Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Peace 2008.

With a chance to finally catch my breath, figured I'd let the world know I'm still kickin. Rejoicing the completion of my collegiate career, last Thursday and Friday nights were packed with keyboards, booze, dancing, guitars, and visualistic stimuli at Round Robin.

Eyes Night sported a look into what to expect from some of Bmore's best for next year, with Beach House, Lesser Gonzalez Alvarez, and Jana Hunter all playing some new tunes. Santa Dads were beat boxing bluegrass at its best and Teeth Mountain created sounds that must be the envy of hippy drum cirlces worldwide.

Feet Night was a spastic affair that offered congo lines, spilled drinks, and some of Baltimore's most fun acts. Future Islands exhibited why they are a taste best served live, and were the evening's high point with a bill that boasted Dan Deacon, Deathset, Adventure, and Double Dagger.

Brimming with politcial hope and economic demise, 2008 also featured some pretty incredible music. I can already predict entries for my local top 10 of 2009, with Animal Collective's confusingly named Merriweather Post Pavillion LP being released January 6th and Dan Deacon's Bromst seeing daylight in March.

Look forward to new features on the site next year, including dual air bags, Oregon Trail graphics, and even a hot tub. Also expect exclusive premieres from The Humblebees and Brian Adam Ant's new ensemble.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Tonight: Boris & Growing

Japanese mega trio Boris grace Baltimore with their presence this evening, headlining the Ottobar. The band has evolved over the years from hardcore to stoner rock to the psychedelic drone metal outfit that they are today, still in tact with all of the above elements.

Fresh of a jaunt with NIN, dude's are now touring with Clouds and Growing. The latter, are an impressive and noisey ambient instrumental duo from Brooklyn that have been putting out countless recordings since early 2001.

Easily the must see show of the week.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Top 10 Bmore Albums of 2008

From folk to electro-punk to tribal drum jams, 2008 was another solidly diverse year for local releases. With other mediums bound to be sharing their favorite LPs of the year, thought I would focus on just what Baltimore had to offer.

70% of the list just so happens to be Round Robining at the event pictured to the left. December 18 and 19 at Sonar. Check my list below...

Yukon - Medallion EP

9. Teeth Mountain - Self Titled

8. Arbouretem (split 12" with Pontiak) - Kale

7. The Deathset - Worldwide

6. Adventure - Self Titled

5. Wilderness - (k)no(w)here

Originally an accompaniment score to an art exhbit, this is by far the bands most cohesive release yet. Slow-core moans paired with monstrous drums give way to unexpected quiet moments of pure sonic bliss.

4. Future Islands - Wave Like Home

In addition to one of my favorite album covers of the year, the highly anticipated debut full length delivers on sound as well. All in all, it's poppy new wave punk at its best while still leaving room to improve.

3. Lesser Gonzalez Alvarez - Why is Bear Billowing?

I've already compared Lesser to the likes of Nick Drake and early Devandra Banhart, which in my opinion is some pretty high praise. His debut trickles along with simple sounds that elude to complex ideas. An under-the -radar artist that deserves far more of your attention.

2. Ponytail - Ice Cream Spiritual

Themes of pixie stix and finger painting combine with mind-numbing rock and roll riffs to make the band's second LP something unlike anything else. This is an album that needs to be heard in it entirety, which I'm sure is typically not an issue for most who give it a go.

1. Beach House - Devotion

Beach House are epic. Paving the way for even more spacey dream pop gems that were released this year (Fight Bite, Grouper), the duo seems to be making lives more beautiful all over the world. After another tour heading into 2009, Victoria and Alex have hopes to record the third LP this winter.