Telepathe took the stage at Tonic last night costumed in puffy jackets straight out of Missy Elliott’s video for “The Rain.” As the four female vocalists incessantly shouted “Turn it up!” while the guitarist blasted distorted, bass-heavy beats from a laptop, the likeness to the famous MC rang truer. A Brooklyn band rooted in the shifting noise landscapes of peers like Gang Gang Dance and Excepter, Telepathe bring producers like Timbaland, Diplo, and Spank Rock into the equation. Sound problems and a reticent crowd restrained the performance, but the originality of Telepathe’s music was unmistakable.
Earlier in Tonic’s Social Registry showcase, Artanker Convoy played a heavily psychedelic, dub-inflected set. The Brooklyn six-piece channeled Can and Spacemen 3 with their dense sound, and differentiated themselves from like-minded contemporaries with the prominent use of hand drums and a saxophone. The set was accompanied by visuals of the band members refracted through effects that accompanied the music, making the performance all the trippier.
Over at the Bowery Ballroom, Montreal group Priestess played a set well-timed for the impending release of Guitar Hero II. Lead singer Mikey Heppner greeted the crowd by asking, “Can you hear the voltage? The watts?” and ripped into the first of their AC/DC-worshipping songs. The licks were tight, the soloing virtuosic, and the hair straight out of the ’80s, so if your PS2 isn’t delivering the hard rock goods with the latest Guitar Hero, there’s always Priestess. KAREEM ESTEFAN / PHOTOS BY ANDREW HINDERAKER