Friday, April 30, 2010

Friends and Friends of Friends:
Lonnie Walker and B&P (formerly Bear & Pieces)

Lonnie Walker at the Good Son
Friends and Friends of Friends was made available digitally for free this week, 60 minutes of new music somehow rooted in Baltimore by Friends Records.

Lonnie Walker is a country punk band with a knack for crafting songs drenched in Americana, along with a knack for a putting on one hell of a fun live show. They are based out of North Carolina, and grew up with the fellows of Future Islands.

Future Islands and Lonnie Walker are set to put out a split seven inch with Friends Records sometime this year (with a new Future Islands song that was written this month), but for now Brian Corum sent over a new track not off their stellar debut LP. The country-washed Pavement sounds of "Feels Like Right" will likely show up on the band's next release.

<a href="">Lonnie Walker - Feels Like Right by Friends Records</a>

Check out a brand new track from B&P after the jump.

B&P is the solo project of Chris Day, a resident of Open Space and the creator of Lost Ghosts Records - one of the finest local proprietors of hand made musical collages and soundscapes. Chris had been dubbed Bear & Pieces up until a week or so ago, when he passed along "Greminals" and let me know he wanted to be called B&P from now on.

Chris designed and screen printed the poster for our first show back in January at the G Spot, and he is currently working on the inserts for the the new Sri Aurobindo LP. "Greminals" is an and eight and a half behemoth of a journey through moments and sounds, and is certainly the darkest moment of the cassette. Look for some more excellent new B&P sounds to come this year.

<a href="">B&P - Greminals by Friends Records</a>

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Friends and Friends of Friends:
Sri Aurobindo, Shields, Daytime

Sri Aurobindo at the Metro Gallery
Friends and Friends of Friends was made available digitally for free this week, 60 minutes of new music somehow rooted in Baltimore by Friends Records.

Sri Aurobindo have been making psychedelic rock and roll in Baltimore for years, but just last year released their debut CD. They also dropped Return Into Earth later in 2009, and now the second LP of the Friends Records catalog will be Cave Painting. This is their first proper full length, and first vinyl release.

Cave Painting is almost exactly 20 minutes on each side, and embodies everything this band has been about since their inception - Garage rock psychedelics with a pop twist. "Don't Know" is one of the finer chunks of proof that these are properly uncovered sounds. The band dug deep to contribute a live on-air gem recorded at College Park's WMUC a couple years ago.

<a href="">Sri Aurobindo - Don't Know (live @ WMUC) by Friends Records</a>

Greg over at Aural States also premiered the studio version of "Don't Know" a few weeks back. Hear new things from Shields and Daytime after the jump.

Mike Romano was once a member of Vincent Black Shadow, but for the past five years has been with Sri Aurobindo. All while creating the psych rock sounds, Mike's had a knack for building blissed out hip hop beats under the moniker Shields.

You'll find Shields beats littered over Height's Winterize the Game, and on some of Jones' record. Mike was also behind "Cold Crush" which will be on Bed of Seeds. Shields has a new LP in the works, and "Dangx2" is a brand new track from this beat-smith.

<a href="">Shields - DANGx2 by Friends Records</a>

Neil Renalda is Daytime, best known for his artwork and dedication to Open Space. Neal also designed the mega fancy cover art for Strange Cultures. Daytime is an experimental ambient noise project, melodic sounds that paint beautiful imagery of with often very rough edges. I've already highly recommended Mirrored World, and he's got a handful of other fine sounds available over at Lost Ghosts Records.

<a href="">Daytime - Lights by Friends Records</a>

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Friends and Friends of Friends:
Future Islands, Jones/Food For Animals, Tapes in Space

Future Islands at Jesus Camp
Friends and Friends of Friends was made available digitally for free this week, 60 minutes of new music somehow rooted in Baltimore by Friends Records.

Future Islands release In Evening Air in Baltimore Friday night at Floristree, and the official Thrill Jockey release date is next Tuesday. Since hearing Wave Like Home a few years ago, there's been no other band's follow-up record that I've looked forward to more. Having now spent a couple months with In Evening Air, it's become clear that William, Gerrit, and Sam have crafted something really special.

"Virgo Distracts" is the second track on side A of In The Fall, the EP Thrill Jockey dropped this month on translucent blue vinyl. The Friends Records comp features a live cut of this track from the vaults of Willam Cashion, recorded at DubLab in Los Angeles. This is from September 8, 2008, a really early incarnation of the tune.

<a href="">Future Islands - Virgo Distracts (live @ DubLab) by Friends Records</a>

future islands album release @ floristree
Friday's show poster by Kitty Kat Press (36/40 copies)

Read on for a new Food For Animals track remixed by Jones, and also Tapes in Space.

Jones has been cooking up some mighty fine beats, remixes and psychedelic hip hop around town, and used to make a lot of music with Height. He killed it on a remix of Future Islands' "Little Dreamer" last year, which originally appeared on the Splice Today comp and got pressed to wax for Post Office Wave Chapel.

Jones still has his own debut available on vinyl, which is beautifully packaged and available here. His contribution to the comp is a remix of a new Food For Animals song, complete with a warped-out and hazy banger of a beat.

<a href="">Food For Animals - Dope (Jones remix) by Friends Records</a>

Tapes In Space is the solo effort of Adam Lempel, better known as the dude who likes to stand on the drum set during Weekends shows. Adam has been recording a wide variety of different pop sounds at slow speeds, and then speeding them up.

The result is Tapes In Space. "Bat Meat" also features Chase/Winks playing casio steel drums, and is part of a batch of tracks that "mixes and matches genres" and will be on an upcoming release. Adam is also responsible for the cover art, a photo he showed me recently at a print fair up in Philadelphia by David Grahm.

<a href="">Tapes In Space - Bat Meat by Friends Records</a>

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Friends and Friends of Friends:
Moss of Aura, Brendan Sullivan, The Violet Hour

Moss of Aura at the Ottobar
Friends and Friends of Friends was released for free yesterday, 60 minutes of new music somehow rooted in Baltimore by Friends Records. I'll be featuring a handful of tracks each day all week, and today we're really excited to present you with new sounds from Moss of Aura, Brendan Sullivan, and The Violet Hour.

Moss of Aura is Gerrit Welmers, a fellow who is largely responsible for the Future Islands LP that's about to drop in a really big way - In Evening Air. One-third of Future Islands, Gerrit has been putting out releases under the Moss of Aura moniker since 2006, and there's a batch of CDRs I highly recommend perusing here. Below is a brand new track from Moss of Aura called "Generations", which will be blasting side A of our cassette off into 80s montage wonderment.

<a href="">Moss of Aura - Generations by Friends Records</a>

Listen to new tracks from Brendan Sullivan and The Violet Hour after the jump.

Brendan Sullivan is 1/2 Weekends, and has a plethora of tapes under his belt under his own solo moniker. Many of said recordings are worth a super heavy gander, and "Young Thunder Pt. 1" is alot like some of the new sounds heard in his stellar set played after Male Bonding at the Golden West a few weeks back. This is part one of two of a piece, on a release that's currently TBA.

<a href="">Brendan Sullivan - Young Thunder Pt. 1 by Friends Records</a>

The Violet Hour at the Metro Gallery
The Violet Hour opened up our first show back in January, after releasing their brilliant debut in 2009. This is a brand new song from Beth Varden and Andriana Pateris called "Echoes", which will hypnotically and beautifully close out side A of the tape comp. We're really stoked for more to come from The Violet Hour, and also quite excited for a tape Beth is working on with Lost Ghosts Records.

<a href="">The Violet Hour - Echoes by Friends Records</a>

Monday, April 26, 2010

Friends and Friends of Friends:
Lands & Peoples, Height with Friends, Winks

Friends and Friends of Friends - Rainbow
Friends and Friends of Friends is the first Friends Records compilation, and will feature new and exclusive tracks from Friends Records artists and their friends. The digital version was wrapped up last night and made available for free today right here.

Clocking in at an hour, there are 15 tracks of mostly Baltimore based music - a hand picked batch of all different shapes and sizes that that we've been cooking up around town for the past few months. All this week I'll be featuring tracks from this comp, starting today with new sounds from Lands & Peoples, Height with Friends, and Winks.

<a href="">Lands & Peoples - In Living Colour by Friends Records</a>

"In Living Colour" is a brand new song from Lands & Peoples that will appear on their upcoming debut full length. This is the current incarnation of the tune, recorded by Christopher Freeland at his Beat Babies studio. Lands & Peoples play the Ottobar May 14 with Wye Oak and Ami Dang.

Brand new Height with Friends and Winks are after the jump.

<a href="">Height with Friends - Current Floor by Friends Records</a>

"Current Floor" won't be on the new Height with Friends LP, and features a beat that got passed around between Height and his friends, originally stemming from a King Rhythm track off of Hardships & Head Trips. HWF heads back out on a national tour this week, and their new LP called Bed of Seeds will be ready for turntables shortly. The album release party will be May 28th at the Hexagon with Weekends and more TBA.

<a href="">Winks - Sometimes I Can Fake A Smile by Friends Records</a>

Winks is Chase from INEVERYROOM, with the help of Adam Lempel (Weekends) and others. This is a brand new song that features Renee Clark's beautiful vocals as well, and is another gem under this new project's belt. I highly recommend checking out Winks' debut, and you can now grab a physical CDR courtesy of Environmental Aesthetics.

The Ed Schrader Show - March 11, 2010

Guy Werner just posted the new Ed Schrader show, which took place at Open Space last month. Peep the Double Dagger performance above, and watch the full episode below.

The Ed Schrader Show - March 11, 2010 from Guy Werner on Vimeo.

Photos: Weekends, Talk to Animals, Jones, BLDGS, Bone Zone

Friday night the Hexagon featured Weekends, Talk to Animals, Jones, Buildings, and Bone Zone. The show was a lot of fun, and this was Weekends second show out of four that were played in Baltimore, DC, and Brooklyn last weekend.

The bill was diverse, ranging from electro pop thrash to scuzz surf to psychedelic hip hop and more. Good times were had, and Valerie's killer set of photos is after the jump.



Talk to Animals
Talk to Animals

Talk to Animals




Bone Zone
Bone Zone

Photos by Valerie

Friday, April 23, 2010

Clusterf*ck: Shows in Baltimore this Weekend

There's a lot to do this weekend, so let' get to clusterf*cking. This one is a bit of a Friends Records edition, as bands from all three of our upcoming LPs are playing shows.

Tonight, the Hexagon is stacked so grab a six pack or flask of your favorite spirit and get ready for a pretty diverse bill. Baltimore's Weekends, Jones, and Talk to Animals, are paired with DC's BLDGS and Boston's Bone Zones... yes, the name's Bone Zone. This party will run ya six beans, and as always the Hexagon is BYOB. See you there.

Sonar is sporting a massive one tonight as well, with the biggest ambient soul project in all the land coming to town. Taxlo's got The XX, but unfortunately if this is the first you are hearing of it you're out of luck. This one's sold out, but there's an after party at Sonar with Jamie from The XX DJing that does not require a ticket to the show. The after party starts at 10 PM.

Saturday night you'll likely want to be in the Annex/Copycat corridor. Height with Friends and Nuclear Power Pants bring the veggie oil fueled bus back to Baltimore, playing a big 'ol homecoming show at The Good Son with AK Slaughter, Gavin Riley, and Drew Swineburne. Nuclear Power Pants will also be releasing their new cassette single for "Uh Oh Maxi". And, Height's new LP will be ready for your turntables in just a couple weeks.

<a href="">Raingirls (short) by Friends Records</a>

Over at Pet Cemetary, there's another massive lineup with Weekends, True Womanhood, Ava Luna, Cop Magnet, and Silent Whys. A lot of these folks have releases with the Baltimore digital label Environmental Aesthetics, and also a lot of these folks are awesome. There is one more show in the vicinity, with Nothingberryplasma, Total Bolsheviks, Andrew Bernstein, and Comeback Ranch all playing over at The F401tress.

Oh and hey, you've got two more swell options Saturday night with Rapdragons playing their release party for Ten Stories Highjacked, and the Oranges Band playing their 10th anniversary show at the Ottobar.

<a href="">Sri Aurobindo - "Soul Vibrations of Man" by Friends Records</a>

If you survived Saturday night's ambush, then Sunday's got a stellar free show upstairs at the Ottobar. Sri Aurobindo and Jack Chick play El Suprimo's 7th birthday party. Get psyched.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Weekends - "A Defining Love (acoustic)"

Friends and Friends of Friends - Rainbow
In honor of Weekends playing FOUR shows this weekend starting tonight in Brooklyn at the Impose party, Friends Records is releasing a taste of its first compilation called Friends and Friends of Friends. Below is an acoustic version of "A Defining Love".

<a href="">Weekends - A Defining Love (acoustic) by Friends Records</a>

This special version will be the first track on the Friends Records comp, which will consist of many other sounds from Friends artists and their/our friends. The collection will be released for free digitally very soon, with a limited cassette available next month. It will have new and exclusive tracks from Weekends, Future Islands, Height with Friends, Sri Aurobindo, Lonnie Walker, Moss of Aura, Brendan Sullivan, Winks, Jones, Tapes in Space, Shields, Daytime, Lands and Peoples, Bear & Pieces, The Violet Hour, and more surprises.

"A Defining Love" is a new song that has slowly crept its way into recent set lists. It somehow manages to be even catchier than "Raingirls", which is one-upped x100 on this acoustic take. The recorded electric version will rear its head on a split tape with Total Slacker, due out on Breakfast of Champs soon. This alternate version for the comp is part of an acoustic batch of recordings currently in the works, details forthcoming.

The "pot of gold" artwork above was envisioned by Adam from Weekends, drawing over a photo he found at a print fair we were at up in Philadelphia last weekend. After the jump is another possibility for the cover art. Let us know which one you like better and look out for the full comp soon.

Friends and Friends of Friends - Pyramid

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Dead Drums - Fashion Defense

Caleb Moore, member of Lands & Peoples, dropped his first solo release a few weeks back. It was originally a free release via his own site, and is now also listed as the tenth release over at Wigflip Records. If you're following along too, this is the new Baltimore music outlet's tenth release of just this year, most of which have been free downloads. Looks like I may need to just designate a weekly segment to Wigflip releases.

Caleb's solo moniker is dubbed Dead Drums, an incredibly fitting name for the style of this first release which is called Fashion Defense. The meaning is evident in the EP's very first track, a slow building ambient shower that's topped off with warped percussion that never fully comes to life. Hear for yourself.

<a href="">literally illiterate by dead drums</a>

Dead Drums paints surreal and aurally cleansing soundscapes that are ideal for minimal use of brain cells, or deep thought... either way works. These are the kind of jams that never quite take the forefront, but hint at wanting to throughout. Sound collages that are full of melody but hidden under smatterings of murky tape hiss and fuzzy ideas.

The EP clocks in at over 18 minutes, giving a nice taste of what else might come of Caleb's side sounds. It was recorded in his Waverly home, and is dedicated to his cat Fishstick, Heath Ledger, and reefer. Fashion Defense is certainly worth your while, so go grab it here.

1. literally illiterate 02:37
2. girls 01:35
3. fashion defense 01:27
4. more perfecter 02:47
5. mr. horse / let us build a woodbridge together 03:35
6. narcoleptic shock 02:19
7. we live in a house 02:32
8. edna 01:24

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Clusterf*ck: Tuesday Night Edition
deacon at bernie's, cex, harlem, and more...

As once noted in a post with The G, we don't endorse the drugs. However, we totally support musical happenings in Baltimore. And for whatever reason, the 20th day in April seems to spark up a handful of worthwhile events around town.

Harlem's new album is called Hippies, and shit, I can't think of a band with a new album title that is a better ode to this so-called holiday. Yes, hippies are the product of a never-ending 4/20, but you won't find any Grateful Dead covers on this new LP via Matador. You will however find sixteen garage pop tracks that are light-hearted, full of fuzz, and catchy as all hell.

Harlem were fantastic last time they came around these parts, and I'd expect no less tonight at the Golden West when they play with Eternal Summers and Junkers.

Over at the Red Room you'll find a rather intriguing set of performances tonight. Dan Deacon will team up with Teeth Moutain member Andrew Bernstein to form what is to be called Deacon at Bernie's. The duo will be performing along with three short films by Lillian Schwartz and Stan Van Der Beek, which were curated by Mary Helena Clark.

If this wasn't enough to keep your head held high, world-renown cellist Charles Curtis will also be in town and performing in the Red Room. This one will run ya six dollars and starts at 8.

If you're not burnt out, one of Baltimore's biggest weekday dance parties is back in full 420 action tonight at the Hippo. Deep In The Game sports residents CEX and Schwarz, and tonight will feature guest DJ Cullen Stalin. This one's free before 11, but $5 after.

Streaming below is a recent mix by CEX dubbed "Archbroseph of Berlintimore Tbass Mix Series #9", which totally lives up to being described as a "relentless mix of skanky heavy bass Grime ruffness."

Monday, April 19, 2010

Dustin Wong - Let It Go

Last year's Seasons was the culmination of several years of self-recorded material by Ponytail guitarist Dustin Wong, and easily one of my favorite records of 2009. Last week WTR CLR released Let It Go, Dustin's first solo release since Seasons.

Let It Go consists of material written and recorded after the release of his debut, and is further documentation of Dustin's growth. Streaming below is "Anniversary Song".

"Anniversary Song" is of the more upbeat gems of his catalog, and what was once hypnotic layers of lush guitar noise now adds percussive vocals and playful keys. This track and other moments of the Let It Go may hint at a new direction, but are intertwined with the signature sounds of Dustin's prior work and performances that we in Baltimore have come to know and love.

Clocking in at over 47 minutes, Let It Go is a hefty serving of mind-blowing guitar wizardry. Head over to WTR CLR to download the entire album for free, but purchasing the beautiful cassette (pictured after the jump) comes highly recommended. Justin over at WTR CLR has some more stellar things in store, and you can check back here for details on upcoming releases from Dope Body, Jason Urick, and Smart Growth.

Let It Go
2. MY SONG 6

Friday, April 16, 2010

Celebration - "Two of Wands"

With thanks to LTD Comp for the heads up, Celebration has dropped another tarot card on to the interspaces. The deepest so far, this one's an instrumental track that hastily dives into your psychedelic atmosphere with grace and beauty, as only Celebration could.

"Two of Wands" is the first card offered from their Electric Tarot project in awhile, but I've been told that good things are cooking in Sean and Katrina's basement. Peep all the cards that have been offered already after the jump.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Crazy Dreams Bands - War Dream

Lexie Mountain's take on a rock and roll outfit, Crazy Dreams Band, just dropped their second full length on Holy Mountain - a label home to the likes of Daniel Higgs and Zomes. War Dream is officially out this week, and is available in both LP and CD format.

You'll be able to catch Lexie in both of her current musical happenings tonight, as the Lexie Mountain Boys will play Transmodern at the BMA while Crazy Dreams Band play Floristree for a post-Transmodern show that includes Greg Ginn & The Texas Taylor Corrugators and the CSC Funkband (members of USAISAMONSTER, Talibam, Gwar).

War Dream
is four tracks long, the last one clocking in at almost twenty minutes. Forty minutes all together, this is free-form spacey junk rock on an epic scale and twisted with loose melody. The LP is a bit more accessible and clean than their self titled debut, but still contains enough sludge to slide in and out of psychedelic soundscapes with ease. There's funk, there is some blues, and there's a whole mess of Janis Joplin-on-steroids vocals layered over splintering rock jams.

"2 Awkward For Everyone" is now streaming over on their myspace, and I'd highly suggest sampling this journey of an avant blues rock song. Free-formed crawls break way to standard rock and roll riffs that hit heavy with Lexie's cries, only to wind back down to a jazz-step accompanied by carefully meandering guitar workings. The ability to control feelings and progressive jams is where War Dream accelerates.

This should not and will not ever be labeled and filed to a specific genre, as its a release that captures the past but paints ideas from outer space and beyond. This is clearly not just a rock band, and would you expect anything otherwise from this cast of Baltimore characters?

Crazy Dreams Band head out on tour after the Floristree show tonight, dates are below.

4/15 baltimore FLORISTREE
4/16 philly CONNIE'S RIC-RAC
4/17 nyc CAKE SHOP
4/18 providence DARK LADY
4/19 cambridge CHARLIE'S
4/20 hadley GREY MATTER
4/21 burlington ENTER
4/22 montreal FRIENDSHIP COVE
4/23 ottawa 854
4/24 toronto TERANGA
4/26 detroit PJS LAGER HOUSE
4/27 chicago EMPTY BOTTLE
4/28 cleveland COOL RANCH

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Yukon - "Life Inside" 7 Inch and "Throws"

Yukon have been out on tour since the beginning of April, and come back to Baltimore for a show at the Wind Up Space this Saturday with The Violet Hour and Each Others.

This will be the release show for their new 7 inch. The new disc features "Life Inside", an almost 6 minute long track. The fellows of Yukon wanted to keep that one under wraps for now, but here's a track that will be on their self titled full length due out in the fall.

"Throws" is a pretty good representation of the direction Yukon are heading in - A dark and heavy brew of cave folk, and a more subdued feel than the likes of the Medallion EP.

Get more details on the 7 inch and the show this Saturday after the jump.

"Life Inside" will be a one sided 7 inch and will be limited to 100 copies. It's pressed to white vinyl and features hand screened white on white covers. The track utilizes math-rock elements similar to prior works from the band, and applies them to a guitar heavy folk rock epic.

Jams are controlled well, and it seems as if the freshly expanded lineup has shined Yukon in a new light. You can't help but recall bands of the early 90s FM alternative rock stations, especially with the deep and cavernous vocals. The burning Barbie doll in the "Black Hole Sun" video certainly crossed my mind, but Yukon's sound ignites a bit slower and a lot heavier.

The show Saturday starts at 10 PM and will run you seven beans.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Tonight: Mi Ami, Thank You, Dope Body

Tonight's killer lineup has been moved from Open Space down to the Zodiac, as Mi Ami comes to town and joins forces with Thank You and Dope Body.

Mi Ami are fresh off their latest release with Thrill Jockey, Steal Your Face. Streaming below is the second track off the new LP called "Latin Lover".

This track is a toned down banger courtesy of Mi Ami, with the heavy ecstatic bounce found in all of the trio's work. As seen in the cover art for Steal Your Face above, there's clearly a certain ode to dub to be found throughout the new record. However, this tribute is warped with enough freaked-out lagos and tribal drum sonics to make your head spin in that good way.

In addition to a performance that I'm pretty certain will have you running to grab Mi Ami's new LP, tonight you'll also get a rhythmic bunch of a more local variety - Thank You. These guys are yet another Baltimore band under the Thrill Jockey umbrella, whose last EP showed some signs of good things to come for whatever is next.

Dope Body continue to get better and better, a drowning wave of rage and joy that hits you all at once and deep in the belly. You can still pick up Twenty Pound Brick over at Wtrclr, and the dudes also have some sick new demos up on their myspace. Be sure to check out "Bully".

The show tonight is at 10 PM at the Zodiac.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Video: Future Islands - "Tin Man"

directed by Jay Buim

The first video off of In Evening Air just dropped today over on P4k, a Future Islands track that has had us dancing and crying at shows over the past year or so.

In Evening Air will be released May 4th on Thrill Jockey.

Future Islands Tour Dates

April 22 - Washington, DC @ Black Cat
(w/DOUBLE DAGGER, Ed Schrader)
April 23 - Charlottesville, VA @ Twisted Branch Tea Bazaar
April 24 - Greensboro, NC @ tba

North American Tour with LOWER DENS
April 30 - Baltimore, MD @ Floristree (w/DOUBLE DAGGER, Dustin Wong) In Evening Air Release Party!
May 1 - Brooklyn, NY @ Death by Audio (w/DOUBLE DAGGER, Light Asylum)
May 2 - Philadelphia, PA @ Danger Danger (w/DOUBLE DAGGER)
May 3 - Shepherdstown, WV @ Blue Moon Saloon
May 4 - Raleigh, NC @ Berkeley Cafe (w/Lonnie Walker, Whatever Brains)
May 5 - Charlotte, NC @ Milestone
May 6 - Greenville, NC @ The Phoenix (w/Lonnie Walker, NAPS)
May 7 - Charleston, SC @ Outer Space
May 8 - Atlanta, GA @ 529
May 9 - Athens, GA @ Nasty World
May 10 - Knoxville, TN @ Pilot Light
May 11 - Chattanooga, TN @ tba
May 12 - Oxford, MS @ tba
May 13 - Pensacola, FL @ tba
May 14 - New Orleans, LA @ tba
May 15 - Houston, TX @ Mangos
May 16 - Austin, TX @ The Mohawk
May 17 - Lubbock, TX @ Riprock (w/Height with Friends)
May 18 - Las Cruces, NM @ The Equinox
May 19 - Phoenix, AZ @ tba
May 20 - Las Vegas, NV @ tba
May 21 - Los Angeles, CA @ Sync Space (w/Foot Village, Robedoor)
May 22 - Los Angeles, CA @ The Smell
May 24 - San Francisco, CA @ tba
May 25 - Eureka, CA @ Lil Red Lion
May 27 - Portland, OR @ tba
May 28 - Olympia, WA @ Northern
May 29 - Seattle, WA @ Sunset Tavern
May 30 - Boise, ID @ tba
May 31 - Salt Lake City, UT @ tba
June 1 - Denver, CO @ Rhinoceropolis (w/Pictureplane)
June 2 - Kansas City, MO @ The Pistol
June 3 - Bloomington, IN @ The Bishop
June 5 - Chicago, IL @ tba
June 6 - Detroit, MI @ tba
June 7 - Toronto, ON @ Primary Colors
June 8 - Montreal, QC @ tba
June 9 - Burlington, VT @ The Monkey House
June 10 - Dover, NH @ The Brickhouse
June 11 - Boston, MA @ tba
June 12 - Brooklyn, NY @ tba
June 13 - Baltimore, MD @ Penthouse

Lexx - Mangoblunt

Wigflip Records just got going this year, yet this is already the eighth digital release under their belt. Wigflip's first physical release, Do While's self titled CD, is now up for pre-order, but the label's already got a few other jaunts in swing.

There's talks of a Run DMT/Happy Family split 12 inch in the works, and the infectiously fantastic track above is said to be one of the new Run DMT diddies you'll find on there. But for now, the fellow's just dropped Lexx's Mangoblunt.

Above is "Throw Ma Thing Down", a Mangblunt track that cuts some Missy into the mix.

For those who dug the Inflatable Mattress release, (other moniker for Happy Family's Will Pesta) Real Talk, Mangoblunt is another tape of tainted beats and hazy club jammers. This EP also might mark the first time a Ying Yang Twins verse has been used in fair taste since... always.

This 20 minute EP offers a smattering of synth-driven beats with found sounds and warped vintage layers abound. It's certainly a fun listen and would prove delightful for any 1 AM porch session dance party. Lexx tosses traditional hip hop of the crunked out variety and damages it with art from a wide palette, leaving behind some heavy beats.

Not without some funk, dance, and soul - this one pays homage with glitches and mashes that get you all jittery inside. Certainly worth a listen, Mangoblunt is a free download over on Wigflip. Also free for your downloading pleasure, Lexx's Slime Time.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Video Premiere: Jason Urick - "Fussing & Fighting"

Above is the video premiere of "Fussing & Fighting", the title track on the new Jason Urick EP that just dropped on Thrill Jockey. The piece was directed by local video guru/DJ, Mark Brown.

"Fussing & Fighting" might be the most accessible Urick song to date, a jam that almost even has lyrics. It's more upbeat than most the stuff on Husbands, with a neo-dub glow that's fit for intergalactic dance halls. Jason's signature collage of tamed chaos and hypnotizing sounds is morphed into a pop song, but the video might hint at otherwise.

Order Fussing & Fighting here, and peep the tracklist after the jump.

01Fussing & Fighting
02The Chase
03Make This Critical/Sleeping Bag
04Fussing & Fighting (Estatic Sunshine)

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Photos: Deakin, Ecstatic Sunshine, Salamander Wool

Ecstatic Sunshine
I missed out on Saturday's Floristree show due to getting my ears properly blasted at Test Fest, but some friends with cameras were in attendance.

Deakin made his second Baltimore appearance since his first ever solo appearance at the Ottobar back in January, and was accompanied by Ecstatic Sunshine, Salamander Wool, and Rusty Santos. Peep visuals of the evening after the jump.




Ecstatic Sunshine
Ecstatic Sunshine

Ecstatic Sunshine

Salamander Wool
Salamander Wool

Salamander Wool

Photos by Valerie

Mobtown Microshows

Our neighbors, Mobtown Studios, are a friendly little recording studio headed by Matthew Leffler-Schulman. Most recently, they're responsible for the daunting task of recording the entire NOVO Festival (for your downloading pleasure over on Aural States), which included yet another breathtaking set by Dustin Wong.

However, in-house they've been running their Mobtown Microshow series that has been on fire as of late. The series consists of a private show inside their Charles Village studio, where the performance is taped and released via their site. Since January they've hosted Secret Mountains, Mr. Moccasin, and most recently Rapdragons.

The Rapdragons show was of particular note, as Nick Often and Greg Ward lined up quite the supporting cast to help out with songs off of their upcoming Featuring Baltimore release. The session included Dustin Wong lending his guitar chops to "Early For Work", Aran from AK Slaughter guest rapping on "Rap’n'Roll", Future Islands fronter Sam Herring throwing down his vocal flow on "Gotta Go", and a couple fellows from Secret Mountains helping out with "Come Harvest".

It looks like Mobtown's got a fine list of upcoming microshows, including one with Weekends May 13... right around when Strange Cultures should be dropping. Here's their schedule until October, all shows are free but RSVP is requested due to small seating capacity.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

True Womanhood - Basement Membranes

True Womanhood are playing en EP release show here in Baltimore at the Golden West tomorrow night with Moss of Aura, Rapdragons, and INEVERYROOM.

The much regionally-hyped DC band dropped their debut recently, a digital EP with Environmental Aesthetics. The trio consists of Thomas Redmond, Melissa Beattie, and Noam Elsner, and they've only been around a little over a year now. Basement Membranes was recorded at Death by Audio by David Levin (A Place to Bury Strangers) and at J. Robbins' studio in Baltimore.

The new EP is the much fuller form of the four song demo they've had at shows over the last year (which came in an awesome old school floppy disc sleeve), and features six tracks at just over 25 minutes. Not just fuller in length - the production fronted by the choice individuals noted above is definitely noteworthy.

The bands take on melodic gloom pop uses sounds and textures of all varieties, all of which are tweaked and leveled to a listen that is interesting to say the least. Guitar drones and drums are mixed in with samples and croons, churning a stew of cohesive melodies and almost haunted sounds.

"Dignitas" is a personal favorite, track three on the digital EP. This is by far the darkest of the bunch, with layers of ghosts paired with entrancing sonics that build throughout. I'd love to see this band take this darkness even farther in prior works, as this one's just got that tribal/cult feel that's tough not to be drawn to.

As long as this band sounds even remotely the same as they do now, there will surely be Radiohead comparisons. This is largely due to the vocals which are very reminiscent of Mr. Yorke, but the melodic twists of pop song structures bare close resemblance as well. While this is probably a good thing for the band's success, it's almost close enough in sound to the point of flaw.

Regardless, this EP is great and I'm eager to see what's next from True Womanhood.