Friday, January 29, 2010

Tonight : The Violet Hour (oh... and a lot more)

The Violet Hour at the Metro Gallery
Tonight's the night, folks. Bmore Musically Informed's first curated show takes place at the G Spot with Arbouretum, Wye Oak, Sri Aurobindo, Weekends, and The Violet Hour.

Yeah, we're a little excited. In addition to a potential collaboration that can only result in good things, expect brand new songs from most/all of the artists playing tonight.

Today I wanted to feature the evening's openers, a duo that could headline a gig any night of the week. The Violet Hour's live show has been a bit of a commodity as of late, but hopefully their debut album has graced your ears a bit more often. This was one of the standout releases of 2009 for me, an album that had been put together a few years before eventually seeing the light of day.

Beth Varden (Incandescent Aura Broadcaster) and Andrianna Pateris (Cosmic Cosmopolitan Traveller) create a form of psychedelic folk that is both hypnotic and beautiful. Deeply rich in sonics and layers, there is an immediate feeling of meditation once you've allowed the album to envelop you completely.

I recently spoke with Beth and she had some good news to share...

First off, The Violet Hour will be participating in Catharine Pancake's upcoming film project at the 5th Dimension on March 12th. This will go down at the H&H, and will feature new film shorts with live musical accompaniment by a number of Baltimore artists.

Next up, Beth is working on her first solo release. It will be released on cassette via Lost Ghosts Records sometime this spring. It will be a covers record, and will feature songs that remain a secret at the moment. Beth will be working with Sri Aurobindo's Mike Romano on this release, who will be helping out with production and hopefully be playing and singing a bit as well.

Last but most certainly not least, The Violet Hour are just about finished writing the songs for their second record. The new full length should bless us with its presence sometime this year, but look to get a taste of some of the new songs tonight.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Fan Death Says DC Music Sucks

Fan Death Records Interview 1 from Denman C Anderson on Vimeo.

Our neighbors, Fan Death Records, were recently interviewed on the DC based site All Our Noise. In that interview they spoke about their record label, music they liked, and their thoughts on our nation's capital. You can watch the interview above and at AON, but here's a quote that sparked some debate:
"D.C. is a shitty place, with shitty bands, and a shitty outlook on life. I mean, it’s kind of sad in a way, there’s a lot of history here that everybody knows about. I don’t think it went down the path that I would have wanted it to. I think with D.C. there’s this thing that bands want to make it…they think they can make it in D.C. because they’re from D.C. there’s that history there and that that’s an automatic foot in the door to whatever they’re doing. But even beyond that attitude portion of it, there’s just not good music. There are two good bands in D.C." - Sean (Fan Death)
Chris of Fan Death went on to make note that those two bands were Screen Vinyl Image and Lotus Fucker. Yesterday the Washington Citypaper pointed out Fan Death's opinion, spawning one of the uglier comments section I've seen on the interwebs. Personal attacks were made, and hasty backlash ensued.

Last night Fan Death gave me their current stance on the matter:
"Go orioles and white sox. Oh and PS, Tejada... bad move. Baseball is more imporant than shitty bands. Especially shitty bands in DC."
People like different kinds of music, and are also entitled to give opinions on their choices in art and how they view it. I grew up in between Washington and Baltimore. I've been to some decent shows in DC, but I've been to a lot of better ones in Baltimore. That's my opinion. I'll still go to some shows in DC, but I'll continue go to more shows in the city that I reside. That's my choice.

Yet Sean and Chris pointing out their thoughts on a city and its music was combated by some DC Citypaper readers (via blog post commenting) with blatant ignorance.

I don't know, I like baseball too sometimes.

Fan Death Records Interview 2 from Denman C Anderson on Vimeo.

Fan Death Records Interview 3 from Denman C Anderson on Vimeo.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Photos: Lonnie Walker, Moss of Aura, & Veelee

Lonnie Walker at the Good Son
Last Friday night The Good Son hosted a North Carolina invasion of sorts. Lonnie Walker and Veelee both call North Carolina home, and Gerrit Welmers of Moss of Aura is originally from the state.

All three acts made for a super fun Friday evening, and each brought something different to the table. Moss of Aura's dramatic synth bangers continue to impress me, and look for some thoughts on the CDR he's been offering coming here soon. I dug Lonnie Walker back when they played the Zodiac with Future Islands, and they rocked their whiskey-soaked Americana just as hard this go around. Veelee were a welcome surprise, a duo with a pretty big sound that's got a free EP you can snag right here.

Peep Chrissy's set of these three acts after the jump.

Moss of Aura
Moss of Aura at the Good Son

Moss of Aura at the Good Son

Veelee at the Good Son

Veelee at the Good Son

Lonnie Walker
Lonnie Walker at the Good Son

Lonnie Walker at the Good Son

Photos by Chrissy

Monday, January 25, 2010

Twin Stumps - Live at Shea Stadium Cassette

Over the next couple months, I'll be featuring as many bands as I can that are playing DNA Test Fest III this April in Baltimore. I look forward to pushing my eardrums to their breaking points throughout this seemingly daunting task.

Twin Stumps
are a noisy Brooklyn based rock outfit. They dropped their debut last year, a 12 inch on Dais Records. The 300 copies are long gone, but dudes have some things brewing for 2010. In addition to a new LP in the works, Fan Death Records is soon offering a limited cassette release from the band.

Live at Shea Stadium will be limited to 200 tapes, and will be only available through Fan Death and the band. It is the documentation of their set at the NYC space on October 17, 2009. This live session was recorded not long before bassist Mike Yaniro was beaten as part of an extremely violent robbery.

Mike Yaniro was without health insurance, and required a good deal of surgery. There have already been several benefit shows to help raise money for Mike's recovery, and this tape will serve that same purpose. All proceeds from the cassette will go towards helping him out.

As for the music - loud and abrasive with splintered feedback and complete dominance. This set was recorded at 2 am, and the tape was mastered (LOUD) by Pygmy Shrews' Ben Greenberg. These dudes perfect the art of chaotic distortion and feedback, and layer it over some heavy yet catchy rhythms. The screaming vocals are rather intrusive, and are just another claustrophobic element that makes your head buzz with glory.

A force of a band that is said to embody traits of the 1980s pigfuck scene in NYC, this tape archives a night of rage. Pair that rage with drunken guitar noise, heavy late night wails, and thunderously splintered bass, and you've got yourself a tape.

Look for this release to drop on Fan Death the first week of February, and keep posted on a Twin Stumps LP via Fan Death in the future. They play the Test Fest pre-party at Ruintown on April 2nd, and are also part of the DNA Test Fest III lineup the following night at Sonar.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Beach House - Teen Dream

Beach House "Silver Soul" from Sub Pop Records on Vimeo.

Above is the video for the Victoria Legrand directed "Silver Soul", the second track off of Beach House's Teen Dream. The local duo's third album and Sub Pop debut drops on Tuesday, and the "Silver Soul" video premiered today.

Allie studies sound for her collegiate career at NYU, an ideal perspective for this particular record. After the jump, get Allie's take on what is likely one of the bigger albums that will come out of Baltimore this year.

From their self-titled debut in 2006 to 2008’s Devotion, Beach House has become known for their dreamy atmospherics and melancholic minimalism. Building on that base, the band has returned with Teen Dream, an album which takes their core aesthetic to a new level. Elements of their sound that were once unsettlingly murky are now clearer and bright. That being said, Beach House has still managed to maintain the warm blanket of reverb that marked their previous works.

For this album, their debut release on Sub Pop, Beach House members Victoria Legrand and Alex Scally sought the help of producer Chris Coady, who had previously worked with TV on the Radio, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, and Blonde Redhead. The three retreated to a converted church in upstate New York, appropriately named Dreamland, and began recording Teen Dream. The natural acoustics of this setting are quite audible throughout the album, which is perfectly fitting with Legrand’s throaty vocals, the unsteady organs, and Scally’s droning guitars.

Teen Dream marks a shift from insular to intimate. Benefiting from a more prominent rhythm section, Beach House’s hazy, haunting sound is more grounded and accessible than ever before. It doesn’t seem to be coincidental that the songs that best showcase this growth—“Norway”, “Used To Be”, and “10 Mile Stereo”—are those that were or will be released as singles.

While some of the songs could probably benefit from a bit of editing—the average song length is about four and a half minutes, which causes some songs to drag towards the end—the album overall flows nicely, bolstering the ambience that the band is known for. As made clear with their previous releases, Beach House isn’t afraid to grow and build—Teen Dream is no exception to the rule.

As of right now, Beach House's next Baltimore show is May 8th at 2640 Space.

Photos: Vetiver, Avi Buffalo, Secret Mountains, Small Sur

Vetiver at Sonar
This week Sonar hosted two local bands paired with two outfits on the Sub Pop roster. Vetiver, Avi Buffalo, Secret Mountains, and Small Sur were all on the Tuesday night bill.

Vetiver were just as solid as they were last Baltimore go 'round. Andy Cabic's crew dropped a set heaviest in Tight Knit material, but well balanced with good stuff from their other records. My only complaint was that "The Swimming Song" was promised later in the set after requested via William Cashion's shout, and was a promise not lived up to. Here you go dude:

Vetiver were preceded by Avi Buffalo, one of Sub Pop's newest acquisitions. This was Avi Buffalo's third ever East Coast show, as these youngsters hail from Long Beach, California. They appeared to be a form of teenage Shins, yet far more engaging live than their label-buddy elders.

Secret Mountains at times sported an eight person lineup, and pulled the big sound off rather well. They featured a few that weren't on their debut, but some familiar tracks too. Look for more warm and fuzzy pop to come from these folks. Bob Keal's Small Sur sported a strong supporting cast as always, with Andy Abelow, Austin Stahl, and Wye Oak's Andy Stack making up the stage. Just as I said when I shared their recent Daytrotter session, I'm excited for Small Sur's 2010 release.

Take a gander at Chrissy's full photo set of the show after the jump.

Small Sur
Small Sur at Sonar

Small Sur at Sonar

Secret Mountains
Secret Mountains at Sonar

Secret Mountains at Sonar

Avi Buffalo
Avi Buffalo at Sonar

Avi Buffalo at Sonar

Vetiver at Sonar

Vetiver at Sonar

Photos by Chrissy

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Winks - Winks

Winks is Chase from Baltimore's INEVERYROOM. Chase started this project a couple months ago when he lost his job, assessing that it was a better way to spend his freedom than getting drunk all the time. Here's the second track on his project's debut release, dubbed "Weed Makes Sex Weird".

The full album is available digitally, and is free to download after the click.

While there are clear pop sensibilities that strongly pay homage to the 80's, this is a pretty weird release. The closest thing I can compare the way the music makes you feel is to seeing Ariel Pink perform live. There is the same wacked-out wedding singer vibe, leaving thoughts hazy yet minds somehow at ease. Expect to zone out.

The production comes compliments of an old karaoke tape player and used tapes found at thrift shops. There are at times ghost tracks from the old cassettes mixed in, just another reminder that this not meant for high-end speakers. Listening to this on the shittiest speakers you can find comes highly recommended, and goes along well with how Chase described these jams.

He wanted them to sound like "you found it in the trunk of your dad's Camaro that has been sitting in the garage since 1984, while a depressing prom was going on in the garage." I myself am pretty sure you were meant to be smoking the reefer while finding said tape, with song titles like "Stoned and Throned", "Fred Flintstoned", and the one streaming above.

Under the influence or not, there's some promise found within this hour long release. It's only available digitally, but expect to see it on cassette in the future. The cover art is by Chase's friend Sophia, whose work you can find here. Grab Winks below, and look for more to come.

Download: Winks - Winks

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Photos: Height with Friends @ Hexagon

Height With Friends
Saturday night the Hexagon hosted a pretty rad lineup as Height with Friends, Moss of Aura, Food For Animals, Mickey Free, and American Folklore all performed. You can find a handful of these fine artists at upcoming Baltimore shows, starting with Moss of Aura who plays this Friday night at The Good Son with Lonnie Walker and more.

Mickey Free plays our show at the Ottobar on January 31st, with Get 'em Mamis, AK Slaughter, Rapdragons, PT Burnem, Jones, and Cullen Stalin DJing the affair. Height and all of his Friends play the night before, and is one of the 19 acts performing at Aural States Fest. We'll soon have some news regarding the follow-up album to Height with Friends' Baltimore Highlands, and some music to share.

Valerie's photos of all of Saturday's acts are after the jump.

Height with Friends
Height With Friends

Height With Friends

Food For Animals
Food For Animals

Food For Animals

Moss of Aura
Moss of Aura

Moss of Aura

Mickey Free
Mickey Free

Mickey Free

American Folklore
American Folklore

American Folklore

Photos by Valerie

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Photos: Vincent Black Shadow & Hollywood @ Golden West

Vincent Black Shadow at the Golden West
Last Friday the Golden West offered some freak rock on the cheap, with local psych scorchers Vincent Black Shadow and garage cave brawlers Hollywood both playing some rock songs. Chrissy was there to capture the action, and you can check out her full photo set of the evening after the click.

Hollywood at the Golden West

Hollywood at the Golden West

Vincent Black Shadow
Vincent Black Shadow at the Golden West

Vincent Black Shadow at the Golden West

Photos by Chrissy

Monday, January 18, 2010

Soon: Grundlehammer 2.0, Terry Riley's In C,
Vetiver, DNA Test Fest III, and more!

There's a lot of really exciting things in the wings locally, and I thought I'd do my best at informing you musically so you can plan and think and listen accordingly.

Grundlehammer is back and is now version 2.0, The Soft House is hosting something amazing called In C, DNA Test Fest III looks loud, and Bmore Musically Informed's first two shows which are part of a weekend dubbed Blogtimore Pwns are in less than two weeks.

Also, in the very near future, Vetiver plays Sonar tomorrow night with Small Sur, Secret Mountains, and Avi Buffalo. We're giving away tickets for this, and I'll pick a winner tonight.

Read on for a mega-post with details on all of these upcoming events.

Not only is Grundlehammer back, but its got a 2 disc album that is in the works. We're excited, and looking forward to having more coverage on Grundlehammer in the next month. Here's the details for now:

Gründlehämmer – The Album.

This world premiere rock opera EPIC is now a sprawling 2 disc studio album. Gründlehämmer – The Album, is a high-quality studio recording of the pure adrenaline that is the Gründlehämmer live performance. Featuring the original Gründlehämmer cast on 20 tracks of heart wrenching, guitar-slinging, kingdom-regaining, fretboard-burning, ROCK. The album will be available for the first time ever at the Gründlehämmer remount, February 19th-21st at the 2640 space.

Grundlehammer 2.0
February 19th-21st
Fri – Sat @ 7pm, Sun @ 5pm
2640 Space @ 2640 Saint Paul St.
Get tickets here.

Gründlehämmer is an entirely original, medieval, fantasy rock opera that combining completely ridiculous stage theatrics with great live music. Gründlehämmer features 20 original rock songs performed live by a 7-piece metal orchestra, in addition to a full cast and crew of 30 talented people. The Baltimore Rock Opera Society (BROS) has created an entirely new and original rock opera that is as epic and face-melting as possible while remaining true to the DIY ethic that inspired the BROS to band together.[via]

From those who brought us Soft Fest, now bring us Terry Riley's In C at the beginning of February. In C features a 30 piece ensemble, consisting of some of our favorite local conservatory-trained, jazz/improvisational, and experimental/electronic artists. Here are the details for this event:

In C
The Soft House
Saturday, February 6th
Doors at: 9
Food and drinks: 9:30-10:30
In C :10:30-11:30
**All audience members who arrive by 10 pm will receive one free drink and food item
with admission**

"In C" Ensemble
Will Redman (of Microkingdom)----------------------vibraphone
Dave Jacober (of Dope Body/Holy Ghost Party)-----marimba
Nathan Elman-Bell (of Quartet Offensive)----------vibraphone
Rob Parrish (improvisational percussionist)---------glockenspiel
Rod Hamilton (of Avocado Happy Hour)-------------Malletkat
Emmanuel Nicolaidis (of Thank You)----------------xylophone
Jeremy Hyman (of Ponytail)--------------------------marimba
Jon Birkholz (of Soul Cannon)--------------------------organ
Ben Frock (of Ben Frock and the Subatomic Particles)-organ
Tim Murphy (Baltimore jazz legend)-----------------rhodes
Amanda Schmidt (of Avocado Happy Hour)---------rhodes
Dustin Wong (of Dustin Wong/Ponytail)-------electric guitar
Zach Utz (of Dope Body/Holy Ghost Party)--electric guitar
Jaime Moffett (jazz musician)------------------electric guitar
Andrew Bernstein (of Teeth Mountain)-----------------------alto sax
John Dierker (of Microkingdom/Quartet Offensive)----sax
Andy Abelow (of Small Sur/Soft Cat)-----------------------alto sax
Will Pesta (of Happy Family)--------------laptop
Grayson Brown (of Comeback Ranch)---laptop
John Somers (of Do While)----------------laptop
John Jones (of Each Others)--------------laptop
Beau Crawley (of Turquoise Cats/Drugs Bunny)----live processing
Mark Brown (of DJ Mark Brown) --------------------live processing
John Butler (of Mothe
rsday)--------------------------live processing
Tom Fitzgibbon (sounds)------------------------------live processing

DNA Test Fest III was announced a few weeks ago, and has been adding even more loud things since. We'll have features/news on Test Fest bands in the coming months, but here are the current details on this seemingly epic event:

April 3rd, 2010 Sonar in Baltimore, Maryland
Doors at 7pm

Pissed Jeans
Psychedelic Horseshit
Home Blitz
Religious Knives
Pygmy Shrews
Birds of Maya
The Chickens (mem. of FNU Ronnies)
Slave Scene (mem. of Cult Ritual)
Neon Blud
Twin Stumps
Broken Neck
Useless Children

Lastly, our first two shows are less than two weeks away. Get excited for a night of rock and roll at the G Spot, a night of hip hop at the Ottobar, and everything in between at Aural States Fest II. Tickets can be acquired via Missiontix. Look for features on some of the artists in the coming weeks.

Bmore Musically Informed Presents:
Wye Oak
Sri Aurobindo
The Violet Hour
January 29th, 2010. The G-Spot. 2980 Falls Road.


Bmore Musically Informed Presents:
The Get ‘em Mamis
AK Slaughter
PT Burnem
Mickey Free
and DJ Cullen Stalin
January 31st, 2010. The Ottobar. 8 PM.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Clusterf*ck: Shows in Baltimore this Weekend

This weekend is the first clusterf*ck of 2010, and likely to be the first of many here in Baltimore. While there are a hefty amount of musical things to choose from, schedules don't get really cluttered until Saturday night.

Saturday night also plays host to a football game, as the Ravens battle a team that stole football from Baltimore just a month after I was born. Man, was I one pissed off little dude.

Find out what else is up in the city that reads this weekend after the click.

The highlight of Friday night is in Hampden, where the Golden West is offering "Freak Rock on the Cheap". For just three dollars you get three great rock bands, including Vincent Black Shadow, Hollywood, and Pilgrim. Not a bad way to spend three bucks on a Friday, and all three bands should be sure to get your ears nice and blasted.

Another option Friday night is at the Ottobar. Psych rock is bountiful with Bad Liquor Pond, The Flying Eyes, Whoarfrost, and Deaf Scene all sharing the bill. This one starts at 9 PM and is all ages.

Height with Friends is at the Hexagon Saturday night, and as if his supporting cast wasn't already strong enough the bill also includes Moss of Aura, Food for Animals, Mickey Free, and American Folklore. Look for some super exciting things to come from Height with Friends in 2010, as I'll have some info on this for you in the coming months.

Also Saturday, you can catch Dope Body and Sick Weapons at the Penthouse Gallery. Both acts are quickly becoming among some of our favorite live bands in Baltimore, and this show should prove to be a good time. If you need your eardrums damaged at an even higher level on Saturday, hit up the Zodiac to catch the dark metal Brooklyn band Liturgy.

Sunday night also has a good one at the Penthouse Gallery, as Jason Urick and Ecstatic Sunshine help you wind down after a fun weekend. This is their tour send-off show, before they head up to NYC and onward to tour Europe together.

Video: Dan Deacon - "Woof Woof"

Dan Deacon just premiered the video for "Woof Woof", a production that comes compliments of Showbeast. The 11 minute video features puppets, Dan Deacon as "Dead Bird" but wearing a tiger suit, and other awesome local musicians.

Showbeast is also responsible for the video of Beach House's "Norway" which you'll find on the DVD that will accompany Teen Dream. That DVD also features an alternate version called "Snorway", which is the video with the actual dialogue as opposed to "Norway" as the soundtrack. Both "Woof Woof" and "Norway" entail the same great puppets.

Watch "Woof Woof" in all its 11 minute glory after the jump.


Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Photos: Lizz King, Videohippos,
Bethany Dinsick, and Holy Sheet at the Windup Space

Lizz King at the Windup Space
Last Friday night the Windup Space played host to a stellar lineup, all in light of sending off Lizz King on her first headlining tour in support of her new album. Her fantastic new record is called All Songs Go to Heaven, a release that's almost six years in the works. Ehse Records is offering the album in vinyl, compact disc, and digital form.

This was as packed as I've seen the Windup in awhile, with an additional performance space set up in the back where both Lizz and Bethany Dinsick played. Lizz King began her set sitting down playing her more melodic folk pop tracks, but not without swinging her rather elaborate boots. When it was time to highlight the the more lively romps, Lizz was quick to get up on her feet and rock her typical dancing and antics.

The rest of the evening proved just as enjoyable, with my only complaint being that the crowd was way too chat-happy during another beautiful set from Bethany Dinsick. Videohippos seem to keep getting tighter and tighter as a four-piece, and Holy Sheet was a welcome and noisy change-up to the vibes. Peep the full photo set after the click.


Bethany Dinsick
Bethany Dinsick

Holy Sheet
Holy Ghost at the Windup Space

Lizz King
Lizz King at the Windup Space

Photos by Chrissy and Valerie