If you were frequenting this site late last year, you would have come across a post on Shlomi Lavie, an Israeli-born, Brooklyn-based singer/songwriter and drummer, best known for stints Habiluim, an unlikely Israeli major label act that developed a reputation for pairing dark and subversive lyrics into a heady mix of punk rock, Balkan folk and klezmer music — and it eventually brought him and his bandmates to a Brooklyn recording studio. “I always felt like something was missing,” Lavie explains in press notes, “like there’s a whole world inside my head about to explode. That’s when I started writing my own music.” Lavie’s first post-Habiluim project was something like a manic theater piece with an electro-punk soundtrack rather than a proper band. “I was playing a character — wearing face paint and screaming in a raspy, Tom Waits-y voice,” he recalls. “We had people with gas masks handing onions to the crowd, dancers and a rubber rat. It felt oddly safe.”
After that project’s run, Lavie pursued two entirely different paths — he joined the multi-platinum selling act Marcy Playground in 2008 and started his solo recording project Van Goose. Lavie’s Van Goose full-length debut Habitual Eater is slated for a March 1, 2019 release, and as you may recall, album single “Last Bus” was a twitchy and propulsive bit of post-punk that to my ears reminded me of Freedom of Choice-era DEVO, early DFA Records, as it featured a lean yet throbbing bass line, chintzy drum machine and processed beat and hollowed out synth flashes paired with surrealistic, ridiculous lyrics; it’s dance music for hyperactive and neurotic nerds, who can’t dance yet want to.
Habitual Eater‘s second and latest single “She’s No Pressure” much like its immediate predecessor is a glitchy bit of dance punk centered around propulsive drumming, angular blasts of guitar and fluttering synths paired with lyrics delivered with a distracted deadpan — and yet, the song is centered around a complicated mix of loathing and desire. Sonically, the track reminds me a bit of Talking Heads‘ “Psycho Killer” as its deeply rooted in a similar neuroticism and dark sense of humor. As Lavie explains in press notes about the track, “I read in the newspaper about a woman crashing her own funeral. Her husband hired hit men who ended up showing mercy and didn’t kill her. But they held a funeral anyway, as a setup for the husband. She just showed up and said “surprise! I’m still alive!”. True story. That really intrigued me and made me think of what drives a person to murder their partner.”
Van Goose is playing a set tonight at Gold Sounds. He’ll be hitting the road in March to support the new album and it includes an album release party at The Footlight on March 2, 2019.
01.19.19 Brooklyn, NY @ Gold Sounds
Habitual Eater album release tour –
3/2/19 – The Footlight Ridgewood,NY (album release party)
3/7/19 – Studio Ga Ga Washington D.C
3/8/19 – Slim’s Raleigh, NC
3/9/19 – Monstercade Winston-Salem, NC
3/10/19 – JJ’s Bohemia Chattanooga, TN
3/12/19 – The State Theatre Logansport, IN
3/13/19 – North End Pub Lafayette, IN
3/14/19 – Reggie’s Chicago, IL
3/15/19 – Westside Bowl Youngstown,OH
4/19/19 – Bucchus New Paltz, NY