If you are an underage emo-type who is distressed that you might not find good shows to go to until class starts up again, you need not fret, because These Arms are Snakes will be rocking the Meow Meow on Aug. 26 with Hot Water Music and Anna Oxygen. These Arms Are Snakes features the charismatic, lanky singer of the late Kill Sadie, an underappreciated hardcore band from Seattle whose other members formed the great Pretty Girls Make Graves and the mostly cringe-inducing Minus the Bear which, with the help of a little mutiny, could potentially be a stellar group.
The very next night, Aug. 27, those in the over-21 scene would do well for themselves by checking out Mum at Berbati’s Pan. This Icelandic group employs the predictably grand, sweeping atmospheric sheets of sound that we have come to expect from their fine country punctuated by the sparse IDM percussion that seems to be distributed by their government. Weaving through it all, the oddly faery vocals are, well, another Icelandic staple. In short, the group will do nothing to alter your perception of what to expect from an Icelandic group, but it will provide a fine soundtrack for the downtime between Bjork and Sigur Ros’ tours.
Understandably though, not everyone wants music to string them along on a passing cloud. For those who like something with a little bite and a lotta hype, the White Stripes and Yeah Yeah Yeahs will be playing the Keller Auditorium on Sept. 17. Yeah Yeah Yeahs in particular are a group who must be seen, especially because mainstream rock media has done such a terrible job representing them. If so-called journalists could keep their bondage fantasies in check and remember that they are watching a band, not a freakin’ webcam, they would be forced to acknowledge that the band in question is playing some super-hot rock ‘n’ roll.
Finally, Rainer Maria, a band whose fate seemed frighteningly uncertain a couple years back, will be playing at Nocturnal on Sept. 18. The group, which released one of the sub-genre’s finest records with 1999’s Look Now Look Again and whose stage presence ranges from laughable to awe-inspiring (generally as one’s head is turned from left to right), is touring in anticipation of a new record and will always command my respect, even if I continue to pronounce the first half of their name like the mountain rather than the poet.
Last but not least, keep checking the telephone polls and grapevines for local shows. The scene is all we have, and we have it pretty good with groups like Jonny X and the Groadies, Life at these Speeds, and Science of Yabra tearing it up nearly every weekend in some musty Northeast basement.