Thursday, April 28, 2011
The eighth annual Transmodern Festival starts today in Baltimore. The carefully curated and exponentially uninhibited multi-venue event continues throughout the weekend.
In addition to a plethora of other exhibits of visual, performance, interactive and other types of art, Celebration will be playing Saturday night. They will also present the Church of Om Boom Drum Drone on Sunday during the Pedestrian Service Exquisite.
On Saturday night at Floristree the band will be performing as a three-piece. The set will exclusively consist of songs from their debut LP, and brand new unreleased material.
The following day Celebration will lead the Church of Om Boom Drum Drone, a temple that contains "om for spirit, boom for sound, drum for rhythm, and drone for tonal harmonic connection." Katrina Ford describes the interactive gathering as:
A tribal revival to cure the modern meltdown of the void, the disconnection from the energy between us, beyond culture and beyond religion. A gathering to break the barrier of language through bone and antler technology, celebrating the Magdalenian Revolution…to invoke musical and non musical energy exchange. A reconnection in a sacred environment (temple cave), through guided meditation,tonal improvisation and rhythmic psionic resonation. Aura, aural, oral, choral and vibrational chant and dance to freely interpret what the trance of communal transcendence could be. MICROCOSMIC TO MACROCOSMIC (SEE MAHARISHI EFFECT) IN THE SPIRIT OF:Haitian carnival style RA RA music Poly-rhymic shamanic drumming Dionysian hypnotic inducing rituals of dance and music Sympathetic magic through animal calls Ecstasy of whirling dervishes Carnatic and Gamelan style micro-tonal expression I hope to return the war cry with the warrior call for peace, light and love, by removing the hard shell of modern artifice and social constraint with a musical return to primal liberation in the future presence of a “now”.
The Transmodern Festival begins today and continues until Sunday, May 1st.
Wednesday, April 27, 2011
A version of this post can also be found over at our new section on Impose Magazine.
Above is a picture Dope Body's forthcoming Nupping LP. Yes, that's Frank - the infamous landlord of the Copycat building. Hey there, Frank. Andrew, Dave, and Zach of Dope Body all reside in the Copycat's Penthouse Gallery, and have formed a special bond with Frank.
So much of a kinship as they have decided to put him on the cover of their new record, out next month on Hoss. This fits, as Frank could be considered the Copycat's mascot - representing a giant mess of creatively-inhabited concrete, metal, and hardwood.
The Copycat provides a Baltimore breeding ground for the sort of sounds that push eardrums and boundaries. Dope Body's particular sounds are of the thrash wave variety, an infectious force of manipulated bass, pounding drums, and raucous vocals.
"Bangers and Yos" is the first single off their forthcoming LP called Nupping. While moments recall heavier grunge anthems of the early 90s, there are times this beast is of a much more twisted nature. Guitar sounds are morphed and altered to create skewed beats laced with alien-like noise, but are presented so clean and crisp that it still just makes you want to thrash around wildly.
Dope Body's Nupping hits turntables next month via Hoss. Tour dates after the jump.
Tuesday, April 26, 2011
A few weeks ago Weekends played their Strange Cultures LP release party at Floristree. They were joined by Run DMT and Portland's White Fang, and it was a crazy good time.
Valerie was there to capture all the action, her shots are below and after the jump.
Monday, April 25, 2011
There are currently two new Baltimore records that keep finding their way to my speakers - both of which evoke a similar nostalgic feeling. The White Life debut hits turntables this week, but Adventure's second LP Lesser Known is out now on Carpark.
Break out your favorite 80s movie soundtrack, or better yet, just throw on Lesser Known. As "Rio" indicates though, there's more than just an 80s throwback vibe going on. This is very much a pop record from 2011, but one that pays a welcome homage to it's keyboard-based predecessors. When it comes down to it, "Rio" is a sprawling synth pop anthem, ideal for the warm sunshine that Baltimore is currently basking in.
I've been able to catch Benny Boeldt's new band live twice recently, and both shows confirmed my affection for these new sounds. Benny is now joined by Mark Brown and Dave Fell, and these three dudes bring the nostalgia felt from Lesser Known to life.
Follow Adventure on Facebook right here, and grip Lesser Known right here.
Friday, April 22, 2011
Before Wye Oak set out on their most recent national tour in support of Civilian, singer and guitarist Jenn Wasner told me she had some recordings in the works for her new solo project. A week later while out on the road, Jenn passed along "Prison Bride".
"Prison Bride" is the debut track from Flock of Dimes, and was recorded at Chris Freeland's Beat Babies studio just outside of Baltimore. This instant-classic gets right to the point, courtesy of a jaw-dropping beat compliments of Wasner. Once Jenn's beaming pipes begin to shine over top of the cascading rhythms and infectious melodies, odds are that this genre-defying banger will be your new favorite. Enter, Flock of Dimes.
"Prison Bride" will appear on Friends Recs' forthcoming 2011 compilation, more details on which are TBA. I chatted with Wasner yesterday to get the scoop on Flock of Dimes, who told me about her "vanity project", Mickey Free's role in these new sounds, and Usher...
How did Flock of Dimes start?
I was in-between tours, and feeling crazy and maybe a bit overambitious. I decided that the only way I would follow through with making as much new music as I could while at home would be to set a deadline. That morning my friend Ben asked me to play a show at his house. I impulsively agreed. The 5 songs I wrote and recorded in the two weeks preceding the show became Flock of Dimes. Now I've got a few more shows coming up, so I'm trying to write 5 more songs. Baby steps.
What are your influences for this project?
Mostly I'm trying to work quickly, have fun, and have a project that's a little more carefree and open-ended. But it's also important that I feel like I'm challenging myself to explore areas that don't come naturally to me. (These recordings are my first attempts at drum programming, for example.) I'm trying to ask more of my voice, and force myself to write and play in different ways. For example, I arbitrarily decided that all FoD songs would be in one particular guitar tuning that I'm not really comfortable in. Breaking my old habits has really helped me write differently, and more quickly.
OH, I just realized that wasn't what you asked at all. I don't know…a lot of people tell me it sounds like Cocteau Twins. Or something.
Who influenced you from here in Baltimore?
I'm inspired and intimidated by so many of the talented people that live and work here, and that's a big part of what has convinced me to try and make more with the time that I have. People are just so goddamn prolific and multi-talented in this city. It makes me want to ask more of myself and challenge my own expectations of what I'm capable of.
How would you describe Flock of Dimes?
I'm fond of "vanity project". I'd say that about covers it.
Whats your favorite R&B song? Artist?
I'm a huge Aaliyah fan. I love Usher, R Kelly, Ciara, The-Dream. "Are You That Somebody" by Aaliyah is a front-runner in the "songs I can't believe I'm not tired of yet" category. I don't think Flock of Dimes is going to end up sounding like any of those artists, though.
How/where is Flock of Dimes recorded/produced?
The original basic tracks for the first batch of songs I made under the apprenticeship of Mickey Free (without whom these songs would certainly not exist). After I played my first show, I booked a day at Beat Babies with Chris and Mickey, and knocked out a bunch of live guitar, keys and vocals. I knew I only had a day, which was perfect, because part of the fun of this project is to move quickly, not over-think things too much. That studio day was in late December, and I've been on tour for the majority of the past three months, so I've had to work a bit differently with batch number 2. Currently, I've managed to put together a fairly functional mobile recording setup, so I've been able to tinker around with ideas while traveling. I'm trying to get more self-sufficient with the production side of things, and fortunately I'm surrounded by a lot of really talented and knowledgeable people who are ready with guidance when necessary.
What's in store for the future of Flock of Dimes?
I don't have any lofty goals or expectations for myself, on a practical level. I want to keep things low-key, play shows where and when I want to, and make sure I'm continually excited and a little bit confused.
Thursday, April 21, 2011
I am pleased to announce that I will now be contributing to Impose Magazine, a very rad Brooklyn-based media outlet. Naturally, I'll be covering the Baltimore scene for them.
Co La - Dial Tone Earth by friendsrecords
My first post went up today, which feature's the premiere of a new release from our latest obsession, Co La. It's called Dial Tone Earth, and you can check it out right here.
Wednesday, April 20, 2011
Just announced: Zu Shapes will make his live debut at the Hexagon on Saturday (4/23) where he'll be opening for Raindeer, Co La, and Happy Family. The show starts at 9 PM.
Friends Records is debuting a handful of brand new cassettes over the coming weeks, one of which is the debut from Zu Shapes who I introduced you to a few weeks back. Zu Shapes is Beau Cole of Lands and Peoples and Raindeer, and his debut is called Merigold. More new sounds have now surfaced, take a gander at "Speak in Sheets" below.
"Speak In Sheets" has been stuck in my head for the past month, but I sure as fuck don't mind. These sounds emanate the surf-pop of the 60s, but do so from the perspective of modern day bedroom pop with a jaded twist. "Speak In Sheets" is Zu Shapes' oceanfront sing-a-long, a glowing anthem that the late Dennis Wilson would likely be proud of.
You can pre-order Zu Shapes' Merigold cassette from Friends Records right here.
Tuesday, April 19, 2011
Tonight the Ottobar will host a rare performance by German electronic musician Pantha Du Prince. Joining this electronic import will be Moss of Aura and The Sight Below.
Pantha Du Prince released Black Noise last year via Rough Trade to much acclaim, an LP that sported the track above which features Panda Bear. Moss of Aura (Gerrit Welmers of Future Islands) is currently finishing up his forthcoming LP, more details are TBA.
The show starts at 8 PM, will cost you twelve dollars, and you can RSVP right here.
Monday, April 18, 2011
Animal Collective is set to play in Columbia, Maryland on July 9 at Merriweather Post Pavilion. This is the first time they will play the venue titled the same as their last LP.
Tickets go on sale April 22 right here, more information TBA (via Citypaper).
On Wednesday night get ready to welcome home our favorite Baltimore rapper, Height. He and his friends are back from a 50+ day tour, so it's high time to show some love.
This will be your only chance to catch Height with Friends for awhile, as Height prepares to set sail soon on a European tour with fellow rapper PT Burnem. Watch out, Europe.
This show goes down on Wednesday, April 20 at the Hexagon with Soul Cannon, Minor Second, and G-Easy. It will cost six dollars and starts around 9 PM. RSVP right here.
Friday, April 15, 2011
Clusterfuck: Future Islands, Wye Oak, Weekends, Run DMT, Lands and Peoples, Dope Body, Adventure, Ed Schrader, more
Today I present you with the first Clusterfuck post in awhile, as Saturday boasts an insane amount of quality music events in Baltimore. Here's what you should do tomorrow.
Tomorrow at Hopkins' Spring Fair, the Levering Quad offers a lineup lifted straight from our Soundcloud playlist as Future Islands, Dope Body, Weekends, Lands and Peoples, Adventure, and Raindeer all take the stage outside. Word is that the stage is covered, so this is probably rain or shine. Also, it's definitely free. The schedule is right here.
Immediately after the Spring Fair you'll need to coast down St. Paul to the 2640 Space where Wye Oak hosts a release party with their touring friends Callers. Get tickets for that here, and take a gander at their new video for "Fish" here. Also, it's Jenn's birthday.
After you leave the 2640 Space you'll need to head downtown to Floristree where you'll find and all-star cast of Weekends, Winks, White Fang, Run DMT, and Rapdragons.
And if that wasn't enough, the Talking Head has the Fan Death Records showcase with Ed Schrader's Music Beat, Locrian, Pleasure Leftists, Broken Water, and Heroin Sucks.
Thursday, April 14, 2011
A few days ago NPR premiered the first official video from Wye Oak's Civilian, and the results look about as beautiful as the record sounds. Take a gander above.
With paintings by Katherine Fahey and photography by Michael O'Leary, this puppet-filled affair is one of the more gorgeous shorts we've come across this year. You can welcome back Wye Oak from a lengthy tour this Saturday to celebrate the release of Civilian. The show is at the 2640 Space in Charles Village and tickets are still available right here.
Wednesday, April 13, 2011
One of the best parts about Baltimore's music scene is the abundance of variety and creativity when it comes to different genres and sounds. Contemporary ambient music is a genre that's been particularly bountiful as of late around town, and Approximate Infinite Daydream is a new series that aims to highlight this burgeoning realm.
Created by Matthew Papich (Co La, Ecstatic Sunshine) and Neal Reinalda (Daytime), the concept is not your typical concert series. All of the performers will be solo acts, and all of which are of the more ambient and experimental variety. Also important to note - these shows will not take place in typical concert venues, but rather in more common spaces not generally used for shows. Current planned sites include Fox Court at the BMA (The Echo Spot), Gottlund Verlag HQ in rural Kutztown PA, the Soft House, and more.
As for the music and the specific concept behind this series, Reinalda states "Many of the practitioners of this new music are interested in creating music for specific contexts, often domestic. This tendency follows a certain tradition related to Ambient Music, and more specifically, to Eric Satie’s “Furniture” or “Furnishing” music. As dictated by Satie, this music is intended to function in a space as background, unobtrusive yet distinct. The sound is constructed to play a role in, and transform its’ surroundings, sometimes even evoking a specific mood or feeling. Our goal is to explore the role context plays in relationship to this music, specifically the role of domestic space and time and its relationship to various forms of visual and aural works."
Artists involved include Eachothers, Bear & Pieces, Comeback Ranch, Jared Paolini, Narc, Dead Drums, Co La, Daytime, Dustin Wong, Ken Seeno, and Gem Vision, and more. The series starts with a book release/primer on April 28, and you can RSVP right here.
Tuesday, April 12, 2011
Record Store Day is this weekend, and this year it comes bearing new Lower Dens via a brand new single and 7" titled "Deer Knives". Hear the new recording below.
While the new song is welcome news, the bigger news here is that the new song comes compliments of Sub Pop. While there is no official word that the band has been signed to this indie label behemoth, one can likely assume something is brewing as their new single is being released by the label as a 7" and it is being included on their Record Store Day compilation. Another Baltimore dream-pop band to be signed to Sub Pop?
As for the music, Lower Dens does it again with another atmospheric burst of pop bliss plucked from their live set and put to the test in the studio. The result is a winner of course, as "Deer Knives" rambles on just as good as anything off of Twin-Hand Movement, if not better. Clearly there is plenty left to come from Lower Dens.
Get the "Deer Knives" 7" single or the Sub Pop compilation on Record Store Day.
Monday, April 11, 2011
Tonight the Ottobar's got a killer bill, and you have no excuse not to go because it's 80 degrees outside and Kurt Vile creates the soundtrack for this sort of weather.
Kurt Vile's new record is called Smoke Ring For My Halo, and is definitely a must listen. Also worth noting, Vile will be backed by his band The Violators unlike his last show here.
Kurt Vile and The Violators will be joined by two locals, one of which is making up for a show missed with Secret Mountains a few weeks back to end their SXSW tour. Lands and Peoples will be taking the stage, and their set will be chock full of new material that you'll find on their forthcoming debut LP. Also opening tonight at the Ottobar is Friend Collector, a new band that features members of The New Flesh.
Tonight's show is at the Ottobar, will cost you $12, and starts at 9 PM.
Friday, April 8, 2011
Thursday, April 7, 2011
Tomorrow night Floristree hosts an epic event that features half of Lungfish. Need I even say more? Probably not, but here's some more details for those who require them.
Daniel Higgs' most recent work has been with the Swedish band known as The Skull Defekts. Higgs took over as front man for their new LP dubbed Peer Amid, and has been touring with them over the past month. The LP is out now on Thrill Jockey, and sports eight tracks drenched in psychedelic punk not often seen in 2011. Highly recommended.
Support includes Zomes (Asa Osborne of Lungfish), who has a new LP called Earth Grid due out soon. Microkingdom will be channeling their inner no-jazz for this affair as well, fresh off the release of their first proper LP via Friends Recs.
This show starts at 9 PM, will cost you $7, and you can RSVP right here.
Wednesday, April 6, 2011
Last weekend STR8 CAVIN hosted the release party for Dog Leather's new LP via Ehse Records called Greezy Man and Stinky Man Meets Smutty Ranks On Tarantula Hill.
Dope Body performed, whose sound is built for the confines of spaces like STR8 CAVIN.
This thrash wave trio continues to get better with each jaw-crushing performance, as they increasingly hone in on each other's noisy onslaught to become tighter.
Dope Body has a new LP due out on Hoss Records in May. Get the Dog Leather LP here.
Tonight the Golden West has one that's worth bringing to your attention, with Ed Schrader's Music Beat, Child Bite, and Prussia all performing. And, doing so on the cheap.
Child Bite are always a good time when they come around these parts, and paired with Ed Schrader's new band with Devlin Rice, this one's a no brainer. Ed Schrader's Music Beat has a new LP due out on Load Records, details of which are currently TBA.
This show at Golden West starts at 10 PM, costs five dollars, and you can RSVP here.
Tuesday, April 5, 2011
One of Baltimore's most infamous and mischievous rock bands is back in action, as Oxes are slated to drop two new 12" singles on an Italian imprint next month.
Above is the radio edit of "Orange Jeweleryist", the second of the two songs that are scheduled to drop May 2 on Africantape. This was recorded last summer when the band got together for the first time in years to play a few shows that included Whartscape. Two brand new songs came out of the new recordings, including this one and another new song titled "Crunchy Zest", which we featured a live video for last summer.
As for the music... ladies and gentlemen, Oxes are fucking back. "Orange Jeweleryist" is a heavy stomper that's even got a bit of southern rock twang which hits fiercer than Ray Lewis in his prime. It seems to be a bit more controlled and calculated than work in the past, but still packs that primitive punch the trio became known for.
Other details are pretty scarce at the moment, but check back soon for more on Oxes.
Monday, April 4, 2011
If you've been outside today, you are aware that spring time is here. To celebrate this year, Hopkins' Spring Fair has teamed up with the "Baltimore Curators" for an event.
On Saturday, April 16 both are proud to present an outdoor bill on the Levering Quad that's free to the public. The lineup reads like a week of post titles on this here blog, so naturally we're stoked. Bands include Future Islands, Weekends, Dope Body, Lands and Peoples, and Raindeer. Did we mention that this was free? Because it is.
The show runs from 4:45 until 10 PM, and the full schedule is below. RSVP right here.
4:45 - RAINDEER
5:30 - LANDS & PEOPLES
6:15 - WEEKENDS
7:00 - DOPE BODY
8:00 - ADVENTURE
9:00 - FUTURE ISLANDS
Friday, April 1, 2011
Amidst all the chaos and mayhem at SXSW, Lands and Peoples found the time to hang out with some new friends from the Big Ugly Yellow Couch blog. The results were peaceful, serene, and quite beautiful. Check out videos of "Ghosts" and "Awake" below.