New York's new avant-garde.

Songs you've got to hear.
Nov. 11 2005 12:19 PM

Weird Rock

New York's new avant-garde.

(Continued from Page 1)

While countless hot bands have peered back at post-punk from the 1970s and '80s, few have picked up post-punk's dialogue with music from around the world. Gang Gang Dance take this line and gnaw it into exotic shapes. Their album Hillulah, edited together from four live performances, rifles through the sounds of African thumb piano, clinking Indonesian gamelan, and rootsy wood-block rhythms. It's all a lot murkier than what gets recorded clean as "world music," but the effect evokes imagesof rain-forest thickets and dusty street bazaars. Oh, yes, Gang Gang Dance scream a lot—one guy in the band heaves through a number of Tourettic rants. But they also have a female singer who sounds like a ghostlier, gothier Kate Bush. Her improvised trills follow the chaos and tranquillity happening all around her—a starkly beautiful presence in the middle of a band busy trying to find a sound not yet hammered down.

Andy Battaglia is a New York-based writer whose work has appeared in the Wall Street Journal, the Wire, Spin, the National, and more.

TODAY IN SLATE

Politics

Smash and Grab

Will competitive Senate contests in Kansas and South Dakota lead to more late-breaking races in future elections?

Stop Panicking. America Is Now in Very Good Shape to Respond to the Ebola Crisis.

The 2014 Kansas City Royals Show the Value of Building a Mediocre Baseball Team

The GOP Won’t Win Any Black Votes With Its New “Willie Horton” Ad

Sleater-Kinney Was Once America’s Best Rock Band

Can it be again?

Technocracy

Forget Oculus Rift

This $25 cardboard box turns your phone into an incredibly fun virtual reality experience.

One of Putin’s Favorite Oligarchs Wants to Start an Orthodox Christian Fox News

These Companies in Japan Are More Than 1,000 Years Old

Trending News Channel
Oct. 20 2014 6:17 PM Watch Flashes of Lightning Created in a Lab  
  News & Politics
Politics
Oct. 20 2014 8:14 PM You Should Be Optimistic About Ebola Don’t panic. Here are all the signs that the U.S. is containing the disease.
  Business
Moneybox
Oct. 20 2014 7:23 PM Chipotle’s Magical Burrito Empire Keeps Growing, Might Be Slowing
  Life
Outward
Oct. 20 2014 3:16 PM The Catholic Church Is Changing, and Celibate Gays Are Leading the Way
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 20 2014 6:17 PM I Am 25. I Don't Work at Facebook. My Doctors Want Me to Freeze My Eggs.
  Slate Plus
Tv Club
Oct. 20 2014 7:15 AM The Slate Doctor Who Podcast: Episode 9 A spoiler-filled discussion of "Flatline."
  Arts
Brow Beat
Oct. 20 2014 9:13 PM The Smart, Talented, and Utterly Hilarious Leslie Jones Is SNL’s Newest Cast Member
  Technology
Technocracy
Oct. 20 2014 11:36 PM Forget Oculus Rift This $25 cardboard box turns your phone into an incredibly fun virtual-reality experience.
  Health & Science
Medical Examiner
Oct. 20 2014 11:46 AM Is Anybody Watching My Do-Gooding? The difference between being a hero and being an altruist.
  Sports
Sports Nut
Oct. 20 2014 5:09 PM Keepaway, on Three. Ready—Break! On his record-breaking touchdown pass, Peyton Manning couldn’t even leave the celebration to chance.