Lovers Lane
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Monday, Monday

| November 12, 2011

Not much overlap in the competition for your dollaz on the 14th. You’re either gonna focus all your energy on breaking something (Wu Lyf), dancing with somebody who loves you (Body Language), or geeking the eff out (Emperor X).

Only one of them is named in a way that makes a lick of sense, which is why we’ll start with Body Language. The Brooklynites finesse sexy, demure electro pop that takes Junior Boys out of the late-night chat rooms (are there still chat rooms?) and into that sultry club that only exists in music videos. Social Studies (Lavish Habits/Om) betrays the tendencies and dynamics of a rock band, but keeps those edges mostly covered in sleek synth lines and thumping, pillowy beats. Coed vocals have had some fans lustily comparing the quartet to a porno, but pornos don’t keep your attention for this long. (Monday@Lincoln Hall with Keep Shelly In Athens.)

We’re still not quite sure what the standard is on Wu Lyf — it’s typed frequently in all caps and the label is LYF records (standing for World Unite Lucifer Youth Foundation, but you don’t say double-u ewe ell why eff, do you? — but this much is clear: Wu-Tang is not part of the equation. In fact, the Mancunian upstarts recall more than a little about Glaswegian bands like Mogwai and Arab Strap, particularly how Go Tell Fire To The Mountain builds and releases with unsettling interludes, some born of post-rock and some a needed intermission to reassemble the drum kit and prop up the amps. The album’s a wild, cathartic listen whose sincerity will either grip you or leave you snickering in the beer line. The volume isolates you and forces a decision in that regard. The challenge then becomes a game of chicken: who will blink first? (Monday@Empty Bottle with Crystal Antlers.)

Emperor X, a.k.a. Chad Matheny, might pick up all those tapes he buried while on tour. The former high-school teacher has loosely grounded his music in noisy, impetuous indie rock a la Pavement and Sebadoh, and literally grounded other bits of his music as part of a scavenger hunt. Matheny supplies GPS coordinates to his fans, who can find sunken treasures and unlock b-sides and other content — activity days in his classrooms must have been mind-blowing. On his latest album and first for Bar None, Matheny manages to be psychedelic without sounding druggy, gets arcane without sounding pretentious, and rocks squarely while still truly rocking. Western Teleport might be one of the most straightforward items in his trail of artifacts, most of which will surely stymy archaeologists a thousand years from now. (Monday@Double Door with Jeffrey Lewis.)

— Steve Forstneger

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Category: Stage Buzz, Weekly

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