w/ Shitstorm, The Slow Boys | 8:00PM | The Duck Room at Blueberry Hill, 6504 Delmar Blvd. | All ages | $12 advance, $15 day of show
Have you noticed Australia’s creeping domination over the last five years or so of all that is exciting and inventive in independent music? I mean, they’re killing it. But it could be easy to miss from the US. Keeping a finger on the pulse means keeping tabs on touring gigs: What’s the hot ticket? Who’s opening? What sick new festivals are popping up this year? Who’s organizing and what’s the undercard look like? It’s not worth traversing the continents, however, until you’re confident in selling a goodly number of tickets, meaning many Aussie bands don’t make it over here until they’re already a big deal back home. So, while you’re probably familiar with the likes of Tame Impala, King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard, Courtney Barnett, all blazing fresh trails the rest of the world will riff on for years to come and selling out entire theaters, who is currently tearing it up on Australia’s smaller stages? Who can we still catch in their early, hungry phase?
One answer to this question is the art punk, political snarl of Melbourne’s Tropical Fuck Storm, playing Blueberry Hill’s Duck Room on September 13. Comprised of one-half ex-The Drones mates and one-half new blood from High Tension and Palm Springs, the supergroup is a collective of self-described “avant-psych-noise-skuzz weirdos” with a gristly bone to pick with the high and mighty of the world. Lead singer/guitarist Gareth Liddiard spits aggressive condemnation of the upper echelons like your anarcho-syndicalist friend who tries to start a philosophical debate every time he gets drunk. “Those who can’t, teach / Those you don’t, speech,” he snipes in “Chameleon Paint.” Fiona Kitschin and Erica Dunn (bass and guitar/keys, respectively) provide the chorus and response to those hypothetical questions over Lauren Hammel’s coolly marching drums. The aesthetic is abrasive, unapologetic, chiding, challenging. The effect is something akin to Arcade Fire or Black Mountain, but grittier, more combative, more inclined than the others to dumpster dive in protest of the capitalistic world order.
Their feisty debut album, A Laughing Death in Meatspace, references kuru, an unfortunate consequence of funerary rituals practiced in Papua New Guinea until the 1960s, where family members cooked and ate the tissue of the deceased in order to free their spirit, resulting in neurological degeneration and outbursts of laughter. Meatspace stands in opposition to cyberspace. It’s the realm of flesh and bone and blood and sweat. “The Planet of Straw Men,” the first single from their forthcoming album on King Gizzard’s Flightless Records, promises more distortion and dissonance.
Pissed about the state of global politics? Tropical Fuck Storm invites you to get visceral, get hysterical, and scream about it. They’re selling out shows in Australia. They sold out Glasgow, Dublin, and Antwerp on their European tour. They’re only playing a few US dates—mostly coastal and a few spots in the South. Now is your chance to bump shoulder meat, rub elbow meat, and let the fat cats know “Your politics ain’t nothing but a fond fuck you” with this gloriously irreverent crew of artistic shit disturbers as they pit stop in our Midwestern oasis.
See Tropical Fuck Storm with TBA at the Blueberry Hill Duck Room on September 13. Full tour dates are below. | Courtney Dowdall
08.28.19 Los Angeles, CA / Bootleg Theater
08.29.19 San Francisco, CA / Bottom Of The Hill
08.30.19 Arcata, CA / Richards’ Goat Tavern & Tea Room
08.31.19 Portland, OR / Mississippi Studios
09.01.19 Vancouver, BC / Static Jupiter
09.03.19 Seattle, WA / Barboza
09.06.19 Washington, DC / Comet Ping Pong
09.07.19 Raleigh, NC / Hopscotch Music Festival
09.08.19 Atlanta, GA / The Earl
09.10.19 Austin, TX / Hotel Vegas
09.11.19 Dallas, TX / Three Links
09.13.19 St. Louis, MO / Blueberry Hill Duck Room
09.14.19 Chicago, IL / The Empty Bottle
09.15.19 Cleveland, OH / Now That’s Class
09.17.19 Toronto, ON / The Baby G
09.18.19 Montréal, QC / Bar Le ‘Ritz’ P.D.B.
09.19.19 Allston, MA / Great Scott
09.20.19 Brooklyn, NY / Elsewhere