October 05, 2016
Several years ago Jeremy Malvin traded in his drumsticks for a drum pad, and it was a watershed moment. After years of playing behind a kit for groups like Miniature Tigers, Stepdad and Rich Aucoin, Malvin went out on his own as Chrome Sparks, an experimental/electronic solo project that’s been stewing wonderfully for the last five years. In addition to the finicky but soulful arrangements of his recorded music, Malvin is an ambitiously engaging live performer, one who invites headiness as much as emotion onto the dancefloor.
Doors 9 p.m. / Show 10 p.m. | With Jayo and Ed Christof | $20-$25 | 21 and over
Last year rambunctious teen sibling duo Rae Sremmurd proved their penchant for high-energy pop-rap on their debut album, “SremmLife.” That record and its radio hits carried the brothers to festival stages and paved the road for Swae Lee, the younger, to earn a hefty writing credit on Beyonce’s feminist manifesto “Formation.” (He reportedly came up with the concept in addition to penning lyrics.) Instead of doubling down obviously on perfectly-executed party rap, the recently-released “SremmLife 2” worms into weirder and more experimental territory. Rae Sremmurd were never a one-trick pony to start, and just a couple years into their stardom, they’ve already turned over a new leaf.
Show 8 p.m. | With Lil Yachty, Eearz, Bobo Swae, and Impxct | $35 | All ages
Few artists have been as persistently different as George Clinton, an icon who has spent a career sermonizing on the universality of funk. At 75-years-old, Clinton is still vital, providing a pulse for exciting new funk and hip-hop as a literal and figurative source of inspiration. ( Check out our photos/review from his show at Ardmore Music Hall back in August. ) Recently the famed bandleader has been hovering specifically around the brain trust of some of California’s second wave of funk-indebted stars like Kendrick Lamar, Flying Lotus and Thundercat. It came as little surprise then in August that Clinton announced a new album on Flying Lotus’ Brainfeeder label, an anchor for a weird, worldly, and intellectual beat scene. Decades into his career with Parliament Funkadelic, Clinton is still looking for new grooves.
Doors 8 p.m. / Show 9 p.m. | With Spank Rock | $35-$40
Singer-guitarist Michelle Zauner released her first full-length solo album as Japanese Breakfast in May after churning out a handful of unfussed, cassette-only indie releases. Before this side project took center stage, she was entrenched in the Philly indie scene as frontwoman of indie/emo band Little Big League. With “Psychopomp,” an album that finds its writer reeling from the death of her mother, Zauner and co-producer Ned Eisenberg ladle out the samples and synths for an intriguing and lush psychedelic pop effect.
Doors 8:30 p.m. / Show 9 p.m. | With Mercury Girls and Swanning | $10-$12 | All ages
The Ann Arbor funk band Vulfpeck has played with audience expectations, and amid a bona fide resurgence of retro funk, the quartet has never leaned into rote nostalgia: instead, they keep things legitimately gritty. But if you’ve heard of Vulfpeck in passing, it’s probably because of that stunt they pulled in 2014, in which they uploaded an album brimming with silence to Spotify . That album, “Sleepify,” was quickly pulled down by the streaming platform, but it afforded the YouTube-centric, budget-conscious band a little money to play with (in the neighborhood of $20,000). Their next record, “The Beautiful Game” drops next week.
Show 10 p.m. | With Son Little | $19.50 | 21 and over
Julianna Barwick’s music hinges on texture and isolation, on what it sounds like to be alone — or at least what it sounds like for her to be alone. Despite that initial solitary bent, however, Barwick’s music has become a collaborative affair for several albums now. And yet still, Barwick, who grew up in Louisiana and lives in Brooklyn, has a skill for lonely expansiveness and leverages an ambient palette that suggests wide open space instead of quietly cramped quarters.
Doors 8 p.m. / Show 8:30 p.m. | With Mary Lattimore | $13-$15 | All ages
In their second decade as a band, Ohio doombringers Mouth of the Architect has loosened up a little. The outfit’s sporadic albums over the last 13 years have been characteristically challenging; in many ways, they’ve filled a niche as second-generation progenitors of brainy metal. But adjectives like “mathy” do little to nail down their spirit, which they’ve expanded greatly on their latest record, “Path of Eight,” into more spaced out, proggy territory. Longtime fans don't need to worry, though, there’s plenty of doom too.
Doors 8 p.m. / Show 8:30 p.m. | With So Hideous, Zvi, and Coastal Plain | $10 | 21 and over