Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The Death Set - Artificially Sweetened

A few weeks ago I posted the first single from The Death Set's forthcoming LP, and now the band brings us more new music via a mixtape called Artificially Sweetened.

"They Come To Get Us" is a brand new sugar-dosed thrash pop banger from the fellows of The Death Set in collaboration with the always brutal XXXChange. This is just a sample from an offering of over forty tracks, all of which run the complete gamut of party jam styles - including "Baltimore Collage" which is an ADD-sized portion of sounds from Ponytail, Double Dagger, Ecstatic Sunshine, Dan Deacon, Video Hippos, and Spank Rock.

Download the free mixtape right here (via  Мишка), full tracklist after the jump.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Tonight: Sex Worker, Psychic Reality, Thank You

Tonight the Golden West hosts a swirl of psychedelics with San Fransisco's Sex Worker (mem of Mi Ami) and Psychic Reality (ex-Pocahaunted) paired with locals Thank You.

Above is "Rhythm of the Night",  the second track off Sex Worker's newest record dubbed Waving Goodbye which is out now on Not Not Fun. It reminds me of the warped R&B found on How To Dress Well's debut LP, but is somehow even more fucked up. More locally, the album as a whole sounds like a much more spaced out and dubby DJ Dog Dick, complete with offerings of harsh noise and the occasional inter-galactic journey.

Toss in Psychic Reality coming to town, and Baltimore's Thank You, and you've got yourself a Monday night. Thank You are about to release their new LP on Thrill Jockey, which I ranted and raved about already. Peep the video for "Birth Reunion" below.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Celebration - "Battles"

Last night a new card in Celebration's Electric Tarot project was dealt by WICV Radio's Secret Pizza. The card was Strength, and came via the new song, "Battles". Above is a sun-lit photo of singer Katrina Ford's painting - her rendition of Strength in the tarot deck. Katrina has painted nine cards over the past few months, all of which are to be shown on the inside of the gate-fold sleeve the vinyl LP will be packaged in.

"Battles" is the eighth song on the forthcoming Hello Paradise LP, and is among the newer batch that was recorded at Night Worm Studios and mixed at Wright Way Studios.

In the Electric Tarot, "Battles" represents the card for Strength. Katrina's painting depicts a pale horse in what seems like an impossible quest. While some of the odds against him are unclear, and others are devious, the horse shows determination through patience and composure through structure. "Battles" withstands the resolve in one's heart.


I feel the force
all at once
to ride this lightnin' down
on a pale horse ride right noooooooooooow







Pre order the forthcoming Hello Paradise right here via Friends Records.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Video: Teengirl Fantasy - "Dancing in Slow Motion"

A few weeks back I posted Mark Brown's video for a new Ami Dang track, and here's another psychedelic swirl of visuals compliments of Baltimore's Mark Brown.

The track is off Teengirl Fantasy's newest LP, dubbed 7 AM. Admittedly, I haven't been a fan of more traditional electronic music as of late. Teengirl Fantasy's new LP has revived my faith in simple and repetitive electronic dance music, and has had me coming back to it quite a bit more than anticipated. Plus, its got soul. This duo does not originate from Baltimore, but they've got a couple Whartscapes under their belt over the past few years.

7 AM is out now on True Panther. Hear the album closer, "Cheaters", above.

Video: Future Islands - "The Ink Well"

This past weekend Future Islands played sold out shows in Raleigh, Baltimore, and New York City. Also this past weekend, across the Atlantic and over in the Czech Republic, the finishing touches were placed on a video for their new single dubbed "The Ink Well".

The video was directed by Theo Anthony, a film student originally from Annapolis but currently studying in Prague. Theo describes this short as a "reaction towards being in a new place where you really don't know what's happening." Anthony was consumed mostly by an unfamiliar environment found within the confines of the encroaching baroque architecture, until he found a massive field that overlooked the city of Prague. These feelings seem to explode in this short, an apt accompaniment to "The Ink Well".

Get "The Ink Well" on peach-colored vinyl via Friends Records right here.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Show: Future Islands, Lonnie Walker, Winks, Bobby @ Ottobar

This Saturday night, November 20th, the Ottobar hosts a late show (doors at 10 PM) that includes Future Islands, Lonnie Walker, Winks, and the dance collective Bobby.

This is the release party for a split 7" record with new singles from Future Islands and Lonnie Walker, dubbed "The Ink Well" and "Love Turn". The release is now available via our very own Friends Records, and comes on silky smooth peach-colored vinyl and a download code for those who prefer digital sounds.

Lonnie Walker are close friends of Future Islands from their hometown of Raleigh, but have played in Future Islands newfound home of Baltimore enough to earn a spot in Charm City's young hearts and minds. "Love Turn" is a sedated country punk ballad from the mind of singer Brian Corum, a heart-wrenching tale of when things go sour.

The Future Islands track features the glimmering synths, poignantly irresistible bass lines, and guttural vocals that have caused folks all over the world to fall in love with this band. This 7" is the last release of what has been a banner 2010 for the trio - touring the world and releasing their highly-acclaimed second LP with Thrill Jockey.

Winks will open, another Friends Records alum who is on the heels of releasing their next record. The new full length is to be titled She's Done, and steps in a more focused and polished direction than the old karaoke machine recordings of Winks' stellar debut cassette. Look for the track above, "She Cums in Colors", to appear on the new album, and stay tuned for more info on that release.

The show on Saturday starts at 10 PM at the Ottobar, and costs just $7.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Show: Mickey Free Record Release Party @ Golden West

This Friday night at the Golden West Mickey Free celebrates the release of his new album with AK Slaughter, Nuclear Power Pants, and Secret Weapon Dave on the 1s and 2s.

Mickey Free has had a banner year, churning out a killer remix of Wye Oak's "That I Do", producing the latest Height with Friends LP, and capping it all off with a solo full length that's chock full of the antics and beats we've come to know and love from Mr. Free.

While the LP has a handful of standouts - from "Never Enough" which features Wye Oak and Dave from Arbouretum, to more humorous takes like "The Unnies" - my personal favorite has to be "They Don't Know How To Act" which features a verse from Height. Any hip hop track that can come off this serious but still use the phrase "schlepped" is ace in my book, and this epic banger defines everything Mickey is capable of.

I highly recommend hitting up the show this Friday night, and even more so, I urge you to pick up a copy of Mickey Free's Last of the Tight Wiggers. Mickey is offering admission to the show and a copy of the album for just $10, so get on that.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Photos: INEVERYROOM, Dangerous Ponies, The Extraordinaires

In Every Room
Last Tuesday night the Charm City Art Space hosted locals INEVERYROOM paired with The Extraordinaires and Dangerous Ponies , both from Philadelphia. It was a good time.

Valerie came out and shot some photos, the full set is after the jump.

In Every Room

In Every Room

Dangerous Ponies

Dangerous Ponies


Live MP3s: Lil B at Whartscape 2010


It's been several months since Whartscape 2010 went down here in Baltimore, but we're still stockpiling recordings of live sets compliments of Guy Werner.

Today I've got a pretty special one for you, in what was easily the most "based" performance to ever go down at Whartscape. Lil B made the trip out from the California Bay area to perform for Friday's Whartscape crowd outside of Current Space.

Lil B has made a name for himself this year by releasing the first ever ambient hip hop record, having a freakish online presence, and by appointing himself the one and only Based God. His live performance was not in the least a compromise - shouting out to all the hipsters, nerds & punks, telling everyone he's Jesus (and Mel Gibson), and using the word "swag" more times in a half hour than we thought was humanly possible. So based.


Monday, November 15, 2010

The Death Set - "Yo David Chase You P.O.V... (feat. Diplo)"

It's been awhile since we've heard from our favorite electro-spazz punks, The Death Set. But, the Brooklyn by way of Philly by of Baltimore by way of Australia band are back.

Above is a brand new song from The Death Set, emailed over to us from Johnny Siera this past weekend. The track is called "Yo David Chase You P.O.V. Shot Me In The Head", and despite the long name, it clocks in at just over a minute. More interestingly, it features production from Diplo and XXXChange. Johnny describes this collaboration as "Spazz punk meets the production Killer Team."

The result doesn't stray away too far from the The Death Set formula we've come to know and love, packing as much energy into a one minute span as humanly possible. There are synths that rage like a twelve year who devoured too many Pixy Stix, anthem-like vocals that will have you cheering along, and a beat fit for any type of dance floor.

The new LP is called Michel Poiccard, and is out sometime next year on Ninja Tune.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Raindeer - "Moon Child"

Our city is chock full of a range of different sounds, and right now Raindeer seems to be set firmly at the top of Baltimore's offering of psychedelic disco pop.

Above is a first look at a brand new tune that Raindeer passed along this week, dubbed "Moon Child". This is by far the darkest song to emerge from the project, seemingly a song about loss and heartbreak. The electronic overtones provide a unique glow for this sort of darkness, similar to the neon lights that radiate from a seedy strip club.

Much like the project's debut EP that dropped this summer, silky smooth production is evident throughout the track. But more importantly, Raindeer continues to create a sound that's pretty tough to come by these days. With blends of psych, dance, prog, synth pop, and disco all in the mix, the result is an infectiously catchy and quite brilliant.

"Moon Child" will be on Raindeer's forthcoming release with Fight The Future.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Happy Family - "Laura's Diet" / Dead Drums - "A Thousand"
+ show tonight w/ Baby Birds Don't Drink Milk, and more

Tonight there's a beauty of a house show down at 2720 Sisson with Happy Family, Dead Drums, and Rothko's Modern Life all joined by Kansas's Baby Birds Don't Drink Milk.

I've mentioned the infectiously ambient works of Dead Drums here before, the solo project of Caleb from Lands & Peoples. He's got an EP in the works to be released via Bathetic Records, and was kind enough to pass along a new taste last night. Above is "A Thousand", a gentle grower that starts with a low hum which hardly prepares you for the beauty to come. A light cloud of bliss captures the first half, until guitars transform your feelings of content into pure happiness in the end. Listening to this jam in full is a must.

Happy Family has been a favorite of mine since he sent over his original EP, and for the past couple years we've gotten taste after taste of a full length that's been in the works. I've had the opportunity to take a listen to several incarnations of the forthcoming album, and "Laura's Diet" (above) is certainly a high point of the journey. You can snag this track as part of Wigflip's End of Summer comp that dropped a few weeks ago.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Video: Secret Mountains - Rejoice

Dark and bright colored leaves are on the ground, and for the past couple of Fall seasons here in Baltimore, Secret Mountains have provided a solid soundtrack to said imagery.

The Fall of 2010 brings us their Rejoice EP - three new hearty gems from this young collective of lushly psychedelic folk-pop minds. We now have the first proper video for the release, a short filmed by Ace Kieffer and edited by John Andrews of Wisdom Tooth.

The shots were taken from the band's summer tour this year, the poster for which you'll find after the jump. You can pre order the Rejoice EP on cassette right here, which ships in a couple of weeks and is backed with an unreleased song from a session at Mobtown Studios. The digital version can be found here, and is also after the jump.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Interview: Jason Urick
+ show w/ Deakin, Highlife, Weyes Blood

  photo by Josh Sisk        

For the past ten years Jason Urick has played a heavy hand in mixing the musical pot that is Baltimore. In addition to his stellar recent solo output and his former outfit WZT Hearts, Urick's reach is one that fully embodies what this town thrives on.
"...everybody here influences each other."
Jason Urick recently let folks in Baltimore know that he'd soon be relocating. I was able to reach out to Jason yesterday, who filled me on his current state of affairs and more...

Brett: I heard you'll be moving out of Baltimore soon, where are you headed?

Jason: The word is true... as far as final landing spots go it's pretty liquid right now, but i do know I'll be on the west coast of Oregon in December and Portland for a few months after that.  I'll send Baltimore a postcard when I know where my destination will end.

What are your plans while inhabiting these new digs? 

My only plans are to have no plans at all at this time!

Any new music on the horizon?

Yeah I have a good bit of stuff bubbling up... first a split tape on Wtr Clr with Rjyan Kidwell of reggae re-edits that I'm pretty amped on... working on rmixes for Oxes and Ami Dang, a possible collab with Maxmillion Dunbar and just started rough ideas for the next full length. Pretty much the entire month of December I will be holed up in Western Oregon churning out tunes.

Is there a moment or influence in particular that caused you to decide to leave Baltimore?

No, not really... it's either a combination of lots of little things or nothing at all... I'm not sure... i only know I've been here 10 1/2 years and the itch to move on had become unbearable to deny.

What has music/art here in Baltimore taught you?

I can say that the main thing I'll take away from my time here is that everybody here influences each other, and that is a pretty special situation!

What were some of your favorite shows you've been a part of here in town?

Wow that's a tough one... Some that stick out in my mind that I had no part in would be:

To Live & Shave in LA II @ the Ottobar
every Lungfish show ever
US Maple at the Ottobar
Trad Gras Och Stenar @ Talking Head Club

and my favorite moments setting up shows would have to be:

AMM @ Mt Vernon Place United Methodist Church
Smith N' Hack @ Sonar (once.twice.festival)
William Basinski @ JHU (once.twice:festival)
Animal Collective @ Payan's Rugs
Cluster and all @ Floristree

Current favorite new Baltimore sounds?

I've been very lucky to have copies of new albums by Ken Seeno, Thank You and Arbouretum in my hard drive and am loving all three.

On the younger end Gem Vision is currently one of my favorite things going on ANYWHERE. Also digging on all the Soft House/Wigflip  stuff still (eachothers, Do While, Run DMT...). Ecstatic Sunshine's new stuff, Dustin... so much as always.

Would you care to offer any advice to those who will remain here in Baltimore?

Not really, I think Baltimore is in a good place and still beyong needing much advice musically culturally. Maybe my only advice to people living here is DON"T WEAR HEDPHONES AT NIGHT!

Sound advice, Jason. You will surely be missed here.


This Friday night Jason Urick plays his last Baltimore show for awhile at Floristree. The bill also sports Deakin, Highlife, and Weyes Blood. Starts at 9 PM and probably costs $5.

"Fussing & Fighting" is from an EP Urick dropped on Thrill Jockey earlier this year, while "F Kenya RIP" is from Highlife's Best Bless EP which came recently via Social Registry.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Video: Ami Dang - Where Nothing Grows

We mentioned Ami Dang's forthcoming record a few weeks ago, which is out via Ehse Records on January 7. It now has its first proper video, a short sculpted by Mark Brown.

I first caught the video for "Where Nothing Grows" during Mark Brown's portion of Soft Fest a few weeks back, in which he also projected a taste from an upcoming Teengirl Fantasy video he did. Mark's psychedelic churn of effects turn this bollywood dance romp into a full-on organic head-fuck. From the looks of the footage, I'd guess that Ami is dancing in the corner of The Soft House while the sun sets over west Baltimore. This imagery is cut and spun with sun-lit vegetation, which eventually turns to sparse desert.

Ami Dang's forthcoming LP is dubbed HUKAM, and is out January 7 via Ehse.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Shows: Wye Oak, Double Dagger, Roky Erickson,
Thank You, Arbouretum, Zomes, Height, more

The upcoming weekend supplies a killer event to attend each day, starting tomorrow. Wye Oak headlines the Ottobar, backed by The Art Department and Height with Friends.

If you read this space, your familiar with our love for Height with Friends, particularly Bed of Seeds. The Art Department released their first proper LP with GenPop this summer, and Wye Oak continue to blow up worldwide. Andy and Jenn are also on the heels of a new album, and word on the street is to expect that next spring(ish).

On Saturday, the good folks who hosted the majority of this years Whartscape are having a fundraiser. The lineup at Current Space is pretty awesome, and includes what will likely be the last local Double Dagger show of 2010. Performances from Thank You, Mickey Free, Zomes, Brendan Sullivan, and more can also be expected at this all day affair.

Arguably the godfather of psychedelic rock and roll comes to the Ottobar on Sunday. Roky Erickson headlines, proprietor of all things psych/garage and founding member of the 13th Floor Elevators. Roky will be supported by the doom-folkers Arbouretum. Arbouretum's lineup will also be joined by David Bergander and Walker Teret of Celebration. Video of Dave Heumann singing a new song in a grassy knoll is below.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Video: Jones - "Jones (Wounds)"

Our favorite psychedelic rap star Jones just dropped a dreamy video for one of the tracks off his debut LP dubbed "Jones (Wounds)". The music video is directed by Brian Durel.

If you haven't already done so, cop the beautiful Jones Jones Jones 12" LP right here.

Live MP3s: Ecstatic Sunshine @ Soft Fest

I present you with more great audio to share from this year's Soft Fest, this gem via the set by the ever-evolving Ecstatic Sunshine. This project has remained the solo endeavor of Matthew Papich over the last year or two, with him churning out a stellar full length and some other sounds here and there - including the digital single "Hello Money" below.

Much like the evolving lineup the project has had over the years, one can never expect exactly the same thing from a live set. Sunday night's Soft Fest performance, recorded by David Carter, consisted mostly just of samples. Papich shared endearing sounds that bubbled and entranced until they boiled over into new melodies and ideas. New waves washed into vibes that were slightly more percussive than journey's past, and even some familiar notes worked their way into the incredibly stellar set from Ecstatic Sunshine.


Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Video: Thank You - "Birth Reunion"

The folks over at Thrill Jockey just gave us the go ahead to post the new video from Thank You. The short for "Birth Reunion" was shot by Nat Munari, with the help of Katherine St.Paul Hill, Lindsay Pickett, and Za Dawson of the Bobby dance group.

"Birth Reunion" is the second track on Thank You's forthcoming Golden Worry LP, of which I shared excitement for a few weeks ago. It will be available January 25, 2011.

Coincidentally, William Cashion just informed me that Bobby will be performing on November 20 at the upcoming Future Islands seven inch release party, in which I posted the new single for earlier today. Bobby will perform in between sets from Future Islands, Lonnie Walker, and Winks. View that flyer right here. Bobby debuted at this year's Whartscape, and also performed at the Oxes show back in August at Windup Space.

bobby @ the windup space

Future Islands - "The Ink Well" /
"Stand...(you gotta) ft. Lonnie Walker"

Since we announced the inception of our local vinyl/tape record label, Friend Records, we've told you about our seven inch record with Future Islands and Lonnie Walker. This release sparked the idea of the label, and the peach colored vinyl of "The Ink Well" and "Love Turn" will hit turntables worldwide this week.

Above is the new Future Islands track for the the release, which was premiered yesterday by Altered Zones and the North Carolina based blog Get Off The Coast. Jheri Evans spoke of a track that "glistens and sparkles like few others, tugging at your heart and begging you to follow along as it floats off into the fog", while AZ said that band was "winning hearts with dramatic vocal delivery and minimal electronics."

This is the fourth and final vinyl release for Future Islands this year, capping off what has been a banner year for the trio. "The Ink Well" was written just before their tour in support of their debut LP with Thrill Jockey, and recorded right after the two month trek earlier this year. At the end of the week the limited addition vinyl will be available on their tour, right here online, and in stores.


Lonnie Walker and Future Islands grew up together in North Carolina, and some members even went off to college together. While Brian Corum's country punk sounds weren't steadily aligned with the synth pop of William, Gerrit, and Sam... there was at least one collaboration that took place.

William Cashion called this their "inspirational karate-kid metal song". He also stated it was "recorded during the Pangea sessions back in April 2006 at the Bonque house in Greenville, NC." This was their first proper session with Chester Gwazda, which spawned "Follow You (Pangea version)" and "Pangea 1" from Wave Like Home. Brian Corum was on vocals, while Gerrit Welmers played guitar for this one.

Their tour starts on Thursday at the Black Cat down in D.C, and hits Baltimore November 20 with Winks. All dates for the 18-day North Americam tour are after the jump.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Photos: Celebration, Sri Aurobindo, Microkingdom, Dustin Wong

Many thanks to those that came and experienced our show Friday, as Celebration, Sri Aurobindo, Microkingdom, and Dustin Wong made for an eclectic night of sounds.

Also, apologies to those that got turned away, as a capacity crowd filled the confines of the G Spot. Moldy old slides created spooky psychedelic imagery that was projected on all of the walls of the space, including the stage. Dry ice fell from the rafters, but most importantly... each band played their heart out to an eager crowd.

Our favorite photographer Valerie was there to capture it all, full set after the jump.

Halloween Show at the GSpot!

Dustin Wong


Sri Aurobindo





Live MP3s: Romantic States @ Soft Fest

Romantic States
Last week we shared photos from this year's Soft Fest, and starting this week we'll begin offering a handful of recordings from the second night compliments of David Carter.

The first one is a live set by Romantic States - the excellent project via Jim from Videohippos. I've had the pleasure of seeing Jim perform several times with Ilenia under this moniker, and each time have been floored by the gentle melodies and effortless beats of the project. Above is "Amusement", the second song in their set from Soft Fest.

If you have yet to catch this duo perform live, digest the full set below... or better yet... catch them in DC this Thursday, November 4. They'll be opening up for Future Islands and Lonnie Walker at the Black Cat, which also marks the first show the Future Islands split 7" with Lonnie Walker will be available. More on that to come very soon this week.