So last week the All-Ages pickins were a little thin. I did make it out to Deer Tick’s (Notice, I didn’t call them “Nikki Darlin’s husband’s band,” so it must’ve been good.) dry show at UPenn, which I’ll report on in more depth in the coming days (to preview their upcoming, and the year’s best, release, Divine Providence). And it was pretty much as much fun as you can have sober… But more on that later. This week’s All Ages choices are looking a little less waifish. In fact, I have a pick for nearly every day of the week. Here they are:
Elizabeth & the Catapult @ The Electric Factory (10/17) (supporting Sara Bareilles)
If you’re a loyal reader of mine, you know that not only is Elizabeth Ziman someone who I consider to be a “buddy,” who I can regularly argue about cinema with, but she is also the nucleus of my favorite musical project of the past several years, Elizabeth & the Catapult. She manages to blend folk and piano pop in a manner that is both ineffably charming and ineffably poignant.
Lydia @ North Star Bar (10/19)
Although Lydia’s current formation has only one of the two original members, and it lacks a quirkily and moodily lovely chanteuse, and the band really is just “post emo” (whatever the fuck that means), it’s hard not to find their endearingly abrasive androgyny to be a bit appealing… If they didn’t fall into so many clichés of half-hearted American teenage angst, I could certainly draw comparisons to Placebo.
Wild Flag @ Union Transfer (10/19)
Whether you’re growing impatient waiting for the next season of Portlandia or wishing that your memories of Riot Grrrl could come to life once again, come by to see 2/3rds of Sleater-Kinney, along with Mary TImony and Rebecca Cole, demonstrate that, although Riot Grrrl may be dead, its spirit still rocks harder than pretty much anything else you’re likely to hear in 2011.
Zola Jesus @ First Unitarian Church (10/20)
Okay, yes, your humble narrator has a historical penchant for girls who are under 5’ tall and under 100 lbs (Sue me!!!). However, that doesn’t mean that Zola Jesus isn’t completely brilliant. Although her sounds manage to transcend any traditional formulas, they’re certainly satisfying to anyone looking to dance, cry, laugh, or fight… sometimes all at once.
CSS/MEN/EMA @ Union Transfer (10/21)
I’m not exactly sure how to characterize this show. It’s radical, glamorous, queer punkness and it’s going to be the best dance party of the year. There’s not a single act that won’t force you to wiggle your booty and reevaluate your politics.
The Smashing Pumpkins @ Tower Theater (10/22)
7pm, $52 – $79.75
Of all of the ‘90s stars of “alternativeness” Billy Corgan and his Smashing Pumpkins are the least laughable. Unfortunately, Corgan seems constantly to be in the battle between “trotting out the hits” and performing what he actually feels to be currently interesting. While the former regularly seems to win out, in terms of crowd response, those who see him to be more than a dinosaur of rock are also regularly more than satiated.