I once described the loud and lovely punk outfit Low on High as “the musical equivalent of a hyperactive child born to postmodernist author Kathy Acker … but raised in the Hotel Chelsea by Romeo Void and The Melvins.”
That was back in March 2010, when LOH, aka underground filmmaker/guitarist Jon Moritsugu and actress/illustrator/bassist Amy Davis, played their debut Santa Fe show at the now-defunct Corazón nightclub. A little more than three years later, and LOH is still using its sonic fearlessness and lightning-bolt angst to bore new and interesting holes into my dented, earworm-riddled cranium. At 8 p.m. Friday, April 26, LOH unveils its newest album, Ice Cream Sex, at The Betterday Coffee Shop (905 W. Alameda St., Solana Center), and it’s going to be one hell of a night for noise lovers of all stripes.
Recorded at Frogville Studios over a three-day period in January and mastered and mixed by Jason Reed, Ice Cream Sex packs the guitar punch-crunch of a Germs or Flipper album and the vocal sneer and scream of a low-fi Sleater-Kinney garage show. Moritsugu and Davis work fuzz-inflected magic over their respective strings, and Davis’ powerful screech-enabled voice wails like a dog whistle strong enough to be heard by drooling gutter punks on the other side of the globe. Case in point: “Puppy Madness,” which includes a barkathon breakdown that, at close range, may cause actual puppies to spontaneously combust.
At other times, Davis brings her voice down, soft and silky, and the album takes a turn into Breeders territory. It’s seductive, creepy, and worth the album’s occasional down-tempo shift. Moritsugu chimes in now and again with some gritty vocal backup. I swear, that man is possessed. And the music world is so much better for it. Sample the new album at www.amazon.com — but hide the puppies first.
Joining LOH on the bill at Betterday are experimental rockers Alamo Sun (Crockett Bodelson of the SCUBA art collective and Meow Wolf mainstay Nicholas Chiarella), garage rock-ettes Gynormica, and The Product Division (aka Red Cell and JC Gonzo). Bonus: local newcomer Lady Gloves debuts its synth-centric noise-band freak show. The show’s $5 at the door and all ages. Has anyone else noticed that Betterday has become the best venue in town lately to see all-ages shows?
If you missed out on the free Ozomatli tickets for the Nuevo-Latin-groove ensemble’s performance at the Santa Fe University of Art and Design on Saturday, April 27 (see March 29 Sound Waves, “’Matli Crew”), you still may be able to catch a glimpse of the band. Stats Sports Bar & Nightlife (135 W. Palace Ave., 982-7265) is re-launching with new partners at noon on Saturday, and Ozomatli is scheduled to drop by.
With any luck, Stats will open its doors to more local bands in the near future. Although the venue has been known in the past as a dance/hip-hop club, its downstairs bar area is prime real estate for some of Santa Fe’s more experimental bands.
Duke of rock
Speaking of all-ages: In conjunction with Youth x Youthfest, the Boys and Girls Clubs of Santa Fe and Warehouse 21 present a battle of the bands for musicians ages 13-20, from 6 to 10 p.m. on Friday, April 26, at W21 (1614 Paseo de Peralta, www.warehouse21.org).
Slated to perform are Exalt, Beyond Fused, All the Wrong Reasons, Nautilus, Moon Ranger, Jovani Dante Griego, Autumn Faulkner, Miriam Kass, Alex Cloud, Sterling Luna (Trip), iNando Palacios, Josue Martinez, and Noah “Holiday” McAllister (DJ Mickey Paws). Thieves & Gypsys closes out the night.
Be sure to check out the D20 Art exhibit, featuring work by Noah Einar Wingren and friends, while you’re there. Cover is $8, 19 and under no charge.
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