Noisy, moody, lo-fi, funny and kinda mean-spirited, really, Chain and the Gang make a stop at BSP in Kingston on Friday, July 31. The band’s early work (so the official story goes) was informed by a specific sociopolitical philosophy and agenda articulated in the title of their first record, Down with Liberty, Up with Chains. Subsequent releases back off a bit on the single-message focus, but Ian Svenonius’ poly-garage stylings and socially provocative lyrics remain brash and unapologetic (“If you feel like you’re not good enough, then you’re probably not/and you know what? You never, ever will be.”). One of his best and most innocently nostalgic songs is a catalogue of kinds of trash that you don’t see in the streets anymore.
Also on the bill is Shilpa Ray, a harmonium-playing arty songwriter with a strikingly raw-but-musical voice. Ray’s recent release, Last Year’s Savage (2015, Northern Spy Records), is full of overt nods to New York City sleaze-hip (one catchy song is called “Johnny Thunder’s Fantasy Space Camp”). For all its hipper-than-thou New York pedigree, Last Year’s Savage is filled with unfussy and tuneful street pop from beginning to end.
Chain and the Gang, Shilpa Ray and deejay Peter Aaron appear at BSP on Friday, July 31 at 9:30 p.m. Tickets cost $10 in advance and $12 on the day of the show. Tickets are available at Outdated and Rocket Number Nine in Kingston, Jack’s Rhythms in New Paltz, Darkside Records in Poughkeepsie and the Woodstock Music Shop. BSP is located at 323 Wall Street in Kingston. For more information, visit www.bspkingston.com.
Chain & the Gang/Shilpa Ray, Friday, July 31, $10/$12, BSP, 323 Wall Street, Kingston; www.bspkingston.com.