Nonstop Sound
The music of New York

Week Ahead in New York Music: Feb. 27 to March 4

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Monday, Feb. 27, The Pharmacy, Red Dwarf, Puppies, Snack Machine at Death By Audio, $7

    The Pharmacy headlines a night of explosive psychedelic punk and rock. Red Dwarf plays a brazen wonky roll that gets perfectly abrasive. Sometimes I feel like they’re yelling at me but that just indicates the possibility of confrontation or at least heightened energy in the form of musically mediated aggression. Puppies is a relatively new band doing some seriously subdued garage, think of the Vivian Girls unplugged. The extent of my knowledge of them is a recording they did of Paul Anka’s “Puppy Love.” It manages to be sloppy at the point of endearing and too tight at the point of unraveling—a really unique sounding band right now. I don’t know what more you need from Snack Machine besides that name. But they’ve got a Thomas Dolby-through-Beach Fossils vibe, scientific and groovy at the same moment. -Dale W. Eisinger 

    Tuesday, February 28 and Thursday, March 1, School of Seven Bells, EXITMUSIC at Mercury Lounge, $15

    School of Seven Bells' new album Ghostory is pretty sweet, and proof that adjectives like "ethereal" and "forceful" can co-exist. But it's also a grower. You're going to need to spend a lot of time with it for the layers of elaborately treated guitars, keyboards and overlapping vocals to really come together, and who knows how long it will take to figure out the storyline. (Something to do with ghosts, we guess.) So if you're having a problem connecting with it, we recommend that you skip directly to "Scavenger," the album's best song. Over an insistent beat and chillwave-but-with-actual-hooks synth bloops, Alejandra Deheza pretty much just drowns you in vocals, piling on the angelic harmonies until you have no choice but to submit. It's gonna sound real good at both of these album launch shows, so get familiar with it now. -Michael Tedder 

    Thursday, March 1,  Soulive, Rahzel, Questlove at Brooklyn Bowl, $15

    If you've never seen beat-box master Rahzel do that thing where he makes his voice sound like, alternately, a turntable, drum machine, the guitar riff to "Iron Man," a black hole and an over-sugared children's party, you really should. At least once. Yeah, it's gimmicky but it's a really cool gimmick, and the way he can beat box and rap at the same time is on some "what the" game. Plus, Questlove will spin some tunes and you can't even argue with that. -MT

    Thursday, March 1, A Great Big Pile Of Leaves, Young Statues, Mansions at Knitting Factory, $10/$12 

    Honestly I know nothing about any of these bands and I’m writing this solely on this listing I noticed because A Great Big Pile Of Leaves is playing, and not only is every word in A Great Big Pile Of Leaves capitalized including “Of” but also A Great Big Pile Of Leaves is playing with Young Statues and Mansions which means three very separate, specific inanimate objects will take shape at the Knitting Factory to generate noise of some kind which is just amazing. Also A Great Big Pile Of Leaves gives away music for free. -DWE 

    Saturday, March 3, Mike Doughty at City Winery, $22

    If there's one thing we learned from Mike Doughty's new memoir The Book Of Drugs, it's that heroin is on the whole a bad idea. But if there's two things we learned, it's that dude really does not care for the material he made with his old band Soul Coughing, and really really does not like it when people go to his shows and yell out requests for "Super Bon Bon." Doughty usually performs more or less acoustically, so how could he even do that bass-eating '90s monster? ("Soft Serve," on the other hand. But we digress.) So yeah, don't do that. Just enjoy finely crafted solo gems like "Rising Sign" and "(I Want To) Burn You (Down)," which don't have Soul Coughing's sonic madness but are there for you when someone needs to soothe your latest neurotic flare-up with some "been there" empathy. -MT