TRIBES OF NEUROT, STEVEN VON TILL, BLOOD AND TIME 1/2, BOTTOM LOUNGE The Bay Area experimental metal collective Neurosis has given rise to several subsidiary musical entities and branched out into the visual arts, film, and performance as well. The most recent release from the band proper was last year’s collaboration with former Swans front woman Jarboe, who lent a visceral human cry to its occasionally arid sound. Spin-off acts Tribes of Neurot and Blood and Time will perform at this show, and founding guitarist Steven Von Till will play a solo set; fans will also get to hear Neurosis’s next album, still warm from Steve Albini’s mixing board and not due out till next fall. CATFISH HAVEN 1/3, SCHUBAS So far this Chicago trio has scored some good opening gigs (sharing bills with My Morning Jacket and Kings of Leon, among others) and released a seven-song CD, Good Friends. The group’s core sound–a sort of alt-country howl that’s distantly related to grunge, with traces of the Meat Puppets and Violent Femmes–is distinctive to begin with. But things get really weird when the drunkenly elegiac three-part harmonies kick in. The sweaty sing-along feel would work even better if more of the songs broke out of the band’s lugubrious default tempo. The Vulgar Boatmen (see Critic’s Choice) headline. LOW SKIES 1/3, EMPTY BOTTLE This local act released its own debut EP in 2002, and now the full-length follow-up, The Bed, is out on Flameshovel. The ghostly, wintry groan of the Skies’ indie-gothic sound recalls the Black Heart Procession and Dirty Old Man River, but they aren’t as tuneless as the former or as scary as the latter. Christopher Salveter’s singing covers such a wide range of tones up above the gritty, dirgey guitar and organ that you almost think there’s more than one of him, which makes listening to this stuff feel a little less lonely. This show is a benefit for local indie start-up magazine Pistil; the Dials headline a bill that also includes the Krunchies and Vicki. LOVELIES 1/8, DOUBLE DOOR White Leather (Force MP) is the title of the new album from this two-woman-one-man Milwaukee trio, and it’s also a summary of their bandwagon-jumping neo-no-wave visual aesthetic. Lord knows I have nothing against fun with fashion, but I always find it instructive to listen to a record without looking at the pretty pictures that come with it; minus the 1982 duds, what you’ve got here is workwomanlike hard pop that brings to mind Joan Jett with none of the threatening personality. Once again, black leather wins.
Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Heather Sewery.