This Week in New York Insider's Guide to Arts & Culture in New York City Since 2001

29Oct/15

JOANNA GRUESOME

Joanna Gruesome come to town for a pair of Halloween weekend shows in Brooklyn (photo by Rachel Hodgson)

Joanna Gruesome come to town for a pair of Halloween weekend shows in Brooklyn (photo by Rachel Hodgson)

Who: Joanna Gruesome
What: Pair of Halloween weekend shows
Where: Rough Trade, 64 North Ninth St. between Wythe & Kent Aves., Williamsburg; Shea Stadium, 20 Meadow St. between Bogart & Waterbury Sts., Bushwick
When: Friday, October 30 (Rough Trade), $12, 8:30; Saturday, October 31 (Shea Stadium), $12, 8:30
Why: If Cardiff noise punks Joanna Gruesome look and sound slightly different at two Halloween weekend shows than they do on their sophomore album, the fab ten-track Peanut Butter (Slumberland, May 2015), it isn’t necessarily because they are wearing costumes. This past spring, vocalist Alanna McArdle announced she was leaving the group, which first got together at an anger-management class, for personal reasons. She explained on the band’s Facebook page, “Lately, my mental health problems have become a lot worse and I’ve gone through a pretty shitty time. I’ve realised I need to actually take some time out to focus on some kind of ‘recovery,’ so I won’t be singing in Joanna Gruesome anymore. I hate to sound cheesy but the time I had in jgro was life-changing.” Joining guitarist Owen Williams, bassist Max Warren, guitarist and keyboardist George Nicholls, and drummer David Sandford are vocalists Kate Stonestreet of Pennycress and Roxy Brennan of Two White Cranes. Peanut Butter is slathered in postpunk-pop glory, as screams and shouts, furious guitars and drums give way to sweetly melodic moments at the turn of a dime, as on the propulsive “Last Year,” “Psykick Espionage,” and the aptly titled “I Don’t Wanna Relax.” Joanna Gruesome — yes, their name is a riff on American musician and actress Joanna Newsom — will be playing Rough Trade in Brooklyn on October 30 with Aye Nako and King of Cats, followed on Halloween night with a show at Shea Stadium with Aye Nako and King of Cats again as well as PWR BTTM.

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