Top Five Must-See Shows This Week
Tuesday, November 13: Icky Blossoms @ Crescent Ballroom
In dance-punk, momentum tends not to shift kaleidoscopically. The pacing is fraught but gradual. The pressure cooker heats slowly, over 7 or 8 minutes, all the while broiling in its juices. The guitars tick upright, marching in consolidation. The rhythm begins with a single, nervous twiddling of the thumbs and hardens into a muscular backbone. Seconds drag as if they're encased in cinder-block.
(To quote Hot Chip's "I Feel Better": "This is the longest night.") The room turns airless and soon you're assuming the James Brown position in search of a vent through which to breathe. When the payoff comes, you're too winded to celebrate, yet you dance because muscle memory won't allow otherwise. Omaha's Icky Blossoms work under these ropy constraints. They are flower children from soybean country-lots of Deadhead flannel at their shows-but they never play at enlightenment.
Their Saddle Creek debut is propulsive and chokingly physical, roughhousing over breakneck rhythmic triggers. "Cycle" is even lit in the nervous, hand-held, voyeuristic manner of James Murphy's flick The Comedy. Like Murphy's defunct LCD Soundsystem, the Icky Blossoms turn repetition into a birdsong, but don't expect to dance yourself clean. Enter their filthy fantasia at own risk. -- M.T. Richards