Monday, February 28, 2011
Wye Oak's highly anticipated third full length record is out next week, and its called Civilian. You can now stream the new LP in full over at NPR's website.
I've had the pleasure of spending the past couple of weeks with the new LP thanks to the good folks at Merge Records, and it seems pretty clear that this is the band's best work to date. The album is still growing and morphing through my ear-spaces, so I'll wait a few more weeks before I write up a proper review.
For now, go listen to the record for yourself, and buy the vinyl next week from Merge.
Another week full of fantastic shows begins tonight at Floristree, where Double Dagger, Thank You, Witch Hat, and dance collective BOBBY will all be performing. Yes, please.
Thank You are fresh off releasing their new LP via Thrill Jockey, easily one of the best records to come out of 2011 thus far. Double Dagger have been a bit quiet as of late, so it'll be good to see them playing out live again here in town. Also, Double Dagger's Twitter account stated this morning, "We're doing something at tonight's Thank You show at Floristree that will make you love us or hate us." So, there's that.
Witch Hat have likely been creeping up your favorite-loud-band-list, and I'm sure tonight's performance will be no exception to the rule. Dude's have been absolutely slaying it as of late. As for BOBBY, expect more experimental dance beauty to entertain you between sets, much like their performances with Future Islands and Oxes last year.
Above is the premiere for the new BOBBY video, directed by Nat Munari of Oxes fame. This epic seven minute long affair will give you a good idea of what to expect from these lovely ladies, and is more proof that Nat's video skills are beyond amazing.
The show tonight probably starts around 10 PM and will probably cost money.
Thursday, February 24, 2011
Clusterfuck: Height with Friends, Future Islands, The Snails,
Bird Names, Disturbed Individuals, Twin Shadow, Raindeer
flyer by Patrick Byrd
This weekend sports a plethora of options, starting tonight with two solid choices that are more than worth your ears. The first one is to be hosted at the Copycat Theatre.
The Snails, otherwise known as "Baltimore's answer to the California Raisins", will be making their first appearance in over a year. This super-group hodge podge sports members from Future Islands, Small Sur, Lower Dens, and Nuclear Power Pants.
The Snails play tonight with Bird Names and Whoarfrost at the Copycat Theatre.
Also tonight, Raindeer play their second ever Baltimore show at the Ottobar. They will be opening for Twin Shadow, fresh off the release of their debut LP that's been met with lots of critical acclaim. A bunch of unfairly catchy electronic pop music for just $10.
Tomorrow night the Golden West is a fine place to be, as Height with Friends jump-starts their 2011 mega tour that spans over 50 days throughout North America.
This one goes down at 10 PM at the Golden West, and sports support from Mobil, Disturbed Individuals (Food For Animals), and R.M. O'Brien of Nuclear Power Pants.
Transmodern Festival is also holding a benefit at Floristree, and its called Head 2 Head. Performances by Dan Deacon, M.C.Schmidt, DJ Jason Willet, J Graf, Jack Topht and the Vegetables. The event also promises head to head battles by your favorite Baltimore personalities, and will run you upwards of $12 all together.
Saturday night you can start over in East Baltimore at the Creative Alliance, where Future Islands are back in their first local action of 2011. In addition to this performance, don't forget you can go see Future Islands on their biggest Baltimore stage yet, opening for Celebration at the 2640 Space on Saturday, March 5.
But this weekend is a free show in Patterson Park, where they'll be playing an acoustic set in addition to an electric set afterwards. Expect to hear new songs.
After the Future Islands show is over, head to Golden West for a great bill, as the psychedelic warlords Sri Aurobindo are joined by Secret Mountains and Birds of Maya.
This one starts at 10PM at the Golden West and costs just six dollars.
Wednesday, February 23, 2011
A few weeks ago we presented a killer bill at the Golden West which included Raindeer, Weekends, Winks, and Holy Ghost Party. Some of our favorite younger bands from our fair city, the evening proved to live up to the hype by selling out and providing stellar aural pleasure for those who made it in to the Golden West before capacity was reached.
Valerie was there to capture all the action, including Raindeer's first ever Baltimore show which had kids dancing and singing along the words to tracks from their debut EP.
Tuesday, February 22, 2011
Weekends' Strange Cultures has been over a year in the making, as production delays and learning the ropes of the record production industry has caused the LP to be delayed until this month. However, the wax for the record has just arrived in Baltimore, and for their shows tonight and tomorrow we'll be offering special super-limited copies of the LP.
These copies are without the proper jackets, but come with custom-painted jackets by the band and Friends Records. No two are alike, and there are only 15 of them in the whole wide world. Get yours tonight at the Hexagon, or tomorrow night in D.C. at their show with Lower Dens and Secret Mountains at Subterranean A.
Monday, February 21, 2011
With a big ol' hat tip to Guy Werner, above is some brand new Moss of Aura played live by Gerrit Welmers a few weeks ago at the Shark Tank album release show.
The above video was found over at Guy Werner's new site, where he's been posting live audio and video of sets he's been capturing. Push Record Play has the rest of the evening's affair documented as well, including sets from Ed Schrader's Music Beat and Shark Tank. The Moss of Aura live video above is a brand new jam from the Future Islands synth-beast, a part of a batch that Gerrit is currently working on. Stay tuned.
Tomorrow night the Hexagon has a killer mid-week affair that sports some of our favorites paired with some of the many awesome members of FMLY coming to town.
February 22 the Hexagon features Truman Peyote, Weekends, Birthdays, Winks, and Ztarship Unicorn. A hefty bill indeed, this one should have your brainwaves properly fried and your dancing shoes adequately moving late into the evening.
Tomorrow night's show will start around 8 PM at the Hexagon.
Friday, February 18, 2011
Tomorrow night the Penthouse is playing host to a stellar one with Air Waves coming to town and joined by locals Avocado Happy Hour and Brendan Sullivan of Weekends.
Air Waves are fresh off the release of their debut full length, a stellar first effort that came out via Underwater Peoples at the end of last year. Dungeon Dots is a completely underrated and beautiful release that's absolutely worth giving a spin.
Throw in the always enchanting Avocado Happy Hour and the sonically awesome Brendan Sullivan, and you've got yourself a night. The show starts at 9 PM and costs five dollars.
Thursday, February 17, 2011
Tuesday, February 15, 2011
Even though Ponytail have currently disbanded, they have a new LP coming soon. Recored prior to their break-up, Do Whatever You Want All The Time is due this spring.
Above is a teaser video for the record created by Dustin Wong, a spastic collage of sights and sounds that are meant to embody the new LP. While this video may not make much sense to me in a few days, it makes perfect sense to me now as I am currently fading in and out of delirium with a nasty case of the flu. Plus, any video with Brian Billick blowing kisses is ace in my book. Hat tip to Altered Zones for the preview video.
Do Whatever You Want All The Time is out April 12 via We Are Free.
Sunday, February 13, 2011
It's rare that we provide posts with photo coverage of a DJ set, but on February 5th the curator of one of our favorite music blogs, Awesome Tapes From Africa, came to town for a rare DJ set at the Copycat. He was joined by several locals, and DJed a mix of tapes from his coveted collection that he consistently shares online.
Above is one of my personal favorites posted on Awesome Tapes From Africa, from a tape by National Badema Du Mali called Nama. Valerie's photos are after the jump.
Friday, February 11, 2011
Clusterfuck: Shark Tank, Weekends, Moss Of Aura, Winks, Arbouretum, Raindeer, Secret Mountains, Holy Ghost Party
flyer by Patrick Byrd
I haven't done a Clusterfuck post in a while, but this weekend's abundance of shows is calling for it. I've already highlighted the majority of these shows, so we'll keep it short and sweet as a friendly reminder of what you can treat your ears to this weekend.
Tonight the Windup Space is where you should be, as Shark Tank will be rocking their record release show with Ed Schrader and Moss of Aura. More info right here.
Tomorrow night sports a bill curated in full by yours truly, as Weekends, Raindeer, Winks, and Holy Ghost Party take over the Golden West. These are some of my absolute favorite new bands from Baltimore, and I'm stoked to bring them all together for one bill. This one's just $5, more info on the affair can be found right here.
And last but not least, Sunday night's got a killer show as well, as everyone's favorite doom-folk outfit will be celebrating their new record upstairs at the Ottobar. For their record release show, Arbouretum will be joined by Secret Mountains, making this more than worth not paying for. Yup, this one's free, and it starts at 9 PM.
Thursday, February 10, 2011
Shark Tank is Height, Lord Grunge (Grand Buffet), Mickey Free, and Brendan Richmond. Their debut album comes out today, with a short tour that hits Philly tonight and Baltimore tomorrow night at the Windup Space with Moss of Aura and Ed Schrader. The first video from the project recently surfaced, and it's definitely one of the more traditional rap shorts we've seen Height involved with. Check it out:
The video is for the track "Don't Shoot", one of the many bangers from the new Shark Tank record. This one deals with the demons that are bad habits and over-indulgence, all while maintaining that 90s-era hip hop video party atmosphere.
I highly recommend you go and check out tomorrow night's show at the Windup, and even more so I suggest snagging the new LP from this indie-rap super group. If you dig Mickey Free's new record, and Height with Friends' Bed of Seeds, then chances are Shark Tank's new one will be thrown into heavy rotation as well. The show tomorrow starts at 10 PM.
Wednesday, February 9, 2011
art by Na Kim
A new solo project from Beau Cole of Lands & Peoples and Raindeer - I present you with Zu Shapes. The debut EP got started last summer and is being finished up as we speak, and Beau recently shared the first track to be heard from the debut, dubbed "Olivia".
"Olivia", the first heard track from Zu Shapes, is a catchy-as-fuck slow-building pop song that eventually erupts with luminous chants and a beat strong enough to summon your inner-glee. Beau tells me the song is about social anxiety, living in your mid-twenties, and watching old girlfriends get married and have kids.
I was chatting with Beau last night, and along with an abundance of other info about the new project, he filled me in on where the moniker "Zu Shapes" came from:
"Zu Shapes is this game my mom and I used to play one the highway in Mississippi. There's kudzu EVERYWHERE there. It takes over everything: trees, powerlines, entire buildings. My grandmother called it "foot-a-night" because it can grow more than a foot in a 24 hour period. My mom and I used to call out what the kudzu forms resembled, and she'd make me laugh with silly voices and we'd just have a good ol' time."
Beau Cole plays with his two other bands this week in Baltimore, starting with tomorrow night as Lands & Peoples play the Talking Head with Colour Revolt. On Saturday night, you can catch Beau as part of Raindeer who play the Golden West with Weekends, Winks, and Holy Ghost Party. Look for more to come from Zu Shapes in the coming months.
Tuesday, February 8, 2011
Cass McCombs no longer resides in our city of Baltimore, but he used to, and more importantly he's remained to be one of my favorite songwriters of our modern era.
Cass is back with a new LP this year, to be titled WIT'S END. The first-heard sounds from the new record hit the interwebs recently, in the form of the track "County Line".
"County Line" is another easy-going number from Cass McCombs -- a steady swayer that croons and entrances with Cass's silky smooth vocals combined with production that's as clean as a whistle. The production comes with help again from Ariel Rechtshaid, as he and Cass recorded the songs in various cities throughout the U.S. which is fitting to McCombs' nomadic nature. The result is just another gem added to the growingly prolific catalog that Cass has been somewhat quietly building over the past nine years.
WIT'S END is out April 12, 2011 in North America on Domino Records.
Monday, February 7, 2011
More often than not, album titles have little to do with the actual sounds and frequencies that emanate from the grooves of the record or tape that it labels. However Ken Seeno's new album, Invisible Surfer On An Invisible Wave, is not one of those occurrences, as the album drifts and dashes through salt water and curling waves that could only exist in some sort of unobtainable fantasy land. Check out "The Ocean After a Storm" below.
Ken Seeno is originally from Ponytail, Baltimore's favorite spazz punk purveyors of melody that are currently on hiatus. You've heard me rant and rave about Ponytail's Dustin Wong, and now you'll likely hear me go on and on this year about another member's solo work. Ken's work is shown in a different light, one that shines from deeper in the cosmos down on unknown landscapes and exotic habitats.
It feels innately spiritual, the kind of music that throws you deep into a daze, but never once allowing you to take your mind off the sounds you're hearing. This particular release does an excellent job in capturing complex and intimate ideas using incredibly simple synths and melodies that cascade and scatter like skipping several rocks across a lake at the same time. It's ideal for late night zone-outs, but as hard as it is to imagine right now, I can see it working best on a hazy summer evening.
Get Ken Seeno's Invisible Surfer On An Invisible Wave from NNA Tapes.
Thursday, February 3, 2011
An album that has been almost three years in the making -- Celebration's Hello Paradise - Electric Tarot is officially out today. Friends Records and Celebration are giving away the entire LP digitally online for free, and offering the chance to purchase the record on vinyl -- the band's first physical offering since 2007's The Modern Tribe out via 4AD.
Fader just premiered the last remaining card to be dealt for this LP, which came in the form of the last track on the album, "Kilamanjaro". A fitting capstone to this grandiose affair, "Kilamanjaro" is an epic psych rock ballad that churns your deepest illusions and glorifies your most vivid dreams. Hear for yourself.
"Kilamanjaro" represents the The Moon card, which singer Katrina Ford's painting below depicts. Katrina illustrates this card as "Self deception, Illusion,Waxing and waning of emotion, Dreams, Memories, Subconscious, Facing your fears, Nightmares, Different sides of you crying out, A karmic relationship, Losing touch with reality."
Celebration play tomorrow, February 4 in Philadelphia at The Ox, February 19 in Brooklyn at Death By Audio, and will have their release show for Hello Paradise on Saturday, March 5 at the 2640 Space in Baltimore with Future Islands and Arbouretum.
This record comes wrapped in a gate-fold jacket that includes 150 gram vinyl, a CD of the album, and an insert which contains the key to this tarot spread. Check it out here.
Wednesday, February 2, 2011
Over the past several years some Orioles have been heading up north to play at Shea Stadium. And much to our excitement to find out, the venue has been documenting these along with many other outings that they've hosted. The space serves as both a recording studio and show venue, an ideal arrangement for this sort of thing. I recently stumbled upon live recordings from some Baltimore residents including sets from Double Dagger, Dustin Wong, Future Islands, Run DMT, Teeth Mountain, and Weekends.
I've posted a handful of live Dustin Wong recordings over the past year, but here's the first from out of town. Dustin hit this one straight up into the cosmos as usual.
A pretty full set from Double Dagger -- from last September so this one's a playoff game. Nolen, Bruce, and Denny were clearly all batting well over .400 for this one.
Future Islands were hosted after the All-Star break, and we certainly pushing their way to a pennant in 2010 when they played this one. Hear the full set for this right here.
Run DMT knocked three jams out of the park in a psychedelic whirlwind last October.
Weekends have stepped up to the plate a whole lot of times at Shea Stadium, but here's the venues favorite pitch of their hit "Raingirls", knocked home of course.
Check out Shea Stadium's entire archive right here.
Tuesday, February 1, 2011
Friends Records has had a busy start to 2011, so here's a status update on some things to let you know what we're up to. We have three full length records that will be out by the end of the month (one already is), and a healthy dose of awesome shows plotted.
Microkingdom's Three Compositions of No Jazz dropped a few weeks ago, and copies on white or black vinyl are beginning to trickle on to turntables as we speak. We pressed up 250 copies of each color, accompanied by packaging that features mind-numbing artwork by Chris Day of Open Space / Lost Ghosts Records / Bear & Pieces acclaim.
Microkingdom's next show is February 19 at Death by Audio in Brooklyn with Celebration.
Celebration's Hello Paradise will be officially unveiled this Thursday, February 3. The last song card to be dealt in the Hello Paradise portion of the Electric Tarot will be given out, coming in the form of "Kilamanjaro" which represents The Moon in the tarot deck.
The first few copies of the wax will be available in Baltimore stores only on Thursday, then up in Philly on Friday, February 4 at their show at The Ox with Sun Airway and Golden Ages. All pre-orders begin shipping next Monday, February 7.
Celebration play in Philly February 4, NYC February 19, and in Baltimore on March 5 for the LP release show with Future Islands and Arbouretum at the 2640 Space.
In a few weeks Friends Records will FINALLY be releasing the first album in our catalog - FR001: Weekends' Strange Cultures. This my friends, will be a happy occasion, as the release has been twisted and turned through production delays but will now see it's actual physical inception on vinyl. Look for more details on this in the coming weeks.
Weekends play Baltimore on February 12 at Golden West with Winks, Holy Ghost Party, and Raindeer. They also play DC February 23 with Lower Dens and Secret Mountains.
A few weeks ago Dan Deacon and So Percussion collaborated on a performance in NYC for the Ecstatic Music Festival. Baltimore's favorite A/V junky, Guy Werner, took the trip up I-95, and you can check out his highlight reel of the performance below.
This went down Thursday, January 20 at the Merkin Concert Hall, and featured works from both artists including a composition written by Dan Deacon exclusively for the So Percussion ensemble to perform. This composition was called Ghostbuster Cook: Origin of the Riddler, and you can catch the performance in it's entirety below with many thanks to Guy Werner, Lawson Smith, Sam Herring, and all of the musicians involved.