Thank god the holidays are finally over and bands are getting back into the swing of things. Now we can sell off all our unwanted gifts on eBay (how much do you think we can get for a hypercolor "hip" bible?) and spend the cash on evil rock and roll, which is back with a vengeance in our fine, fine city.
Why are secret shows never really a secret? The Mooney Suzuki play in semi-secrecy Tuesday at Sin-e. Tickets are still available, which should tell you something. Meanwhile, over at the Bowery Ballroom, snivelling indie kids will surely be loitering about hoping for a miracle ticket to see wussy king Ben Gibbard play solo. Perhaps, freed of the expectations of his band, he can recapture the greatness of Death Cab's earlier years, before soul met body in such horrifyingly schlocky fashion (to quote Mr. Gibbard himself, "Just a series of blurs like I never occurred" -- if only). Those without tickets can catch the band this week on Saturday Night Live. The Knitting Factory Tap Bar provides the best value for your Tuesday-night dollar, with Stephen Malkmus making a rare solo appearance supporting ex-Spinanes singer Rebecca Gates, with slowcore faves Ida opening. All this for only nine clams.
Take Hump Day literally and check out Morningwood (at left) at Bowery, where hilariously rubber-faced frontwoman Chantal Claret will likely hump an audience member onstage, as she does every show. Love them or hate them (and many hate them), they put on an energetic show. At the Knitting Factory, versatile Texas crooner Todd Deatherage will play songs for the broken-hearted—recommended for fans of Brendan Benson and Rhett Miller.
Gothamist is not quite sure how We Are Scientists sold out their Thursday show at Bowery Ballroom so far in advance (and we're equally confused about their promo photos), but we are positive that you should arrive in time to see exuberant local trio Oxford Collapse, who are thrilling live and not to be missed. Bishop Allen opens. Wilderness released a stunning album last year and will give the lucky few who can crowd into Pianos the treat of playing a room way too small for their expansive sound. And we would be remiss if we did not mention the Productshop-presented show at Rothko, featuring locals Group Sounds and hot blogger fave Tapes 'n' Tapes.
On Friday, the Onion throws a "holiday party" at the Bowery Ballroom with indie-rock stalwarts the Wrens and legendary American postpunks Mission of Burma, who blew Gothamist away last time we saw them. Can anyone get Gothamist into this show? Pretty please? It's sold out. If we can't get in, Gothamist will be heading to Southpaw for an excellent triple bill of Professor Murder, the Apes, and skank rockers Tunnel of Love (at right). For the fainter-of-heart, from the label that brought you Devendra Banhart and Akron/Family comes Mi and L'au, at Cake Shop with hushed, unfreaky folk.
In the mood for some 80s college rock? Perhaps you should go see Camper van Beethoven, once known as "the funny R.E.M.," at the Bowery Ballroom, on Saturday night. The aforementioned Akron/Family will be bringing hippies and hipsters together at the Knitting Factory. The "yupsters" will be out in full force for critical darling Sufjan Stevens (pronounced SOOF-yawn, fyi), getting classy at Lincoln Center. More adventurous types should check out the Asterisk Art Space in Bushwick, where eight bands will be playing on two stages. Some are old-school punk, some are country-tinged, and some are just plain rock and roll. Should be an interesting night.
Stay home on Sunday. Drink a 40 while listening to music like Gothamist does. Try these:
Tapes 'n' Tapes, "Insistor"
Tunnel of Love, "Please Please Please (let me fuck your brains out)"
Professor Murder, "Champion"
The Apes, "The Night-Time Reaper"
Group Sounds, "Goodbye"