Friday, October 29, 2010

Tonight: Halloween @ The G Spot

Halloween @ G Spot 10/29/10
Tonight is the Friends Records Halloween show at The G Spot in Baltimore. Performing will be Celebration, Sri Aurobindo, Microkingdom, and Dustin Wong. Tickets are here.


8:30 - 9:00 DUSTIN WONG

9:10 - 9:45 MICROKINGDOM

9:55 - 10:40 SRI AUROBINDO

10:50 - 12:00 CELEBRATION

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Photos: Soft Fest (Saturday and Sunday)

Avocado Happy Hour
This past Saturday and Sunday, those who heard through friends and chatter were able to attend one of the city's more intimate events, Soft Fest. This was the space's second annual Soft Fest, and it had a very similar feel and vibe to last years event.

There was a long list of artists participating, but highlights included sets from Zomes, Dustin Wong, Lands & Peoples, Run DMT + Tonnstartsbandht, video premieres by Mark Brown (for Ami Dang and Teengirl Fantasy), Avocado Happy Hour, Gem Vision, Lexie Mountain Boys, Ecstatic Sunshine, Bird Names, Eachothers, and a whole lot more.

Take a gander at an offering of fine photos from Soft Fest by Valerie below.


The Creepers

Dustin Wong

Romantic States

Holy Ghost Party presents The Sounds of Weather

Ecstatic Sunshine

MC Schmidt and Max Eilbacher

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Microkingdom - "Peppermint Crab" / Microkingdom's Pro Hour

Microkingdom play this Friday night at the G Spot in Baltimore for our Hallowen show along with Celebration, Sri Aurobindo, and Dustin Wong. Tickets can be found here.

If you've heard the phrases "no jazz" or "spazz jazz" or even the readily tossed around "avant jazz" somewhere in Baltimore over the past three years, chances are you've heard of Microkingdom. If not, say hello to Dr. Will Redman and Marc Miller of Oxes fame.

Above is "Peppermint Crab" which is off their forthcoming LP, Three Compositions of No Jazz. The record was recently mastered by the legendary Bob Weston, and has been three years in the making since the outfit's inception. "Peppermint Crab" is the first track on album, and only a taste of what the rest of the record will emanate to your head-space. This track serves as a warning, or a way to cleanse your brain before what comes next.


Microkingdom's first album was a 12 inch record under the moniker, Microkingdom's Pro Hour. The record was self-released back in 2008, and contained two tracks dubbed "Wrenches: My Heart" and "Double Abacus". The record is now available digitally below, while only a handful of copies remain on mint green wax to be had right here.

When this record hit my turntable a few years ago, the only words that came out of mouth were probably "WOAH" or "what the fuck" or "hot damn". Other individuals had more intelligent thoughts to share about this spellbinding debut...
"A hyperactively burrowing noise excavation..." - The Wire 
"Schizophrenia defines both the unit and the individual." - Pitchfork 
"...focus you don’t often come by anymore in this realm." - Dusted
Microkingdom will debut this Friday night as five-piece. Prepare yourselves, folks.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Live MP3s: Dustin Wong @ Metro Gallery

Dustin Wong plays this Friday night at the G Spot in Baltimore for our Hallowen show along with Celebration, Sri Aurobindo, and Microkingdom. Tickets can be found here.

With much thanks to David Carter, I'm pleased to offer a recording of Dustin Wong's performance this past Saturday at the Metro Gallery as part of the Iraqui Student Project's benefit show. This was the first of two shows Dustin played that night, and provides excellent documentation of just how magical his performances can be. Stream the set in full below (available to stream for a limited time).

While I can't say I witnessed this set, I saw him close out Soft Fest later that evening. More on that amazing event to come, as we'll be featuring some coverage in the near future. The recording of his Metro Gallery set earlier that night finds Dustin in top notch form, blasting through a jam rich in familiar sounds from Infinite Love. It's been amazing to watch his live show grow and transform over the past year, transcending the mind-melting melodies and aura of past projects like Ecstatic Sunshine and Ponytail. One can only expect more great things to come from this guitar mastermind.


Monday, October 25, 2010

Wigflip End of Summer Comp 2010

Our neighboring sound-seekers over at Wigflip Records continue their aural onslaught of gorgeous tunes with a fresh compilation to help commemorate the end of summer. In addition to some new jams from some local and familiar favorites, this compilation features some stellar new tunes from afar.

This is my first run-in with My Friend Wallis, which is the project of Crystal Dorval who resides in Vancouver, Canada. Above is "Be Free", a steady romp through the clouds that is chock full of ethereal pop bliss. Highly recommended for the Indian summer days of October, and another stellar addition to the Wigflip family.

Another radical new find is the work of Acid Flashback. A somewhat mysterious entity based out of both Atlanta and Toronto, their contribution to the compilation is certainly a highlight. "Big Dreams" recalls the head-bobbing 60s pop nostalgia found in Run DMT's "Spruce Bringsteen" (also on this comp), adding layers of even more dreamy vibes.

These new find are paired with some gems from some of our favorites including Dead Drums, Happy Family, Semya, Do While, Gem Vision, and more. Download the entire compilation for free right here, and check out the full track list after the jump.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Shows: INEVERYROOM, Small Black, Romantic States, more

This weekend there's a few solid options for musical endeavors to partake in here in Baltimore. Tonight you can head to the Golden West to hop on board the chill wave of Small Black, who just put out a full length on Jagjaguwar. Backing him will be Class Actress and the always awesome Talk To Animals.

Tomorrow night you've got more options starting with an excellent benefit at the Metro Gallery put on by Iraqi Student Project Baltimore. Headlining will be our friends INEVERYROOM, and also playing will be Romantic States, Dustin Wong, and Yeveto. Go support a good cause with some equally excellent tunes.

Also Saturday night, our favorite party rappers and our favorite punk rockers Rapdragons and Sick Weapons will be playing for the masses at Rams Head Live. They'll be opening for the pop-punk breakouts Matt & Kim.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Future Islands: "Tin Man" / "In Evening Air" Jason Urick Remix

Future Islands
Our friends Future Islands are about to finish up a massive European tour, and will turn right back around and embark on another tour here in the states throughout November.

Label mate and current Baltimore resident Jason Urick recently took a stab at remixing a couple of the tracks off of their latest LP, In Evening Air. Above is Urick's rendition of "Tin Man", a journey of sound that clocks in at over ten minutes long. The emotional synth pop track is turned into an ambient dance floor jam, complete with a killer beat and washes of noise. The original is hardly distinguishable, but its force is felt.

Thrill Jockey also passed along Jason Urick's reinterpretation of "In Evening Air", the LPs title track that sets the tone for the B-side of the disc. A similar approach is taken, but this one will send your mind much higher into the clouds. A careful dreamer, this one is best served late at night or when piloting an interplanetary space vessel.

Take a look at the rest of the Future Islands tour dates after the jump.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Tonight: Doug McCombs (Tortoise) & David Danielle,
Eachothers, and Jared Paolini at the Golden West

flyer by Chris Day

Tonight the Golden West sports a solid bill too with Tortoise's Doug McCombs and David Danielle. Opening the show will be the always excellent Eachothers and Jared Paolini. Take a listen above to a taste from Eachothers' Elopement which came out last year.

Tonight: Lower Dens, Woven Bones, & more

I mentioned this last week, but tonight the Ottobar hosts Lower Dens' last Baltimore show of 2010 along with Woven Bones, Frankie Rose and the Outs, and Junkers.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Thank You - Golden Worry

The good folks at Thrill Jockey recently passed along the forthcoming LP from the local trio Thank You. The new record is called Golden Worry, and is due out on January 25.

Above is "Pathetic Magic", which you'll find on the new LP, but was also on a sold out 12 inch that was released last year. "Pathetic Magic" leans towards the new direction of Golden Worry, but carries more of the same spontaneous rhythms and hypersonic melodies we're used to from Thank You. While the familiar characteristics we've come to know and love remain, the new record gains further advancement into more traditional song structures - creating what seems to the band's first rock record. 

Golden Worry could be the band's pinnacle, successfully capturing the unassuming journeys of melody and fusion of industrial-tribal rhythms into a package accessible outside of their live performance. Vocals are now far more prominent, and are precisely interlaced to create and add new depths for the band.

The new LP was recorded by Chris Coady at DNA in New York and mixed by Chris Moore here in Baltimore. It is also the first full length with their new drummer Emmanuel Nicolaidis. In addition to the arrangement you may have witnessed for their live performance, the new records boasts sounds from ‘60s Vox organs, harmonica, mini-moog, jaw harp, sampler, and Fender Twin Reverb amps.

Check back for new sights and sounds from Thank You, Golden Worry drops January 25.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Giveaway: Puerto Rico Flowers @ Talking Head

This is on Saturday, and it is going to be awesome. The winner of our contest is ZACH HOLMES, whose response was "I live in a van, DOWN BY THE RIVER".

On Saturday, October 16, John Sharkey III will perform as Puerto Rico Flowers here in Baltimore. The show will take place at the Talking Head, and is the only North American performance by the ex-Clockcleaner vocalist's new project to be played in 2010.

The current Australian resident relinquished his first EP under the new moniker early this year on Fan Death, which featured the unfuckwithable doom pop ballad "Let's Make Friends". Puerto Rico Flowers also dropped  a new 7" single this summer that was backed with a gloriously tragic Neil Young cover. Fan Death recently let us know that a brand new full length called 7 will be released early next year.

I've got a pair of tickets to give away to this show. Send an email on over to with your favorite Neil Young song, and we'll pick a winner a few days before the show. The evening also sports killer support from Pfisters and Screen Vinyl Image, both of which also have recordings with Baltimore's Fan Death.

Sunday Brunch: Truman Peyote, Scottie B,
Rapdragons, Winks, Shock Diamond, & more

This Sunday at The Annex, John of Environmental Aesthetics is throwing a show called Sunday Brunch. Taking place in 3E and 4W, 17 acts are slated to play from 2 PM 'til late.

With a wide variety sounds that are either based in the area or passing through Baltimore on their way up to CMJ, folks will have a plethora of vibes to take in with their eggs benedict and huevos rancheros. Be prepared for rock, warped R&B, psyched out electronics, Baltimore club, scuzzy post-folk, party rap, and plenty more.


Performing will be Winks, Truman Peyote, Shock Diamond, Talk to Animals, Brendan Sullivan, True Womanhood, Ava Luna, Stillborn Identity, Bug Eyes, Ced Hughes, Gabe Niles, Artyy Ziff, Cop Magnet, Rapdragons, and 2n3904. Special guests include DJ sets from the legendary Scottie B and the Deep In The Game dudes.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Total Slacker - "Stuck in 93"

Brooklyn's Total Slacker make their way down to Baltimore on Friday, and play with Weekends, Beyond Say, and Sabertooth Cavity at The Annex tomorrow evening.

The trio has released a 7 inch single with Impose Records, and a split cassette release on Breakfast of Champs with Weekends. The BOC tape featured a generous offering of Weekends live recordings, in addition to a handful of Total Slacker jams on the B-side.

"Stuck in 93" is short, sweet, and gets right the core of these folks. Sun-washed guitar squalls and simple floating melodies are at the forefront, while reverberated vocals are offered with reckless abandon. Not to say that there's no rhyme or reason to these sounds, as this band has developed a knack for lo-fi guitar fuzz with just the right amount of effort. These dudes are loafers to the fullest, and we approve.

Grab that tape here, and come out tomorrow night for a good time.

Tonight: Ned Oldham, Dark Dark Dark,
Television Hill, Doug Paisley at Windup Space

Tonight the Windup Space hosts Television Hill, Ned Oldham, Dark Dark Dark, and Doug Paisley. Ned Oldham recently passed along his take on tonight's affair:

"A good reunion of old friends, and a new meeting.  Ned brings the new 7" and welcomes a little help from old friends Dave Heumann, Walker Teret, and (drum roll, per favore) Anomoanon drummer Jack Carneal.  Also, Ned lends some help to Television Hill--it's happened before and it's going to happen again.  Windup Space, in the station north neighborhood of Baltimore, also welcomes Doug Paisley, who is touring in support of his fine new album, Constant Companion, release date October 12th on No Quarter Records, for which label Ned and Old Calf are in the studio October 11+, tracking their debut album, Borrow a Horse... it's a tangled web.  The show is on Thursday, October 14.  First set is Ned's; then Doug; then Television Hill.  Please come!"

The show starts at 8:30 PM, also features Dark Dark Dark, and costs eight dollars.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Upcoming Shows @ The Ottobar:
Lower Dens, Wye Oak, Future Islands, more

Lower Dens
The Ottobar has a trio of shows in October/November that each feature a different local headliner, and all of which have put out some of our favorite releases thus far this year.

Starting with next week, Lower Dens headlines the Ottobar on October 19 in what will be their last Baltimore show of 2010. They play with the much-hyped garage pop of Frankie Rose and the Outs and Woven Bones, and locals Junkers will be opening. Lower Dens just finished up a massive North American tour, complete with visits to NPR's Tiny Desk and Daytrotter, both of which are worth checking out.

On Friday, November 5th, Wye Oak headlines the venue. This one is supported by two other local bands that have always come recommended by us - Height with Friends and The Art Department. The local indie hip hop mainstay Height and the quirky and angsty poppers of the Art Department have both dropped excellent full lengths on vinyl this year.

And lastly, Future Islands will headline the Ottobar on Saturday, November 20th. This is the seven inch release party for a split they are putting out with Lonnie Walker, which contains the forthcoming Future Islands single "The Ink Well". The limited split is pressed to peach-colored vinyl and comes via Friends Records. Nov. 20 will be the last stop on a 17-date November tour that both bands are a part of. Opening the Baltimore release party will be Winks, a project that has a new full length coming soon.

Future Islands are currently finishing up in Europe, where they ran into Dan Deacon...

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Daytime - Life / Afterlife

Daytime is the solo endeavor of Neal Reinalda, a resident of Open Space and also a member of the band Stoned. I first mentioned his work late last year when I came across his fantastic Mirrored World disc, and a piece of his work called "Lights" was also included in the Friends and Friends of Friends comp this year.

About a month ago Neal passed along a new piece, a 30 minute ambient journey called Life / Afterlife. Above is a four minute sample, a moment that highlights the positive nature of the new work. Taken out of the first half of the album, one can assume the beginning of this represents life, as a cosmic swirl of colorful noise takes your mind to the clouds. Once you've reached the clouds, reflection seems to take the forefront.

A lot of this disc is the kind of ambient feeling where in which you can actually feel and sense your surroundings. Even if your surroundings are an everlasting field of grass or clouds in the sky, there's always some sense of feeling grounded.

Perfect for contemplation, Life / Afterlife is ideal for late night listens and long car ride zone-outs. There appears to be some sort of voice in the end, though it is coated in a heavy layer of electronic muck. This could be someone welcoming you to your afterlife, but maybe it's your own voice of reason. However you interpret it, it's a careful and delicate end to a seemingly meaningful journey.

Life / Afterlife will be a limited-run CDR that features art by Megan Plunkett.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Raindeer Needs a Guitarist

Raindeer is the project of a friend/neighbor in Hampden named Charlie who makes disco psych pop that is weird and reminisces faded memories that you either experienced or have watched/read about. The band needs a guitarist soon for some future shows.

Raindeer released their first album to the interwebs for free a few months back, and many welcomed the sounds of the EP. A NYC-based blog/label called the Great Pumpkin is releasing a new album by Raindeer in the coming months, and has lined up some enticing gigs up North for the band to play. Things are brewing around here, too.

If you play guitar, like the way this album sounds, and want to play some shows - please get in touch with to set something up with Charlie. Serious inquiries only, please and thank you. Full EP is available below.

<a href="">Raindeer EP by Raindeer</a>

Arthur Radio: Ami Dang

I recently stumbled across an Arthur Radio Transmission that featured Ami Dang, an individual that might already be your favorite sitar player in Baltimore.

Ami plays sitar, sings, and also has a knack for electronics. The result is a pulsating brew of psychedelics, bollywood vibes, and dance pop that is never predictable. The podcast features a 50 minute live set, the only way in which we've had the pleasure of consuming Dang's experimental bliss as of yet. Ami Dang does have a handful of recorded tracks over on her mypace page, one of which, "Milani", is played during this performance.

More recordings are soon on the way, as Dang is set to release a full length this year on Ehse Records. Look for more news on that release, as it's currently deep in progress. The podcast on Arthur also features a DJ set by Dang, who spins some other Baltimore natives including White Life, Cex, and Polygons.

You can download/stream the full podcast right here compliments of Arthur Magazine.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Clusterfuck: Deep in the Game, Scout Niblett,
Talk to Animals, Small Sur, DMFS, Weekends, Winks

There are things to do in Baltimore this weekend. Tonight after you pick from some shows in Station North, you can go dance it off at the Hippo for Deep in The Game, which features a live CEX set. Above is the promo video that SCHWARZ passed along.

Before all that, the Metro's Gallery's got a great one with Scout Niblett coming through town and joined by Small Sur and Holy Sons. Scout Niblett ruled at the GW earlier this year, and we've learned that there aren't many Small Sur sets that don't sound beautiful.

Up the street you'll find a record release show / beer tasting at the Windup Space that features the Dirty Marmaduke Flute Squad. I've seen these guys a few times over the years, and having a beer tasting be their release party for a new record makes perfect sense. 10 dollars gets you in and a free copy of their new album called Boneslinky. Watch DMFS get kicked off of a ridiculous Fox television show here. "It hurts, doesn't it?"

On Saturday night, if I wasn't heading up to NYC to see Celebration play with Andrew Cedermark, Woodsman, and Updied Sound at Glasslands, I'd be at MICA's BBox Theatre around 8 PM for Weekends, Winks, and Talk To Animals. Free for MICA kids, five dollars to the public. Also Saturday, get your ears blasted once more by Ruiner, who play their last ever show at Sonar. This one is ten dollars, doors are at 7 PM, and the incredibly rad Death of Superman show poster by Nolen Strals is below.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Video: Avey Tare - "Lucky 1"

This week Paw Tracks dropped the first taste from Avey Tare's new solo album, and today we see the video for the Animal Collective member's song, "Lucky 1".

Abby Portner's visual interpretation capitalizes on the swamp-themed album, adding psychedelics fit for any late-night wetland experimentation.  The former Maryland resident's new album has been boasted to feature murky underwater sounds, and was recorded by Josh Dibb AKA Deakin. Alligators are also pointed out to have played a major role in the new record, one of David Portner's favorite animals.

Avery Tare's Down There hits shelves October 26 via Paw Tracks.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Tonight: Arbouretum, Pilgrim, Caltrop

Tonight the Metro Gallery hosts our favorite purveyors of guitar-driven doom folk, Arbouretum. They'll be supported by Baltimore's Pilgrim and North Carolina's Caltrop.

Arbouretum just finished recording their new full length, the follow up to Song Of The Pearl. The new record was recorded at Vacation Island in Brooklyn, and features the lineup of Dave Heumann, Corey Allender, Matthew Pierce, and Buck Carey. A new dimension of sound was added, with Matthew Pierce's keyboard coming into play throughout the recording process, which allowed room for more exploration of melody.

Thrill Jockey promises the new LP to blow some minds, and says to expect some new sounds to be heard soon. The show tonight starts at 8 PM, and costs eight dollars.

Rye Rye - "Sunshine" ft. M.I.A.

Baltimore's 19 year old Rye Rye was the first to get signed to M.I.A.'s imprint on Interscope, and her debut album Go! Pop! Bang! will finally hit streets early next year.

"Sunshine" is the second song offered off of the forthcoming record, and features vocals from M.I.A. The new track is a change-up from the dance numbers usually heard from Rye Rye, but her publicist writes of remixes in the works, so expect other versions that pack more of a fist. A video for the single is also promised.

The more chilled-out vibe comes complete with stellar production, helping achieve a silky smooth zone fit for a roller rink. In addition to Rye Rye's signature verbal onslaught, the young MC exudes a hearty helping of assurance and swagger. "Sunshine" is a well crafted chunk of pop complete with school girl drama, hand claps, and a mega-catchy bass line.

Go! Pop! Bang! will be released via N.E.E.T. sometime in early 2011.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Celebration - "Great Pyramid"

The ongoing Electric Tarot project from Celebration continues forward today, with a brand new card dealt. The new card comes in the form of the song, "Great Pyramid".

This is the first of a new batch of tracks that were recorded and produced a bit differently than the first four, with the help of neighbor Steve Wright from WrightWay Studios here in Remington. This will be the last track on the A-side of the Hello Paradise vinyl LP, which is now available for pre-order right here from Friends Records.

Celebration's next Baltimore show is the Friends Records Halloween show at The G Spot October 29 with Dustin Wong, Microkingdom, and Sri Aurobindo. Celebration also play in New York this Saturday, October 9th with Andrew Cedermark, Woodsman, and Updied Sound at Glasslands in Brooklyn.

Celebration at Glasslands 10/9

Tonight: Ruiner, Double Dagger, The Spark,
Never Enough, Sacred Love @ Charm City Art Space

poster by Nolen Strals

Tonight is Ruiner's second to last show ever, and it will take place at the venue where they had their first show ever, the Charm City Art Space. Opening the event will be Double Dagger, The Spark, Never Enough, and Sacred Love. The Spark and Never Enough played Ruiner's first ever gig at CCAS, and will both be reuniting just for tonight's show.

The show tonight starts at 7 PM, and Ruiner's last show is Saturday the 9th at Sonar.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Photos: Dan Deacon, Wolf Eyes, Get Em Mamis,
DJ Dog Dick and Sewn Leather @ Rams Head Live

This show was weird from the moment it was announced, as Baltimore's warehouse party icon was set to play the corporate-feel confines of Rams Head Live. That's not meant to be a blow at either, as mad props go out to giving this idea a whirl... and even more props for letting DJ Dog Dick and Sewn Leather take the stage.

DJ Dogdick
These dudes were undoubtedly the highlight of the evening, blasting the zone with a heavy dose of jaded noise-hop sludge that was louder than ever before. A half full venue stood dumbfounded - seemingly unsure of how to react to this undeniably entertaining tandem. Is there a proper way to dance to DJ Dog Dick? The world may never know, but certainly a question that's worth investigating further sometime.

Get 'Em Mamis
Sound and noise was the theme of the evening, with some hip hop thrown in for good measure. The Rams Head sound system pierced noggins in ways that probably should have made ear plugs mandatory. Wolf Eyes and Dan Deacon took full advantage of this, with the latter displaying a handful of fresh new tracks with some serious promise.

Get the full set of photos by Valerie from this interesting affair after the jump.