Nonetheless there are a good handful of shows to check out tonight through Wednesday that should make you glad to be off work for the day (or at least help you tolerate work for the day):
Though Beth Orton is now devoting much of her time to motherhood, Peter Margasak says her newest effort, Sugaring Season—her first album in six years—is a triumph. He writes, "The electronics in Orton's early work are entirely absent here, but she and the band nonetheless achieve a thoroughly contemporary fusion—and her soulful, rhythmically varied phrasing casts the elegant folk-rock arrangements in a vibrant glow."
According to Miles Raymer, Cody Critcheloe is one of very few things Kansas City can brag about these days. Aside from being a well-known multimedia artist—he designed the Yeah Yeah Yeahs' Fever to Tell—Critcheloe is the mastermind behind Ssion. Raymer writes that the project's latest album, Bent, is a "loving evocation of 80s and 90s club music as well as a tribute to the era's gay club culture—Critcheloe sings about poppers and talk-raps about safe sex over beats equally indebted to the Pet Shop Boys and Deee-Lite."
Opening for Ssion is NYC's House of LaDosha—aka rapper Dosha Devastation and producer Cunty Crawford LaDosha, whose music combines "hilariously profane lyrics, beats influenced by or borrowed from rap radio, and uncut drag-queen fierceness." The song "Eat, Eat" is a rip of the hit "Pop That" by French Montana, Rick Ross, Drake, and Lil Wayne: "On one level it's an interesting study in juxtapositions—here's a six-foot-four gay man dressed as a woman singing about getting her pussy eaten, accompanied by the beat from an anthem to heteronormativity—and on another level it just bangs like a motherfucker."
Founded as a side project in 1999, Lars Finberg's band the Intelligence plays an idiosyncratic brand of postpunk that shifts from "Devo-tinged pogo numbers" to "chill and breezy" tracks, dosed with a whole lot of snark. According to me, Finberg—who also plays drums in Thee Oh Sees—is annoyed at all the things you're doing and all the good times you're having, and he spills his guts about it on the new Everybody's Got It Easy but Me.