Thursday, February 25, 2010

Clusterf*ck: Shows in Baltimore this Weekend

Clusterfuck is back on full force this weekend in Baltimore, with some options for your ears every night starting this evening. Tonight one great option is at Open Space, where you are invited to "stand in the cement room" and catch Swamp Tease, Witch Hat, Ancestral Diet, and Taboo. Choosing another path might find you at the Ottobar, where Turbo Fruits and Sal Bando play with our favorite local psych force Sri Aurobindo.

Friday evening offers the probable highlight of the weekend, as Celebration play a very special show at the Creative Alliance. The night begins with $6 chili and drink specials, but is capped off with an acoustic AND electric set by Celebration. While their Electric Tarot project might appear to be at a standstill online, the band had been hard at work recording some new tunes. You can still get a peek at some of these new jams from our audio of their last show at LOF.

Check out your three options for Saturday after the jump.

Saturday offers a killer variety of options, most likely a decision that's meant to be made on the fly depending on your mood. If you want to be a part of the likely destruction of the Golden West, head there to catch Drunkdriver. This is a rowdy and fantastic punk band from New York, and my thoughts and prayers are with the moose on the wall.

If destroying restaurants ain't your thing, you've got two more options. Everyone's favorite local free-punk jazzers Microkingdom are at the Penthouse Gallery with Daytime, Sky Way, and Not the Wind, Not the Sky. Daytime's Mirrored World still get's late night plays in my rotation, a disc I mentioned digging late last year.

Last but not least, the always polite Thank You headline the Zodiac. This one's supported by Silk Flowers, DJ John Eaton, and the uncomfortably entertaining Funny Clown. This one will run you just 3 dollars and starts at 10 PM.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Tonight: Double Header in Hampden

There are two great shows tonight, taking place at both Jesus Camp and the Golden West. However instead of having to choose between them, you can check them both out back to back without missing a beat or hopping to another 'hood.

The first show goes down at Jesus Camp in Hampden, and starts at 8 PM. Mississippi's Junk Culture comes to town, leading a bill with Adventure and Moss of Aura. This will prove to be a fine exhibition of electronic stimuli - as synths, glitches, bits, and beats should all have you feeling pretty good for an early evening affair. If Gerrit (Moss of Aura/Future Islands) is still offering his Still Parade CDR, you'd be a fool not to grab it. This one is upstairs at Jesus Camp, use the fire escape.

When that's all said and done, walk on down the street to the Golden West where you'll find Lizz King, The Demon Beat, and Hammer No More Fingers. This one starts at 10 PM, and should cap off a nice little Wednesday. Eat some tater tots and be musically blessed by the always wonderful Lizz King, as she returns from her first national headlining tour. If you have yet to check out her debut, All Songs Go to Heaven, get on that. You can scoop the vinyl/MP3s over at Ehse Records, and peep the love-fest review posted on Aural States yesterday.

Choose one, or choose all. Happy hump day. Videos after the jump.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Photos: Dan Deacon, Sick Weapons,
and Nuclear Power Pants at the Ottobar

Dan Deacon at the Ottobar
Friday night's show at the Ottobar was a make-up date for a show that was supposed to happen late last year, and props to all involved for delivering on their promise. This was a super great lineup, and had all the makings for an enjoyable Friday evening.

Sick Weapons continue to be, well... sick. They get tighter and tighter with each and every performance, as Ellie gets more fun to watch along the way too. Expect a big 2010 from these folks, and hopefully their first proper release. Nuclear Power Pants' sounds of funky synths and acid-drenched pop sludgery were bigger than ever Friday night. Their stage show was as lively and entertaining as I've seen, so be sure to check them out as they head out on a national tour with Height with Friends in late March.

The last time we covered Dan Deacon playing solo in Baltimore the vibes were not great due to a push-happy younger audience. This was not the case Friday, as Dan set up on the stage but allowed anyone to join him up there. It was good to see him back in action and doing the things that got him to where he's at today, and it was equally as good to see a crowd that showed support and respect. I've heard some rumblings of future things to come from Deacon, and I look forward to keeping folks informed on said things.

Get Chrissy's full photo set of the evening after the click.

Sick Weapons
Sick Weapons at the Ottobar

Sick Weapons at the Ottobar

Nuclear Power Pants
Nuclear Power Pants at the Ottobar

Nuclear Power Pants at the Ottobar

Nuclear Power Pants at the Ottobar

Dan Deacon
Dan Deacon at the Ottobar

Dan Deacon at the Ottobar

Dan Deacon at the Ottobar

Dan Deacon at the Ottobar

Photos by Chrissy

DNA Test Fest III: Lamps

DNA Test Fest III is April 3rd at Sonar. Bmore Musically Informed will be the only site with a ticket giveaway for this, and you can look for that to start in March. Here's another spotlight on a loud band playing DNA Test Fest III.

There are a handful of bands playing Test Fest that are not often seen in these here parts, and Lamps are one of them. This California based trio dropped two great 12 inches on In The Red over the past few years, both of which are more than worth your while. Today, Fan Death Records releases a new Lamps seven inch dubbed The Role of the Dogcatcher in African-American Folklore. Here's the B-side, a cover of The Kinks' "Salvation Road".

More on Lamps and the new seven inch after the jump.

Above is how Lamps describe themselves.

Lamps harness a raw energy that is deeply primal, and heavily felt. With comparisons to The Cramps often tossed around, it's clear that these guys understand rock and roll. Sounds are generally dirty, pounding, and full of the kind of force that leads one to feel truly free.

The Lamps release shows that they are continuing to maintain their cavernous and primitive nature, yet applying it to some innately catchy rock songs. Side A is a perfectly executed chunk of rowdy punk beats tossed with crushing noise that are bound to get stuck in your head in an uncomfortably pleasant manner. If you try and picture getting drunk and playing with a chainsaw, or simply recall that time that you did - you might get an idea for what this minute and a half of rock music makes you feel like.

Side B is "Salvation Road", off of The Kinks' 1974 album Preservation Act 2. Lamps' take on this tune is pretty much just as you'd expect, and the result is likely the most accessible Lamps song out there. This is a band that comes out swinging like a caveman, and this seven inch is just another addition to the catalog of worthwhile releases Fan Death has produced in their short existence.

Get Test Fest tickets here, and look for more spotlights on bands involved soon.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Live MP3s: Sri Aurobindo @ the G Spot 1/29/10

This was Sri Aurobindo's first live show in awhile, as the band has spent the last several months focusing on putting together their next LP. It was apparent that these guys had an itching to play, blasting through a set heavy in new things.

The new tracks heard will be found on their next full length, which will be part of the inaugural round of new LPs on our soon-to-be-debuted Friends Records. The upcoming record was the result of a long amount of time spent in Chris Freeland's Beat Babies studio, and the final mastering touches were completed last week. The LP is to be dubbed Cave Paintings, and I can't tell you how excited I am to send it off to get pressed to vinyl in the coming week.

With much thanks to Charlie Hughes, their first live set of 2010 was captured in full. Stream one of my personal favorites, "Soul Vibrations of Man", above, and download the full set below.

Download MP3s: Sri Aurobindo Live @ the G Spot 1/29/10

They don't make music like this anymore folks, get details on the live recording below.

Sri Aurobindo
1/29/10 @ the G Spot
Recorded by Charlie Hughes
Sound by Adam Cooke

Cave Painting
My Luv is Stoned
Soul Vibrations of Man
Vertical Electric
Nobody's Child
Find The Door

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Photos: Grundlehammer Rehearsal @ 2640 Space

Last Fall, the Baltimore Rock Opera Society presented Grundlehammer, it's first production. Grundlehammer sold out all three nights of it's original run, warranting a bigger and better version to return. Grundlehammer 2.0 is this Friday, Saturday, and Sunday at the 2640 Space.

The kind folks at BROS were awesome enough to let us get a sneak peek, as Chrissy and I attended a full costume rehearsal at the church this week. We were both blown away by the amount of work that goes into a production like this, as the church was littered with medieval rock props, some very busy hands, and excitement.

The band dubbed as "The Hammered" sounded on point, while actors and actresses were focused and engaging. This time around Grundlehammer promises some new and improved enhancements including rebuilt sections of the stage, lazers, and much more. Tickets for Friday and Sunday night are still available here, and there will be a limited number available at the door for Saturday night.

Chrissy was able to photograph the rehearsal, capturing the passion and smiles that go along with this seemingly epic rock opera. Catch the full photo set below.










Photos by Chrissy

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Live MP3s: Weekends @ the G Spot 1/29/10

It's no secret that one of my favorite new bands in Baltimore over the past year has been Weekends. They played second at the G Spot show a few weeks ago, and fired through a seven song performance. The set was full of material to be found on their upcoming full length, the inaugural release on our new label Friends Records.

Rob Girardi recently finished the final mix of the new LP at Lord Baltimore and will be mastering it this weekend. Look for more info on the upcoming vinyl soonish, but for now get a live taste of what to expect.

Above is the evening's version of an oddly conventional song to come out of this duo, "Home Alone" - a scuzzy garage pop ballad that's got some of the most melodically incoherent vocal "woos" you'll hear. This was their last song, but here's the whole set.

Download MP3s: Weekends Live @ the G Spot 1/29/10

Read on for track list and details.

1/29/10 @ the G Spot

Recorded by Charlie Hughes
Sound by Adam Cooke


1. Peer History
2. Team Wolf
3. Burnt Lips
4. No More Bands
4. Raingirls
6. Psychedelic Mice
7. Home Alone

Live MP3s: Arbouretum @ the G Spot 1/29/10

With much thanks to Charlie Hughes, all five sets of Bmore Musically Informed's first curated show were recorded in full. I'll be posting as much audio as I can over the next week or so, but today I have the evening's closers, Arbouretum.

This was a pretty amazing set, as they pumped out tracks from nearly every release of their catalog. The fact that this is likely the last set to ever be played at the G Spot, which has been in Baltimore for ten years, makes it all the more special. This will also be the last time they play with drummer Daniel Franz for awhile, as they've updated their lineup while he's off touring with Beach House.

Opening with "Flood of Floods" off of Kale (their split record with Pontiak) was a treat, but you simply can't top the way this set was closed out. Andy Stack and Jenn Wasner of Wye Oak joined the band on stage to play Neil Young's "When You Dance I Can Really Love". Stream that above, and download the entire set below.

Download MP3s: Arbouretum Live @ the G Spot 1/29/10

Read on for the set list and details.

1/29/10 @ the G Spot
Recorded by Charlie Hughes
Sound by Adam Cooke

Flood of Floods
Another Hiding Place
Mohammed's Hex and Bounty
Signposts and Instruments
Down by the Fall Line
False Spring
Underneath the Arches
When You Dance I Can Really Love*

*Neil Young cover, with Wye Oak

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

The Soft House Presents Terry Riley's In C

From the kind and amazing folks that brought us Soft Fest (which we still have live audio up from if you click the link), now bring us Terry Riley's In C. This was originally scheduled for February 6th and was canceled due to that white stuff, but now has a new date on Friday, March 12th.

The same performance is still planned, with roughly 30 talented musicians from a plethora of different Baltimore music outlets set to take on this piece. The composition that will be performed was written by Riley in 1964, and is one of the first minimalist compositions. At the core of this semi-improvisational piece is what Riley referred to as the "pulse", a musican's phrase that repeats the note C in eighth notes.

Get all the details and see who will be involved below.

NEW OFFICIAL DATE: March 12! Check back for line-up additions!

Join us for an evening of atmosphere and sound featuring "In C," a classic minimalist piece, performed by an ensemble of nearly 30 Baltimore musicians!

The Soft House
Friday, March 12th
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)-----------glockenspiel
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)-----tenor sax
Andy Abelow (of Small Sur/Soft Cat)-----------------------alto sax

Britton Powell (of Hume)---------------------------------------double bass
Kate Barutha (of Soft Cat)-------------------------------------cello

Will Pesta (of Happy Family)--------------laptop
Grayson Brown (of Comeback Ranch)---laptop
John Somers (of Do While)----------------laptop
Sam Shea (of Copycat Theatre)----------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 Mothersday)--------------------------live processing
Tom Fitzgibbon (sounds)------------------------------live processing

... and more!!



Monday, February 15, 2010

Rapdragons - "She Got Me" (Moss of Aura Remix)

Podcasting with Rapdragons
Rapdragons dropped a single yesterday, a remix of a seasonally relevant cut off of their debut, Ten Stories High. "She Got Me" is re-worked by Moss of Aura, side project of Future Islands' Gerrit Welmers.

If there was a ballad on Ten Stories High, it's "She Got Me". Moss of Aura turned the laid back sing-a-along album version into a vibe more congruent with the epic synth soundscapes found on his Still Parade CDR.

Take a listen above, and get fresh details on new Rapdragons releases below.

"She Got Me" is the first single for Ten Stories Hijacked, a remix album that will be released digitally on April 20th. Ten Stories Hijacked will feature all of the original vocals from Ten Stories High, but set to new beats by "Baltimore's dopest laptoppers and beat-makers". This will be a free release on Ltd Comp.

More big news, the highly anticipated Featuring Baltimore album now has a release date set. It will drop on June 8th, and will also be a free digital release compliments of Ltd Comp. We offered a live couch session sampler of tracks from this release back in November, including the debut of the Ponytail-sampled "Early for Work".

Featuring Baltimore will sample only local bands, and will also feature other rappers and singers from the city that reads. Bands to be sampled include but are not at all limited to The Agrarians, Beach House, Dope Body, Future Islands, Teeth Mountain, and Weekends.

Rapdragons have some out of town shows with Dope Body and Eachothers this week, and are part of a great bill here in April that includes Moss of Aura, In Every Room, and True Womanhood at the Golden West.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Clusterf*ck: Shows in Baltimore This Weekend

Once you are done shoveling snow from your awning or roof so it doesn't collapse, I've got some activities for you to take part in this weekend. And if you're car is stuck on a street that's still not plowed like mine - then those boots are made for walking.

Tonight you've got a couple options, one of which is a big 'ol party at Sonar that I mentioned earlier this week. This will be the Baltimore debut of Mobroder, a new Spank Rock project that features the help of Blu Jemz and DJ Hoff. This "disco supergroup" more than likely won't suck at all, and should offer a good look at what to expect from the release they've been working on.

If disco-infused hip hop ain't your thing, head to the Zodiac for what promises to be a spectacularly weird musical happening. Forms of Ed Schrader and Lexie Mountain will be performing, Ed playing with his new band and Lexie playing with Sam Garner. The out-of-towners are Miracle Condition, who are ex-members of U.S. Maple.

Saturday night boasts some choices as well, one of which will find you at the Talking Head room for a last minute Taxlo throw-down. Cullen and Simon are bringing in Nite Jewel, and also will be doing some spinning of records themselves. Nite Jewel is kind of like what might happen if Grouper starting playing some lounge tunes. Hazy vocals with a 80s dance feel, this project garnered considerable buzz last year.

The Hexagon has a hefty bill of doom and ambient metal Saturday night if you're in the mood to have your ears blasted. Nadja headline, a Toronto/Germany based project from the likes of Aidan Baker. Local doom outfit Oak and Brooklyn black metal band Liturgy lead support, while Major Powers make a rare appearance.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Tickey Giveaway: Fucked Up & Kurt Vile @ the Ottobar

I'm doing two ticket giveaways in a row, because well... we all need some inspiration to go out after what got dumped on Baltimore this week. There's a whole lot of really great shows in the wings here in town, but this particular bill is high on my radar.

Fucked Up will headline one hell of a supporting cast with Kurt Vile, Vincent Black Shadow, and The Flying Eyes all rounding out the lineup. February 16th at the Ottobar features a variety of rock and roll ranging from hardcore to psych-scorch to punk-folk to some good old fashioned psychedelic rock music.

The Flying Eyes are a young crew from Baltimore that have gotten some international recognition as of late. Germany-based World in Sound recently released their debut album, a record I've been spending some time recently. Paired with locals Vincent Black Shadow, this show is worth arriving early for.

Philly's Kurt Vile unleashed two stellar LPs before more recently relinquishing his debut album with Matador. And then there's Fucked Up, a must see live act who just last month dropped Couple Tracks, a singles compilation full of songs from 2002-2009.

Enter to win free passes and peep some videos from the headliners below.

Email to enter to win a pair of free passes to this show next week. I'll pick a winner the night before.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Ticket Giveaway:
Mobroder (Spank Rock, Blu Jemz, DJ Hoff) @ Sonar

This Friday night Emily Rabbit is hosting quite the party at Sonar, and I'm guessing we're all going to need to get out of our houses and move around a little bit by then. Mother nature has had her way with Baltimore this week, so we likely all deserve a little fun on Friday. The fun comes compliments of Mobroder, a new Spank Rock project that has been in the works over the past year. Mobroder consists of Naeem Juwan (aka MC Spank Rock), NYC's Blu Jemz and LA's DJ Hoff.

There's not much info or music out there on this "disco supergroup" yet, but Blu Jemz states, "Hoff and I have been working on a Mix CD with Spank Rock called Mobroder which is basically like the trials and tribulations of the Black Moroder, I think it’s gonna be epic, so of course it’s taking forever."

Get more info, hear stuff, and enter to win free passes after the jump.

Above is the video for Da Hardy Boyz jam, "Here I Am". If you're interested in winning a pair of free passes to see them and the regional debut of Mobroder going down at Sonar this Friday, email and say so.



February 12, 2010
Sonar Club Stage
Doors @ 10 PM
Get tickets here.

Photo: Jolene Kao

Monday, February 8, 2010

Soft Cat - Wildspace

A project that took form last year, Soft Cat is set to release its debut album this Spring. I've been spending a lot of time with Wildspace, and can confidently say it will be one of the more enchanting releases to come out of Baltimore this year.

Migrating from Texas to Baltimore in recent years, Neil Sanzgiri is the mastermind behind Soft Cat. Some of the music behind Soft Cat originally stemmed from his other project, Talking Tiger Mountain. Here's the second song on Wildspace, "Dark When it Should be Violet Hour":

Wildspace is eight perfect tracks of incredibly lush folk pop, songs that layer melody upon melody in ways that warm your soul. Exploring beauty in places where it's not often sought and taking advantage of a rich community are where this record really excels.

Wildspace was mostly constructed in Baltimore, with the help of a lot of great local talent. Contributors include Brendan and Adam from Weekends and Bob Keal and Andy Abelow of Small Sur. Some out of town help came from members of Sunnybrook and Sleep Whale.

When I asked Neil the story behind this album, here were his thoughts on the theme:
"Any concentration of wilderness, growth, or life contained in a surviving ecosystem located in an urban setting is known as Wild Space. It is a non-domesticated area existing and dwelling as arcane emptiness. Wild Space creates fear from the unknown yet gives context to conformability. Organisms grow and cultivate while going unnoticed. Wild Space serves as the in between spaces in our lives. The album was written by the wild spaces of the railroad behind the Copy Cat in Baltimore, MD 2009."
A premise of this nature resonates well with Baltimore and what's going in our urban landscape, and it's really great to see someone apply that to other social and ecological issues. The music asks to get more in touch with areas of ourselves that we've left unnoticed, yet these spaces continue to grow.

Neil is working on 200 handmade copies to be released through tour and contact in March, but the album will also get a proper digital release through Waaga Records. Waaga is an imprint of Lefse Records, home to Neon Indian, and also A Grave With No Name - responsible for Mountain Debris, an album I've been enjoying immensely as of late.

You can download Waaga Records' debut compilation for free at their site, which includes the Soft Cat track "It Won't Be Long", and songs from the rest of their artists.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Photos: Aural States Fest II

Noble Lake
This year's Aural States Fest looks to be the last, and was yet again another great ode to regional splendor. Considering the cold white powder that fell from the sky all day long on Saturday, the turnout wasn't all bad and somehow the majority of folks involved still made it to Sonar.

Valerie snapped photos of acts she was able to witness, full set to follow.

Height with Friends
Height With Friends

Lands and Peoples
Lands and Peoples

Caleb Stine
Caleb Stine

True Womanhood
True Womanhood

Dustin Wong
Dustin Wong

Noble Lake
Noble Lake

Photos by Valerie

Beach House Play Songs in a Big Furry Room

This just in - the new Beach House album is really good. It's super nice to see all this warm reception for Baltimore's Alex Scally and Victoria Legrand, as the interwebs have been full of hushed and dreamy pop music in the weeks surrounding the release of Teen Dream.

Above you'll find a live video production compliments of Pitchfork, where Beach House perform the lead track off their new LP called "Zebra". This was shot and recorded in their practice space, that was lined with soft and fluffy white fur. I've seen them play in a lot of different environments with various elements to bounce their sound around, but nope... never fur.

The set for the shoot was designed by Alex and Victoria. Daniel Franz of Arbouretum, who has been a recent accomplice of their performances, joins them to lend a percussive hand. Beach House also recently stopped by Daytrotter where they played four tracks off of Teen Dream, including two of my favorites - "Take Care" and "Used to Be".

Check out the other two P4k videos for "Silver Soul" and "Walk in the Park" below.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Premiere: Future Islands - Live From Their Living Room

Podcasting with Future Islands
A couple months ago we had the privilege of putting together an intimate live session with Future Islands. They played a set in their Mt. Vernon living room, and it was captured by us with the help of some other local media outlets.

The session consisted of five songs, three of which were new, and all of which the trio performed in a whole different light. Sam sat down for these tracks, Gerrit played on an old organ that he had only used once before, and William chugged out bass lines that filled the room. While this wasn't an acoustic set, it had a similar feeling that allowed the songs to really stand out on their own.

The three new tracks played will be found on their second full length album, and their Thrill Jockey debut, In Evening Air. Today we're premiering those tracks. "Walking Through That Door" will be the first song on the upcoming album, but here's the living room rendition.

If you've seen them play over the past year or so, you've likely heard "Tin Man". Stream it below, but look for more news in the future about our own Friends Records seven inch release of a very special alternative version of this song. *The Future Islands 7 inch on Friends Records will now be a brand new song just recorded last week* Ed. 7/10/10

Check out another new track and peep photos from this session below.

Podcasting with Future Islands
Here's the first song they played for us that night, which didn't have a name when this was recorded. It's now dubbed "Swept Inside", and will jumpstart side B of In Evening Air.

As their lyrics have always been rather dark, this session really brought out the meaning behind tracks you'll find folks dancing to at their shows. The May 4th release date for In Evening Air couldn't come any sooner.

Podcasting with Future Islands

Podcasting with Future Islands

Podcasting with Future Islands

Podcasting with Future Islands

Podcasting with Future Islands