Live last night: Dirty Beaches, the best band I saw this weekend
I saw a lot of good music this weekend. The efficient, no-frills garage-punk roar of Screaming Females. Some fast-faster-fastest hardcore from Coke Bust and Punch. Ready-for-primetime pop from Alex Winston. Creation Records throwback of Minks. Stately indie pop from Dum Dum Girls. But the best of the bunch was one dude who spent much of his 30 minutes on stage simply singing along to pre-recorded tracks.
Dirty Beaches was the first of three acts at the Black Cat Sunday night. It’s the one-man band of Alex Zhang Hungtai, and his sound is equally informed by swaggering ‘50s rock-and-roll and the bleak, minimalist drone of electronic music pioneers Suicide. Canned music is usually a downer but Hungtai writes desolate songs. He’ll almost certainly find himself a backing band someday soon, but for now the isolation feels right. At times he would strum along on guitar, adding a bit more rhythmic punch. Mostly he crooned exactly the way you’d expect a guy with a slick-backed pompadour to croon. Occasionally he let loose a vicious howl. The entire set had a faint sense of unease -- as if something truly sinister was lurking around the corner.
Dirty Beaches makes a quick return to the Black Cat on May 9.
| March 7, 2011; 3:45 PM ET
Categories: Last night's gig | Tags: Dirty Beaches
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