Celebration are one of Baltimore’s more reclusive groups, and one of the city’s best treasures with a sound that is always captivating, always evolving, and always delivering a show-stopping live set. Their darkly brooding, churning songs have outstretched the bounds of the genre portmanteau “punk cabaret,” reaching far and wide with high-profile (TVOTR) and local (Ami Dang’s sitar) collaborations that have wrought a distinct and unhinged sound.
They signed with one of the more revered and high-quality indies (4AD) in 2005, and released the stellar Celebration (2006) and Modern Tribe (2007). Over the past couple years however, they have cast aside the traditional music industry business model associated with being a band. In early 2009 they parted ways with 4AD, choosing instead to engage in a number of increasingly intriguing and mysterious projects including releasing free songs under the banner of their Electric Tarot series, and restricting their 2009 live appearances to elemental-themed performances in non-traditional venues (along with the occasional festival or one-off collaboration with friends).
The final show in their Elemental series was originally scheduled to take place on January 29th, but as most people around town know, the host venue was the now-dissolved LOF/t under the direction of Ric Royer, shutting down a scant few weeks before the show.
This all brings us to today, with a performance that seems to fall outside the scope of their Elemental series. In its stead we have a bonafide Celebration double-header featuring one acoustic and one electric set, aptly named the Yin Yang show. The show tonight doubles up for early-comers as an open house for the upstairs resident studios at the Creative Alliance, an opening of a new exhibit by Lauren Boilini and Becky Alprin downstairs, and a chance for a cheap chili dinner if you are so inclined. The space is great, and the music grand, so I can’t imagine a better place to spend a blustery Friday night.
Oh and it’s free.