Friday, December 31, 2010

Shows: Lucky Dragons, Lichens, Mickey Free,
INEVERYROOM, Teenage Souls, Beyond Say, NARC

Happy year's end, folks. Hope its been a good one. We are pretty stoked for 2011.

Heading into the new year tonight, the Annex sports Beyond Say, Omoo Omoo, The Sneaks, INEVERYROOM, Teenage Souls, Whoar Frost, Mr.Moccasin, NARC, The Flying Eyes, and Future Peoples for NYE. It is BYOB and costs $8. Downtown at Rams Head you'll find our friend Mickey Free lighting up the stage with J Roddy Walston and the Business.

LICHENS @ North End Studio // Burlington VT 08/13/09 [via]

The kind folks at the Soft House passed along the flyer (above) for a an evening they are hosting this Sunday night. Lucky Dragons will be in town, and they'll be joined by the equally incredible Lichens. Also performing will be The Urxed (Rob from High Places) and Sft Stps, with John Jones (Each Others) DJing the affair.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Tonight: Sick Weapons, Witch Hat, Beyond Say

Sick Weapons at the Zodiac
Tonight marks the last show by Sick Weapons, a band that's been blasting ears and spilling drinks for the past couple years here in town that will surely be missed.

Even though tonight at the Golden West is their last show, there's still talk of their debut album being released at some point on Reptilian Records. The track above is a taste, and was shared with us earlier this year when I had the chance to interview Ellie Beziat.

They'll be joined by the stellar support of Witch Hat and Beyond Say. Starts at 10 PM.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Favorite Baltimore Show Photos of 2010

  Ponytail's last set at Whartscape [more]

Bmore Musically Informed is incredibly lucky to have a couple of dedicated and passionate photographers on board that are just as into the music as they are to getting the shots that capture it visually. The always amazing Valerie Paulsgrove offered up the majority of photos shared this year, but radical contributions from Chrissy Abbott and Adam Lempel (Weekends) were also posted throughout 2010.

This is an attempt to summarize all the amazing shows that we covered here in Baltimore this year, with a million thanks to all the artists and photographers involved.

Take a look at all of our favorite moments of 2010 after the jump.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Show: Celebration, Future Islands, Arbouretum
Hello Paradise Album Release at the 2640 Space

original painting by Katrina Ford


Celebration have been working on the follow up to 2007's The Modern Tribe for three years here in Baltimore, an LP that is to be the first installment in their Electric Tarot.

The first set of nine songs is called Hello Paradise, and it will be released on vinyl via Friends Records in January of 2011. The band will celebrate their new record release at the 2640 Space in Baltimore on Saturday March 5 at 8 PM. Celebration's psychedelic soul enforcers will be joined the post-wave synth cries of Future Islands and the storytelling doom-folk of Arbouretum. Three of Baltimore's best on a massive PA at the Church.

Tickets for $10 are available online right here, and will be made available at Red Emmas in Mt. Vernon on Monday, January 3. More details on this and Hello Paradise to come...

Wham City's Baltimas!!!!!!

For the past few years Wham City has gotten in on the holiday spirit with a compilation called Baltimas!!!!!!. Six exclamation points marks this the sixth year of Baltimas.

In addition to the auto-tuned wonder that is Dan Deacon and Ed Schrader's "Electronica Hanukkah", the duo also contributes a ditty about our modern wold, "Santa's Going Digital". The free compilation features a wide range of sounds contributed from a plethora of artists - 38 spirited tracks up for free download. Get it over at Wham City.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

BALTIMORE 2010 - A Bmore Musically Informed Mixtape

I had planned to do a local best songs list for 2010, but thought of something a lot more fun. Here is collection of songs stemming from Baltimore in no particular ranking order.

It's called Baltimore 2010, and you can download the full mix below. The track list features a few premieres, including Celebration's newest Electric Tarot dealing - "Junky".

I'd like to give many thanks to all the amazing artists and musicians in our town that make something like this so easy and enjoyable to put together. The following tracks are what I think give a fair scope of what was going on in Baltimore in the year of 2010.

The download link to a zipped file of the full mixtape for free is below, and peep the full track list with some thoughts and song streams after that. Please support the artists.

DOWNLOAD (95.46 MB): BALTIMORE 2010 - A Bmore Musically Informed Mixtape

1. Happy Family - "Youtube"
I've watched Will Pesta's label and solo moniker evolve for a few years, and "Youtube" is his best work to date. His debut full length can't come soon enough.

2. The Art Department - "Get On"
A song off their debut LP that's full of the quirkiest and most endearing ADD-pop around.

3. Lower Dens - "A Dog's Dick"
My favorite bass line of the year, or... maybe second to W. Cashions' on "The Ink Well".

4. Celebration - "Junky" (world premiere)

This is the premiere of the seventh card to be dealt in their Electric Tarot project. "Junky" will appear on their forthcoming LP Hello Paradise, out in January 2011.

5. Weekends - "Team Wolf"
Just like Celebration's new LP, this comes from an album in which I was close to the most of the process, including sitting in on the mixing by Rob Girardi back in January.

6. Dustin Wong - "For Daniel"
Dustin was notably one the year's best highlights in local music, churning out a healthy portion of amazing sounds - on tape and in person. This is from his tape via WTR CLR.

7. Beach House - "I Do Not Care For The Winter Sun"

A recently relinquished new song from their practice space made of dreams and snow.

8. Lands and Peoples - "Restless Legs"
Off of a way-too-limited  but radical split cassette released early summer for a tour.

9. Run DMT - "Romona"
Some of Mike's earlier sound collages. Patiently awaiting his Woodsist debut...

10. Winks - "Weed Makes Sex Weird"  (no folk version)
Premiere of this new take on the original, dubbed at No Folk in the Annex this summer.

11. Dope Body - "Enemy Outta Me"
I think Citypaper named these dudes best new band, and yes they deserved it. Most brutal live show all year long, and this track is off their forthcoming full length.

12. Wye Oak - "Civilian"
Recently dropped single from the forthcoming Civilian LP out on Merge in 2011.

13. Sri Aurobindo - "Towards The Sun"
Dominant psychedelic tribe of aura-bending rock wizards that rolled on this year with their first sounds pressed to wax (black and green translucent vinyl) - Cave Painting.

14. Teenage Souls - "Ice Flow"
One of the more undefinable pieces I've encountered, this inter-planetary trip into crazy percussion-filled zones with drowning sonics came out on his cassette via WTR CLR.

15. Height With Friends - "Cold Crush"
Another one close to my heart, one of the many killer Height tracks off Bed Of Seeds.

16. Future Islands - "In The Fall" ft. Katrina Ford

Two of Baltimore's best vocalists/bands together on a beaut, and the title track from Future Islands' debut 12" EP out on Thrill Jockey. Recorded during the 2010 blizzard.

17. Ami Dang - "Manali"
Sent over later this year, Ami's new LP on Ehse is a swirl of rhythmically psyched-out Bollywood dance loops transcending far off lands with our fair city.

18. Secret Mountains - "Rest Easy"
Off the Rejoice EP from this six-piece, further cementing their knack for lush folk pop.

19. Lexx - "Alley Oop"
A Wigflip Records beat-smith who also produces the sounds of Semya. Alex makes beats with potential to blow the roof off any Muppet party or Ninja Turtle throw down

20. Double Dagger - "Pillow Talk"
While 2009's More was my favorite Double Dagger record, their 2010 EP sported some the bands best singles to date. "Pillow Talk" is one of them.

21. Holy Ghost Party - "Shit House Luck"
A project thats sound changed early this year, this is off their first EP (via WTR CLR) which went in the new direction of jaded prog-infused pop songs.

22. Mickey Free - "Shock"
Mickey is amidst the forefront of a burgeoning indie rap scene in town that remains sporadically-known elsewhere. Second cut from his stellar new LP.

23. DJ Dog Dick - "New Swing Music"
This came via his 2010 EP called Grease That I Got. Max has a new LP works, and if this and his live show are any indication, prepare your ears.

One of our favorite singles of the summer, this track came via a split tape for tour, and eventually appeared on their debut cassette which was released at Whartscape.

25. Raindeer - "Juanita"
An instant blogosphere obsession, once this EP got out, folks the world over became enthralled with Charlie Hughes' psychedelic disco pop laced with just about everything.

26. Dead Drums - "Literarlly Illiterate"
Caleb of Lands and Peoples' solo project, this was the first track on his debut EP dubbed Fashion Defense - a lightly ambient collage of sounds and melodies.

DOWNLOAD (95.46 MB): BALTIMORE 2010 - A Bmore Musically Informed Mixtape

Monday, December 20, 2010

Giveaway: Spank Rock, Death Set, Dope Body

The BBC's annual Christmas party goes down at Sonar this Thursday night, and this year sports live performances by Spank Rock, The Death Set, Devlin and Darko, Popo, and Dope Body... plus an entire arsenal of DJs including Scottie B, Dances With White Girls, Jubilee, Hoff, Prince Klassen, Them O's, Cullen Stalin, and Adam Gonzo.

Sonar gave us two spots on the list to give away, who wants 'em? Tell us why in an email to with "SPANK DEATH BODY" as the subject.

Winks - She's Done

At the beginning of the year, Adam from Weekends sent me a recording by Chase O'Hara under his new moniker Winks. Chase had just lost his job, and told me that making music seemed like a healthy activity as to just getting drunk all the time. That album ended up being one of the firsts in the Friends Records cassette catalog, and was originally recorded on an old karaoke player using pawn shop tapes.

The follow up is called She's Done, and was recorded this past summer by Ben Bass at his Annex studio in Baltimore. It includes nine new songs written and recoded by Chase, with Adam on synth bass. All of the new recordings were done straight to tape, amidst the hot sun and thick summer aura thats emits from the Annex in August. The result was a generous offering of new goth wave ballads and seedy pop gems now ready for your ears.

Take a first listen to "Animal" and "Slap Me Choke Me Cum on You" above, and download/stream the album in full right here and after the jump. The first run on tapes is limited to 150, and ships in January 2011. Tape art also available after the click.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Shows: Reading Rainbow, Weekends, Coasting,
and DJ Dog Dick, Tooth Ache, Ken Seeno, Toby Aronson

There's two shows this weekend that are more than worth noting, starting tonight with Reading Rainbow and Coasting coming to town and joined by Weekends and Junkers. This one starts around 10 PM at the Annex and will probably cost you $5. Peep the new Weekends video for "Totem" that debuted earlier this week below.

On Saturday night, the Golden West has a great one with the drowning psych-hop scuzz of DJ Dog Dick joined by Ponytail's Ken Seeno along with Vermont's Tooth Ache and Toby Aronson. Ken Seeno's been hard at work at his new solo record, and I look forward to sharing some of his sounds as the project evolves in the near future. This show will also run you five dollars and gets started around 10 PM.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Arbouretum - "Destroying To Save"

Baltimore's finest purveyors of dark and grandiose folk rock, Arbouretum, are set to drop a new album this February on Thrill Jockey called The Gathering. The first taste is below.

"Destroying to Save" is to be the third track on the forthcoming LP. The song is a doom-filled romp through lost battlefields and forgotten conquests. It's a perfect example of how this band is able to enforce heavy gloom while at the same time fanning a swift breeze of melody and entrancement. In fact, The Gathering looks to be one of the most melodic works to date by Arbouretum, likely due to new help on keys by Matthew Pierce.

Thrill Jockey writes that The Gathering is inspired by The Red Book written by Carl Jung, and points out Jung’s "pursuit of the inner images that led to the book’s writing." Dave Heumann depicts journeys that were once lost but now grasping for direction, while his arsenal of sound-smiths inflict a force of aural redemption that can be felt miles away.

The Gathering is to be released via Thrill Jockey Records on February 15, 2011.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Avocado Happy Hour - "Daytime Television"

This week my real life mailbox was graced with a fantastic slice of analog joy, the new cassette from Avocado Happy Hour. Take a first listen to "Daytime Television" below.

"Daytime Television" is the opening track on the new full length, which is quite aptly titled Easy Listening. I look forward to getting more acquainted with this 35 minute release, but couldn't wait much longer to share the opening track. Amanda Schmidt and Rod Hamilton have crafted an entrancing swirl of synths, vibes, and vocals that cast light on the darkest of places using radiant sonics. Percussion is kept to a minimum and is often non-existent, while melodies are left to keep a pleasant pace.

Upon the first few listens, it's become clear that Avocado Happy Hour's stellar live show has translated to amazing things in the studio. The album was recorded by Rob Girardi, an individual responsible for some of our favorite local records of this decade. Look for more gushing and info on this purple cassette in the coming weeks.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Video: Weekends - "Totem"

Today our internet buds over at Altered Zones (via GOTC) premiered a brand new video for Weekends' "Totem", which is off of their forthcoming Strange Cultures LP.

The video comes compliments of the always radical Alice Cohen, whose collage animation brings to life the beast heard within this noisy duo. In addition to the release of this new short, Friends Records is now offering the digital version of the Strange Cultures record.

The 12" wax with custom screen-printed sleeves ships in early 2011 (pushed back due to production delays), but the digital version is out today right here. Stream it in full below.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Photos: Future Islands, Lonnie Walker, Winks @ Ottobar

Future Islands
Looks like these got lost in the Thanksgiving gravy, but here they are now, Valerie's shots from Future Islands and Lonnie Walker's split 7" release show in Baltimore.

This happened November 19 at the Ottobar, and will be Future Islands last Baltimore show until 2011. The recently dropped peach-colored vinyl features the single above.


Future Islands
Take a look at Valerie's full set from the packed affair after the jump.

Archer Twins Cassette

The Archer Twins are William Cashion (Future Islands) and Stewart Mostofsky of Ehse Records acclaim. Their debut tape was dubbed recently, and just made available online. It's also of questionable importance to note that they both share the same birthday.

The cassette appears to be a trip inside the minds of two scientists in total disregard for any sort of logic or reason. They toy with a vague idea of beats, frequencies, and other aural stimuli, as if only to do so because the idea exists exclusively in an intergalactic realm. Wherever it derives from, the result is optimal for zoning out in grand fashion.

While Stewart uses "homemade, boutique instruments that make all kinds of strange sounds", William "uses his computer to make drum loops and field recordings". The result is almost a half hour of music that never allows you to know your surroundings.

This tape is limited to 50 copies and is available digitally for free right here. It is the first release in a new cassette series from Ehse Records called Suspicious Stimulus.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Video: Lower Dens - "Batman"

A few months ago I posted a live set of Lower Dens that included a new song called "Batman". This week Yours Truly featured video of a studio performance with the band performing said track. Check out their rad footage of Lower Dens above.

The footage was shot at Different Fur Studios out in San Francisco while the band was on tour. Lower Dens' Twin Hand Movement has already been making it to handful of year's best lists, including our own. The band just started announcing a tour for next year, including a run with The Walkmen and some dates with Wye Oak.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Shaun David Gould - For Those You Love

For the past few years when I've gone back and collected my favorite Baltimore albums, organizing them into a list, it's been inevitable that I come across a handful of releases that I overlooked. This year's big miss - Shaun David Gould's For Those You Love.

I've got Beau and Caleb of Lands & Peoples and Jeff from Secret Mountains to thank for pointing out this glaring oversight, as they passed along Gould's album to me recently. The full length was produced by Christopher Freeland at Beat Babies Studios, and written " the strange winter made hopeful by beautiful births with an eye to the best future I could imagine and resigned to the uncertain but perennial grace which we all hold so so dear in Baltimore 2010." Shaun has now moved to Argentina, but kindly left us with this.

Gould's voice is incredibly gentle, with careful and absurdly rich tones scattered throughout. The production on all of these tracks is also worth noting, as it comes across incredibly lush yet still harbors a very personal ethos. This record is perfect for the days when the cold wind is as brutal as can be, providing campfire warmth within your home.

Get For Those You Love for free from Shaun David Gould's Bandcamp.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Wye Oak - "Civilian"

Baltimore's own Wye Oak are set to release their third full length - Civilian drops on March 8, 2011. Stereogum premiered the title track from the forthcoming LP yesterday.

"Civilian" is likely a familiar tune if you've caught Wye Oak play live in the past year or two. The recording does this monster of a noisey folk rock epic some justice, with new production help from John Congleton who has at times lent a hand to Modest Mouse, Shearwater, and The Thermals. The band boasts that using Congleton "gave us a chance to step back and see the big picture, whereas on previous recordings we got embroiled in the technical details." The result streaming above is one of their best songs to date.

Civilian is out March 8, 2011 on Merge Records. Get the track list after the jump.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Top 20 Baltimore Albums of 2010

Below is a list of my favorite records released by artists from Baltimore in 2010. Before I began to ponder these albums, I had to decide whether or not to include work released through a local label that got started up this year, Friends Records.

I've never considered Bmore Musically Informed a proper form of journalism, but I still feel uneasy about endorsing records on this list that I have personally been involved with releasing (re: Height, Sri Aurobindo, Weekends, Celebration, and other friends). While I have chosen to leave them off this list, my affection for them is already pretty clear.

Again this year there was a long list of amazing releases to come out of Baltimore, churning in all kinds of diversity to invade your ear-space. Hear for yourself...

20. Holy Ghost Party - Prog Parents // Wtr Clr

19. Pfisters - Narcicity // Fan Death

18. Crazy Dreams Bands - War Dream // Holy Mountain

17. Lizz King - All Songs Go To Heaven // Ehse

16. Rapdragons - Featuring Baltimore // LTD Comp

15. Dead Drums - Fashion Defense // Self-released

14. Raindeer - Raindeer EP // Self-released

13. The Art Department - Paperwork / Birdwork // Gen Pop

12. Romantic States - Romantic States // Tater Junction

11. Do While - Do While // Wigflip

10. Mickey Free - Last of the Tight Wiggers // Self-released

9. Happy Family / Run DMT - Banana Split // Wigflip

8. Daniel Higgs - Say God // Thrill Jockey

7. Jason Urick - Fussing & Fighting // Thrill Jockey

Wye Oak - My Neighbor / My Creator // Merge

5. Double Dagger - Masks // Thrill Jockey

4. Beach House - Teen Dream // Sub Pop

3. Dustin Wong - Infinite Love // Thrill Jockey

2. Lower Dens - Twin Hand Movement // Gnomonosong

1. Future Islands - In Evening Air // Thrill Jockey

Monday, December 6, 2010

My Peak Is Too High

Went to the post office today and saw the biggest widow's peak I've ever seen.
Naturally, I rocked Sri Aurobindo's "My Peak is Too High" as soon as possible.

Sri Aurobindo play their first NYC show in a good while this weekend with Secret Mountains, Psychic Reality (ex Pocahaunted) and Quilt on Saturday, December 11 at Glasslands Gallery. Their new LP Cave Painting came out on wax this year.

Secret Mountains & Sri Aurobindo @ Glasslands 12.11.2010

Friday, December 3, 2010

Clusterfuck: Dope Body, Shark Tank, Blue Walls,
Double Dagger, The Super Vacations, Ed Schrader, more

It seems like the first couple weeks of December are always jam-packed with shows, with folks trying to fit as much in as possible before all that holiday cheer and snow.

Tonight you've got a couple options, starting with the show I mentioned yesterday at the Annex in 3E. Ed Schrader, Shark Tank (featuring Height, Mickey Free, Lord Grunge, & Brendan Richmond), Blue Walls (Jenn Wasner), and Showbeast will all provide for a good time, guaranteed. This one gets going around 9 PM and will be cheap.

If you feel like dancing a whole lot, Deep In The Game takes over the Hippo. Peep Mark Brown's video flyer above, and tonight includes a live performance by Sewn Leather.

Tomorrow night sports a trio of options, starting with a show at the Golden West that's likely to blast the antlers right off of that giant moose head. Dope Body is celebrating the release of their split with Orphan, the band's first release on wax. I have yet to hear the full split, but Michael Byrne had some kind things to say in this week's Citypaper. This show will be a round robin, and will include our other favorite local bass/drum/vocal trio, Double Dagger. This one doesn't start until after 11 PM, and costs five dollars.

Also Saturday night, The Parting Gifts (Oblivians, Reigning Sound) plays one of only three East Coast shows at the Windup Space. They'll be joined by locals Hollywood and The Slow Jerks, who always prove to be a good time. You also might end up back at the Annex on Saturday, where you'll find The Super Vacations, Juiceboxxx, 400 Cloaks, DDP, along with Schwarz and Cullen Stalin DJing. Both of these options start at 9 PM.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Show: Shark Tank, Ed Schrader, Blue Walls, Showbeast

Tomorrow night the Annex 3E hosts Ed Schrader, Shark Tank (featuring Height, Mickey Free, Lord Grunge, & Brendan Richmond), Blue Walls (Jenn Wasner), and Showbeast.

Shark Tank has been in the works throughout 2010, with Baltimore's Dan Keech AKA Height and Mickey Free providing for half the squad. The other half consists of Grand Buffet's Lord Grunge, and Brendan Richmond who's been amongst Height's friends.

Streaming above is "Red Rain", the first taste off the group's debut album. If you were at the Hexagon this past May for Height with Friends' Bed of Seeds release party, you'll recognize "Red Rain". Download that full set here, "Red Rain" picks up at the 13:20 mark.

I'm pretty stoked to see what Jenn Wasner's solo project entails, and am never let down seeing Ed Schrader's name on the bill. Doors for this show open at 8PM on Friday.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Rod Hamilton / Comeback Ranch Split Tape

A month or so ago at Soft Fest, I was kindly given a new turquoise-colored cassette from the likes of locals Comeback Ranch and Rod Hamilton (1/2 of Avocado Happy Hour).

Above is "Birdman", the second track on Rod Hamilton's Act I of the the tape. Hamilton's side reaches a bit more towards the melodic realm, with carefully scattered synths and more organic tones layered throughout. This track seems rather appropriately titled, with a seemingly uplifting nod to unnatural flight and uncharted territories. Rhythms are created through melody, providing the perfect tones for superior sky-gazing.

Act II is provided by Comeback Ranch, another resident of the Soft House with a knack for creating ambient soundscapes. Above is the first scene, a six minute journey dubbed " Stereolith". This side of the tape creates a more subdued ambiance, with easily digestible and effortlessly luminous drone. A bit more synth heavy and atmospheric, check it out if you liked the work we shared by Jake Lingan or Daytime's recent piece.

Look for this cassette around the Baltimore area while it's still around.