noisemaker DJ Dog Dick (aka Max Eisenberg) opens the show. A couple recent stories on Thalia Hall’s debut mention that Panda Bear will christen the venue, but the reality is Eisenberg will be the first person to perform for the ticket-buying public.

Few folks appear as enthused about the fact that a musician who performs as DJ Dog Dick is reopening a historic theater than me. Hell, even the show listing on Thalia Hall’s site fails to mention Eisenberg’s stage name. I can understand why the folks behind Thalia Hall wouldn’t want to publicize an artist with an admittedly juvenile and kind of confrontational name in conjunction with the venue’s grand opening. Still it’s a shame considering Eisenberg is the kind of outre experimental musician I relish getting the chance to see at the Empty Bottle. I last saw Eisenberg perform was back in Boston during Dan Deacon’s 2008 Baltimore Round Robin tour, and as I recall at one point he freestyled over sheets of noise with no discernible beat—it was compellingly strange.

  • Screenshot of Thalia Hall’s listing for tonight’s Panda Bear show—where’s DJ Dog Dick?

Eisenberg tangles with a mutated strain of hip-hop on his recent debut solo album, The Life Stains; rap pops up in blown-out beats and his occasional sing-rapping. Hip-hop takes up a small portion of the antipop sound Eisenberg built on The Life Stains, and the way he shoves unwieldy fragments of genres together is interesting in its own right. Some of the tracks are hard to resist, and the way Eisenberg belts out the chorus for the distorted sci-fi R&B jam “Dried Old Leaves” in watery Auto-Tune is as endearing as it is unusual. If you’ve got tickets to tonight’s show I’d suggest showing up early just to see what Eisenberg will cook up. If Panda Bear’s dismal set at the 2010 Pitchfork Music Festival is any indication DJ Dog Dick could steal the show.

Leor Galil writes about hip-hop every Wednesday.