Alex Zhang Hungtai, aka Dirty Beaches, makes dark, desolate and sometimes sinister-sounding music that could be the soundtrack for a party thrown at the underbelly of some mythical urban hellscape. And I mean that in the best possible way. The Taiwanese-born Canadian made a really good “double” album Drifters/Love is the Devil this year. With eight songs on each album, Drifters is the collection of brooding post-punk songs, while Love is the Devil features mostly instrumental and largely ambient sounds. I prefer Drifters but am intrigued how Hungtai sews the approaches together in a single live set. Dirty Beaches plays Empty Bottle Thursday.
Opening for Dirty Beaches is Sisu, a band led by Dum Dum Girls drummer Sandy Vu. While far more conventional than Dirty Beaches, Sisu is a neat mix of electronic and rock. The spirit of Sisu’s new album, Blood Tears, reminds me a little of Frankie Rose, a former member of Dum Dum Girls. I’ve lost track of the number of side projects or new bands started by either a past member of Dum Dum Girls or Vivian Girls but I also can’t think of one that I’ve disliked.
Ell V Gore gets the party started Thursday night.
And here’s a live performance of I Will Be: