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Bedrock Comes Out Of The Vault

October 31, 2008
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Bedrock Comes Out Of The Vault

McCracken | Image by City Paper Digi-Cam™ Wednesday night was my first time checking out the downtown venue Bedrock since it started booking music in recent months, though I remember going to shows in the same building years and years ago, when it was called the Vault. Not much has changed since then, both...
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Little Feat Bring the Tunes, Forget the Lyrics

October 24, 2008
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Little Feat was arguably one of the greatest rock bands of the 1970s, and most certainly one of the best not to have achieved significant mainstream success or classic rock canonization, spinning off from Frank Zappa’s Mothers of Invention with an idiosyncratic blend of blues, country, and R&B. And while Little Feat’s original run,...
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Last Minute: Wye Oak and Caleb Stine Get Together for “Hope Night” This Sunday

October 23, 2008
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We weren’t able to get this into yesterday’s paper, but if you’re looking for some late Barack Obama boosterism or if you’re a McCainiac with a sweet spot for tender, upswelling indie-rock sound fields or urban-folk rusticism, this Sunday Wye Oak and Caleb Stine and the Brakemen have put together an Obama fundraiser at...
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“Wzt Hearts No Longer”

October 21, 2008
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“Wzt Hearts No Longer”

A Wzt Hearts Incarnation Of Yore Strained under the pressures of maintaining a band long distance and many, many solo/side projects, the too-brief psych-noise quartet Wzt Hearts are disbanding, according to an e-mail sent out this afternoon by member Jason Urick. “The challenges of staying active while being physically displaced from one another eventually...
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Four on the Floor, One on the Stage

October 20, 2008
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Four on the Floor, One on the Stage

Smoke Signals | Image by City Paper Digi-Cam The Ottobar has seen its share of local acts performing on the floor among the audience, from Dan Deacon to the Death Set. But this past Tuesday, Oct. 14, the Baltimore band Kirby Adams, decided to have it both ways. One member set up shop onstage...
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Weekend Notes: Starfucker, Fucked Up, and Other Fucking Good Times

October 20, 2008
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It’s interesting to see a band save itself via a good live show. Starfucker‘s recently released album of cavity-inducing indie pop is fine and fun enough to listen to, but feels unfinished or perfunctory, like the increasingly hyped band was rushing it. The building blocks of great songs are there, but the blocks themselves...
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A Magic Bean and a Beautiful Gorilla

October 17, 2008
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A Magic Bean and a Beautiful Gorilla

Beans | Image by City Paper Digi-Cam The Windup Space is such a clean and well-lit room that it probably shouldn’t feel right to see a night of live local music there, but somehow it does. Not that all other indie venues in Baltimore are dark, dirty holes in the wall, but there is...
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Baltimore Round Robin Tour Is Giving Detroit a Complex

October 16, 2008
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Our friends up at City Paper‘s sister publication in Detroit, Metro Times, pointed us to a couple of fawning reviews from local blogs about the Baltimore Round Robin Tour, which wraps up this weekend in New York City. From webvomit.com: “The honesty and positivity these people give off is amazing. From a Detroiter’s perspective,...
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Weekend Notes: Girl Talk, the Chandeliers, and the Hexagon’s Smoking Porch Rules

October 13, 2008
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Weekend Notes: Girl Talk, the Chandeliers, and the Hexagon’s Smoking Porch Rules

Girl Talk | Image by Josh Sisk The Girl Talk live phenomenon is common knowledge at this point among people who pay attention to phenomenon in sub-mainstream music but, still: whoa. Roughly 1,400 people–specifically: white, reasonably affluent minors with “x”s on their hands–dancing to a scraggly fellow triggering and stacking brief pop music samples...
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Apollo Sunshine Remembers How to Be Awesome

October 10, 2008
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Apollo Sunshine Remembers How to Be Awesome

Apollo Sunshine | Image by City Paper Digi-Cam In 2005, Baltimore’s Lake Trout brought down a band from Boston called Apollo Sunshine to open a couple of shows at the Ottobar, and the out-of-towner proceeded nearly to blow its hosts off the stage on both occasions. Combining shit-kicking Southern rock with disjointed art rock...
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Shut Down and Shut Up: New Documentary on Baltimore’s Unlicensed Music Venues

October 10, 2008
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Nicky Smith (the son of City Paper co-founder Russ Smith) has a short black-and-white documentary, Shut Down and Shut Up, circulating online right now that is worth a look. Basically, it’s him sitting down with the proprietors of the since-defunct Scarey Studios, Floristree, the Hexagon, Hamilton Arts Collective, the since-defunct Wham City, the Bank,...
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Zazen Boys Land in America With a Solid Thump

October 9, 2008
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Zazen Boys Land in America With a Solid Thump

Zazen Boys | Image by City Paper Digi-Cam International music publicists have a bizarre talent for landing press releases in the in boxes of even the most occasional freelance music journalists; last time (for me), it was an agent hyping Iranian pop-punk band Hypernova’s unprecedented U.S. “invasion.” The primary hook of the blurb concerning...
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Know Your Product: Nathan Bell @ 2640

October 8, 2008
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Know Your Product: Nathan Bell @ 2640

Nathan Bell Performing At 2640 | Image by Raven Baker Nathan Bell @ 2640 is a brief but haunting release from West Main Development, a local label specializing in live recordings and one-time collaborations, with a penchant for tapping Lungfish members (a previous release features Dan Higgs). The label’s latest, four untitled tracks clocking...
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Know Your Product: Bad Liquor Pond, Radiant Transmission (MT6)

October 8, 2008
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Know Your Product: Bad Liquor Pond, Radiant Transmission (MT6)

Bad Liquor Pond songs aren’t constructed for competitive speed or conceived as incredible displays of technical skill; rather, they’re built for sheer listener comfort. The Baltimore-based quartet’s songwriting template is strictly midtempo, like a casual cross-country trip astride a baked, easygoing dragon from some metalhead’s spray-painted Econovan-mural fantasies. Frontman/multi-instrumentalist Dave Gibson, guitarist Melvis Fargas,...
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Different Battle, Same Winner: A-Class Takes Scribble Jam

October 7, 2008
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Different Battle, Same Winner: A-Class Takes Scribble Jam

A-Class | Image by City Paper Digi-Cam On Friday, Oct. 3, Sonar served as host to the Baltimore preliminary for the 2008 Scribble Jam. The long-running annual hip-hop festival, which includes competitions for rappers, producers, and DJs, has launched the careers of many famous MCs, including Eminem. And I was invited to serve as...
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Introducing Los Solos: Q&A With Series Co-Curator Bonnie Jones

October 3, 2008
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Introducing Los Solos: Q&A With Series Co-Curator Bonnie Jones

Los Solos is a new monthly performance series featuring–you guessed it–solo performances. The twist here is that the series presents only women, pairing a local and an out-of-town artist on each bill. Pulling from the experimental undergrounds of dance, music, theater, and, video, Los Solos is programmed by curators-cum-artists Jackie Milad and Bonnie Jones....
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The Really Short List: 10/3 – 10/5

October 3, 2008
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The Really Short List: 10/3 – 10/5

Ratsize | Image by Sam Holden With some 60 people removed from the upper ranks of Baltimore’s music-making population for the Baltimore Round Robin Tour, music, especially local music, is a little thin around town. It’s like fishing season in a small coastal town. But, still, there’s no reason you need to stay home:...
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Still Sloppy After All These Years

October 2, 2008
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Of all the iconic alt-rock bands to have reunited and hit the touring circuit in the past couple years, there’s probably none with a comeback story as harrowing and dramatic as that of the Meat Puppets. After the band fell apart in 1995 due to bassist Cris Kirkwood’s heroin addiction, he entered a lengthy...
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Change in Plan: Hot Chip Cancels, Growing Moves to the Talking Head

October 2, 2008
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For whatever reason, Hot Chip canceled its show at Rams Head Live for this upcoming Tuesday on short notice. (Too short notice to pull the listing out of this week’s print edition of the City Paper, that is.) You’ll have to trek to either Washington or Philadelphia now for the band. Refunds are available...
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