Weekend's best live bets: Signal Path, ManCub, Rockie, Best Coast, Jolie Holland and more
Signal Path celebrates its latest release tonight at the Bluebird Theater.
Ah, yes, welcome to the weekend! Been a long week, and now you're about to get to enjoy a long weekend. As always, a plethora of enticing options this weekend and it's another good mix: Tonight, a trio of local release parties featuring Signal Path, ManCub and Rockie kick things into gear, along with a fresh batch of compelling imports, including Lee "Scratch" Perry, Best Coast, Horse Feathers, Jolie Holland and Robby Krieger's Roadhouse Rebels. Page down for the full rundown on the weekend's best live music bets.
When Signal Path first started out, over a decade ago, the goal was to bring elements of the jam scene into the realm of electronic music. While the notion of fusing those two sounds may not seem all that novel now, at the time the hybrid was quite a groundbreaking concept. The two styles ultimately proved to be a natural match for the the men of Signal Path, a lot like their own creative partnership, which found Ryan Burnett, who had developed a proclivity for electronic music, merging his sensibilties with Damon Metzner, who was immersed in funk, having grown up in New Orleans (continue reading full profile).
Mancub's last record, 8 Bit Crush, was released in January 2011. The record is filled with catchy melodies, layers of noise and up-tempo analog drum patterns that pulse near the sonic confluence of stylish acts like LCD Soundsystem, the Rapture, Hot Chip and Ratatat. Bright synths crash into walls of distortion, juxtaposing the structure of dance sequences with the chaos of noise and punk influences. The act takes a more conscious approach on its new record, Business Dogs, whose release is being celebrated tonight. Whereas sheets of noise previously blanketed entire sections of songs, now they are used more sparingly and to better effect, building a chaotic emphasis for the climactic moments. The other sounds are more studied this time around, too. Synthesizers are cleaner, and the totality of textures is more cohesive.
Last winter, Rockie released Censored, a project that gave the MC the chance to say everything that he didn't get to say out of the gate: He talked about the bitches, the money and being a single father in a city where damn near everyone is a rapper. Amid the club hits -- "Don't Stop" is still banging down the doors of the club -- was the Flight Facilities-sampled "Gold Dreams," in which Rockie let loose and turned each line into a self-fulfilling prophecy. Based on the popularity of that song, Rockie brought Midnite and Team Green Productions back into the studio for the second installment of the Censored series, Gold Dreams 2.0. The release features Rockie's best material to date, and the project, which drops tonight on the rapper's 23rd birthday, marks not only a time of growing up, but a celebration of his being at his most creative and dynamic.
Whether Lee "Scratch" Perry got his nickname through some association with the Devil or because he's well known for being more than a little crazy and likely to lash out like a feral cat is up for debate. Regardless, that ornery disposition may be the reason he's outlived almost all of his fellow reggae legends. Along with King Tubby, Perry is one of the original purveyors of the slow, echo-haunted, bass-driven form of reggae known as dub -- a style that influenced acts like the Clash and PiL, who heisted the style and created their own unique blend of prog, reggae and nihilism. Every bit as influential as his Jamaican contemporaries Bob Marley and Jimmy Cliff, Perry continues to release new, fascinating material and tour at the venerable age of seventy.
Check out our newly revamped concert calendar for a complete listing of all of tonight's shows. Page down for rundown of tomorrow night's best bets.