by Ryan Snyder

Upcoming shows you should check out


Punk rock rarely has the time for narrative, but with the release of their third album Local Business last week, New Jersey quintet Titus Andronicus is doing their best to change that notion. Their 2010 album The Monitor was a rare beast: a long-winded, yet aggressive examination of the tenuous connections linking New Jersey folklore, the War Between the States, and America’s love affair with prescription pills. If it sounds sketchy, it was, but they sold it with genuine conviction and a fusion of punk and heartland rock that emulsified Minor Threat and Bruce Springsteen. Local Business doesn’t aim for the same unwieldy historical angle, but is broader in scope and darker, yet somehow funnier and more personal. The name isn’t a reference to growing the economy at home, but to frontman Patrick Stickles personal business, namely his eating disorder and various facets of his maverick worldview. They’ll be performing much of Local Business at CFBG this Friday night, joined by a band that abides by the roots of hardcore punk as closely as any band could — terse, succinct and loud — in Ceremony. Tickets are $7 and will no doubt be gone before Friday.


In just eight years, reggae star Matisyahu has deemed himself as orthodox, novelty, iconoclast, outsider, insurgent and unorthodox. In an era when bearded jam bands ruled, the Hassidic star wore his with a greater purpose in mind as he conquered the festival circuit with transcendental tunes and unremitting devotion. The great irony of Matisyahu is that, even has he became recognized as an ambassador for a highly insular community, his own sect never fully accepted him. And so, off came the beard late last year and along with it, his self-identification among that community. Today, Matisyahu looks something like a Chris Martin-Diplo hybrid, has refined his stage act within just a few degrees of MJ, and has a new album that’s polished to a pop sheen. He brings his new persona — in his words, himself — to Greene Street Club on Monday, Oct. 29 as the first of two off-day specials for the club. The second is by a band who have, for even longer, championed a different kind of Orthodoxy. Over 26 years, Winnipeg’s Propagandhi have perfected the balance between rattling eardrums through hyper-informed punk rock and hands-on, hard-left activism. They make Al Jourgensen look like Tom Coburn with their anti-capitalist, pro-gay/feminist/civil rights, pro environment stances, but their last album Failed States has offered their most complex, ambitious and compelling music to date. It retains all the punishing qualities of Supporting Caste, while venturing into darkly ambient sludge metal, with Chris Hannah there to break the tedium with obliterating solos. They may be flirting with punk-geezer status, but Propagandhi no doubt have “old man strength.” Tickets for Matisyahu are $25, with support provided by Atlanta hip-hop band the Constellations, while Propagandhi tickets are $16 in advance with help from Epitaph cohorts Off With Their Heads and the Menzingers.