Monday, Feb. 4-Tuesday, Feb. 5, The Bronx, Hussle Club at The Bowery Eletric, $18
One can only imaging how the The Bronx must feel when looking at recent buzz generated by The Men and Metz. Do they say to themselves, "Oh, now you kids like face-pummeling noise rock?" About a decade ago these counterintuitively named LA punks were doing the confrontational, feedback-laced power violence thing on a major label back when most of the young rock bands were concerned with starting dance parties. Now that the pendulum has swung towards more aggressive fare in the underground, it seems like it's time for The Bronx to win some new fans. Fortunately, based on new single "Ribcage" these guys still have some pummel in them.
Wednesday, Feb. 6-Thursday, Feb. 7, Swans at Music Hall of Williamsburg, $32
After more than four decades in the game, Michael Gira is more beloved than ever. It's a strange thing to say about man whose band is basically one sonic blast furnace of hate and disgust, but there you go. His long-running group of art-rock provocateurs Swans broke up in the '90s, but got back together a few years ago, only to discover they had found a new generation of admirers. Last year's double-album The Seer garnered some of the best reviews and year end chart placements of Gira's entire career, which until then not a career filled with much praise from mainstream critics. It's uncertain whether Gira is capable of human emotions like "pleasure" or "pride," but if so then he surely must feel them these days. Just don't expect him to crack any smiles while he's sonically stepping on your throat at this two-night Brooklyn stand.
Friday, Feb. 8, Passion Pit, Matt & Kim, Icona Pop at Madison Square Garden, $42.50
Clearly, Passion Pit is one of those bands that you didn't realize was crazy, crazy popular. I guess the young people like glitchy dance pop about feeling too manic. Of course, these guys wrote on of the best heart-swelling prom/wedding songs of the past few years with "Moth's Wings," so they deserve to get to play MSG. Joining them will be Matt & Kim, who certainly have come a long way from playing Brooklyn warehouse shows, but will probably remain as endearing and chatty as ever up on that big stage. As for Icona Pop, well, they love it, and we love them and we love them for loving it, even if we aren't sure what it is.