Friday, January 28, 2011

Videos: Wye Oak, Dog Leather, Height with Friends

With not a ton going on this weekend after being blessed with the wonderment that is THUNDERSNOW this week, I figured I'd share an oddly-matched bunch of local videos.

Wye Oak performing the title track from their forthcoming Civilian LP in Amsterdam.

DJ Dog Dick + Sewn Leather = Dog Leather. Oh my goodness. [via Ehse Records Blog]

Height with Friends performing the closer to Bed of Seeds up in NYC. This was a really killer show that I had the privilege to attend that included Dan Deacon and Dustin Wong.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Adventure - Mirror Box Vol. 1: "Beyond the Ultraworld" Mix

Benny Boeldt aka Adventure is due out with a new LP on Carpark this year, and yesterday Pitchfork pointed out a new mix put together by the currently morphing electro-junky.

The mix kicks off with a brand new song by Adventure called "Relax The Mind", a sort of electronically-infused meditation that only contains traces of Benny's prior work. The rest of the mix is rounded out with other like-minded sounds including Blondes, Light Asylum, Cex, Teengirl Fantasy, Emeralds, and more. The full track list is after the jump.

Adventure's new LP, Lesser Known, is due out March 22 on Carpark Records.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Winks - Daisy Ingraham

Here' a mid week treat for all the lonely weirdos and goth nerds out there (or just regular people), a new EP from Winks who are fresh off their latest album called She's Done.

Daisy Ingraham is the name of the new three song EP, and is also the title of the second song on this short voyage. This journey didn't originate in any sort of exotic or far-off land, nope. It set sail in the depths of Chase O'hara's bedroom just like Winks' debut album. This was recorded straight to cassette, as the quality of fidelity in these jams will indicate. This bodes well for the types of noise worked into each track.

"Daisy Ingraham" is a fine example of portraying subtle noise interlaced with pop music using cassette tape to record to. This marks a slightly new direction for Winks, one that might find Chase listening to John Maus through a kaleidoscope frequently. There's plenty of indistinguishable textures and tones, but they are all somehow worked in to help create an ambient atmosphere for the simple melodies to flourish in.

Get the new EP for free right here, and don't sleep on the new full length, She's Done.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Show: Lower Dens, Secret Mountains, Weekends

 photo by Emily Wandres

We're pleased to help present a great show down in D.C. next month - as Lower Dens, Secret Mountains, and Weekends all bring Baltimore to it's neighboring beltway.

This offering of some of Baltimore's finest will take place at Subterranean A, a small and fantastic space that just got up and running last year. Weekends' drenching noise-pop sonics will blast your ears backwards while Secret Mountain's lush psychedelic swirls will capture your hearts as Lower Dens' undeniably amazing brand of rock will leave you breathless. Yeah, it'll be like that and you're not going to want to miss it.

This show takes place on February 23, which also happens to be my birthday. I would like to thank the bands in advance for the killer birthday present, and hope to see everyone down in D.C. in a month. The show costs $7 and will get going around 8 PM.

Click through below to after the jump for a couple videos from these folks.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Celebration Microshow

Celebration Microshow at Mobtown
A couple weeks ago Mobtown Studios hosted a special performance by Celebration, part of their awesome Microshow series that happens once a month. 5/6 of the current full Celebration lineup performed, but did so in a stripped-dowb acoustic fashion. The result was almost 40 minutes of some of the most elegant and pristine sounding Celebration jams to ever grace our presence. Here's a brand new song called "Only The Wicked"...

In addition to breaking out some older songs like "Pressure", and some current ones from the forthcoming Hello Paradise LP like "Open Your Heart", a handful of never before heard songs made their debut. It was a chance to see the future of the Electric Tarot, and boy does it's fortune sound impressive. This one's called "Don't Stop Dreaming"...

A nine song set was played, and the whole thing is available to hear in full over at Mobtown Studios. I recently wrote a more detailed piece on this show and my relationship with Celebration, which you'll be able to read on Thursday over at What Weekly.

Celebration's new LP is called Hello Paradise, and is available in about a week or so.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Tonight: Microkingdom Release Show at Windup Space

 poster by Chris Day

Tonight marks the release of Microkingdom's first proper full length, Three Compositions of No Jazz. The album is now available to download/stream in full via Friends Records.

It is also now available on vinyl, your choice of either white-colored wax or black. The packaging was all designed by Chris Day, who took it to another level with this one. The vinyl also comes with a CD, so you'll get your digital fix of no jazz as well.

Tonight Microkingdom will be performing as a rarely seen five-piece, adding even more cosmic chaos to the mix. They'll be joined by some of our favorites, the always raucous Witch Hat and the ever-transcendently psychedelic Violet Hour.

Tonight's show is at the Windup Space, starts at 10 PM, and costs seven dollars.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Rapdragons - "Natural Born Chillers" ft. Moss of Aura

Podcasting with Rapdragons
Here's the thing about Rapdragons - you probably wish you were doing what they did. With Baltimore's scary-diverse breeding grounds of aural wealth at their disposal, dude's are capturing the jams we all love and turning them into party anthems. Next up for 'em, a new one with a  Moss of Aura (Gerrit Welmers of Future Islands) beat to back...

The music comes compliments of Moss of Aura's Still Parade, a sold-out CDR of some of Gerrit's finest work that came out towards the end of 2009. This Raprdragons song is the title track on their forthcoming Natural Born Chillers EP, which drops this March. As you may have guessed, this forthcoming release sees the Rapdragons riding the chill-wave with music from Small Black, Neon Indian, Memoryhouse, Panda Bear, and Toro Y Moi.

Get all the Rapdragons you need from LTD Comp.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Video: Celebration - "Honeysuckle Blue"

Celebration's Hello Paradise - Electric Tarot is just days away from it's official vinyl release, which means the full LP is almost available for free digitally online. One of the last tracks to be unveiled comes today via the full moon, and is called "Honeysuckle Blue". In addition to offering the MP3, YVYNYL and Friends Records are premiering the new video for the song created by Baltimore's own Miranda Pfeiffer.

"Honeysuckle Blue" represents the Alchemy card in their Electric Tarot deck, which is depicted up top in Katrina Ford's painting. Miranda Pfeiffer was asked to illustrate the themes that come with this card, and she chose to do that by highlighting the relationships we have between two separate urban environments. Here's Miranda's take:

“This animation was made using a stop motion process. While the Soft Cat video capitalizes on freeze-frame images juxtaposed with fluid animated movement, in this animation every hand-drawn frame is included so that all of the every motion is fluid. I used many different mediums to get a range of blacks from the colors. Some of these materials were ball-point pen, sharpie, graphite, chalk, and sum-i ink. I drew on both sides of frosted papers like vellum and tracing paper to get additional differentiation among the shade. This added a depth from the paper in the image.

The song itself was inspired by the tarot card, Alchemy, which illustrates two seemingly absolute opposites merging together. The video compares two aspects of Baltimore, interior and the exterior spaces. Because of the desolate nature of this city, a lot of social interaction occurs inside. For example, at night, there are places in Baltimore that aren’t safe to walk through alone. Because Baltimore has very few open spaces that are accessible and inhabitable by all its dwellers, residents often form special relationships with their apartments, with large-converted warehouses, and with interior spaces in general. The couple in the video is an average example of this kind of citizen.

Still, the interiors and exteriors reflect one another. Though seemingly opposite, the little room in the animation is similar in nature to the shots of the exterior city. In the video, all of the exterior shots show some form of plans made by humans that didn’t turn out like society imagined. The roaches reflect a sense of wilderness inside man’s habitat and man’s failure to truly plan a city. Simultaneously, the roaches traverse both the inside and the outside…the only creature able to fully do so. Because of the nature of the exterior spaces, the inside is also somewhat barren and scary. The female character cuts her hand when sawing a log…presumably one that came from the outside. Time is a theme. In the interior this is shown through the many clocks on the wall, ever ticking. In the exterior, the moon’s changing state represents another kind of cyclical time.

There’s a lot of charm in this world. It’s not an overwhelmingly bad place. Even the ugly bugs when viewed with a little tenderness are actually pretty endearing.”

Celebration's Hello Paradise will be available on vinyl with CD at the end of January.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Giveaway: Universal Order of Armageddon at Sonar

This week will see a monster of a show down at Sonar with Universal Order of Armageddon taking the stage for a rare performance. They'll be joined by Oak, Regents, and The Gift to complete this massive affair of heavy and loud sounds.

Dana at Unregistered Nurse has hooked us up with a pair of passes to give away to this one, so email us at your leisure with the subject "UOA" telling us why oh why they should be yours, and we'll choose one winner Thursday morning.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Video: Lower Dens - "Batman"

Hauntingly radical new promo video for the new Lower Dens 7" called "Batman". [via]

Inflatable Mattress - Pumped Up

Saturday night I attended a show at the Penthouse put together by Mike of Run DMT which was a lot of fun, and boasted a strong bill from start to finish. Opening was Happy Family, the solo project of Will Pesta who is also responsible for the equally amazing Wigflip Records and Inflatable Mattress. The latter is Will's beat-oriented moniker, a project of which is he's just about to relinquish another batch of jaded bangers through.

The upcoming mix is called Pumped Up, and is healthy portion of heavily-dosed beats worthy of cosmic minds that dig into a deep exploration of pop music. You see, Will started working at Sound Garden a few months ago. Thus, dude is bringing back a steadier new helping of wax to his laboratory. The new album almost exclusively samples from his newly acquired vinyl snatched up from the Fells Point record shop.

I've heard many stories about what working at a record store can do your music intake and consumption habits, and I suppose Pumped Up is an aural portrait of what Will Pesta has been experiencing since starting his new job. These super chunky beats of all varieties are laced with wonky psychedelia and a green fog that tends to be ecstatically dense with sonics. What does this say about Pesta's current pallet? The world may never truly know, but these new pieces are pretty fucking radical nonetheless.

Look for Inflatable Mattress' Pumped Up to drop for free on Wigflip Records soon.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Shows: Katrina Ford DJ Set, Cool World, Happy Family

Highlighting just a few ongoings this weekend, starting tonight at Club Phoenix where Cullen Stalin's Ice Age takes over. This week he's got Katrina Ford (Celebration) guest DJing, along with Door as well. Expect sounds of the dark, bizarre, rare, proto-industrial, positive punk, minimal synth wave variety. Free before 11 PM and just $2 after.

The flyer above was just passed along to me from Mike of Run DMT acclaim who promises "a psyched out other world party/show/psychedelic experience." He's throwing a pretty radical show at the Penthouse Saturday night that features Providence's Cool World along with a surprise set from Winks and also sets from Happy Family and Costume Box (a project from DJ Dog Dick). This probably starts around 10 PM.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Tonight: Das Racist at Sonar

Tonight you can catch last year's stoner-hop sensations Das Racist at Sonar in Baltimore.

Dan Deacon to Score Francis Ford Coppola Film

Dan Deacon at Sonar
In case you missed this on just about every other music media outlet yesterday, Baltimore's Dan Deacon is slated to score Francis Ford Coppola's next feature film.

The movie will be titled Twixt Now and Sunrise, and the press releases reads, "the gothic romance stars Val Kilmer, Bruce Dern, Ben Chaplin & Elle Fanning. In addition to scoring the film, Mr. Coppola and Mr. Deacon are collaborating on a larger level, details of which will be announced soon." Mind blown. Congrats, Dan!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Video: The Death Set - "Slap Slap Slap Pound Up Down Snap"

Today we learned what happens when a hot chick in a tiger mask throws dynamite into a trailer that contains The Death Set playing a new song. Just as you'd probably expect - explosions of balloons, fireworks, and confetti burst, all while the trio keep thrashing to a cut from their new 7" out now on Ninja Tune and also on the forthcoming LP.

Show: Weekends, Raindeer, Winks, Holy Ghost Party

 flyer by Patrick Byrd

Next month is looking pretty stacked in terms of shows to see in Baltimore, and we were stoked to add another to the batch by putting this bill together. On Saturday, February 12 the Golden West will host four of our absolute favorite newer local projects with Weekends, Raindeer, Winks, and Holy Ghost Party all rounding out the raucous lineup.

Tickets are just $5 and you can grab them in advance right here. Starts at 10 PM.

Holy Ghost Party

The duo of Holy Ghost Party contains 2/3 of Dope Body, but is a whole other entity in and of itself... a psychedelic blast of prog pop with just about everything in between.


Winks is Chase from INEVERYROOM and Adam from Weekends, and this is to be their first show of 2011. This will be your first chance to grib their new album, She's Done.

This will be Raindeer's first ever hometown show, the project of Charlie Hughes joined by Beau Cole of Lands & Peoples and Devin Byrnes. New material out soon via Gprecs.


Weekends continue their onslaught of free-form pop scuzz, with their first proper LP Strange Cultures dropping right around the time of this show on wax via Friends Records.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Ami Dang - Hukam

Last week at Normals I purchased my first record of 2011, Ami Dang's new LP. Hukam is Dang's first full length, and is out now and ready for consumption via Ehse Records.

"A Strange Community" marks the start of side B of the new record - a three and a half minute schooling on what exactly the output of Ami Dang entails. There are big and worldly Bollywood inspired beats, looping psychedelic swirls of sitar melodies, and likely one of the few sets of pipes out there that could patch it all together properly. However what drives this track is the experimental club rhythms that cascade and scatter around the hauntingly vast melodic tones and twisted layers of psychedelia with ease.

If that sounds complex and poorly matched, it's not. Hukam puts all of these forces together and more - tossing in cosmic ambiance, standard pop sensibilities, and a hint of avant electronics for good measure. While the record's influences are abundant, the album boasts simplicity and a knack for containing a good bit of infectious pop hooks that will hopefully inspire care-free late night dance parties the world over.

Go get Ami Dang's Hukam from Baltimore's Ehse Records via most available formats.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Lower Dens - "Batman"

As last year's best of 2010 lists started to roll in last month, it became evident that Lower Dens weren't just a favorite here in their hometown of Baltimore, Maryland.

Their first release since the debut LP Twin Hand Movement, the new "Batman" single will hit stores on January 18. Streaming above, "Batman" has become one of our favorites in the band's live show repertoire over the past year - specifically recalling the rendition played at Whartscape last year after the surreal storm that sent the fest down to Sonar.

The B-side of the single is a cover of Mayo Thompson’s “Dear Betty Baby", a more careful and heavy melodic excursion. Together, they further cement that this band isn't going anywhere anytime soon as they churn out song after song of ghostly folk pop bliss. Their next regional date is at the Black Cat in D.C. on March 11 with Wye Oak.

Lower Dens' Batman 7" is available via Gnomonsong on January 18.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Microkingdom - "Surgery Ghosts"

 poster by Chris Day

Microkingdom play tonight at Metro Gallery, and again in Baltimore on Friday, January 21 with Witch Hat and Violet Hour for their record release show at the Windup Space.

The new Microkingdom record has been over three years in the making, but will take to it's proper physical form in just a few weeks. The vinyl has already arrived in Baltimore - 250 copies on white-colored wax, and 250 copies on black. Artwork designed by Chris Day arrives soon too, and  Three Compositions of No Jazz will be available in a couple weeks.

"Surgery Ghosts" is the the last song on the new LP, and the end to this particular psycho-sonic adventure with Marc Miller and Dr. Will Redman. A fitting capstone indeed, as the six minute track finishes with a signature Marc Miller guitar exploration that sounds like he is using some sort of intergalactic operating table as a playground for tweaking industrial noise. While John Dierker is the only other musician found on the rest of the record, this track also features help from Otto Mullen on organ.

It is a dark and stormy beast of a closer, letting up and crashing down in waves of sound that do not belong on earth. Tactfully scattered forms of demanding beats and unparalleled noise compositions remind you where of you've come from, a journey of a record containing uncharted landscapes and exploratory sonics fit for the best of 'em.

Three Compositions of No Jazz hits stores and mailboxes in a couple weeks.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Shows: Ami Dang, Microkingdom, Big In Japan,
Crazy Dreams Band, Avocado Happy Hour, more

Avocado Happy Hour
This first week of the year boasts a handful of more than worthy musical happenings to attend, all of which should keep your ears entertained and out of the cold.

Thursday night you've got a few options in Station North, starting with a stellar lineup at the Metro Gallery - Crazy Dreams Bands, Microkingdom, and Horse Lords. This one starts at 8 PM and costs $7. I'll have a full post on Microkingdom tomorrow, as they are on the heels of releasing their new LP, Three Compositions of No Jazz. The wax hits shelves and mailboxes later this month via Friends Records, with a release show plotted for January 21 at the Windup Space. More on that tomorrow, though.

Across the street at the Hexagon you'll find a tour send-off show for The Woolly Moon, a country folk project that dabbles in psychedelic realms. They will be joined by Arsenii Vaselenko from San Francisco and American Folklore, starts at 9 PM.

Friday night sports two stellar choice as well, starting with Big In Japan, The Water, Infinite Honey, and Avocado Happy Hour at the Ottobar. This increasingly rare Big In Japan performance is worth noting, as they will be joined by Celebration's Katrina Ford on vocals. The band has worked with Ford recently on recording a few songs, which are being produced by Dave Fridmann (Flaming Lips). This show is $10 and starts at 9 PM.

Down in Mt. Vernon, Deep In The Game's got a really good one as they'll be hosting Ami Dang's record release show. Ami Dang recently dropped Hukam on Ehse Records, and I've been fortunate enough to spend some time with the full length for the last few months. It's garnered considerable play, and look for that awesome record to be explored further on this blog later this week or early next week.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Bmore Musically Informed Presents
Ducktails, Woods, Dustin Wong at Golden West

Pleased to announce a show at the Golden West in Baltimore on February 8 with Ducktails and Woods coming to town, to be joined by one of our local favorites, Dustin Wong.

Ducktails is Matt Mondanile from Real Estate, a side project from Mondanile that's released a generous offering of tapes, 7"s, and records on labels that include Not Not Fun, Olde English Spelling Bee, and SHDWLPY. The new record is due out this month on Woodsist, and is called Ducktails III: Arcade Dynamics.

"Hamilton Road" is the single for the new record, and highlights the bright and airy psychedelic pop that the project has recently leaned towards - a more structured method as to the looping ambient melodies found on his self-titled LP on NNF and Landscapes.

Woods includes Jeremy Earl (Fuck It Tapes dude) and Jarvis Taveniere (Meneguar, Wooden Wand), and has released a couple fine LPs via Woodsist. The above track is the lead on 2009's Songs of Shame, which was being supported last time they came around these parts (back in 2009 at Ottobar with Dungen). Since then they've released At Echo Lake,  another batch of well-constructed psychedelic pop excursions that reminisce gems from Wowee Zowee-era Pavement and some other crunchier counterparts.

Throw in one of the more mind-boggling guitar wizards we've ever encountered, and you've got yourself a show. Dustin Wong's Infinite Love was one of our favorite LPs to come out of Baltimore last year, and if you've seen him live you know it's no slouch either. Watch videos from all three after the jump,  get tickets in advance right here.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Gem Vision - Space Heater

Baltimore's own Gem Vision is the work of Justin Kelly, who is also responsible for the always radical WTR CLR. In 2009 Gem Vision released both More and Ambien, the former being the inaugural release in WTR CLR's catalog. At the very end of 2010 Justin passed along to me Space Heater, a new release under the Gem Vision moniker that also features help from David Jacober and Zachary Utz (Holy Ghost Party, Dope Body).

"Untitled 1" is a somewhat calm and peaceful exploration into tones and textures. The feeling of warmth and familiarity are present, but never overwhelming, almost like a recurrent dream that you hope makes an appearance each night. When the mood shifts, there's moments of not knowing where you stand, but the floor is just as quickly put right back beneath your feet. While the feeling of each note seems to be felt heavily, each is enforced with such careful delivery that it's sure to have you off to the clouds.

Space Heater was recorded last winter in Baltimore using a Tascam four track recorder. It's a collection of three improvised compositions, and clocks in at over 17 minutes all together. It's available for free download from WTR CLR now, get on it.