Zombie ballads, Virginia sludge, loud ladies

The best under-the-radar shows take place after the weekend, and the first is Troubled Coast, a rough-and-tumble melodic-punk group from Berkeley, Calif. At 6:30 p.m. Oct. 2, they play a free show at Zia Records (4503 W. Sahara Ave.). The band’s most recent release is 7-inch vinyl record, I’ve Been Thinking About Leaving You, and it’s a brisk listen. The guitars get pretty math-rock (as in technical) on tracks such as “Patient Hands,” but there’s always a spot where the hook finally arrives and things open up and go widescreen. I detect a Cursive-style emo-rock influence, too, meaning Coast and singer Mile Scornaienchi have a confessional side. Been years since I caught a record-shop show.

Later that evening, Richmond, Va.-based blackened psychedelic doom-sludge warriors Inter Arma—it’s Latin for “time of arms”—lay waste to Yayo Taco at 9 p.m. Oct. 2. Last month, the band signed with big-time metal label Relapse Records, home of top-tier hesher acts like Mastodon, but Arma is touring the U.S. in support of a just-released 12-inch EP, Destroyer, via Toxic Assets Records. (Stream it for free at InterArma.bandcamp.com.) Sure, the band will completely rip your face off and eat it. But their EP’s opening track, “Wailing Moon,” also boasts indie/post-rock elements. In other words, anyone who digs heavy music should find Arma alluring.

The next night, New Brunswick, N.J., noise-punk trio Screaming Females might get a little loud at Beauty Bar at 9 p.m. Oct. 3. The band’s most recent full-length is Ugly, produced by alt-rock icon Steve Albini (who oversaw Nirvana’s In Utero). It’s a punchy, early-’90s alt-rock flashback that falls somewhere between Dinosaur Jr. and Sleater-Kinney. On Ugly, Singer/guitarist Marissa Paternoster howls like a banshee and makes you feel warm and fuzz-rocked whenever she lays down a blistering solo—which is often. Whether the Females are femme fatales in a live setting remains to be seen, but I’m betting this show will be more than a retro riot-grrrl moment.

Local musician and web developer Josh Ellis has a rep for his confrontational wit and Tourette-level profanity. His new gothic-Americana moniker is Legba & Sons, which just released two digital singles—doom-blues slave song “Shadows & Dust” and zombie-apocalypse folk ballad “The Walker’s Lament,” beautifully sung by Tara Bratton. Ellis is a gifted songwriter, and these tunes are as good as anything Nick Cave ever penned. If you think I smoke meth, visit LegbaAndSons.bandcamp.com and hear Legba for free.

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Adam Ant


Adam Ant

By Geoff Carter

When I saw Adam Ant at the Aladdin in ’92, I thought he was washed up. At the time the ’80s pop star was touring behind Manners & Physique, an album of clumsy R&B far removed from the punky glam with Burundi-style drumming that made his name. Here was the king of the New Romantic subgenre, jumping on Prince’s train several years after it had left the station.



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